NEWS of the Day - August 10, 2012
on some LACP issues of interest

NEWS of the Day - August 10, 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 Google News


COPPS and Quality of Life Teams Keep Beaumont Police Connected to Community

These officers work closely with patrol officers, many city departments and the community. Unique teams for the Beaumont Police Department are enhancing our lives and creating a better community.

The Community-Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) Team and the Quality of Life Team are keeping neighborhoods safe and livable, working with our youngsters and rounding up our pets. These dedicated officers work closely with patrol officers, many city departments and the community. They strive to live up to the Department's motto, “Exceeding Expectations.”

“We reach out to city departments and take a global look to increase our effectiveness,” said Sgt. Josh Ellsworth, who runs the COPPS program.


About two years ago, Beaumont created two units, COPPS and the Quality of Life team. (The Quality of Life team includes police, and code enforcement and animal care officers.) Because the police teams aren't on regular street patrols, they are able to devote extra time and attention to issues. They work hand-in-hand with their fellow police officers and city employees, who often refer community issues to them.

The issues could involve anything from a dispute between neighbors or a business looking for security and crime prevention tips to cars speeding through a neighborhood. Other duties for Beaumont's police teams include planning for law enforcement at special events, reading to youngsters during Story Time Café at Starbucks, being role models for youngsters as part of the Adopt-a-Cop program, supervising the Police Explorers program, and meeting with homeowners at Neighborhood Watch-style meetings under the Beaumont Cares program.

High praise

Meanwhile, the residents of Beaumont are giving kudos to their local police department. They recognize close cooperation between patrol officers and enforcement teams makes for a better, safer community.

Here are a few examples of praise for our officers and city employees:

• Good neighbors: Two neighbors involved in a running dispute became friends when police listened and had them talk it over. “Because of the officer's outstanding level of common sense, my neighbor and I became friends,” wrote a resident.

• Safety First: A child's ball rolled into the street, and a city employee passing by stopped his truck, halted traffic, and handed the ball back to the youngster.

• “Houdini” Hound: A clever dog stood up on its hind legs, flipped the lock, and opened the front door while his master was away. Police saw the open door, called the homeowner and locked up the residence. “I kept reflecting on how great it was to have the police come and make sure everything was okay at my house,” wrote a resident.

• Sad passing: A 17-year-old family cat passed away, and a distraught owner called police. A police officer and an animal care officer arrived to comfort and assist the pet owner.

• House Call: An animal care officer made a “house call” to check on a dog's implanted microchip.

• Staying Connected: A police officer took time to return a recovered cell phone to its owner.

• Good Samaritan: A family from San Jacinto missed the last bus after spending the night shopping in our hometown. A police van took the grateful family back home.

So the next time you're out and about in Beaumont, please take a moment to wave and say thanks to all our brave public servants. They're outstanding city employees working every day to keep us safe and serve our community.



From the FBI

New Internet Scam

‘Ransomware' Locks Computers, Demands Payment


There is a new “drive-by” virus on the Internet, and it often carries a fake message—and fine—purportedly from the FBI.

“We're getting inundated with complaints,” said Donna Gregory of the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), referring to the virus known as Reveton ransomware, which is designed to extort money from its victims.

Reveton is described as drive-by malware because unlike many viruses—which activate when users open a file or attachment—this one can install itself when users simply click on a compromised website. Once infected, the victim's computer immediately locks, and the monitor displays a screen stating there has been a violation of federal law.

The bogus message goes on to say that the user's Internet address was identified by the FBI or the Department of Justice's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section as having been associated with child pornography sites or other illegal online activity. To unlock their machines, users are required to pay a fine using a prepaid money card service.

“Some people have actually paid the so-called fine,” said the IC3's Gregory, who oversees a team of cyber crime subject matter experts. (The IC3 was established in 2000 as a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. It gives victims an easy way to report cyber crimes and provides law enforcement and regulatory agencies with a central referral system for complaints.)

“While browsing the Internet a window popped up with no way to close it,” one Reveton victim recently wrote to the IC3. “The window was labeled FBI and said I was in violation of one of the following: illegal use of downloaded media, under-age porn viewing, or computer-use negligence. It listed fines and penalties for each and directed me to pay $200 via a MoneyPak order. Instructions were given on how to load the card and make the payment. The page said if the demands were not met, criminal charges would be filed and my computer would remain locked on that screen.”

The Reveton virus, used by hackers in conjunction with Citadel malware—a software delivery platform that can disseminate various kinds of computer viruses—first came to the attention of the FBI in 2011. The IC3 issued a warning on its website in May 2012. Since that time, the virus has become more widespread in the United States and internationally. Some variants of Reveton can even turn on computer webcams and display the victim's picture on the frozen screen.

“We are getting dozens of complaints every day,” Gregory said, noting that there is no easy fix if your computer becomes infected. “Unlike other viruses,” she explained, “Reveton freezes your computer and stops it in its tracks. And the average user will not be able to easily remove the malware.”

The IC3 suggests the following if you become a victim of the Reveton virus:

  • Do not pay any money or provide any personal information.

  • Contact a computer professional to remove Reveton and Citadel from your computer.

  • Be aware that even if you are able to unfreeze your computer on your own, the malware may still operate in the background. Certain types of malware have been known to capture personal information such as user names, passwords, and credit card numbers through embedded keystroke logging programs.

  • File a complaint and look for updates about the Reveton virus on the IC3 website.


From the Department of Homeland Security

Prevent Terrorism and Enhance Security

Protecting the American people from terrorist threats is our founding principle and our highest priority. The Department of Homeland Security's counterterrorism responsibilities focus on three goals:

  1. Prevent terrorist attacks;
  2. Prevent the unauthorized acquisition, importation, movement, or use of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials and capabilities within the United States; and
  3. Reduce the vulnerability of critical infrastructure and key resources, essential leadership, and major events to terrorist attacks and other hazards.


Global Aviation Security
Cargo Screening
Enhance National Preparedness and Support State and Local Law Enforcement
Strengthen International Partnerships
Critical Infrastructure Protection