| 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.
Sept 16, 2012
Afghan inside attack kills 4 US troops
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan police officer turned his gun on NATO troops at a remote checkpoint in southern Afghanistan before dawn Sunday, killing four American service members, according to Afghan and international officials.
It was the third attack by Afghan forces or insurgents disguised in military uniforms against international forces in as many days, killing eight troops in all.
Recent months have seen a string of such insider attacks by Afghan forces against their international counterparts. The killings have imperiled the military partnership between Kabul and NATO, a working relationship that is key to the handover of security responsibilities to Afghan forces as international troops draw down.
Meanwhile, according to Afghan officials, airstrikes by NATO planes killed eight women and girls in a remote part of the country, fueling a long-standing grievance against a tactic used by international forces that Afghans say causes excessive civilian casualties.
Villagers from a remote part of Laghman province's Alingar district drove the bodies to the provincial capital, claiming they were killed by NATO aircraft while they were out gathering firewood before dawn.
"They were shouting 'Death to America!' They were condemning the attack," said Laghman provincial government spokesman Sarhadi Zewak.
Feds: U.S. teen held in 'jihad' terrorist bomb attempt at Chicago bar
A Hillside teenager was charged Saturday with trying to detonate a car bomb outside a bar in downtown Chicago, following months of surveillance in which he boasted to undercover federal agents of ignoring reprimands from a mosque leader against plans for terrorism, the U.S. attorney's office announced.
Adel Daoud, 18, parked a green Jeep Cherokee in front of the bar Friday night, then tried to detonate a device he believed to be a bomb as he walked away into an alley, court documents allege.
But the bomb, which was inert and had been planted by FBI agents , didn't explode and Daoud was arrested on the spot, federal authorities said.
Daoud was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to damage and destroy a building by means of an explosive. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon at the U.S. Dirksen Courthouse.
Authorities did not name the bar that Daoud allegedly targeted.
Daoud acted alone, although he talked of trying to "brainwash" others and at one point allegedly enlisted a partner, who later changed his mind, according to an FBI affidavit.
From the Department of Homeland Security
Welcome to the FEMA Corps Inaugural Class
Yesterday, we welcomed 231 energetic members into the first ever FEMA Corps class. The members just finished off their first month of training with our partners at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and are one step closer to working in the field on disaster response and recovery. They will now head to FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness to spend the next two weeks training in their FEMA position-specific roles. Once they complete both the CNCS and FEMA training, these 231 dedicated FEMA Corps members will be qualified to work in one of a variety of disaster related roles, ranging from Community Relations to Disaster Recovery Center support.
FEMA Corps builds on the great work of AmeriCorps to establish a service cadre dedicated to disaster response and recover. To be sure, responding to disasters is nothing new for Americorps. In fact, the great work that AmeriCorps already does during disasters was the inspiration for FEMA Corps. When I visited communities all over the country that were devastated by disasters, from Joplin, MO to Bastrop, Texas, I always encountered the incredible members of AmeriCorps lending a helping hand to survivors. I was continually struck by the level of compassion, dedication, and skill these members brought to the table.
The inductees are pioneers, combining the exceptional record of citizen service at AmeriCorps' National Civilian Community Corps with FEMA's specialized mission of supporting survivors with their recovery after a disaster. The new members, who range in age from 18-24 years old, will contribute to a dedicated, trained, and reliable disaster workforce by working full-time for ten months on federal disaster response and recovery efforts. As we announced in March, FEMA Corps sets the foundation for a new generation of emergency managers; it promotes civic engagement and offers an educational and financial opportunity for young people; and is designed to strengthen the nation's disaster response by supplementing FEMA's existing Reservist workforce.
I commend and thank every member of the inaugural class of FEMA Corps for their dedication to helping communities in need. Welcome to FEMA Corps! To learn more about the new program, visit the AmeriCorps website or our FEMA Corps page
Sept 15, 2012
Police have cut back on pursuits, but they remain dangerous
Anyone who's watched TV news in California knows the drill: the fleeing car, the police cruisers in pursuit, the TV choppers overhead.
And everyone who's watched such a chase end with suspects in handcuffs, sometimes after crashing their car, has probably had the thought: That's so stupid. They always get caught.
Close, but not quite.
In a week that began with three televised chases in Los Angeles, one fleeing suspect showed it's possible to get away. On Monday evening, a man led police on a 50-mile pursuit through San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties before ditching a car in Pacoima and escaping into the neighborhood, in full view of TV news choppers.
Of 195 drivers pursued last year by L.A. County sheriff's deputies, slightly more than 75 percent were arrested - which suggests close to a quarter got away.
But nationally, about 98 percent of chases involving police helicopters end with arrests and without crashes, said Geoffrey Alpert, a University of South Carolina criminology professor who has studied police pursuit.
From Google News
Ambassador's killing: US scrambles to rush spies, drones to Libya
WASHINGTON: The US is sending more spies, Marines and drones to Libya, trying to speed the search for those who killed the US ambassador and three other Americans, but the investigation is complicated by a chaotic security picture in the post-revolutionary country, and limited American and Libyan intelligence resources.
The CIA has fewer people available to send, stretched thin from tracking conflicts across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
And the Libyans have barely re-established full control of their country, much less rebuilt their intelligence service, less than a year after the overthrow of dictator Moammar Gaddafi.
The US has already deployed an FBI investigation team, trying to track al-Qaida sympathizers thought to be responsible for turning a demonstration over an anti-Islamic video into a violent, coordinated militant attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
Ambassador Chris Stevens, and three other embassy employees were killed after a barrage of small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars tore into the consulate buildings in Benghazi on Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of 9/11, setting the buildings on fire.
3 colleges get bomb threats
In Texas and N.D. and a smaller school in Ohio, tens of thousands of students were evacuated.
AUSTIN, Texas - Thousands of people streamed off three college campuses Friday after bomb threats prompted officials to issue evacuation orders for schools in Texas, North Dakota, and Ohio.
The campuses of the University of Texas at Austin and North Dakota State University in Fargo had been deemed safe by early afternoon, and authorities were working to determine whether the threats were related. A third evacuation order for much-smaller Hiram College in northeast Ohio was issued hours later, but lifted Friday night after a sweep found nothing suspicious.
Hiram officials posted a statement on the college's website saying the school had received a bomb threat that it was "taking seriously." Police confirmed the evacuation, and the statement said crews with bomb-sniffing dogs were checking all buildings on the campus about 35 miles southeast of Cleveland, where about 1,300 students are enrolled.
The threats on the much-larger campuses in Texas and North Dakota ended as false alarms after tens of thousands of people followed urgently worded evacuation orders.
City to get more cops, gunshot locator system
Seattle will soon have a gunshot locator system, new video equipment for police cars and 10 new officers if the 2013-14 budget is passed as proposed.
Mayor Mike McGinn proposed the budget saying public safety “is a top priority for the community and it's a top priority for me.”
The gunshot locator could be helpful in addressing gang crimes, though investigators still face problems with witnesses and gang members refusing to cooperate in fear of gang retribution. In 2008, four juveniles were killed in what police said were gang-related attacks, and those are among several gang-related shootings and assaults that remain unsolved because witnesses refuse to help.
The 10 additional police officers will bring the total number sworn officers to 1,310, up from 1,300 in 2012. McGinn said the additional positions will allow SPD to continue meeting or exceeding the outcomes in the Neighborhood Policing Plan, and help continue the emphasis patrols launched in 2012 in response to violent crime.
SPD is looking for a few good citizens
The Superior Police Department is launching its Citizen Watch Groups next week.
The Superior Police Department is launching its Citizen Watch Groups next week. A series of meetings take place throughout the city to inform citizens about the new program.
Residents can sign up to be part of a watch group in their neighborhood at these events. Superior's Citizen Watch will be similar to Citizen Patrol initiatives in Duluth, according to Superior Community Policing Officer Bonnie Beste.
Beste got to see the Lincoln Park Citizen Patrol in action when she lived in the area.
“It does make a difference when you're seeing them,” she said. “There are people out there who care looking out for you. It gives you a sense of comfort.”
Sept 14, 2012
Clinton says U.S. had nothing to do with film that sparked violence
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government had nothing to do with a film about the Prophet Mohammad that has triggered anti-American protests in Muslim countries, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.
The film, apparently produced in the United States, sparked an attack on a U.S. mission in Libya on Tuesday that killed the ambassador and three other Americans. Clips posted on the Internet show an amateurish production portraying the Prophet Mohammad as a womanizer, a homosexual and a child abuser.
"The United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its content and message," Clinton said at the start of talks with senior Moroccan officials in Washington.
"To us, to me personally, this video is disgusting and reprehensible. It appears to have a deeply cynical purpose: to denigrate a great religion and to provoke rage."
For many Muslims, any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous. Caricatures or other characterizations deemed insulting in the past have provoked protests and drawn condemnations from officials, preachers, ordinary Muslims and many Christians in the Middle East.
While distancing the U.S. government from the film, Clinton noted the history of religious tolerance in the United States and its commitment to freedom of speech and said there was no justification for people to respond with violence.
"I know it is hard for some people to understand why the United States cannot or does not just prevent these kinds of reprehensible videos from ever seeing the light of day," she said. "I would note that in today's world, with today's technologies, that is virtually impossible.
"But even if it were possible our country does have a long tradition of free expression which is enshrined in our constitution and our law. And we do not stop individual citizens from expressing their views no matter how distasteful they may be," she added.
"There are of course different views around the world about the outer limits of free speech and free expression. But there should be no debate about the simple proposition that violence in response to speech is not acceptable," Clinton said.
Here's how U.S. should respond to attacks
by Trudy Rubin
The violent attacks on the U.S. missions in Cairo, Egypt, and Benghazi, Libya — where a top U.S. diplomat was killed — are far too important to be reduced to fodder in a campaign debate.
We should be focused on a question that many Americans are probably asking about the tragic death of our ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans: How could this happen in a country that we helped liberate and a city we helped save?
The answer provides some clues as to how the United States should respond to such outrages. And it illustrates a perplexing problem that will confront whoever wins the presidential race.
Stevens' death is perplexing because of the lead role the United States played in the overthrow of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, and the fact that NATO intervention saved the rebel capital in Benghazi from being overrun by regime soldiers bent on slaughter. The question is especially poignant because Ambassador Stevens was an Arabic speaker with long experience in Libya, who had served as U.S. emissary to the Libyan rebels.
Yet Stevens was killed, on the anniversary of 9/11, in a violent demonstration against an obscure, and bizarre, 13-minute film, in Arabic, that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad. How could a ludicrous video, showing Americans lumbering around in Arab gear — a video that looks as if it were made by drunken teenagers as a sick joke — cause such a tragic result?
For several reasons: Because radical salafi groups deliberately advertise such films to manipulate crowds who would never otherwise know these videos existed. Because poor Muslims in Third World countries are vulnerable to anti-Western diatribes and have no grasp of constitutional principles such as freedom of speech: They believe any film that insults Islam has government backing.
Because many Muslim leaders are too fearful — or too weak — to crack down on the hard-line salafis on their far-right flank.
And because, in the YouTube era, hard-line salafis can instantly reach thousands. Ditto for flame-throwers such as the maker of the Web film, who said he wanted to showcase hateful Islam, or Florida pastor Terry Jones of burn-the-Quran fame, who helped him. Both men were eager to stir up violence, cloaked in their free-speech rights. They share in the blame for what happened in Egypt and Libya.
But, frankly, even if the filmmaker hadn't provided the oil for extremists to pour on the flames, these salafis could probably have found another offensive video — or cartoon.
Indeed, the 9/11 mayhem in Cairo and Benghazi was clearly planned beforehand. In Benghazi, the small group of violent protesters came prepared with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades; early signs indicate they hailed from a radical Islamist group called Ansar al-Sharia. In Cairo, according to the English website of the Ahram newspaper, a well-known salafist leader made calls on an ultraconservative satellite TV channel for the crowds to turn out.
So how should U.S. leaders respond?
First, by recognizing that the problems of the Arab Winter were not caused by one party. Republican and Democratic leaders alike supported the revolts in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and will have to deal with the complex results.
Second, by working with Arab leaders, like those in Libya, who do want to root out violent groups in their midst. Unlike their Egyptian counterparts, Libya's new leaders apologized for Tuesday's violence. Moreover, Libyans rejected Islamist parties in their first election, but their new institutions are weak.
Third, by making clear to leaders like Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi, whose party has Muslim Brotherhood roots, that he can't have good relations with the West unless he prevents future attacks — and stands up against salafi provocations.
The administration must tell Morsi he can't receive $1 billion in U.S. debt forgiveness, U.S. help in getting international loans, and the Western investment that Egypt desperately needs, if he won't head off violence against Western interests. Morsi will claim that, as a “moderate” Muslim leader, he is squeezed by pressure on his right, but if he caves to that pressure he is no different from the salafis. And at some point, the salafis will turn against him.
Fourth, U.S. leaders must make plain to Muslim leaders that the U.S. Constitution protects free speech, however offensive. (Note: Free speech is under attack in Egypt; on Wednesday, an Egyptian court cleared a famous Egyptian actor, Adel Imam, of charges that he defamed Islam by playing a terrorist in a movie. Many similar cases accusing individuals of offending Islam are pending.)
President Barack Obama must repeat over and over what he said Wednesday: “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this kind of senseless violence. None.”
With more trouble brewing over the Web film, Obama must demonstrate there is a price to be paid by those who perpetrate such violence, and by leaders who let it explode. On Wednesday, he said clearly that “justice will be done” toward those responsible for the death of Stevens and the others. U.S. officials should work with Libyans to make that pledge come true very soon.
Montclair police seek $1 million for improved public safety
by DIANE HERBST
Thanks to contacts forged through Montclair's formerly robust community police program 12 years ago, two witnesses to the murder of college student Brian Schiavetti on William Street in July felt comfortable enough to tip off township police - tips that led to the arrest of Montclair resident Ernest Williams, Jr., said Montclair Chief of Police David Sabagh during Tuesday night's Township Council meeting.
"That homicide," noted Sabagh, "was solved due to old community policing efforts."
Sabagh presented a proposal to bring back community policing in the form of a team of five officers and a supervisor who would travel to different neighborhoods in a high-tech command vehicle the size of an ambulance.
The police would stay in a neighborhood for several days, visiting residents and creating contacts.
"It's going from neighborhood to neighborhood, door to door, knock on doors and really listen," said Sabagh. "Neighbors might have issues we don't know about. People are fearful. We want them to know we are out there."
Twelve years ago, Montclair's community policing was funded by state and federal grants, Sabagh said. For the program he is proposing, the cost would be $475,000 for personnel salaries and $175,000 for the vehicle.
To make community policing work, Township Manager Marc Dashield cautioned the council that not only would the Police Department need a commitment for funding current staffing, but a commitment to spend money on new officers.
Fourth Ward Councilwoman Renée Baskerville, requested data showing the effectiveness of community policing.
Dashield noted that Plainfield used community policing with positive results, including the use of a specialized vehicle. "The presence of the police vehicle made people feel safer," he said.
Mayor Robert Jackson supported the idea of the program. "Crime overall is down," he said. "The beauty of this is, we have to get ourselves on a mission to root out crime in certain areas of town. If we don't, it will only fester and get worse."
"Violent crime is down significantly" in Montclair, acknowledged Sabagh. Referring to the shooting death of Schiavetti, he said: "You have a homicide and the perception of that number goes up.
"This is a proposal, an idea," Sabagh said in response to Baskerville's questions on the cost of the program. "I hope you support it."
Another aspect of community policing is the installation of closed-circuit television cameras at key intersections that would be monitored and used for purposes such as identifying suspects or zooming in to see a narcotics transaction, Sabagh said. The officer monitoring the cameras could then dispatch police to the incident. "It deters crime," he said.
Each camera and installation would cost about $25,000. Sabagh proposed installing them at up to 10 intersections at a total cost of $250,000, including: South Park Street and Church Street; Bloomfield Avenue and Church Street; Bloomfield Avenue and South Park Street and Walnut Street and Depot Square.
Sabagh later told reporters he would like to see both programs rolling "as soon as possible."
High tech 911 system
Imagine if you could text message a call for help to 911, share an image or videos of a crime scene taken on a smart phone with a 911 operator, or a 911 system able to track down a caller in need of help through global positioning systems.
Sabagh and Sgt. Michael Mongiovi of the Support Services/Training Bureau introduced this concept to the Township Council Tuesday night.
Called Enhanced 911, Sabagh said it is a much-needed, technologically advanced upgrade to the township's current 911 system.
"Our 911 system if failing," said Sabagh. "It's beyond its useful life. We can't get components for it. If it fails tomorrow, we'd have to transfer to Glen Ridge to get our 911 calls. It's a risk we can't take."
Next Generation 911, provided by a company called Intrado, comes at a price tag of $359,833.59, which includes a four-year service contract.
Dashield introduced a resolution for next week's regular Township Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 18, to purchase the system. The prior Township Council approved a bond ordinance on May 22 that included $393,750 for the system.
Police, clergy, community take on S.W. Philly crime
SOUTHWEST PHILADELPHIA - September 13, 2012 (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are tackling a big grid in West Philadelphia as part of what they are calling a "quality of life blitz." Police and clergy members will be going door to door - to every door- talking to neighbors - a new approach to tackling crime in a high crime area.
Thursday evening, Philadelphia police and members of the clergy will be knocking on doors in West Philadelphia - specifically the 19th District- an area with its share of violent crime. Just Wednesday, a 35-year-old man was shot in the stomach at Frasier and Arch in broad daylight. And there are plenty of other crimes, mainly burglaries and thefts.
"We identified three pretty large areas where we're experiencing crime or have experienced crime for a long time. We're going to hit these locations. go door to door to educate the community on different programs we have," said Philadelphia Police Inspector Dennis Wilson.
Police want residents to be aware of what's going on and to hear from them: Where are the trouble spots; what can police do to help.
Wilson added, "We want to know from residents if they're having any problems; poor lighting, abandoned vehicles, vacant property."
Police will also encourage businesses to register surveillance cameras with the city. They'll talk to residents about protecting their property more effectively.
In recent months, police increased foot patrols in West Philadelphia. It's all a return to old-fashioned policing. Residents we talked to believe it's the right approach.
"That's a long time coming," said Lawrence Barham. "We should have been doing that. We sorely need it yes."
"I've seen them in several neighborhoods," said Alyson Baylor. "It's wonderful. They should have never stopped. So much at a level that it is now."
The police and clergy members will be assembling at 55th and Walnut and head out into the neighborhood. Next week they'll tackle the 18th District and then the 12th after that. The inspector said with so much crime, crime-fighting today is about innovation and this is an approach they're willing to try.
Keep ‘things' from happening
by Katherine Hammer -- 21st Security Forces Squadron
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — We frequently measure success in the Air Force, and oftentimes life in general, by numbers. We look at measurable statistics, like numbers and dollars, to determine how well we did. Earlier this year, former fifth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor visited Peterson Air Force Base. As a prior security police member, Gaylor met with members of the 21st Security Forces Squadron and said something that resonated with many SFS Airmen. Referring to the quantification of success, he mentioned that at least with regard to measuring the success of policing efforts, we must be measuring what hasn't happened.
Members of the 21st SFS work every day to keep “things” from happening. We take a proactive, rather than reactive approach to keeping criminal activity off the installation through the utilization of various innovative policing techniques, including community policing, problem-oriented policing, and intelligence-led policing.
You might be familiar with the term “community policing,” which is the use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to find the root causes of issues that impact crime and disorder. It is based on collaborative efforts between policing organizations and those in the community they serve, by ultimately aligning various organizational elements that foster such partnerships. Community policing is a proactive approach for identifying problems through evaluation of an issue. The 21st SFS employs aspects of community policing in a variety of ways by dedicating patrols to housing sectors, conducting bike and foot patrols, attending town hall meetings, educating the public, and making great efforts to foster community relations. Our goal is to ensure Peterson Air Force Base residents, employees, and visitors always feel as safe as possible.
Another tool available to law enforcement agencies is the problem-oriented policing method. This particular approach examines different aspects of criminal activity at very basic levels. The idea is to find new solutions by taking an extremely close look at the tiniest aspects of any crimes or acts of disorder, ultimately meeting the PoP method goal of reducing crime. When examining recurring crimes, this method encourages the use of hyperanalyzation. The PoP method was used earlier this year, when there was a significant increase in the reports of larcenies occurring at the fitness center. Members of the 21st SFS broke down the problem (the recurring thefts) in its basic form and analyzed who the likely offenders were, likely targets (victims) and likely places. Rather than target the offenders, 21st SFS simply made the fitness center a less desirable target.
Finally, intelligence-led policing involves a fusion cell, and is a relatively new technique used by many law enforcement agencies. The concept includes the formation of a collaborative effort between multiple agencies wherein the use of problem-solving techniques leads to a variety of data that is available, improving the ability to deploy resources at the tactical level. The 21st SFS leads an intelligence-fusion comprised of representatives from security forces, intelligence, anti-terrorism, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. They meet weekly, share information, and discuss trends not only on Peterson AFB, but also throughout the local community and nation. Through this cell, we are able to maximize the efforts of each of organization, producing an intelligence report that ultimately prevents or reduces criminal activities.
The 21st SFS strives to maintain Peterson AFB's status as the best place to visit, work, and live by keeping personnel and property safe through a combination of innovative means. We measure success not just in dollars and charts, but also in what we prevent on a daily basis.
As always, to report a crime on Peterson Air Force Base, call 556-4000. In the event of an emergency, dial 911
Sept 13, 2012
From Google News
Bank robbery cash flung into streets should be turned in, police say
It may have seemed like Christmas when a pair of bank robbery suspects led police on a wild pursuit, hurling fistfuls of cash onto the streets of South L.A.
But police have a message for the people who snatched up the loot: Turn it in.
Police urged people to hand over the cash they scooped up, warning that it is a crime to keep it and that they would use video footage to try to identify people. "It's our neighborhood stimulus package!" laughed Diane Dorsey, who watched the bedlam unfold from her front yard at the corner of Kansas and Vernon avenues.
The made-for-Hollywood chase began 40 miles to the north in Santa Clarita, when four armed men held up a Bank of America branch shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday and fled in a black Volvo SUV that had been reported stolen hours earlier, police said. Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department quickly located the suspects and began to pursue them. Shortly after the chase began, two of the men bailed from the vehicle in an attempt to escape on foot but were taken into custody, said Capt. Mike Parker, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department.
The two remaining suspects continued on, jumping from freeways to streets and back again as they wound their way through the San Gabriel Valley and Pasadena and onward toward the skyline of downtown Los Angeles.
Crime fighting grants announced
The Greater Flint Health Coalition (GFHC) the city of Flint, Commit to Fit! and the city's Blue Badge Community Policing Program announce the awardees for the 2012 Health and Safety Mini-Grant Program. The program is designed to increase community-based safety initiatives that have a positive impact on the health and safety of local residents.
The violent crime rate is more than 400 percent of the national average in Flint. Safety remains an issue for many individuals and families.
The goals of this program are to improve safety by activating residents' ability to work together on efforts to improve neighborhood environments and create safer places for residents to be physically and socially active. Program goals will be achieved through supporting neighborhood groups, block clubs, local associations, security watches and nonprofit organizations which will use mini-grant funds to create environmental changes that promote safety.
After the grant program is completed the GFHC and the city of Flint will hold a meeting of all grantees to discuss these efforts in improving community safety. All grants are provided by the Greater Flint Health Coalition, which is supporting this initiative as a component of the GFHC's County Health Rankings Action Plan, a 10-year effort launched in April, 2011 to strategically improve the health of Flint area residents.
In addition to the grant program, the action plan also includes the Commit to Fit! campaign to promote health behavior improvement among residents, the Commit to Fit! Smoke-free Toolkit to encourage the creation of smoke-free environments and additional efforts focused on improving health behaviors through schools, youth programs, businesses and healthcare providers.
Police Chief Speaks Out About Gun Violence
Omaha 360 is working to come up solutions for gun violence in Omaha. The group met with community members Wednesday outlining an evolving strategy for tackling violent crime. The group gave an update on the trends, successes, and challenges they've experienced in fighting gun violence over the past six years.
Citywide, Omaha gun assaults have decreased between the months of May and July by 32% from 72 in 2007 to 41 so far this year. The decrease has been even larger in the police department's northeast precinct. The gun assaults there have decreased by more than half over the same period.
Omaha Police Chief, Todd Schmaderer, also spoke at the meeting. He told the crowd that he wants to curb violence, establish community policing, and improve the public's relationship with police.
As part of that, Chief Schmaderer says he wants to hold a community forum. “We'll field some questions, what going on in the community, what are some of the barriers to those relationships and take some of the tough questions,” says Schmaderer. The date for that forum has not been set.
Sept 12, 2012
From the L.A. Daily News
16 bodies found in truck in new wave of Mexico drug violence
MEXICO CITY - Police in southern Guerrero state found 16 bodies left in a truck in a region plagued by drug violence.
The bodies were found in Coyuca de Catalan, the state Attorney General's Office said in a statement Monday. That city is close to the border with Michoacan state.
The remote mountain region known as "Tierra Caliente" for its steamy climate is a battleground between drug gangs including La Familia Michoacana and the breakaway Knights Templar.
Officials did not identify the victims or describe a motive for the slayings, but Guerrero Gov. Angel Aguirre said authorities suspected they were killed in Michoacan and dumped in his state.
State Attorney General Martha Garzon told an anonymous call alerted police to the bodies and urged people in neighboring Michoacan with missing relatives to get in touch with the morgue in the city of Iguala.
Garzon said investigators suspected the victims were brought in from Michoacan because there weren't any recent reports in Guerrero of 16 people being missing.
From Google News
U.S. ambassador to Libya, 3 other Americans killed in Benghazi
U.S. Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed Tuesday in an assault on the American consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, the White House said.
In a statement issued by the White House early Wednesday morning, President Obama said he had directed an increase at U.S. diplomatic posts around the world.
Wire services and reporters on the ground said that Stevens and the others were fleeing the consulate when a rocket-propelled grenade struck their vehicle. The identities of the other three dead were withheld pending notification of their families.
Stevens, a longtime Middle East hand in the State Department, was named ambassador to Libya in May. He had worked in Libya for a number of years, both before and after the fall of slain Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.
“Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States,” Obama said. “Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.”
Anti-Muslim film that sparked violent protests ‘a political movie': director
A film portraying the life of the Prophet Mohammed, which touches on themes of paedophilia and homosexuality, has sparked a deadly attack on a US mission in Libya and furious protests in Egypt.
Clips of the film at the centre of the controversy have been posted on the Internet and private satellite channels have been showing segments. The low-budget movie, “Innocence of Muslims” in which actors have strong American accents, portrays Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent.
It pokes fun at the Prophet Mohammed and touches on themes of paedophilia and homosexuality, sparking protests in Egypt and violence in Libya that left America's ambassador Chris Stevens and three American officials dead.
The film was produced by Israeli-American Sam Bacile, according to the Wall Street Journal, but Egyptian media say that some Egyptian Copts living in the US were involved in the production.
Feds can't say how often anti-terror surveillance program inadvertently monitored US citizens
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration maintains it is unable to say how many times one of the government's most politically sensitive anti-terrorism surveillance programs — which is up for renewal this week on Capitol Hill — has inadvertently gathered intelligence about U.S. citizens.
In a briefing for reporters on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Tuesday that the program designed to monitor international communications by terrorist suspects has collected an extraordinary amount of valuable intelligence overseas about foreign terrorist suspects while simultaneously protecting civil liberties of Americans.
Originated by the George W. Bush administration, the program was publicly disclosed by The New York Times in 2005 and was restructured in 2008 to provide oversight by a secret federal court and with additional oversight from Congress.
Civil liberties groups and some members of Congress have expressed concern that the government may be reviewing the emails and phone calls of law-abiding Americans in the U.S. who are at the other end of communications with foreign terrorist suspects being monitored abroad.
From the Department of Justice
A Day of Remembrance
Today the nation remembers the lives lost on September 11, 2001. It is a solemn day, but it is also a day of service. By taking time to serve others today we demonstrate our resolve and resilience as we continue to embrace democratic values and fundamental liberties, not fear and oppression.
This morning, at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., Attorney General Holder paid tribute to the 72 law enforcement officers who rushed to the scene and made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty:
In the face of hatred and destruction on a nearly unprecedented scale, these heroic men and women answered the highest calling of their profession – placing the safety of others above their own. As images of smoldering wreckage and crumbling buildings played out on television screens and in their own backyards – from New York City; to Arlington, Virginia; to Shanksville, Pennsylvania – these officers heard the call go out. They saw the rising smoke, and heard the cries of those in need. And – without hesitation, without delay, and with the knowledge that this critical mission could well be their last – every one of them rushed toward the dangers from which all others had fled.
Put simply, their selfless actions saved countless lives. Their valor reminds us of the quiet power of compassion, patriotism, and selflessness. And – especially this morning – as we lift up their stories, we also affirm that this annual observance has always been about much more than the pain that was inflicted – and the buildings that were destroyed – eleven years ago today.
ICE Gallery pays tribute to 9/11 sacrifice
(Slideshow on site) Today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) joins the nation in remembering the 11th anniversary of Sept 11 - a day in modern history that forever changed the country and ultimately led to the formation of the Department of Homeland Security and ICE.
Through its 9/11 exhibit, unveiled earlier this year at the ICE Gallery's opening, the agency pays tribute to the nearly 3,000 innocent people who lost their lives, the countless family members left behind, the staggering number of first responders who selflessly rushed to help, as well as the role that its legacy agencies - U.S. Customs and Immigration and Naturalization Service - played in recovery efforts.
When American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center's North Tower, employees in the U.S. Customs House, which was located at 6 World Trade Center, immediately began evacuating. Miraculously, the building was emptied in just 12 minutes, and no one was killed before it was destroyed from the North Tower's falling debris and fire.
Sept 11, 2012
The world must never forget
Today is the 11th anniversary of 9/11. And three months later, we will mark the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The two worst attacks on American soil each resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths and led the nation to war. Still, given the passage of time, Dec. 7 will be noted with minimal, if any, reverence by most Americans, and, despite little more than a decade having lapsed since 9/11, already some memories are fading too fast.
How else to explain a New York Post story last week detailing how some visitors are treating the National September 11 Memorial in Manhattan as a “playground.” The Post reported that “tourists balance coffee cups and soda bottles on the parapets bearing the names of the dead. Parents hoist their children to sit on the bronze plaques, while other visitors splash water from the two waterfalls onto their faces to cool themselves on a hot summer day. On the plaza, tourists break out lunch foods and lie on their backs.”
That behavior is appalling. Those who would picnic in a graveyard disrespect not only the lives that were lost on that sacred ground, but also those soldiers still in harm's way as a result of the events that gave rise to that memorial. But such behavior is in keeping with a pattern.
Despite the best of intentions, too often we do forget too soon.
For Sept. 11 anniversary, a turning point passed?
NEW YORK — Is it time for a different kind of Sept. 11?
Victims' families and others were poised to gather and grieve Tuesday at ground zero, the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa., for the first time after the emotional turning point of last year's 10th anniversary.
And in New York, there was a sense that it was a season of change and moving forward for the ground zero ceremony. It followed a last-minute breakthrough on a financial dispute that had halted progress on the Sept. 11 museum, and the commemoration itself was to be different: For the first time, elected officials won't speak at an occasion that has allowed them a solemn turn in the spotlight, but also has been lined with questions about separating the Sept. 11 that is about personal loss from the 9/11 that reverberates through public life.
To Charles G. Wolf, it's a fitting transition.
"We've gone past that deep, collective public grief," says Wolf, whose wife, Katherine, was killed at the trade center. "And the fact that the politicians will not be involved, to me, makes it more intimate, for the families. ... That's the way that it can be now."
Dramatic video footage shows Wade Michael Page firing on police during Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin
White supremacist repeatedly fired at Lt. Brian Murphy after he had fallen behind a parked car, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the throat.
Dramatic video footage captured the moment white supremacist Wade Michael Page began firing on police as they arrived at the scene of his hate-filled horror in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin last month.
In the videos, recorded on cameras mounted on dashboards of police cars and released on Monday by the Oak Creek Police Department, the gunman repeatedly fired at Lt. Brian Murphy after he had fallen behind a parked car, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the throat.
Page stalked the officer, shooting him in the thumb and knocking away his gun. Page hit him a total of 15 times with his .9-mm. “There's a deliberateness about him,” Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said of Page. “He intended to kill him.”
Murphy survived but can only speak in a whisper and faces a long recovery. Separate footage from officer Sam Lenda's squad car depicts a second barrage of bullets. “I got a man with a gun in the parking lot,” Lenda radios a dispatcher.
Tredyffrin police offer a behind-the-scenes look
TREDYFFRIN — For most people, interaction with police means being stopped for a traffic violation.
With its upcoming citizen's police academy, township police want to give residents a different type of experience by providing them a behind-the-scenes look at how they protect and serve.
“Our bottom-line goal is we want citizens to feel comfortable with who we are and to know us,” township Police Superintendent Anthony Giaimo said. “We know police often get painted with a broad brush, and we want them to know we're open and we're here for them.
“We are going to be honest with them, and they'll see this is not a canned program.”
Starting Sept. 27, the academy will meet from 7 to 9:30 p.m. every Thursday night for 12 weeks. The program is designed to increase the understanding between officers and citizens through open dialogue and training.
Township residents interested in participating in the academy should call Meoli at 610-408-3654.
Popular Senior Police Academy Returns in October
Senior citizens can learn about defensive driving, fire safety, crime prevention and how to be a neighborhood watchdog at monthlong event.
The Wayne Police Department will host its annual Senior Police Academy on Tuesday in October. The free program is designed to enlighten senior citizens in the community and improve their quality of life.
Community Policing Officers Tom Colella and Scott Rappaport will discuss several topics, including: how to be a neighborhood watchdog, traffic and pedestrian safety, defensive driving, fire safety, crime prevention, how to prevent fraud, alcoholism, gambling, and self-defense.
Attendees will also visit the Passaic County Police Academy. The academy is co-sponsored by Chilton Hospital, the Wayne Police Department, and the Wayne Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse.
Classes are offered on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the public library. For more information, or to register, call 973-831-5367.
Sept 10, 2012
From Google News
9/11 Anniversary Will Mark Rise of New Buildings, But No Museum
Some family members of the victims of the September 11 attacks are angry that The National September 11 Memorial Museum will not have its planned opening on Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the attacks. Construction of the building has been halted since last December, when a multi-million dollar dispute broke out between the museum and the Port Authority, the site's owner.
Bill Doyle, whose son Joseph died in Tower One, says the fight over money is causing an inexcusable delay. "How long did it take to build Pearl Harbor? How long did it take to do the Vietnam War Memorial? Why — ten years, eleven years later — it's still not done?" he asked.
The Port Authority of NY-NJ, headed by Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie, says the private foundation running the museum owes hundreds of millions of dollars in construction costs. The foundation, which is chaired by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, disputes the claim.
Museum spokesman Michael Frasier said that although there is no opening date for the museum, the staff continues to collect artifacts for display. "We're gathering photos from victims' family members, badges and equipment from first responders, items like that," he said.
From the White House
Paying Tribute with Service
In today's Weekly Address, President Obama talks about one of the legacies of September 11, 2001. "Instead of turning inward with grief," he said, "we've honored the memory of those we lost by giving back to our communities, serving those in need, and reaffirming the values at the heart of who we are as a people."
That's why we mark each September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance -- an act that Congress made official in 2009 and which President Obama signed into law.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is charged with overseeing that effort, and this year, they hope to make it one of the largest days of charitable service in U.S. history. Last year, for the 10th anniversary -- the First Family, President Obama, the First Lady, Malia, and Sasha -- all pitched in at the DC Central kitchen, preparing meals for those in need.
This year, you can sign up for a service opportunity near you at Serve.gov. As President Obama says, "We are one American family. And we look out for each other – not just on the difficult days, but every day."
From the Department of Homeland Security
DHS and Simon Property Group Team Up to Keep Shoppers Safe
At DHS, we believe that homeland security begins with hometown security. Security is a shared responsibility, and each citizen has a role to play in identifying and reporting suspicious activities.
We're all safer when everyone is alert and engaged, and that's what the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign is all about. If you see something that doesn't look right, report it to local authorities.
On Thursday, September 6, I joined Simon Property Group Executive Vice President of Property Management Tim Earnest to announce a new partnership with the Simon Property Group as a part of the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign.
This new partnership will take the campaign to shopping malls and retail centers across the United States. By providing signs in hallways and service areas that are used by Simon and tenant employees, DHS will encourage employees to say something when they see something suspicious. This could be an unattended package or suspicious behavior, like a person entering a restricted area that shouldn't be there or leaving an item under a bench or behind a trash can.