NEWS of the Week - June, 2014 - week 4
on some LACP issues of interest


NEWS of the Week

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.


June, 2014 - Week 4


North Carolina

Greesboro police ready to be proactive

by Joe Killian/News

GREENSBORO — Faster police response times. More officers available in emergencies. Better collaboration with citizens and city departments to tackle neighborhood problems before they become crimes.

Those are the goals of a new “neighborhood-oriented policing” plan the Greensboro Police Department will roll out in the next few months. The changes include new maps for police coverage of the city and a shift in how many officers are deployed, where they are deployed and when.

The revamp also seeks to give all officers more time to become familiar with the communities they protect.

“That community involvement piece is very important,” said resident Valeria Pritchett, who attended a community forum about the plan that was held in the Warnersville neighborhood last week. “Being able to greet them by name, be on a one-on-one basis with them, really knowing your police — it creates respect on both sides, removes the stigma of police being the bad guy and people running the other way when they see them. And it sounds to me like that's what their plan concentrates on.”

Police Chief Ken Miller said the changes are overdue and necessary.

“We have to operate in the most efficient manner possible,” Miller said. “Revenues in the city aren't really growing at the rate that they're being consumed. So as we work to police the community, we have to work with what we have.”

That means creating a plan to make the best use of the department's 673 officers — about 30 of whom are still in training.

“Time is people. That's the bottom line,” Miller said. “The amount of time you spend responding to the workload of the department is how many people you need.”

Figuring out how many people are needed — and how best to use them — has been a long process. It began when Miller became chief four years ago, and his staff said the department needed 250 more officers.

“I said, ‘That's not right,'” Miller recalled. “I said, ‘We do not need 250 more people to effectively run this organization and to effectively reduce crime. Something's wrong with our data.'”

With help from an outside consultant, the department found a number of problems that were skewing the data. Among them: Officers weren't properly checking in and out when they took and completed calls for service. A problem that took maybe 30 minutes to resolve would be logged as taking three hours, simply because officers didn't tell dispatchers they had completed the call.

While addressing those problems to get more accurate data, Miller made a big change: He split the force into two types of policing — proactive and reactive.

Community resource officers were put on proactive duty — working in specific neighborhoods, getting to know residents and their problems, keeping an eye on crime trends.

Patrol officers worked reactively — responding to calls.

It was a good idea, Miller said, but it hasn't been enough.

“What we've found is that right now our officers are only in their assigned zones 35 percent of the time,” Miller said. “The rest of the time they're having to respond to calls outside of their zones.

In community policing, you want to create geographic ownership. But you can't create geographic ownership when you're in your zone for that amount of time. It just doesn't work.”

Now Miller is restructuring the police force based on the improved data about crimes, call volume and staffing levels that the department has collected for several years. The goal is to get all officers spending 40 percent of their time on proactive police work — responding to loitering by suspicious-appearing people, for instance. That can help prevent crimes before they happen and prevent crimes that happen from becoming trends, he said.

Officer Douglas Campbell has spent the past five years as a community resource officer. The areas he covers include the Charles B. Aycock and Southside neighborhoods, Ray Warren Homes and student housing near N.C. A&T. He soon may become a more traditional patrol officer as roles change within the department — but he said that may be for the best.

“I like that they're telling every officer that they need to be reaching out, they need to be proactive, and they need to have good neighborhood relationships,” Campbell said. “I talk to a number of apartment managers and business owners and to an extent homeowners who say they would like to know the officers, immediately recognize them, come by and build a relationship. That's how it should be. We should all be community resource officers, in a way.”

Deputy Chief Anita Holder said a good first step toward that is letting data — not tradition — dictate police staffing.

“The problem is that police departments in general have always staffed the same number of people on every shift, regardless of the time of day, day of week or the workload,” Holder said.

Police officers now work 12-hour shifts, four days on and four days off. Shifts in all four patrol divisions — Central, Eastern, Western and Southern — generally have a sergeant, a corporal and eight or nine officers.

“But call demand isn't the same every day of the week and it isn't the same every day of the week, every hour of the day,” Holder said. “The data shows us that demand is highest Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening until about 2 a.m. The lowest call demands are on Sunday morning. So why should we have the same number of positions no matter where those peaks occur? We shouldn't.”

The revamp will mean a different number of shifts and different levels of staffing — all dictated by demand. Holder said officers may even be able to volunteer for certain hours, dictating their own hours within the needs of the department. She said that having the appropriate number of officers for the workload also will make sure that one unit will always be available in every district to respond to an emergency call. That will lead to decreased response times, more proactive police work and more meaningful interaction with citizens, Holder said.

“If we do this right, we'll have the right number of people, and our people will stay busy,” she said. “But they won't just stay busy answering calls. They'll stay busy on the right things and — if we can bring the right people from the community to the table with us — we'll start to solve some long-term problems.”



North Carolina


Solutions will take community, individual steps

No matter how much effort has been dedicated to stopping teens from killing one another, no simple solution has emerged. As explored in today's installment of the Observer's "Seeking Safety" series, experts can't even agree on the core problem.

Some blame guns. But most people who own guns for self-defense and recreation do not commit crimes, and neither do their children.

Some blame racism, with African-American young men the most likely group to be involved as both shooters and victims. But while a history of racism has contributed to the subculture of disadvantages and mistrust in which youth violence persists, it's not clear how knowing about this toxic legacy points toward solutions. It also doesn't make those who take another's life any less responsible.

Some blame drugs. But that's just another problem that defies easy answers.

While we look for answers that bring measurable results, we can do some small things both as a community and as individuals.

Police Chief Harold Medlock has emphasized community policing, which made significant gains in Charlotte when he served there. As Fayetteville police add more officers in coming months, this effort will become more practical. A key to community policing is for officers to become familiar and trusted faces in troubled neighborhoods where they work with residents to identify troublemakers.

But some of the places most desperate for change, such as the former Cambridge Arms, are home to people who are too afraid of the criminals around them to cooperate and don't trust police to protect them. City efforts to shut down the complex don't invite their trust. It's going to take dedication to community policing over a long period to change that. It will mean assigning officers with great empathy and patience who will become, not only friends to those who are afraid, but also role models for those who have none.

Something else Medlock said last week, following a fatal shooting, also deserves attention. The chief asked where the parents of these heavily armed teens were.

As we have children, each generation passes along crucial values to the next. Among those are respect for human life, how to live safely and securely, and how to avoid those who do not share those values.

Transmission of that message has been getting lost. You can't save every child, and you aren't responsible for doing so. But be sure you never stop sharing and showing those values to the children in your life.

It's not an answer. But it's part of one.



U.S. to phase out landmines that target people

by Michael Pearson

The United States will phase out its stockpiles of landmines designed specifically to target people, moving it closer to joining a global ban on a weapon that kills more than 15,000 people a year — most of them civilians.

U.S. officials made the declaration at an anti-mine conference in Maputo, Mozambique, according to a statement issued by National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

Activists have long pressured the United States to join the international treaty banning the production, stockpiling and use of anti-personnel landmines — the kind meant to kill or maim when someone steps on them.

As of last year, 161 nations were parties to the treaty, commonly known as the Ottawa Convention, but major powers including the United States, China and Russia are not, according to the Arms Control Association.

In a statement, Hayden said “our delegation in Maputo made clear that we are diligently pursuing solutions that would be compliant with and ultimately allow the United States to accede to the Ottawa Convention.”

She said other aspects of U.S. landmine policy remain under review.

According to the United Nations, more than 15,000 people are killed by landmines each year, and 80% are civilians. Thousands more are maimed.

More than 100 million mines are believed to be in stockpiles around the world, with millions already in the ground in 59 countries, according to the Arms Control Association.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton's administration made a goal of joining the treaty by 2006, but his successor, President George W. Bush, reversed the decision in 2004, according to Human Rights Watch.

The U.S. announced a comprehensive landmine policy review in 2009. Anti-landmine activists had been pressuring the Obama administration to announce the results of that review before the Maputo conference.

Despite not being part of the treaty, the United States is the largest donor worldwide to efforts to combat landmines and help victims, providing more than $2 billion in aid since 1993, according to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.




On the Texas border, patrol chief sees younger faces

by Molly Hennessy-Fiske

He is the Border Patrol division chief responsible for the latest immigration hot spot, and has seen it before. The faces change, he says, and so do the reasons migrants cross into the U.S.

“Historically, these are not high-water-mark numbers — it's just different populations we're apprehending,” Robert Duff explained as he left the U.S. Customs and Border Protection station for a patrol at dusk Thursday.

It wasn't the numbers that made this year's border surge a national crisis as much as the faces: very young, and many came alone.

An estimated 52,000 unaccompanied youths from Central America have been caught along the Southwest's border with Mexico this fiscal year, almost double last year's total. Of that, more than 37,000, nearly triple last year's total, made the crossing into the Rio Grande Valley, putting Duff once again at the epicenter of the immigration battle.

In one sense, Duff, whose piercing blue eyes, shaved head and wrestler's build give him a commanding presence, has moved with the migrants. When he joined the Border Patrol in 1992, he worked the California-Mexico border, where he remembers there being far more people taken into custody, most of them Mexican men. Then tactics changed and the migrants moved east along the Arizona border to try new routes.

Duff moved with the masses, adapting as he went.

Now they have come to McAllen, where Duff has been for two years. Today, it is the busiest station in the country.

About half of those they catch on these patrols are women and children who often turn themselves in, aware that they will be issued notices to appear before immigration officials and allowed to go, Duff said. Migrant children who arrived unaccompanied are held up to 72 hours while their immigration cases are pending.

“But there's still the other half who don't want to get caught,” he said as his group of Border Patrol trucks pulled past the Hidalgo border crossing shortly after 6 p.m.

The agents stake out a network of dusty caliche roads along the Rio Grande, hugging the border. The river isn't easy to see, the mesquite brush is high and thick. On the other side, wild hogs dart out of corn and cane fields just as thick and capable of concealing groups of migrants.

Unlike Arizona and California, the land never flattens out, Duff said. High ground with a clear view is scarce. Duff pointed to a Border Patrol portable sky-watch tower — there are several, paired with aerostat blimps that survey the area. But when it comes to towers, he said, “there's limited places where you can put them where they can be of use. It's a tough place to patrol.”

Just then, the truck's radio buzzed with news: Agents working with a local game warden had located a group coming across the south side of the river from Mexico with long guns.

Asked if smugglers use young migrants as decoys, Duff said they often do. Although the Central American groups coming through now are more willing to turn themselves in, he said, agents have been dealing with this kind of tactic for years.

“We don't fall for the ruse that they served a group up and run the drugs through over here,” he said, smiling.

Drug activity has decreased recently, according to Duff, but the Rio Grande Valley sector is still second in the nation for drug seizures after Tucson. And despite all the new technology, he said, agents still rely on old-fashioned techniques to locate and flush out migrants: searching for footprints along the dusty roads and other traces that he and other trackers call “cutting for sign.”

The radio buzzed again: A group of nine Central American migrants, including several women and children, had turned themselves in. Agents had lined them up where they found them, below the Anzalduas International Bridge along a dirt road dotted with sunflowers that has become a busy spot for apprehensions.

Lorena Flores, 38, a secretary from San Salvador, clutched her 15-year-old son to her as she explained why she fled.

“They killed two of his friends,” she said, and her son nodded.

“Who killed them?” one of the agents asked.

MS-13, they said, referring to the transnational gang that tried to recruit her boy.

Flores had heard she might be granted a permiso, permission to stay legally, and paid $4,000 for the two of them to cross and head to connect with her aunt in Houston, leaving her husband behind. She sobbed as a 5-year-old boy from Honduras in Mickey Mouse sneakers watched.

Duff noted that the members of the group were dressed casually — Flores wore a buttoned-down shirt.

“If it was in Tucson, everyone's got a mochila [knapsack] with them, sardines, geared for a long trek. Here, they're ready to turn themselves in,” he said.

More traffic came over the radio: A newly installed camera had alerted agents to another group in a nearby cornfield.

“Groups are used to exploiting these areas,” Duff said, gesturing to the fields.

By the time Duff arrived, agents were extracting the group of about a dozen migrants from the cornstalks. Some had to be dragged out, and one, the presumed leader, handcuffed. All were coated in mud. “They were low-crawling it through the fields,” Duff said.

There was one woman and no children. Some were from El Salvador and Honduras, but the woman and several others were from Mexico, according to their identification.

“Everyone wants to portray it as they're all giving up,” Duff said, “and they're not. We're still having assaults and people getting arrested out here — it's not all women and children.”

Eliazar Delcid, 27, said he fled to the border from Honduras and spent six days crossing without food to get a better job. “I sacrificed everything for my family, to get the money,” he said. Back home, he said, he was a corn farmer. His trek ended where it began, in a cornfield, where Duff watched as Delcid and the others were loaded in a Border Patrol van to be taken to the station.

“As soon as they get to our station, they will get a health screening and we'll make sure they get some food,” Duff said.

As he returned to the station, Duff said he bristled at reports that immigrants are mistreated by the Border Patrol. His agents make sure those they catch are medically screened, cared for if they are sick, fed and housed safely. Agents routinely buy water to hand out to those they stop, he said. “There's the criminal element,” he said, but “these are mostly people fleeing for a better life.”




Golden Gate Bridge gets $76 million funding for anti-suicide nets

by Lori Sandoval

The Golden Gate Bridge, a popular landmark that has become notorious for suicide incidences for many decades now, may soon no longer be a place where people can end their despair as officials finally approved to put up anti-suicide steel nets to be completed by 2018.

The Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District authorities voted unanimously and approved the efforts to mitigate the growing number of people jumping to their deaths at the Golden Gate.

The approved project for the anti-suicide nets called Golden Gate Bridge Physical Suicide Deterrent System Project is worth $76 million, of which $50 million to be covered by the federal government and the remaining by state and local funding.

“Where nets have been erected as suicide barriers they've proven to be 100% effective thus far," said CEO and general manager Denis Mulligan of the Transportation District. "Suicidal people have stopped jumping at those locations."

The nets will be made of steel cable 20-feet beneath the west and east edges of the Golden Gate. The anti-suicide nets intend to either discourage people from jumping or to catch them should they jump.

Mulligan said barriers were proven effective at the Duke Ellington Bridge in Washington and Clifton Suspension Bridge in England, dramatically lowering the suicide rates.

Latest record from the Bridge Rail Foundation shows there have been around 1,600 deaths and with suicides recorded as frequently occurring at 10 attempts per month. Such statistics have placed the bridge as the second most-used suicide location in the world, and the most-used in the U.S. The Foundation is a non-government organization that aims to stop suicides from the famous bridge.

Many supporters—mostly families and friends of suicide victims—expressed their joy over the recent approval of the project, regardless of the debate and criticisms the efforts have received in the past. Some opponents of the barriers argued that the barriers will reduce the beauty of the Golden Gate. Others, meanwhile, said it is not the fault of the bridge if people decide to take their life there, and that people will always find other ways to do so even if the Bridge will be placed with barriers.

A medical director at the department of psychiatry at St. Francis Hospital dispelled the belief that people would go to other sites when their attempts seem to be prevented by such barriers.

"We have scientific evidence of that," Dr. Mel Blaustein said.

Meanwhile, a study[pdf] by University of California researcher Richard Seiden reveals that people who are talked out of committing suicide very rarely continue to have the urge to do so. In fact, over 90 percent of them remained alive decades thereafter. The study titled Where Are They Now? A Follow-up Study of Suicide Attempters from the Golden Gate Bridge was published in 1978.




Demand is high for more police on patrol in Fresno

by Sontaya Rose

The Fresno Police Department is answering the call for more officer presence on the streets, but not in the usual way.

The department is placing officers in areas where crime is a concern, with the goal of improving ties with the community.

The police chief is changing his mindset on how the Tower District and El Dorado Park are policed. He wants stronger ties, to help solve crime and provide better service.

Two officers in the Tower District will be stepping out of cars soon and onto bikes. It's a redeployment of resources for the Fresno Police Department and a return to community policing.

Chief Jerry Dyer explained, "Whenever officers engaged in the community and in a neighborhood, there's more of a likelihood they are going to be reporting crimes to us, giving us information about who may be responsible for those crimes."

Keeping crime down has been the primary focus of the Fresno Police Department over the past five years. But with budget cuts and fewer officers, Chief Dyer says just managing crime trends and resources, has been a major challenge. The result has meant less personal customer service.

Chief Dyer said, "We've gotten so focused on crime and just handling emergency calls that we, sometimes haven't been as good at problem solving as we could or should be."

The El Dorado Park neighborhood, formerly known as Sin City will also be getting a new mini substation near Bulldog Stadium.

Hollis Johnson lives near Fresno State and believes the police presence will also help build a healthier community.

Johnson said, "I think it's great, for the kids, you know, they could get the chance to know some of the kids and cut down on gang activity and stuff like that."

Officers will be shaking more hands and meeting neighbors where they patrol.

"What citizens really want when they pick up the phone and call 9-1-1, they want a police officer to come quickly, and they also want police officers to care about problems they have in their neighborhood," said Chief Dyer.

The chief is also hoping to open a storefront office in the Tower District. The office would be a place for those on patrol to write reports, make calls and take brief breaks.



Collaborative Policing: Countering America's Culture of Violence

by Vincent J. Bove

America must not become desensitized to the scourge of violence traumatizing communities. Each human life is sacred and deserving of dignity, liberty, and security. America must protect and serve each and every person.

Understanding and implementing collaborative policing is critical to countering America's culture of violence and securing the nation.

Coast-to-Coast Violence

Below is a partial list of the violence gripping the nation over the last few years. It paints a disturbing picture of the lack of sanctuary anywhere.

June 11, 2014—A Roman Catholic priest is shot to death and another critically wounded in an attack at a Phoenix church. The killer was apprehended and charged with first-degree murder, burglary, and armed robbery, among other charges.

June 8, 2014—Two on-duty Las Vegas police officers are killed in cold blood while sitting in a pizza shop on their lunch break. Another man was also shot to death while trying to stop the carnage. According to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, 63 officers have died on the job in 2014—a rise of 40 percent from last year. In Chicago, published reports on the same day (June 8) stated over 30 people were shot over the weekend, four of them fatally.

April 2, 2014—A shooting at Fort Hood leaves four people dead—including the gunman—and 16 others injured.

Feb. 5, 2013—Shirley Chambers, a mother living in Chicago, loses her fourth child to gun violence. Her first was killed in the 1990s and two others were shot to death just months apart in 2000. In a March 9, 2009, publication, 508 Chicago school children were shot from September 2007 to the end of December 2008.

Dec. 14, 2012—A 20-year-old kills 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and 6 adult teachers and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Oct. 12, 2011—Eight people are shot to death at a beauty salon in Seal Beach, a small Southern California town. It is the deadliest mass shooting in Orange County history.

April 4, 2009—While a group of immigrants are taking a citizenship class, in Binghamton, N.Y., a gunman opens fire and kills 13 of them before committing suicide. The police chief stated that these were just people trying to better themselves and become citizens.

Collaborative Policing

In order to respond to America's culture of violence, properly understanding and implementing collaborative policing—an evolution of community policing widely used especially in the 1990s—is more critical then ever.

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) defines community policing as follows:

“Community policing focuses on crime and social disorder through the delivery of police services that includes aspects of traditional law enforcement, as well as prevention, problem-solving, community engagement, and partnerships. … Community policing requires police and citizens to join together as partners in the course of both identifying and effectively addressing these issues.”

Collaborative policing is a much deeper form of community policing, as recently stated by NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton during a June 2014 interview with COPS. Bratton stated that collaborative policing is a natural outgrowth of community policing with more of a focus on inclusions, transparency, and bridge building.

Transforming Communities

There are many outstanding and desperately needed community cohesiveness-building programs essential to collaborative policing. They must cultivate leadership, trust, and vigilance within every facet of our communities and include:

•  Faith-based partnership building

•  Cross-cultural partnership enhancement

•  Student educational initiatives at schools and campuses

•  Ongoing leadership/ethics certification programs for police personnel

•  Citizen/business/interdepartmental/interagency initiatives

•  Law enforcement/private security conferences and summits

•  Citizen police advisers and subject matter experts

•  Neighborhood revitalization initiatives

•  Precinct/department certification initiatives

•  School, workplace, domestic violence prevention programs

•  Gang/terrorism prevention initiatives

America must be reawakened and we must be transformed from our culture of violence. The bonding between the police and the people through the collaborative policing philosophy is a critical first step in the right direction.




Police seek van connected to homicide

by Zack McDonald

PANAMA CITY — Police identified a vehicle Thursday that may have been used in the shooting death of a local teenager.

Samuel McGriff, 17, was shot in the gut June 16 at about 4:30 a.m. while standing outside a common area of the Macedonia Garden Apartments at 1722 W. 17th St. Panama City Police found McGriff in the kitchen of an apartment unit later and he was taken to a local hospital in stable condition. McGriff died the next day.

Detectives are asking for help from the public with information on a vehicle that was seen in the apartment complex at the time of the shooting. The vehicle is believed to be a 2004 to 2007 Chrysler or Dodge minivan.

According to a news release from PCPD, the van does not have a luggage or roof rack common to this model of van. It also does not have tint on the front two windows; however, all other windows are blacked out with a dark tint.

Police believe the vehicle was occupied by at least two males wearing white, tank top-style T-shirts. Immediately after the shooting, the van exited the apartment complex at a high rate of speed and was last seen heading east on 17th Street from the apartment complex.

McGriff was the fifth victim of gun violence in less than a month in Panama City. Police have made arrests on two of the five deaths. A shooting at a Millville gas station in May led to the deaths of Marqueze McGhee, 25, and Xavier M. Buckler, 23.

Another victim, 26-year-old Dalreco Franklin, was treated and released from a local hospital for a gunshot wound to the leg. Two days later, Frederic Jones, 22, of 6004 Ivy Road, Panama City, and Antonio West Jr., 24, 6313 Pridgen St., Callaway, have been arrested in connection to the shooting.

Jones was charged with aggravated battery with a firearm, which police said occurred when Franklin was shot in the leg, but no one has been charged with the slayings of McGhee or Buckler.

Police are asking anyone with information about the van or its occupants to contact PCPD. Anyone with information in reference to this case is encouraged to contact Detective Jeff Rogers or Detective Richard Schubert at the Panama City Police Department, 850-872-3100, or anonymous tips can be reported to CrimeStoppers at 850-785-TIPS (8477).




Indianapolis public safety officers would live rent-free in high-crime areas under new proposal

by Steve Jefferson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Democratic City-County councilors are proposing a new program aimed at getting police into rehabbed houses in high crime areas in Indianapolis.

The idea of "Safe Neighborhoods Now!" is to provide rent-free homes for the officers - including Indianapolis Metro Police and sheriff's deputies - in blighted neighborhoods. The proposal will be introduced at the July 14, 2014 meeting of the Indianapolis City/County Council.

Empty lots and vacant homes have long plagued some of the city's struggling neighborhoods. They're seen as magnets for vandalism and other crime.

Yolanda Gilliam listened Wednesday as city leaders announced plans to get a permanent police presence in high crime neighborhoods like hers. It involves rehabbing vacant homes where people like Yolanda feel held hostage by violence.

"I feel like I am a prisoner in my own house, because it does not make sense for people to jump out on you and want to put a gun to your head, stab you, you know, you can't trust being on these streets," said resident Yolanda Gilliam.

Gilliam's street has vacant house after vacant house. City leaders hope to fix one up and then recruit an IMPD officer to call it home, rent-free. They believe with a member of law enforcement on the block, it will change the landscape.

Democrats point to Indianapolis' murder count, which currently sits at 75 - the highest rate at this point in the year going back to 2008.

Under the plan, public safety officers would be allowed to live rent-free for two years in rehabbed or new homes on vacant lots in high crime areas. At the end of that period, the officer will have the chance to buy the house. The goal is to create a public safety presence as well as place the property back on the tax rolls, Democrats say.

"As you can see, there is a house here, there's a house there, here, I mean, this area," said City-County Council President Maggie Lewis.

If approved, a pilot program involving the Mapleton-Fall Creek Community Development Corporation (MFCCDC) will build five houses in targeted areas, using $1,000,000 in funds repurposed from Rebuild Indy.

"The Rebuild Indy funds can be used for infrastructure and abandoned homes, so I feel like this falls right in line with the purpose of those dollars," Lewis said.

Philip Norton took pictures with his cell phone during the announcement. He, too, welcomes a permanent police presence.

"It just deters crime. If you know a police officer lives there, you are apt not to do anything wrong, so anything in this area will help," Norton said. "Yes, that's a good idea."

An idea that could help fight crime.

"Maybe it will cut it down some, that's what I hope," Gilliam said.

Lewis hopes to have talks with Mayor Greg Ballard about the police rehabilitation program as they start budget talks for the city. In the meantime, the Ballard administration plans to announce another crime-fighting initiative this week.




Mayor: Seattle facing a ‘crisis of confidence in public safety'

by Hana Kim

SEATTLE — With public concern over violent crime on the rise, Mayor Ed Murray called a City Council meeting Wednesday to declare that Seattle “faces a crisis of confidence in public safety” and he proposed specific ways to try to fix the problem.

Much of the gun violence has occurred in the city's Central District and in south Seattle.

“Roughly 5% of our city blocks were responsible for roughly half of all crime,” Murray said.

To address the hotspots, Murray said, the city will begin a series of Find-It-Fix-It Community walks as part of a Summer of Safety Initiative. Those walks will include police, residents and city officials.

Starting next Wednesday, July 2, they will look for problem areas and work to make them safer.

“Graffiti removal, street lighting, litter and garbage clean-ups, and trimming overgrown bushes trees and weeds,” Murray said.

Next, the city will focus on finding jobs for teens.

“It is often said nothing stops a bullet like a job,” said Murray.

Parks, libraries and community centers will have extended hours so teens can stay out of trouble.

Murray said racial inequality is fueling the violence, calling it a moral failure that everyone needs to confront.

“Fifty-four percent of African American children live in poverty,” he said, “compared to 6 percent of white children.”

The problems of homelessness and gun control are also on the mayor's to-do list.

“We can prevent gun deaths by recognizing that it is an epidemic; background checks will not be enough,” Murray said.

It's a long-term approach that will cost taxpayers more money, but the mayor would not estimate the dollar amount.

He added that the city needs to take action now.

“We need to continue to reform our police. We also have to build a comprehensive strategy,” Murray said.



New Jersey

Jersey City public safety director counting on new tactics, strategy to curb crime

by Ken Thorbourne

An explosion of violence welcomed Public Safety Director James Shea to Jersey City last summer.

The day before his boss, Mayor Steve Fulop, was sworn into office in July, a 20-year-old was fatally shot on Bergen and Clinton avenues.

July would prove the deadliest month of the year in Jersey City — seven people killed in Greenville and several others wounded by gunshots. Some kind of beef had unleashed a barrage of gunfire on the city's streets and the new mayor and his hand-picked public safety director had to act.

The former New York police honcho and Fulop, decided on an aggressive strategy: a series of multi-agency raids in high-crime neighborhoods led by Jersey City police.

More than 200 people were arrested in the sweeps on charges ranging from drug possession to aggravated assault. Several weapons were seized, including a replica Uzi and a crossbow. The shootings abated, and some semblance of order was restored.

"That's a little heavy-handed policing, but we felt this violence had to stop," Shea said in an interview earlier this year. "We had to stop it and move on, and the community welcomed it for the most part."

This part of town is going to see more of Shea, who oversees both the city's fire and police departments. Once renovations are completed this summer, his office is moving from Summit Avenue in the Heights to the Hub Plaza on Martin Luther King Drive.

"It's important to be where the need is," said Shea, a 23-year veteran with the NYPD before he was tapped for the Jersey City job. "I'll see things firsthand and people will be able to approach me on the street or at my office and tell me about the issues they want addressed. It's a commitment to an area that probably didn't receive that kind of commitment in the past."

There's no question it's "where the need is." Of the city's 18 murders last year, 14 were committed in the South and West precincts, which cover King Drive. Sixty-four percent of all the violent crime in the city last year occurred in these precincts, according to data on the city's police website.

Shea doesn't mince words in describing the atmosphere he sees on the Drive, the once-storied Jackson Avenue that was a thriving commercial corridor before it fell into disrepair in the '70s.

"My general impression of Martin Luther King (Drive) ... is that there is sense of disorder that the residents are dealing with," Shea said.

"It's not one thing. It's not just narcotics transactions, which if we just applied more pressure to, our narcotics unit will solve," he said. "It's a general sense of disorder, several things coming together to lead the residents to believe the streets are not being policed the same way they are in other places."

His goal is to restore order.

"We want to get visible police officers out in the streets so when people look out their windows, they don't see what seems to be a street captured by disorderly youth, they see police officers," he said. "That's what we are going to get going up on Martin Luther King."

The strategy is beginning to take hold. Residents and local officials report seeing more cops. State Sen. Sandra B. Cunningham noted a "bigger police presence" and seeing patrol officers on motorcycles.

Pat Sebron, the owner of Hosiery and Things on the Drive near Atlantic Street and a local resident, says the larger police presence is a key to turning around the fortunes of the Drive.

"Public safety is extremely important. That's the first thing people think about when they are going to go out and spend their dollars," said Sebron, a noted fan of Police Chief Robert Cowan. "I think his method of policing is very positive for us. We cannot arrest our way out of this, but police presence is a paramount focus."

But the Rev. Reginald McCrae of Mount Pisgah AME Church on Forrest Street off the Drive worries officers might be getting too aggressive, noting two young black men told him they were stopped by police and asked for identification for no apparent reason.

"That borders on harassment," McCrae said. "If you know there are drugs in the area, then I can understand some of that, but you walk a thin line between abuse of power and enforcing the law. We definitely need police protection. But when we ask for police protection that means we trust you enough not to abuse that power.

"And there's a whole lot of mistrust between the police and the black community."

Shea said he's sensitive to the issue of mistrust and that officers cannot stop and question someone for no reason. He believes more aggressive policing goes hand in hand with cops knowing their beats.

"Police officers need to know that neighborhood," he said. "And that's why we are committed under Mayor Fulop to assigning the same officers to the same area to do visible patrol because only an officer that knows the neighborhood can figure out that distinction between some kids who just finished a game or are coming home from school and dropped by the store, or are loitering at the corner for let's say more nefarious purposes.

"Without the knowledge of the neighborhood, it's very difficult to make those distinctions," he added.

Shea says an analysis of 911 calls makes it clear that more cops are needed in the south and west precincts, particularly on the 4 p.m. to midnight shift, and he doesn't apologize if that means another precinct might have fewer cops.

" Really, if you ask me, sending the same amount of officers to every district isn't leadership, that's the absence of leadership," Shea said. "That's using a mathematical formula instead of doing your job . So we are going to be sending the vast amount of those officers (38 rookies) to the south and west districts to work the 4 to 12 shift, or to backfill more senior officers who move into the 4 to 12 shift."

Cowan reemphasized the point.

"The new approach of the Jersey City Police Department is to place cops where they are needed on a daily basis which we have found to be extremely effective," he said. "No longer is it acceptable to leave cops on patrol where it is not busy while there is a need for greater police presence in other areas."

Thirty-eight new officers were sworn in earlier this month following graduation from the policy academy, bringing the total number of officers on the force to 818.

As a result of July's spate of shootings, Shea and Cownan created the Ceasefire Unit, a group of detectives that investigates all non-fatal shootings in the city. While the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office investigates murders, a non-fatal shooting is just a "murder with bad aim," as far as Shea is concerned.

Closure rates on non-fatal shootings across the nation are notoriously low. The reasons are twofold, Shea said. If the victim survives, family and friends tend to clam up to the authorities. But if the person dies, family and friends are more likely to come forward with information leading to an arrest.

The second reason has to do with how these cases are handled internally. They are assigned to detectives on a rotational basis. So a detective is handling a slew of cases and the shooting never gets the focus it warrants, according to Shea. And the connections are never made to other shootings in the same area or the same city.

"We took our best detectives from the precincts, and we put them in one unit under an excellent sergeant, and they respond to every single non-fatal shooting," Shea said. "Their mandate is to solve every shooting no matter how long it takes."

As a result the department has raised its "solve" rate – meaning someone has been arrested and charged with the crime – to above 50 percent, Shea said. The overall rate in New Jersey is around 20 percent.

"The Ceasefire Unit has been a powerful tool in combating the gun violence by formulating contacts within the community to cultivate information that has led to the successful closure of many cases," Cowan said.

The unit did figure out what all the killings were about last July, according to Shea. Gangs? No. Drugs? No!

"It's basically young people who don't like each other who have access to firearms," he said, which might be the scariest reason of all.



Why the no-fly list was declared unconstitutional

by Gail Sullivan

Imagine you're in an airport en route to visit family abroad when suddenly you're surrounded. Then you are detained and interrogated. You not only miss your scheduled flight, but can't get on any other flight. Not to see your family. Not to travel for work. Not for any reason. And nobody will tell you why. It's as though you've been blacklisted.

That was the experience of 13 American Muslims – including four military veterans – who challenged the government's no-fly list imposed after 911 to keep terrorists out of U.S. airspace. None of them have ever been charged with terrorism-related offenses. They were barred from boarding flights, but nobody would tell them if they were on the list and, if so, why.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Oregon ruled the government's no-fly list is unconstitutional because Americans on it have no meaningful opportunity to contest their inclusion. Here's the opinion.

The judge didn't say the government has to get rid of the list. But it does have to come up with a better way for people on the list to challenge the fact that they are on it. The government must also disclose to those on the list any unclassified information used to justify their inclusion.

Much of the information about people on the list is classified. U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown said the government should summarize that information or disclose it to an attorney with the proper security clearance. Brown relied heavily on a 9th circuit case involving an Islamic charity in her recommendations for overhauling the procedures for challenging placement on the list.




Reducing number of captains will boost residents' protection

Six months ago, Robin Lees took the oath of office as Youngstown police chief armed with an overriding goal of increasing police presence on the oftentimes mean streets of the city. To Lees' credit, he's been unflinching in his commitment to that crucial objective.

The most recent public demonstration of that commitment came last week at a City Council Finance Committee meeting, where Lees outlined plans to downsize the administrative ranks of the department by reducing the number of captain positions from six to three.

“We're top-heavy, and this is part of the effort to put more patrol officers on the street,” he told committee members.

The approximately quarter-million dollars that will be saved by that reduction in brass will be used to finance the hiring of additional street officers. Coupled with funding from grant programs and savings from other cost-cutting initiatives in the department, Lees hopes to hire at least 12 new officers to replace those retiring and to expand the ranks of police assigned to neighborhood duty.

Despite protests from some city council members that the reduction could trigger discrimination lawsuits by minority officers seeking promotion, the union representing the police force's higher-ups has given the plan its blessing. In fact, members of the Youngstown Police Ranking Officers union actually proposed the reduction.

The union correctly understands the need for a greater police presence engaging residents in all seven wards of the city and a lesser police presence sitting in sterile offices tapping away at computer keys.

The chief's plan itself also falls in line with this “core value” of the Youngstown Police Department: “We understand that service to the public is our main objective, as the police department strives to keep communication with the public open to build a partnership in reducing crime. We shall always do what is in the best interest of the community and serve public interest above serving ourselves.”

Lees' captain-reduction plan comes at a most propitious time because it complements his larger goal of activating a community policing unit throughout the city by this fall. Under Lees' plan, one officer would be assigned to each ward and would work closely with neighborhood groups and individuals to identify and rectify such quality-of-life issues as speeding problems, neighborhood nuisances, zoning violations and low-level criminal activity.

Problem solvers

As Lees explained recently in a Vindy Radio appearance, the community policing unit can address such issues as problem solvers, not crime responders. Too often, time is not on the side of police as they are driven by 911 calls for emergency assistance, putting too many other lower-level problems on indefinite hold. But many of those low-level problems serve as breeding grounds for big-time crime.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, community policing is based on the “broken-windows theory.” It argues that signs of incivility, such as broken windows, signify that nobody cares, which leads to greater fear of crime and a breakdown in community cohesion. Community police units fix those broken windows before they can open a neighborhood up to more serious criminal damage.

Such CPUs have succeeded in reducing crime rates in cities across America. We're confident it can have the same impact on Youngstown. It also will complement other ongoing initiatives including expanded street patrols, the multi-agency Violence Interruption Patrols and the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence.

Through those and other efforts, the Youngstown Police Department has made great strides in reducing crime. Such progress needs to be strengthened. The reduction of captains that makes way for a strong community police unit will responsibly feed that need.



North Carolina

ACLU: Police training, tactics raise risk of ‘militarization'

by Tammy Grubb

RALEIGH — When Chapel Hill's Special Enforcement Response Team raided a long-vacant Franklin Street car dealership taken over by anarchists in 2011, it got national attention and launched a months-long debate in the college town.

The result in 2012 was a number of new policies, including how the SERT team should handle future incidents. Police Chief Chris Blue also meets monthly with a town committee to review complaints, community relations and procedures.

An American Civil Liberties Union report released Tuesday calls on the nation to have similar talks about the use of “militarized” law-enforcement units. The nation's governments need to wean themselves from aggressive police tactics, the 84-page report says.

Chatham County was among the North Carolina departments highlighted in the report. There, the ACLU found black residents were 15 times more likely than whites to be affected when the sheriff's Special Incident Response Team was deployed in a drug case.

Search warrants were served at suspected drug houses in 33 of the team's 39 missions from Jan. 1, 2011, to March 8, 2013, records show. While most of the cases involved blacks, several involved people of more than one race, including children.

Only five Chatham County SIRT missions involved a standoff, hostage or gunman – the most common situations in which SIRT teams affect white residents, the ACLU said. The team also served an arrest warrant for murder, using a Taser to subdue the man in a joint operation with Orange County.

Chatham County Sheriff Bill Webster did not respond to requests for comment.

Kara Dansky, the ACLU report's lead author and senior counsel for the ACLU Center for Justice, said the group's biggest concern is for children, elderly adults and innocent people getting caught in crossfire.

Area SWAT teams report mostly minor injuries, such as cuts and dog bites, but raids in other states have resulted in serious injuries and even death, the study says. The fear is growing use of military-type tactics and tools will escalate the response from those being arrested, she said.

“There is a potential for really undermining community trust and public safety,” Dansky said.

Military equipment

The ACLU suggests cutting federal grant programs that provide surplus military equipment. More than 17,000 agencies, for instance, participate in the federal 1033 Program, which provided nearly $450 million in military equipment last year, the ACLU reported.

The ACLU found recipients of another grant program, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, spent 64 percent of the money on law enforcement from April 2012 to March 2013. A smaller amount went to courts, drug treatment and crime prevention and education, the report says.

The Department of Homeland Security provides grants for “terrorism prevention-related law enforcement activities.”

The ACLU report notes the Raleigh Police Department got $120,000 from the State Homeland Security Program in 2011 and also has applied for federal grants and funding from the Governor's Crime Commission. In 2012, Raleigh reported buying “less-lethal munitions,” rifle laser sights, cameras and a robot reconnaissance unit. The unit also has access to a tactical truck and Bearcat armored personnel carrier if lives are in danger.

Police spokesman Jim Sughrue declined to discuss specific equipment or tactics, citing safety concerns.

The ACLU analyzed 818 reports about SWAT – Special Weapons and Tactics – teams received in response to a March 2013 request submitted to more than 260 law enforcement agencies in 25 states, plus the District of Columbia and several cities. The ACLU focused on agencies that provided more than 15 incident reports in response to the request.

It found the teams' most common mission now is serving search warrants, 79 percent of the reviewed cases, of which 62 percent were drug searches. Weapons were seized in a third of the cases.

Nearly half the agencies contacted didn't respond to the information request or parts of it, the ACLU reports. Information about the race of suspects or others involved also wasn't always available.

A typical SWAT team includes more than a dozen officers armed with assault rifles, battering rams and flashbang grenades, which produce a blinding light and deafening noise.

Although the ACLU report criticizes training that creates a so-called “warrior mindset,” Blue, the Chapel Hill police chief, said officers must be ready to run toward gunfire and face rifle and handgun rounds that can potentially pierce their protective vests “like butter.”

Most SWAT teams send an advance team to the scene to find out who's there and what's happening when planning a raid. Sughrue said Raleigh's unit, which served roughly 250 search warrants last year, treats public safety as a priority and has the agency's highest-trained officers.

“That training, together with valuable experience, helps ensure team members are fully familiar with the limits of their enforcement mission, just as they are familiar with the capabilities they possess,” Sughrue said.

The level of SWAT response and the definition of high-risk situations often are left to agencies discretion, the report says. The ACLU suggested governments can do a better job of keeping records, learning from them and limiting SWAT team use to situations that pose an imminent threat.



New York

U.S. justified drone killings by citing 9/11 law

The United States justified using drones to kill Americans suspected of terrorism overseas by citing the war against al-Qaida and by saying a surprise attack against an American in a foreign land would not violate the laws of war, according to a previously secret government memorandum released Monday.

The memo provided legal justification for the killing in September 2011 in Yemen of Anwar Al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida leader and one-time cleric at a northern Virginia mosque who had been born in the United States, and another U.S. citizen, Samir Khan, who edited al-Qaida's Internet magazine. An October 2011 strike also killed Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, al-Awlaki's teenage son and also a U.S. citizen.

The memo, written by a Justice Department official, said the killing of al-Awlaki was justified under a law passed by Congress soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The law empowered the president to use force against organizations that planned, authorized and committed the attacks.

Al-Awlaki had been involved in an abortive attack against the United States and was planning other attacks from his base in Yemen, the memo said. It said the authority to use lethal force abroad may apply in appropriate circumstances to a U.S. citizen who is part of the forces of an enemy organization.

The memo stated the Defense Department operation was being carried out against someone who was within the core of individuals against whom Congress had authorized the use of “necessary and appropriate” force. It said the killing was justified as long as it was carried out in accord with applicable laws of war.

LAWSUITS PROMPT release of memo

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan released the memo, portions of which were blacked out, after the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times filed a lawsuit seeking any documents in which Justice Department lawyers had discussed the highly classified “targeted-killing” program. The appeals court ordered the memo disclosed after noting that President Barack Obama and other senior government officials had commented publicly on the subject.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest, responding to criticism from groups that complained that it took a court order to get the memo released, said the administration worked through the legal system “to produce a redacted document that protected national security interests while at the same time trying to live up to our commitment to transparency.”

“In this case I think even the groups that sharply criticized us would call this a win for transparency,” Earnest said.

Jameel Jaffer, an ACLU lawyer who argued the case before the 2nd Circuit, said the memo will shed light on the administration's reasoning, but “the public still knows scandalously little about who the government is killing and why.”

He added, “There are few questions more important than the question of when the government has the authority to kill its own citizens.”

David E. McCraw, vice president and assistant general counsel for the Times, called the memo “a critical addition to the public debate over targeted killings and should fuel a richer discussion of the legal and security issues that are at the heart of that debate.”




Border Patrol scraps plan to fly illegal immigrants to California from Texas

by FOX News

The Border Patrol shelved plans to fly nearly 300 Central American illegal immigrants to California from Texas late Sunday.

Paul Beeson, chief of the Border Patrol's San Diego sector, had told the Associated Press Saturday that two flights, each carrying approximately 140 passengers, would fly to San Diego and El Centro, approximately 100 miles east. Beeson also told AP that the flights would continue every three days and mainly carry families with children.

On Sunday, a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol spokesman told the AP that the flights would not proceed as scheduled Monday, but did not give a reason. Ralph DeSio said that Beeson's statements were accurate at the time he made them.

"This whole thing is in a very fluid state," DeSio said. "I'm not sure if the plans will be reactivated but, as we're speaking here this moment, it has been canceled. Tomorrow is another day."

The government has been struggling to cope with a surge of Central Americans entering Texas' Rio Grande Valley, where the Border Patrol has made more than 174,000 arrests since Oct. 1. Immigration and Customs Enforcement decides whether families with young children and adults remain in custody or are released while they are in deportation proceedings.

U.S. border authorities have detained more than 39,000 adults with young children from October through May. Some have been released, but the Department of Homeland Security has refused to say how many and whether they failed to appear in immigration court.

The government has been actively looking for additional detention space -- primarily for mothers with young children. ICE has only one detention center designed for families, an 85-bed facility in Berks County, Pennsylvania, that was once a nursing home.

The government is planning a 700-bed center in Artesia, New Mexico, that U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce told the Roswell Daily Record would be only for families. Pearce, a New Mexico Republican, told the newspaper Friday that the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia could house families but was not equipped to accommodate unaccompanied children.

The Border Patrol flew a large number of families from Texas to Tucson, Arizona, over Memorial Day weekend, drawing criticism from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer when ICE later dropped them off at Greyhound bus stations there.

Gabe Pacheco, spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613, which represents agents in San Diego, said he believed the California flights would have occurred if they hadn't been announced.

"It's just a matter of time. They'll do it when no one's paying attention," he said.




Goshen pastors, officials review Latino community policing presentations

After 10 months of holding monthly presentations between community members and police, pastors and officials gathered to discuss what they learned and where they want to go from there.

by Sharon Hernandez

GOSHEN — After a year of holding presentations for the Latino community to interact with the Goshen Police Department, local pastors and officials came together to discuss the highlights of the presentations, what they learned, and what they still need to overcome.

The coalition leading this initiative is also looking ahead to future presentations and meetings in the community.

Gilberto Perez, social studies professor at Goshen College and president of Bienvenido Community Solutions, was one of the first organizers of the presentations.

He spoke with Goshen Police chief Wade Branson, the Community Relations Commission and local pastors about the idea of having meetings in which the Latino community would learn about how law enforcement works in Goshen and Elkhart County. Perez then formed a coalition to coordinate the presentations.

He spoke with pastors from different churches, including St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Iglesia Menonita del Buen Pastor and Comunidad Cristiana Adulam.

The CRC gave the coalition a $2,800 grant to help it cover the costs of radio public service announcements and interviews and compensations for meeting facilitators.

The result was 10 presentations at different churches throughout Goshen where congregants and police sorted out some of their differences in an open environment, and where both groups learned from each other.

On Tuesday, June 3, some of the pastors involved in the project, Branson and Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman got together to talk about their experiences and offer feedback about the presentations.

"Originally I thought that the law enforcement, Sheriff Rogers, Detective Mario Mora and I, would educate the Latino congregations on police procedure and what we did," Branson said during the meeting. "What I learned, though, was that I was being educated all the time about the community. I found out that the Latino community were very family-oriented, very caring and very religious. And after this program has ended I find that I am more in tune with the community."

As hard as it is to quantify the level of success of the presentations, there was talk during the meeting about other possible presentations in the future.

"We can quantify, not with big numbers but with small initiatives, and we build on those numbers for the future," Perez said. "I think another powerful thing is you have spiritual leaders encouraging the congregants to pray for the officials. And that's hard to quantify, but qualitatively, its the relationship, the trust building of two groups, two systems, learning to interact together."

Kauffman, who attended a couple of the meetings and one of the presentations, also had positive feedback about the initiative.

"From the police standpoint they need to get the confidence of the Latino community so that they do report a crime and are not afraid of being deported," he said. "I think everyone, whether Latino or Angle, wants the same thing, and that is to have a safe community to work and raise your kids."

Rev. David Araujo, pastor of La Iglesia Menonita del Buen Pastor, said he received overwhelmingly positive feedback from his congregants following the two presentations at his church.

The effect the presentation had on some of the congregants was such that two of them followed up later with police. One of them, a man native from Cuba, went with Araujo to the police department to talk with Branson about an incident that had happened years ago and had left him feeling humiliated.

"It really affected him, and he never dealt with it, so as a result of that he had some negative feelings and even some bitterness toward Goshen police," Araujo said. "That was something addressed and changed because of the way the chief was able to help us personally."

There are still some areas that need to be addressed by not only police, but other entities, like the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Many of the questions asked during the presentations were some that had to be addressed by the BMV, Branson said during the meeting Tuesday.

Another idea is to have similar presentations in which the community can talk with officials about other issues, like building and coding.

"So often the issues between neighbors aren't race related. But it has to do with behavior, not color of skin," Kauffman said. "People come to this country from areas where they don't have the same rules. So if you grow up a certain way, why would you operate differently where you move unless somehow you got educated that the expectations are different in the new place?"

Araujo said he thinks there is an urgent need to have a discussion among neighborhoods, given some of the negative feedback they read from community members who submitted letters to editors.

"I think perhaps now it would be good, before we do any other kind of dialogues with other groups, whether it be the BMV, I think perhaps the next step would be to talk with Goshen neighborhoods."