| NEWS of the Day - February 8, 2012
|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 ...
From Los Angeles Times
Hackers post W.Va. police officers' personal info
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Hackers affiliated with the Anonymous hacking group obtained more than 150 police officers' personal information from an old website for the West Virginia Chiefs of Police Association and posted it online.
William Roper, the association's president, told the Charleston Gazette (http://bit.ly/zLZxrB) the FBI is investigating. Roper is also the police chief of Ranson, W.Va.
Roper said a group called CabinCr3w hacked the website Monday and obtained the home addresses, home phone numbers and cellphone numbers of current and retired police chiefs. The association has a new website but members' information was stored on the old website's database.
"It's a tragedy someone was able to hack our website and obtain information that is useful to our members," Roper said.
In an online message by CabinCr3w addressed to "citizens of West Virginia," the hacking group says it has been monitoring cases of police brutality.
"We are here to remind you that we the taxpayers pay your exorbitant salaries, and those salaries of your officers," the message says. "Your job is to protect and serve, not brutalize the very people that pay your wages. Muzzle your dogs of war, or we will expose more of your sensative (sic) information."
Clarksburg, W.Va., Police Chief Marshall Goff was among those whose information was posted by the hackers.
"Like any of the public out there, we are at times victims also," Goff told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Goff, who said he's been contacted by the FBI about the incident, said he does not believe the hacker group accomplished anything because his information is already publicly accessible.
"My number is published in the book because I feel that as an official figure I need to be accessible to the public," he said.
Roper said CabinCr3W is affiliated with the hacking collective Anonymous and CabinCr3w's Twitter page is laced with references to the larger hacking group.
Last week, Anonymous hit the web with a slew of hacks, including releasing a recording of a conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard in which law enforcers discussed how to stop the hacking group.
Anonymous also claimed credit for defacing the Boston Police Department's website. And in Salt Lake City, officials said the personal information of confidential informants and tipsters had been compromised.
Community policing needs city's support
Port Huron has some problems to resolve if the city is to position itself for prosperity. If the city's elected officials hope to avoid a fiscal crisis, they will have to figure out new ways for to reduce spending.
The status of one city service presents a dilemma. The City Council reduced the police department by three positions as part of last year's cost cuts.
This year, the council is looking for new ways to save money at a time when the police department has embarked on a promising strategy to fight crime.
Police Chief Michael Reaves unveiled a new plan in December that joins city police and residents in a community approach to waging war on neighborhood crime.
The plan divides Port Huron into 23 zones with a primary officer and secondary officer assigned to each of them. In making police more accessible, the strategy also calls for working more closely with Neighborhood Watch groups and churches.
A critical component is the creation of a special unit that fights illegal drug traffic. Reaves believes at least 90% of the city's crime problem is drug-related. Focusing on reducing the source of street crime seems to make good sense.
Reaves told the Times Herald editorial board in December that the unit needs eight officers, but it could begin with four or five.
It would be a shame to undermine this opportunity for the police and the public to jointly wage war on crime by withholding the additional officers the police department needs. The prospect of a viable partnership between the police and city neighborhoods is too important for half measures.
Nearly half of Port Huron's housing stock is rental property. The Neighborhood Watch groups that have sprung up serve homeowners as well as renters.
The community policing effort Reaves is leading is an encouraging way to involve homeowners and renters in an effort to make neighborhoods safer.
Adding police is a difficult proposition for a city that badly needs to cut costs. Bringing police and the community together is too important a development to take for granted.
ICE Names Its First Public Advocate
by Andrew Lorenzen-Strait
Today, I am honored to be named U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)'s first-ever public advocate. As ICE continues to implement detention reforms and other enforcement-related initiatives, my staff and I will serve as a point of contact for individuals, including those in immigration proceedings, NGOs, and other community and advocacy groups, who have concerns, questions, recommendations or important issues they would like to raise.
While this new role will be challenging, I believe it will reap significant rewards for ICE as well as for stakeholders. As we work to enact significant policy changes to focus the agency's immigration enforcement resources on sensible priorities, implement policies and processes that prioritize the health and safety of detainees in our custody while increasing federal oversight, and improve the conditions of confinement within the detention system, I will strive to expand and enhance our dialogue with the stakeholder community.
I have committed the greater part of my life to public service. Since 2008, I have served with ICE, first as an advisor and analyst on policies related to immigration enforcement, detention and juveniles, and most recently as the senior advisor for Enforcement and Removal Operation's (ERO) detention management division. Prior to that, I served as an attorney and was recognized as the Maryland Attorney of the Year for Pro Bono Service working with Community Legal Services of Prince George's County.
In my new position, I will have four main duties:
- Assist individuals and community stakeholders in addressing complaints and concerns in accordance with agency policies and operations, particularly concerns related to ICE enforcement actions that affect U.S. citizens;
- Inform stakeholders on ERO policies, programs and initiatives, and enhance understanding of ERO's mission and core values;
- Engage stakeholders and build partnerships to facilitate communication, foster collaboration and solicit input on immigration enforcement initiatives and operations; and
- Advise ICE leadership on stakeholder findings, concerns, recommendations and priorities as they relate to improving immigration enforcement efforts and activities.
I am thrilled to assume this new role and proud of this agency for valuing community input and emphasizing transparency and accessibility as ICE continues to pursue common sense enforcement priorities and sound policy reforms. I hope you'll reach out to me with your questions, comments and concerns. I am here to assist you.
Andrew Lorenzen-Strait is Public Advocate & Senior Advisor for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.