| 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 8, 2012
From the L.A. Daily News
Scam artists prey on seniors, pose as young relatives needing money
BEVERLY HILLS - The Beverly Hills Police Department is warning the public today to be on guard against scam artists who prey on seniors by posing as youthful relatives in desperate need of emergency funds.
Typically, a scammer will contact a target by telephone or email pretending to be a favorite grandchild, niece or nephew, wait for the responding party to say a name, assume that person's identity and claim to need money to deal with an accident or other crisis.
"Often times they will add, 'Don't tell mom or dad,'" said Lt. Mark Rosen of the Beverly Hills Police Department.
The money usually is sent via Western Union or MoneyGram, Rosen said.
"While many seniors have reported the scam without falling prey to it, unfortunately, many others have been victimized," he said.
Rosen said criminals generate lists of potential victims from various sources. Anyone receiving such solicitations should contact other family members to verify the request, Rosen said.
From Google News
Court ruling on juveniles could affect 12 from Erie, Crawford
Life might no longer mean life for 12 state inmates from Erie and Crawford counties.
The 12 are serving mandatory life sentences with no parole for murders they committed when they were younger than 18.
Parole has become a possibility for each of them after the U.S. Supreme Court in June banned mandatory life sentences, without parole, for juvenile offenders.
Local officials expect the Supreme Court ruling to be retroactive, but they are waiting for direction on how to follow the 5-4 decision, issued June 25.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly is preparing to act. On Tuesday, the state Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing in Harrisburg on the Supreme Court decision, which held that mandatory life sentences, without parole, for juveniles violated the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and inhuman punishment.
The decision does not affect inmates who received those sentences for murders they committed as adults.
Community policing: Shelby officers saturate neighborhoods to combat violent crime
Last year, no one was murdered in the “City of Pleasant Living,” according to Shelby police.
2012 is another story.
In January, Kelton Jerrard Ross was shot and killed in a home on Morrison Street.
In May, Devosia Chapman was killed on U.S. 74 in a drive-by shooting.
Police have already responded to more assault calls this year, too, than in all of 2011.
Chief Jeff Ledford said many of the assault calls are domestic-related. Others are from small groups of people attacking each other.
July 7, 2012
From the L.A. Daily News
Mosquitos carrying West Nile virus found in Northridge, Winnetka
SANTA FE SPRINGS - The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District confirmed today it has uncovered six more mosquito samples carrying the West Nile virus in four communities within the district.
Three samples were found in Northridge and one sample each was found in Silver Lake, Whittier and Winnetka.
It is the first sign of virus activity in Whittier, Winnetka and Northridge. So far this year, district researchers have identified 10 positive West Nile mosquito samples and one positive dead bird within its jurisdiction.
West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for West Nile virus.
One in five persons infected with West Nile virus will exhibit symptoms.
Symptoms usually occur between five and 15 days and can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or a skin rash. The symptoms can last for several weeks to months.
About one in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis and possible death.
Argentina convicts 2 former dictators of stealing babies
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - The conviction of two former dictators for the systematic stealing of babies from political prisoners 30 years ago is a big step in Argentina's effort to punish that era's human rights abuses, though certainly not the last.
Following Thursday's convictions of Rafael Videla and Reynaldo Bignone, at least 17 other major cases are before judges or are nearing trial.
Among them is a "mega-trial" involving the Navy Mechanics School, which became a feared torture center as the 1976-1983 military junta kidnapped and killed 13,000 opponents while trying to annihilate an armed leftist uprising. That case involves 65 defendants, nearly 900 victims, more than 100 witnesses and about 60,000 pages of evidence.
A "Never Again" commission formed shortly after Argentina's democracy was restored in 1983 documented thousands of crimes against humanity during the military regime, but hardly any of the violators were prosecuted until the late Nestor Kirchner was elected president 20 years later.
Justice Minister Julio Alak said Thursday that Kirchner's wife and successor, President Cristina Fernandez, deserves credit for making the human rights cases a cornerstone of government.
July 6, 2012
From the L.A. Daily News
Malware may knock thousands off Internet on Monday
WASHINGTON - The warnings about the Internet problem have been splashed across Facebook and Google. Internet service providers have sent notices, and the FBI set up a special website.
But tens of thousands of Americans may still lose their Internet service Monday unless they do a quick check of their computers for malware that could have taken over their machines more than a year ago.
Despite repeated alerts, the number of computers that probably are infected is more than 277,000 worldwide, down from about 360,000 in April. Of those still infected, the FBI believes that about 64,000 are in the United States.
Users whose computers are still infected Monday will lose their ability to go online, and they will have to call their service providers for help deleting the malware and reconnecting to the Internet.
The problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of more than 570,000 infected computers around the world. When the FBI went in to take down the hackers late last year, agents realized that if they turned off the malicious servers being used to control the computers, all the victims would lose their Internet service.
From Google News
200 see 2-year-old shot, but nobody's talking
'Stop snitching' culture increasingly pervasive; community's silence frustrates officers
PHILADELPHIA — Bullets tore through the warm summer night, slicing through the crowd of about 200 people jamming a Logan street for an impromptu night block party.
A 2-year-old girl took a bullet to her tiny stomach as she stood between parked cars. Three other people were struck. Dozens of witnesses scattered.
In the wake of the quadruple shooting, everyone clammed up.
Infuriated, police and city officials say not a single person has come forward with a tip, not even the little girl's mother, providing yet another frustrating example of the difficulty in bringing neighborhood thugs to justice.
Though the "stop-snitching" culture is nothing new, this latest outrage has city officials steaming.
If no one in a neighborhood where whispers about the violence have traveled porch to porch for nearly three weeks will speak up to catch the monster who nearly killed a 2-year-old girl, is there anything that will make the residents take a stand against the thugs who hold them hostage?
Judge: Zimmerman was going to jump bail with other people's money
The judge overseeing George Zimmerman's murder trial wrote a stern eight-page order Thursday that set bail at $1 million and said the former neighborhood watch volunteer thumbed his nose at the judicial system as he plotted a life on the run.
Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester ordered Zimmerman to remain in Seminole County, doing away with the special perk that had allowed Zimmerman to await trial in hiding out of state before his initial bail was revoked. Lester said nothing in the defense team's presentation in a three-hour hearing last week explained why someone would stash a second passport and $135,000 if it wasn't to jump bail.
“Notably, together with the passport, the money only had to be hidden for a short time for him to leave the country if the defendant made a quick decision to flee,” Lester wrote. “It is entirely reasonable for this court to find that, but for the requirement that he be placed on electronic monitoring, the defendant and his wife would have fled the United States with at least $130,000 of other people's money.”
He rejected the defense argument that Zimmerman, 28, was young and confused when he instructed his wife, in jailhouse phone conversations, to transfer all the funds he raised online out of his name and allowed her to lie about it under oath at his initial bond hearing.
Phoenix police chief reinforces stance on community policing
Garcia, at breakfast, says he wants every officer engaged with residents
Janice Gordon-Caddy said she likes what she heard about community policing from Phoenix's new police chief.
Gordon-Caddy, the president of the Springs at Yorkshire Block Watch, attended District 1 Councilwoman Thelda Williams' breakfast at Martin Auto Museum Inc. last week, where Chief of Police Daniel Garcia was a guest. Garcia touted his background in community policing, which encourages officers to work with community members.
Gordon-Caddy, a criminal-justice student at University of Phoenix, endorsed Garcia's community-policing program.
"It's a way of getting the community connected," Gordon-Caddy said. "It's how the neighborhood police officer talked to the kids and the community kids liked the police officer. ... Rather than police officers driving by in a car, they get out and talk to people."
Garcia, who was hired in March, told Gordon-Caddy and a north Phoenix audience his expectations for his department.
July 5, 2012
Shadow Wolves provide unique approach to law enforcement
Located in a remote area of Arizona that shares a 76-mile stretch of land with the Mexico border, the Tohono O'odham Nation became a thoroughfare for smugglers.
"It's the reality of living on the border," said Rodney Irby, assistant special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Sells, Ariz. "There was a definitive drug smuggling threat on the second largest Indian reservation in the United States."
That's why the residents of the Tohono O'odham Nation embarked on a unique partnership with ICE's legacy agency, the U.S. Customs Service, in 1974. The two organizations formed the Shadow Wolves, ICE's tactical patrol unit.
"To date, we are the first and only federal law enforcement agency authorized a permanent residence on the Tohono O'odham Nation which is comparable in size to the state of Connecticut," said Irby.
When the partnership was established, the U.S. Customs Service agreed to hire Native American officers to serve as part of the Shadow Wolves. ICE upholds this commitment today.
From the FBI
Inside the Denver JTTF
Part 1: Vigilance Against Terrorism
It was September 2009—a few days before the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks—when the Denver Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) received word that a Colorado resident and al Qaeda recruit was about to carry out a major terrorist attack. The jihadist needed to be located with the utmost urgency.
“We got the call on Labor Day,” recalled Special Agent John Scata, who supervises one of Denver's two international terrorism squads, “and we immediately began working around the clock.”
Using the JTTF's multi-agency approach to conducting investigations and gathering and sharing intelligence, task force members located Najibullah Zazi and helped track him to New York City, where he intended to become a suicide bomber in the subway system around the time of the 9/11 anniversary. “If we hadn't found him in Denver as quickly as we did,” Scata said, “he might have gone into the wind and things could have turned out differently.”
Zazi and two of his high school classmates had previously traveled to Pakistan to receive al Qaeda training, including how to make bombs. His self-described plot to “weaken America” by killing innocent subway riders has been characterized as one of the most serious terrorist threats to the U.S. since the 9/11 attacks.
July 4, 2012
Bedford PD Offers Community Policing Programs
Programs available for seniors, youth, businesses and more
The Bedford Police Department is currently offering the following programs to those interested in participating in community policing initiatives:
Senior Citizens Program
Business and Retail
And police ask you to remember, help keep an eye on Bedford ... "See something, say something."
'Stop and frisk' does little but create conflict
THE STOP-AND-FRISK DEBATE Don't frisk: Policy undermines trust
There are no easy solutions to the gang activity or gun violence in our city. That said, I can't think of a worse step than implementing a version of New York City's stop-and-frisk policy.
In New York, the police are stopping hundreds of thousands of law-abiding residents each year, the vast majority of which are African American, Latino and youth - and, on average, 9 out of every 10 stops resulted in no ticket or arrest.
Data analyzed by the New York Civil Liberties Union show that last year New Yorkers were stopped by the police 685,724 times, or approximately 1,879 times a day.
Of those stops, 88 percent yielded no violation.
Fifty-three percent of those stopped were African American, 34 percent were Latino.
Firty-one percent were between the ages of 14 and 24.
July 3, 2012
From Google News
California bill would allow children to have more than two parents
A bill under consideration by California lawmakers would allow children to have more than two parents.
The bill, SB 1476, introduced by Sen. Mark Leno (D) from San Francisco, amends California's current two-parent-per-child law to allow for several of them to protect the best interests of the child.
The additional parents would have to meet a court-established definition of a parent, according to Leno.
“The bill brings California into the 21st century, recognizing that there are more than Ozzie and Harriet families today,” Leno told the Sacramento Bee.
The bill is not meant to expand the definition of who can qualify as a parent, but rather to eliminate the limit of two per child, he said.
Leno said inspiration for the bill came from a 2011 state appellate court case in which a young girl had two mothers. When one of the mothers was sent to prison and the other was hospitalized, the girl's biological father wished to care for her.
Cops on city streets seen as solution
WILMINGTON — The scene played out simply enough – two community policing officers left their patrol car at Haynes Park and pedaled away on their bicycles for a two-wheel tour of the neighborhood.
But the small decision made a difference, Kathleen Patterson said Monday night. The mere presence of the police vehicle, she said, led to a slowdown in drug activity at the park on the outskirts of the Ninth Ward neighborhood.
That type of community policing, Patterson said, can help the city deal with a rash of violence that claimed the lives of four people in five days last month.
“What we found is that when we engage our community police officers, we get problems solved,” Patterson said.
The president of the Ninth Ward Civic Association joined 13 others who spoke during Monday night's Public Safety Committee meeting at the Redding City/County Building. Councilwoman Loretta Walsh, committee chairwoman, organized the discussion in the hopes July could bring some ideas to address the violence that plagued June.
Park Ridge police officer forms ties with hospital, community
Park Ridge Police Officer Matt McGannon was once a skeptic of the concept of community policing.
“If you had asked me 10, 15 years ago what I thought about community policing, I would have said, ‘It won't work,'” McGannon, a 21-year veteran said.
But today, having been an active part of the philosophy instituted by Park Ridge Police Frank Kaminski three years ago, McGannon's attitude has shifted.
“It does work in building confidence with the community, building that support,” he said. “It works in the short-term and it works in the long-term.”
The primary component of community policing is building partnerships with those whom the Police Department serves. This has involved sending officers out into neighborhoods to form relationships with residents, businesses and visitors.
With the creation of a new beat-leader program, McGannon has been appointed the leader of the city's northernmost police beat. In this position he serves as a primary contact for citizens and employees of businesses who have issues or concerns about matters that may not be of criminal in nature, such as a neighbor dispute or an unkempt property. The position is one of problem-solving, McGannon said.
July 2, 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.