NEWS of the Week - Mar 25 to Mar 31, 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.


Mar 31, 2013




Mar 30, 2013




Mar 29, 2013




Mar 28, 2013


New Jersey

Fort Lee Police Hosting Pedestrian Safety Seminar at Community Center Wednesday

In an effort to raise awareness, the Fort Lee Police Department is hosting a pedestrian safety seminar to offer information and life saving tips.

As part of their "Be Seen, Be Safe" pedestrian safety campaign, the Fort Lee Police Department is hosting a Pedestrian Safety Seminar for all residents, regardless of age, at the Fort Lee Community Center on Wednesday, March 27 at 7p.m.

"I encourage all residents to attend to hear life saving tips," Chief of Police Keith Bendul said.

This seminar is one in a series of seminars that the police department is bringing to the community to help raise awareness and promote pedestrian safety. Community Policing Officer Anthony Kim and Traffic Bureau Officer Michael Bialoblocki conducted two seminars in January and March at the Fort Lee Senior Center designed to increase the safety of senior residents by educating them on how to remain aware of their surroundings while walking. A pedestrian safety seminar was also conducted by Chief Bendul and Traffic Supervisor Ricky Mirkovic last month for the residents of Century Tower on Parker Avenue.

Pedestrian safety has become a top initiative for the Fort Lee Police Department since early 2012 when the number of accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians began to rise significantly. According to Bendul, 12 pedestrians have been struck in the first two months of 2013, including one fatality.




New NHPD boots on the ground

Forty new police officers will soon hit the streets of New Haven.

As part of an ongoing effort to increase police presence in all of the city's neighborhoods, the New Haven Police Department introduced its newest hires to the public during a Monday afternoon press conference at its 1 Union Ave. headquarters. The 40 police officers — all of whom have graduated from the New Haven Police Academy — are completing a three-month field-training program after which they will be deployed to walking beats throughout the city, according to NHPD Chief Dean Esserman.

“My marching orders were clear. Bring violence down in this city and bring community policing back to every neighborhood in this city,” Esserman said. “What you see behind me is a promise this city has kept to the community.”

The extension of the city's Police Department was first announced at a press conference in January, when Esserman and Mayor John DeStefano Jr. discussed their plans for 2013 following the 50 percent drop in homicides from 2011 to 2012. Two months later, the city has followed through on its promises: By next week, each of New Haven's 10 policing districts will be assigned four new officers charged with building relations with community members and businesses in their district, Esserman said. He added that he made the decision for all new hires to begin their career with the NHPD on walking beats, in keeping with his commitment to a more community-based policing strategy.



Mar 27, 2013


Washington, DC

Woman to Direct Secret Service

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama picked the first woman to head the Secret Service, a move that comes after the agency last year punished agents for their alleged involvement with prostitutes in Colombia.

President Obama will appoint Julia Pierson, a veteran U.S. Secret Service agent and senior official, as the first female director of the agency. Jared Favole reports. Photo: Secret Service.

Mr. Obama on Tuesday named Julia Pierson as the new director to succeed Mark Sullivan, who retired in February. Ms. Pierson, who previously served as chief of staff for Mr. Sullivan, doesn't require Senate confirmation.

Ms. Pierson has spent 30 years with the agency in a variety of roles. She graduated from the University of Central Florida and got her start in law enforcement as a police officer in Orlando. In 1983, she joined the Secret Service as a special agent in Miami, and among other jobs, she was assistant director of the Office of Human Resources and Training.

Ms. Pierson's appointment as director could help Mr. Obama combat criticisms about a lack of diversity in his administration. It may also help to ease the concerns of a number of senators, including Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine), who raised questions about a systemic cultural problem within the Secret Service.




Police search for more women in Craigslist rape case

Authorities say Woodstock man charged with sexually assaulting 5 he found on Internet site may have attacked as many as 25

Authorities say a Woodstock man charged with sexually assaulting five women he found on Craigslist might have attacked as many as 20 other women.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that 44-year-old Charles Oliver responded to ads for sex placed by the five women, who were referred to in court as prostitutes and escorts. He would meet them and take them back to his home, where he would become violent, forcing them to perform sexual acts and, in some cases, tying them up or locking them in the basement, according to authorities and court records. Authorities said he threatened to kill some of the women if they went to police.

Authorities are using evidence they said was collected inside the home, such as cellphones and copies of women's drivers licenses and identification cards, to try to track down others to determine whether they were attacked. Prosecutors also said Oliver kept thousands of images of the women engaged in sex acts with him. While some appear to be consensual, prosecutors said others do not.

Experts say the case highlights the ongoing difficulties of policing online prostitution and of protecting women who seek to sell their bodies from being victimized. The case may also challenge the public's view of rape.



Mar 26, 2013



Teen Sentenced To 30 Months In Jail For Pointing Laser At Aircraft

A California man was sentenced on Monday after he was caught red handed last year pointing a laser at flying aircraft.

A 19-year-old man of North Hollywood will now serve 30 months in federal prison, the L.A. Times reports. Last March, Adam Gardenhire repeatedly shined the laser directly at a private and police aircraft.

Pilots attempting to land a passenger plane said they had vision problems because of the lasers. Gardenhire pleaded guilty in October to the charges of a felony count of aiming a laser beam at an aircraft.

Later, the man used the laser to bother a police helicopter that was responding to the first incident of the landing private jet. The pilot of the helicopter was not affected by the laser because he was wearing protective eye wear.

President Barack Obama signed the laser law in 2012; this is its second case. The law makes aiming a laser at an aircraft, or the flight path of an aircraft, a federal crime. Those who violate this measure can be fined or imprisoned for up to five years.




Chicago police put more feet on street

Rookie Chicago police officers have started to patrol on foot on some of the city's most dangerous blocks in a move that Superintendent Garry McCarthy said reinforces the department's "return to community policing."

After six months in the Police Academy and 12 weeks of training in the field, 24 newly minted officers have worked nights for a little more than a week in what McCarthy called an "impact zone" within the South Side's Gresham District, in crime-ridden neighborhoods that include Chatham and Auburn Gresham.

As more classes graduate from the academy this year and complete the field training, officers will be added to 19 other zones throughout the city where gang violence is rampant, McCarthy said.

"Where officers are in the vehicle, they can get around quicker, but where they're on foot, they can really lock down a location," McCarthy said Monday during a news conference at the Morgan Park District police station on the Far South Side. The same group of new officers will be assigned to one particular impact zone instead of bouncing around to others, the superintendent said.

"One of the philosophies ... that we've adopted is what I like to call a return to community policing," McCarthy said. "And in this case, it's the same officers in the same zones every single night."




New Haven Police Department introduces 40 new officers

NEW HAVEN — Chief Dean Esserman said the 40 uniformed officers ready to hit the streets were the fulfillment of a promise, and a return to community policing.

“My marching orders were clear. Bring violence down in this city and bring community policing back to every neighborhood in this city,” said Esserman, who has been chief since October. “What you see behind me is a promise this city has kept to the community.”

The officers have completed the police academy and are nearly finished with three months of field training. They will be deployed to walking beats by next week. The department will divide the additional officers, giving each of the 10 city districts four officers.

With officers starting soon, and 27 recruits currently in the academy, the Police Department employs 422 sworn officers. The city plans to add 40 officers after a recruitment drive in May/June, Mayor John DeStefano Jr. said Monday.



Mar 25, 2013


New York


Mayoral hopefuls' plans for public safety should scare New Yorkers witless

Candidates fail to explain how they would keep crime at record lows

Seven candidates appeared at the third of the mayoral forums sponsored by the Daily News and the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation citizens group. The topic was public safety.

All were advised to come prepared to explain how he or she would hold the line on crime or drive it still lower — the central duty of any mayor. All were given the opportunity to present their three most important strategies. Not one of them was convincing or spoke with a semblance of coherence or authority.

Since 1990, the city has enjoyed a steady downward trend in felonies. Under Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, the NYPD has reduced crime to record levels, an achievement that strengthened the foundation of the city's resurgence. Allow fear to return, and all will be lost, including lives.

The future hinges on smart, tough policing by a nimble, well-equipped force that is deployed by a visionary commissioner and takes to the streets confident that the mayor has its back — while fighting the war against terror at home and abroad.

It's a hell of a challenge. Let's match it against the ideas broached at the forum by a field that has been weighted toward competing expressions of outrage about the NYPD's program of stopping, questioning and sometimes frisking people suspected of criminality.



New Jersey

Camden begins training for transition to regional police force

About 100 trainees will begin learning how to protect one of the nation's most dangerous places. The new Camden County regional police force replaces a city department that opponents said could not meet that challenge.

County freeholder director Louis Cappelli said the officers' training that starts Monday represents a significant moment for Camden.

"I'm anxious to triple the number of police officers walking the streets of Camden. Residents for the first time in decades will see officers walking the streets, bicycling through through the streets," Cappelli said. "There will be a real community policing effort that will make Camden City a safe city once again."

Opponents of the regional force worry that the officers won't be prepared to police the troubled city -- but Cappelli insists the new force will be ready.




Mayor wants to talk about racial profiling and the NOPD

Mayor Mitch Landrieu will host a community meeting this evening, to discuss the continued reform of the New Orleans Police Department.

One of the things the mayor intends to address is the concern about racial profiling on the part of the NOPD.

That's an area that the New Orleans Independent Police Monitor, Susan Hutson, recently tried to assess.

"We couldn't say, definitively, this is going on or it isn't. But, when we looked at the training and the policies, we definitely thought those should be beefed up."

She says the NOPD needs to do a better job of making sure officers fully understand and are compliant with the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures.

"We just felt like the policies weren't as consistent as they need to be with the Fourth Amendment and with practices in other cities," said Hutson.




Dover ponders 'crime-free' leases

DOVER — City Council is set to consider an ordinance tonight that would give landlords and law enforcement greater power to clean up properties where crime and nuisances are chronic problems.

The ordinance would require landlords to include in their rental agreements a “crime-free lease addendum” that forbids tenants, their guests or others under their control from engaging in criminal activity, including felonies and serious misdemeanors, as well as nuisance crimes such as excessive noise, disorderly conduct, lewdness and public intoxication.

The rules would require landlords to evict tenants who break the criminal activity rules three times in a one-year period.

Dover Police Chief James Hosfelt said the ordinance is not targeted at a specific area of the city or in response to a particular crime trend.

Problem properties exist in every council district, he said, and persistent complaints range from prostitution and drug dealing to loud noise and vandalism.

“Some of the landlords we talked to are happy with the ordinance,” Hosfelt said. “They see it as a help to them in their efforts; they want to take care of their properties.”