Reno police reach out to troubled people

When I talk about the Fatal Encounters project, which focuses on people who’ve been killed by law enforcement in the United States since 2000, people often ask me if I’m scared of police. And except for times like this, standing outside the Reno Police Department’s main building—that white, vaguely Orwellian building on East Second Street—I’m not. Sure, I’ll never be able to be unaware where my hands are when I get pulled over again, but afraid? Don’t be ‘noid.

But at 7:45 a.m. on a spring morning, a couple of weeks after a mostly satisfactory but woefully inadequate story about law enforcement-involved deaths was on the stands, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t worry that I’d forgotten to pay a ticket during that whole parking meter fiasco with the city of Reno. And after months of doing research on the depressing topic of police killing Americans, it’s probably not all that surprising that the stuff gets into my head.

I was there at the invitation of Reno Police Officer Travis Warren to do a ride along with a MOST squad, so my presence couldn’t have been under friendlier circumstances. But still.

For the rest of the story, visit the Reno News & Review site

 Irreconcilable differences

Micah Abbey illustrates the difficulty for police dealing with mentally ill people

Bad things shouldn’t happen on Christmas day, but sometimes they do. People shouldn’t be alone on Christmas day, but sometimes they are. People shouldn’t work on Christmas day, and sometimes they don’t. But sometimes they do. The world is filled with such inconsistencies.

Micah Abbey, 33, had wanted nothing more than to play penny slots at John Ascuaga’s Nugget on the evening of December 25, 2011. He’d been to a Christmas party earlier, and he was happy. He had plans to go to the Nugget with his buddy James Faulkner, but it turned out Citifare stopped service at 5 p.m., Faulkner said, and Abbey would have been stuck in Sparks. Since he lived at 9801 Crystalline Drive out in Stead—a group home owned by Project Uplift for people with mental illness who are transitioning to living on their own—coming to town seemed impractical, so they had to cancel.

For the rest of the story, visit the Reno News & Review site.

 Police story

Reno police leaders talk about how polices are set within their department

In an interview in March, Reno Police Chief Steve Pitts and Deputy Chief Mac Venzon talked about the many methods local law enforcement have at their disposal for improving protocol, training and policies.

Chief Pitts said our local law enforcement agencies look to other agencies—particularly in areas of community-oriented policing—for policies that work best to mitigate negative outcomes, like officer-involved deaths.

For the rest of the story, visit the Reno News & Review site.


RN&R Series, Part 2

RN&R Series, FE4