| 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.
July 1, 2012
COPS Office: What is Community Policing?
Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.
Community Policing is comprised of three key components:
To learn more about Community Policing, please refer to our Community Policing Defined publication.
- Community Partnerships
Collaborative partnerships between the law enforcement agency and the individuals and organizations they serve to develop solutions to problems and increase trust in police
- Organizational Transformation
The alignment of organizational management, structure, personnel, and information systems to support community partnerships and proactive problem solving.
- Problem Solving
The process of engaging in the proactive and systematic examination of identified problems to develop and rigorously evaluate effective responses.
CommunityPolicing.org exists as a resource for those interested in protecting the safety of their communities. This site offers many useful resources that will help you find out about what police officers do in your community and the education and training that would be required of you if you pursued a career in law enforcement.
We welcome your feedback as we seek to improve the services we provide on our site. Please contact us with any comments or suggestions you may have.
And remember, whether you're pursuing a career in law enforcement or considering organizing a neighboorhood watch program, your efforts to ensure the safety of others are appreciated.
This site was created to serve as an information portal for people interested in how law enforcement professionals work with and for our communities to keep us safe. Browse our resource archive to find information about law enforcement and better understand how you can help keep your community safe as a civilian.
Understanding Community Policing (72 page pdf file)
A Framework for Action
Historic document, 1994 - from the Bureau of Justice Assistance
Community policing is, in essence, a collaboration between the police and the community that identifies and solves community problems. With the police no longer the sole guardians of law and order, all members of the community become active allies in the effort to enhance the safety and quality of neighborhoods. Community policing has far-reaching implications. The expanded outlook on crime control and prevention, the new emphasis on making community members active participants in the process of problem solving, and the patrol officers’ pivotal role in community policing require profound changes within the police organization. The neighborhood patrol officer, backed by the police organization, helps community members mobilize support and resources to solve problems and enhance their quality of life. Community members voice their concerns, contribute advice, and take action to address these concerns. Creating a constructive partnership will require the energy, creativity, understanding, and patience of all involved.
June 30, 2012
From Google News
Bill outlawing bath salts, herbal incense ready for President Obama's signature
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A bill to stamp out the use of sought-after synthetic drugs -- such as herbal incense and bath salts -- now sits on President Barack Obama's desk.
The "Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012" passed the Senate Tuesday and bans the drugs at a federal level.
The narcotics, commonly purchased at convenience stores and head shops, have incited savage violence from some users.
A Texas man chewed into his housemate's dog earlier this month during an herbal incense-induced rampage. Last year in Washington, a man using bath salts shot his wife and suffocated his 5-year-old son before shooting himself.
The drugs have caused some to lose sight of their own humanity, spurring horrific acts across the country, said U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a co-sponsor of the bill.
"These synthetic drugs that are on the market have devastated families and ruined the potential of a lot of young people," said the Cincinnati-area Republican in an interview. "These are not 'herbal incense' or 'bath salts.' These are really dangerous chemical compounds that can ruin your chances in life."
Police find new way to roll
Belmont Police Cpl. Doug Huffstetler doesn't step into a car when he goes on duty.
He hops onto a bicycle instead and pedals out on his patrols.
Huffstetler is the department's community relations officer who is leading the effort to create a new way of policing the city.
Huffstetler started doing some outreach activities on his own before deciding to shift his focus into community policing full time.
He concentrated his efforts in one area, riding to the neighborhood on his bike and establishing a relationship with residents and children. The number of calls for police service decreased significantly after the neighborhood focus, Huffstetler said.
Belmont Police Chief Charlie Franklin decided to take community policing to the next level by making a concentrated effort to get the entire department involved. He approached Huffstetler about becoming the full-time outreach officer.
Portland police in Bangladesh? Yes, federal funds enable the partnership
Traffic Sgt. Bret Barnum, a 20-year Portland Police Bureau veteran, said he used to hold a narrow view of Muslims as extremists, based on U.S. homeland security concerns and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But when he joined other Portland police on an unusual month-long trip to Bangladesh, his attitude drastically changed. He found the people of Bangladesh warm and welcoming, and said he finally got a taste of what it was like to live as a minority.
"Here I am a white, Christian male in a country where more than 80 percent of the people are Muslim," Barnum said. "I'd not been exposed to that at all before. It completely opened my eyes to the Muslim community."
On Thursday, the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, Oregon National Guard members and Portland police celebrated an unusual federally funded partnership that since September has allowed 43 Portland police officers to travel to Bangladesh to promote community policing. Teams of three officers – representing all ranks – have taken turns spending a month at a time training members of the Rajshahi Metropolitan Police.
The U.S. Department of Justice's International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program, or ICITAP, funds the trip, including the airfare. The city of Portland pays the officers' salaries while they're away and backfills their positions. Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said he did not know the federal amount awarded to Portland police for the program, but the money is expected to last for two years.
Redwood City Police Department Becomes First in the Country to Unveil Live Guide Video Chat Service for Community
Citizens are able to connect face-to-face with officers online using the latest in video chat technology.
The Redwood City Police Department today announced it is now using Netop's Live Guide video and text chat to allow community members to have real-time, interactive video chats directly with a Redwood City police officer. Live Guide utilizes the latest technology for two-way text, audio and video chat, offering another way for the community to connect with the Police Department. This makes Redwood City one of the first municipal government agencies in the United States to provide such video interactivity directly between its police department and its community.
While text-based chat is not uncommon, the future for innovative governments like Redwood City is a communication model offering two-way dialogue with a face-to-face interactive exchange of information. This emerging technology will effectively place the Redwood City Police Department on the leading edge of customer service strategy by providing a new standard of “community-centric” policing.
Members of the community can use Live Guide to receive live online assistance with any concerns or questions about police services, and help with reporting crimes online. The video chat service will also facilitate assistance with the Police Department's other online tools, information on how to handle traffic complaints or abandoned vehicles, direction and web page links for which City departments or other resources are most appropriate for their concerns, or any other community policing inquiries they may have. This service is NOT for use in life-threatening emergencies – people should call 911 in those cases. Live Guide is available to the community at http://www.redwoodcity.org/police.
June 29, 2012
From the L.A. Daily News
House votes to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday became the first sitting Cabinet member held in contempt of Congress, a rebuke pushed by Republicans seeking to unearth the facts behind a bungled gun-tracking operation and dismissed by most Democrats as a political stunt.
The vote was 255-67, with more than 100 Democrats boycotting.
African-American lawmakers led the walkout as members filed up the aisle and out of the chamber to protest the action against Holder, who is the nation's first black attorney general. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California joined the boycott, saying Republicans had gone "over the edge" in their partisanship.
Seventeen Democrats voted with Republicans in favor of the contempt vote, while two Republicans - Reps. Scott Rigell of Virginia and Steven LaTourette of Ohio - joined other Democrats in voting No.
The National Rifle Association pressed hard for the contempt resolution, leaning on members of both parties who want to stay in the NRA's good graces. Holder said afterward the vote was merely a politically motivated act in an election year.
Supreme Court upholds Obama health care law by 5-4 vote
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld virtually all of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul, including the hotly debated core requirement that nearly every American have health insurance.
The 5-4 decision meant the huge overhaul, still taking effect, could proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years, affecting the way that countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care.
The ruling hands Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in approving the plan. However, Republicans quickly indicated they will try to use the decision to rally their supporters against what they call "Obamacare," arguing that the ruling characterized the penalty against people who refuse to get insurance as a tax.
Obama declared, "Whatever the politics, today's decision was a victory for people all over this country." GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney renewed his criticism of the overhaul, calling it "bad law" and promising to work to repeal it if elected in November.
Breaking with the court's other conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts announced the judgment that allows the law to go forward with its aim of covering more than 30 million uninsured Americans. Roberts explained at length the court's view of the mandate as a valid exercise of Congress' authority to "lay and collect taxes." The administration estimates that roughly 4 million people will pay the penalty rather than buy insurance.
Full text of the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Full text of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
What does today's health care ruling mean to you?
WHAT DOES THE RULING MEAN TO ME?
The Supreme Court decision upholding President Barack Obama's health care law affects nearly every American. The law tells almost everyone they must have health coverage and guarantees it will be available to them even if they are already ill or need hugely expensive care. It helps the poor and many middle-class people afford coverage.
WHAT THE JUSTICES SAID
The high court upheld almost all of the law, including the most disputed part: the mandate that virtually all Americans have health insurance or pay a fine. The court said that fine is essentially a tax, and that's why the government has the power to impose it.
The ruling limited the law's plan to expand the Medicaid insurance program for the poor, a joint effort of the federal government and states. It says the U.S. government cannot withhold a state's entire Medicaid allotment if it doesn't participate in the expansion.
Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court's four liberal justices - Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor - to form the 5-4 majority.
SCOTUS Healthcare Decision http://www.dailynews.com/breakingnews/ci_20962548/look-at-ruling-upholding-obamacare
June 28, 2012
From Google News
Circumcision to be considered a crime in Germany?
Cologne court rules non-medical circumcision is serious interference in human body's integrity
Non-medical circumcision is a "serious and irreversible interference in the integrity of the human body,” a German court ruled this week. An article in Germany's Financial Times said that the ruling renders religious circumcisions performed by Jews and Muslims a crime.
According to the article, which was quoted on the German English-language news website The Local, German doctors performing circumcisions that are not medically necessary have until now operated in a grey legal area. Until now they could claim that they were unaware that performing a circumcision is a crime.
The Cologne District Court addressed the issue after a Muslim doctor performed a circumcision on a four-year-old boy. Two days later the boy's mother brought the child to the emergency room because he was bleeding.
Serial rapist cold case uses federal DNA database
A national DNA database is turning the tide on cold cases.
Tuesday, Surfside Beach police assisted Charlotte police in charging a man with three rapes that occurred in 1979.
To link Surfside Beach resident Jerry Brooks, 62, to the crimes, police used a DNA database called the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
"It's pretty much like a fingerprint database in that you've got these two codes sitting on a server. You submit this other set of codes, and it either matches or it doesn't," said Surfside Beach Police Chief Mike Frederick.
In 2010, more than 100,000 crimes were matched to convicted felons and missing persons' DNA in the CODIS database.
June 27, 2012
From the L.A. Daily News
Homeless descend on Sunland Park as crackdowns shuffle transients from place to place
SUNLAND - First, the grocery carts rolled in. Then the mattresses were plopped down.
For Kathy Wilson and other residents of Sunland, the increase of homeless people who sleep all day in the shade of pine trees at the local park has sparked outrage and a feeling of helplessness.
"I feel for them," Wilson said one recent day as she strolled through Sunland Park.
"But on the other hand, if I had young children, I wouldn't bring them here."
For decades, Sunland has attracted the rebels and the desperadoes to its borders, especially to the Big Tujunga Wash at the edge of the Angeles National Forest, where people who prefer to live on their own terms have set up encampments. | See photo gallery.
But after recent police sweeps through the wash to dismantle those encampments, the homeless have dispersed to other areas, many to Sunland Park, some residents have observed.
From the Washington Times
Britain's MI5 chief talks threats before Olympics
LONDON (AP) — Britain has seen a credible terrorist attack plot about once a year since the Sept. 11 attacks — a worrying pattern as security officials brace for an array of threats ahead of next month's Summer Olympics, the head of the country's domestic spy agency says.
Although Britain's threat level is a notch below what it has been for much of the past decade, it is still at substantial. The level means an attack is a strong possibility,
“Our assessment is that Britain has experienced a credible terrorist attack plot about once a year since 9/11,” MI5 Director General Jonathan Evans said in a rare public speech Monday to the lord mayor's annual defense and security lecture in London.
“The (Olympic) games present an attractive target for our enemies, and they will be at the center of the world's attention in a month or so,” he said. “But the games are not an easy target, and the fact that we have disrupted multiple terrorist plots here and abroad in recent years demonstrates that the U.K. as a whole is not an easy target for terrorism.”
Not so long ago, 75 percent of the terror threats prioritized by MI5 had links to Afghanistan or Pakistan. But Britain's efforts, along with those of its international partners, has brought that percentage down to below 50 percent, Mr. Evans said.
Free HIV tests available at drugstores
D.C. pharmacies participate in CDC rapid-exam program
ATLANTA — Would you go to a drugstore to get tested for AIDS? Health officials want to know, and they've set up a pilot program to find out.
The $1.2 million program will offer free, rapid HIV tests at pharmacies and in-store clinics in 24 cities and rural communities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday.
Drugstores now offer blood-pressure checks, flu shots and a few other types of health services. Officials are hoping testing for the AIDS virus will become another routine service.
“By bringing HIV testing into pharmacies, we believe we can reach more people by making testing more accessible and reduce the stigma associated with HIV,” CDC's Dr. Kevin Fenton said in a statement. He oversees the agency's HIV-prevention programs.
The tests are already available at seven places, and the CDC will soon pick 17 more locations.
Ruling offers inmates rare chance at freedom
DETROIT | The Supreme Court ruling that banned states from imposing mandatory life sentences on juveniles offers an unexpected chance at freedom to more than 2,000 inmates who have never been able to seek release and had virtually no hope that their prospects would change.
In more than two dozen states, lawyers can now ask for new sentences. And judges will have discretion to look beyond the crime at other factors such as a prisoner's age at the time of the offense, the person's background and perhaps evidence that an inmate has changed while incarcerated.
“The sentence may still be the same,” said Lawrence Wojcik, a Chicago lawyer and co-chairman of the juvenile justice committee of the American Bar Association . “But even a sentence with a chance for parole gives hope.”
Virtually all of the sentences in question are for murder. When Henry Hill was an illiterate 16-year-old, he was linked to a killing at a park in Saginaw County and convicted of aiding and abetting murder.
Hill had a gun, but he was never accused of firing the fatal shot. Nonetheless, the sentence was automatic: life without parole. He's spent the last 32 years in Michigan prisons.
From the FBI
Manhattan U.S. Attorney and FBI Assistant Director in Charge Announce 24 Arrests in Eight Countries as Part of International Cyber Crime Takedown
Two-Year FBI Undercover “Carding” Operation Protected Over 400,000 Potential Cyber Crime Victims and Prevented Over $205 Million in Losses
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced today the largest coordinated international law enforcement action in history directed at “carding” crimes—offenses in which the Internet is used to traffic in and exploit the stolen credit card, bank account, and other personal identification information of hundreds of thousands of victims globally. Today's coordinated action—involving 13 countries, including the United States—resulted in 24 arrests, including the domestic arrests of 11 individuals by federal and local authorities in the United States, and the arrests of 13 individuals abroad by foreign law enforcement in seven countries. In addition, the federal and local authorities and authorities overseas today conducted more than 30 subject interviews and executed more than 30 search warrants. Today's coordinated actions result from a two-year undercover operation led by the FBI that was designed to locate cybercriminals, investigate and expose them, and disrupt their activities.
Eleven individuals were arrested today, and one last night, in the United States: Christian Cangeopol, a/k/a “404myth,” was arrested today in Lawrenceville, Georgia; Mark Caparelli, a/k/a “Cubby,” was arrested in San Diego, California; Sean Harper, a/k/a “Kabraxis314,” was arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Alex Hatala, a/k/a “kool+kake,” was arrested in Jacksonville, Florida; Joshua Hicks, a/k/a “OxideDox,” was arrested in Bronx, New York; Michael Hogue, a/k/a “xVisceral,” was arrested in Tucson, Arizona; Mir Islam, a/k/a “JoshTheGod,” was arrested in Manhattan, New York; Peter Ketchum, a/k/a “IwearaMAGNUM,” was arrested in Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Steven Hansen, a/k/a “theboner1,” was arrested in Wisconsin, where he is currently serving a prison sentence on state charges. In addition, two minors, whose names will not be made public, were arrested by local authorities in Long Beach and Sacramento, California. Hicks and Islam will be presented later today before a magistrate judge in the Southern District of New York. The other federally arrested defendants will be presented before magistrate judges in the corresponding federal districts of arrest.
June 26, 2012
From the L.A. Daily News
U.S. Supreme Court limits state action on immigration
WASHINGTON - A divided Supreme Court threw out major parts of Arizona's tough crackdown on illegal immigrants Monday in a ruling sure to reverberate through the November elections. The justices unanimously approved the law's most-discussed provision - requiring police to check the immigration status of those they stop for other reasons - but limited the consequences.
Although upholding the "show me your papers" requirement, which some critics say could lead to ethnic profiling, the justices struck down provisions that created state crimes allowing local police to arrest people for federal immigration violations. And they warned against detaining people for any prolonged period merely for not having proper immigration papers.
The mixed outcome vindicated the Obama administration's aggressive challenge to laws passed by Arizona and the five states - Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah - that followed its lead in attempting to deal with illegal immigration in the face of federal inaction on comprehensive reform.
The administration had assailed the Arizona law as an unconstitutional intrusion into an area under federal control.
From the Washington Times
Supreme Court: No automatic life without parole for kids
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that it is unconstitutional for state laws to require juveniles convicted of murder to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The 5-4 decision is in line with others the court has made, including ruling out the death penalty for juveniles and life without parole for young people whose crimes did not involve killing. Monday's decision left open the possibility that judges could sentence juveniles to life without parole in individual cases of murder but said state laws cannot automatically impose such a sentence.
We “hold that mandatory life without parole for those under the age of 18 at the time of their crimes violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on ‘cruel and unusual punishment,'” said Justice Elena Kagan , who wrote the opinion for the majority. She was joined by Justices Anthony M. Kennedy , Ruth Bader Ginsburg , Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor .
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia , Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented.
From the Department of Justice
Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the COPS Hiring Program Announcement
Thank you, Barney – and good afternoon, every one. Today I'm pleased to be here in Philadelphia, and proud to join with so many critical partners – including Mayor Nutter, Commissioner Ramsey, Congressman Fattah, and Senator Casey – as we announce the recipients of the Fiscal Year 2012 COPS Hiring Program grant awards.
These critical investments represent the Justice Department's latest effort to support – and help strengthen – our nation's law enforcement community. And they reflect our understanding that – in this time of growing demands and limited budgets – the work of police departments nationwide has never been more important, or more difficult.
That's why today's Department of Justice – and the entire Obama Administration – are committed to making sure that our law enforcement partners have the tool, resources, and capabilities that they need – and deserve. As part of this commitment, I am pleased to announce that more than 220 cities and counties, including the City of Philadelphia, will receive grant awards totaling over $111 million from the Department of Justice through the 2012 COPS Hiring Program. These grants will save or create jobs for approximately 800 law enforcement officers in cities and counties from Cumberland, Maine, to New Orleans, Louisiana, to Chicago, Illinois; from Tacoma, Washington, to Toledo, Ohio, to Summersville, West Virginia.
In total, nearly 200 law enforcement officers will be saved from lay-offs. And more than 600 new law enforcement officers will be hired. Importantly, this year, each of these new hires will be military veterans who have served at least 180 days in our armed forces since September 11, 2001.
June 25, 2012
From the Washington Times
Top secret: What food stamps buy
Taxpayers kept in dark about $80B a year
Americans spend $80 billion each year financing food stamps for the poor, but the country has no idea where or how the money is spent.
Food stamps can be spent on goods ranging from candy to steak and are accepted at retailers from gas stations that primarily sell potato chips to fried-chicken restaurants. And as the amount spent on food stamps has more than doubled in recent years, the amount of food stamps laundered into cash has increased dramatically, government statistics show.
But the government won't say which stores are doing the most business in food stamps, and even it doesn't know what kinds of food those taxpayer dollars buy.
Coinciding with lobbying by convenience stores, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program in conjunction with states, contends that disclosing how much each store authorized to accept benefits, known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), receives in taxpayer funds would amount to revealing trade secrets.
As a result, fraud is hard to track and the efficacy of the massive program is impossible to evaluate.
As the House debates the once-every-five-years farm bill, the majority of which goes to food stamps, there is a renewed and fervent call from a broad spectrum of camps that the information - some of the most high-dollar, frequently requested and closely held secrets of the government - be set free.
Border Patrol agents set for corruption trial
Brothers worked for Border Patrol
SAN DIEGO — Raul Villarreal was long a public face of the Border Patrol, frequently appearing on television news as an agency spokesman and acting as a dangerous human smuggler in a public service announcement intended to warn Mexicans about the dangers of entering the U.S. illegally.
Prosecutors contend now that he knew the smuggler's role well because he really was one.
Mr. Villarreal and his older brother Fidel, a fellow former agent, are accused of smuggling hundreds of migrants in Border Patrol vehicles. Federal prosecutors say the brothers were tipped they were under investigation in June 2006, prompting them to flee to Mexico.
Shortly after settling in Tijuana, a district police commander in the Mexican border city who allegedly shuttled the Villarreals' customers in squad cars was killed in a hail of about 200 bullets. The brothers were arrested in Tijuana in October 2008 - more than two years after abruptly quitting the Border Patrol - and extradited to the U.S. to face charges of human smuggling, witness tampering and bribery.
The case, which goes to trial next month in San Diego, is one of the highest-profile corruption cases to sting the Border Patrol since it went on a hiring spree during the last decade. The brothers, now in their early 40s, have pleaded not guilty to all counts.
From Google News
Rethinking how we use race-base data from traffic stops
We call it bias-based policing. You think of it as racial profiling. The former is unlawful. The latter is an inaccurate representation of a difficult problem addressed by statute in the state of Missouri for 12 years.
It's no secret that all people, including law enforcement officers, harbor racial bias. In 2000, Missouri was the fourth state to pass anti-racial profiling legislation. Thanks to that legislation, promoted significantly by the ACLU-Eastern Missouri, we now have 12 years' worth of data on and attention paid to Missouri vehicle stops.
There has been both collaboration and serious reflection among police and minority/community organizations. But we are concerned that the annual release of data results in unfair demonization of police, and provides little in the way of substantive measures to respond to those ethnic groups who are unfairly targeted.
On the statute's 10 th anniversary, it became clear to ADL that the data, as presented, were, by themselves, ineffective at problem solving. So we convened the Missouri Roundtable on Bias-Based Policing to bring folks together to reach consensus on the gaps in the decade-old legislation.