Pitman Police print officers' trading cards to reach out to local youth
by Joe Green
PITMAN — By the time buds start blooming, borough kids will start unwrapping packs of Topps or Upper Deck, checking for maybe a Ryan Howard or a Derek Jeter.
But whether it's the Phils or the Yanks they idolize, it's unlikely players on those cards will save a neighbor's life or bust the guy who's been breaking into homes. Or even be a trusted friend.
That's partly why the borough police department on Monday started its 2013 Trading Card Program. It's created 20 such glossy cards - one for each officer in the department - picturing the officer, with name and rank, on the front.
On the back of each card is a brief bio of the officer. Kids are invited to ask them for their trading cards when they see them in person, and to try to collect all 20.
The program is part of the department's community policing efforts, meant to strengthen bonds between officers and residents, said Chief Robert Zimmerman.
“It's hoped that the trading cards will demonstrate that every member of our department is a uniquely talented professional, and not a faceless uniform,” Zimmerman explained.
Examples include Officer Christine P. Osinski, whose duties include that of local DARE officer and Community Policing Specialist. Her card shows her in front of an elementary school class.
Patrolman Erik C. Beschen's card highlights his place on the department's bike patrol.
Zimmerman said the cards come at no cost to taxpayers. Instead, each officer was responsible for finding a business sponsor for his or her card.
For each, that sponsor's name, address and telephone number is printed on the back of the card.
Zimmerman and his force hope in part that the card collecting endeavor will cast lawmen more as friends than as impersonal disciplinarians.
“The purpose of the trading card program is to stimulate dialogue with the police in a positive environment, especially for our younger generation of residents, friends and supporters,” the Chief said.
“Collecting and trading the cards, just like baseball cards, is expected to be fun and informative for everyone in the family.”
Birmingham police to offer young parent mentoring program
by Jeremy Gray
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The Birmingham Police Department will work with The Dannon Project and Community Policing and Revitalization to offer a young parent mentoring program.
The program is seeking mentors to help young parents find career pathways and economic self-sufficiency.
Potential mentors are asked to register at Lawson State Community College Advanced Technology and Training Building at 3060 Wilson Road on Saturday.
Organizers will be on hand from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. Breakfast will be served.
For more information, contact Andrea' Watson at (205) 297-8016 or (205) 297-8086. You can also email at email@example.com .
New York leads the way
Cuomo's sweeping gun safety legislation sets a national standard
Exactly a month after the unspeakable carnage in Newtown, the sweeping gun safety bill proposed by Gov. Cuomo should put the National Rifle Association on notice: The people will no longer fear the gun lobby. Rather, in the wake of the schoolhouse massacre of 20 children and six adults, they will pressure politicians to seriously restrict weapons of war that have no business being in civilian hands.
It gives us great pleasure to praise leaders when they lead. Cuomo, who issued a clarion call for New York to be a model for the nation, delivered. So did Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein. And the 43-18 vote for Senate passage included GOP Conference Leader Dean Skelos and 11 fellow Republicans. They broke with the rigid NRA line and got on board. Great kudos to all.
Together, they have advanced measures that, if properly enforced — and they must be — would make New York the pace-setter among states.
Assault weapons like the Bushmaster AR-15 used to mow down first-graders: banned for sale. And all weapons of this type already in circulation would smartly be tracked in a statewide registry.
Large-capacity magazines, like those holding 30 bullets, used in so many massacres from Tucson to Aurora to Newtown: banned. No longer would would-be murderers be legally permitted to buy obscene amounts of ammunition, enabling them to squeeze the trigger again, and again, and again, in quick succession. Maximum number of rounds to be allowed in a magazine: seven.
Background checks: applied to every gun and to every single sale, even those between two private parties or at gun shows.
Mental health safeguards: strengthened. Kendra's Law, passed in 1999, has given authorities power to compel medication upon deranged people who present a danger to themselves and others. The law has worked as far as it goes, but it doesn't go nearly far enough.
New York would finally plug its glaring holes — which could prevent not only the next maniac from pushing a victim onto subway tracks, but stop the next Adam Lanza from buying a legal gun.
The package, taken together, is robust. But in a 50-state nation, absent effective federal action, gun laws are only as strong as their weakest link. On Tuesday, Vice President Biden will present recommendations to President Obama.
May the measures be undiluted. May the President prove in his follow-through that he has the courage of his convictions. May the message sent from New York's Capitol echo soon under the big white dome in Washington.
May America finally pry control of its gun laws from the NRA's cold, braindead hands.