NEWS of the Day - April 1, 2013
on some LACP issues of interest

NEWS of the Day - April 1, 2013
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 ...

New York

New York to sift Ground Zero debris for more remains of 9/11 victims

NEW YORK -- New York City will today begin the mammoth task of sifting through the debris of buildings at the World Trade Center site to find more remains of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack that will allow more number of them to be identified.

According to an NBC report, the city has collected about 60 dump truck loads of debris from construction areas around the World Trade Center site, known as 'Ground Zero', over the past two and a half years that will be sifted for fragments of 9/11 victims' remains, New York City officials said on Friday.

The debris will be combed for about 10 weeks starting today at a mobile sifting unit, the report said.

Of the 2,750 people killed in the September 11, 2001 attack, 1,634 have had their remains identified. Any human remains will be analysed by the medical examiner's office for possible matches to 9/11 victims, it said.

"We will continue DNA testing until all recovered remains that can be matched with a victim are identified," Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway wrote on Friday in a memo to Mayor Bloomberg.

The city expanded its search for remains of trade center victims in 2006, when several bones were found in a manhole.

More than 1,800 pieces of potential human remains have been found.

The office has made 34 new identifications since 2006, and hundreds of fragments of remains have been matched to people who were already identified, the report said.




Arlington Heights Using Website for Community Policing, Alerting Residents of Crimes

Citizen Observer opens line of communication between police and residents.

by Gloria Casas

Arlington Heights police put up a Hot Crime Map every week pin-pointing crime in the village, on Citizen Observer, and it quickly becomes the most popular post of the day on Arlington Heigths Patch.

Citizen Observer, a website that allows police to post and distribute crime alerts, is popular too with police, as they seen a two-fold increase in the number of subscribers.

The department made it a strategic planning goal to increase that figure over the last year, Police Chief Gerald Mourning said.

Police had 2,238 subscriptions in January 2013, up from 1,887 subscriptions in December 2011, Crime Prevention Officer Doug Hajek said.

Hajek and other officers worked to get the word out about Citizen Observer and get Arlington Heights residents to sign up for the website, which includes alerts about breaking crime.

“We had talked to people who were the coordinator of block parties, we did a lot of fliers at Frontier Days, the senior celebration at the Senior Center. We try to push Citizen Observer so more people can be aware of what is happening in Arlington Heights,” Hajek said.

Arlington Heights began contracting with Citizen Observer in 2008. Hajek has been coordinating the information on the site since then.

Hajek is a Crime Prevention Officer, so his main focus is providing details on crimes aimed at letting residents know what is happening so they can be safe, versus just posting arrests and mug shots. The site also serves as a way for police to generate crime tips. Hajek is starting to post other items like surveillance footage of suspects in an effort to help solve local crimes.

“It's letting people know what crimes are occurring, but specifically allows people on Citizen Observer to send anonymous tips back to us on each of these alerts,” he said.

Citizen Observer helps the police department funnel information directly to the community, he said.

“We get information that comes in all the time. It's more of a one-way street when it comes to us getting it (the information) back into the community,” he said. Police would provide information to victims and the media, but the information on Citizen Observer is specific to neighborhoods, he said.

Hajek sends alerts to the site, and anyone who subscribes receives the alerts. Recent information posted on the site was about a residential burglary on Emersen Street and car burglaries at Chuck E Cheese's.

The most recent Hot Crime Map can be viewed here.

The Hot Crime map “has been one of the most popular parts of Citizen Observer,” he said. “It's another tool, another bit of information to send to the community.”



New Hampshire

Bedford steps up community policing with focus on schools


BEDFORD - Students and teachers at Bedford schools can expect to soon see more police officers walking the halls.

A community outreach program aimed at increasing the visibility of daytime patrol officers in the schools is set to begin on April 8, said SAU 25 Superintendent Tim Mayes. The program was recommended by Police Chief John Bryfonski, whose desire is to step up community policing by establishing relationships with different groups in town.

"About a month ago I was approached by the chief about a program to improve the visibility of the police department in all the schools," Mayes said. "To have the kids and the faculty see the officers in the school helps everybody feel a little safer given the things that have transpired." Mayes was referring to the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman on Dec. 14 killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Mayes made the announcement about the program at this week's school board meeting.

"I think it is a marvelous, fantastic idea," said school board member Cindy Chagnon.

The plan is to have one of the police department's five daytime patrol officers visit each of the town's six schools once a month, said Mayes. The school department will schedule appointments with the officers to come in and get tours of each school building.

"That would be a good thing, I think, for them to be familiar with the inside of each building," Mayes said.

After the tours, officers will visit the schools and work to establish relationships with students and faculty. Some officers, Mayes said, could read to younger students.

In February, Bryfonski suggested officers might also join older students at after-school sports events. "It allows them to interact on a different level," Bryfonski said of the officers. "I want folks to feel like they can contact any of us at any time. It's what we're here for."

The outreach to the school population is just one facet of a multi-pronged community policing program that Bryfonski has launched. Last month, he announced the Meet the Chief program, which is held the second Tuesday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bedford Safety Complex.

In addition, a program targeted at senior citizens called Are You OK? was initiated last year. A daily computer-generated wellness call is placed to seniors who sign up for the program. If a particular senior citizen fails to pick up the phone or otherwise acknowledge that they are OK, a patrol officer is dispatched to their home to check on their condition. The program is privately funded.