LACP - NEWS of the Week - Oct, 2014
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.


October, 2014 - Week 4


Scary stuff: Halloween hazards are not just for kids

by Kim Painter

Halloween is supposed to be a little scary. But if you are worrying about your kids receiving poisoned candy from strangers — something never actually documented in the USA — you probably are worrying about the wrong thing.

You also might be worrying about the wrong demographic: Although young children face Halloween health and safety hazards, teens and adults do, too. So do pets.

Here are a few real things to worry about as the holiday approaches.

Cars, especially drunken drivers

This is the biggie. Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for young pedestrians, with twice as many deaths as on a typical day, according to auto insurer State Farm. Most at risk: kids ages 12 to 18 — the ones often roaming the streets without parents and with distractions like friends and cellphones.

"It's good to have a cellphone with you but not to be texting when you are crossing the street," says Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, a non-profit organization. On Halloween, as on other nights, "distracted walking" is a big hazard for teens, she says.

Another hazard for everyone on the streets: drunken drivers. As Halloween has become a more adult holiday, it also has become a major drinking occasion, says the National Highway Safety Administration. The share of fatal crashes involving drunken drivers rises from the usual 30% to nearly 50% on Halloween, the agency says. About 20% of pedestrian deaths on Halloween involve a drunken driver.

Safety officials say they are especially worried about drunken driving this year, with Halloween falling on a Friday — so they are encouraging communities to step up enforcement efforts.

Best advice, as always: If you drink, don't drive.

Cuts, falls and other injuries

About 4,400 people in the United States visited emergency rooms in 2013 for Halloween-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. More than half were adults.

The most common mishaps, accounting for 56% of cases: pumpkin carving injuries. "It's very common to see finger and hand injuries," after carving slip-ups, says Ryan Stanton, an emergency physician in Lexington, Ky. People usually slice into the hand holding the slippery gourd, he says.

One tip for pumpkin artists: Use tools designed for the job, rather than ordinary kitchen knives. Tests by Consumer Reports and by medical researchers have found that special pumpkin-carving tools sold online and in many stores are safer, partly because they are smaller and easier to control.

Falls — often related to tripping over costumes or putting up decorations — are the next most common cause of injury.

Sticky dental disasters

Next week may be especially busy for dentists and orthodontists, and not because of the sugar in all that Halloween candy. Instead, it's the sticky stuff — the Milk Duds, caramels and Tootsie Rolls, capable of pulling out crowns and fillings and damaging braces and other dental work.

As kids work their way through candy bags, business "does tend to pick up a little bit," says Edward Moody, pediatric dentist in Morristown, Tenn., and president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Adults can fall victim, too, says Chiann Fan Gibson, a Chicago-area dentist and vice president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Though it did not happen on Halloween, her own husband once pulled out two crowns with a Sugar Daddy caramel sucker, she says.

Of course, dentists do worry about the sugar. That's why Moody suggests parents and children go through the candy haul together, pick out a few relatively tooth-friendly favorites — like chocolate bars – and then put away or give away the rest.

Poisoned pooches

Dogs and chocolate don't mix. That's one reason calls to the poison control center at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) go up at Halloween, says veterinarian Tina Wismer, medical director of the center in Urbana, Ill.

Chocolate contains a compound that can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even seizures and death in dogs, she says. And dogs do have a sweet tooth — meaning left alone with a pillowcase full of candy, they might get in trouble.

Raisins and the artificial sweetener xylitol can also sicken dogs, Wismer says. So it's best to keep all sorts of human treats stashed away.

Another tip: Don't give in to pressure to put your pets in costumes if they are not the dressing-up sort. "Some dogs don't mind being dressed up," Wismer says. "Others absolutely hate it." That can cause a lot of stress — and some dogs might even try to chew the unwanted clothes right off their backs, she says.




Another good tool for public safety


SIREN— Like the name suggests, Silver Alerts notify the public when an at-risk or vulnerable senior is missing.

Similar to an Amber Alert, Silver Alerts will go out by email, text message, or fax through the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network to notify the public that an adult with Alzheimer's, dementia, or other permanent cognitive impairment is missing.

In a county like Burnett, with an aging population, the passage of this new law could be crucial.

“We have amber alerts for the young kids so it makes sense to have silver alerts,” Kate Peterson, director of the county's health and human services department, said.

Local law enforcement personnel agree with Peterson's assessment.

“With our aging population, this Silver Alert system could help us out quite a bit,” Chris Sybers, Siren Police Chief, said. “The quicker we can get the information out to the public the better.”

Scott Burns, Deputy Sheriff for the Burnett County Sheriff's Department, is of the same mind.

“Anything we can do to get the word out to as many people as possible is useful — it will help us find the person,” he said.

Similar to an Amber Alert, certain criteria must be met before a Silver Alert will be issued, namely the missing person is 60 years of age or older and the missing person is believed to have Alzheimer's, dementia, or another permanent cognitive impairment that poses a threat to the individual's health and safety.

In addition, there must be a reasonable belief that the missing person's disappearance is due to the individual's impaired cognitive condition, that the Silver Alert request is made within 72 hours of the individual's disappearance and there is sufficient information available to disseminate to the public that could assist in locating the missing person.

Libowski was careful to point out that since Alzheimer's and dementia are not limited to those 60 and older, individuals who are missing and at risk but do not meet the criteria for a Silver Alert, the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN) can be utilized to send out a Missing/Endangered alert.

“Whenever a loved one goes missing, time is critical,” Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said of the new law. “Silver Alerts will help families and law enforcement locate vulnerable seniors more quickly and bring them home unharmed. I'm thankful to lawmakers, the Governor and our citizen partners in working toward this important tool in furthering public safety.”

The process to initiate a Silver Alert starts with local law enforcement.

“The Webster Police Department, for example, could make a request to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to issue an alert,” Joe Libowsky, silver alert coordinator for the DOJ told the Sentinel. “Depending on which part of the state the request is coming from will determine the protocol we use.”

The protocols vary from situation to situation.

“It is all dependent on how the missing person can travel — are they on foot or are they in a car?” Libowsky explained.

He said being a border county like Burnett County is a good thing when it comes to Silver Alerts.

“We have a good relationship with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA),” Libowsky pointed out. “They run a program similar to our Silver Alert so if a person goes missing from Burnett County and has access to a vehicle, we could contact BCA to enlist their support.”

Television stations and radio stations are one of the primary outlets for alerts but Libowsky said that is a voluntary effort.

“It is up to the individual broadcast outlet whether they will broadcast the alert,” he continued.

He went on to say anyone could subscribe online to receive Silver Alerts and Crime Alerts for free by email, text or fax.

“The email alert will have more information than a text or a fax — it may even have a photo,” Libowsky said. “The more people who get the alert the better.”

He said a system like Silver Alert is especially vital in rural areas.

“It is very important we keep an eye on one another,” he concluded.

Since August 1, 2014, when Wisconsin's Silver Alert law (Act 264) took effect, six Silver Alerts have been issued.



From the Department of Justice

Remarks by Attorney General Eric Holder at "Making Cities Safe Through Community Policing," an Event of the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Thank you, Mayor [Kevin] Johnson, for that kind introduction; for your work in instituting community policing and reducing gang violence in Sacramento; and of course for your leadership as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. It is a pleasure to stand with this distinguished group, and to be back in Little Rock today. It's a privilege to join you at this remarkable venue. And it's an honor to share the stage this morning with this center's namesake – a truly great president in whose administration I was honored to serve, and whose living legacy and transformative, ongoing work we gather to build upon today.

For over 80 years, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has brought together dedicated public servants from some of America's greatest cities to address shared challenges and common concerns; to advance policy solutions and share best practices; and to extend the collective expertise of its members – and strengthen local governance – from coast to coast. Over the past six years, I have had the opportunity to work closely with many of you – and with a number of the law enforcement leaders who are with us this morning – to address emerging threats, to confront urgent needs, and to uphold the promise of equal justice for every member of our society.

Together – block by block, city by city – we've made tremendous progress. Our nation has witnessed a dramatic reduction in the crime rate over the last 20 years. Just since President Obama took office, we've seen both crime and incarceration decline considerably – the first time these two critical markers have gone down at the same time in more than 40 years. And thanks to the “Smart on Crime” initiative I launched just over a year ago, the robust anti-violence partnerships that are in place in so many of the cities represented here, and the strong and steady leadership of the mayors and public safety professionals in this room, it's clear that we stand poised to build upon these successes – and further institutionalize the gains we've seen – in the days ahead.

As we do so, it's crucial that we account for the fact that – although recent advances have been laudable, and are worth celebrating – they have not been entirely uniform. Too many of America's communities, including some within our most vibrant cities, are not sharing in these gains. In some places – despite the valiant efforts of elected leaders and public safety officials at every level – social ills like poverty, unemployment, and widespread lack of opportunity continue to trap people in lives of criminality and incarceration. And these conditions can give rise to tense and often tragic circumstances in which systemic violence can take root.

This is something we saw all too clearly this past August, as the eyes of the nation turned to events in Ferguson, Missouri – where the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager sparked widespread unrest and focused a national spotlight on the rifts that can develop between police officials and the citizens they are entrusted to protect. When I traveled to Ferguson in the days after that incident, my pledge to the people of that community was that our nation's Department of Justice would remain focused on the challenges they faced – and the deep-seated issues and difficult conversations that the shooting brought to the surface – long after national headlines had faded.

This week, as we gather to confront these issues, to consider ways to rebuild trust where it has been eroded – and to redouble our commitment to the community policing strategies that lie at the heart of this important work – we're taking robust and sweeping action to make good on that pledge. And I believe it's fitting that we do so here at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center.

It was 20 years ago last month that, with the essential support of President Clinton, the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 was made into law – a landmark statute, authored by then-Senator Joe Biden, that created the Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS. This was an audacious, new concept – and it required, for its passage, guts by the young, Arkansas-bred president who signed the law. Since its inception, immediately, this important office became a crucial part of the Department I am now honored to lead. And through the investments it has made – and the approaches it has championed – in the intervening years, the COPS Office has emerged as a strong partner to local leaders throughout America – and a positive force for change and progress at the national level.

Over the past two decades, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to keep our streets and communities safer through community policing. It has funded more than 126,000 officers who have served in nearly three-quarters of this nation's law enforcement agencies. It has awarded approximately 39,000 grants to state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies. And it has provided training to more than 700,000 law enforcement personnel, community members, and government leaders – including many of you.

Just two weeks ago, I announced that – under the leadership of Director Ron Davis, who you you'll be hearing from later today – my colleagues and I will continue to build on this work by awarding a new round of grants under the COPS Hiring Program. Through this initiative, we are providing nearly $124 million in new funding to support the hiring and retention of 944 officers at 215 agencies and municipalities throughout America. These targeted investments will help to address acute needs – such as high rates of violent crime – by funding 75 percent of the salary and benefits of every newly-hired or re-hired officer for three full years. And the impact of this critical support will extend far beyond the creation and preservation of law enforcement jobs. It will strengthen relationships between these officers and the communities they serve, improve public safety, and keep law enforcement officers on the beat.

Of course, this is merely the latest installment in a long-running effort that has had clear benefits – and in some cases transformative results – in communities across the country. As I noted just a moment ago, the crime rate has declined considerably over the last two decades – with FBI statistics indicating that the national rate of violent crime in 2012 was roughly half the rate reported in 1993. This period roughly coincides with the great work that's been led by our COPS Office, in partnership with so many of you. And that's no accident.

In fact, when the Government Accountability Office studied the effectiveness of the COPS Office, in 2005, it found that COPS funding produced significant reductions not only in the overall crime rate, but in rates of violent crime and property crime in particular. I know everyone here has seen – in city after city – that community policing simply works. Strong relationships, founded on mutual respect, can result in enhanced cooperation between local residents and law enforcement officials. And renewed trust in the fairness of criminal justice proceedings, even when citizens disagree with particular outcomes, can result in safer neighborhoods and closer engagement with community members in establishing clear expectations of compliance with the law.

The effectiveness of community policing – and the power of the work that Ron and his colleagues are completing every single day – has been demonstrated in numerous studies and anecdotal reports. But it's also something that I, and many of you, have witnessed firsthand.

When President Clinton asked me to serve as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, in 1993, I was a judge on the D.C. Superior Court. I had spent roughly five years watching as lines of defendants – and most often young men of color – streamed through my courtroom. Some of the faces I saw became familiar, because some of the people I sentenced served their time, were released from prison, and quickly returned to the conduct that had brought them before me in the first place.

So I knew from experience – from the moment I accepted President Clinton's nomination – that Washington was a city in crisis. Statistics showed my city to be the so-called “murder capital” of the United States. And I had seen with my own eyes that mistrust between residents and law enforcement was – in some areas – both corrosive and widespread.

In response, my colleagues and I turned to some of the very same strategies we've gathered to expand upon today. With the support of President Clinton and a great Attorney General, Janet Reno, my office launched the first-ever community policing and community prosecution effort in our nation's capital. We worked hard to build engagement and establish rapport between prosecutors, law enforcement officials, community leaders, and the residents we were sworn to protect. Over time, those essential connections helped to strengthen the fabric of the community. And they contributed to a decline in the crime rate that has mirrored the national reductions we've seen.

In the years since then, the COPS Office has provided indispensable leadership in replicating these results – and forging locally-tailored solutions – in order to address a range of public safety priorities in Washington and countless other cities from coast to coast. In response to specific problems faced by individual cities, we've marshaled a range of new resources and rallied experts from around the country to help make a positive difference. And with the recent launch of our National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, COPS and other Justice Department offices are taking major steps to help resolve longstanding tensions – and to continue the pioneering work that a number of our law enforcement partners are leading.

After all, the events in Ferguson reminded us that we cannot – and we must not – allow tensions, which are present in so many neighborhoods across America, to go unresolved. With this gathering of leaders – thanks to the promise of community policing – we are declaring, together, that we will not. We are renewing our shared commitment to stand with those on the front lines of our fight for public safety – the police officers and sheriff's deputies who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. And we are reaffirming our broad-based commitment not just to continue, but to expand upon, the exemplary efforts that are currently underway – a commitment we reinvigorate, here and now, with new financial support for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

This morning, I am proud to announce that – through the COPS Office – the Department of Justice is awarding a Community Policing Development grant, totaling $100,000, to advance the Conference of Mayors' work to reduce youth violence through enhanced collaboration. This brand-new funding will enable your Research and Education Foundation to thoroughly examine ways in which mayors, police chiefs, and school leaders have come together to reduce youth violence. The Foundation will then identify – and report on – the most successful strategies uncovered. And this will allow cities where such violence is endemic to learn from, and to emulate, the approaches that have proven most effective.

This intensive study will not only strengthen community policing and build on this conference's storied tradition of enhancing local governance through collaboration; it will complement the Obama Administration's historic efforts to improve public safety and build a brighter future by ensuring that every American has the chance to grow, to learn, and to thrive, regardless of who they are or where they come from.

This past February, President Obama launched a groundbreaking initiative – known as My Brother's Keeper – to address opportunity gaps and tear down barriers that too often prevent boys and young men of color, and other youth, from realizing their full potential. Through this initiative, the Administration is joining with cities and towns, businesses, and foundations that are taking important steps to connect young people to mentoring, support networks, and the skills they need to find a good job – or go to college – and work their way into the middle class.

I want to commend the Conference of Mayors for establishing a My Brother's Keeper Task Force, for fully embracing this initiative in nearly every facet, and for tracking its robust implementation in cities across the country. Mayors like my good friend Michael Nutter of Philadelphia – who is here with us today – are standing on the forefront of this important work. You are enabling us to make an important, positive difference in the lives of countless young people. And you're spearheading efforts to take it to a new level.

Just last week, the President launched a significant expansion of this work, known as the My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge – to encourage cities, counties, and tribal nations to implement coherent “cradle to college and career” strategies that will keep our youth on paths to success. I am pleased to note that over 140 mayors, county officials, and tribal leaders – including Little Rock Mayor [Mark] Stodola – have already accepted the President's call to action. And within the next several months, they will be launching locally-tailored strategies for raising the likelihood that at-risk young people will graduate from school, find good jobs, and stay safe from violent crime.

This Administration-wide effort is broad in scope – and potentially transformative in its intended impact. But like all of our work – and like community policing in particular – it depends squarely on the experience, the leadership, and the guidance that local officials and community partners like you are uniquely situated to provide. And with your help, in the months and years ahead, I believe we need to take these efforts even further.

That's why, under the leadership of our COPS Office, the Justice Department is working with major police associations to conduct a broad review of policing tactics, techniques, and training – so we can help the field swiftly confront emerging threats, better address persistent challenges, and thoroughly examine the latest tools and technologies to enhance the safety, and the effectiveness, of law enforcement. Going forward, I will support not only continuing this timely review, but expanding it – to consider the profession in a comprehensive way – and to provide strong, national direction on a scale not seen since President Lyndon Johnson's Commission on Law Enforcement nearly half a century ago.

Thanks to your continued leadership, I am confident that – by standing and working together – we will continue to leverage relationships with experts and proven community advocates to build an ever-stronger network of committed public servants. We will continue to see trust increase, and crime and violence decline, in all of the jurisdictions represented here. And although this progress may not come as swiftly or as smoothly as we might like – with the persistence of everyone here, and the guidance, inspiration, and singular vision of great leaders like President Clinton and President Obama – we will continue to bring about the gains that our citizens, and particularly our youngest citizens, need and deserve.

At every stage of my career, I have been both honored and humbled to count you as colleagues and partners in this important work. Although my path will soon lead me in a new direction, I want you to know that I will never stop seeking new ways to contribute, to lead, and to give back to the country I love so dearly. I have always viewed the issues on our agenda today as some of the most critical we face – both as law enforcement leaders and as Americans. No matter where my individual journey may take me, that will never change. This work will only grow stronger. And I look forward to where our shared efforts will lead us in the months and years to come.

Thank you.



From the FBI

Cyber Security -- Task Force Takes ‘Whole Government' Approach

Hackers compromising banking and retail networks to steal consumers' personal information. Foreign actors virtually accessing our trade secrets. Criminal groups lining their pockets by exploiting any online vulnerability they can find.

In today's virtual world, it is well known that cyber crime can jeopardize our privacy, our economy, and even our national security. Less well known is an organization—the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF)—that is working around the clock to fight the threat.

“The challenge we face as a nation is formidable, because the bad actors never stop trying to infiltrate our systems,” said Greg McAleer, an assistant special agent in charge at the U.S. Secret Service who was recently named one of the NCIJTF's deputy directors. “The NCIJTF uses a whole government approach—employing every tool in our arsenal to address the threat and protect our infrastructure, financial systems, and intellectual property.”

Working largely out of public view, the nearly two dozen federal intelligence, military, and law enforcement agencies that comprise the NCIJTF—along with local law enforcement agencies and international and private industry partners—serve as the government's central hub for coordinating, integrating, and sharing information related to cyber threat investigations.

Established in 2008 by a presidential directive and administered by the FBI, the NCIJTF is also tasked with identifying cyber hackers and understanding their motivations and capabilities. That knowledge is used to disrupt criminal operations, minimize the consequences of intrusions, and to ultimately bring perpetrators to justice.

This unified, government-wide approach leverages intelligence gathering and sharing among task force partners to gain a strategic view of what our enemies are trying to do within our infrastructure and why.

“Individual local and federal organizations rightfully focus on immediate threats in their areas of responsibility, but the NCIJTF is looking at the overall cyber landscape,” said FBI Special Agent Paul Holdeman, an NCIJTF chief. “We are looking at the broad strategic shifts in the enemy's tactics and movements. What are these bad actors doing, and what threats do they pose?”

The ability to share intelligence across government agencies integrates the response to intrusions and investigations. “That is the key to the NCIJTF's success, the exchange of information,” Holdeman said. “Bringing everyone together under one roof has been a huge benefit.”

Gustavo Rodriguez, a lieutenant with the New York Police Department (NYPD), recently completed a six-month assignment on the task force as part of the FBI's Law Enforcement Fellows program, in which members of local law enforcement are trained so they can in turn train their colleagues when they return to their organizations.

“The NYPD has a robust cyber program,” Rodriguez said, “but the department thought it would be wise to see how the NCIJTF collectively addresses the cyber threat. The Fellows program allowed me to see the threat in real time domestically and internationally.” He added, “This experience has opened my eyes to how serious the threat is and how much damage bad actors could cause if left unchecked.”

The cyber criminals and nation states probing our systems are relentless, McAleer said. “But the American public should know that the NCIJTF will leverage technology, intelligence, tactics, and partnerships to disrupt attacks before they materialize.”



New Jersey


Now it's Seattle's turn

WE HAVE grown all too accustomed to these random school shootings across the country, and too sadly, to young people turning fully loaded guns on their classmates, and watching them die in a classroom or a hallway or a lunchroom.

That apparently is what happened Friday at a high school outside Seattle, where, witnesses say, a student who "was well liked" approached a table in the cafeteria where many of his fellow students were sitting and, without a word, opened fire.

The school, Marysville Pilchuk High School, was placed on lockdown. Police say the gunman, as well as at least one other student died in the attack, which left at least three other students in critical condition after suffering traumatic head wounds.

"He had a little gun in his hand," one student said of the shooter. "I saw the flash from the muzzle."

The Seattle Times reported that social media accounts depicted the gunman as a freshman who frequently enjoyed hunting, and using rifles. Whether the gun used in the attack was properly registered remains unclear.

The horror of our school grounds becoming killing grounds has been a national nightmare that has kept repeating itself since 1999, with the deadly shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado that claimed 15 people in all, including the shooters. That shooting, too, was carried out by students bent on killing classmates.

The fact that such a shooting has happened again, after schools across New Jersey and across the country have undertaken lockdown procedures and so many other measures to prevent would-be mass shooters from entering campus — as happened during the December 2012 school massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. — is particularly hard to stomach.

In Friday's attack, the gun used to carry out the ghastly deed was apparently not a semiautomatic, military-style weapon, but a handgun — a handgun in the hands of a disturbed young man. While we don't know the provenance of the weapon in question, we do know that across this country, too many young people have too-ready access to weapons that can fire multiple shots in a matter of seconds.

That has been a recurring theme in this nation for far too long, whether the shooting happens at a suburban high school near Seattle, or whether it happens in the poverty-stricken streets of Paterson.

Even though the trend of violent crime has been going down in many parts of the country, the ready accessibility of guns in the hands of young people, often young people with emotional problems, continues to take its toll. We remain, for better or worse, a nation of guns and gun lovers.

One day we might realize that our laws keeping those guns from getting into the wrong hands are not working, and haven't been for a very long time.




Gunman arrested after allegedly killing two California deputies, injuring another and bystander

by Fox News

A gunman who allegedly killed two sheriff's deputies and wounded another officer and a bystander in the Sacramento County area has been arrested, a spokeswoman for the Placer County sheriff said Friday night.

Spokeswoman Dena Erwin said 34-year-old Marcelo Marquez, who also allegedly tried to carjack two vehicles, was taken alive Friday afternoon from a home in Auburn after an initial shooting hours earlier in a Sacramento commercial area. Auburn is about 30 miles north of Sacramento.

She also announced that a second deputy shot by the suspect had died. The third deputy was shot in the arm and "sitting up and talking."

"This guy was on a one-man crime spree today," Erwin said. "He has no idea of the damage he did."

The shooting victim of the first attempted carjacking was identified as Anthony Holmes, 38, by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office. He is in critical condition

The four shootings sparked a massive manhunt by multiple agencies backed by search dogs, helicopters and armoed vehicles. Residents nearby were told to stay indoors and schools were locked down during the search.

Fox 40 earlier reported that a female suspect with the gunman had been apprehended in Placer County. The Associated Press said authorities reported she had a handgun in her purse.

Sacramento County Sheriff John Scott earlier identified the first dead officer as Deputy Danny Oliver, 47, a 15-year veteran, who had been shot in the head. The second fatality was not immediately identified.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman said the deputy was approaching a suspicious vehicle in a parking lot in the Arden Way area of Sacramento near a Motel 6 when he was shot before 11 a.m. Friday. The Associated Press said the shooter was carrying AR-15 type assault rifle.

"The person who was inside of the vehicle shot rounds at the officer," she said during a press conference on Friday. "At least one shot was fired at our deputy, striking him at least one time."

Scott said Oliver was survived by a wife and two daughters.

The shooter was described as an Hispanic male in his 30s with buzz cut hair, who had been accompanied by a woman. Scott said "his motive is known only to the suspect."

He also could not say how involved the woman had been in the shootings.

Scott said the gunman next tried to carjack Holmes' vehicle and shot the him in the head when he resisted.

The suspects then made a second carjacking attempt and sped off in another vehicle.

Erwin told The Associated Press that two of her department's deputies were then shot by the same assailant.

A park ranger reported he saw the suspects changing their clothing in the Carmichael area, a few miles northeast of the site of the initial shooting.

Authorities were seeking a red 2002 Ford F150 extended cab pickup truck with an ice chest in the back.




Sandy Hook Advisory Commission discusses public safety

by Brian Spyros

Newtown, Conn. (WTNH) — The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission met at the State Capitol Friday morning to create recommendations for public safety, including more detailed profiles of students with potential mental health issues.

A new report shows that school officials did not have a complete mental health history on shooter Adam Lanza before he killed 20 children and 6 adults inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in December of 2012. According to the Hartford Courant, the report suggests that more could have been done to meet Lanza's special education needs.

The report also found that school officials were not aware of an evaluation report done on Lanza before he went to high school. It is unclear if that was the fault of his mother Nancy Lanza, or the agency responsible for that evaluation. The report does not directly link the lapse in information to the shootings at the school.

No family members that lost children during the tragedy at Sandy Hook were present at the meeting. News 8 spoke with some parents and were told they did not receive an invite to today's meeting. The committee is now planning to hear from those families at another meeting in Newtown scheduled for later this year. The committee did say that they are sensitive about no wanting to hold their next meeting close to the December 14th anniversary of the shootings.

The report on Adam Lanza's mental state will be released early next month.




Recupero Wants Emergency Public Safety Meeting: Shootings to be Discussed

by Seth Daniel

City Councillors are preparing to have a meeting to discuss last weekend's shootings, but at this point there's not a total consensus on how that discussion should go.

Councillor Giovanni Recupero – chair of the Public Safety Committee – said this week that he wants and Emergency Meeting to be called to specifically discuss the two incidents and several other street crimes that were less publicized – yet things that he believes built up to Saturday's events.

He said it's time to ask some tough questions. “I want to call an Emergency Meeting with the Chief of Police and the City Manager in the Public Safety Committee to find out how they're going to deal with these situations,” he said. “I don't want to talk about this within a discussion on the 10-point crime plan. We don't need to talk about that with this. I want to talk only about this. People shouldn't have to live this way. It's time people are able to stick their head out their window and not worry about dying. It's not the first time stray bullets have gone into people's houses; it's just the first time someone died.”

Council President Matt Frank said there would be discussion on the issue – and said he's weighing the idea of a community meeting down the road for the public – but said he didn't see a need for Recupero's Emergency Meeting. That's because he already has publicized plans to call a meeting on the 10-point crime plan – a meeting that will address the overarching issues of crime.

“The 10-point plan is our plan for crime,” he said. “That is the roadmap we laid out to help us get to a certain point. It is an overarching plan and encompasses what people have mentioned this week. Having another meeting might be redundant. The whole situation is scary and disturbing. The woman at the window, that's concerning because there were people out on the street and arguing and why did they feel the need to pull a gun? Why did they have a gun? That's a huge problem. However, as elected officials we need to understand the police can't be everywhere all the time. That's why we need to have an overarching plan…It's not as easy as putting a police officer on every corner. Nobody should feel unsafe in their home or on the street.”

Councillor Leo Robinson said he is reserving any comments until the 10-point plan meeting, but he did say he hopes that maybe there will be an 11th point – that being his public safety residency ordinance. He said he believes that instituting a residency clause as he has proposed – which would require new hires to stay in the city at least five years – could help secure neighborhoods and prevent such lawlessness.

City Manager Jay Ash said the City will collaborate with several partners in response to the violence, and he said they have to do a better job in preventing such things. “We're analyzing each of the incidents, and asking ourselves how and when we could have interceded to have stopped them, if possible,” he said. “We're asking what other resources or collaborations we can marshal to bring violence down further, with those collaborations including what else we can do to support the organizations in our community that do such great work on building community here in Chelsea. Of course, many of us remain frustrated by the availability of guns here and throughout our own society, so that continues to be a point of emphasis in our discussions as well. We have to do better, no matter the societal challenges we face. I remain committed to this; grateful to those in our community, from community organizations to public safety officials, for all their work, and frustrated that we are losing lives to violence here and everywhere.”

One long-time bone of contention that could help street violence – at least according to Councillor Joe Perlatonda – is creating walking beats and, perhaps, looking into going back to three shifts instead of having so many specialized units. “I get more and more complaints about the three cruisers being parked in Bellingham Square all the time with the cops standing outside of them and shooting the breeze,” he said. “Ok, maybe have one there, but why three? People ask me that all the time. Right now, we'll have cops everywhere for awhile and then we won't see them again. They say crime is down 40 percent, but it seems to me to be up. We need more visibility, walking a beat or regular patrol cars. It's just not safe. People don't see the police. The criminals don't see the police.”



New York

New York axe attack 'terrorist act by Muslim convert'

Police in New York say an axe attack on two officers was a terrorist act carried out by a radicalised Muslim convert.

Zale Thompson, 32, was shot dead after wounding the two officers, one critically, in Queens on Thursday.

Commissioner William Bratton said Thompson was not on any watch lists but had browsed al-Qaeda web sites and watched beheadings.

A bystander shot in the incident is critical but stable in hospital.


Witnesses said the man deliberately targeted the foot-patrol officers, charging them and then swinging the axe two-handed,

One officer, Kenneth Healy, 25, was hit on the head and was listed as critical but stable in hospital. The other officer was hit on the arm.

The officers fired several rounds, killing the attacker and wounding a female bystander, police said.

Commissioner Bratton said the whole incident took just seven seconds and praised the "extraordinary bravery and skill" of the officers involved.

He said of the attacker: "We believe that he acted alone, that we would describe him as self-radicalised."

Mr Bratton said Thompson's father had said his son had "spent extensive amounts of time by himself in his bedroom and by all accounts, was a true proverbial loner".

Thompson had served in the US Navy.

In recent social media postings, he spoke of injustices in US society and abroad, but did not indicate any affiliation with a terrorist group.



New York

New York Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola

Craig Spencer Recently Returned to New York After Treating Ebola Patients in West Africa

by Josh Dawsey, Andrew Tangel and Betsy McKay

A doctor who had returned to New York City recently after treating Ebola patients in West Africa tested positive for the virus on Thursday, officials said, setting up a new front in the nation's attempt to control the spread of the deadly disease.

Craig Spencer, a 33-year-old physician who had worked with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea until returning to the U.S. a week ago, is the fourth patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. and the ninth to be treated here.

Dr. Spencer called the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at about 11:52 a.m. to report that he had a fever and gastrointestinal problems, and had quarantined himself inside a fifth-floor apartment on West 147th Street in Manhattan, authorities said. A Fire Department of New York hazardous materials team put Dr. Spencer in an exposure suit and transported him to Bellevue Hospital Center, the official said.

He tested positive less than three weeks after Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed on U.S. soil, died on Oct. 8. The subsequent Ebola diagnoses of two nurses who treated Mr. Duncan raised concerns that the nation's medical systems weren't well-equipped to stop the spread of a virus that has killed nearly 4,900 people.

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said authorities had been preparing for an Ebola case for weeks and followed new protocols “very precisely.” Bellevue is one of eight hospitals that New York state officials have designated to handle suspected cases of Ebola.

“There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed,” Mr. de Blasio said at a news conference at the hospital Thursday night. “We have clear and strong protocols which are being scrupulously followed.”

Mr. de Blasio said Dr. Spencer was “in good shape” and able to discuss his condition and with whom he came into contact. Detectives were tracing Dr. Spencer's contacts to determine whether anyone else is at risk of becoming ill, city officials said. Detectives were using Dr. Spencer's credit card and MetroCard and interviewing his contacts to determine whether anyone else is at risk of becoming ill, city officials said.

Dr. Spencer had come into close contact with only four people since he returned from Africa on Oct. 17 through John F. Kennedy International Airport, authorities said. All four—two friends, a cabdriver and his fiancée—are healthy, officials said.

Dr. Spencer hadn't been back to his job as a staff physician at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center since his return from Africa and hadn't seen any patients, the hospital said. “He limited his contact with people,” said Mary Travis Bassett, the New York City health commissioner, though she noted he occasionally went out during the past week.

On Wednesday night, he rode three different subway lines, going bowling at a Brooklyn alley called the Gutter and summoning a cab through the e-hailing app, Uber, Dr. Bassett said. That day he went for a three-mile run, walked through the High Line park and ate at a Manhattan restaurant called the Meatball Shop, city officials said.

The Gutter was closed Thursday as a precaution and owners didn't return calls seeking comment. A Meatball Shop employee declined to comment.

Authorities stressed that Dr. Spencer appeared in fine health until Thursday morning. He left Guinea on Oct. 14 and flew to Europe, where he stayed for three days before flying out of Brussels, city officials said. On Oct. 17, he made it through multiple levels of screening at Kennedy Airport and showed no signs of illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday night.

Dr. Bassett said Dr. Spencer knew he was at risk for Ebola and took his temperature twice a day. He didn't begin to feel ill until Thursday morning between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., she said, when he experienced a high fever. He contacted authorities who rushed him to the hospital.

Dr. Spencer was being treated with fluids—standard treatment for Ebola virus—and “he's lucid and communicating,” said a city official.

The CDC deployed a team of experts to New York City Thursday before test results came in, signaling its level of concern about Dr. Spencer's case. The agency has received more than 400 reports of possible Ebola cases during the past several weeks, and deployed only once previously: to Dallas, where Mr. Duncan was a patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Doctors Without Borders confirmed that one of its workers in West Africa recently had been hospitalized in New York but offered no details. The organization trains its staff rigorously and has a strong record of safety in its Ebola treatment units. But at least two other workers have been infected during the course of this epidemic, a testament to the challenges faced as cases mount in crowded wards. While Dr. Spencer had been out and around the city since his return from Guinea, public-health officials say the risk that Dr. Spencer infected anyone is low. Ebola is known to spread only through contact with bodily fluids, such as blood, vomit, and diarrhea.

The epidemic has taken a heavy toll on health workers overall, many of whom died in the early months because they lacked protective gear. According to the World Health Organization, 443 health workers have been infected during the outbreak, of whom 244 have died.

Overall, at least 9,936 people have been infected with Ebola due to the West African outbreak, according to the World Health Organization.

Dr. Spencer's apartment in a diverse, immigrant neighborhood in upper Manhattan was sealed off pending diagnosis, law-enforcement officials said. City Health Department workers were outside the six-story, 36-unit building Thursday, handing out Ebola information brochures and reassuring residents.

“We're just reminding people that we're on top of it and that they're safe,” said Sam Miller, an associate city health commissioner at the scene. “We're telling them the facts,” he added, noting that Ebola can't be spread by air or in water.

The area's city councilman, Mark Levine, turned up and urged residents to remain calm. “There's no cause for panic here,” he said.

In addition, Ebola patients tend not to be very infectious when they first become ill and are having only mild symptoms. Levels of virus increase as the disease progresses and a patient's condition worsens; those near death or recently deceased are most infectious.

Mr. Duncan was ill for several days in a small apartment, but didn't infect anyone living in close quarters with him there. The two nurses who did become infected treated him when he already was severely ill and having copious amount of vomit and diarrhea, officials said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state's hospitals had been preparing for this for weeks. “We had the advantage of learning from the Dallas experience,” the governor said.

Of the eight people previously treated for Ebola in the U.S. seven, including five evacuated from Africa, have been treated in special biocontainment units built to handle patients with serious infectious diseases, with staff specially trained in use of protective gear.

Dr. Spencer's situation is the latest scare related to the deadly disease in the past two weeks in the Greater New York area, where two of the nation's five airports receiving passengers from Ebola-affected countries are located. A passenger stopped at Newark Liberty International Airport with fever tested negative for the disease, and a Yale University student returning from Liberia was hospitalized with Ebola-like symptoms last week before testing negative.

President Barack Obama on Thursday night talked to Messrs. Cuomo and de Blasio in separate phone calls about the diagnosis of the Ebola case in New York City, the White House said.

Mr. Obama noted the extensive preparations that the city and in particular Bellevue Hospital Center had taken for Ebola and offered additional federal support.



New York

New York police officer critically wounded in hatchet attack

by Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) - A hatchet-wielding attacker charged a group of New York City police officers posing for a photograph on Thursday, wounded two, one critically, before the assailant was shot dead, police said.

The officers were on foot patrol when they were asked by a freelance photographer to pose for a picture on a Queens street at about 2 p.m., a New York Police Department spokesman said.

Suddenly a man carrying a hatchet charged the officers, swinging it and striking one officer in the right arm and then swinging it again and striking a second officer in the head, the spokesman said.

The remaining two officers fired their weapons at the man, hitting him. The suspect, whose identity was not yet confirmed but who was said to be approximately 32 years old, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 29-year-old female bystander was struck by a stray bullet. She underwent surgery and was recovering at the hospital, the spokesman said.

Both officers were being treated at Jamaica Hospital, with the 25-year-old officer who was hit in the head in a critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery, police said. The other officer, who is 24 years old, was in stable condition, the spokesman said.

"At this point, no known motive for this attack has been established," Police Commissioner William Bratton told a press conference.

Police declined to comment on media reports that the attack was tied to "terrorism" and that an internal memo urged officers to maintain a heightened level of awareness in the wake of recent attacks in Canada.

All four officers involved in the New York City incident graduated on July 8 from the city Police Academy.





Moving quickly to protect public safety

Federal regulators this week took the unusual step of urging the owners of automobiles with faulty airbags to immediately seek repairs, noting that the devices can explode and result in serious injury or death. This is what regulators should be doing, loudly ringing the alarm at the first sign of systemic trouble and holding manufacturers accountable for faulty products. Car manufacturers, some of whom have been slow to notify customers about the airbag problems, should be transparent about defective products and move quickly to make repairs. There is no excuse for delays when the public's safety is at risk.

Word of widespread problems with airbags made by Takata, a Japanese auto supplier, first surfaced in June. Takata said the propellant inside its airbags could produce too much pressure when ignited and cause the bags to rupture, sending shards of metal into drivers and front-seat passengers. That announcement triggered a recall of more than 14 million cars worldwide from 11 different manufacturers, including Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, BMW and General Motors. At least one carmaker, Honda, has said it will alert customers about the problem as replacement parts become available. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants more immediate action, particularly in areas with high humidity, including Florida and Puerto Rico. Earlier this month, Orlando resident Hien Tran died after the airbags deployed in her Honda Accord and sent shards of metal into her neck. Tran's is at least the third death associated with the airbag malfunctions.

The airbag issue comes amid a record-breaking year for automobile recalls in the United States. The most notable case was at GM, which initially failed to issue recalls of its small cars with faulty ignition switches that when jostled could shut down the engine. The company and federal regulators knew about the problem for more than a decade and finally issued a widespread recall in February. At least 29 deaths have been associated with the problem.

Some manufacturers have not learned from the GM debacle. Honda, for example, discovered problems with faulty airbags in 2004, according to the New York Times . But its first recall didn't occur until 2008, when it targeted only a relatively small number of cars. Federal regulators also were slow to react, which once again raises issues about the government's lax oversight of carmakers.

It is unconscionable that manufacturers of cars and faulty car components would allow drivers to remain on the road for years without warning them about product defects. Those manufacturers have a responsibility to be as open about a product's flaws as they are about its selling features.

More than 50 million automobiles have been recalled this year, leading to an understandably jaded reaction each time carmakers issue a new warning. But car owners cannot afford to tune out. Regulators said this week that the long list of cars that contain faulty airbags is likely incomplete. When updates occur, the public and carmakers need to react responsibly.




Justice Department Condemns Leaks In Michael Brown Case As Attempt To 'Influence Public'

by Andrew Hart

The Justice Department condemned a series of leaks from the investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., The Los Angeles Times reported. The death of the unarmed black teenager on Aug. 9 sparked weeks of protests and a national debate over police tactics.

The leaks from the official inquiry into the shooting appear to support the account of the incident given by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, that he and Brown struggled, and that he opened fire when Brown allegedly reached for his gun.

An unnamed Justice Department spokeswoman called the leaks "irresponsible and highly troubling" and said, "There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case," the Times reported.

An unidentified Justice Department official also told The Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly that Attorney General Eric Holder is "exasperated" by the apparent "selective leaks," in the case.

The leak of sensitive details about the official investigation have come from unnamed sources, and all seem to corroborate Wilson's account of what happened, that Brown attacked him in his car.

Unnamed government officials told The New York Times that Brown's blood was found on Wilson and on the interior of the police car, suggesting that at least some of the shots fired at Brown were at close range.

An official autopsy report obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch revealed that Brown was shot in the hand at close range . The Post-Dispatch's report also cited experts not affiliated with the case who posited the findings suggest there was an altercation in the police car and that Brown was going for the officer's gun.

On Wednesday, unnamed sources told The Washington Post that seven or eight black witnesses have given testimony before a grand jury deciding whether to indict Wilson that was "consistent" with the officer's account. The witnesses have not gone public with their accounts for fear of their safety.

Other witnesses who have gone public about what they saw claim Brown was attempting to surrender when Wilson fired the fatal shots.

The release of the autopsy details was met with criticism by Ferguson officials and protesters; they say they're concerned that leaks from what is supposed to be a secret grand jury investigation indicate justice may be in jeopardy.

Ferguson resident and protester Patricia Byrnes told the Los Angeles Times, "There is no way there should be reports from all these anonymous sources and these 'leaks' ... This is supposed to play out in the courts and the justice system, and not the media," adding, "The whole damn system is guilty as hell."

St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, a prominent voice in the months following the incident, tweeted, "A non-transparent grand jury process and a leaky investigation is not the way the outcome of this important case should be determined."

Some protesters said they believe the leaks are intended to ready the public for the possibility that the grand jury will decide not to indict Wilson.

That decision is expected in November.



In the West, a Growing List of Attacks Linked to Islamic Extremism


Canadian authorities identified the gunman in the deadly shooting Wednesday of a soldier guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian born in 1982. Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau, who had a criminal record, recently converted to Islam, senior American law enforcement officials said. He was shot and killed in the attack.

The episode was the second deadly assault on a uniformed member of Canada's armed forces in three days, and the latest in a growing list of attacks in the West against soldiers, and in some cases civilians, by individuals who have professed their affinity for radical Islam or sympathy to militant ideology.

Oct. 20, 2014: Hit-and-Run Kills Canadian Soldier

Martin Rouleau-Couture, the owner of a small power-washing business, drove his car into two Canadian soldiers, killing one of them, at a strip mall in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The authorities suggested it was a terrorist attack, but little had emerged about the motives of Mr. Rouleau, who converted to Islam last year.

Mr. Rouleau's Facebook postings had extolled Islamic State violence, expressed anti-Semitic sentiments and denigrated Christianity. His family became increasingly concerned about his possible radicalization and contacted the police and the imam at the mosque where Mr. Rouleau prayed. He was fatally shot by the police during the attack.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police told NBC News that Mr. Rouleau was “one of the 90 individuals the government had already announced it was monitoring.”

Sept. 25, 2014: Woman Is Beheaded in Oklahoma

A man beheaded a co-worker and stabbed another employee at a food processing plant in Oklahoma before he was shot and wounded by a company executive. The suspect was identified as Alton Nolen. Mr. Nolen, who has a criminal history, had just been fired from the company, Vaughan Foods, and “he recently started trying to convert some of his co-workers to the Muslim religion,” said Jeremy Lewis, a spokesman for the police in Moore, Okla.

Law enforcement officials said that Mr. Nolen had recently converted to Islam, but that the F.B.I. had found no connection between him and the Islamic State or other terrorist groups.

Sept. 26, 2014: ISIS Lieutenant Tries to Coordinate Attacks in Australia

Mohammad Ali Baryalei, a former Sydney nightclub bouncer who is now an Islamic State lieutenant, made a phone call from Syria to a 22-year-old Sydney man and asked him to carry out a beheading in Australia on camera, the police said.

It is one of the few known attempts by the Islamic State to carry out a terrorist act outside the Middle East.

Days after the Sydney man was arrested, an 18-year-old man stabbed two counterterrorism officers outside Melbourne before one of the officers shot and killed him. The police described the man as a “known terror suspect” who had been seen carrying an Islamic State flag at a local shopping center.

May 24, 2014: 3 Shot Dead at Jewish Museum in Brussels

A gunman opened fire at the Jewish Museum in the center of Brussels, killing three people. A month later, French authorities arrested Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old Frenchman with a long criminal history who had traveled to Syria last year to join radical Islamist fighters there. The authorities said he was carrying an assault rifle and revolver matching the descriptions of the weapons used in the deadly shootings.

French and Belgian officials said evidence linked Mr. Nemmounche to the Islamic State, but it was not clear what help, if any, he might have received from them or any other group in planning and carrying out the attack in Belgium, or whether his motivation was linked to his time in Syria.

Nicolas Henin, a French journalist held hostage for months by extremists in Syria, identified Mr. Nemmouche as one of his captors from July to December 2013. He recalled Mr. Nemmouche's violent and sadistic personality.

European officials said that the killings appeared to be the first committed in Europe by a European citizen returning from the battlefields of Syria.

May 22, 2013: Attack Near Military Barracks in South London

Two British-born converts to Islam were found guilty of murdering a British soldier, who was run over with a car on a southeast London street and then hacked with knives and a meat cleaver as closed-circuit cameras recorded parts of the grisly scene.

One of the two men, Michael Adebolajo, then 29, is of Nigerian descent with ties to Al Qaeda. He had been arrested by the Kenyan police on suspicion of planning to join the Shabab, an extremist group in Somalia. Two former leaders of Al Muhajiroun, an extremist group with a small following that was banned in Britain after terrorist attacks in London in 2005, told reporters that he was part of their circle.

In his defense, Mr. Adebolajo called himself a “soldier of Allah” and claimed that the killing had been an act of war.

The path to radicalization of Mr. Adebolajo and the second attacker, Michael Adebowale, 22, also of Nigerian descent, was unclear. No evidence was found that a third party had helped plan the killing or, indeed, that anyone else had been aware of the plan, said Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, the head of the Metropolitan Police's specialist operations.

March 2012: Gunman Kills 7, Including 3 Soldiers, in France

Mohammed Merah, a self-proclaimed member of Al Qaeda, killed three French soldiers and, later, a rabbi and three Jewish children outside a Jewish day school in southwestern France.

Mr. Merah, a French-Algerian dual citizen, was raised in a poor neighborhood outside Toulouse, spent time in prison and was believed to have traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan for combat training with Islamist fighters. He claimed responsibility for the killings that spanned 10 days, officials said, after barricading himself in a small apartment building in Toulouse. He was killed after a 30-hour standoff with hundreds of police officers. Mr. Merah was known to domestic intelligence officials, having been put on a watch list several years before his killing spree.

In September, three Frenchmen suspected of having joined militants in Syria turned themselves in to the French authorities after a mix-up allowed them to walk free at the Marseille airport.

One was identified as Abdelouahab el-Baghdadi, 29, a brother-in-law of Mr. Merah. The others were Imad Jjebali, a childhood friend of Mr. Merah who was sentenced to four years in prison in 2009 on terrorism charges, and Gael Maurize, who was suspected by the French intelligence services of having links to a jihadi terrorist cell.

November 2009, July 2011 and April 2014: Fort Hood Shootings

On Nov. 5, 2009, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a United States Army psychiatrist, shot and killed 13 people and wounded 32 others at Fort Hood, Texas. An American-born Muslim of Palestinian descent, Major Hasan said he was driven by a hatred of American military action in the Muslim world and a desire to protect Taliban leaders in Afghanistan. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection. A Senate report called it the worst act of terrorism on American soil since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

A 22-year-old Army private, Naser Jason Abdo, was arrested almost two years later and charged with trying to detonate an explosive device at a restaurant frequented by Fort Hood soldiers. Private Abdo was found in a hotel room near the base with a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol, bomb-making materials and an article from the English-language Qaeda magazine Inspire that described how to make a bomb in a kitchen.

He had been involved in disputes with the military over his Muslim beliefs and his coming deployment to Afghanistan. He was convicted by a federal jury of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, among other charges.

In April, Army Spc. Ivan Lopez, who was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder, opened fire at Fort Hood, killing three people and wounding 16 before killing himself.

Though the attack was not linked to terrorism, Representative Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas and the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said the three episodes at Fort Hood had given him concern that the base was “becoming a target for potential jihadists.”

June 1, 2009: Gunman Kills Soldier Outside Arkansas Recruiting Station

Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Tennessee man upset about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, opened fire on two soldiers, killing one and wounding another outside a military recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark.

Mr. Muhammad, who called himself a soldier in a Yemen-based affiliate of Al Qaeda, said the attack was in retribution for the killing of Muslims by American troops. In 2007, he traveled to Yemen where, over the course of 16 months, he taught English, learned Arabic, married a Yemeni woman and was imprisoned for several months because he overstayed his visa and was holding a fraudulent Somali passport, the Yemeni government said.




Islamists Kidnap 60 Women From Northeast

by Mustapha Muhammad and Michael Olukayode

Suspected Boko Haram militants abducted 60 women from two villages in northeastern Nigeria, a security official said, less than a week after the government announced it had reached a truce with the Islamist group.

The women were taken over the weekend from the Madagali district of northeastern state of Adamawa, the Nigerian security official said, declining to be identified because he isn't authorized to speak to reporters. Military spokesman Major-General Chris Olukolade, based in the capital, Abuja, didn't answer calls to his mobile phone today.

On Oct. 17, the government said the Islamist group had signaled willingness to discuss the release of more than 200 schoolgirls Boko Haram fighters abducted from the town of Chibok in April, and threatened to sell into slavery.

Boko Haram, which roughly translates as “Western education is a sin,” has killed more than 13,000 people since 2009 in its campaign against the Nigerian state, President Goodluck Jonathan said last month, before the government announced it had agreed a cease-fire with the militants.

Since then, persistent violence in the northeast has eroded confidence in the cease-fire claim, with analysts and community leaders questioning the legitimacy of the reported deal.

“It's our understanding that negotiations about a deal to release the girls continue,” U.S. Department of State spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Oct. 20.

At least five people were killed and 12 injured in a blast at a bus park in northeastern Nigeria yesterday, police said.

Authorities have begun investigating the explosion in the town of Azare in Bauchi state, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) north of Abuja, police spokesman Haruna Mohammed said in an e-mailed statement.

“We heard a loud explosion at the motor park and we rushed to the area and found some people caught by the blast,” resident Muttaka Usman said by phone.

No one has claimed responsibility for blast.





Strengthen community policing in Iowa City

Police accountability has been a hot topic issue recently because of the seemingly rampant problem of excessive force used by police and the resulting loss of life, generally that of minorities.

The shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of white police Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, and the subsequent protests exemplify the public uneasiness with the manner in which law enforcement has conducted itself. What the nation saw was the ability for law enforcement to callously take the life of an unarmed teenager, and in doing so law enforcement has seen the public perception of its humanity diminish.

Some have begun to see the police as soldiers deployed to regulate their fellow citizens. Fear stems from an increase in police militarization corresponding with an apparent decrease in accountability. A divide is beginning to form between the community and those entrusted with the responsibility of protecting it.

In order to bridge this gap and circumvent misconduct by law enforcement, many areas are pushing for community policing as a way for the citizens to play an active role in the operation of law enforcement. The Department of Justice created the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services in 1994, focusing on the involvement of citizens in the design, implementation, and evaluation of law-enforcement programs to “proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.”

Implementing community policing has shown to have numerous benefits, including an increase in overall satisfaction with police work. According to the results of a 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Criminology, “community-oriented programs were found to be effective in almost 80 percent of the cases” as well as citizens being “40 percent more likely to be satisfied with the work of the police.” A correlation is shown between public attitude toward the police and the ability for the police to carry out their duties effectively.

Giving the citizens a means to directly hold the police accountable for their actions encourages a culture of transparency, and as a result, the rebuilding of trust. Iowa City has a program called the Citizens Police Review Board that is dedicated to the investigation of alleged police misconduct; it is composed of five members appointed by the City Council. While the board has no authority over the police, its very existence promotes the idea of citizen involvement in law-enforcement policy as opposed to the traditional separatist roles of police and citizen. The city also offers an online “beat map,” which shows the officers assigned to different neighborhoods throughout the day.

But we can do more. What the findings show is that when there is a healthy dialogue between the police and those under their jurisdiction, tensions are relieved and distrust is mitigated. When community members believe they are being persecuted at the hands of the officials in charge of protecting them, it creates a cycle of animosity. If the people don't trust the police, the police won't trust the people, and this is where we see the roots of the shoot-first mentality that reveals an underlying mistrust and fear of the very people they are sworn to protect. While Iowa City is certainly no Ferguson, the Daily Iowan Editorial Board believes the city's residents and the police can build a stronger partnership. The role of law enforcement is to protect the people and maintain order. This requires trust, empathy, and honesty, all of which can be fostered through the expansion of community policing.




Accused Indiana serial killer's violent past raises questions for authorities

by The Associated Press

GARY, Ind. – With hindsight, there were signs years ago of increasing violence against women by Darren Vann, who police say has confessed to killing seven women in northwestern Indiana and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Indiana court records from 2004 describe him grabbing a woman in a chokehold, dousing her with gasoline and threatening to set her on fire. He was sentenced to a year in prison.

In 2009, he was convicted in Texas of raping a woman. She told police that when she went to his apartment in Austin he knocked her down and began to strangle her, hit her several times in the face and said he could kill her, court records show. He was released from prison last year, when he moved back to Indiana.

In both cases, the charges against Vann were reduced in plea bargains, and Texas officials deemed him a low risk for violence. He registered as a sex offender in Indiana and police made a routine check in September that he lived at the address he provided.

"He was not on our radar at all," Gary Police Chief Larry McKinley said at a news conference Tuesday, adding that Vann was never suspected of taking part in homicides in the days or months before his arrest at the weekend.

Now Vann, 43, is charged with the strangulation death of one woman in Hammond, Indiana, and police say more charges are expected after he directed them to the bodies of six more in nearby Gary. Texas and Indiana authorities have been poring over cold case files and missing person reports to determine if there are more victims.

Family and friends of victims said police should have known Vann was a threat and taken reports of women disappearing more seriously.

Teaira Batey's family filed a missing person report in late January when she had been missing for nearly three weeks. Her mother, Gloria Cullom, said she repeatedly called Gary police in vain hoping for news of her daughter. Batey's fiance, Marvin Clinton, expressed similar frustration.

"I'm trying to find out, `Have you heard anything. Do you have any information for me?' Nobody ever called me back," Cullom said.

Cullom told police her daughter suffered from schizophrenia, was HIV positive and had a cocaine habit. She had last been seen with a male friend she called Popeye.

Clinton said the family knew "something had gone terribly wrong" when they didn't hear from Batey, who has a 2-year-old son with Clinton and had given up prostitution several years ago to focus on being a mother.

McKinley defended police handling of the reports.

"We take every report seriously," he said.

Vann appeared to keep a low profile and follow the rules after serving a prison sentence for sexually assaulting the woman in Austin.

He registered as a sex offender in Indiana in July 2013 after he moved to Gary, said Patti Van Til, a spokeswoman with the Lake County Sheriff's Department.

Vann registered again in Indiana in July, in compliance with a state law that requires sex offenders to re-register every year, she said.

Detectives with the sheriff's department last checked on Vann on Sept. 14.

"He had registered and complied with the requirements," Van Til said.

But others who knew Vann found cause for concern.

Edward Matlock, his former stepson, said Vann would talk to himself while staring into the distance. He said his mother and Vann lived in an area of Austin known for prostitution and drugs, and Vann would sometimes go walking around late at night.




Attack on soldiers in Quebec linked to terror ideology: public safety minister

by The Canadian Press

SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, Que. — Police say a car was driven deliberately into two soldiers, killing one of them in what Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney called an act of violence against Canada that was “clearly linked” to terrorist ideology.

Blaney said Tuesday that Canada is taking terrorist threats seriously, adding he was “horrified and saddened” by Monday's incident in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

“What took place yesterday is clearly linked to terrorist ideology,” he told a news conference in the town southeast of Montreal that is home to a military college and a garrison.

“It is an unacceptable act of violence against our country, our Quebec values, our Canadian values.”

Quebec provincial police announced the soldier's death Tuesday morning and later identified him as Patrice Vincent, a 53-year-old warrant officer. No other details about Vincent were released in the police tweet.

In the Commons, however, Prime Minister Stephen Harper praised Vincent as a 28-year veteran who served with distinction across the country.

“This was a despicable act of violence that strikes against not just this soldier and his colleagues, but frankly against our very values as a civilized democracy,” Harper said.

“We will continue to stand with the men and women of the Armed Forces who defend us against these threats.”

Provincial police described the second soldier's injuries as less serious and said his life was not in danger.

Lt. Guy Lapointe told a separate news conference Tuesday that the act was deliberate and that one of the two soldiers was in uniform.

Earlier, Blaney said that as far as he knows no order has been given to members of the Canadian Forces to not wear their fatigues in public.

Harper also issued a statement Tuesday to offer his condolences to the slain soldier's family and friends after what he called a “vicious event.”

“We also offer our prayers for the recovery of the member who was injured,” he said. “I would also like to thank first responders on the scene for their efforts.

“Finally, I want to express that the authorities can count on our full support in order to get to the bottom of this terrible act.”

On Monday, the Prime Minister's Office said the man who died from police gunfire after he struck the soldiers had “become radicalized.”

“The individual who struck the two CAF members with his car is known to federal authorities, including the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team,” said a statement from Jason MacDonald, Harper's communications director.

“Federal authorities have confirmed that there are clear indications that the individual had become radicalized.”

On Tuesday, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said the Mounties are investigating with Quebec provincial police to “get a full understanding of the breadth and the sort of reach this individual might have had into other areas.”

He said he does not suspect the slain man had co-conspirators.

“We don't suspect that, but we're open to that and we're concerned about that, so we're going to be pursuing every investigative avenue to satisfy ourselves that we've eliminated that possibility,” he told reporters after an appearance before the House of Commons house affairs committee.

And Paulson confirmed the man was one of 90 suspected extremists the RCMP believed were intending to join fights abroad or who have returned to Canada.

“That's what follows from the analysis; his passport was seized by us ...”

“He was part of our investigative efforts to try and identify those people who might commit a criminal act travelling abroad for terrorist purposes. In that respect, we were working him and other suspects, and we need to let the investigation now proceed, and pursue and satisfy everyone.”

Provincial police also said the 25-year-old in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu was known to authorities.

Several media outlets cited law enforcement sources as naming the suspect as Martin Rouleau, though police would not confirm his identity to The Canadian Press.

Lapointe refused to give out the name on Tuesday, citing the need for the coroner to formally identify him.

On Monday, he said the shooting occurred after the man hit the two pedestrians in the parking lot of a shopping mall and took off.

That triggered a chase that ended with the man losing control and his car rolling over several times.

Lapointe said the man was brandishing a knife when he emerged from the vehicle.



New York

Cultivating Better Futures for Troubled Bronx Youths

by Gary Gately

They could have been locked up for offenses ranging from theft to assault to armed robbery.

Instead, they planted vegetables at an urban farm, painted a mural to honor a community activist, staged a youth talent show, organized “safe parties” for teens at a local community center – away from the gunfire and stabbings outside.

The youths came up with a smorgasbord of ways to improve their impoverished Bronx, N.Y., neighborhood as part of the nonprofit Community Connections for Youth's South Bronx Community Connections (SBCC) initiative.

By agreeing to participate for at least 60 days in the “positive youth development” SBCC provides, the youths avoid probation and have cases are closed and their records cleared.

Positive youth development has created quite a bit of buzz in juvenile justice circles.

For youths in SBCC, it means a chance at a new life, and the program's leaders say it's all about building on youths' strengths and their ties to the community and family, rather than a “deficit-based” approach focusing more on “at-risk youth,” “dysfunctional families” and such.

Now an independent evaluation by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City has found that SBCC helped keep youths from returning to crime and being arrested again.

“Incarcerating youth has been a dismal failure,” said the Rev. Ruben Austria, who founded Community Connections for Youth in 2009. “Every dollar invested in putting youth through the juvenile justice system takes resources out of our communities.

“We are challenging juvenile justice systems to reinvest their resources in neighborhoods most impacted by incarceration to increase their level of partnerships with and financial support to neighborhood and grassroots organizations.”

The John Jay evaluation followed 62 youths referred to SBCC from 2011 to 2013 by probation officers or prosecutors.

“Juveniles who were meaningfully engaged in civic activities with ‘coaches,' ‘mentors' and peers for at least 60 days were significantly more likely to remain uninvolved in the justice system during the following year than was a [Bronx-wide] comparison group,” the evaluation said.

Austria said he had made a pledge to skeptical juvenile justice authorities:

“We said, ‘Look, here's what we'll promise you. You just use this diversion option, which is a 60-day, short-term window, and if they [juveniles] do what they have to do, then you seal and close the case and there's no more supervision. Our promise is we will keep on engaging these youngsters … throughout the rest of their adolescence.'”
What's the secret? Austria, who joined other New York officials in announcing the evaluation at an event Friday, said involving grassroots faith and neighborhood organizations in the community played a big role.

By keeping it hyperlocal, adult coaches and mentors and youths' peers got to know – and work closely with – juveniles involved in SBCC, Austria said.

The program also stresses parental involvement. It offers formal training in parenting, and some parents also serve as peer mentors to other parents.

Parental involvement paid off: Kids whose parents were involved in the program stayed involved in SBBC for an average of 165 days, while those whose parents participated in up to four program activities stayed involved for an average of 205 days.

Community Connections for Youth received a $1.1 million grant for the pilot program from a federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention formula grant through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

That money has run out, but Ruben says SBCC is continuing to operate with funding from private foundations.

He said officials in other jurisdictions have expressed interest in starting similar programs.




Bay City Public Safety Department to launch body-worn camera system pilot program

by Andrew Dodson

BAY CITY, MI — Some Bay City police officers could be using body-worn cameras as early as the new year in an effort to increase transparency in the department and reduce residential complaints.

At a Bay City Commission finance and policy committee meeting on Monday, Oct. 20, Bay City Public Safety Director Michael J. Cecchini said his department will launch a 90-day pilot program within the next couple of months to test body-worn camera systems by at least two different vendors. The department was originally looking at in-car dashboard systems, but said body-worn systems are considerably less expensive and further cut down on residential complaints, citing two different studies.

"When people realize they're being video-taped, they tend to be on their best behavior," Cecchini said.

A draft procedural policy is currently being finalized, Cecchini said, and would need to be approved by the department's labor union within 30 days. There would be no cost to the city during the trial period.

Costs for an entire system are still unclear, but Cecchini estimates a base system to cost about $30,000, plus an additional $15,000 to $20,0000 for the data management side of the system.

Cecchini said several officers are excited about the possibility of the camera system and has several officers who have offered to test the system.

"This type of system is highly sought after," he said.

There are primarily two styles of body-worn cameras, Cecchini said, including a halo-type design that officers wear on their head; the camera is positioned over an officer's ear. The other style is a camera device attached to the lapel of an officer's uniform. A remote control, likely worn on the belt, would activate the camera.

Commissioner Elizabeth Peters, 2nd Ward, questioned how the department would deal with officers who don't turn on the camera system. Cecchini said officers would be trained to activate the camera.

"It not activating the camera was done intentionally, then we would have some problems," he said.

The camera systems the city is currently exploring would require officers to plug the device into a charging station at the end of a shift, which would download the day's footage onto a server. The city would likely contract with a cloud service provider.

Following the trial period, Cecchini said he would make a recommendation to the City Commission for purchase.

Bay City Manager Rick Finn said the city is currently looking for grant opportunities to cover part of the cost for the system.

"I think it's time our city starts seriously looking at this," Finn said. "I don't think grants will fund the entire program, but I hope it secures a fairly large percentage of the cost."

A camera system for the public safety department was initially recommended by City Commissioner Christopher Girard, 6th Ward.

"I think it'll be beneficial to the community and I look forward to seeing the results of the pilot program," he said.




Portage Public Safety searching for man who failed to appear on sexual assault charge

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PORTAGE, Mich - Portage Public Safety officers are looking for a missing man who recently failed to appear in court for a sexual assault charge.

They're searching for 28-year-old Fred Garnish. Officers say he was last seen on Oct. 13 and could be suicidal.

He failed to appear for his court hearing in Ottawa County and there is now a warrant out for his arrest.

Garnish is believed to be driving a blue 2011 Hyundai Elantra with a Michigan license plate, DCK 2989.

Officers say a tent is missing from his home and he is described as a "survivalist type," so he may be hiding in an isolated area.

Anyone with information should call the Portage Department of Public Safety or Silent Observer.




Police identify shooting victim; still seeking suspect

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PANAMA CITY — Police released the identity of the city's 10th victim of fatal gun violence Monday as the search for his shooter continues, the Panama City Police Department announced Monday.

Christopher Coleman, 21, was killed in what authorities called a targeted attack, according to a press release from the PCPD. He died shortly after the incident in the 700 block of 13th Court.

No arrests have been made, as police disclosed they're looking for “a black male wearing black clothing.” Detectives are currently asking the public for assistance in identifying the suspect.

Coleman also is known as “ “Murda.”

In his past, had an extensive history of criminal accusations involving drugs and guns, but few convictions in his history, according to court records. He had been charged with accessory to armed robbery in October 2011 and discharging a firearm from his vehicle into another vehicle in March of 2011. But both those charges were either dropped or acquitted by a jury, respectively.

Coleman pleaded no contest to improperly exhibiting a firearm in the March incident where he was accused of firing seven .45-caliber shots beginning at an intersection east of Seventh Street and Sherman Avenue. A passenger in the vehicle, Sammie Underwood III, pleaded no contest to principal to firing the shots.

Underwood was released on probation and Coleman got time served. In October, police arrested the two and a third man for armed burglary of a Macedonia Garden Apartments. Investigators believed Coleman and the third man remained outside as Underwood forced open the door with a .38-caliber handgun and fired into the apartment, in an attempt to shoot its inhabitant.

The three were arrested together a short time later. Charges against Coleman were dropped, but Underwood pleaded no contest to discharging a firearm in public and was sentenced to almost two years in prison, according to court records.

Underwood, also known as “Trigger Tre,” is currently in jail on charges of several pending felonies and was arrested after investigators found DNA evidence of a connection to the unsolved slaying of 17-year-old Samuel McGriff again at Macedonia apartments in June of this year.

McGriff, at the time, was the fourth victim to die in shootings in the city this year.

Coleman's death brings the toll of gun-related slayings to 10, most of which have been concentrated to two areas.

Though some of the names of victims and suspects are recurring and the shootings concentrated to areas, PCPD spokesman officer Richard Thore said police have found no confirmation the shootings are related.

Anyone having information regarding the shooting of Coleman is urged to call Detective Rogers of the Panama City Police Department, 850-872-3100, or they can report their tips anonymously to CrimeStoppers at 850-785-TIPS.





Time for a public safety upgrade

Every second counts when a 911 call is made.

If a call is made with a cell phone, it has to be rerouted to Scituate before local authorities can dispatch emergency personnel.

Tick tock.

If you live in the Minot area, a fire engine or ambulance has to drive from almost the other side of town to get to your door because the closest public safety facility is still a few miles away.

Tick tock.

Improved response time is one of the driving reasons town officials want to build a new public safety facility about a mile closer to the "underserved" people, as special projects director Al Bangert calls them, in the West End and Minot area.

It takes emergency responders twice as long to arrive at the furthest point as the National Fire Safety Association recommends (4 minutes) for a response time.

If approved at Special Town Meeting in December and by majority vote in January, a new facility would be built starting next summer on a six-acre parcel on the northeast corner of Mann Lott Road and Chief Justice Cushing Highway (Route 3A).

It may seem reason enough to support the project if it shaves response time and saves lives, but there are a lot of reasons Scituate taxpayers should strongly consider the idea.

Emergency personnel need a more modern facility to address today's problems, ranging from quicker-burning fires (thanks to synthetic materials) to harsher, more frequent coastal storms.

Right now, the Scituate fire and police have buildings constructed in the 1950s as bomb shelters.

"We're asking public safety employees to work in environments that were designed when the biggest calamity was a nuclear war," Bangert said.

The current facilities have asbestos, but don't have fire suppressants. The lockup area isn't as secure as it should be and the buildings are not handicap accessible.

Additionally, they were built when the population was about 7,000, a far cry from today's count of 17,000. They were built when there weren't so many school threats or vehicles on the roads, too.

There is no main location where personnel can meet during emergency situations and police have limited space to conduct private discussions or interviews. There is no central dispatching, which, if there were, could shorten response time simply by sending cell phone calls directly to the source rather than state police who have to reroute the call.

Town officials estimate it could cost about $5 million to $6 million just to renovate the police station, with about $4.6 million of that going toward bringing the building up to code. Officials prefer to spend more to get more for longer-lasting benefits.

They estimate it would cost $16.2 million for a combined police and fire complex that would be built with future technology and department needs, house a joint dispatch area with two 911 stations operated 24-7, and include an emergency operations center to coordinate response during the ever-worsening storms and dangerous coastal flooding.

At least some funding can come from renewable and meal tax revenue, Bangert said.

There are a lot of reasons to at least consider the project, but there are a lot of projects on the table. Make sure you do your homework.




Public safety committee schooled on gang-free efforts

Sunnyside's subcommittee on public safety met at the Sunnyside United-Unidos headquarters next to Pioneer Elementary School on East Lincoln Avenue last Thursday night to learn how the organization and Sunnyside police are fighting the gang problem in local schools.

School Resource Officer Melissa Rodriguez and Coalition Coordinator Cathy Kelley were on hand to explain how the city's gang-free initiative is working in the schools.

Kelley provided an organizational chart for the initiative and said the program has had 78 referrals, the majority for gang involvement, since the program started about two years ago.

She said 18 students are currently involved in the program and about 30 more have already been referred since the school year started.

Kelley said most students are referred through the schools, but some have dropped out. Rodriguez noted efforts are made to get drop outs to return to school whenever possible.

The Sunnyside program currently focuses on intervention at an early stage. According to Kelley, the contract with FIRME, a group that specializes in working with deeply involved gang members, has not been fully utilized due to recent changes in FIRME's structure. The result has been a gap in services locally.

The high school and both middle schools have resource management teams which meet weekly and discuss at-risk students. Rodriguez said the officers assigned to the schools rarely have time to attend the meetings, but have gone to discuss specific children.

Kelley said the teams need to restructure to get the officers more involved.

“There is this thing in our community where we work in our little silos,” she said. “We need to get more involved together. Every time I talk to people I find new gaps in service we can fill. But we need to work together.”

Rodriguez also presented an overview of her typical day as a school resource officer. She said she sometimes acts as the bridge between the school and police. She said she works with third and fourth generation gang members and tries to forge connections with them.

Rodriguez said her presence on campus sometimes acts as a deterrent to crime. She described being called back to the school to handle a person with a no contact order.

“He waited until my car was gone before he approached the school,” she said.

She said she also does a lot of mentoring and works closely with school officials and others working to prevent gangs in schools.

“You have to ride with me to know what I do,” she said. “I don't think there's anything I don't do.”




FHP feeds Florida families


PANAMA CITY — Florida Highway Patrol announces its inaugural ‘Stuff the Charger” Thanksgiving food drive.

In partnership with food banks across the state, FHP is collecting food donations for Florida's families. From now through Nov. 6, officers will collect nonperishable items including canned goods, dried goods and other goods such as nuts, evaporated milk and broth.

They plan to get as much food as possible, pack it into a patrol car and deliver it to area food banks throughout the state. The prospective food delivery date is Nov. 6, so that donations will arrive in time for Thanksgiving.

The Florida Highway Patrol Troop A will accept non-perishable food donations at Troop Headquarters, 6030 County Road 2321, Panama City.

For more information, contact Lt. Steve Preston, (850) 484-5000 ext. 103.



Ebola czar aims to reverse government mistakes, step up response

by Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Ebola czar Ron Klain faces a hefty to-do list when he begins his new role: soothe Americans' jitters about the virus, fix federal coordination with states, and restore a sense of control over the crisis that the White House had lost.

Klain, a former senior aide in two Democratic administrations who is known for his keen political antenna, also must smooth over tensions with lawmakers who are angry about the government's missteps and mixed messages.

Klain has been dismissed as a political operative by Republicans because he lacks a medical background.

But administration officials and his associates describe him as a problem solver who understands the levers of government and can ensure smoother coordination among an array of agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.

“Many times in these complex responses you have to combine resources across agencies, work across boundaries,” said Thad Cochran, the former Coast Guard chief who served in a similar role leading the administration's response to the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

“There are … policy issues that kind of swirl around all of this that are more the subject of folks that work in Congress and the administration. But the person who is working the problem needs to be focused purely on carrying out the operation that solves the problem on behalf of the American people.”

Klain met on Saturday with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, though he does not start his job officially until this week.

Klain, who has a reputation as a “fixer” for top Democrats, has served as chief of staff to both Vice President Joe Biden and former Vice President Al Gore.

He oversaw Gore's Florida recount operation in the disputed 2000 election and helped President Barack Obama recover from his disastrous first debate against Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race.

Klain has remained a familiar presence at the White House, making roughly 75 visits there between January 2011, when he stepped down as Biden's top aide, and June 2014, according to visitor logs.

Stephen Morrison, an expert in global health policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Klain could take some heat off public health professionals so they can focus on their jobs while he navigates the politics.

“This is somebody who knows how to use the bully pulpit that he's been given. I think that's probably half of the game,” Morrison said.


At least initially, though, Klain seems likely to focus on the behind-the-scenes aspects of his job. An NIH official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, represented the administration on the Sunday TV news programs this week, not Klain.

Restoring public trust will be key. The CDC has come in for sharp criticism for its handling of the cases of two nurses who were infected with Ebola after treating a Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, at a Dallas hospital before he died.

Critics say missteps by the CDC may have put nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, as well as their contacts, at risk.

“(Klain) can have eyes over CDC to make sure they are aggressive,” said Neera Tanden, a former White House official who now leads the Center for American Progress.

“They now have swat teams going to all locations with Ebola patients, but clearly that is something they should have been doing earlier,” she said.

But Scott Gottlieb, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute think tank, said Klain was ill-suited to the role and, echoing other critics, said Obama should have chosen someone with experience in handling public health emergencies.

“It befuddles me what they want” for the Ebola czar job, Gottlieb said. “You want someone who can help coordinate across NIH, CDC, FDA; someone who understands the issues, the optics and knows what to ask for and knows who to go to,” Gottlieb said, adding, “There is a very steep learning curve.”




7 women found dead in northwest Indiana, man in custody

by The Sun_Times Staff

(GARY, Ind.) Seven women were found dead this weekend across northwest Indiana, and officials say a man in custody confessed to their killings and provided information on where police could find three of their bodies.

As of Monday morning, the bodies of seven females had been discovered throughout Hammond and Gary, according to the Lake County coroner's office.

Police have not identified the man in custody, but say he is a 43-year-old Gary resident. Hammond Chief John Doughty said police are still investigating the case and would announce more information at a press conference Monday, the Post-Tribune is reporting.

The case started when Hammond police responded to a call of an unresponsive person Friday evening at the Motel 6 at 3840 179th St. Police discovered the strangled body of Afrika Hardy, 19. The coroner's office did not provide information as to where Hardy is from.

Hoyda said Sunday that as part of the investigation into her death, police served a search warrant on a home on 49th Avenue in Gary, where they also took the person of interest into custody. The man later confessed, Hoyda said, and gave police information on three other dead women, all in Gary.

“Late afternoon on Saturday the search warrant was executed at a home there and a vehicle and person of interest in the Hammond incident was taken into custody by Hammond police,” Hoyda said in a statement. “A subsequent interrogation of the person of interest, a 43-year-old male from Gary, led to the man making a confession and then leading detectives to the city of Gary where several other female victims of possible homicide were located. The search warrant was executed not at the residence of the suspect but at a location near to the reported suspect's home in Gary.”

Hoyda said the man's name is not being released pending the filing of charges.

Police discovered the body of Anith Jones, 35, of Merrillville, at 413 E. 43rd Ave., around 11:20 p.m. Saturday.

Jones' family had recently reported her missing, and a group of about 30 Gary police officers searched the 4900 block of Louisiana Street, where her car was found sitting in a driveway of an abandoned house, looking for her. She had been missing since Oct. 8.

Jones' sister, Yolanda Nowell, did not wish to speak Sunday afternoon, but said last week that her sister “is very street savvy.”

Jones had a stand at the 41st Avenue and Calumet Street flea market, Nowell said, and had moved from Chicago to Northwest Indiana about 10 years ago. She was one of seven siblings.

Police then discovered the second body around 1 a.m. Sunday in the 1800 block of E. 19th Avenue. The woman was found wearing a green hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

A third body was found in the 2200 block of Massachusetts Street at 1:50 a.m. Sunday. The woman was found wearing a pair of blue jeans and white Nike shoes.

Late Sunday, the coroner's office confirmed the discovery of three additional Jane Does.

At 7:50 p.m., a female body was discovered in the 4300 block of Massachusetts Street in Gary, according to the coroner's office.

Hours later, at 10:05 p.m., two additional female bodies were discovered in the 400 block of East 43rd Avenue in Gary.

All seven deaths have been ruled homicides, according to the coroner's office. Hammond police could not immediately be reached for information about the additional bodies early Monday.

Two of the areas in which police found bodies were similar in that they contained blocks comprised of badly blighted, sometimes fire-damaged abandoned houses. The house near where Jones was found is the only one in a thriving neighborhood, although the exact house is camouflaged behind grass and weeds at least 5-feet tall.

Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said in two Facebook posts Sunday afternoon that the man, who he called a serial killer, has “admitted to a couple of homicides in Hammond,” some of which date back 20 years. He also said in his posts that the man is a convicted sex offender.

Gary Cpl. Gabrielle King tried to defuse concerns among citizens, noting that the man is in custody and that Gary and Hammond police are working together to bring charges.

“We would like to dispel the rumor that there is a serial killer on the loose. There is a 43-year-old man in the custody of The Hammond Police Department, who led officials to 3 deceased female victims who has claimed responsibility for their demise. Gary Police are closely working with Hammond Police to assist in covering every area of the investigation needed to pursue charges as expeditiously as possible,” the statement read.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Gary Chief Larry McKinley in a joint statement asked for calm and patience.

“We commend the officers for their work thus far and ask the citizens to remain calm and patient as our teams work this investigation and do what they do best,” their statement said.

On two Facebook posts, McDermott praised the Hammond Police Department's investigation in the case, especially as it comes soon after a lawsuit filed against the department claiming several officers used excessive force and falsely arrested a man during a traffic stop.

“As you hear the details of this grisly murder in a Hammond motel room and discover how this murder was solved by our police, it will make you proud of the Hammond PD,” McDermott wrote. “…Hammond, and NWI, are safer today because this murder case was solved. Our condolences and prayers go out to the victims, and to the families of the victims.”




The Man In The Blue Hat


(Video on site)

With an elderly man's life on the line...dramatic cell phone video captured a passerby - in a blue dodgers hat - carrying 73-year old Robert Carter Wells out of his burning home.

Joanne Bills, a neighbor said, "I don't know where this man came from, I've never seen him before in my life, but he's a hero. He's a blessing, God sent him here to save this man."

Kathleen Pannett, another neighbor said, "I'd like to tell him thank you from the bottom of my heart. If something tragic would have happened to Mr. Walls that would have been awful."

The fire started Saturday morning in the garage of the Fresno Duplex.

Before the firefighters arrived, several Good Samaritans tried to battle the blaze with a garden hose. That's when the man in the blue hat walked calmly towards the fire.

Beth Lederach, the woman who shot the video from her phone said, "It was really amazing how many people stepped up in this crisis, with courage, comfort, and compassion; a lot of people were heroes there.

The one hero everyone is talking about remains a mystery - after his daring rescue - the man in the blue hat walked away. Gone - the way he arrived - seemingly out of nowhere.

Wells was treated for smoke inhalation, but is out of the hospital and expected to be okay.




Community leaders question transparency of Baltimore police probe

by Mark Puente

When Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts asked the federal government to review allegations of brutality in the police force, he turned to a familiar face: Ronald L. Davis, the head of the Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

Batts and Davis have crossed paths on a number of occasions. Batts edged out Davis to be Oakland's top cop in 2009. As they worked in nearby cities, they served in 2010 on a transition committee for a newly elected California attorney general. And last November, they shared a stage with others in New York City to talk about police issues for the new mayor.

Now, as Baltimore and federal officials prepare to announce details Monday of the collaborative review of the city's Police Department, some community leaders are faulting Batts for not disclosing his professional relationship with Davis.

"He definitely should have made us aware," said City Councilman Warren Branch, head of the public safety committee.

Marvin L. "Doc" Cheatham Sr., past president of the local NAACP branch, said the police force's fractured relationship with the community can only be rebuilt with trust. Batts, he said, should have told residents about his connections to Davis, the former police chief of East Palo Alto, Cal.

"We're looking for a lot of transparency. That wasn't a wise decision," Cheatham said, adding he has faith in Batts.

Although Davis leads the COPS office, he will not be one of the investigators working here to interview residents, elected leaders, officers and other stakeholders. Staffers and a team of outside experts gather information and compile reports for such federal reviews.

Senior staff attorney David Rocah of the ACLU stressed that the "universe" for top law enforcement officials is small and that policing is a fraternity. Still, he said. Batts should have told the community about the relationship with Davis.

"A review by your friends is not the same as a review by the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division," Rocah said. "There seems to be a lot of connections there."

Kevin Harris, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said the mayor knew about the professional relationship. Batts' ties to top law enforcement officials will benefit the city's officers and residents, he said.

Batts, Harris said, "has decades of experience at the highest levels of law enforcement. The nature of those relationships is part of the reason [the mayor] picked him" to lead the department.

In pitching the federal review to the mayor, Batts knew all the details of the federal program and explained how it can help transform the agency, Harris said. He added, "Why would you not want to bring that to Baltimore City? The results of this program speak for itself."

A police spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

It's common for police chiefs to discuss issues in their cities, including approaches to crime-fighting. Like any other industry, law enforcement has multiple professional associations that tap leaders from across the country for conferences, conventions and other gatherings .

Cleveland Director of Public Safety Michael McGrath, who served as police chief from 2005 through February 2014, isn't surprised that Batts and Davis know each other well from their days in California and from trade groups. The ties among all the chiefs help cities, he added.

"So much information flows between the chiefs," McGrath said. "It's absolutely positive resources."

Samuel Walker, professor emeritus of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska Omaha, isn't concerned about the professional relationship between Batts and Davis.

Walker, who lauded a similar probe in Las Vegas, said the collaborative review is a reasonable alternative to a broader civil rights investigation by the Department of Justice.

"I can understand that many community activists would be very skeptical of this alternative, but I think it can work," Walker said. "There are many paths to police reform, and this is one."

Baltimore lawyer Dwight Pettit, whose clients have sued police officers over brutality allegations, remains skeptical. He fears the collaborative review won't go far enough because of the relationship between the two men.

"I see it as a concern," he said. "It makes me even more suspicious."

Monday morning, the Department of Justice has scheduled a news conference at the U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore to announce initial details about collaborative-reform initiative. U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein will be joined by Batts, Davis and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Such reviews differ from full-scale civil rights investigations because they are agreed to by local officials and are not enforced by court order. A review can turn into a full-scale civil rights investigation if federal officials find serious problems, as they did in Ferguson, Mo., where the police shooting of an unarmed teen sparked a national outcry.

The coming review in Baltimore is similar to ongoing probes in Philadelphia and Spokane, Wash., that are focusing on police shootings and other issues.

While Batts and Rawlings-Blake said they started talking weeks ago about the federal program, they unveiled the request on Oct. 4 — five days after The Baltimore Sun published results of an investigation showing that residents have suffered broken bones and battered faces during arrests.

The Sun found that the city has paid $5.7 million in court judgments and settlements in 102 civil suits since 2011, and nearly all of the people involved in incidents leading to those lawsuits were cleared of criminal charges. Some officers were involved in multiple lawsuits.

The federal review will examine training standards, the way police interact with residents and how the departments tracks complaints against officers. Investigators look for troubling patterns. Within weeks, a team of policing experts could be in Baltimore, talking to residents, community leaders and officers.

Davis joined the Department of Justice in 2013 after serving eight years as chief in East Palo Alto and 20 years in various leadership roles in Oakland. He also served as a policing expert in the federal agency's Civil Rights Division and on teams with monitoring oversight of consent federal decrees over the Washington, D.C., and Detroit Police Departments.

Davis has a professional relationship with many police chiefs and law enforcement professionals from around the country as part of the department's outreach efforts and commitment to community policing, said Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the agency.

The Civil Rights Division was also consulted in the decision leading up to the coming effort in Baltimore, he added.

"The department remains confident that the collaborative reform initiative will be an effective, independent review of the policies, training, and practices used by the Baltimore Police Department," Lewis said. "We look forward to working with the community to make sure that this process remains transparent and inclusive."

Complaints about frequent police shootings triggered reviews in Spokane and Las Vegas.

In Spokane, critics questioned why police officials cleared officers in all 492 use of force cases between 2007 and 2011. From March 2009 through February 2013, officers fatally shot eight people.

The Spokane review started in 2013. Investigators examined deadly and nonlethal use of force cases going back four years. Federal officials set up a document transfer system to get thousands of pages of records, including departmental policies and disciplinary records, according to published reports.

In Baltimore, investigators could face paperwork problems.

The Sun's investigation found that police officers didn't complete use of force reports in some of the incidents mentioned in lawsuits. And some residents didn't follow through with complaints against officers, after being treated harshly by Internal Affairs detectives.

The Department of Justice hasn't ruled out a civil rights probe of the city agency. That could come if investigators find more problems, or if the department doesn't fully cooperate.

The threat of a civil rights probe, which often leads to a consent decree and years of costly federal oversight, is an incentive to cooperate, Walker said. "This is really the big stick in the corner if the police department fails to genuinely pursue the collaborative process."