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Should police officers be required to live in the cities they patrol? There’s no evidence it matters




Protests that have swept the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death have prompted calls to limit police funding, hold officers accountable for dangerous restraints — and even limit where they can live.

Some activists want officers to be required to live in the cities they patrol, arguing it will make officers more culturally competent, diversify police forces and improve community relations.

“It’s a plus if we have officers who live in the city, they grew up in the city, they have a stake in the city because it’s home,” said Kenyatta Johnson, a member of Philadelphia’s City Council, which introduced a bill Thursday to restore the city’s police residency requirement. “It goes a long way to building community trust.”

But no recent research shows residency requirements improve relations between cops and the residents they’re sworn to protect.

“Throughout our research, we have never encountered a shred of evidence that requiring or incentivizing police officers to live in the communities in which they work has any positive effect on the quality of policing,” Communities United Against Police Brutality, a Twin Cities-based organization, says on its website.

Instead, law enforcement experts and community activists say lawmakers should focus on measures such as ending the use of no-knock warrants and chokeholds, which have led to recent deaths of African Americans.

‘The major stumbling block’:Powerful police unions stand in the way of structural reform, experts say

A peaceful vigil at the George Floyd memorial at the Cup Foods Market at the intersection of E. 38th Street and Chicago Ave on Monday, June, 1, 2020. George Floyd died in police custody on May 25, 2020 at this location.

The rise of residency requirements

Residency requirements for municipal employees — including teachers, police officers and firefighters — arose during the machine politics of the 19th century but fell out of fashion in the early 20th century, according to Peter Eisinger, a professor emeritus at the New School in New York City.

The policy had a renaissance in the U.S. during the 1970s. By 1980, nearly two-thirds of all cities with more than 250,000 residents had such laws, according to Eisinger’s 1980 study. At the time, cities were looking for ways to improve the diversity of the municipal workforce and limit white flight to the suburbs.

“People began to think that the municipal workforce, particularly police and teachers, ought to reflect the communities they serve,” Eisinger said. “The idea of a municipal workforce coming into the city from the suburbs smacked of colonialism. You had white employees coming in from the suburbs to teach largely minority schools.”

But residency requirements weren’t all about community relations. Many were introduced as a way of capturing the spending and taxes that local employees generate — the “local coffer theory,” Eisinger said.

As the policies spread, some fought them. In 1976, a Philadelphia firefighter who was fired after he moved to New Jersey challenged the city’s requirement, but the United States Supreme Court upheld it.

For Black mayors:Police reforms are a personal mission

Police associations and unions have argued residency requirements limit the talent pool and breed corruption. In 2010, Philadelphia’s police union got the city to allow officers to reside outside city limits if they had been on the force for at least five years. The percentage of officers who live outside the city has risen since then, though most still live in Philadelphia.

Some city employees have flouted residency requirements. In March, the head of the police union for Kansas City, Missouri, alleged some officers were circumventing its rule by renting trailers in the city and keeping their real homes elsewhere. 

Though these rules have become less popular in recent years, some major cities still have them. Some policies give employees time to move into the city after they’re hired. Others allow officers to move out after a certain period of time. Some offer perks to those living in the city, such as additional points on entrance exams.

In a 2015 report on 21st-century policing, a federal task force recommended police departments institute “residency incentive programs” that provide officers housing in public housing neighborhoods as long as they fulfill public safety duties within the neighborhood.

An essential qualification? Or a distraction?

María Quiñones Sánchez, a member of the Philadelphia City Council who supports the residency requirement, said residency should factor into determining who’s qualified to serve a community. She and Johnson said their constituents have been demanding it.

“If you work for a government in a particular city, you should be a member of that community,” said Sánchez, who places residency requirements among her top five police reforms. “Who is qualified if not someone who is a member of an historically marginalized community? Don’t you want more people speaking different languages?”

But none of the seven law enforcement experts who spoke to USA TODAY could point to contemporary research showing residency requirements have a positive effect on police officer performance or community relations.

“Outside of when there’s a snowstorm and people live 50 miles away, that’s not an issue,” said Steve Nasta, a lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who spent more than three decades with the New York City Police Department. 

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When the Minneapolis City Council considered taking up residency requirements in 2017, the group Communities United Against Police Brutality recommended against it.

“We frequently hear from members of the community that they would not want to live in the same neighborhood as officers who have arrested, harassed or perhaps even abused them,” Michelle Gross, president of the group, wrote in a letter to the council.

Dave Bicking, a board member of the group, called residency requirements “a distraction from real reform.”

A 1999 study even found that residency requirements affected citizens’ perceptions of the police negatively.

“In the little research we’ve seen, it’s not clear that the residency requirement would improve community relations,” said Sarah Greenman, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, said cities have been moving away from residency requirements.

“At a time when the policing profession is being challenged is the time to get the best applicants from wherever they live and wherever they decide to reside,” Wexler said. He argued the cost of living in large cities has made it difficult for officers to find housing there, and that officers may prefer their children attend schools in the suburbs.

Opinion:George Floyd laid to rest, but America must keep fighting to reform policing

Armored members of the Minneapolis State Patrol stand guard in an intersection in front of burned out buildings in the Third Precinct of Minneapolis.

Even within cities, cops may live in separate neighborhoods

For about 100 years, Chicago has required police officers to live in the city, but that policy has been enforced sporadically. In 2010, about 88% of officers lived in the city. According to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2017, dozens of police officers had resigned or been reprimanded for residency issues since 1981.

The makeup of the Chicago police force today is not proportional to the demographics of the city as a whole, with a greater share of white officers than city residents. The city has suffered a number of notoriously corrupt cops and high-profile police-involved killings. In many neighborhoods, tensions between the police and residents run high.

Even within the city, officers tend to live in clusters outside their districts. Sunday, at a peace march in the South Side neighborhood of Chatham, which is predominantly African American, organizers railed against officers who live in the mostly white neighborhood of Beverly, just a few miles away.

Tamar Manasseh, who runs a community anti-violence initiative called Mothers Against Senseless Killing in the city’s Englewood neighborhood, argues that police residency requirements may be effective only if they require officers to live in the neighborhoods where they work.

“They need to live amongst the people they patrol, and all the sensitivity training in the world isn’t going to do anything for you,” Manasseh said. “You’d be less likely to crack a head if you know where they live and they know where you live. People who eat dinner with each other don’t kill each other.”

Defund police in schools?:How the movement got momentum after George Floyd’s death

Demonstrators march against racism and police brutality and to defund th Minneapolis Police Department on June 6, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. - Demonstrations are being held across the US following the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, while being arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

How many cops live in the cities they patrol?

The most recent publicly available data suggests that in general, a majority of officers don’t live in the cities where they work, though the data is more than a decade old. 

On average, 31 percent of police officers were residents of the cities and towns they patrolled, according to a USA TODAY examination of U.S. Census data for 2006 to 2010 for 745 cities and towns. 

At the time, disparities in officer residency varied based on several factors, including the size and racial makeup of the cities and the race of the officer.

Larger cities tended to have higher percentages of officers who lived within the city limits. Some of them, such as Chicago and Philadelphia, required officers to live within the city or within a certain radius.

White police officers tended to live in the cities where they worked when those cities were majority-white, according to the USA TODAY analysis. White officers were also more likely to reside outside the city than their Black or Latino counterparts.

Overall, in communities where the nonwhite population was less than 10%, the average police residency rate was about 47%. But in majority nonwhite cities, it was only 27%.

In Minneapolis, where George Floyd died in police custody, just 8% of officers lived in the city in 2017, according to the Star-Tribune. Minneapolis police did not respond to a public-records request for an updated figure.

In New York City, which allows officers to live in one of the five boroughs or six approved counties, a far higher percentage of officers (61%) resided in the city, according to Census data. But, as in Minneapolis, there was a racial divide: More than three quarters of New York City’s Black and Latino officers lived in the city while less than half of the city’s white officers did.

Protesters take a knee at Borough Hall as part of a solidarity rally calling for justice over the death of George Floyd, and to highlight police brutality nationwide, Tuesday, June 9, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

More ‘research-backed options’ for police reform

There are better options for police reform — ones backed by research — than residency requirements, Greenman said. Several randomized studies have looked at the effect of having officers reinforce principles of procedural justice, such as representation, consistency and impartiality, in their interactions with people.

“When this is done, people are more likely to view the police as legitimate, have satisfaction with the police, accept the decisions that are made, and obey the law in the future,” Greenman said.

This week, Communities United Against Police Brutality outlined dozens of research-backed options that center on police accountability, training and data collection. Among them: requiring police officers to carry their own professional liability insurance; ensuring badges are visible and legible; and prosecuting excessive force, investigator misconduct and perjury.

Residency requirements were not an element of the sweeping package of police reforms that congressional Democrats proposed this week. Instead, the legislation aims to bolster police accountability through dashboard and body cameras, track aggressive officers with checkered pasts, end no-knock warrants and chokeholds, and limit the transfer of military weaponry to police departments.

In Minneapolis, activists and researchers collaborating under the banner of MPD150, which conducted a 150-year review of the police department, are calling for the abolition of police, an institution that the group says is founded in violence, corruption and white supremacy.

“What we have seen over the course of our historical research,” the group said, “is that reforms of any kind are ineffective for a number of reasons.”



The Briefing: RVShare raises over $100M, Google disputes charges, and more




Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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RVShare raises over $100M for RV rentals

RVShare, an online marketplace for RV rentals, reportedly raised over $100 million in a financing led by private equity firms KKR and Tritium Partners.

Akron, Ohio-based RVShare has seen sharp growth in demand amid the pandemic, as more would-be travelers seek socially distanced options for hitting the road. Founded in 2013, the company matches RV owners with prospective renters, filtering by location, price and vehicle types.

Previously, RVShare had raised $50 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from Tritium Partners. The company is one of several players in the RV rental space, and competes alongside Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV marketplace that has raised $75 million in venture funding.

Funding news

  • BrightFarms closes on $100M: Indoor farming company BrightFarms said it secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.
  • Anyscale inks $40MAnyscale, the Berkeley-based company behind the Ray open source project for building applications, announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Existing investor NEA led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. The new funding brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million.
  • Klar deposits $15M: Mexican fintech Klar closed on $15 million in Series A funding, led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from new investor International Finance Corporation and existing investors Quona Capital, Mouro Capital and Acrew. The round brings total funding raised to approximately $72 million since the company was founded in 2019. The funds are intended to grow Klar’s engineering capabilities in both its Berlin and Mexico hubs.
  • O(1) Labs rakes in $10.9M: O(1) Labs, the team behind the cryptocurrency Mina, announced $10.9 million in a strategic investment round. Co-leading the round are Bixin Ventures and Three Arrows Capital with participation from SNZ, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and IOSG Ventures.
  • Blustream bags $3M: After-sale customer engagement company Blustream said it raised $3 million in seed funding for product usage data and digital transformation efforts for physical goods companies via the Blustream Product Experience Platform. York IE led the round of funding for the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company with additional support from existing investors.Pillar secures another $1.5M: Pillar, a startup that helps families protect and care for their loved ones, raised $1.5 million in a seed extension to close at $7 million, The round was led by Kleiner Perkins.

Other news

  • Google rejects DOJ antitrust arguments: In the wake of a widely anticipated U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit against Google, the search giant disputed the charges in a statement, maintaining that: “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”
  • Facebook said to test Nextdoor rival: Facebook is reportedly testing a service similar to popular neighborhood-focused social Nextdoor. Called Neighborhoods, the feature reportedly suggests local neighborhood groups to join on Facebook.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.


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Syte Sees $30M Series C For Product Discovery




Online shopping has become the norm for most people in 2020, even coaxing traditional retail brands to up their presence to stay competitive. However, now that shoppers can’t see and touch products like they used to, e-commerce discovery has become a crucial element for customer acquisition and retention.

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Enter Syte, an Israel-based company that touts creating the world’s first product discovery platform that utilizes the senses, such as visual, text and voice, and then leverages visual artificial intelligence and next-generation personalization to create individualized and memorable customer experiences, Syte co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman told Crunchbase News.

To execute on this, the company raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by LG Technology Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures and KDS Media Fund.

This brings the company’s total fundraising to $71 million since its inception in 2015. That includes a $21.5 million Series B, also led by Viola, in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

Fryman intends for the new funding to be put to work on product enhancements and geographic expansion. Syte already has an established customer base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will now focus expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, Syte has grown 22 percent quarter over quarter, as well as experienced a 38 percent expansion of its customer base since the beginning of 2020.

“Since we crossed $1 million annual recurring revenue, we have been tripling revenue while also becoming more efficient,” Fryman said. “We can accelerate growth as well as build an amazing technology and solution for a business that needs it right now. We plan to grow further, and even though our SaaS metrics are excellent right now, our goal is to improve them.”

Anshul Agarwal, managing director at LG Technology Ventures, said Syte was an attractive investment due in part to its unique technology.

“They have a deep-learning system and have created a new category, product discovery that will enable online shopping in a way we never had the ability to do before,” Agarwal said. “The product market fit was also unique. We believe in the strong execution by the team and the rapid growth in SaaS. We looked at many different companies, and the SaaS metrics that Syte showed are the strongest we’ve seen in a while.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.


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GenTech Proudly Secures Deal with TruLife Distribution to Drive Growth in SINFIT Digital Sales




Denver, CO, October 21, 2020 – OTC PR WIRE – GenTech Holdings, Inc. (OTC PINK: GTEH) (“GenTech” or the “Company”), an emerging leader in the high-end Premium Coffee (, Hemp Wellness ( and Functional Foods ( marketplaces, along with its SINFIT Nutrition brand (“SINFIT”), is excited to announce that the Company has signed a new marketing, sales, and distribution agreement (the “Agreement”) with TruLife Distribution (“TruLife”) (, a leader in marketing, distribution, compliance, e-commerce, and advisory services in the Functional Foods marketplace. The main focus of the new Agreement will be to accelerate the growth of e-commerce sales of SINFIT products, particularly over the platform.

TruLife provides direct access to sales on Amazon, Walmart, Rakuten, Wish, TopHatter, and other top e-commerce platforms, allowing clients to instantly list, ship, and sell products through any major platform, with an experienced team of experts and a proven track record of success in brand placement and digital sales strategies.

“We have already demonstrated a significant & expansive growth curve since taking control of the SINFIT brand in June,” commented Harold Vaca, VP Domestic Sales of SINFIT. “But the vast majority of that growth has been driven by large purchase orders from major distribution partners, both domestic and international. We are also committed to aggressively pursuing end-market consumer direct purchases through our e-commerce footprint, which will provide additional growth and diversify our cash flow ecosystem, making our overall strategy less dependent upon any one source of demand, while driving further growth in total sales.”

Management notes that e-commerce sales represent a sizeable portion of overall retail sales growth worldwide, with more than $3.5 trillion in online sales accounting for over 14% of total pre-pandemic global retail sales. Since the onset of the global health crisis, that ratio has shifted decisively further in favor of e-commerce sales, which is not likely to entirely revert back upon the advent of a viable and widely accessible vaccine.

Vaca added, “We have seen an epic process of market penetration for e-commerce platforms this year as major online retailers have begun to reach a much wider base of consumers – people who haven’t ever shopped much online, but have been forced to during recent months out of personal health concerns. Many of them will almost certainly continue to make use of e-commerce now that they have tried it out, at least to some extent, making e-commerce an essential sales channel for SINFIT products. TruLife has the network, team, experience, and resources to dramatically augment our e-commerce performance.”

SINFIT branded products registered over $2.2 million in global sales in 2019, and are now approved for sale and available for purchase on the and e-commerce platforms as well as in over 2,500 GNC locations in North America and over 10,000 global physical and e-commerce stores across more than 10 countries around the world.

SINFIT products as well-positioned relative to peers and to the long-term macro tailwind defining the functional foods market, which saw sales top $267 billion in February of this year on a global basis, with sales in the US reaching $63 billion, according to Euromonitor 2020. This trend is part of a larger supportive momentum in the general category, with global sales of organic food and drink topping $105 billion in 2018 (Ecovia 2019). U.S. organic food sales also reached $47.9 billion, up 5.9% in 2018 (OTA 2019). In 2019, 77% of U.S. adults used dietary supplements, an all-time high (CRN 2019). U.S. supplement sales are estimated to have reached $49.3 billion in 2019, up 6.2% (NBJ 2019).

About GenTech Holdings, Inc.:

GenTech Holdings, Inc. is a publicly traded company under the symbol GTEH. The Company launched a high-end Coffee Subscription service in early 2020 called Secret Javas, owns a Functional Food company, SINFIT Nutrition and recently closed its acquisition on Products-Groups’ “Hakuna Supply”.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including information about management’s view of GenTech, Inc.’s future expectations, plans and prospects. In particular, when used in the preceding discussion, the words “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” or “may,” and similar conditional expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Any statements made in this news release other than those of historical fact, about an action, event or development, are forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the results of GenTech, its subsidiaries and concepts to be materially different than those expressed or implied in such statements. Unknown or unpredictable factors also could have material adverse effects on GenTech’s future results. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof. GenTech cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Finally, GenTech undertakes no obligation to update these statements after the date of this release, except as required by law, and also takes no obligation to update or correct information prepared by third parties that are not paid for by GenTech.

Corporate Contact:


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