Today's LACP news:
November 23, 2014
DOJ releases community policing resource guide
by Erica Zucco
The US Department of Justice has released a resource guide all about strengthening community-police relations.
The guide offers links to webinars, podcasts, video and documents for law enforcement agencies and officers interested in improving their relationships with the community.
“Community policing” is one of the components Albuquerque's Police Department has been working on. The new “Coffee with a Cop” puts police and the people they serve face to face, and the city has started “community policing councils,” connecting neighborhoods with nearby substations.
These lessons from the DOJ could further help officers who want to better connect with the community. There is instructional video on protecting privacy, podcasts on handling protests, and tips on building relationships and trust with constituents.
The DOJ posting the guide makes it clear that APD isn't alone in facing challenges toward improving relationships with the community.
From the Department of Homeland Security
Fixing Our Broken Immigration System Through Executive Action - Key Facts
The President asked Secretary Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to undertake a rigorous and inclusive review to inform recommendations on reforming our broken immigration system through executive action. This review sought the advice and input from the men and women charged with implementing the policies, as well as the ideas of a broad range of stakeholders and Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. Our assessment identified the following ten areas where we, within the confines of the law, could take action to increase border security, focus enforcement resources, and ensure accountability in our immigration system.
Strengthen Border Security
DHS will implement a Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Strategy to fundamentally alter the way in which we marshal resources to the border. This new plan will employ DHS assets in a strategic and coordinated way to provide effective enforcement of our laws and interdict individuals seeking to illegally across land, sea, and air. To accomplish this, DHS is commissioning three task forces of various law enforcement agencies. The first will focus on the southern maritime border. The second will be responsible for the southern land border and the West Coast. The third will focus on investigations to support the other two task forces. In addition, DHS will continue the surge of resources that effectively reduced the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally this summer. This included additional Border Patrol agents, ICE personnel, criminal investigators, additional monitors, and working with DOJ to reorder dockets in immigration courts, along with reforms in these courts.
Executive Action: Strengthen Border Security (1.5 MB PDF)
Revise Removal Priorities
DHS will implement a new department-wide enforcement and removal policy that places top priority on national security threats, convicted felons, gang members, and illegal entrants apprehended at the border; the second-tier priority on those convicted of significant or multiple misdemeanors and those who are not apprehended at the border, but who entered or reentered this country unlawfully after January 1, 2014; and the third priority on those who are non-criminals but who have failed to abide by a final order of removal issued on or after January 1, 2014. Under this revised policy, those who entered illegally prior to January 1, 2014, who never disobeyed a prior order of removal, and were never convicted of a serious offense, will not be priorities for removal. This policy also provides clear guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
Executive Action: Revise Removal Priorities (3.2 MB PDF)
End Secure Communities and Replace it with New Priority Enforcement Program
DHS will end the Secure Communities program, and replace it with the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) that will closely and clearly reflect DHS's new top enforcement priorities. The program will continue to rely on fingerprint-based biometric data submitted during bookings by state and local law enforcement agencies and will identify to law enforcement agencies the specific criteria for which we will seek an individual in their custody. The list of largely criminal offenses is taken from Priorities 1 and 2 of our new enforcement priorities. In addition, we will formulate plans to engage state and local governments on enforcement priorities and will enhance Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) ability to arrest, detain, and remove individuals deemed threats to national security, border security, or public safety.
Executive Action: End Secure Communities and Replace it with New Priority Enforcement Program (1.5 MB PDF)
Personnel Reform for ICE Officers
Related to these enforcement and removal reforms, we will support job series realignment and premium ability pay coverage for ICE ERO officers engaged in removal operations. These measures are essential to bringing ICE agents and officers pay in line with other law enforcement personnel.
Executive Action: Personnel Reform for ICE Officers (1.0 MB PDF)
Expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program
We will expand eligibility for DACA to encompass a broader class of children. DACA eligibility was limited to those who were under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012, who entered the U.S. before June 15, 2007, and who were under 16 years old when they entered. DACA eligibility will be expanded to cover all undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before the age of 16, and not just those born after June 15, 1981. We will also adjust the entry date from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010. The relief (including work authorization) will now last for three years rather than two.
Executive Action: Expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program (2.8 MB PDF)
Extend Deferred Action to Parents of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents
DHS will extend eligibility for deferred action to individuals who (i) are not removal priorities under our new policy, (ii) have been in this country at least 5 years, (iii) have children who on the date of this announcement are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, and (iv) present no other factors that would make a grant of deferred action inappropriate. These individuals will be assessed for eligibility for deferred action on a case-by-case basis, and then be permitted to apply for work authorization, provided they pay a fee. Each individual will undergo a thorough background check of all relevant national security and criminal databases, including DHS and FBI databases. With work-authorization, these individuals will pay taxes and contribute to the economy.
Executive Action: Extend Deferred Action to Parents of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (2.8 MB PDF)
Expand Provisional Waivers to Spouses and Children of Lawful Permanent Residents
The provisional waiver program DHS announced in January 2013 for undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens will be expanded to include the spouses and children of lawful permanent residents, as well as the adult children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. At the same time, we will further clarify the “extreme hardship” standard that must be met to obtain the waiver.
Executive Action: Expand Provisional Waivers to Spouses and Children of Lawful Permanent Residents (1.0 MB PDF)
Revise Parole Rules
DHS will begin rulemaking to identify the conditions under which talented entrepreneurs should be paroled into the United States, on the ground that their entry would yield a significant public economic benefit. DHS will also support the military and its recruitment efforts by working with the Department of Defense to address the availability of parole-in-place and deferred action to spouses, parents, and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who seek to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. DHS will also issue guidance to clarify that when anyone is given “advance parole” to leave the country – including those who obtain deferred action - they will not be considered to have departed. Undocumented aliens generally trigger a 3- or 10-year bar to returning to the United States when they depart.
Executive Action: Revise Parole Rules - Entrepreneurs (2.6 MB PDF)
Executive Action: Revise Parole Rules - Parole-in-Place and Deferred Action (711 KB PDF)
Executive Action: Revise Parole Rules - Advance Parole (690 KB)
Promote the Naturalization Process
To promote access to U.S. citizenship, we will permit the use of credit cards as a payment option for the naturalization fee, and expand citizenship public awareness. It is important to note that the naturalization fee is $680, currently payable only by cash, check or money order. DHS will also explore the feasibility of expanding fee waiver options.
Executive Action: Promote the Naturalization Process (1 MB PDF)
Support High-skilled Business and Workers
DHS will take a number of administrative actions to better enable U.S. businesses to hire and retain highly skilled foreign-born workers and strengthen and expand opportunities for students to gain on-the-job training. For example, because our immigration system suffers from extremely long waits for green cards, we will amend current regulations and make other administrative changes to provide needed flexibility to workers with approved employment-based green card petitions.
Executive Action: Support High-skilled Business and Workers (2.6 MB PDF)
The White House: Fixing the System
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Immigration Action | En español
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Immigration Action
Florida deputy ambushed and killed
by Karl Etters
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida sheriff's deputy was shot and killed Saturday morning while responding to a house fire in Tallahassee and another deputy was wounded, authorities say.
Deputies were responding to a fire in the Plantation Woods neighborhood of northwest Tallahassee at around 10 a.m., Leon County Sheriff's Office spokesman James McQuaig said. The first deputy to approach the scene was shot.
"He was ambushed and he was shot and he was killed," McQuaig said.
The gunman then took the deputy's firearm and shot and wounded another deputy, McQuaig said.
The gunman was killed by a Tallahassee police officer who lived nearby, heard the shooting, threw on his bullet-resistant vest, grabbed his gun and ran toward the house, according to The Associated Press, which cited a government official.
The wounded deputy was saved by his vest and his injuries are not believed to be serious, the official said.
The official asked not to be named because he was not authorized to release the information.
The names of the killed and wounded deputies and the gunman have not been released. The fire was extinguished.
The initial fire call came from a home on Caracus Court owned by Cheryl Barfield. Barfield, who is currently living in Titusville, said her sister had been house-sitting for her, but declined to comment further when reached Saturday afternoon.
Caracus Court is tucked away in a neighborhood near Springwood Elementary School that is filled with single-family homes.
Brad Baker, 23, who lives in the neighborhood, was at work at the time of the shooting, but he rushed home to be with his wife, Lola, and their 1-year-old daughter, Ariana.
"One of the main reasons why I moved here was because there were so many police officers and firemen in this neighborhood, and it's crazy to think something like that could happen right down the street," Baker said.
Saturday's incident follows a shooting Thursday on the Florida State University campus. Myron May, 31, shot two students and an employee at the Strozier Library. One student is still in critical condition. The two others have been released from the hospital. May was shot and killed by police on the library's front steps.
Boy with replica gun shot by Cleveland police
by Jane Onyanga-Omara
A 12-year-old boy with what turned out to be a replica gun was shot and wounded by a police officer in Cleveland.
The boy was shot in the torso after officers responded to reports of a male waving a gun in the playground area of the Cudell Recreation Center about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, the Cleveland Division of Police said in a statement.
Officers arrived at the scene and told the boy to raise his hands but he did not comply and reached to his waistband for the gun and was shot, police said.
He was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center with serious injuries, WKYC reported. Police said he underwent surgery.
The gun was found to be an "airsoft"-type replica gun, which resembled a semi-automatic pistol, the force said. The orange safety indicator was removed.
Deputy Chief of Field Operations Ed Tomba told Cleveland.com that the incident was "very, very tragic."
"We don't come to work every day and want to use force on anybody," he said. "That's not what our job is. We're part of this community."
He said the boy did not threaten the officer verbally or physically, Cleveland.com said.
The police force and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office are investigating.
At Take the Next Step, trust and support comes with the assistance
by Andrew Gobin
For those who face poverty and homelessness, assistance without support is no solution. At Take the Next Step in Monroe, people can find services they need as well as figure out their next move.
“Our clients often don't know where to turn, or what their next step in life is,” said Janos Kendall, program director.
Run out of a small house owned by Monroe Covenant Church, Take the Next Step offers frontline, immediate assistance to people, while also helping them connect with services offered through other organizations.
Getting help at Take the Next Step is easy.
“We are not an agency. We do not have criteria that have to be met to receive services,” Kendall said. “We get to know the people that come here, we build trust with them, and we try to help their specific needs.”
This helps people feel more comfortable to come and seek assistance in a home environment.
“When you come here, you are never judged,” said Matt Wright, a homeless veteran. “People have their demons, their vices. That is all overlooked.”
Drug use, abuse, violence, and alcohol are not allowed on the premises, but at Take the Next Step, only people's needs are seen, Wright said.
In 2004 Everett Community College GED instructor Donna Olsen asked her students to compile a resource notebook for impoverished families. What they found were a lot of dead ends. A lot of resources didn't exist any more or had no money to provide services.
From her class's work, she took the idea to her church, Monroe Covenant, which supported her and donated the house used for most of the program's operations.
That first year, Take the Next Step helped 438 people. Today, it provides services to more than 8,000 men, women and children. The non-profit has a budget of about $120,000 through grants and donations.
This year, Take the Next Step received a $20,000 grant from the Greater Everett Community Foundation specifically earmarked to fund services for homeless teens.
That funds Kidz Club, an after-school program for at-risk youth. Kidz Club helps kids stay in school, assists in getting identification cards for dropouts who want to return to school, and helps older teens find after-school jobs.
“Many might say they are just runaways, out looking for a good time. The truth is they come from troubled homes. They are runaways, but they are trying to get away from trouble,” said Laron Olson, a board member.
For adults, the focus is on mentorship to get people to lift themselves out of poverty, Wright said. His story is an example.
Wright had the chance to be a role model for someone else, which in turn helped him in his life.
“After years of receiving services, Janos approached me with the opportunity to watch out for this kid,” Wright said.
Last year, Wright was paired with an autistic homeless youth, Jake, 19, and they moved into housing together. With help from Take the Next Step, Jake was able to go back to school, and Wright became responsible for getting him there. Jake graduated high school and reconnected with his family.
Before then, Wright had turned down other housing options because of the restrictions that come with low-income housing. As a veteran, Wright qualified for disability housing, which he declined because accepting disability housing meant he would not be allowed to work. This was an opportunity to get him into housing and give his own life purpose.
“I consider it an honor to be able to give back to a community that has given so much to me,” Wright said.
Kendall has a similar story. She knows the value of having people believe in you.
“Sometimes support is better than a handout,” she said.
Growing up, she became a survivor of violent crime and family trauma. She dropped out of school after ninth grade, and cared for a nephew after her brother was killed in a car crash. She came to Take the Next Step and was able to complete her GED, and went on to earn her A.A. from Everett Community College and her B.A. in human services from Western Washington University.
During her time at Western, she interned with Take the Next Step. After she graduated, she was granted a continuing internship, and was later hired on as the director after her predecessor retired.
“I have been able to succeed with support, because there was suddenly someone there, where there was never anyone before,” Kendall said. “People can come here to the drop-in center and talk with volunteers to work through some of their barriers, and figure out what's next and how to meet that goal.”