NEWS of the Week - Feb 18 to Feb 24, 2013
on some NAACC / LACP issues of interest


NEWS of the Week 
on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ... We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...

NOTE: To see full stories either click on the Daily links or on the URL provided below each article.


Feb 24, 2013


Bill Bratton - the police chief they wanted for the Met

The ex-New York police commissioner's approach to law enforcement makes him the most sought-after officer on the planet

If the study of cities is a science, then Bill Bratton ought to be its Nobel laureate. As it is, the former chief of police of the Los Angeles Police Department, and police commissioner in New York and Boston, has a resumé unrivalled by any cop on the planet – perhaps in history.

When Bratton refers with reverence to Sir Robert Peel's Nine Principles of Policing – which he does, frequently – one struggles to think of a modern law-enforcement official who has done more to honour his memory. Indeed, two years ago, Bratton, 65, very nearly became commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police Force founded by Peel himself in 1829 – a tale to which we shall return.

Imagine Clint Eastwood running a sociology department – Dirty Harry meets Malcolm Bradbury's History Man – and you get a flavour of this remarkable public servant. Unashamed toughness mingles with astute social observation, a profound awareness of the context of law-breaking (not as an excuse, please note – “the cause of crime is people”), and the need to forge strong links with the right community leaders. It is no surprise, then, that civic and national leaders the world over – David Cameron and Boris Johnson among them – turn to him with such respect and with such justifiably high expectations; he was made a CBE in 2009.

To what extent, I ask him, is it possible to extract universally applicable lessons from different cities. Do the favelas of Rio really have much relevance to, say, the mean streets of Manchester, or the ganglands of Moscow? “Well, I think there's a lot of commonality,” he says. “Cities have always fascinated me, going back to my earliest college days [he attended University of Massachusetts Boston]. The course I took back then was called “Urban Geography” and ran for two semesters. I loved that course because, at that time, in the early 1970s in America, cities were being written off, cities were 'over', everybody was going to move to the suburbs and that was the future. The cities were left to the poor and the minorities. And we have clearly seen that is not the case. We now have these huge cities of 18 million, 24 million people in some of the emerging third world countries… Cities are not behind us, they are the future of the world.”



Ohio blocking driver's licenses for some immigrants to U.S., more clarity is needed

CLEVELAND: Driver's licenses for some young immigrants who came to the United States illegally are being blocked by Ohio Department of Public Safety officials' questioning whether a new federal program gives those immigrants temporary legal status.

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices apparently are reaching different conclusions about the status of the young immigrants because they are not getting guidance from the Department of Public Safety that oversees the BMV office, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

State officials say they are not certain about whether the language of the federal program does confer legal status.

The federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program established last year by the Obama administration gives immigrants who came here illegally as children two years of legal status. That status allowing them to get work permits and Social Security numbers is renewable every two years.

Government figures show that more than 150,000 young people nationwide had been approved for the program as of January, but some states have been issuing driver's licenses to those in the program and others have not.




Volunteers spruce up H.B. neighborhood

HUNTINGTON BEACH – For Oscar Rodriguez, a freshman at Cal State Long Beach, every trip to the Oak View neighborhood feels like a homecoming.

On Saturday morning, the shy young man took the microphone before hundreds of volunteers assembled at Oak View Elementary School. These were employees from several top corporations, including Pimco, Disneyland and Bank of America, who had come together to help spruce up the school, park and basketball court.

Rodriguez talked about his biggest passion – the kids of his neighborhood.

"I grew up here," he said. "When I was in fourth grade, my dad started a soccer team because he wanted to keep me out of trouble. Now, that one team has grown to 50 and has become the Oak View Soccer League, helping many kids stay on track."

Rodriguez told the volunteers that he was there because he wanted to give back to his community as a mentor, counselor and big brother.

Together, the nearly 350 volunteers from the local corporations and about 150 community members painted murals, dug up the dirt to plant trees, painted the faded markings on the basketball court, and painted outer walls and window frames.



From ICE

116 criminal aliens arrested by Tulsa-based ICE officers in 2012

TULSA, Okla. — As part of its public-safety mission, the local office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the arrest of 116 foreign nationals with criminal convictions during calendar year 2012.

The Tulsa-based ICE office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) was established in 2008 as part of an initiative to reduce the fugitive alien population in the United States, which later included previously removed aliens and removable aliens convicted of a crime. ERO's Fugitive Operations Team located in Tulsa is one of 104 such teams that prioritizes its resources to focus on aliens who pose a serious threat to national security or public safety, including members of transnational street gangs, child sex offenders, and aliens with prior convictions for violent crimes.

"Our ERO officers positively impact public safety of communities in Oklahoma and nationwide when we remove criminal aliens from the streets, and ultimately from the country," said Simona L. Flores, field office director of ERO Dallas. "This is a vital mission that we take very seriously." Flores oversees the state of Oklahoma and 128 counties in north Texas.

Of the 116 criminal aliens arrested in 2012 by the Tulsa-based ERO officers, 34 have convictions for violent crimes, such as: lewd molestation, rape, child abuse by injury, assault with a dangerous weapon, and attempted kidnapping. Because of their serious criminal histories and prior immigration arrest records, seven of those arrested were federally prosecuted for illegally re-entering the United States after being formally deported, which is a felony. Those seven have since been convicted and were sentenced to an average two-year term of imprisonment.



Feb 23, 2013


Los Angeles

TB outbreak in downtown L.A.'s skid row called 'largest in a decade'

LOS ANGELES - Public health officials have launched an effort to contain a persistent outbreak of tuberculosis on downtown Los Angeles' skid row and are searching for more than 4,500 people who may have been exposed to the disease, it was reported today.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has dispatched scientists to Los Angeles to help local health officials determine why the disease is spreading and how to stop it, the Los Angeles Times reported. Officials say 11 have died since 2007. Sixty of the 78 cases were among homeless people who live on and around skid row.

Scientists recently linked the outbreak to a tuberculosis strain unique to Los Angeles, with a few isolated cases outside the area, according to The Times.

"This is the largest outbreak in a decade," Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, told The Times. "We are really putting all of our resources into this."

Health workers have identified about 4,650 people who were probably exposed and are trying to track them down for testing and treatment, the newspaper reported.



Los Angeles

TB outbreak not spreading beyond downtown L.A.

Los Angeles homeless advocates reassured residents Friday that while the downtown area is dealing with what health officials are calling the largest tuberculosis outbreak in the last decade, the disease's reach is far from epidemic proportions.

An investigation has been launched into what scientists believe is a new strain of TB unique to downtown Los Angeles' Skid Row after 11 deaths have been linked to the disease since 2007, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

County health officials have been monitoring the issue and identified 4,650 people they believe may have been exposed to the airborne disease, prompting officials with both the state and Los Angeles County TB control programs to reach out to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC plans to dispatch staff in the next two weeks to assist in the outbreak investigation, said CDC spokeswoman Salina Cranor.

But local health officials and homeless service providers said residents shouldn't rush to their local hospital in a panic just yet.



New Jersey

Princeton police ask residents what they expect of new consolidated police force

PRINCETON — Town police plan to mix old-fashioned shoe leather and community policing tactics with social media outreach to reboot how they communicate and interact with the citizens of Princeton.

Officers in the newly consolidated department have been used to thinking of themselves as borough or township officers, but that all changed as of Jan. 1.

“As a new department, it's a new start. We have a long history separately, but we don't have a history collectively,” Captain Nick Sutter said. “We need to see how we operate collectively, rather than go out blind and take a shot at it.”

The most immediate effort is the start of a weeks-long survey that gauges the public's perception and expectations of the newly-consolidated police department.

In the next 10 days, a team of three officers from the department's Safe Neighborhood Unit will go door-to-door in various parts of the community to survey residents about what they expect of the new police department, any specific services that they want, and how the department is doing on traffic management and patrols.



Feb 22, 2013


Experts: China has hacked most of Washington

Start asking security experts which powerful Washington institutions have been penetrated by Chinese cyberspies, and this is the usual answer: almost all of them. The list of those hacked in recent years includes law firms, think tanks, news organizations, human rights groups, contractors, congressional offices, embassies and federal agencies.

The information compromised by such intrusions, security experts say, would be enough to map how power is exercised in Washington to a remarkably nuanced degree. The only question, they say, is whether the Chinese have the analytical resources to sort through the massive troves of data they steal every day.

"The dark secret is there is no such thing as a secure unclassified network," said James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which has been hacked in the past. "Law firms, think tanks, newspapers -- if there's something of interest, you should assume you've been penetrated."

The rising wave of cyber-espionage has produced diplomatic backlash and talk of action against the Chinese, who have steadfastly denied involvement in hacking campaigns. A strategy paper released by the Obama administration Wednesday calls for possible trade sanctions. Cyberspying on what could be called the "information industry" differs from hacks against traditional economic targets, such as Lockheed Martin, Coca-Cola and Apple, whose computer systems contain valuable intellectual property that could assist Chinese industrial or military capabilities.




Drew Peterson Shouts, 'I Did Not Kill Kathleen!' - Then Gets 38-Year Sentence

CHICAGO -- Former Illinois cop Drew Peterson yelled, "I did not kill Kathleen!" during the sentencing phase of his trial today -- and then a judge sentenced him to 38 years in jail for killing her.

The sentence came after Will County Judge Edward Burmila denied Peterson a re-trial in the killing of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004. Peterson had faced as many as 60 years in prison.

At his sentencing, after Peterson shouted that he did not kill his wife, someone in the courtroom yelled in reply, "Yes you did!" according to ABC News Chicago station WLS. Burmila then ordered that person to leave the courtroom.

Peterson went on to claim that police "altered evidence" in his case and "intimidated witnesses and scared my children."

"I love Kathy," he said. "She was a good mom. ... She didn't deserve to die."




Policing plan rolled out

Mayor unveils strategies to fight crime

Wilmington Mayor Dennis P. Williams released his long-awaited public safety plan Thursday, using 13 pages to outline a philosophy that calls for improving community relationships and addressing the violent crime that has deteriorated the quality of life in the city and stymied economic growth.

Many details of the strategy had trickled out since Williams took office last month.

That included police Chief Christine Dunning's plan to divert officers from specialized units to the patrol division. Other key points, such as implementing a street crime unit to address in-progress felonies, enhancing a gun unit and creating community policing specialists, appeared last year in Williams' campaign material.

“This new public safety plan will work,” Dunning said, taking the lead in presenting the strategy. “However, like any plan, we need the community's support.”

Police will tailor their approach to different neighborhoods, according to the plan. Instead of focusing on one method, Williams' strategy combines a neighborhood component with a pledge to go after violent offenders, said Rich Iardella, a former city police officer brought on as a public safety liaison.



Feb 21, 2013



Namibia: Community Policing Starts in Kunene

MORE than 500 people from various areas in the Kunene Region have signed up for the Women and Men Against Crime Network since the beginning of this month.

On Monday about 100 people joined the network against crime in Khorixas at the town council chambers.

According to Vehangaiza Ruiter, a police community affairs officer, "community policing in the Kunene Region is positive, as people have signed up in big numbers from Epupa, Sesfontein and Khorixas constituencies".

"I believe you [Khorixas residents] are tired of crime and want a crime-free society," Ruiter said. Ruiter said the community policing initiatives are not about creating jobs, but for the community to unite against crime. Ruiter said community policing must be taken seriously by all, because the police alone are not enough to combat crime.

"By joining, you are doing your part; if you see police officers involving themselves in criminal activities, report them," Ruiter told the residents. The community policing is voluntary and those above 18 years are welcome to join.

Khorixas Mayor Tryphosa Moloto also attended the launch of the network and said her office was open to work with community policing groups for a crime-free Khorixas.




EUPOL COPPS Holds a Workshop on Community Policing

On Wednesday 20th February, EUPOL COPPS held a workshop in Ramallah for some 50 Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) officers to exchange best models of community policing and to show how a good working relation between police and the public can serve as a crime prevention tool.

During the workshop, which was funded by EUPOL COPPS, key speakers from the Mission and PCP drew a comparison between the conventional role of the police and that of the enhanced understanding of a community-oriented policing, which is dedicated to serve the public and interact with the people.

The participants represent all of the 11 West Bank districts and work in departments of the Family Protection Unit, Traffic Police, Media and Public Information Departments and Juvenile unit. These sections were targeted because they have greater interaction with the public.

The speakers explained the importance of forging links and partnerships with the society to better fulfill the Police mandate, which includes crime prevention and trying to solve the problems of the community. To do that, the Police remains dedicated to gain the trust of the people.

The PCP has carried out several activities to inform the public about their role in serving the community. The latest effort was erecting huge banners in major populated areas of the West bank about their interaction with the people. One banner, showing a policeman shaking the hand of an old Palestinian man, has won the admiration of many people. The workshop helped participants to share information and create a common vision on a community-oriented police.




Focus on police community partnership

THE Fiji Police Force's Community Policing Symposium starts in Suva today. Police are expecting about 150 participants, including police and community policing officers from around the country, to participate in the symposium.

The two-day symposium with the theme "Advancing Community through Economic Growth" will be held at the Fiji Police Academy in Nasova. The event's chief guest is the Minister of Defence, National Security and Immigration, Joketani Cokanasiga.

Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said the symposium was aimed at strengthening and highlighting the partnership between the police force and members of the community.

The police force hopes to use this partnership to work towards preventing crime around the country. "It is also to launch Fiji's new community policing model," said Insp Sokomuri. A delegation from Indonesia is also expected to be part of the symposium today.

Registration for the symposium commenced at the police academy yesterday afternoon, which saw several participants turning up to register themselves.




Policing Forum meeting

BALBRIGGAN -- Community Policing Forum held its first public meeting this year in Balbriggan Town Hall. High on the agenda at this meeting were local concerns about an increase in break-ins to vehicles locally and worries over antisocial behaviour in the town.

Last night's public meeting gave the residents of Balbriggan and Balrothery an opportunity to go along and raise their issues with crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour to the appropriate authorities.

Public meetings are attended by An Garda Siochana, and the Fingal County Council and chaired by the Balbriggan Community Policing Forum. Action is taken on the issues that are brought up at the meetings and feedback is given by An Garda Siochana and the Fingal County Council at the follow-on meeting.

Issues that have been presented by the public include such things as anti social behaviour with younger members of the community, burglaries, parking, speeding, signage problems, drug dealing on estates, drug taking, vandalism.

The Balbriggan Community Policing Forum is an independent body who aims to build community capacity, develop links and further enhance communication between the residents of Balbriggan, state agencies, local authority and An Garda Siochana. One of the most important elements of its work is the facilitation of these public meetings.



United Kingdom

Your chance to shape community policing

People are being sought to help shape policing in our community. Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable are seeking people to join the Joint Audit, Risk and Assurance Panel (JARAP) as one of four panel members, or as chairperson.

The JARAP oversees the systems and processes used by the Commissioner and the Chief Constable to deliver policing services to local communities in line with the priorities set out in the Police and Crime Plan, due to be published shortly.

Commissioner Sir Clive Loader, said: “We value the views of the local public and it is important that we empower them to help us to address policing, criminal justice and community safety concerns. With this in mind, we want to create a panel that is diverse and representative of the local communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

“We want to recruit independent people who genuinely care about local policing issues and are prepared to make challenges to bring about improvements, ensuring integrity is upheld and value for money is achieved.

“Whilst these are demanding roles, they provide a great opportunity to gain an insight into the work of the Commissioner and the Chief Constable and to play a part in making a real difference to communities. We are keen to hear from anyone who is interested in becoming the chairperson or a panel member.”



New Jersey

Horsham, Hatboro Offer Community Policing Class

The 10-week Horsham, Hatboro Citizens Police Academy begins on Feb. 20.

Have you ever watched "CSI," or "Law and Order" and wondered what it's really like to see a high profile case through? Well, now you can have your chance. Beginning on Feb. 20, the annual Horsham, Hatboro Citizens Police Academy will again teach a class of community members the ins and outs of law enforcement work.

For those with an eye for "CSI," Horsham Township Police Lt. Jon Clark said one of the 10-week sessions featuring Lt. Rich Nilsen, a homicide detective in the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, will not disappoint. "He's going to present a case, a case that happened in the past," Clark said. "It gives the participants a chance to see, from beginning to end, how it's prosecuted."

Clark, along with Hatboro Sgt. Pete VanDolsen has led the Citizens Police Academy since its inception in 1999. Clark and VanDolsen invite other law enforcement officials to classes to offer insight on various topics ranging from police K-9, to firearms, use of force, drug awareness and more. At the end of the free 10-week program, participants receive a certificate of completion.

To date, more than 300 locals have graduated from the academy and gained a better understanding of the police officer's role, Clark said. Part of that understanding, Clark said, is to not only get a glimpse of crime scene investigations, but to feel more comfortable reaching out to and interacting with police.

"I just want them to understand that we need the community to be our eyes and ears and help us do our job," Clark said. "The more they understand about doing the right thing and calling when they see something that doesn't look right gives everybody a better quality of life."

If you go -- To register for the Horsham, Hatboro Citizens Police Academy, or for more information on the free program, click here to read more in Patch's events calendar.




Deputies Heading To The Classroom To Learn "Community Policing"

Augusta, GA -- The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is taking its officers back to the basics...putting them in the classrooms. They're learning a new philosophy on "community policing" and how to better get their citizens involved to help keep their streets safe.

It started at the beginning of February and will wrap up at the end of this month. The officers are learning how to be more proactive, rather than reactive. The goal is to build better relationships with those they protect.

Next week, the first of 3 community police academies will begin where select citizens will take part in a 13-week course, learning every facet about the sheriff's department. Officers say it's important for folks to know their rights because the boundaries for them are just what the limitations of the law allow.

"We have usually one person who is assigned to particular area, it's a large area, it's a lot for him to cover and there is no way he can catch everything. But, if we have the community in partnership with that deputy specifically, then they'll be quicker to call us, to talk to us, to give us the information that we need to hopefully prevent crime," says Gerald Metzler, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

The first academy is already full, but you can still take part in one of the next two. To learn how you can be enrolled call Community Services for the Sheriff's Office at 706- 231-0436. The Sheriff's Office is taking about 15 to 20 people per 13-week course, so inquire early to get involved.




An inside look at "hot spot policing"

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - "Hot spot policing" is a term you've heard a lot since last August, when former SLU volleyball player Megan Boken was shot and killed in the Central West End. But the crime fighting approach did not start with Boken's death. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has used it for years.

Inside a St. Louis Police Department conference room, 60 or more members of law enforcement meet face-to-face one morning a week to talk about crime.

"We made 51 bench warrant arrests, we found a gun last night right in our target area," reports Captain Daniel Howard, commander of the first district, during a recent meeting.

It's in this weekly meeting that patterns of crime become apparent. So-called hot spots are identified, and a plan of action is developed. Around the table, senior command: the captains of each city police district, homicide detectives, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and in chairs around the room, officers from probation and parole, the circuit and U.S. Attorney's Office, the DEA and ATF.

"Some of them recognize the names of individuals they've arrested previously," says Chief Dotson, "and know that they work on this specific block or they're from this neighborhood. It helps give perspective to everybody in the room."



Feb 20, 2013


Security group suspects Chinese military is behind hacking attacks

A secretive Chinese military unit is believed to be behind a series of hacking attacks, a U.S. computer security company said, prompting a strong denial by China and accusations that it was in fact the victim of U.S. hacking.

The company, Mandiant, identified the People's Liberation Army's Shanghai-based Unit 61398 as the most likely driving force behind the hacking. Mandiant said it believed the unit had carried out "sustained" attacks on a wide range of industries.

"The nature of 'Unit 61398's' work is considered by China to be a state secret; however, we believe it engages in harmful 'Computer Network Operations'," Mandiant said in a report released in the United States on Monday.

"It is time to acknowledge the threat is originating in China, and we wanted to do our part to arm and prepare security professionals to combat that threat effectively," it said. China's Defense Ministry issued a flat denial of the accusations and called them "unprofessional". It said hacking attacks are a global problem and that China is one of world's biggest victims of cyber assaults.

"The Chinese army has never supported any hacking activity," the Defense Ministry said in a brief faxed statement to Reuters. "Statements about the Chinese army engaging in cyber attacks are unprofessional and not in line with facts."



Los Angeles

Beck: LAPD wants $1.2M Dorner reward paid, will make reinvestigation public

The $1.2 million reward offered for Christopher Dorner's capture should be paid out despite his death, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday.

The public called in more than 1,000 tips to a police hotline, most of them after the reward was offered.

"It had its desired effect. It should be paid out," the chief said during a press conference at LAPD headquarters downtown.

He said department officials will meet with people involved and make sure the money is fairly distributed. But Beck said he doesn't know how long that will take.

The task is complicated by the number of governments and private citizens who contributed to the reward fund. Some municipalities have limitations on such reward payments.

Beck also said an internal reinvestigation of the Dorner case will be made public within a few months.




Apply now for Cass County Community Policing scholarship

CASSOPOLIS, Mich. — Cass County Community Policing Scholarship Applications are available. Now in its 17th year, the program gives law enforcement the opportunity to work with local businesses, citizens and youth in offering eight $500 scholarships to local students. The money for these scholarships is a direct result of the annual golf outing supported by local businesses and citizens.

Criteria to be eligible for the scholarship includes being a resident of Cassopolis County, a high school senior of a Cassopolis County high school or Brandywine, Constantine, Decatur, Niles or White Pigeon high school or college freshmen, planning to attend or currently attending a college or university in the state of Michigan and a minimum grade point average of 2.5.

Scholarship applications can be picked up at the high school guidance offices, requested at the Sheriff's Office or by calling 269-445-1201 for an application to be mailed to the student.

All completed applications must be received at the Sheriff's Office by April 10.




Adult literacy program thrives in New Providence

263 students served since beginning of fiscal year

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — For many people, it would be tempting to just give up if they were presented with the adversity Thomas Rugante is facing.

He's unemployed with two young sons at home, but his strained back disqualifies him from manual labor jobs, and without a high school diploma, it is nearly impossible to get non-physical work.

But after the New Providence Community Policing Center moved into his neighborhood and brought an adult literacy program with it, Rugante, 31, decided it was time to fill his education gap.

“I can make excuses not to come... but excuses are done with. I'm done making excuses,” Regante said. “I need to be a man, to step up, time to grow up.”

Regante is taking advantage of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Adult Literacy Council's tutoring program at the New Providence Community Policing Center.



Feb 19, 2013


Ohio Plans Drones to Hunt Lost Kids as They Bring Jobs

Medina County Sheriff Tom Miller says he understands why some people in northeastern Ohio may be wary about having his department's drone overhead.

“If I have a barbecue in my backyard, I certainly don't need somebody droning over me to see what's going on,” Miller said by telephone from the county of about 173,000. “But if my grandson's missing, or my granddaughter, I would like to think there's technology available that can help us search more quickly to locate them.”

The remote-controlled, unmanned aerial vehicles used for years by the U.S. against al-Qaeda fighters overseas are poised to become fixtures in everyday U.S. life as law-enforcement agencies, states and universities acquire them, and businesses eye potential uses. Their steady advance is forcing governments and citizens to grapple with the consequences and opportunities created by the culture of surveillance.

Even as the Federal Aviation Administration works to incorporate drones into U.S. airspace for civilian uses, and states such as Ohio plan to become leaders in their manufacture, lawmakers in Congress, states including Virginia and local governments are weighing limits to preserve privacy.




Delray police aim to clean neighborhoods one problem at a time

Problem Oriented Policing Unit redefining how police interact with residents

Delray Beach — There's a certain defiance in the way the kid pedals ever-so-slowly ahead of the patrol car. Officer Luis Skeberis rolls to a crawl.

"This guy right here; we know he breaks into houses," Skeberis said, noting the teen's "Sideshow Bob" haircut. "I've caught him breaking into houses."

This is Osceola Park, one of about seven neighborhoods patrolled by the Delray Beach Police Department's Problem Oriented Policing unit.

Formed in 2010 with three officers, the unit has since grown to six members and is redefining how police in Delray interact with residents and fight neighborhood crime, officers say.

In Osceola Park, crime has fallen since the unit moved into the area last year. Residential burglaries dropped from 29 in 2011 to eight in 2012. Assaults, robberies and thefts also declined, according to Delray Beach police statistics.



From ICE

Cyber criminals masquerade as the ICE Cyber Crimes Center to extort money from web users

WASHINGTON — Online scammers have employed a new hoax to extort money from web users in the name of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Cyber Crimes Center. The latest version of this scam – which has imitated the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center in the past – lures victims to a drive-by download website, at which time ransomware is installed on the user's computer. Once installed, the computer freezes and the user is warned that their computer has been blocked due to federal criminal violations. The user is then told they must pay the ICE Cyber Crimes Center $400 within 48 hours to have their computer unlocked.

This is a hoax – not a legitimate communication from ICE. If you have received this message, do not follow the payment instructions.

Instead, it is suggested that you:

  • File a complaint at www.IC3.gov
  • Keep operating systems and legitimate antivirus and antispyware software updated.
  • Contact a reputable computer expert to assist with removing the malware.


Feb 18, 2013


Los Angeles

Christopher Dorner supporters demonstrate in front of LAPD headquarters

The protest signs across from LAPD headquarters Saturday read: "Clear Christopher Dorner's name," "RIP Habeas Corpus" and "Blue Code = Obstruction of Justice."

They were hoisted by dozens of demonstrators angered by the police response to the fired Los Angeles police officer accused of killing four people and wounding three others in a revenge rampage across Southern California.

Christopher Dorner, 33, of La Palma, died of a single gunshot wound, possibly self-inflicted, Tuesday as flames engulfed a Big Bear-area cabin, following a shootout with deputies.

"Burning people out is inhumane," said Michael Nam, 30, of Lomita, a Marine combat veteran who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. "For me, I'm not protesting against the department as a whole, but the way this certain case was handled."

The flash protest advertised on Facebook and other social media drew residents from across the Southland to the downtown police headquarters across from City Hall. Most said they didn't condone the ex-cop's alleged murders - which included two cops, and the daughter of a cop and her fiance - in response to his 2008 police firing.




Nuclear waste tank in Washington leaking

OLYMPIA, Wash.—The long-delayed cleanup of the nation's most contaminated nuclear site became the subject of more bad news Friday, when Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that a radioactive waste tank there is leaking.

The news raises concerns about the integrity of similar tanks at south-central Washington's Hanford nuclear reservation and puts added pressure on the federal government to resolve construction problems with the plant being built to alleviate environmental and safety risks from the waste.

The tanks, which are already long past their intended 20-year life span, hold millions of gallons of a highly radioactive stew left from decades of plutonium production for nuclear weapons.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Energy said liquid levels are decreasing in one of 177 underground tanks at the site. Monitoring wells near the tank have not detected higher radiation levels, but Inslee said the leak could be in the range of 150 gallons to 300 gallons over the course of a year and poses a potential long-term threat to groundwater and rivers.

"I am alarmed about this on many levels," Inslee said at a news conference. "This raises concerns, not only about the existing leak ... but also concerning the integrity of the other single shell tanks of this age."