NEWS of the Day - September 20, 2012
on some LACP issues of interest

NEWS of the Day - September 20, 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 the L.A. Daily News

Mexico tunnel prison break: Only 3 of 132 recaptured

by Oscar Villalba

PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Mexico - Officials said Tuesday they have found three inmates thought to have escaped through a tunnel at a northern Mexico border prison, lowering the number of escaped prisoners to 129.

Three female inmates were found hiding in a prison visiting area, Jorge Luis Moran, the public safety secretary of the northern border state of Coahuila, told the television network Televisa.

Federal police units and Mexican troops, including 70 members of an elite military special forces unit, were searching for inmates who fled the prison in Piedras Negras, a city across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. They escaped Monday through a tunnel 21 feet long and 4 feet in diameter and then cut their way through a chain link barrier.

Moran later said the jailbreak appeared to have been orchestrated by the hyper-violent Zetas drug cartel. "We assume that they organized it," he said.

He said some of the inmates might have been forced to take part in the jailbreak as a way to swell the ranks of the Zetas, who have been fighting a bloody turf battle in Coahuila with the Sinaloa cartel.

The director and two other employees of the state prison have been detained for an investigation.

President Felipe Calderon called the jailbreak "deplorable" in a statement posted on his Twitter account Tuesday. He appeared to re-ignite a long-running dispute between federal and state authorities, writing that "the vulnerability of state law enforcement institutions must be corrected."

Collusion between guards and drug gangs has played a role in past escapes, and federal authorities have been pushing to have all state and municipal police and law enforcement officials submit to background and anti-drug checks, as well as vetting for possible links to organized crime.

But state authorities have been dragging their feet. On Monday, federal Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire said that only 180,000 of the country's 430,000 city and state police officers had been vetted and checked and that about 65,000 of those tested had failed the tests.

A failure rate of about one-third of officers has been a constant in the testing program, which is supposed to conclude with all officers vetted by early 2013. That goal now appears unreachable, and the question remains of what will be done with the officers who failed. All are supposed to be fired, but Mexican labor laws and a shortage of recruits to replace them makes it an arduous process.

For example, federal police have vetted all of their officers, and many have gone through background checks more than once, but many of those who fail are still on the 36,000-member force.

Since the current administration took office in December 2006, about 2,045 federal officers have failed periodic vetting and anti-drug tests, and 302 of them have been fired. About 600 others are involved in the lengthy internal-affairs procedure that could lead to people losing their jobs.

Moran complained that Coahuila's attempts to comply with the vetting process may have been responsible for the low number of guards on duty at the Piedras Negras prison when the jailbreak occurred. Only 12 guards were on duty to watch 734 inmates, after some guards and officials were dismissed after failing background checks, he said.

"People on the administrative and guard staff who did not pass the background checks and who shouldn't be in the prisons have been dismissed, and that resulted in the fact that there weren't more people on duty," Moran said.

In February, nine guards at a prison near the northern city of Monterrey confessed to helping 30 Zetas drug gangsters escape. Not only did the Zetas flee, but during their jailbreak, other Zetas slaughtered 44 inmates who belonged to the rival Gulf cartel.

In December 2010, 153 inmates escaped from a prison in the northern city of Nuevo Laredo, across from Laredo, Texas. Authorities charged 41 guards with aiding that escape.

State authorities complain that their relatively low-security prisons are forced to hold dangerous inmates being held on federal charges like drug trafficking and organized crime.

They have called on federal officials to take federal inmates out of state prisons, and some of the most dangerous federal inmates had been transferred out of the Piedras Negras prison in recent months.

Coahuila Attorney General Homero Ramos said 86 of the escaped inmates were serving sentences or awaiting verdicts for federal crimes, such as drug trafficking, and the rest faced state charges.

The tunnel "was not made today, it had been there for months," Ramos told the Milenio television news channel. Authorities said they also found ropes and electric cables they believed were used in the breakout.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it was aware of the mass escape and put officers in the Eagle Pass area on alert, but it had not received any reports of escapees attempting to cross the border, an emailed statement said.



From Google News

New Hampshire

Bedford PD Offers Many Community Progams

From Neighborhood Watch to Are You OK, Bedford Police are looking for ways to get you involved and/or to help those who need extra help.

The Bedford Police Department would like to remind residents that it offers numerous community policing programs including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Senior Citizens Program : We offer the "Are You OK?" program that is a FREE telephone reassurance program for senior citizens who are disabled, medically infirm, or homebound. This service is a great peace of mind for family and friends. We also offer information to senior citizens to educate on crimes that target the older population, (ie. identify theft, fraud, and phone scams.)
  • Youth Programs : Building a relationship with our youth is a priority at the Bedford Police Department. Some of our youth programs are story time to the daycares and schools.
  • Neighborhood Watch : A crime prevention program that enlists the active participation of residents in town in cooperation with the Bedford Police to reduce crime, solve problems and improve the quality of life in the town of Bedford. We also offer tips and suggestions on how to protect you and your family.
  • Business and Retail: The Bedford Police meet with the business and retail establishments in town to educate and help reduce the different crimes that occur with in the business and retail groups in the town of Bedford.

If you would like more information regarding any of our community policing programs please contact the Bedford Police Department at 472-5113. You can also contact us by e-mail:


And remember, Help keep an eye on Bedford.."See something..Say Something."



Massachusetts Sen. Katherine Clark: Preventing violence requires community response

by Sen. Katherine Clark

Melrose, Mass. — This month we have once again witnessed the devastating impact of gun violence on our children — right here in our district. On the morning of Sept. 10, a shooting occurred in Malden in a restaurant parking lot. Both the alleged shooter and victim were only 17 years old.

No community is immune to violence. Even one shooting is one too many, and we have seen far too many incidents of gun violence, including a fatal shooting in Reading last year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that although rates of youth homicide have declined in recent years, homicide remains the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10-24 years in the United States, and violence is a major cause of nonfatal injuries among our youth.

When these senseless crimes happen in our communities and involve our young people, they are difficult to comprehend. But one thing is clear: we must continue to work to prevent future violence, and these crimes demand a community-wide response.

Law enforcement clearly has a leadership role, and our police departments are working together to prevent violence and keep us safe. The city of Malden has already acted to add police officers to its force and to step up regional coordination. Malden has been quick to solve many of these crimes and has active crime prevention and community policing programs.

In addition, the cities of Malden and Melrose are members of the Metro Mayor's Coalition (MMC), a voluntary forum comprised of 13 cities to exchange information and create solutions to common problems.

Among other initiatives, the MMC has established the Metro Mayors Shannon Grant Community Safety Initiative that works to find regional solutions to combat youth violence, gang violence and substance abuse. The program coordinates regional law enforcement efforts, including street outreach workers, job training programs and after-school programs.

As this initiative and others make clear, prevention is vital. Our school systems, houses of worship and many community-based organizations are leading the way by working with our students, supporting families in crisis and raising awareness about all aspects of violent behavior, including related issues like substance abuse.

You can learn more from organizations like the Melrose Alliance Against Violence (maav.org), the Wakefield Alliance Against Violence (waavonline.org/), the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse (edline.net/pages/ReadingPublicSchools/Community/RCASA), the Stoneham Boys and Girls Club (bgcstoneham.org), the Malden YMCA (ymcamalden.org) and the YWCA (ywcamalden.org), and there are many others.

Both prevention and effective law enforcement require financial support, and I believe the state has a responsibility to provide it. In the FY 2013 budget, I was proud to support $6.25 million in funding for the Shannon Grant program, a state grant program that provides resources to communities to implement a multi-disciplinary approach to youth violence prevention, as well as funding for the state's Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, a grant program that fills the gaps in services available for the highest risk populations.

I also supported a new state police class, additional police staffing grants, and an increase in funding for district attorneys.

Additionally, we increased funding for programs like YouthBuild, School to Career Connecting Activities, summer jobs for at-risk youth and after-school and out-of-school grants, that provide youth with more opportunities to learn, work and lead. By empowering our youth through supportive partnerships, we can help create more peaceful neighborhoods.

The bottom line is this: Youth violence affects us all, and it does not respect city borders. This challenge is ours, and, working with our community partners, we can prevent youth violence and create safer communities.

State Sen. Katherine Clark, D-Melrose, represents the Middlesex and Essex district.



Police officials to discuss results of Detroit's ‘Broken Windows' pilot crime-fighting program

DETROIT — Chief Ralph Godbee and other police officials will discuss the results of a "Broken Windows" pilot program aimed at reducing crime in a northwest Detroit neighborhood.

The community safety meeting begins Thursday evening at the North Rosedale Park Community House.

The long-range strategy developed with the New York-based Manhattan Institute for Policy Research includes efforts to maintain order, reduce fear, cut crime and improve the quality of life of residents.

"Broken Windows" is a decades-old method of community policing.

The Manhattan Institute's George Kelling has been working with Detroit police on the crime prevention approach. Kelling is one of the authors of a 1982 magazine article spouting the benefits of saving neighborhoods by putting more officers on foot patrols and focusing on issues that might appear insignificant.