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.
May 12, 2013
Community Policing Starts Up in Cassia County
BURLEY Jose Magana set a sprinkler on the corner of his Burley lawn Friday and looked up slightly perplexed as Cassia County Sheriff's Deputy Cpl. Clay Anderson stopped his patrol car and approached him.
Anderson shook Magana's hand, introduced himself and began chatting about measures Magana could take to thicken up his lawn.
I have seen more officers around, Magana said, even though, he works long hours and is often not home.
Under a new community-policing program, Burley residents will be able to have direct contact with the deputies assigned to their section of the city and provide the officers with tips about crimes in their neighborhoods.
Anderson said people have been receptive to the new program if not somewhat surprised by the impromptu visits.
Obama praises hero NYPD cop and girlfriend during White House ceremony
NYPD detective Ivan Marcano received a shout-out from Obama during the National Association of Police Organizations 2013 TOP COPS recognition ceremony. The president talked about how, while off duty, Marcano helped out a cabbie who was being robbed. He was out that night with his girlfriend, Hilda Miolan, who Obama said deserved a really nice dinner.'
WASHINGTON An impressed President Obama singled out courageous NYPD cop Ivan Marcano and his surprised girlfriend at a White House ceremony Saturday for heroic cops from around the country.
Marcano, one of two of the 43 officers honored Saturday who Obama cited by name, was off duty, driving through the Bronx with his girlfriend, Hilda Miolan, on Oct. 24 when he spotted two armed suspects robbing a 60-year-old cabbie.
When Marcano stopped and identified himself as a police officer, one suspect immediately opened fire, wounding the officer in the arm and chest, inches from his heart.
As Miolan, who Obama joked was probably not very happy with Marcano, drove him to the hospital, he saw the suspects and an accomplice. They had just crashed into a livery cab, jumped a curb on Burnside Ave. and ditched the car. Clutching his chest to keep pressure on his wound, Marcano jumped out of his car and approached them. As one, 18-year-old Prince James, reportedly fired again, Marcano, a righty shooting left-handed, fatally shot James in the head.
May 11, 2013
Protecting your Personal Information with Secure Passwords
From email and banking to social media and mobile apps, the average person has a long list of passwords. While keeping track of numerous account logins can be tedious, there could be serious implications if a cybercriminal gains access to your email, financial information, social security number, or even your medical records. Passwords are the most common means of authentication online, and that is why it is critical to use strong passwords and keep them confidential.
Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and we are all called on to ACT or Achieve Cybersecurity Together. We know it only takes a single infected computer to potentially infect thousands and perhaps millions of others. But at the end of the day, cybersecurity is ultimately about people. The most impressive and sophisticated technology is worthless if it's not operated and maintained by informed and conscientious users.
If each of us commits to staying informed of cybersecurity risks and takes a few simple steps, we can all make a big difference to stay safe online.
For more information on choosing and protecting passwords, visit the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), and for general online safety tips, visit Stop.Think.Connect.
May 10, 2013
Law enforcement is making community policing work
QUINCY This past Sunday, 60 Minutes featured Massachusetts State Trooper Mike Cutone and his model for reducing crime in the city of Springfield. Cutone served as a member of the Army's Special Forces during the war in Iraq. Upon his return to Springfield, he recognized that many of the tactics insurgents used to intimidate civilians were being used by gang members in Massachusetts to control their neighborhoods. Citizens were too afraid of the gangs, too mistrustful of the police even when those same citizens were the victims of a crime.
So how did Cutone stop gangs from intimidating citizens and induce people to call police? He made friends.
What Cutone did, essentially, was build trust between law enforcement and the people they serve. It's exactly what local officials are doing with great success.
Last month, the Quincy Police Department was honored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy for its program to equip every cruiser with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. Quincy Detective Lt. Patrick Glynn was specifically cited for his work in partnering with public health agencies and the public itself to save lives.
May 9, 2013
Aurora theater shooting suspect to plead insanity
James Holmes wants to plead not guilty by reason of insanity to the killing of 12 people and the wounding of 58 others in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater attack.
In a filing Tuesday, Holmes' lawyers wrote they intend to "tender a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity." Holmes would need the judge's permission to change his plea. The notice filed Tuesday starts a series of dominoes in the case.
Because a judge entered a standard not guilty plea on behalf of Holmes and over the objection of Holmes' attorneys at arraignment, Holmes' attorneys will have to show "good cause" why they should be allowed to change the plea to insanity.
If the plea change is allowed, the judge will immediately order Holmes to undergo an independent mental-health evaluation something that could potentially take months.
Meanwhile, Holmes' lawyers will now likely re-submit their complaints that Colorado's system for insanity pleas in death-penalty cases is unconstitutional. They have previously argued, for instance, that requiring Holmes to participate in the mental-health evaluation would violate his rights against self-incrimination. The judges overseeing the case, though, rejected those arguments at the time because Holmes hadn't yet actually pleaded insanity.
Conspiracy suspect's dad: 'He is not a terrorist'
The father of a student charged with conspiracy in the Boston Marathon bombing case insists his son is not a terrorist and said the 19-year-old believes his friend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is "not a human" if he's responsible for the attacks.
Amir Ismagulov, the father of Azamat Tazhayakov, told The Associated Press Tuesday that he has visited his son once since arriving in the United States from Kazakhstan more than a week ago. He said he left flowers several times at a memorial near the Boston Marathon finish line at his son's request.
"Azamat loves the United States and the people of the United States," Ismagulov said as Arkady Bukh, his son's new Russian-speaking lawyer, translated for him. "He is not aggressive. He is not a terrorist. He is a simple boy."
Tazhayakov is in a federal prison on charges that he conspired to destroy, conceal and cover up objects belonging to Tsarnaev, a college friend from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if found guilty.
Congressional delegation notifies state and local law enforcement of federal grant opportunities
COPS grants assist state and local law enforcement agencies with staffing and training needs
Sen. Tom Carper and Sen. Chris Coons, and Congressman John Carney have notified Delaware's state and local law enforcement agencies of two federal grant opportunities available through the Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services Program. The two grant programs now in an open application period include the COPS Hiring Program and the Community Policing Development Program. CHP applications must be submitted before 8 p.m., Wednesday, May 22. The deadline for CPD applications is 5 p.m., Friday, May 24.
Last month's tragic events in Boston remind us of just how important state and local law enforcement is for our communities, said Carper. The COPS programs can help Delaware's state and local law enforcement agencies hire more police officers to keep our communities safe and prevent dangerous crimes. I encourage any police department in the First State looking to boost the capacity of their force to apply for these helpful federal grants.
As the tragic events in Boston unfolded last month, our country witnessed the critical role police officers have at containing a disaster and apprehending the criminal, Coons, chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, said. Every day our officers put their lives on the line to protect our communities from danger. It's funding like the COPS Hiring Program that ensures our police departments are adequately staffed and have the resources they need to hire and retain officers. I hope police departments across Delaware will apply for this important grant program that will help keep our neighborhoods safe.
Top 10 Things Law Enforcement Says About ICE
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protects the United States by promoting homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration. To accomplish this mission, ICE conducts multi-faceted federal law enforcement operations and repatriates individuals wanted by its foreign law enforcement partners.
Below are some of the sentiments expressed about ICE by a number of its law enforcement partners from around the globe.
"Mr. Morton was the one who coordinated with police from eight countries to deliver one of the most powerful blows in narcotics trafficking history. Thank you very much." Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos
"I would like to congratulate and thank the authorities of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their continual support and professional work." Guatemalan Consul General in Chicago Gustavo A. Lopez.
"ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations assets assigned to the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force have been invaluable." Supervisory Inspector Billy Holmes, U.S. Marshals Service, Florida and Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force, Orlando, Fla.
May 8, 2013
U.S. gun crime plunges, though most Americans think it has risen
WASHINGTON Gun-related homicides and other crimes involving guns have fallen sharply over the last two decades in the United States, but most Americans believe firearms crime is higher now than 20 years ago, according to an analysis and a separate poll released on Tuesday.
Some 11,101 gun-related homicides were reported in the United States in 2011, a figure that is down 39 percent from the 1993 peak, the Justice Department reported. Nonfatal firearm crimes declined by 69 percent to 467,300 in the same period.
Amid an intense national debate about gun control - which flared anew in the wake of a December shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 26 people dead - some 56 percent of Americans believe that gun crime is higher now than it was 20 years ago, the Pew Research Center said its poll showed.
Only 12 percent of Americans realize that gun crimes have fallen, the center said in a statement. The Pew survey was based on a March 14-17 survey of 924 adults and had a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.
LAUSD, attorney dispute reporting of 2009 sex-abuse complaints
Los Angeles Unified officials failed in 2009 to report sex-abuse allegations against a Wilmington elementary school teacher who is now charged with molesting a dozen girls, an attorney claimed Tuesday - statements that were immediately disputed by the district.
During a press conference outside LAUSD headquarters, attorney Luis Carrillo said officials learned of alleged misconduct by teacher Robert Pimentel on Oct. 12, 2009, during a demonstration by angry parents outside of what is now De La Torre Elementary.
He based his comments on a confidential internal memo written by Holly Priebe-Diaz, a social worker with the district's Office of Human Relations, Diversity and Equity. The memo recaps interviews with parents who told her that Pimentel had been fondling female students. Parents also said they'd reported their suspicions to the school's principal, but she was "protecting" the teacher.
Carrillo said that no one at LAUSD reported the allegations to authorities - as required by state law - which allowed Pimentel to continue harming young girls.
"It's a tragedy that the LAUSD fails to protect children from child predators," said Carrillo, who represents three alleged victims in a lawsuit against the district. "And it's a bigger tragedy that the LAUSD covers up when instances of child sexual molestation occur."
Pentagon reports sharp rise in military sexual assaults
The 35% increase in unreported incidents over two years underscores a growing problem despite repeated initiatives to combat rape and assaults.
WASHINGTON The Pentagon estimated that 26,000 members of the military were sexually assaulted in unreported incidents last year 35% more than in 2010 a severe trend that senior officials warned could threaten recruiting and retention of women in uniform.
President Obama, reacting to the startling figures Tuesday, said he had "no tolerance" for sexual crimes in the ranks and pledged to crack down on commanders who ignored the problem. Obama said he had spoken to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and ordered that officers "up and down the food chain" get the message.
"I expect consequences," Obama told reporters at the White House. "If we find out that somebody's engaging in this stuff, they've got to be held accountable prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged, period. It's not acceptable."
The worsening statistics are a blow to the Pentagon's military and civilian leadership, who have announced repeated initiatives to combat rape and sexual assaults, only to see the problem grow.
The increase in both reported and suspected sex crimes and evidence that many in the military still fear retaliation if they report an assault to a superior officer comes as the military faces far-reaching social changes, including opening up combat jobs to women and lifting the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly.
May 7, 2013
Three Million Newborns Die Within First Month
The humanitarian organization Save the Children has released its annual State of the World's Mothers report. It says despite much progress being made in reducing maternal and child deaths, every year, three million babies die within the first month of life. Many just live a few hours.
Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles said there's a widespread and mistaken belief that little can be done to save newborn lives in developing countries. As a result, many babies die.
This year's report we really focused in on newborns. And we found that a baby's birthday is actually the most dangerous day of their life. More than one million babies are dying the actual day that they're born.
There are several reasons why they're so at risk that first day.
It's when they can die of very preventable things. So babies are dying of infection. They're dying of complications at premature birth and they're dying of very simple things like not breathing at birth, she said.
Homeland security officials examining Boston Marathon bombings to improve community policing tactics
Aim to balance antiterror steps with civil liberties
by Bryan Bender
WASHINGTON Three weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings, a policy review by the US Department of Homeland Security is identifying ways to enhance community policing and training for religious and civic leaders to spot the warning signs of violent radicalization to improve early detection of possible domestic terrorists, according to top officials.
The approach, which would build on outreach efforts pursued by the Obama administration for several years that the officials insist are designed to protect individual freedoms, is seen as a more effective and less intrusive counterterrorism tool than expansive surveillance powers or massive security sweeps at public events.
It would require a deep analysis of the Boston Marathon bombings by officials in the Department of Homeland Security.
FBI: Minn. raid disrupts 'localized terror attack'
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The FBI believes authorities disrupted a terrorism attack that was being planned in a small western Minnesota city when they arrested a man after converging on a mobile home that contained Molotov cocktails, suspected pipe bombs and firearms, the agency said Monday.
Buford Rogers, 24, of Montevideo, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He remained in federal custody Monday and it was not clear if he had an attorney.
"The FBI believed there was a terror attack in its planning stages, and we believe there would have been a localized terror attack, and that's why law enforcement moved quickly to execute the search warrant on Friday to arrest Mr. Rogers," FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said Monday.
Rogers appeared in court Monday wearing a construction company T-shirt, jeans and work boots. He answered "yes sir" and "no sir" to questions from U.S. Magistrate Judge Tony Leung.
Parents adamant their son had no plans to conduct terror act in Montevideo, Minn.
MONTEVIDEO Buford Bucky Rogers was part of a home-grown militia, had a temper and may have been too outspoken, but did not possess explosive devices or plan terrorist activities, his parents said Monday afternoon as media converged on their home in the Northdale Trailer Court on Benson Road in Montevideo.
Who out there doesn't get mad at stuff on TV and say things, said Margaret Rogers, the mother of the 24-year-old man now in federal custody on a firearms charge and accused of plotting a terror attack. She suggested that her son's postings on Facebook may have brought him to the attention of law enforcement, but she said her son would not have carried out any violent activities.
Her husband and Buford Roger's father, Jeff Rogers, called the accusations brought against his son by the Federal Bureau of Investigation bogus. Rogers said they confiscated six rifles, a handgun and computers from their trailer home, but they deny that there were explosive devices.
Buford Rogers was a regular visitor to his family's home, according to his parents and neighbors, but his parents say he does not live there.
South Jersey police help strengthen community bonds -- on wheels
VINELAND As the weather warms up and people begin to emerge from their winter hibernation, they might notice a group of people who never even left the streets police bicycle patrols.
The frigid temperatures of winter might be enough to keep most cyclist indoors, but very little comes between bike units and being out on patrol.
We give them the option of coming in when it drops below a certain temperature, Vineland Police Chief Timothy Codispoti said. However, many bike police don't take up that offer.
The only time we're not out there is when it's snowing, said Vineland officer Joe Pagano, a five-year veteran of the Vineland Bike Unit.
Although they're fully equipped with the necessary clothing to keep warm on winter patrols, Codispoti admitted that the bike patrolmen look forward to the spring and summer.
Young Explorers police program borne of five Gloucester County communities
Five Gloucester County communities are joining forces to create a combined youth law enforcement explorer program for teenagers, giving them the opportunity to find out what being a law enforcement officer is really like.
East Greenwich, Logan, South Harrison, Swedesboro and Woolwich are creating the Kingsway Explorer Program. The five municipalities all send their students to Kingsway High School and are adept at working together to provide programs for those students.
I think it's beneficial because ... we probably have several young men and women who want to be in law enforcement, Woolwich Township Mayor Sam Maccarone said. This gives young men and women an opportunity to learn about what actual police work is and see if it's something for them.
The young explorers program allows individuals between 14 and 21 years old to apply. If accepted, they will participate in community policing activities, such as directing traffic at community events and patrolling the local parks, as well as learn what it's like to be in law enforcement throughout the area.
Overland Park Police Department reaches out through Community coffee klatch
Members of the Overland Park Police Department's Community Oriented Policing Unit spent two hours Wednesday camped out at Scooter's, a drive-through coffee store on 87th Street.
Officers Brian Payne and Theresa Bentch weren't there waiting to catch a speeding driver or potential criminal. They were offering Scooter's java for free at an informal meet-and-greet called Coffee with COPPS. The acronym stands for Community Policing and Problem Solving.
We're always looking for ways to reach out to the public and this seems like a good way to do that, Bentch said.
We're a resource hub for the department, Payne said. We have good relationships with the area business community, non-profits and social service agencies. We serve as a hub for them in the community so we know where to go for help and how the process works.
Officers in the COPPS unit are liaisons between the community and the rest of the department as a whole.
May 6, 2013
Feds pressure widow, pals in bomb case
BOSTON Every time the widow of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev leaves her parents' house, federal agents watching the residence follow her in unmarked vehicles.
Federal authorities are placing intense pressure on what they know to be the inner circle of the two bombing suspects, arresting three college buddies of surviving brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and keeping Tamerlan's 24-year-old widow, Katherine Russell, in the public eye with their open surveillance and leaks to media about investigators' focus on her.
Legal experts say it's part of their quest not just to determine whether Russell and the friends are culpable but also to push for as much information as possible regarding whether the bombing suspects had ties to a terrorism network or accomplices working domestically or abroad. A primary goal is to push the widow and friends to give their full cooperation, according to the experts.
David Zlotnick, a professor of law at Roger Williams University and former federal prosecutor in the District of Columbia, said authorities may be tracking Russell closely because they feel she's not being completely honest about all she knows.
US officials seek lessons in bombing catastrophe
Aim to balance antiterror steps with civil liberties
WASHINGTON Three weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings, the US Department of Homeland Security is seeking to use lessons from the attacks to enhance community policing and more effectively prepare religious and civic leaders to spot the warning signs of homegrown terrorism, according to top officials.
The approach, while raising its own set of civil liberties concerns, is seen by officials as a potentially more effective and less intrusive way of combating terror than expansive electronic and photographic surveillance powers or massive security sweeps at public events.
How do we take the knowledge that we have acquired looking at these events and incorporate that into our community-policing efforts so that communities are better able to recognize an emerging threat, irrespective of the motivation, [and] prevent the threat from materializing? explained John Cohen, the principal deputy counterterrorism coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security.
The approach requires a deep analysis of the Boston Marathon bombings by officials in a Department of Homeland Security program called Countering Violent Extremists, which was established in 2011 to devise new ways to confront homegrown threats.
Oakland police take large amount of heroin off streets
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland police and FBI agents staged a series of early morning raids on Friday with big results. A lot of heroin is now off the streets, along with weapons and so-called "cop killer" bullets.
ABC7 News was given an exclusive look at the evidence recovered from the raid. Police say multiple warrants were issued in a direct response in a spike in violent crime.
"This is just some of the raw material, this is the tar heroin," said Oakland police Sgt. Sekou Millington.
In a series of early morning raids that produced multiple arrests, members of the Oakland Police Department's Special Operations Team confiscated weapons, ammunition and drugs.
"Street value is anywhere from $20,000 - $50,000 of heroin. That's a significant recovery," said Oakland Police Lt. Nishant Joshi.
Jim Bogle | Battered women have a champion
Jim Bogle is president of Newhouse Domestic Violence Shelter in Kansas City, newhouseshelter.org. The hotline for abuse victims and people who want to help is 816-468-5463. This conversation took place at the shelter.
How did you come to work with battered women?
My wife, Connie Russell, joined the board of Newhouse seven years ago. When I retired from IBM in 2008, she asked me to join as well. But that didn't make sense two married people on the same board. Especially since we often disagree with each other.
So instead I decided to cook for the women. I did that for more than three years. In 2012, when the former director left the organization, I asked them if they would consider a man being the head of the shelter. I'm the only man running a women's shelter in Kansas City and one of just two in Missouri.