March, 2016 - Week 2
DNR confusion poses a ‘public safety concern'
by Erin Smith
Confusion over living wills and “Do Not Resuscitate” orders among doctors, nurses and paramedics has created a national public safety risk, a top medical researcher says.
The warning follows a Herald report on what one hospital executive called a “misunderstanding” after an elderly man was labeled as DNR shortly before he died at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital.
“This is a nationwide public safety concern,” said Dr. Ferdinando L. Mirarchi, emergency medicine director at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hamot. “My research today shows that essentially the documents are misunderstood and they're misunderstood on a nationwide scale.”
Mirarchi said when he was a resident, a patient almost died because he incorrectly assumed her living will was a DNR order. He said doctors and nurses learn about DNR and living wills on the job.
“There's no regulation put in place or standard put in place as far as how people are educated when it comes to these documents,” he said. “If I had my wish list, this would be taught in medical schools and this would be basically a requirement for licensure at this point in time by all the providers — nurses, social workers, physicians, paramedics, EMTs.”
Dr. Gina Jervey Mohr, palliative medicine director at Loma Linda University Health, said health professionals often assume DNR orders end treatment.
“That's something that really bothers me,” said Mohr. “We'll be giving a DNR patient a blood transfusion or actively treating an infection and I'll have a nurse or another doctor say, ‘Why are we giving them blood? They're DNR.' Their thought is DNR means no treatment. And that's not what it means. It only means don't give CPR. But if you talk to 10 other doctors, you'll get 10 other answers.”
Sandra Furrier, who had been given the power to make medical decisions for her 85-year-old Wakefield father, Arthur Fairfield, said she consulted with her dad before signing orders for life-preserving care about a month before he died.
She accused Melrose-Wakefield Hospital of labeling her dad as DNR without her authorization and contrary to her written directives shortly before he died of complications from infections on July 20.
The Herald reviewed nearly 2,000 pages of hospital records in the case and found a nurse practitioner labeled Fairfield as DNR after she reported speaking with Furrier the day her father died.
“Later on Sandra seems somewhat more composed, as well as upset by the realization that her father continues to decline,” the nurse practitioner wrote. “She admits that she would not want him ventilated again and I confirmed that if he got worse we would not intubate him or resuscitate him.”
Furrier insists she never approved a DNR order and said she told the nurse practitioner if her father wound up on life support again with no chance of recovery, then she would not prolong his life on machines.
Furrier also said she never requested hospice care despite a nurse's note that states the nurse practitioner told her Furrier wanted to take her father home with hospice care “but she wasn't ready to discuss this further.”
A hospital executive sent a letter to Furrier apologizing for the “misunderstanding” after Fairfield died.
A hospital spokesman has repeatedly denied Herald interview requests for those involved in Fairfield's case. The spokesman referred the Herald to a previous statement that says Furrier ordered the DNR through the nurse practitioner, which superseded the written orders for life-sustaining care.
The state Board of Registration in Nursing, which licenses nurses, is investigating the incident.
Mohr, who did not treat Fairfield and could not comment on his case, said there is confusion surrounding DNR orders and hospice care.
“One of the biggest myths people think is that when you go into hospice, you have to be DNR,” she said.
“About 99 percent who are in hospice care are DNR, but it's not a requirement.”
Doctors must do a better job explaining when CPR may do more harm than good for those with terminal illnesses, Mohr said.
“The thing physicians are taught the least is communication,” she said.
“It's really frightening. It's the most important thing we do and we do it really poorly. I'm not just conveying facts about your dad's terminal illness. I also have to read the emotional and verbal cues you give me, but if I misread those, I've missed the point. Without that communication, these forms are worthless and there will be misunderstandings.”
Study finds 'flawed' convictions led to 2,186 years in custody
by Brian Rokos
Between 1989 and 2012, Riverside and San Bernardino counties paid a combined $10,653,000 in settlements and legal fees in 193 cases where defendants claimed they were wrongfully arrested or prosecuted.
The cases represent some of the almost 700 “flawed convictions” that cost California taxpayers a total of $282 million in trials, legal settlements, incarceration and other expenses between 1989 and 2012, according a study released this month by the UC Berkeley School of Law.
The study, “Criminal Injustice,” highlights the costs to taxpayers as a result of mistakes in California's criminal justice system. The report looked at 692 cases in which a defendant's felony conviction was overturned and the charges later dismissed or the defendant was acquitted on retrial.
Those individuals wrongfully served a combined total of 2,186 years in custody, the study found.
San Bernardino County paid $5,325,000 to settle 126 cases, the study said. Riverside County paid $5,328,000 to settle 67 cases. The city of San Bernardino paid $3,079,000 to settle 15 cases. The city of Riverside did not respond to the researchers' request for information.
One of the Riverside County cases involved judicial misconduct and resulted in a man being sentenced to 12 years in prison.
In 2006, a woman told officers that her bicycle had been stolen; officers found the bicycle sitting on the lawn of a nearby house where two men, including Carl Lee Mallett, were sitting in a car, the UC Berkeley study said. The woman identified Mallett as the bicycle thief from at least 60 feet away with a flashlight shining on him.
Later, she was shown a picture of Mallett and said he did not look like the thief. Then, she denied that he was the thief. At trial she testified that she had wrongly identified Mallett because the lighting was poor and she was far away; she also stated that it was her ex-boyfriend who had stolen the bike and that she was afraid of him because he had threatened to kill her.
Jurors were unable to reach a decision, but they returned to deliberations after the judge said: “A lot of time and effort and money has been put into trying this case. ... You've got to understand that it would be a real shame for the County of Riverside and you to pay for another trial just because you did not put in enough effort.”
The jurors then indicated that they would like more time, but because of scheduling difficulties, the judge excused two jurors and inserted two alternates. Only 15 minutes after the two alternates were sworn, the jury found Mallett guilty of second-degree burglary. The judge sentenced him to 12 years in prison.
In 2009, an appellate court reversed the conviction, saying that the judge had pressured a deadlocked jury into reaching a verdict. The District Attorney's Office refiled the charges but offered Mallett a plea deal that would cover the time served, four years. Mallett accepted, pleading guilty to grand theft.
In November 2014, when voters passed Prop. 47, the grand theft charge was eligible to be reclassified from a felony to a misdemeanor because the value of the bicycle was less than $950. On March 4, 2016, Judge Becky L. Dugan reduced the conviction to a misdemeanor.
WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE COSTLY
The city of Los Angeles paid the highest cost, $93.2 million for 370 cases; followed by Oakland, which paid $49.4 million for 364 cases.
“We should be aiming for zero errors in our criminal justice system,” Rebecca Silbert, the study's co-author, said in a statement. “The costs are too high to ignore.”
Judicial mistakes, such as jury misconduct or sentencing issues, were the most common errors, impacting 22 percent of all cases. However, prosecutorial misconduct was the most expensive error, costing $53 million in appeals, settlements and other expenses, with an average cost of $617,513 per error, the study found.
Of the 86 errors in the prosecutorial misconduct category, more than half were so-called Brady violations, where prosecutors failed to turn over exculpatory evidence to defense attorneys, as required by law. Brady violations accounted for $44 million of the total cost, according to the report.
Public Safety Cadets clean up veteran homes
by Justin McDuffie
A group of Cadets from the Georgia Public Safety Training Center showed their appreciation of veterans by pitching in with a little yard work.
Before they started working in these yards Saturday morning, these backyards were a jungle.
"We cut all the grass, we trimmed the hedges, raked and mulched the leaves in the backyard, we cut a lot of the excess limbs that are kind of dangerous, we cleaned it all up," Cadet Bryant Neal said.
He was one of about 30 cadets who came out to help the living the light ministries and their project Veteran Homes 4 Veterans.
"One in every three homeless individuals are veterans and what really blew me away was being in the state of Georgia, Georgia is third in the nation for having the most homeless vets,"Organizer Luaunda Patterson said.
She wants to help put an end to that. The house the cadets were cleaning up will house veterans and their families, while they attending the Veteran Education Career Transition Center. That's why the project hits home for Neal.
"I'm a veteran myself and I understand what these homeless veterans have been through and then come back to almost nothing," Neal said.
The transition center is a first in the nation facility being built in Warner Robins.
"We're right down the street from the technical training center its just perfect and ideal for them to be able to get back and forth," Patterson said.
Something Neal knows will help his fellow vets, since he struggled with making the transition.
"Learning to be a little more personable in the civilian side of life is a little difficult," Neal said.
But adapting and overcoming is what the Marine Corps taught him to do and he wanted to pay it forward to the veterans who will live in these houses he help fix up.
"I would tell them thank you for allowing me to help you guys out," Neal said.
The organization plans to have work days for the three homes every other Saturday until the end of April. If you would like to get involved you can contact organizers by calling them at 478-929-8934.
If you would like to donate to the project you can find a link to their go fund me here.
Gun instructors fear new gun law shoots down public safety
by Kimberly Jackson
TULSA - The Oklahoma House of Representatives approved House Bill 3098 that would allow anyone over 21 to openly carry a weapon, without a license, a background check or currently required class. Some firearms instructors do not feel this is a good idea.
"People have never touched a gun in their life. They have no concept of safety. I have to work very hard to make sure guns are not pointed at people because people don't know that but I can train them in class," said Dan Detmer, who runs the company Firearms on Target and teaches firearms safety. Soon the classes he teaches may not be required for those who choose to open carry in Oklahoma.
"The constitution doesn't state the right to keep and bear arms requires that," said State Representative Eric Proctor, who co-authored the bill. Proctor says he supports the idea because of crime in Tulsa, the city he represents.
"Crime is rampant especially in the northern portions of our city. And my constituents deserve the right to be able to protect themselves both in their home and when they are away from home and out in town and the bad guys already have guns," said Proctor.
But gun instructors are concerned about lack of training-for those who choose to open carry. Proctor says he is confident citizens will be responsible if they decide to open carry. "Most folks that are going to be willing to do that, are going to do that, they are going to be trained."
Detmer is not so sure, because of what he says he sees in his classes of inexperienced gun users. He doesn't believe people will get training if it is not required.
"They will not. I guarantee you I am 100 percent sure. I know that without state requirements, people will not spent time and money on training. It will not happen."
San Diego Sheriff's Department considering drones
Privacy advocates throughout the nation have argued that drones could enable the government to illegally track people
by The San Diego Union-Tribune
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is exploring whether to purchase camera-toting drones for locating missing people, aiding SWAT teams and assessing raging wildfires.
Lt. Jason Vickery said the Sheriff's Department is in the early stages of getting feedback on drones, and if the agency ultimately embraces them, drones would be used in all contract areas. In North County, that includes Encinitas, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe and more.
"They would be used in emergencies and life-saving circumstances," Vickery said.
Privacy advocates throughout the nation have argued that police drones could enable the government to illegally track people. But Vickery stressed that drones wouldn't be deployed for mass surveillance.
Instead, he said they could save lives in a number of situations, from inspecting suspicious packages to helping a SWAT team decide how to proceed if armed suspects barricade themselves in a home.
"They can get very close to windows or entryways," said Vickery of drones, which he preferred to call unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs.
This ability to fly in tight quarters could also benefit search-and-rescue missions, when tree canopies or buildings hinder the views of Sheriff's helicopter pilots. UAVs can be outfitted with infrared technology that illuminates a hiker lost in the dark, for example.
If bad weather grounds Sheriff's Department helicopters, drones could potentially take to the sky as an alternative, Vickery stated. But, he added, drones would only supplement helicopters, not replace them. That's primarily because a helicopter can arrive on scene within 2 to 15 minutes, while it could take a drone an hour.
A drone pilot and spotter would operate a UAV, and it would typically only launch from command posts set up at an incident, Vickery said.
He's part of a six-member Sheriff's working group that began researching law enforcement drones in July. The panel is looking at drone policies in Ventura as a potential model. It also visited Alameda County, Calif. to get a sense of how police drones are used.
Matt Cagle is the technology and civil liberties policy attorney with the ACLU of Northern California. He said the San Diego Sheriff's Department should restrict any potential drone program to prevent routine civilian surveillance.
"Whenever surveillance technology is used, there needs to be strict limits on the circumstances that it can be utilized," Cagle said. He added safeguards should ensure drone footage is only collected "where and when necessary," as well as punish abuse of drone data.
Without controls, drones could be deployed to monitor protestors, for instance, Cagle said.
But Vickery said that's not in the cards. He stated drone footage would only be stored for evidence purposes, and UAVs wouldn't just "sweep across the beat" or randomly take video of homes.
"Any data we collect, if it's not of evidentiary value, would be destroyed," he said.
Sheriff's citizen advisory groups across the county will soon weigh in on drones, according to Vickery. From there, various Sheriff's Department committees and captains of Sheriff's substations will provide feedback. Ultimately, Sheriff Bill Gore will decide whether to implement a pilot program with a small number of drones, and if he deems that successful, drones would go countywide.
Vickery said there isn't a timeline in place for when Gore will make those calls, but potentially in the next few months.
Cagle said it's important that the Sheriff's Department also hold public meetings on the matter.
"I think the real issue here is whether or not San Diego residents even want these drones," he said. "There should be a public debate."
Encinitas Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer declined an interview request for the article, saying she doesn't have enough of an understanding of the issue at this time to have an opinion.
"I will just say this is one of the many complex issues we have to deal with, seeking the best balance between immediate public safety needs and privacy considerations," Shaffer stated in an email.
Launching a Sheriff's drone program would require Federal Aviation Administration approval. Sheriff's drones would be bound by many of the same FAA rules for hobbyist operators, including that UAVs are prohibited from fly higher than 400 feet.
Vickery said the Oceanside Police Department is also researching drones, but a San Diego law enforcement agency has yet to buy and deploy UAVs, he stated.
Public agencies across the nation have paid anywhere from $2,000 to $85,000 per drone, Vickery said.
Sophisticated models have software that snaps photos of landscapes at regular intervals, producing a composite image of the entire area covered.
At this point, the Sheriff's Department hasn't decided which model it could buy or how many, according to Vickery.
For some, the word "drone" conjures up images of large aircraft capable of missile strikes. In response, Vickery said the Sheriff's drones would be similar to small hobbyist drones, and only able to fly for 30 minutes to an hour at a time.
"You wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the ones we're looking at and the hobbyist ones," he said.
Community policing paying off, says Oconee sheriff
by Ray Chandler
WALHALLA — While technology is improving, the most effective crime fighting tools are law enforcement officers and the members of the community they serve, Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw said Wednesday.
"Technology plays a role," Crenshaw said, "but it's human beings that are doing the work and being served."
Crenshaw on Wednesday released the numbers involved in his office's activities over 2015 and advanced some new initiatives for the coming year.
Burglaries, for instance, were down to 432 in 2015 from 479 in 2014, a drop of nearly 10 percent.
The number of domestic violence cases is also down from three years ago, and Crenshaw credits that, in part, to a wholesale community effort to raise awareness and provide a domestic violence shelter in the county.
In 2015, Sheriff's Office victims' advocates took 24 people to the Safe Harbor shelter.
In 2015, the Sheriff's Office busted seven methamphetamine labs, down from 13 labs in 2013.
Meth, however, continues to be a major problem, Crenshaw said.
Interdiction and enforcement will continue to be priorities of the department, Crenshaw said, but within a few months it will begin what he believes is an essential third part of a successful program combating drugs: Treatment.
By May, Christ Central Ministries will be readying to move into the old county detention center adjacent to the county law enforcement center. In addition to providing emergency housing, GED training and job help programs, the ministry will offer programs for treating drug and alcohol addiction.
"We're excited about that," Crenshaw said. "I think it will help people who have reached a crisis in their lives.
"With that in place, this is a foundation we can build on," he said.
This year will also see a continuation of the youth program begun last year. About 30 youngsters, identified as troubled, were part of a youth camp that saw volunteer officers take them hiking and fishing.
"That established relationships that I think will last their whole lives," Crenshaw said.
But the county is graying, the sheriff acknowledged, with a good deal of its population growth from senior citizens moving in.
"With that in mind, we'll be putting in place some programs aimed at senior citizens," he said, adding that the specifics are still a work in progress.
One area, however, where the department's approach is very clear, he said, is litter.
"It's a problem we all need to tackle,' Crenshaw said, "and there are ways we all can."
The department has one designated litter officer, but all 90 sworn personnel will have a secondary function of combating litter.
A new cellphone application under consideration, he said, will allow citizens to directly report littering.
"We encourage community partnership," he said. "It's essential for us to do our jobs, and that's one small way everybody can help."
Quarter of S.C. law enforcement agencies miss body camera deadline
by Mike Ellis
The parents of Zachary Hammond will be speaking to a state Senate Judiciary subcommittee Wednesday to push for tweaks that would allow parents to view dashboard and body camera footage of fatal police shootings within 10 days.
Hammond was shot and killed July 26 in a botched drug sting at a Seneca Hardee's. Video of the shooting was not made public until Oct. 27, after the Independent Mail and other newspapers filed a lawsuit seeking its release and after prosecutors declined to press charges against the Seneca Police Department officer.
Angie and Paul Hammond are pushing for an amendment to the state's body camera laws so parents like them could have a better understanding earlier of what happened, Angie Hammond said.
Most law enforcement officers throughout the state will be required to wear the body cameras by the end of the year.
The footage, however, will not be available under the state's Freedom of Information Act unlike dashboard video, which is subject to the state open records rules.
The body camera rules in South Carolina were a national first, approved last summer in the wake of a North Charleston officer who was charged with murder after civilian video footage was released. In the video the officer appears to shoot a fleeing man in the back.
The legislation is beginning to take shape in local departments as most agencies have finished the first step: turning in policies about body cameras.
A quarter of South Carolina's law enforcement agencies failed to turn in their body camera policy homework to a state regulating organization by a Monday deadline.
The agencies were required to give detailed plans, including how officers will activate the cameras, who wears the cameras and how the footage gets stored.
About 240 of the state's 320 law enforcement agencies met the deadline while others turned in the work on Tuesday, said Maj. Florance McCants of the state Law Enforcement Training Council.
The state training organization has four attorneys reviewing the policies and 179 have gone through the approval process, McCants said.
There is no specific penalty for the agencies that missed Monday's deadline, but they could lose out on a chance for a quicker reimbursement from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety to cover the cost of the cameras.
The state set aside $3.4 million in 2015 and budgeted $2.4 million each following year in supporting funds to help local agencies pay for the cameras.
Lt. Kelley Hughes of the Department of Public Safety said in an email that the state will distribute the money to as many agencies as possible to fund the purchase of cameras along with storage and maintenance costs.
Applications to get state funding are due April 29 and the agencies must first get their policies approved by the Law Enforcement Training Council.
Agencies are not required to use the body cameras until they receive funding and have 270 days after the policy is approved to start using the cameras.
Many Upstate agencies already use body cameras. The Anderson Police Department uses small, beeper-sized cameras that clip to the front of a uniform.
Lt. Tony Tilley said it helps reduce legal liabilities for the department and is another tool to build evidence against suspects.
Oconee County Sheriff's Office road patrol deputies also use body cameras.
Sheriff's Office spokesman Jimmy Watt said the benefits include easier prosecution of crimes in court, as well as clearing good deputies from false complaints while also holding bad deputies accountable.
Click here to view the documents submitted to the Law Enforcement Training Council by the Anderson Police Department and here to view the documents submitted by the Oconee County Sheriff's Office
Chief: 'Thank God' shot, wounded off-duty Fla. detective had on ballistic vest
The windshield of the detective's car was pierced several times by bullets, but his 14-year-old son was not harmed
by Dana Treen
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — With enough foresight to put on a protective vest during a traffic stop on his way to work before dropping off his son at school, a Jacksonville detective survived the unthinkable Wednesday as a 19-year-old opened fire hitting him in the head, body and hand.
The detective fired back, but the suspect briefly got away before officers wounded him in what the Sheriff's Office described as a possible attempted “suicide by cop.”
Kevin Ryan Rojas, 19, was charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, although he remained hospitalized Wednesday afternoon.
The unidentified detective, who works undercover in narcotics and isn't being identified by the Sheriff's Office for his safety, was airlifted to UF Health Jacksonville. Chief Tom Hackney said he was conscious when he was taken from the scene and also was alert following surgery but still in critical condition and stabilized.
Rojas had just been involved in an argument with his live-in girlfriend where he threatened to harm himself, saying “Today could be his last day on earth” and two shots were fired, Hackney said. The gun belonged to a roommate who she said bought it for protection because of the way he was acting the last few weeks.
“He carried that domestic disturbance out into the road with him,” Hackney said.
No 911 call was made from the first incident, he said.
The detective was driving his unmarked car about 7:20 a.m. when he decided to stop a white Cadillac that had driven by him erratically, Hackney said. After initially not stopping, the suspect pulled over near some railroad tracks on Collins Road near Roosevelt Boulevard and immediately got out shooting.
Although he didn't call in the traffic stop, he put on his body armor, and “Thank God that he did,” Hackney said.
The vest also was clearly marked “Police” on the front and back with a badge attached to the front, he said.
“I don't think it was anything ominous about this stop that made him want to wear a vest other than he's doing what his training has dictated what he would do,” Sheriff Mike Williams said.
The windshield of the detective's car was pierced several times by bullets, but his 14-year-old son was not harmed.
“It's by God's grace that he was not shot as well,” Hackney said, also noting what the boy's going through having to witness his father being shot like that.
He said people who were nearby when the shooting occurred pulled the officer off the tracks and got his car moved as a train was approaching.
“There's nothing worse than getting shot to find yourself in the path of an oncoming train when you may not realize that and it was heads-up on those guys' part [to help the wounded officer],” Hackney said.
After the suspect fired four times from a 9mm gun and the detective shot nine times, Hackney said the suspect was not hit and stole a Ford F-350 flatbed truck at a nearby business. He was quickly located by two other officers on Collins Road. When they tried to stop him, he drove into his Whispering Pines subdivision at a dead end on Oak Crossing Drive and crashed into his neighbor's house.
He then went into his own home and the two officers said they saw him pointing the gun at them through a sliding-glass door. Hackney said the suspect's girlfriend and possibly others were inside the home because “he made statements to them that he had just shot a cop.”
Officers Sam Pagan, a six-year veteran, and Clyde Jacobs, a seven-year veteran, fired a total of eight times hitting Rojas at least three times in the torso and a leg and hand, Hackney said. It was their first police-involved shooting.
“I think he was on this medication and wasn't aware of what was going on. I don't [know] his mental status. I don't know what was going on,” Amy Wyss told WJXT TV-4 about her son. “Please don't make him out to be this person he's not.”
She apologized over and over again and said this isn't like her son.
Police from other agencies arrived on scene and officers also gathered at UF Health.
Other agencies, including the St. Johns, Alachua and Citrus county sheriff's offices as well as the Fraternal Order of Police and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry have posted messages of support on social media for the officer and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
“We are very fortunate that this doesn't happen more often ... I think we are feeling very thankful it wasn't worse,” said Shannon Hartley, spokesman for Jacksonville's police union.
Williams said employees are not prohibited from transporting civilians in their company vehicles, so the officer was not violating policy by taking his son to school. Williams said the organization's policy is for officers to “log out” before attempting a traffic stop for the officer's safety, and that will be looked into during the follow-up investigation.
“You're talking about, in the grand scheme of things, a pretty minor policy violation,” Williams said. “What we do want to stress today is the fact that we give officers a lot of discretion. ... You can't write every situation in the policy and tell people to follow that to the letter.”
The detective was hired as a police officer in 2008 and has been in narcotics for a couple of years, Hackney said.
He addressed the precarious position officers can find themselves in at any time and how no traffic stop is routine.
“It really highlights the unknown nature of police work,” he said.
This is the fourth police-involved shooting of the year in Jacksonville, but no suspects were killed. Last year five suspects were killed in 10 police-involved shootings, according to Times-Union records.
Wednesday's shooting of the officer was the worst in Jacksonville since Jared Reston was working off-duty at Regency Square mall in January 2008 and was shot in the face, thigh and buttock. A total of six bullets struck Reston who was wearing a vest and fired back 14 times and killed the young suspect. He survived and has since been involved in other police shootings.
More recently in July 2013, Officer J.C. Prentice was shot in the arm during the arrest of a man suspected in several burglaries. As the arrest was being made, the man reached for his gun and fired.
In April 2013 Officer J. Andrew Benson was shot in the arm after attempting a traffic stop. The shooter fired several rounds out the window of his car.
In September 2008 Officer Clifford Sames was shot when he tried talking with a man acting suspiciously and grabbed the man's elbow and arm. The suspect pulled a gun and fired twice, once missing Sames and then striking him in the neck. The suspect was shot and killed.
Philly officer details ambush by gunman who cited ISIS
Officer Jesse Hartnett testified about how his left arm was shattered by gunfire as he used it to cover his head
by The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA — A police officer ambushed by a silent gunman who later said he acted in the name of Islam testified in court Thursday about the attack, detailing how he kicked his way out of the cruiser to return fire.
Philadelphia prosecutors have found no evidence that suspect Edward Archer has any links to terrorism, though federal authorities continue to explore that issue. Archer's lawyer said he may instead have mental health problems.
Archer, 30, was held for trial on attempted murder and other charges after Thursday's preliminary hearing. He used a stolen police weapon in the attack and emptied the chamber, authorities said.
Officer Jesse Hartnett testified about how his left arm was shattered by gunfire as he used it to cover his head in the vehicle. He said he later kicked the door open to pursue Archer, shooting him three times, before he went to the trunk of his cruiser to look for a tourniquet. Help soon arrived, and two other officers apprehended Archer a block away. They found the gun wrapped in the long white cloak he had been wearing.
Hartnett, 33, spent two weeks in the hospital after the January attack. He has endured seven surgeries and has an eighth scheduled.
"The fact that he had his wits about him, to think, 'I need to go back to my patrol vehicle; I need to get a tourniquet,' I can't imagine anyone doing that," Assistant District Attorney Allison Borgatti said after the hearing.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross and other officers filled the courtroom to support Hartnett during his testimony.
Archer told detectives after his arrest that he believed police enforce laws that undermine the Quran's teachings, officials have said.
"I follow Allah. I pledge my allegiance to the Islamic State, and that's why I did what I did," Homicide Capt. James Clark has quoted him as saying.
Investigators believe Archer traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2011 and to Egypt in 2012, FBI special agent Eric Ruona said previously. The FBI this week declined to comment further on their ongoing investigation.
The weapon, a 9 mm Glock pistol, had been stolen from a Philadelphia police officer's home in 2013, police officials have said. It's not clear how it made its way to Archer, who was also charged with receiving stolen property.
He is due back in court March 31 for an arraignment.
Community Policing Volunteer Slams Task Force Protesters In Email to Public
by Linze Rice
ROGERS PARK — A community policing volunteer drew the ire of some Rogers Park residents by emailing them his thoughts on last month's raucous protest that shut down a police task force meeting, including calling protesters "self-centered egoists."
On Tuesday night, some residents who got Patrick Kenny's email came out to a different meeting to complain. And Kenny stood by his email, calling last month's protesters "goofs" who "danced around, and screamed, and chanted, and went into their rituals."
Kenny is a Rogers Park resident who volunteers as a liaison between the police and community as part of the Chicago Police Department's community policing initiative known as CAPS. He sent the email to about 40 people who had signed up for his email list.
He argued that protesters who interrupted Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Feb. 25 Police Accountability Task Force meeting in Rogers Park — forcing it to be shut down early — were not respectful.
In the email Kenny said his personal reaction was "disgust," and called the protesters "self-centered egoists" who "harangued" the panel of police experts with "nonsense."
"The speaker's diatribe was shouted at the panel," Kenny wrote. "The speaker's puppets shouted their chants on cue ... They always seem to know where the TV cameras are."
The main message of last month's protest was that the five-member task force, appointed by Mayor Emanuel in December after the release of the Laquan McDonald video, was a "P.R. stunt" that would ultimately ignore the wishes of everyday citizens in favor of police and politicians.
On Tuesday night, Megan Selby, an educator who teaches students about healthy relationships, said she came to a community policing meeting after reading Kenny's email. She said she was "concerned" the letter "painted the demonstrators in a negative light when bringing attention to real concerns."
Kenny, whose email made clear it did not represent the police department, said he stood by his letter and believed it was unfair the demonstrators did not allow everyone at the task force meeting to speak.
"Oh, you and your liberal stuff," he said as he dismissed Selby.
Kenny called the demonstrators "goofs" who "destroyed the meeting."
"They destroyed the meeting," Kenny said Tuesday night. "If they are goofs, they are a problem in the community and I'm going to call them goofs."
Kenny described the demonstrators as having "danced around, and screamed, and chanted, and went into their rituals."
"And I accuse them of perversion because of that," Kenny said.
Selby said she felt Kenny was belittling the demonstrators and their concerns by calling them names, and questioned his position as someone who facilitates communication between police and residents.
"It concerns me that you would use belittling remarks about people in the community," she said.
Officer Mike Stachula, also at Tuesday's meeting, said police were out in the community "doing the best we can" and said Kenny was a passionate citizen volunteer who cared about the community.
Selby said in addition to the community crime statistics given to residents at safety meetings, she wanted to see information on police misconduct in certain beats as well.
"It concerns me that systematic issues impacting our city are not being discussed at these meetings," Selby said. "That fact that police don't have to report that data to the community, that's problematic."
Stachula said that information was available to her, but through a Freedom of Information Act request to officials at police headquarters,.
Community safety meetings were not the place to discuss concerns over police misconduct, Stachula said.
"That's above my pay grade," he said.
Some other residents in attendance agreed, saying it's inappropriate to make sweeping generalizations about police misconduct, including racial profiling in the neighborhood, without "hard facts" to back it up.
"We don't know the whole story," some residents said.
Selby and others said it was because of the type of language Kenny used to describe demonstrators, many of whom were people of color, that relationships between certain populations and police continue to be strained.
After Selby pointed out the majority of attendees at Tuesday night's meeting were white, Kenny and Stachula suggested more people should get to know their local police officers and more people should come to safety meetings if they want relations to improve.
Selby said she invited a youth group to the meeting (which was held at the Rogers Park Police District headquarters) that consisted primarily of students of color, but they declined, saying the police station was a "scary place."
"The whole point of CAPS is to strengthen community relationships," Selby said. "CAPS should be sensitive to any perception of injustice in the city."
Columbia City Council seeks community feedback about community policing
by CAITLIN CAMPBELL
A group of city leaders pushing for a change in policing philosophy want to bring residents throughout the community into the conversation.
During a regularly scheduled Columbia City Council meeting on Monday, several council members requested that City Manager Mike Matthes gather feedback on what residents want to see from police and how community policing can be implemented in Columbia.
Community policing emphasizes officers' relationships with the residents they serve. The city and Columbia Police Department are taking steps toward a community policing model, including the recent expansion of the department's community outreach team.
“I think we have to be more vocal on this,” Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas said. “Rather than asking” Police Chief Ken Burton “to do it all on his own, I think we need city engagement.”
Thomas suggested a “visioning process” take place over several months to help create a plan to change the community's perception of police. He said he hopes a series of town hall meetings and a community dialogue can get residents on the same page and establish a citywide philosophy regarding a community policing model.
Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser, who supported the idea, said she would like to involve a third-party facilitator in the discussion.
Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala said the police department still has a long way to go before the entire staff supports community-oriented policing. Skala said he hopes garnering support for the idea throughout the city will put pressure on the department to change.
“This isn't going to get done from the top” of the city staff “on down,” Skala said. “We need the community to support the idea.”
Traci Wilson-Kleekamp, a member of the local activist group Race Matters, Friends, said the group has been pushing for residents and the city to embrace the community policing philosophy and is encouraged by the idea to involve the community in a conversation about policing methods.
Cleveland Community Policing Commission Submits Bias-Free Policing Report
The Cleveland Community Police Commission submitted its Bias-Free Policing Recommendations Report as a part of the city's consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department.
The 107-page Bias-Free Policing Recommendations Report breaks down comments, both positive and negative, from residents from many different racial and cultural backgrounds.
That feedback along with independent research from other U.S. police departments is how the Cleveland Community Police Commission drew up its recommendations.
According to the report, if the CPD has a liaison in specific communities, including Muslims, it could help build trust and better communication.
Committee Chair, Former Lt. Governor Lee Fisher says one of the most important recommendations is having all officers receive continuous in-service training in the areas of diversity and being aware of unconscious attitudes and beliefs.
“Cleveland is one of the most diverse communities in the nation,” said Fisher. “It is one of our strengths but it makes the job of the police that much more challenging because they to better understand who they are dealing with and what technique with one person may not work with another.”
The police department and City of Cleveland will now review the report and then submit a response back to the commission.
City group alleges police misconduct in West Baltimore, wants policy changes
by Catherine Hawley
BALTIMORE - People who live in West Baltimore say there's a deep seeded mistrust of the Baltimore City Police Department, and a major divide between the officers and folks who live on these streets.
"My family never got to see evidence that they reviewed to justify my brother's murder," said Tarlera Marrow.
Tuesday night the 'No Boundaries Coalition' released a 32-page report titled: 'Over-Policed, Yet Underserved. ' Inside it says "police misconduct has shaped the perceptions, attitudes, and relationships between law enforcement and the community."
Back in May they started talking with people who live in Sandtown-Winchester and gathered 57 accounts from people who witnessed or experienced what they consider police misconduct. All of the findings are based on interviews.
One man said "The officer picked me up and slammed me on my face, took my back pack off, and threw all my books out, and when they didn't find anything kicked me in my stomach."
Now, the group wants action.
"The Baltimore Police Department should incentivize officers to live in the communities where they work,” said Rebecca Nagle with the No Boundaries Coalition. “The Baltimore Police Department should also reinstate relationship building programs that introduce police to the community and community to police."
The report includes 27 recommendations for policy change to improve community-police relations like increased civilian oversight of the BPD, implementing community policing models, and rebuilding trust with residents.
"We hope that the community residents are more aware of what's going on, that they learn their rights and that we get the attention of elected officials to make Baltimore City more accountable, and to institute community policing policies that would help us have a better relationship with the residents and police department," said No Boundaries Coalition member, Ashiah Parker.
ABC2 News reached out to police, and a spokesperson says they didn't get to fully review the report, so they can't comment right now.
Last week Commissioner Kevin Davis released a statement saying in part,
"I understand that many reform advocates and legislators are looking for ways to increase the civilian involvement in the police hearing board process. I am willing to engage in these conversations, and would be open to a solution that increases transparency while at the same time preserving the integrity of police disciplinary proceedings."
Indianapolis to host national public safety forum
by Russ McQuaid
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Mar. 8, 2016)-- Indianapolis' efforts to revamp its policing strategies and improve its community involvement in public safety have garnered national attention.
When Troy Riggs was the public safety director and Rick Hite his IMPD chief, Indianapolis was twice represented at White House conferences on community policing.
United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch is expected to visit Indianapolis later this spring to see firsthand the city's progress in reaching out to the community in support of policing issues while addressing problems such as food insecurity, poverty and mental illness and their impact on public safety.
Wednesday IMPD and the Public Policy Institute of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI will host a National Public Safety Forum on Policing and Community Relations at the Main Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library.
The forum will draw national experts like the longtime progressive chief of the Denver Police Department R.C. White and Dr. David Carter of Michigan State University, author of an after action report on the police response to the Ferguson, Missouri, unrest of 2014.
“We do research nationwide on a number of issues,” said Dr. Jeremy Carter of SPEA at IUPUI. “Being able to do it right here in our backyard with IMPD, a very, to my experience, open progressive police department to tackle these issues, has been a serious benefit.
“Luckily Indianapolis hasn't suffered from some of the incidents that we have seen nationwide.”
Despite disintegrating police/community relations in several cities across the country, Indianapolis has avoided that type of public meltdown despite a handful of fatal police action shootings, the murders of two IMPD officer's within one year and a dramatic increase in the number of criminal homicides.
“We want to make sure our police department is more professional, there's a better relationship with the community, and these type of conversations and being honest about it helps,” said Riggs who spent six months in 2015 at the Public Policy Institute before returning as chief of IMPD January 1st. “It showcases our city, it showcases our willingness to discuss tough issues but I think it also says something about IMPD, Joe Hogsett and his administration, that we're able to bring in the best and brightest across this nation to have a conversation here in Indianapolis.”
The forum is financially sponsored by the Eli Lilly Foundation and the Central Indiana Community Foundation at no cost to taxpayers.
“I think the vision is to have Indianapolis lead the conversation nationwide of some of these high level topics we need to be discussing as a community in terms of police and community accountability,” said Dane Nutty, executive director of the Indianapolis Public Safety Foundation which helped organize the forum. “We do have expertise here. We do have skill and talent. It's time for us to have those hard conversations and really develop some solutions.”
The concept of placing Indianapolis at the forefront of both practices and the study of contemporary community policing picked up momentum during Riggs' tenure after leaving the administration of outgoing Mayor Greg Ballard.
“People are intrigued by the process that we're going through as far as trying to involve the community in a lot of the decision making,” said Riggs, “looking for non-profit help, looking at data, and not just crime data, but those systemic issues that lead to crime, so people are intrigued by that. We're getting calls from across the nation.”
So that lessons from IMPD's new approach and the best practices brought here by forum participants aren't lost, IUPUI researchers will digest and compile the findings and write a white paper to be published and read by police chiefs, mayors and industry and academic experts availing themselves of the latest in progressive public safety thinking and put Indianapolis and the Public Policy Institute on the map when it comes to examining and implementing the latest in 21st century policing procedures.
“We're looking to make peoples' jobs better easier,” said Carter. “IMPD now is in a real prime position, not only with Chief Riggs and the things that are going on in Indianapolis and the resources here in SPEA and other places in the community, but they're hiring new officers where we have large cohorts of officers, I believe they just swore in 74 here recently, we have the COPS grants to hire more officers to be community focused and with this new wave of officers you have officers who are more educated, they are more experienced coming out of college, they're more critical thinkers, they're more data savvy, they're more media savvy, they're better at critical thinking and problem solving, they're overall better officers and they get the big picture.”
For all of Indianapolis' positioning as a leader in revamping the way police officers patrol their community in the future, the city is still struggling with a murder tally that is tragically reminiscent of 2015's record for violent deaths.
As of this morning, IMPD recorded 22 homicides this year, listing 18 of them as murders.
All were due to gunshot wounds and seven were drug-related as Riggs told reporters that last year's second half spasm of violence has spilled over to 2016.
27 arrested for hanged mannequins with bullseyes, Calif. deputies' names
Six of the mannequins had names of current or former deputies assigned to the sheriff's station
by Nereida Moreno
TWIN PEAKS, Calif. — Deputies arrested more than two dozen additional people after finding seven mannequins hanging from different locations with the names of law enforcement officers and bullseye targets painted below their names, sheriff's officials said Thursday.
Sheriff's deputies responded on Feb. 18 to calls of the mannequins hanging in various locations in the Crestline and Cedarpines Park communities, officials said in a news release.
Sarah Stewart, 36, and Erin Elder, 47, were arrested at a residence in the 300 block of Davos Drive after witnesses reported seeing them allegedly load mannequins into a U-Haul truck.
Six of the mannequins had names of current or former deputies assigned to the Twin Peaks sheriff's station, and one had a probation officer's name, officials said.
On Monday, deputies investigated households in Crestline and Valley of Enchantment believed to be connected with the mannequins. A total of 27 people with active warrants were arrested on charges ranging from drug-related crimes to assault on a peace officer, officials said. They were transported and booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.
Anyone with information about the mannequins can call the Sheriff's Twin Peaks Station at 909-336-0687 or WeTip at 800-78-CRIME (27463).
Pedestrian deaths surged in 2015, early data show
by Tribune news services
Pedestrian deaths surged by an estimated 10 percent last year as the economy improved, the price of gas plunged and motorists put more miles behind the wheel than ever before, according to an analysis of preliminary state traffic fatality data.
The growing use of cellphones distracting drivers and walkers may also be partially to blame, states a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents governors' highway safety offices. Warmer weather and shorter winters along with a greater awareness of health benefits may also be encouraging people to walk more.
"This is really sobering news," said Richard Retting, co-author of the report. "Pedestrian safety is clearly a growing problem across the country."
The data analyzed were from the first half of 2015. If the trend holds true for the full year, it would be the largest year-to-year increase in pedestrian deaths since 1975 when the current federal system for recording traffic deaths was created.
The report is based on state traffic fatality figures, extrapolated for the full year by researchers at Sam Schwartz Consulting, which specializes in transportation matters.
There were 2,368 pedestrians killed in the first six months of 2015, compared to 2,232 during the same period in 2014 — a 6 percent increase. Researchers arrived at a 10 percent increase for the entire year by factoring in that fatalities for the first half of the year are typically underreported, and that for at least the last five years an average of 25 percent more pedestrian deaths were recorded in the second half of the year, which includes warmer summer months, Retting said.
Total traffic deaths, which had been trending downward for the past decade, were also up an estimated 8 percent last year. But pedestrian fatalities have been rising since 2005, and now account for 15 percent of total traffic deaths. The last time pedestrian deaths accounted for that large a share of traffic deaths was 25 years ago.
Nearly three-quarters of pedestrian deaths occur after dark, and a third of those killed had been drinking alcohol, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. By comparison, about 15 percent of motorists involved in those crashes had a blood alcohol content at the legal limit or higher.
In a related issue, the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents city bus drivers, estimates that roughly one pedestrian is killed every 10 days by a city bus because of blind spots in poorly designed buses. Wide "A pillars," which connect the windshield to the driver's side window, and poorly placed side mirrors frequently obstruct drivers' view of intersections, according to the union.
"Until the industry demands a change in the design of buses to remove the unnecessary blind spots like European buses, people will continue to die in these preventable accidents," said Larry Hanley, the union's president.
Ferguson to weigh accepting U.S. government's police reform plan
by SUE BRITT
The Ferguson, Missouri, city council on Tuesday may back down and approve an agreement it reached with the U.S. Justice Department to reform the city's police department after the 2014 shooting of an unarmed black teenager.
The council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. local time (0100 GMT Wednesday) and officials indicated on Monday they may approve the agreement without the changes the city sought last month over cost concerns - which sparked a lawsuit from the Justice Department to force the city to comply.
The fatal shooting of unarmed Michael Brown, 18, by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, exposed tension between the city government and the largely black community. Ferguson erupted into violent protests in 2014 after a grand jury chose not to indict the officer.
A sharply critical report by the Justice Department last year documented discriminatory actions by Ferguson police and the municipal court system, especially against blacks.
The council accepted the basic terms of the agreement last month, but asked federal officials to make changes related to pay levels for police officers and staffing levels at the jail. It also wanted additional time to comply.
If the council votes to approve the agreement without changes, the lawsuit against the city would be resolved.
The agreement requires the police department to give officers bias-awareness training and implement an accountability system. The city also agreed that police must ensure that stop, search and arrest practices do not discriminate on the basis of race or other factors protected under law.
The settlement also requires the city to change its municipal code, including sections that impose prison time for failure to pay certain fines.
Sheriff Clarke: ‘Black on Black Crime' ‘Much Bigger Problem' Than Community Policing
by Penny Starr
David Clarke Jr., the sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wis., said on Thursday that black on black violence is a much greater problem in the United States than the much rarer incidents of police using deadly force in the line of duty.
“You know when they talk about black lives matter, black lives really matter, they'd back off the police, and they'd focus their efforts on things like black on black crime, which is a much bigger problem in the black community than the few instances – fortunately – few instances of police having to use deadly force, you know, to save their life or somebody else's,” Clarke told CNSNews.com at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland.
CNSNews.com asked Clarke about the focus by federal law enforcement on community policing policies.
“When you try to weaken the institution of policing, you know who pays the highest price for that? Good, law-abiding black people, because they need the police in their neighborhoods more than their counterparts – the wealthy,” Clarke said.
“You know when they talk about black lives matter, black lives really matter, they'd back off the police and they'd focus their efforts on things like black on black crime, which is a much bigger problem in the black community than the few instances – fortunately – few instances of police having to use deadly force, you know, to save their life or somebody else's,” Clarke said.
Justice Department sees NC police as a model for nation
The department emphasizes police officers becoming a part of the community
by Joe Gamm
GREENSBORO, N.C. — In early February, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch began tours of cities whose police departments illustrate what she considers to be “pillars” of 21st-century policing.
Lynch first visited Miami on Feb. 11-12, leaving the same day the city announced a civil rights settlement in which her agency will monitor police training, supervision and investigations into officer-involved shootings. She arrived at Portland, Ore., last week and announced new U.S. Department of Justice awards for community policing.
She soon will visit Fayetteville, a city whose police department has a history of strained relations with the public but has improved on the public's trust, according to U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Kevin Lewis. When Lynch will visit Fayetteville has not been determined, Lewis said. The city visits will probably be spaced out by a couple of months.
“She wants people giving her direct feedback,” he said.
Lynch is focusing “on communities that have had strained relationships but have managed to strengthen that relationship,” Lewis said.
Other cities she is scheduled to visit include Indianapolis, Phoenix and Los Angeles.
In May, President Barack Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing released its report on the rifts between the public and local law-enforcement agencies that serve them.
The White House report laid out six general pillars of policing and provided 59 recommendations to improve interactions between departments and their communities.
The pillars include: Building trust and legitimacy, policy and oversight, technology and social media, community policing and crime reduction, training and education, and officer wellness and safety. Each category contained recommendations on building the pillars.
For example, a recommendation for training suggested that police academies engage communities by letting the public evaluate and offer input into its training, and letting some members of the public go through the courses if they so chose.
Another of the recommendations, this one for building trust and legitimacy, was for a department to strive to reflect the diversity of its communities.
After release of the report, the DOJ sought examples of departments that were already implementing those recommendations.
“We asked law enforcement which cities were doing a great job,” Lewis said.
Fayetteville was among them.
Shortly after his 2013 selection as Fayetteville's police chief, Harold Medlock began implementing the DOJ's Community Oriented Policing Services methods.
Community-oriented policing uses data and public and private partnerships to help reduce crime.
“One of the main ones (recommendations) is fair and impartial training,” Lewis said. “They do that at the Fayetteville Police Department. They've seen a 20 percent decrease in overall complaints.”
That wasn't easy, Medlock said.
“When I came in, there were a lot of people that were angry and frustrated,” he said. “A lot of community leaders were angry and frustrated. A lot of my officers were angry and frustrated.”
Most just wanted to be heard.
A phrase he often heard, one that a New York Times article also used to describe police practices in both Fayetteville and Greensboro, was “driving while black,” he said.
The phrase refers to black drivers being more likely than white drivers to be pulled over for minor infractions and searched.
“I don't disagree that this is the case,” Medlock said. “The disparity still exists in those traffic stops, but it's coming down.”
Because police should not be making stops in Fayetteville just to search a vehicle, Medlock said, the department de-emphasized regulatory traffic stops — such as those conducted for unused seat belts, a broken tail light or an expired registration. In those cases, drivers oftentimes feel that they have no choice but to consent to a search, even though they can refuse if an officer asks for consent to search a vehicle. The Fayetteville City Council has since instituted a “consent to search” form. After the department started using the forms, the number of consent searches dropped, he said.
The department also recently began using body-worn cameras.
High-ranking members of the department traveled to Greensboro in December to discuss the technology, Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott said.
“They're still working through what to do with them,” he said.
Because Greensboro was one of the first cities to issue body-worn cameras to all its officers, other agencies check with the agency to see how the devices might work for them, he said.
And like Fayetteville, Greensboro has been rolling out its own COPS program, which it calls Neighborhood Oriented Policing. The NOP has a bit of a geographical focus, placing more police on the streets in areas intended to cut down their response times.
“We looked at ‘How often do our officers patrol the areas where they're assigned?' ” he said. “More often than not, they had been called out of their area.”
The department started the shift last year. It also organized walks through communities. Command staff wanted residents to get to know the officers who serve them.
“We did special assignments, when we went out and walked neighborhoods,” Scott said. “We were just going out, knocking on doors, sitting on porches and talking.”
The department created a new Street Crimes Unit, which uses information provided by the department's Criminal Intelligence Squad, knowledge of regular offenders and crime data to resolve spikes in crime, he said.
The 100th Police Academy (a new name for Greensboro's school) began in February.
The new academy will set aside significant class time to focus on communications.
“How do you become an active listener?” Scott asked. “How do you communicate when tension is up? Saying ‘Calm down' usually doesn't calm anybody down.”
So, cadets will learn to read body language and incorporate communication in other policing techniques, like “soft hands,” which is the use of placing a hand on a person to guide, hold or restrain them with minimal force.
To help cadets become more invested in communities, for the first time, they will be required as part of their training to participate in community events, such as “Tip-a-Cop,” in which officers serve tables at a day for charity. They donate their tips to Special Olympics.
“To my knowledge, we've never even talked to them about that,” Scott said. “There's no better way to (make them part of the community) than that.”
A reason Lynch first visited the Miami-Dade Police Department was to highlight its recognition as a department whose officers integrate into their neighborhoods, Lewis said.
The department emphasizes police officers becoming a part of the community — just as much as anyone else, he said. “Their children go to school there. The community is an extension of their own family.”
Lynch's office thinks that philosophy can be adopted by agencies across the country, he said.
“It was more than just, ‘Hey, I feel safe,'” Lewis said. “Law enforcement officers were going above and beyond to reduce violence and make them feel safer.”
Officers were solving problems on a local level.
As part of the new Greensboro academy, cadets will learn to be problem solvers, Scott said. They'll possibly have to work with other agencies in the city.
For instance, officers and firefighters in early 2014 were being called to Heritage House three to five times a day, Scott said.
“We had shootings. We had drug dealing,” he said. “It was a number of things. That problem created a drain on city resources and the way police calls and fire service calls were handled.”
A continuing problem is getting the demographics of cadets to match that of the city, Scott said.
According to city data released in January, the population has pushed above 282,000. About 53 percent of those residents are nonwhite.
About 40 percent of the 100th Academy is nonwhite.
“That's not right where the city is. I know that,” he said.
Still, he said, “We're making great strides.”
The Greensboro Police Department has made an all-out push to recruit minorities through radio and TV ads. It also bought ads sprawled across city buses featuring smiling faces of African American and Hispanic men and women. The department advertises in Spanish-language newspapers, at job fairs, and has designated three officers to recruit students and veterans.
Still, the department has critics, particularly after the New York Times article featured Greensboro as a city with a significant disparity between the number of black drivers and the number of white drivers pulled over for equipment infractions.
In November, Scott temporarily suspended officers from making stops for minor traffic infractions, such as broken headlights. The department is analyzing data from the first 90 days of the order.
The department has received an analysis of traffic stop data, in which researchers looked at about 20 factors that lead to decisions to conduct traffic stops, he said. It is producing a summary report to release along with the analysis.
“It's an extremely complicated question,” Scott said. “There are not any … quick fixes. I am going to get the report out by the end of March.”
Standards for police body cameras headed to Fla. Governor
Legislators have supported more police and sheriff departments using body cameras
by The Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A bill establishing guidelines for law enforcement agencies in Florida that use body cameras is headed to Gov. Rick Scott.
The Florida Senate passed legislation (HB 93) Monday that requires police to develop standards for the use of body cameras and how the audio and video files will be stored. It doesn't mandate that police must use body cameras.
The bill, which was approved 37-0, also requires training procedures in place for officers who use the cameras.
Legislators have supported more police and sheriff departments using body cameras because it captures more than what dash cams are able to provide.
Sen. Christopher Smith, a Democrat from Fort Lauderdale, thinks the bill will offer transparency and improve relations between the police and the public.
From the Department of Homeland Security
DHS Works with Critical Infrastructure Owners and Operators to Raise Awareness of Cyber Threats
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) works closely with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the electric sector to ensure the security, resilience, and reliability of the U.S. power grid. Additionally, many American utility providers have invested heavily in both cyber and physical security. While the U.S. power grid is highly resilient, it's important for owners and operators of electric and other critical infrastructure sector assets to be aware of this particular threat and to implement mitigation steps that will reduce their vulnerabilities to similar cyber-attacks and other malicious activity employing these tactics, techniques, and procedures. To be clear, this threat applies to any sector that uses industrial control systems, not just the electric sector.
Last December, several Ukrainian power companies experienced an apparent cyber-attack that resulted in unscheduled power outages lasting up to six hours that impacted over 200,000 customers. At the request of the Ukrainian government, an U.S. interagency team comprised of representatives from DHS's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) and United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) as well as the DOE, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, traveled to Ukraine to gather information about the incident and identify potential mitigations.
At this time, there is no evidence of similar malicious activity affecting U.S. critical infrastructure. However, U.S. critical infrastructure entities have been affected by targeted intrusions in recent years, and it is imperative that critical infrastructure owners and operators across all sectors are aware and up-to-date on the cyber threat landscape and the measures they can take to protect their assets.
As part of our ongoing mission to share information, DHS has posted a public alert on the ICS-CERT website, in addition to a technical alert to a secure portal for critical infrastructure partners. The Department has also provided briefings to critical infrastructure partners and international allies. DHS has already provided a briefing to the electric sector, and we have upcoming briefings with the chemical, nuclear, transportation, natural gas, and water sectors via Sector Coordinating Councils and Information Sharing and Analysis Centers.
Critical infrastructure owners and operators need to be aware of malicious cyber activity and take measures to protect their assets. They should read the ICS-CERT Incident Alert regarding this incident and implement mitigation practices outlined in the alert. Those recommended mitigation actions will reduce their exposure to many types of cyber threats. More detailed technical information is available on the secure ICS-CERT portal. To join this portal, critical infrastructure owners and operators should email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more general recommendations, critical infrastructure owners and operators should review the “Seven Steps to Effectively Defend Industrial Control Systems.”
Our work does not stop here. DHS is planning an expanded outreach campaign to all critical infrastructure sector asset owners and operators to discuss the Ukraine incident and provide detection and mitigation strategies to prevent cyber-attacks using these malicious techniques and tactics. Information sharing is a key part of our cybersecurity mission and we will continue to do so in the interest of public safety.