LACP - NEWS of the Week
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.


April, 2016 - Week 3



Ohio authorities believe at least 1 gunman at large after family killing

by Fox News

Authorities in Ohio said Saturday that at least one assailant remained at large because it appears that none of the eight family members killed in Friday's mass shooting died from a self-inflicted shot.

The Ohio attorney general said Saturday that investigators and law enforcement worked through the night to gather information and execute search warrants to determine who shot eight family members in the head in rural southern Ohio.

In a written statement, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said the investigation into the killings of the Rhoden family is still in its early stages.

They said evidence continues to be processed and analyzed from the four properties near Piketon where the family members were found dead Friday.

DeWine told reporters earlier Friday that eight relatives – seven adults and a 16-year-old boy – were apparently shot in the head “execution-style.”

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said at least three young children survived. One was 4 days old, one was 6 months old, and the third was 3 years old. The youngest baby was found in bed next to the child's dead mother.

“My heart goes out to my county,” Reader said.

DeWine said the family's last name was Rhoden, but did not give first names. "If I was a member of that family, I would be extra cautious right now," the attorney general added.

Reader later told a late night news conference he had spoken with the family and gave them "precautionary measures to take."

Asked if he had a message for the killer or killers, Reader replied, "we're coming."

Investigators said it was possible more than one shooter attacked the family because the homes were spread out roughly a mile and a half apart. Three of the four homes were on the same street in Piketon.

Officials said a preliminary investigation revealed that none of the eight killings were by suicide.

According to the Chillicothe Gazette, the first call of a possible fatality came at 7:53 a.m. The sheriff's office received a 911 call reporting a possible death at a home owned by a Christopher Rhoden on Union Hill Road. Police found two bodies in that home.

While deputies were responding to that call, bystanders flagged authorities down and pointed them to two more houses on the same road. Five move bodies were found in those homes and the 16-year-old was later found at a home on Left Fork Road.

Pastor Phil Fulton told the Gazette that one of the victims was 37-year-old Dana Manley Rhoden, Christopher Rhoden's ex-wife. Police haven't confirmed those details

The Union Hill Church pastor opened his doors to the Rhoden family to help deal with their tragic losses. Fulton told WTTE-TV he's here for them in this difficult time.

"This is a time I've learned over the years you put your feelings on hold that's hard to do but you embrace the family as you deal with the family this is where we rely on the lord," Fulton said.

He said he has no idea “what kind of evil person” would've killed members of the Rhoden family.

The church will remain open providing meals and other support for those affected by the tragedy, according to WTTE-TV.

Goldie Hilderbran said she lives about a mile from where she has been told a shooting took place — news she received from a mail carrier who told her deputies had an area blocked off.

"She just told me she knew something really bad has happened," Hilderbran said.




Lawmakers want to revive community policing

by Christian M. Wade

BOSTON — Faced with rampant crack cocaine abuse in the mid-1990s, law enforcement officials stepped up foot patrols to get more officers integrated in neighborhoods, build community trust and crack down on dealers.

The initiatives were funded by state and federal grants, which at the time were pouring into cities and towns as part of the "war on drugs" to eradicate street-level drug sales, gang violence and mistrust of police officers.

But the grant money eventually dried up, and many of the community policing programs went away.

Now state lawmakers want to bring back community policing to help deal with the latest drug scourge: heroin and prescription drug abuse that is claiming hundreds of lives a year. Leaders in the Massachusetts House of Representatives have agreed to earmark $2.5 million in next fiscal year's budget to revive the popular state grant program.

"This program was very effective, but it was whittled away because of budget cuts," said state Rep. Linda Campbell, D-Methuen, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which proposed the plan. "Reviving it to specifically target the opioid epidemic will allow police to spend more time in neighborhoods, increasing their presence and suppressing drug sales."

The House proposal must still be included in the Senate's version of the budget and survive Gov. Charlie Baker's veto pen.

Nationwide, a series of fatal police shootings of civilians has strained relations with communities they serve. Several states — including Massachusetts — have proposed body cameras and other policy changes aimed at rebuilding the fractured public trust.

Law enforcement officials say bringing back community policing is key to that effort.

"We see that communication has broken down in many communities across the country," said Wayne Sampson, executive director of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, which supports the initiative. "Many of the cities and towns that had community policing have done away with the programs because of a lack of funding."

Tucker: 'Money well-spent'

Rep. Paul Tucker, D-Salem, recalls the success of state-funded community outreach programs when he was a Salem police detective.

"We got a lot of stuff done back when these grants were in vogue in the 1990s," he said. "We were able to focus on the hot spots throughout the city while building up trust with the community. It was money very well-spent."

Still, the $2.5 million earmarked to revive community policing is a drop in the bucket compared to what the state used to spend.

Between 1994 and 1999, the state Legislature allocated more than $78 million in grants to cities and towns for community policing initiatives, according to a 2000 legislative report. Before the funding dwindled amid budget cuts and other spending priorities, the state was doling out more than $20 million a year to communities.

"The success of this initiative, and the positive impact is has had on many communities, has created a strong constituency among business, political, law enforcement and civic leaders," the report stated.

"But a qualitative assessment of the impact of community policing initiatives in each community is difficult because it is impossible to measure crimes not committed or prevented," the report added.

Federal money tight

Federal funding for community policing has also become tight for communities seeking it.

To date, the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services — known as COPS — has distributed more than $14 billion in grants to thousands of agencies for community policing initiatives.

The program was signed into law in 1994 in a drive by President Bill Clinton to put 100,000 new police officers on the streets. President Barack Obama revived the COPs program after taking over the White House in 2009.

But competition for the grants is intense, and the money can be used only to hire more police officers.

Likewise, COPs funding has recently been tied up in partisan battles between Congress and President Obama.

Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello, who gained acclaim for his department's "angels" anti-heroin program, says a major focus of the grant funding should be on training for police officers to deal with heroin and opioid addicts.

He doesn't like the term "community policing" but supports the philosophy behind it.

"One of the biggest challenges we face is building community trust," he said. "The public wants police officers to have a partnership with the community and not just lock everyone up. We need to reconnect with people."




Heroin epidemic is affecting public safety

More overdoses, more crime, more arrests

by Tara Molina

CLEVELAND - More overdoses, more crime, more arrests. The heroin problem in Northeast Ohio continues to grow, according to the people dealing with it first hand.

It's affecting our police and sheriff's departments by tying up public safety.

Herb de la Porte, the Vice President of LifeCare ambulance, told NewsChannel 5 they've seen an increase in overdose calls over the years.

"Overdoses have tripled," he said.

They're not alone.

Detective Mehling, with the Lorain County Sheriff's department said the problems just keep getting worse.

"This is overwhelming. In Lorain county, they're using Narcan everyday. Sometimes 4,5, 6 times a day," he said.

Lt. Paul Shepard with Fairview Park police said the epidemic is tying up public safety.

"If we go to an overdose call, we usually send two officers, you have 3 paramedics with an ambulance, then you have to follow up with that! The more calls we have to go to, that's where we aren't available to help other people," he said.

Detective Mehling agreed. He said it's similar for the drug unit.

"There's not too much other things we have the time to spend on. We are chasing heroin dealers every day," he said.

Lieutenant Shepard told NewsChannel 5, the people at home who think it doesn't affect them, are missing something.

This drug epidemic is more than a strain for law enforcement. It's a drain on society. He said they're doing everything they can to change that.

"The cost reaches everybody. Through medical bills. Through the cost of prosecuting. The Narcan? We had to buy that! That came from tax payer's budget. This is costing society in general," he said.



From The Department of Justice

Two Individuals Charged in Superseding Indictment with Conspiring to Commit Acts of Terrorism Transcending National Boundaries

Today, David Daoud Wright, aka Dawud Sharif Abdul Khaliq, aka Dawud Sharif Abdul Khaliq, 26, of Everett, Massachusetts, and Nicholas Alexander Rovinski, aka Nuh Amriki, aka Nuh Andalusi, 25, of Warwick, Rhode Island, were charged in a superseding indictment with conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts and Special Agent in Charge Harold H. Shaw of the FBI's Boston Division.

This charge, as well as additional conspiracy allegations, were included in a new superseding indictment against Wright and Rovinski today. A grand jury in June 2015, charged them with conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The indictment also charged Wright with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice.

Wright and Rovinski are charged with conspiring with each other, known and unknown conspirators, and Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, 26, Wright's uncle, to provide material support to ISIL and commit acts of terrorism that transcended national boundaries. On June 2, 2015, Rahim was shot and killed after he attacked law enforcement officers in a Roslindale, Massachusetts, parking lot.

The superseding indictment alleges that, beginning in at least February 2015, Wright began discussing ISIL's call to kill non-believers in the United States with Rahim and Rovinski and they began plotting and recruiting members for their “martyrdom” operation. In March 2015, Wright drafted organizational documents for a “Martyrdom Operations Cell” and conducted Internet search queries about firearms, the effectiveness of tranquilizers on human subjects and the establishment of secret militias in the United States. Simultaneously, Rahim was communicating with ISIL members overseas, including Junaid Hussain. On Aug. 24, 2015, Hussain was killed in an airstrike in Raqqah, Syria.

As alleged in the indictment, beginning in or about May 2015, Hussain allegedly communicated directly with Rahim. Rahim in turn communicated Hussain's instructions to Wright, with regard to the murder of an individual residing in New York. Wright, Rovinski and Rahim each allegedly conspired to commit attacks and kill persons inside the United States on behalf of ISIL. In preparation for their attack, Rovinski conducted research on weapons that could be used to behead their victims. Since being arrested, Rovinski has sought to continue their planned attacks and has written letters to Wright from prison discussing ways to take down the U.S. government and decapitate non-believers.

The charge of conspiracy to provide material support provides a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a lifetime term of supervised release and a $250,000 fine; conspiracy to obstruct justice provides a maximum sentence of five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine; obstruction of justice provides a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine; conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries provides a maximum sentence of life in prison, lifetime supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This investigation is being conducted by the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and the Rhode Island JTTF with critical assistance from the Boston Police Department; Boston Regional Intelligence Center; Massachusetts State Police; Commonwealth Fusion Center; Everett Police Department; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations; Rhode Island State Police; Warwick, Rhode Island, Police Department; Rhode Island Fusion Center; Naval Criminal Investigative Service; and member agencies of the JTTF.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney B. Stephanie Siegmann of the District of Massachusetts's National Security Unit and Trial Attorney Greg R. Gonzalez of the National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the court of law.



Department of Justice

2016 National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch today announced that the Department of Justice released the 2016 National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction. The strategy provides a comprehensive threat assessment of the nature and scope of the current dangers facing our nation's children, including child pornography offenses, sextortion and live-streaming of child sexual abuse, child sex trafficking, child sex tourism and sex offense registry violations. For the first time, the strategy also dedicates an entire section to the unique challenges confronting child exploitation in Indian Country.

“No matter what form child exploitation takes and no matter how technologically advanced it is, it demands the full attention of law enforcement, policymakers, community leaders and service providers alike,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “This strategy examines existing efforts, assesses new threats and plots a course for the future. It identifies innovative ways in which the federal government and its partners can address child exploitation. And it reaffirms our unwavering commitment to ensure that every child in America is able to reach his or her potential, free of violence and abuse.”

The strategy analyzes the work of federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, as well as other agencies and offices that play important roles by supporting victims, providing grants to state, local and tribal governments and non-profit partners and educating the public about the dangers of child exploitation. Since FY 2011, the Department of Justice has filed 20,260 Project Safe Childhood (PSC) cases against 19,111 defendants. These cases include prosecutions of child sex trafficking; sexual abuse of a minor or ward; child pornography offenses; obscene visual representation of the sexual abuse of children; selling or buying of children; and many more statutes.

Despite the vigorous and coordinated efforts to combat the different aspects of child exploitation, the department also recognized that more work remains and that the response must continue to evolve with the threat. To that end, the strategy outlines four goals and objectives that build upon the department's accomplishments in combating child exploitation: investigations and prosecutions; outreach and education; victim services; and policy initiatives.

As part of its public outreach efforts, the department is also unveiling a public service announcement that specifically addresses the issue of sextortion – a crime where someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material if you don't provide them images of a sexual nature, sexual favors or money. Made in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the video highlights the ways in which malicious actors can use the internet to obtain and use private material to extort innocent individuals of all ages. The announcement concludes by directing individuals with tips or leads regarding suspected crimes of sexual exploitation to file a report at www.cybertipline.org.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Project Safe Childhood (PSC) initiative. PSC is a department initiative launched in May 2006 that aims to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, tribal and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. To learn more about PSC's work, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/psc.

For more information regarding the National Strategy to Combat Child Exploitation, Prevention and Interdiction, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/psc/national-strategy-child-exploitation-prevention-and-interdiction.



From The FBI

Violent Home Invasion

Case Illustrates Threat Posed by Gangs

Violent gangs pose a significant threat to communities throughout the United States. You don't have to live in South Central Los Angeles or Chicago's inner city to feel the impact of gang violence, as a recent case from Washington state illustrates.

On a Tuesday evening in November 2014, three teenagers from Seattle's Down with the Crew Gang—a violent affiliate of the Black Gangster Disciples gang—set out from Seattle for a 50-mile drive south to the community of Lakewood. Their intention was to rob a large-scale drug house they had received information about.

Around 9:30 p.m., a 66-year-old Lakewood man answered a knock at his door and was confronted by the three youths, who forced their way into the home. The gang members had picked the wrong house, but that didn't matter to them. What happened next was 20 minutes of terror for an innocent couple.

The gang members pistol-whipped the man until he was unconscious, tied his hands, and placed a blanket over him. They broke down a bathroom door and dragged out his 61-year-old wife, stabbed her, tied her hands, and placed her under the blanket with her husband, who was bleeding severely.

Electrical Cables Uses to Bind Victims' Hands

After gang members pistol-whipped one victim and stabbed his wife, they used these electrical cables to bind the victims' hands during the home invasion.

“They brutalized the couple,” said Special Agent Kelly Smith, who supervises the South Sound Gang Task Force—one of more than 160 FBI-led Safe Streets tasks forces nationwide—which handled the investigation out of the Bureau's Seattle Division. “The level of violence and complete disregard for human life was astounding in this case,” he added.

That disregard for life became even more apparent as the home invasion continued. The robbers were in and out of the house carrying stolen items to their car when the husband regained consciousness. He was able to free himself and his wife, and with all three assailants temporarily outside, he locked the front door and the couple retreated to their bedroom, where he called 911 and retrieved his handgun.

The robbers forced their way back inside, firing a gunshot through the front door. Then they kicked down the locked bedroom door where the couple had barricaded themselves behind their bed. Confronted again by the attackers, the man fired two shots, hitting 19-year-old Taijon Vorhees both times.

At that point, all three robbers fled and drove away. And the two uninjured gang members—Duprea Wilson and Qiuordai Taylor, ages 19 and 17, respectively—decided to help themselves rather than their wounded friend.

“They didn't want anything to do with taking him to a hospital,” said Jeff Martin, a Lakewood Police Department detective assigned to the South Sound Gang Task Force. “They drove around until he was unconscious, then dumped his body and left him to die. They basically pushed him right out of the car.”

The wounded teen did, in fact, die. The two other subjects were apprehended within 72 hours of the crime. At trial in February 2015, the two surviving defendants faced 11 state felony charges. One of the charges was manslaughter—for allowing their friend to die without seeking medical attention.

In March 2016 a jury found Wilson and Taylor guilty on all counts, and later that month a judge sentenced them each to 56 years in prison.

Smith, who has supervised the task force since 2012, credits his local, state, and federal partners, along with experienced Pierce County Prosecutor's Office attorneys, with bringing the case to a successful conclusion.

As for the victims, Martin said they have mostly recovered from their physical injuries, but there are still emotional issues to contend with. “There are definitely lasting effects from the attack,” he said, “maybe effects that will last the rest of their lives.”



U.S. suicide rates up, especially among women, but down for black males

by Carina Storrs

The number of suicides in the United States has been on the rise since 1999 in everyone between the ages of 10 and 74, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics looked at data on cause of death for Americans 10 and older from 1999 to 2014. They also included information on age and race from death certificates.

In 2014, 13 people out of every 100,000 took their own lives, compared with 10.5 per 100,000 in 1999. The suicide rate increased every year from 1999 to 2014 among both women and men and in every age group except those 75 and older.

"The increase is broad-based," said Sally C. Curtin, a statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics and lead author of the new report, which was released Thursday.

Such an increase in suicides could also make prevention efforts more difficult. "If it were just one particular group, you could say 'that is where we need to focus,' " Curtin said.

The report is the first since 1999 to look at suicide rates among all age groups, she said.

The number of suicides increased among all racial groups except for black males, who saw an 8% decline in suicide rate from 10.5 to 9.7 per 100,000 between 1999 and 2014, respectively. The largest increases were among American Indians and Alaska Natives; in this group, the suicide rate climbed by 89% among women and 38% among men. Suicide rates among white women and white men increased by 60% and 28%, respectively.

Although it is difficult to know why suicide rates increased so much among American Indians and Alaska Natives, "they are typically in a lower socioeconomic status than some of the other ethnic and racial groups, and may have greater access to lethal means and be at higher risk of substance use and alcohol use," Holland said.

The suicide rate in 2014 marks a return to 1996, when the rate was also 13 per 100,000. Although the rate fell between 1996 and 1999, it has been steadily increasing since. The pace of increase has also picked up; whereas the suicide rate climbed by about 1% each year between 1999 and 2006, it increased by 2% each year between 2006 and 2014.

"We are absolutely very concerned that ... suicide is still on the rise," said Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a nonprofit organization that funds suicide research.

"Our nation has not made the level of investment on a federal level that can have the positive effect on suicide that has happened for the other leading causes of death," such as heart disease and cancer, said Moutier, who was not involved in the current report. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

The reasons for the increase in the suicide rate over the past 15 years are many and complex. Whereas there was a big push between the late 1980s and 1990s for health care providers to identify and treat depression and other mental health problems, some of this progress was undone in recent years because of concerns that antidepressants could increase suicide risk, Moutier said. These concerns were driven by controversy around the Food and Drug Administration's decision to give these medications a black box warning about the suicide risk in children, she added.

The FDA cautioned at the time that children should still be treated for depression but monitored for any signs of suicidal thoughts.

Another contributor to the rise in suicide rates could be the growing number of overdose deaths from opiate painkillers, which are considered suicide if a medical examiner or coroner determines that they were probably intentional, Moutier said. "Access to lethal means is one of the most significant risk factors for an individual to die by suicide," she added.

Yet another factor could have been the economic downturn in the late 2000s, said Kristin Holland, a behavioral scientist in the CDC's Division of Violence Prevention who was not involved in the current research.

Largest increases in middle-aged and young women

The report found that men died by suicide more often than women. In 2014, the rate was 20.7 suicides per 100,000 men, compared with 5.8 per 100,000 women. However, there was a 45% increase in the suicide rate in women between 1999 and 2014, whereas the increase among men during that period was 16%.

The increase in suicide deaths was greater in magnitude for women of all ages compared with men, with the exception of people 75 and older, whose suicide rate fell from 4.5 per 100,000 in 1999 to 4 in 2014.

Among women ages 10 to 14, the suicide rate increased threefold between 1999 and 2014, from 0.5 to 1.5 per 100,000. Although the rate was higher overall among men in this age group, it did not increase as much during this period, climbing from 1.9 to 2.6 per 100,000.

This increase among young women could be misleading because the rate itself is "exceedingly low," and only a small number of suicide deaths would be enough to drive it up substantially, Moutier said. "But we certainly have our eye on it," she added.

Middle-aged women, between 45 and 64, had the highest suicide rate in both 1999 and 2014. This age group also had the largest increase in suicide rate: 63%, from 6 to 9.8 per 100,000. The 45-64 age group also had the largest increase in suicide rate among men: 43%, from 20.8 to 29.7 per 100,000.

Men 75 and older had the highest overall suicide rate, even though it decreased from 42.4 to 38.8 per 100,000 between 1999 and 2014. The total number of suicide deaths was much greater in middle-aged men than this older group because the population of middle-aged men is so much larger, Curtin said.

A shift in methods of suicide

In both 1999 and 2014, firearms were the most common method by which men took their own lives, although the proportion of all suicides in men that were firearm-related decreased from 61.7% to 55.4%. Among women, poisoning was the most common method in 2014 and accounted for 34.1% of suicides, down from 36% in 1999.

Despite the decreases in the proportion of suicides related to firearms and poisonings, these methods are still responsible for the largest number of suicide deaths, Curtin said. And at the same time these deaths have decreased, the rate of suffocation-related suicide, primarily hanging, has increased, from 16.3% to 26% among women and from 19.1% to 26.8% among men.

"While it is good that rates for firearm- and poisoning-related suicides are decreasing a bit, it is concerning that the rates of suffocation are increasing," Holland said.

Progress toward preventing suicide

The fact that suicide rates are increasing among nearly all age groups means that prevention efforts have to be developed for many different settings, Moutier said. More research is needed to determine which factors are putting middle-aged men and women at greatest risk and which of those factors can be targeted and by which groups, she added.

The CDC is focusing its suicide prevention efforts on finding strategies that can help prevent suicide among middle-aged men because the number of suicide deaths in that group is so high.

"They are a hard group to reach. They do not see health care providers as much as other age groups," Holland said.

She and her colleagues are testing strategies that combine improving mental health care and increasing screening for mental health problems with programs that promote social connectedness.

Moutier said she hopes efforts by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention could be helping to lower suicide rates among people 75 and older. These efforts include educating primary-care doctors, especially those specializing in the elderly, about identifying people at risk of suicide and working to enhance their connections in society and participation in activities.




Marian students learn people skills of policing

by Nate Beck

Police departments today want candidates who know community policing, forging good relationships and stopping crime at its roots.

Ron Lewis, a criminal justice professor at Marian University in Fond du Lac, is about to begin a class where two of his students will give a presentation on community policing.

Lewis films the presentations and posts each video to the respective student's LinkedIn page. The videos are a way to show potential employers that his students understand that police officers place solving problems and building relationships ahead of making arrests.

Students often tell Lewis that they got hired in part because of his community policing class. "That's what departments are looking for," Lewis said. "Someone who knows how to listen to senior citizens, someone who can solve problems."

That day, student Montrell Hobbs talked about underage drinking and how to prevent it. Then Mikaila Johnson outlined how communities monitor sex offenders, and how strong relationships and strong monitoring can help quell problems.

As the philosophy of policing has shifted in recent years, Marian University has adapted. Beside the physical abilities and technical skills needed as a police officer, Marian criminal justice instructors also emphasize the need for strong social and analytical skills. Candidates need to see what factors contribute to crime, and work with communities to solve problems.

Chief Greg Peterson, of the Grand Chute Police Department, said community policing means thinking deeper about the root causes of crime, then addressing those causes.

Peterson's department looks for candidates who can navigate different cultures and think critically. This might mean a candidate needs a four-year college degree in criminal justice, he said. But military veterans and tech-school students with, say, service experience in the Peace Corps can also be strong candidates.

Hobbs came to Marian without knowing what major to declare. But he soon gravitated toward criminal justice. Through an internship at the Fond du Lac Police Department, Hobbs learned how crime overlaps in a community, and how he can ask stakeholders to help solve crime problems. He's now eyeing a job after graduation with the Wisconsin State Patrol.

“I really want to be somewhere where I can use one-on-one communication,” Hobbs said. “I want to be out in the community, talking with people.”

Unlike most other professions, criminal justice requires students to weigh the extreme risks of the job with the advantages, such as job satisfaction and a secure retirement.

Freshman Grace Dooley, who entered Marian with an undeclared major, has thought about how police officers sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice. She and her criminal justice classmates are well aware of Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper Trevor Casper being killed March 24, 2015, in Fond du Lac in a gun battle during his first solo shift.

Dooley and her classmates have visited the alley at the Pick 'n Save on Johnson Street where Casper was mortally wounded to understand better the consequences of his service. They have resolved that the rewards of the career outweigh the risks.

While a gun battle could be part of the job, a large share of police work is about developing relationships in the community and learning how to de-escalate tense situations, Lewis said.

“In this job you will deliver babies and give away Christmas presents,” he said. “But not everyone wants to buy you lunch. There are some evil people in the world. But knowing community policing skills can reduce the risk."




SLO County public safety officials call on public to assist them

by Lindsey Holden

San Luis Obispo County officials say residents should worry less about foreign terror and more about helping area law enforcement combat local threats.

Collaboration was the theme of “Safe in SLO: Strategies for a Changing World,” a Wednesday night forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County. About 30 residents came to hear presentations from speakers including San Luis Obispo police Chief Deanna Cantrell, county Sheriff Ian Parkinson and county Superintendent of Schools James Brescia.

Jim Petroni, a former emergency management coordinator for the governor's Office of Emergency Services, and Brian Sullivan, an FBI supervisory senior resident agent, also gave presentations.

All the panelists emphasized the extensive training that public safety officers undergo and the intensive planning the various agencies do to coordinate their efforts. Sullivan described his FBI office as being “wickered,” or woven in with a network of other law enforcement groups.

Cantrell recalled the January city bus bomb threat, which took place during her early days on the job, at a time when the San Luis Obispo police needed help from other public safety leaders. Police had to shut down the city's buses for a day in order to sweep every vehicle for explosives.

Cantrell said the incident quickly exhausted her department's resources, which required her to call on other agencies for help. No one was hurt in the incident and a Cal Poly student was later taken into custody after allegedly making statements about bombs on city buses.

Authorities learned of the threats when a bus passenger, a Cal Poly student, reported the situation to campus police and the information was forwarded to the city police department. Cantrell noted that information from the public is critical in helping her officers keep residents safe.

“We can't do it alone,” Cantrell said. “The community needs to be our eyes and ears in so many ways.”

Petroni said emergency management includes three phases — pre-incident preparation, officials' response to the emergency and the community's recovery. Although most members of the public only consider emergency preparedness during an incident, he said, officials make plans far in advance.

“There is a system that's getting better and better all the time,” Petroni said.

Acts of terrorism, like the recent Brussels bombings, don't happen very frequently in the United States, Petroni said. He said members of the public can keep themselves safe by recognizing the significance of their own actions and alerting law enforcement to potentially dangerous situations.

Questions from the audience included concerns about cybersecurity and the vetting of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant employees.

Sullivan addressed cybersecurity, and said attendees should be on the lookout for threats such as credit card skimmers at gas stations and ATMs.

Cory George, PG&E nuclear security performance and compliance supervisor, said all Diablo Canyon employees go through multiple background checks before being hired. They remain under almost constant behavioral observation by employers and must take random drug and alcohol tests, he said.

George said Diablo Canyon also makes use of an extensive security system, including fences, cameras and armed guards near the outside of the facility and biometric scanners, identification badges and layers of entrances inside.

Attendee Nisha Abdul Cader said she thought the event was “amazing,” and was impressed with the panelists' comments.

“I thought this was very timely to see we are a very prepared community,” she said.

To learn more about San Luis Obispo County emergency preparedness, visit www.slocounty.ca.gov/OES or call the Office of Emergency Services at 781-5011.




Chicago implements more than 2 dozen changes for police

The mayor will direct the police department to act on changes including community meetings and faster internal probes

by Bill Ruthart and Annie Sweeney

CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to adopt a series of recommendations from his police reform task force, but so far is stopping short of a complete overhaul of the oversight and investigation of the Chicago Police Department until federal officials finish their probe.

On Thursday, the mayor will direct the Police Department to act on more than two dozen changes that range from holding more meetings with minority communities and conducting faster investigations into alleged police wrongdoing, to writing new guidelines for disciplining officers and training more 911 dispatchers and cops on how to handle mental health cases.

He'll also officially accept other changes the Police Department already has started to move on, including the use of more body cameras and Tasers along with a policy that dictates how CPD should release video of police-involved shootings.

The initial response is a way for Emanuel to start moving on last week's 190-page report issued by the Police Accountability Task Force and continue to address problems within CPD that U.S. Justice Department investigators are likely to kick up in their probe, which could conclude in costly, court-ordered reforms and oversight.

Emanuel scrambled to appoint the reform panel in December during the aftermath of the Laquan McDonald police shooting controversy. That shooting spurred widespread outrage after the mayor complied with a court order to release a video of white officer Jason Van Dyke shooting the black teenager 16 times in a Southwest Side street.

The mayor said he spent the weekend reading through the various proposals before deciding which ones he could take action on immediately.

"Within 41/2 work days of getting the report, the city is implementing about a third of their recommendations," Emanuel told the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday. "Some are about training, some are about new technology, some are about accountability, some are about discipline, but they are all built toward what I think are the building blocks of better trust and cooperation between the police department and the community.

"This is a down payment on putting us down the road to reform."

That down payment, however, does not include some of the task force's most substantial recommendations.

Emanuel did not commit to scrapping the Independent Police Review Authority, the civilian body that is charged with investigating accusations against officers but rarely has found any wrongdoing by them.

The mayor also chose not to create a reconciliation process — a formal acknowledgment of, and meetings on, the police department's history of racism — or create the position of deputy chief of diversity as the task force recommended.

And Emanuel did not start the process of creating an inspector general or community oversight board over the Police Department as his panel called for. He did leave the door open to those changes once Justice Department officials conclude their civil rights investigation into CPD's use of force.

Lori Lightfoot, who Emanuel appointed to lead the task force, said Wednesday she hadn't been briefed but, given a rundown of which recommendations the mayor had chosen to move on so far, characterized the steps as a start.

"It sounds like there are some steps that are being taken to address some of the recommendations and findings, which is a good thing," Lightfoot said. "But there is obviously much more that can be done."

Changes Old And New

A draft news release of Emanuel's Thursday announcement shows the mayor agreeing to about 25 recommendations dealing with the key issues the city faces: persuading a doubtful public to trust officers, injecting transparency into the Police Department and creating more accountability into how police misconduct is investigated.

New police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the mayor's embrace of the changes signaled a new day at CPD.

"This whole reform, I've got to be quite honest, I am totally committed to getting this right," said Johnson, a longtime officer who rose through the ranks to top cop. "This is our moment in time to address a lot of things that have been wrong."

Emanuel already had directed CPD to start acting on some of the task force report changes, such as body camera expansions and "de-escalation training" to help officers defuse situations before turning to lethal force.

The mayor also already had announced he'd comply with another recommendation the task force made to expand Crisis Intervention Training — a 40-hour course that trains officers on helping people who are mentally ill or in extreme crisis. On Thursday, Emanuel is set to reiterate a pledge to have 30 percent of the department certified in that voluntary program by the end of 2017. Every shift in every district will have at least one officer on each shift with that training moving forward, Emanuel said.

Other task force recommendations approved by Emanuel jump off of existing programs or call for an overhaul of current policies. For example, body-worn cameras will be tried out in seven districts beginning June 1, but the program has been in existence since January 2015.

The mayor said he'd OK a recommendation to address bias and cultural differences through training. But in doing so, the mayor's office highlighted the city's existing "Bridging the Divide" program that for several months has brought Chicago youth and police officers together for conversations on race, bias and policing.

Emanuel also said City Hall would follow time-limit recommendations on investigations handled by the Police Department's Bureau of Internal Affairs, another idea that is not new.

Under the policy, investigations into severe matters would be limited to 45 days and less severe probes to 30 days, but Johnson noted in an interview with the Tribune that internal affairs had such investigation deadlines previously but they often weren't followed.

"There was a time limit but it was difficult," Johnson said. "We are already looking at increasing the number of members assigned. If we want to get this right, we have to get them the resources."

As for new concepts, Emanuel has agreed to create a hotline for officers to call to report misconduct, which Lightfoot called "great." The mayor also will back training sergeants to conduct internal investigations at the district level to help speed things up and a requirement that internal affairs investigators take detective training. Emanuel also has called for internal affairs interviews in felony cases to be recorded for the first time.

"That goes to our transparency," Johnson said. "We want people to know we are aboveboard."

'More To Be Done'

Some of the task force's more notable and specific recommendations were about race and the need to dissolve IPRA, two issues that will go mostly unaddressed by Emanuel for now.

The first section of the panel's report called for the city to face difficult, harsh truths about systemic racism in CPD. To do that, it suggested the creation of a deputy police chief for diversity and a reconciliation process between police and the community that already has been used in several other cities and is intended to address head-on deep and difficult issues. That would include the department acknowledging the decades of damage racism has caused, fact-finding, sharing of experiences and identifying changes.

Emanuel has not approved either of the race recommendations.

The mayor pointed to Johnson's community meetings as an effort to improve race relations. Asked if there was a need for a deputy chief of diversity, Emanuel would reiterate only that Johnson is African-American and grew up in the Cabrini Green public housing project and is surrounded by a diverse leadership team.

The task force called for the elimination of IPRA in favor of a Civilian Police Investigative Agency. The panel also suggested the creation of an Inspector General for Public Safety, whose office would independently audit and monitor CPD and the new police oversight system.

Emanuel will not back those recommendations initially but left the door open to the possibility. Instead, the mayor said he was moving forward with some interim steps the task force recommended for IPRA until the new investigative agency and inspector general offices were created.

That includes more community outreach from IPRA, a more aggressive pursuit of sworn affidavits from complainants so issues can be probed, and finishing a discipline matrix with a "fixed set of penalties for misconduct."

Emanuel also said he was committed to the concept of a "public safety auditor" but would not say how that position would be similar to, or different from, the inspector general recommendation. Without offering specifics, the mayor said he also backed the concept of the task force's idea of a community board to oversee the Police Department.

But the mayor said he agreed with the task force's broad brush strokes that the civilian oversight system of CPD must be reformed and have more transparency. How exactly it gets done, he said, will require input from Justice Department officials.

The mayor said the last thing he'd want to do is reconstruct police oversight only to have the Justice Department come along months later and order another revamp.

"We're going to make changes. They're going to be significant. They're going to be systematic. They're going to be structural," Emanuel said. "And when we do them, I want to get it right, do it once and set the rules of the road for the future in one fell swoop."

Lightfoot emphasized that the task force recommendations are "like a mosaic," an interconnected set of reforms designed to "address a wide range of issues" that ail the Police Department.

"I think it's an important step, and I don't want to be critical," Lightfoot said of Emanuel's initial set of directives. "But there is more to be done."

The mayor acknowledged as much.

"I told you I was not going to let the task force recommendations gather dust. We're off to the races in making the changes," Emanuel said. "But we're not done by any stretch of the imagination. ... It's the beginning of a process, not the end."




'Rabbit hole' drug tunnel discovered running between California and Mexico

by Fox News Latino

Another day, another tunnel.

Federal authorities on Wednesday announced the discovery of yet another drug-smuggling tunnel running between Mexico and California, with this one running a half-mile from a Tijuana house equipped with a large elevator to a lot in San Diego that was advertised as a wooden pallet business. The bust resulted in seizures of more than a ton of cocaine and seven tons of marijuana.

It was the 13th sophisticated secret passage found along California's border with Mexico since 2006, including three on the same short street in San Diego that runs parallel to a border fence with a densely populated residential area on the Mexican side. The unusually narrow tunnel was only about three feet wide, equipped with a rail system, lighting and ventilation.

The tunnel was unusual because it was used for cocaine, not just marijuana, said Laura Duffy, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California. Tunnels are often built for marijuana because its bulk and odor make it more difficult to escape border inspectors' scrutiny than cocaine and other drugs.

The elevator, which was big enough for eight to 10 people, was located in the closet of a Tijuana house whose floors were strewn with mattresses, Duffy said. The tunnel zig-zagged for 874 yards to the fenced commercial lot in San Diego, where the exit was covered by a large trash bin.

Other tunnels that have ended in California were inside houses and warehouses.

"It's a rabbit hole," Duffy told reporters. "Just the whole way that it comes up and that it comes up out right into the open, it is a bit ingenious, I think, and it's something completely different than what we've seen."

Investigators didn't know when the tunnel was completed. Margarita Ontiveros, who works at a law office next to the San Diego lot, said the tenants arrived about a year ago and often bought and sold wooden pallets.

"They loaded and unloaded a lot of pallets," Ontiveros said. "They sold very cheap."

Investigators began to monitor the lot daily last fall after Border Patrol agents assigned to the area saw heavy traffic and grew suspicious, said Duffy. The prosecutor said she was "fairly confident" that the first drug load was sent earlier this month but didn't rule out the possibility that some got through undetected.

Six people were arrested in the San Diego area Friday on drug- and tunnel-related crimes, including one U.S. citizen, two Cubans who were granted asylum and three Mexicans who were legally entitled to be in the country, Duffy said.

Authorities saw a trash bin forklifted on to a truck at the San Diego lot on April 13 and followed it to a parking lot in San Diego, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations investigator said in a criminal complaint. Two days later, San Diego County sheriff's deputies stopped a truck after it left the parking lot, seizing 2,240 pounds of cocaine and 11,030 pounds of marijuana.

Marijuana found in the tunnel and trash bin brought the total pot haul to more than seven tons, authorities said.

The discovery demonstrates the enduring appeal of tunnels to smugglers, despite the significant time and money required to build one. Dozens have been found along the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years, mostly in California and Arizona. Many are found incomplete.

The San Diego-Tijuana region is popular because its clay-like soil is relatively easy to dig with shovels and pneumatic tools, and both sides of the border have warehouses that provide cover for trucks and heavy equipment.



Harriet Tubman: Former slave who risked all to save others

by the BBC

Sometime in mid-October 1849, Harriet Tubman crossed the invisible line that borders the state of Pennsylvania.

Tubman, a slave and later prominent abolitionist who has been chosen as the face of the new $20 bill, had escaped a plantation and was partway through a near-90 mile journey from Maryland to Philadelphia, and from bondage to freedom.

She left the plantation, in Dorchester County, Maryland, in September and travelled by night. Her exact route is unknown, but she probably walked along the Choptank river and journeyed through Delaware, guided by the North Star.

Years later, she recalled the moment she entered Pennsylvania: "When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in Heaven."

In the years that followed, Tubman returned again and again to Maryland to rescue others, conducting them along the so-called "underground railroad", a network of safe houses used to spirit slaves from the South to the free states in the North.

Later, she became a Union spy during the Civil War, a prominent supporter of the women's suffrage movement, and a famous veteran of the struggle for civil rights.

But in September 1849, aged 27, Tubman was an unknown slave, uncertain about her future in the wake of her master's death. Fearful of being sold further south, she gathered her two younger brothers, Benjamin and Henry, and on the night of the 17th they escaped.

With the help of their father, who had been granted his freedom, the three fugitives hid for three weeks. A notice published in a local newspaper offered a $100 reward for the return of each of them.

Scared of what lay ahead, Ben and Henry had a change of heart and returned. Tubman, with a steely determination that would come to define her, pushed on alone.

A daring escape

Harriet Tubman was the fourth of nine children born to two enslaved parents in Dorchester County, Maryland. Benjamin Ross and Harriet Rit named their fourth child Araminta - or 'Minty' - Ross.

Decades later, in preparation for her escape, Minty took her mother's Christian name and her husband's surname. John Tubman, a free man, stayed behind when Harriet decided to escape.

Having made it to Philadelphia, Tubman found work as a domestic servant and saved money. In late 1850, she got word that her niece, Kessiah Jolley Bowley, who was more like a sister, was to be put up for auction by Tubman's former owner. Bowley's two children, James and Araminta, were also to be sold. Tubman had her first rescue mission.

In December, she met Bowley's husband John in Baltimore and the two hatched a plan. John travelled to Dorchester County Courthouse and surreptitiously placed the winning bid for the three. Having spirited them out before anyone realised, he sailed them up the Chesapeake river to Baltimore, where they met Tubman. From there, they made their way to Philadelphia and on to Canada.

Tubman would go on to help at least 70 people - family, friends, and strangers - escape slavery in this way, taking enormous risks with her own hard-won freedom. She travelled in a variety of elaborate disguises and armed herself with a revolver.

As word of her daring rescues spread, the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison nicknamed her "Moses", after the prophet who led the Jews from slavery in Egypt, and the name stuck.

In 1854, by then a veteran of the escape business, Moses finally freed her three younger brothers, Ben, Henry, and Robert. And in 1856 she rescued her parents, who had been granted their freedom but were suspected of helping others escape.

Nurse, scout and spy

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 empowered slave owners to recapture slaves who had fled to free states, so Tubman helped to extend the underground railroad to Canada, where people could settle without fear.

It was there that she met John Brown, a radical abolitionist who had committed to using violence to overthrow slavery. In 1858, Tubman helped Brown plot a raid on a government arsenal in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, with the aim of stealing weapons to arm slaves for rebellion.

Brown carried out the raid with 20 accomplices but was captured and later hanged.

When civil war broke out in 1861, Tubman worked as a cook and a nurse and then a scout and a spy, collecting information for the Union government from behind enemy lines. In 1863, she led Union forces in the Combahee River Raid, which liberated more than 700 slaves in South Carolina.

"I nebber see such a sight," she said later, describing the rescue. "We laughed, an' laughed, an' laughed."

After the war, Tubman toured Eastern cities giving speeches in support of women's suffrage, drawing on her experiences in the fight against slavery, and became and prominent voice in the campaign.

She lived on a small piece of land in Auburn, New York, given to her by abolitionist Senator William H Seward. In 1869, she married Nelson Davis, a Civil War veteran, and in 1874 they adopted a baby girl, Gertie.

In 1903 she donated part of the land to the Church and in 1908 the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged, a home for elderly African-Americans, opened on the site. A brain injury sustained when she was struck by a slave owner as a child was worsening with age, and in 1913 Tubman moved into the home named after her.

She died later that year, surrounded by her family.

In 2020, Tubman will replace former President Andrew Jackson - a slave owner - on the front of the new $20 bill. Jackson will be moved to the back.




Richmond community policing forum explores 'restorative justice'

by Ali Rockett

After 28 years as a Richmond trial attorney, “it got harder to walk into a courtroom,” Sylvia Clute said.

Clute is a believer in “restorative justice,” an extension of community policing that's more mediation than punishment. The current criminal justice system is punitive, Clute explained.

“Harm produces harm. The punishment matches the crime,” she said. “But that doesn't address or solve the underlying problems.”

Now the president of the Alliance for Unitive Justice and an instructor at Virginia Union University, where she is developing a minor in restorative justice for the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Clute hopes to expand these programs that rely on conflict resolution over jail time throughout the state.

On Wednesday, Clute's organization held a community police forum at the Richmond Police Academy with guest speakers from Harrisonburg, Fairfax County and Loudoun County talking about programs in their jurisdictions.

Vickie Shoap, a restorative justice specialist at Fairfax County Public Schools, said its program focuses on students who are victimized, but also on the offending student, who must take responsibility and make amends for their actions.

A facilitator meets with each individual and their parents or guardians, then a mediation conference between the students in conflict and their families is held.

“Wrongdoing is viewed as a violation of a person or community, as well as a violation of a discipline code or public law,” she said.

The aim is to reduce the number of students arrested — a statistic for which Virginia is ranked above all other states — by 100. Already, Fairfax has reduced its number by 10 percent, she said. But there are rules and cases that don't qualify for the program or diversion from the criminal justice system already in place.

“It's not just a light-handed approach,” said Lance Kelly, a court diversion and juvenile probation officer in Loudoun. “It's a viable option.”

Sgt. Carol Adams, head of the community care unit of the Richmond Police Department, said restorative justice is a step beyond community policing, which is a proactive approach that gets police officers into communities before crime happens. Restorative justice comes in after a crime has taken place, she said.

The Richmond department has been advocating community policing since 2010 and has recently stepped up its work in neighborhoods such as Mosby and Gilpin courts, high-crime areas of the city.

Clute said her organization is working with Richmond police to implement a restorative justice program for youths in Mosby Court. They'll know next month whether they have been awarded a grant to fund the program.



New Mexico

Seeking community policing, some areas turn to private companies

by Andy Lyman

Drivers in certain neighborhoods in Albuquerque may see cars that resemble police cars—but they lack lights on the roof or the distinctive Albuquerque Police Department decals.

Instead, these are private security firms and they have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Aaron Jones is the founder and CEO of one of the companies in Albuquerque. Jones told NM Political Report many citizens throughout Albuquerque have turned to International Protective Service (IPS) because of the public perception of APD, among other reasons.

Jones said besides providing event or business security, his company offers a service mostly associated with police.

“We respond to calls just like the police do, 24 hours a day,” Jones said.

For IPS, these calls can range from an activated alarm to suspicious activity—for paying clients, at least. Since IPS is a private company, they are still limited to what they can do. Still, Jones said the company often fills a void that police either can't or are afraid to.

Police afraid to arrive

Jones, himself a former Valencia County Sheriff's Office homicide detective, said he often speaks with APD officers who say they are worried to arrive first on the scene.

“Some of the concerns are this consent decree that's going on,” Jones said of the current Department of Justice order to APD. “When you have the DA's office prosecuting cops and you have the federal government overseeing the police department, they're afraid of being prosecuted.”

NM Political Report did not receive a response from APD before press time on this story.

IPS Deputy Chief of Operations Jordan Moenaert took NM Political Report along for part of his shift earlier this week in Northeast Albuquerque

One notable difference between how IPS and APD respond to a call is how they get there. When Moenaert gets a call, there there are no flashing lights or sirens as with a police officer.

“We still have to maintain the laws of society,” Moenaert said. “Just because we're in a marked security vehicle doesn't exclude us from speeding or running traffic lights.”

He received a call for a tripped alarm around 7 p.m. The triggered alarm system indicated that a door or window was broken, but no entry.

Moenaert met an IPS K-9 unit officer at an office building; there there was no audible alarm and no immediate sign of a break-in. Still, the K-9 officer held his dog, NB, close on a leash and Moenaert followed, with his gun drawn.

Together, the two officers walked the perimeter, poking their heads around each corner before proceeding farther. After fewer than five minutes, they found no sign of a break in.

“The building's secured, no one's inside it,” Moenaert said. “That's our primary function, is to make sure that's the case.”

Community policing

Former police officer and APD critic, Dan Klein told NM Political Report companies like IPS are a result of affluent neighborhoods who can afford extra security and a police force in need of restructuring.

“These security companies remind me of communities who are too rich and too lazy to have a community watch,” Klein said.

Klein is a vocal advocate of community policing.

Community policing is not new, and is seen by many, including political leaders, as a way to reduce regarding property crime. Klein maintains that APD could provide more officers for home break-ins and vandalism without additional hiring. He said APD has too many specialized task forces that are not kept busy.

Often times, Moenaert said, clients hire IPS after a string of neighborhood burglaries.

The Department of Justice report that outlined unconstitutional policing by APD mentioned problems with community policing in the city as one of the deficiencies the department should fix.

“You would have enough officers if they would get back to the basic core of police work,” Klein said.

Klein also said companies like IPS highlight the income disparity in Albuquerque.

“If you've got the money you're going to waste it on a security guard who can't do anything,” Klein said.

Moenaert told NM Political Report that they have diverse clients, but many of the higher activity areas are more affluent than others.

“If I were to show you a map of all of our clients it really is complete diversified,” Moenaert said. “We do find that some of the nicer communities throughout Albuquerque seem to be higher targets.”

When asked, Moenaert said the company does not have a map to pinpoint the areas where IPS patrols.

Klein said he believes if and when APD restructures its force, private security firms like IPS will no longer be needed in residential neighborhoods.

“I think this is a temporary thing,” Klein said. “I don't think this is moving toward the future of police work.”




Farmington public safety unveils Vial of Life program

by Sherri Kolade

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Public Safety Department wants to know what is in your freezer.

The department hopes to spread the word about a new program unveiled earlier this month, Vial of Life, which encourages people to place medical information on a form in a tube in their freezer.

“We figured everyone has a freezer, (and it is the) most logical place to put it,” Sgt. Reggie Madeline said recently. He said officers can quickly locate pertinent information that way.

The free program is for Farmington residents and was recently delivered to 153 residences at a senior housing facility, Farmington Place Apartments.

The program is aimed at assisting Farmington public safety officers when responding to medical emergencies, according to a press release.

Each vial has a medical information form — filled out by a resident in pencil so individuals may make changes easily.

The vial is kept inside the freezer door. The freezer was the location selected because the vials might not be so easily shoved around as they would in a cupboard or a drawer, and because not everyone has the same kitchen design, but everyone has a freezer.

“We didn't want to say, ‘Put it in the kitchen to the left of the sink,'” he said.

“I know of some other departments that had good luck with the program in the surrounding area,” Madeline said. “I kind of jumped on the bandwagon.”

Madeline said the city also uses the Knox Box rapid entry program, in which a secure box with medical information hangs on the outside of the front door of residential and commercial locations.

He said that through the Vial of Life program, every resident can receive a free vial from police, making it more accessible than the other program.

“The best thing about having this is if we do respond to a medical emergency, when we arrive, (the resident) may not be able to talk. If they have Vial of Life filled out and put in the freezer, officers can gather the information and get them the best help they need — in addition to contacting family members,” Madeline said.

Vials are available at the front desk of the Public Safety Department, 23600 Liberty St., 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Come in and request one. (We'll) be more than glad to give one to them,” Madeline said, adding that one vial per occupant in the household, or at least for the adults, should be filled out.

He added that he hopes to get the word out right away about the program.

“It's a program that is in its infancy, and we're trying to get it off the ground and get it to as many people as possible,” Madeline said. “It is a huge benefit to the residents … and huge benefit to officers, and helps them render care in the time of need during emergencies on scene.”

Public Safety Department Deputy Director Ted Warthman said the program is important, especially for seniors, because when police are dispatched to the local senior housing center, some seniors may be unresponsive and not able to provide medical information.

“Namely, medication listed, medical history or family members' (contact information),” Warthman said. “It is still pretty early in the program, but we think especially in our senior housing area it will be very successful; I'm excited about it,” Warthman said.

Additional emergency forms may be found on the city's website at www.farmgov.com under the Public Safety/Fire Services tab and “Emergency Information Form,” according to a press release.

For more information about the program, call Madeline at (248) 474-4700.



US Officials Invite Hackers to Attack Pentagon

by William Gallo

Every year, the Pentagon spends hundreds of millions of dollars protecting its computer systems from hackers. But for the next few weeks, U.S. defense officials are changing their strategy: they're inviting hackers to attack the Pentagon.

The "Hack the Pentagon" pilot program, which began Monday and lasts until May 12, allows hackers to attack certain Department of Defense public websites as a way to identify cyber security weaknesses.

U.S. officials stress no sensitive "mission-facing" computer systems will be involved in the program. They also say that all hackers must undergo a background check and meet other qualifications.

But if they succeed in exposing security flaws, the hackers could receive cash rewards.

Move 'overdue'

Large companies have for years used such "bug bounty" programs as a way to boost cyber security. But this is the first time the U.S. federal government has ever used such a program. Many experts say the move was long overdue.

"Hackers will look at your systems anyway," says Mikko Hypponen, the chief research officer at F-Secure, an online security and privacy company. "And once they find vulnerabilities, do you want them to tell you or do you want them to do something bad, or maybe sell them to someone else?"

And it's true - U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) websites are already subject to a dizzying number of cyber attacks. In 2012 alone, DoD public websites had four billion visits, according to Christopher Lynch, who heads the Pentagon's new U.S. Digital Service. He says 25 percent of the visits were nefarious in some way.

"Think about that – a billion attempts to undermine security. And that's just a couple of websites," Lynch said in a recent article published on TechCrunch. "It's a mind-numbing challenge that we have to step up to."

Shift in strategy

Katie Moussouris, a consultant who helped the Pentagon launch the bug bounty, calls the program a significant shift in cyber security strategy - from punishing hackers to attempting to work with them.

"Before this pilot, there was really no legal way for a hacker to report [security flaws] to the U.S. government, because essentially all of the activities that are allowed in this pilot are technically illegal under U.S. law,"she told VOA.

Moussouris says the program could also help improve relations between the U.S. government and the tech industry - a relationship that has suffered after the fallout over the intelligence leaks by ex-security contractor Edward Snowden.

'Cyber Pearl Harbor'

In recent years, top U.S. officials have warned of the danger of a cyber attack that could disrupt the country's critical infrastructure. Most notably, ex-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned in 2012 of the possibility of a "cyber-Pearl Harbor," referring to the Japanese attack on a U.S. naval base in 1941.

Those security risks were underscored more recently by a cyber attack on the Office of Personnel Management, the U.S. federal government's human resources agency. The attack, discovered in 2015, resulted in the theft of personnel data on millions of U.S. federal employees and their families.

Hypponen, the cyber security expert, also points to other recent examples of cyber attacks, including an attack last year that originated in Russia that resulted in widespread power outages in Ukraine.

"Cyber warfare and cyber attacks are not just theory," he says, adding that the U.S. is particularly vulnerable. "The United States is arguably the most technologically dependent nation on the planet. It brings you great benefits but it does open you up for new kinds of risks."

Given the risks, he says it is an "obvious step" to employ bug bounty programs. "You want the hackers to be on your side. You don't want to fight them. You want to work with them," he says.




This school district plans to arm its officers with semiautomatic rifles

by Elahe Izadi and T. Rees Shapiro

In the wake of numerous massacres on school grounds, many educational institutions — particularly colleges — have armed officers with high-powered weapons to defend against active campus shooters.

And now at least one public school district is following suit. The Douglas County School District in Colorado has purchased 10 semiautomatic rifles to arm its security officers, a district spokeswoman confirmed.

Director of security Richard Payne told the Denver Post that the Bushmaster “long guns” would be kept locked in patrol cars — “they will not be in the schools” — and issued to officers after they complete the same 20-hour course that commissioned police officers complete.

“They will only be deployed if there is a situation where they need to be deployed,” Payne said in a KDVR report.

He added: “Our main focus is to make sure that all of the students, staff, parents and community members are safe when they're on any of our school properties.”

Eight armed security officers, all former law enforcement officers, work for the Douglas County School District, district spokeswoman Paula Hans told The Post. These officers, unlike the district's 56 unarmed campus security officers, will receive the rifles after training.

Hans said Payne's team trained with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office in July 2015. “They recognized the sheriff's deputies are often using long rifles during training, and that's how the discussion began,” she said.

The school district is large, covering roughly 900-square miles, Hans said. “There may be an incident when our armed security patrol are the first to respond,” she said.

This isn't the first time a public school police force has been armed with such weapons. In 2013, the Fontana Unified District in California armed its police officers with Colt, military-style semiautomatic rifles. The purchase, which was made before the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., drew criticism and sparked a debate about how far to go in the name of security.

And just like in Douglas County, Colo., the rifle purchase in Fontana was made without school board approval.

Other districts have taken similar steps. The Kingsburg Joint Union High School District in Kingsburg, Calif., approved a plan last week to allow its employees to carry concealed firearms on school property.

Officers armed with high-powered rifles may be more common on the nation's college campuses. At least 100 college police departments have purchased assault rifles in the years after mass shootings at Virginia Tech and at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The most popular version of the rifles now used by police, the AR-15, is a weapon issued to infantry troops across the military and is known for its long-range accuracy and devastating firepower. It also is a rifle that has been used by shooters such as Adam Lanza in Newtown, and is similar to the Bushmaster XM-15 that the Washington-area snipers used in their attacks in 2002.

“A bad shot with a rifle is better than a good shot with a handgun,” Skip Frost, former deputy chief of police at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, told the AP. Every officer at the university is offered a semi-automatic rifle.

In the vast majority of cases, campus police forces only deploy the rifles in so-called “active shooting situations,” when a person with a gun has been spotted in a school building. To qualify for the rifles, police must undergo additional training, including seminars offered by the FBI and U.S. Justice Department, the AP reported.

“The reality is that these are not always handgun situations,” FBI agent Katherine Schweit, who oversees the bureau's active-shooter matters, told the AP. “We can't tell a university realistically what's acceptable in their community — that's up to them — but we recognize the struggle that every community faces because many of these shooters come to the scene with a long gun.”

But using the newer rifles comes with added risk. The weapons use a more powerful projectile, which can penetrate brick walls and metal doors that separate classrooms, meaning that police officers must use discretion when firing the rifles in close quarters.

According to the AP, a 2012 survey by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 75 percent of college police departments carry weapons. Records released by the federal government also show that 91 campus police forces own 871 assault rifles secured through a program to loan military weapons to small law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

“You're seeing across the United States this militarization of many college campuses,” Chelsea Canedy, a junior at Northeastern, told the AP.

Other documents the AP requested from top universities show that colleges occasionally make arms purchases directly from the manufacturers. Florida State bought 26 semi-automatic between 2012 and 2014 while the University of Illinois purchased 47 AR-15 rifles. The University of Wisconsin spent $17,000 on assault rifles between 2010 and 2014, the AP reported.

“As law enforcement, it's our responsibility to be prepared for the worst-case scenario,” Frost told the AP. “If we can't protect ourselves, we can't protect the community.”




Lawmakers want to revive community policing

by Christian M. Wade

BOSTON — Faced with rampant crack cocaine abuse in the mid-1990s, law enforcement officials stepped up foot patrols to get more officers integrated in neighborhoods, build community trust and crack down on dealers.

The initiatives were funded by state and federal grants, which at the time were pouring into cities and towns as part of the “war on drugs” to eradicate street-level drug sales, gang violence and mistrust of police officers.

But the grant money eventually dried up, and many of the community policing programs went away.

Now state lawmakers want to bring back community policing to help deal with the latest drug scourge: heroin and prescription drug abuse that is claiming hundreds of lives a year. Leaders in the Massachusetts House of Representatives have agreed to earmark $2.5 million in next fiscal year's budget to revive the popular state grant program.

“This program was very effective, but it was whittled away because of budget cuts,” said state Rep. Linda Campbell, D-Methuen, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which proposed the plan. “Reviving it to specifically target the opioid epidemic will allow police to spend more time in neighborhoods, increasing their presence and suppressing drug sales.”

The House proposal must still be included in the Senate's version of the budget and survive Gov. Charlie Baker's veto pen.

Gloucester police Chief Leonard Campanello, who gained acclaim for his department's “angels” anti-heroin program, says a major focus of the grant funding should be on training for police officers to deal with heroin and opioid addicts.

He doesn't like the term “community policing” but supports the philosophy behind it.

“One of the biggest challenges we face is building community trust,” he said. “The public wants police officers to have a partnership with the community and not just lock everyone up. We need to reconnect with people.”

Nationwide, a series of fatal police shootings of civilians has strained relations with communities they serve. Several states — including Massachusetts — have proposed body cameras and other policy changes aimed at rebuilding the fractured public trust.

Law enforcement officials say bringing back community policing is key to that effort.

“We see that communication has broken down in many communities across the country,” said Wayne Sampson, executive director of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, which supports the initiative. “Many of the cities and towns that had community policing have done away with the programs because of a lack of funding.”

Tucker: ‘Money well-spent'

Rep. Paul Tucker, D-Salem, recalls the success of state-funded community outreach programs when he was a Salem police detective.

“We got a lot of stuff done back when these grants were in vogue in the 1990s,” he said. “We were able to focus on the hot spots throughout the city while building up trust with the community. It was money very well-spent.”

Still, the $2.5 million earmarked to revive community policing is a drop in the bucket compared to what the state used to spend.

Between 1994 and 1999, the state Legislature allocated more than $78 million in grants to cities and towns for community policing initiatives, according to a 2000 legislative report. Before the funding dwindled amid budget cuts and other spending priorities, the state was doling out more than $20 million a year to communities.

“The success of this initiative, and the positive impact is has had on many communities, has created a strong constituency among business, political, law enforcement and civic leaders,” the report stated.

“But a qualitative assessment of the impact of community policing initiatives in each community is difficult because it is impossible to measure crimes not committed or prevented,” the report added.

Federal money tight

Federal funding for community policing has also become tight for communities seeking it.

To date, the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services — known as COPS — has distributed more than $14 billion in grants to thousands of agencies for community policing initiatives.

The program was signed into law in 1994 in a drive by President Bill Clinton to put 100,000 new police officers on the streets. President Barack Obama revived the COPs program after taking over the White House in 2009.

But competition for the grants is intense, and the money can be used only to hire more police officers.

Likewise, COPs funding has recently been tied up in partisan battles between Congress and President Obama.



PUBLIC SAFETY: Police cite child victims in encryption plea to Congress

by Bloomberg

The use of strong encryption is preventing state and local police across the U.S. from fully investigating murders, sex offenses against children, drug cases and child pornography, according to law enforcement officials who will testify before a House panel.

The officials plan to come to Tuesday's hearing armed with emotional pleas, evidence of stalled investigations and statistics to back up their arguments that companies including Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google are making criminal investigations increasingly difficult by using encryption, which scrambles data with a code that can be unlocked only with a special key. They also warn of the consequences as companies such as Yahoo Inc. and Facebook Inc. move toward stronger encryption.

"During my years as an investigator, I have not seen any impediment to rescuing child victims or identifying and prosecuting child sexual predators that even comes close to the impediment created by encryption," Captain Charles Cohen, commander of the office of intelligence and investigative technologies for the Indiana State Police said in testimony prepared for the hearing and posted on the congressional panel's website. He cited specific investigations that he said are being blocked by encryption.

Investigations Versus Privacy

The hearing before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee comes as lawmakers, the Obama administration, companies and privacy advocates struggle with how to balance the needs of national security and criminal investigators against the value of encryption in protecting privacy rights and combating hackers. Also slated to testify at the hearing are Amy Hess, the FBI's executive assistant director for science and technology, and Bruce Sewell, Apple's top lawyer.

"The best way we, and the technology industry, know how to protect your information is through the use of strong encryption," Sewell said in his prepared testimony. "To suggest that the American people must choose between privacy and security is to present a false choice. The issue is not about privacy at the expense of security."

Apple and the FBI are in a legal standoff in a case in Brooklyn, New York, over accessing encrypted data on a drug dealer's phone. That case, coupled with the law enforcement testimony scheduled for tomorrow, expands the debate beyond the terrorist attack that the FBI has highlighted in its confrontation with Apple.

December Attack

The agency in February served Apple with a court order compelling the company to help break into an encrypted iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who with his wife carried out the deadly December attack in San Bernardino, California.

Apple resisted, bringing national attention to an issue that has simmered for years under the surface. The FBI dropped that case last month after saying it bought a tool from a private organization it hasn't identified to break into the phone. However the underlying issues remain far from resolved.

The statistics and examples cited by law enforcement officials demonstrate that most cases involving encrypted devices are criminal, not terrorism-related.

Locked Out

From October 2015 to March of this year, New York City police have been locked out of 67 Apple devices lawfully seized during investigations into 44 violent crimes, including murders, rapes and the shootings of two officers, according to testimony by Thomas Galati, chief of the New York City Police Department's intelligence bureau.

In Texas, 20 percent of devices presented to the the Greater Houston Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory can't be accessed due to encryption and that's likely to increase substantially, said Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman, who also sits on the FBI's national advisory board.

Investigators working for the Indiana State Police estimate that more than 40 percent of all mobile phones confiscated in relation to Internet crimes against children have encryption that prohibits forensic examination, Cohen said.



FBI: Using third parties to break encryption not only answer

Officials encountered passwords in 30 percent of the phones the FBI seized during investigations in the last six months

by The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The FBI is facing an increasing struggle to access readable information and evidence from digital devices because of default encryption, a senior FBI official told members of Congress at a hearing on digital encryption Tuesday.

Amy Hess said officials encountered passwords in 30 percent of the phones the FBI seized during investigations in the last six months, and investigators have had "no capability" to access information in about 13 percent of the cases.

"We have seen those numbers continue to increase, and clearly that presents us with a challenge," said Hess, the executive assistant director of the FBI branch that oversees the development of surveillance technologies.

In her testimony to a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Hess defended the Justice Department's use of a still-unidentified third party to break into the locked iPhone used by one of the two San Bernardino, California, attackers. But she said the reliance on an outside entity represented just "one potential solution" and that there's no "one-size-fits-all" approach for recovering evidence. She said she did not think that path should be the sole solution.

"These solutions are very case-by-case specific," she said. "They may not work in all instances. They're very dependent upon the fragility of the systems, the vulnerabilities we might find," she said, adding that cooperation between the government, academia and private industry was needed to come up with more solutions.

Asked about the FBI's reliance on a third party to get into the phone, and its inability to access the device on its own, Hess said the work requires "a lot of highly skilled specialized resources that we may not have immediately available to us."

Representatives from local law enforcement agencies echoed Hess's concerns. Thomas Galati, chief of the intelligence bureau at the New York Police Department, said officials there have been unable to break open 67 Apple devices for use in 44 different investigations of violent crime — including 10 homicide cases.

Still, despite anxieties over "going dark," a February report from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University said the situation was not as dire as law enforcement had described and that investigators were not "headed to a future in which our ability to effectively surveil criminals and bad actors is impossible."

The hearing comes amid an ongoing dispute between law enforcement and Silicon Valley about how to balance consumer privacy against the need for police and federal agents to recover communications and eavesdrop on suspected terrorists and criminals. The Senate is considering a bill that would effectively prohibit unbreakable encryption and require companies to help the government access data on a computer or mobile device when a warrant is issued.

Bruce Sewell, Apple's general counsel, touted the importance of encryption particularly in light of devastating breaches of sensitive government information — including at the IRS and the Office of Personnel Management.

"The best way we, and the technology industry, know how to protect your information is through the use of strong encryption. Strong encryption is a good thing, a necessary thing. And the government agrees," Sewell testified.

In response to questions raised at the hearing, Sewell said that the Chinese government had asked Apple for its source code within the last two years — and that Apple declined.

The long-simmering clash escalated in February after a judge in California directed Apple to help the FBI break into the phone used by Syed Farook, who along with his wife killed 14 people on Dec. 2 before dying in a shootout with police. The Justice Department last month said a third party had approached it with a way into the phone, effectively ending that court case. Another legal fight over a phone in a separate drug case is still pending in Brooklyn.




‘Raising the age' in Michigan would offer economic, public safety benefits

by Ben Carnes

WASHINGTON – In most states, individuals aren't generally tried in criminal courts as adults until they reach age 18. A new R Street study from Policy Analyst Nathan Leamer examines the law in Michigan, one of nine states with a different approach, and considers both the ineffectiveness and unintended consequences of the state's policy of automatically trying 17-year-olds as adults.

“Unlike in 41 other states, 17-year-olds in Michigan are not afforded a flexible approach and focus on rehabilitation. Instead, 17-year-olds exist in a strange legal limbo,” writes Leamer. “In every other aspect of their lives, they are treated as adolescents: required to attend school, subject to child-labor laws and driving restrictions, and unable to vote. However, these same children automatically are treated as adults by the criminal courts, no matter how minor or severe the offense.”

More than 20,000 Michigan youths have been convicted as adults since 2003; nearly 60 percent were nonviolent, first-time offenders. Though the state intended to reduce future crime rates with a “tough on crime” stance, the law has had the opposite effect in many regards.

The author notes research that demonstrates youths tried before an adult court were 85 percent more likely later to be rearrested for violent crimes and 44 percent more likely to be rearrested for felony property crimes compared to those tried before a juvenile court. Furthermore, youths tried as adults were 26 percent more likely to be re-incarcerated within the following six years.

A system that defaults to processing those under age 18 as juveniles would place the onus on the state to demonstrate why more severe treatment might be necessary. States like Connecticut, which implemented similar reforms, have seen dramatic benefits, according to Leamer.

“A 2010 report on the changes from the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance found that ‘savings can be demonstrated throughout the system.' Savings in court costs, reduced rates of detention, improved clinical evaluations and lower recidivism all contributed to lower costs for the state,” Leamer writes.

“‘Raise the age” reforms would ensure juvenile offenders in Michigan retain access to resources designed to ensure they are quickly rehabilitated and reintegrated into society, recognizing that the end goal should be youth who “become taxpayers rather than burdens on taxpayers.”




Community policing forms cornerstone of positive presence

by Todd Radford

In many places around the country, there are conversations about community policing. This idea is not a new concept in our field, but some individuals and agencies have yet to fully embrace it in an effective way.

It is the desire of our police agency to be grounded in the concept of community policing. We have always believed that here in Lakeway, we want to police with the community instead of serving as an occupying force.

We, as an institution, believe that a safe community is accomplished through a partnership with our citizens and businesses. In that vein, I would like to briefly describe some of our initiatives that we offer to our community to further this mission.

We are proud to be able to announce the upcoming completion of our 13th Citizens Police Academy class in Lakeway. The class started Feb. 10 and will conclude with graduation April 27. The class was attended by 40 Lake Travis-area citizens with various backgrounds, genders and ages to make the class very interesting. The academy comprises 11 actual course dates with a graduation at the end.

The courses in the academy included history of policing, technology, communications center and narcotics enforcement, traffic law and application, response to mental health calls, active shooter and issues related to mass shooting response, animal protection and crime prevention, the application of police use of force and weapons familiarization, Texas courts, warrants and a jail tour. The class will end with a criminal investigations session and a graduation ceremony.

The courses were taught by members of the Lakeway Police Department or the Lakeway Municipal Court. The academy also was supported in large part by the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association and Lakeway Police Foundation.

In the era of police scrutiny and criticism of police delivery services, it has always been the desire of this agency to engage our community at the ground level. This academy is the opportunity for civilians to engage our officers in the classroom in a positive and educational manner to discuss important law enforcement issues.

We are far from perfect; however, we do appreciate the positive dialogue that allows us to explain our philosophy and methodology. One of the key concepts laid out in the final report of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing released at the end of 2015 specifically addressed the need for police to engage their communities. Community-oriented policing strategies are always evolving, and this program is a cornerstone of our approach to this engagement effort.

This year, we will again partner with Lake Travis Fire Rescue to deliver the annual Public Safety Day. This event is a great opportunity for kids and families to come and visit with the real men and women who put themselves in harm's way to keep our communities safe. This event has brought together police, fire and emergency medical services from across the area to provide a wonderful learning opportunity. It is one of my favorite events of the year.

National Night Out is another great event that we participate in every year. In the past, we have partnered with community leaders who have hosted 22-24 neighborhood block parties throughout the city in October.

These gatherings are meant to bring neighbors together to discuss criminal activity and general crime watch practices. We will be sending officers to each block party, so we can answer questions and share our mission with our citizens. This event has continued to grow every year, and we look forward to having our biggest number of neighborhood meetings in 2016.

Being engaged in our local schools also is important to our community. After the events of Sandy Hook Elementary School, there was some local outcry that Lakeway police engage in a higher level in our schools.

We decided that instead of placing officers in schools, we would have our officers visit the schools daily for brief periods of time, so all the schools get our attention and the staff becomes familiar with our officers. But we don't have to have full-time resources assigned, which does have tax implications that otherwise could be managed a different way. This Safer Schools initiative has shown to be very successful, and we look forward to its continued success.

We also have another presence in our middle schools. Every fall, we go into the fourth- and fifth-grade classes to speak on dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other dangerous drug issues. This is coordinated with the school system, and we are glad to be a part of this program as well. Additionally, we visit our preschools and day cares to talk to and visit with our little citizens who want to see our officers one-on-one.

However, community policing cannot be just about events. True community policing is a culture, and it is an applied policing philosophy. We strive every day to communicate with our citizens and business in a positive manner through person-to-person contacts and social media because we believe that when given the opportunity to engage in a positive dialogue with a citizen or business owner, we can shed light on issues important to public safety and break down any real or perceived barriers.

As stated earlier, one of the biggest detriments to community policing can be when the police do not view themselves as part of the community, and the community begins to mistrust their police officers. We must work at maintaining positive dialogue and building that trust. We can be critical of each other, as long as there is respect by both parties.

We need to continue to show our appreciation and support to the men and women in our police departments because together we can work to keep our communities safe.




Councilman: Violent weekend is proof community policing is needed

by Deanna Allbrittin

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 18, 2016) -- IMPD officials say with the weather warming up this past weekend, officers expected to make a lot of homicide runs. With the new policing strategy now underway, the department hopes in the long-term, they'll see fewer bursts of violence like they did this past weekend.

City council Vice President Zach Adamson says the violence has become so common, it's unsurprising.

“We're familiar with the flashing red lights and the yellow tape,” Adamson said. “It's sad to think that we're accustomed to that, but we are.”

Familiar also, are memorials like the one now sitting near Gateway and North High School Road. Balloons and candles now mark the place where 35-year-old David Sanders was shot and killed riding his motorcycle Friday afternoon.

That was just the start of a violent weekend, that spread throughout the city. By early Monday morning, six people were dead and several others hurt.

In Adamson's district, one man was killed and several others hurt.

“I'm not sure that anyone really knows the solution to the crisis we're in,” Adamson says. “And I believe it is a crisis.”

“Frankly, we have individuals in our community that just don't value human life,” said Sergeant Catherine Cummings. “So how do we reach those people? What is happening in our community that is leading to that?”

Mayor Joe Hogsett and IMPD's Chief Riggs have high hopes community policing can help answer those questions.

Officers are now working beats and partnering with agencies to solve social and economic issues in high-crime areas.

“When you're looking at bigger issues than the crimes themselves, you're looking at poverty, you're looking at educational issues, joblessness, hopelessness,” said Cummings.

Since IMPD just began the new policing system a month ago, she says it will take time before the city sees drastic improvement in these areas.

“That is going to take a long term effort, by everyone involved,” said Cummings. “In the short term, we keep doing what we're doing. We show up every day. We're out here.”

And Adamson believes those smaller problems police are able to solve every day—noise ordinance violations, jaywalking and loitering—will help just as much as the new police beat strategy.



South Carolina

Aiken Citizen Review Board Formed To Monitor Public Safety Complaints

by Chris Guardaro

Aiken, SC (WJBF) – In the wake of allegations that Aiken Department of Public Safety (ADPS) officers performed an illegal cavity search during a traffic stop, the city is forming a citizen's review board.

The Aiken City Council made an emergency addition to its agenda last week to create the board. The idea was to create more accountability with Aiken Public Safety. But some say it's unfortunate that it took this case to create a public safety review board.

A week after dash cam footage of an Aiken Public Safety traffic stop caught national attention, the Aiken City Council decided to act by creating a citizens review board to handle complaints filed against ADPS. Mayor Rick Osbon says, “I think it's a response from our government to our citizens and I think the expediency and the emergency of it is we certainly want to show our concern and sincerity for this issue.”

An ADPS spokesperson says the department welcomes the idea of a citizens board. “If we have problem officers, we want to identify those problem officers and if we need to retrain them or terminate their employment we want to know about those things as well,” says Lieutenant Karl Odenthal, with ADPS.

Mayor Rick Osbon says the board will “Make findings and the way we'll see it is they will come back to not just ADPS, and also through the City Manager's office to have recommendations in their findings.” As for why a review board wasn't created earlier. Mayor Osbon says the city council was kept out of the loop for 18 months. “All correspondence at that point are pretty much going to the insurance company or to that attorney as opposed to coming up to the city manager. So we just didn't know, nobody told council at the time.”

Brandon Upson, a Aiken Citizens Review Board Member says, “Government doesn't work from the top down, point blank.” Upson says the board will play a key part in conflicts like this one going forward. “This review board helps empower the community to have a voice and also have a say in what goes on in the community especially when there is a conflict between citizens and police officers,” says Upson.

The Citizens Review Board is still in its early stages and it's yet to be determined whether the group will wield termination or subpoena powers.

The full list of Citizens Review Board members is below:

Geoffrey Alls

Catina Broadwater

Paul Bush

Ann Dicks

Jody Duggan

Bonnie Fulghum

James Gallman

Phillip Howell

Carmine Landy

John Lindsey

Clark McCant

Bill Paschal

Theresa Swafford

Brandon Upson

Grant Wiseman



Washington D.C.

‘Concern for public safety' after more Metro safety lapses found

by Nick Iannelli

WASHINGTON — The Federal Transit Administration has ordered Metro to take immediate action to address some of the problems recently discovered during more than 100 inspections of the rail system.

In a scathing letter obtained by The Washington Post, the FTA told Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld the problems are so serious that they present “a clear concern for public safety.”

Among other things, inspectors found fire extinguishers that do not work, and emergency walkways blocked by debris.

“These defects create a systematic safety condition that significantly limits WMATA's ability to manage a fire or smoke emergency in the tunnel,” wrote Thomas Littleton, the FTA's associate administrator for safety.

The federal agency took control of Metro safety oversight back in October. Since then, the agency has conducted 107 inspections and discovered 229 defects.

“Our folks are still compiling the data and developing recommendations going forward,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told WTOP in an interview last week.

In its letter, the FTA also criticized Metro workers, saying they were spotted ignoring safety procedures on a number of occasions. As a result, the federal agency ordered Metro to conduct immediate safety briefings for workers.

Metro spokeswoman Sherri Ly told The Washington Post that the agency has been briefed by FTA officials and that “all safety critical items are receiving priority attention.”



Cruisin' for a cause: Motor cops ride to help kids with life-threatening illnesses

For these veteran cops who have pretty much seen and heard it all, the charity ride is an experience like no other

by Karen L. Bune

Twenty-two years ago, NASCAR driver Kyle Petty combined his passion for helping others with his love of motorcycles and created the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. Petty's inspiration came in 1994, when he and three friends rode their motorcycles from North Carolina to a NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway. Friends joined him along the way, and by the time they reached Phoenix, there were 30 riders. As a result of the turnout, Petty was inspired to make the event into something greater and, thus, initiated the charity ride that honors his late son.

It is one of the most popular and successful charity events in the country. Celebrities, ride sponsors, motorcycle enthusiasts, fans and local communities create awareness and raise funds for Victory Junction. More than 7,750 riders have logged 11.4 million motorcycle miles and raised $16.5 million for Victory Junction and other children's charities.

Located on 84 acres located in Randleman (N. C.), Victory Junction has served as the ride's primary beneficiary. It exists to enrich the lives of children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses and creates camping experiences that are memorable, fun, empowering, physically safe and medically sound. More than 7,880 children have attended Victory Junction at no cost to their families as a result of the ride.

Motor Officers' Involvement

“We start somewhere different every year. We have to go through places where our sponsors have businesses,” said Victor Misenheimer, a retired Lieutenant from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP). Misenheimer has been involved in the charity ride since 1997. He serves as the Motor Marshal and is one of the seven motor marshals that assist with the event.

Along with the other marshals, Misenheimer volunteers a week and a half to the charity ride to help raise money for less fortunate children. All seven motor marshals have a background in motorcycle patrol and two of them have advanced rider training. Three of the seven are retired from the NCHSP, two are still active with NCHSP, one is retired from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and one is a nationally registered paramedic. The paramedic rides at the back of the group with another marshal, and they assist the group riders if mechanical issues, medical emergencies, or motorcycle collisions occur.

All seven motor marshals and charity ride team members have two-way radios to maintain situational awareness. In addition, two registered nurses and two physicians comprise the medical staff that accompanies them, and they drive an SUV behind the motorcycles carrying medical supplies that may be needed. Behind the SUV are two vehicles that pick up motorcycles if flat tires or mechanical issues arise, but those instances are rare.

Misenhiemer's role is to serve as the first motorcycle riding in front of the Charity Ride pace car. He sets the speed of the group. With more than 100 motorcycles, it can be described as a “train.” It takes him several miles to get everybody up to speed. The same applies for the process of slowing down for scheduled stops - which reduces hard acceleration to catch up from those in the rear of the group and also reduces the amount of hard braking when stopping.

“We're like a huge family. Most people are repeat riders,” Misenhiemer said.

There can be more than 200 people participating in the ride, and riders often bring their wives with them. “Each day's ride depends on where we can get lodging from one day to the next. There is no minimum mileage. We can average 250-300-450 miles per day,” he said.

The ride begins on April 30 this year in Palm Springs, California. From there, the ride will hit Phoenix (Ariz.), El Paso (Texas), Lajitas (Texas), San Antonio (Texas), Beaumont (Texas), and Biloxi (Miss.). The ride covers 2,000 miles in seven days.

All About the Kids

The main reason for Misenhiemer's involvement is to raise money for the children.

“Just to see those kids — that's what does it for me,” he said.

Though he describes himself as an emotionally “tough” person, Misenhiemer admits he is affected by the children. They range in age from six to 16 years old and are burdened with chronic and life-threatening illnesses.

“It's truly a life-changing experience to see so many people come together for a great cause. Words can't describe what the experience is like. The biggest thing is it is a life-changing experience to help children who haven't been able to live the life of a normal child,” Misenhiemer said.

The riders develop close bonds, and the motor marshals act as liaisons with law enforcement agencies. “We all love what we do to help the ride,” Misenhiemer said.

T.J. Lyons, a retired police 25-year law enforcement veteran from Dayton, Ohio also participates in the ride. He serves as the support truck driver. “I enjoy it. This is my seventh year with the ride, and I have become part of the family. It fills the gap of the family of law enforcement that you lose when you leave, especially when you move out of state,” he said.

Like Misenhiemer, Lyons is impacted by the children. “It's about them — not us. I know what I do is not near what the benefactors do — it costs $2,500.00 for a child to go to camp,” Lyons said.

Those involved in the ride are challenging themselves, and everything they do is for the children. “Seeing that is great satisfaction. People that do it become part of the family. Charity officers become part of the family. The camaraderie of going to these different cities and towns and seeing motor officers give me a connection back to them,” Lyons said.

Mark Brown, a retired North Carolina Highway Patrolman and also a former Marine, serves as a lead instructor for all North Carolina motorcycle training. His participation in the charity ride has impacted him significantly.

“I fell in love with the people and the cause. Once you become part of this ride, you become part of the unique team. It's very rewarding to do this. It's a really nice feeling,” Brown said.

He admits that his experience with the Highway Patrol was beneficial in helping him to prepare for the event. “When you see that kid smile, it really touches your heart. It really humbles you and opens up your heart like you wouldn't believe,” Brown said.

For these veteran cops who have pretty much seen and heard it all, the charity ride is an experience like no other. Observing the reactions of delight on the faces of these less fortunate and seriously ill children whose lives they touch through their generous personal donation of time is an experience that leaves a lasting impression. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, visit the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America website.

About the author
Karen L. Bune serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, where she teaches victimology. Ms. Bune is a consultant for the Training and Technical Assistance Center for the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U. S. Department of Justice. She is a nationally recognized speaker and trainer on victim issues. Ms. Bune is Board Certified in Traumatic Stress and Domestic Violence, and she is a Fellow of The Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and the National Center for Crisis Management. Ms. Bune serves on an Institutional Review Board of the Police Foundation in Washington, D. C. She is a 2009 inductee in the Wakefield High School (Arlington, Va.) Hall of Fame. She received the “Chief's Award 2009” from the Prince George's County Maryland Police Chief. She received a 2011 Recognition of Service Certificate from Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker. She received a 2011 Official Citation from The Maryland General Assembly congratulating her for extraordinary public service on behalf of domestic violence victims in Prince George's County and the cause of justice throughout Maryland. She received the 2011 American University Alumni Recognition Award. Ms. Bune appears in the 2015 editions of Marquis' “Who's Who in the World, and Marquis' Who's Who of American Women.




Police investigating shooting of Md. firefighter during a welfare check

There were no police officers present when the firefighters decided to enter a home during a distress call

by The Associated Press

TEMPLE HILLS, Md. — As police worked Saturday to determine why a person opened fire on firefighters who were responding to a call for help at a home in a Maryland suburb of Washington, the shooter was released from custody.

John Ulmschneider, a 13-year veteran of the Prince George's County Fire Department, died Friday night after he was shot while trying to enter a home to make a welfare check, police said.

Volunteer firefighter Kevin Swain, 19, also was shot, and was in serious but stable condition after coming out of surgery Saturday, department officials said. Swain, who authorities say was shot four times, is expected to survive.

Firefighters had gone to the Temple Hills home after the brother of the man who lived there told authorities he was concerned about the man's safety, said Mark Brady, spokesman for the fire department. The man said his brother had trouble controlling his blood sugar and recently blacked out. He told authorities he was worried because his brother wasn't answering the phone or the door and his car was parked in the driveway, Brady said.

When the firefighters arrived on the scene, the person inside was unresponsive, so they decided to force entry, police said. As that was happening, the person inside fired several rounds, striking two firefighters and his brother, authorities said. Police said that once officers got into the home, the gunfire stopped.

There were no police officers present when the firefighters decided to enter the home, Prince George's County Police Department spokeswoman Julie Parker.

Brady said that's something firefighters do fairly routinely when there's a concern about someone's safety. He said anytime there is an incident such as this, the department will review its protocols and possibly make changes.

"The firefighter medics made a decision that this was indeed a reason they needed to get into that house as soon as possible. Time could have been of the essence," he said.

As of Saturday, no charges had been brought against the shooter and he was released from police custody Saturday evening, according to a statement tweeted by the police department.

Brady said Ulmschneider was described as a "good old hard working country boy who loved his job."

Diana Krieger, whose daughter is married to Ulmschneider's brother, told The Washington Post that he was a "caring man" who had dreamed of being a firefighter since high school.

"He wanted to help others, he loved doing what he was doing, being a paramedic and a firefighter, and I really believe that he was doing God's work," Krieger told the newspaper.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered the state's flag to be flown at half-staff in Ulmschneider's memory.

"His legacy as a husband, father and firefighter, and his commitment to protecting others, will not soon be forgotten by his loved ones, the community, or Maryland," Hogan said in a statement.

The brother of the man who lived at the home was not seriously injured, Prince George's County police Chief Henry P. Stawinski III said at a news conference. The person who was inside the home was in custody and cooperating with police, he said. Police have not released their names.

Two other firefighters with the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department suffered minor injuries while seeking cover after the shooting. He says one firefighter injured a knee and the other injured her jaw. The two were treated at the hospital and released Saturday.




Ala. officer shot in face, suspect dead following pursuit

The suspect was found in his vehicle with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound

by The Associated Press

FLORENCE, Ala. — Alabama authorities say a police officer has been shot and the suspect has died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.

Florence Police Sgt. Brad Holmes tells The Associated Press the officer was shot in the face just after midnight Sunday at Cox Creek Parkway and Cloverdale Road. Holmes says no motive was immediately available and it's unclear how the incident happened.

Holmes says the officer was in stable condition at Huntsville Hospital. Police are withholding the names of the officer and suspect, pending family notification.

Police say following a vehicle chase just after 1 a.m., the suspect crashed in a church parking lot and fired multiple gunshots at officers, who didn't return fire.

Holmes says the suspect was found in his vehicle with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.



Racial, Ethnic Disparities Stubbornly Endure in Juvenile Justice System, Expert Says

by Daryl Khan

BOSTON — The video should not have come as a shock to this audience. If anyone is sensitive to the subject matter — how race and racial bias subtly and expressly influence people's decision-making — it is this group of probation officers, administrators and experts gathered at a symposium on probation reform hosted by the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps in Boston. They had gathered to listen to a workshop wonkily entitled: “Balancing the Scales: Effective Strategies for Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System.”

These are people who are familiar with the persistent problem of having black youth in their facilities at a rate far out of whack with the population. They are the ones who obsess over data, examining every point of contact to identify and ferret examples of implicit bias.

But despite that familiarity with the problems and ways to fix it, the almost comically obvious video that Tiana Davis, the policy director for equity and justice at the Center of Law and Children's Policy, plays from a popular television show still disturbs the 20 or so juvenile justice professionals in the room.

It's from “What Would You Do?” A young, casually dressed white guy — maybe in his late teens or early 20s — is trying to cut the lock on a bike in a park. He's an actor. The show's hidden cameras capture the made-for-TV social experiment that follows.

First the actor uses a hammer, then a saw to try to break through the chain lock until he graduates to an industrial-strength bolt cutter. The host's voice pipes up: “You see this and you wonder did he lose his keys or is he blatantly trying to steal this bike?”

What follows is a series of half-hearted attempts from white passers-by to inquire about what the young man is up to. At one point someone asks point-blank if the locked bike is his. In an hour more than 100 people pass by, including a black family, but aside from some questioning they do nothing to stop the theft. Only an elderly white couple, George and Arlene, confront the young man.

“I remember thinking young white men don't carry burglary tools,” says one black woman when she is interviewed and made aware of the show's participation in the stunt.

And then the show's producers replace the white actor with a black one, roughly the same age, same clothes, same tools grinding away at the bike's chain. This time the reaction is instant and almost violently confrontational. Within minutes the young black man is surrounded by a crowd of white vigilantes demanding that someone call the police. The crowd turns angry; a woman snaps pictures of the young black man.

“Got you,” she says with gleeful spite.

As she watches this scene unfold during the workshop, Lisa Hill, who is superintendent of a juvenile facility in Oakland, California, is clearly troubled by the scene. Her jaw clenches, her eyebrows furrow, she shakes her head almost imperceptibly with disgust.

At the end of the scene Davis asks for people's response. Many attendees express their displeasure with how this scenario played out, but Hill's response is almost visceral.

“For me I was feeling a little anxious,” Hill said. “I was trying to avoid being angry about that because I know that that's real. I've never experienced [it] to that degree because I have never stolen a bike, but I've been followed around in the store.”

The scene was also an example of how white youth sometimes do not get needed attention from the system, she said. Consider, she pointed out, here is a young man who is out in broad daylight, with a sack full of tools, stealing a bike. At the very least someone should have called authorities so he could get an evaluation to see if he had mental or emotional problems.

“So I was really angry watching that,” Hill said.

How DMC hurts juvenile justice system

Davis cribbed notes from two much more in-depth publications put out by her organization — the Practice Manual and the Graduated Responses Toolkit — to lay out the scope of the problem of “disproportionate minority contact” and the ways juvenile justice systems can root it out and prevent it. Her organization's goal is to “enhance equity” in the juvenile justice system.

“This isn't about changing the social conditions,” she said, such as curing poverty, or changing the youth or the families. “It is targeted to the juvenile justice system itself.”

First she asked a simple question: Why is it important to you?

“Fairness is a fundamental value in our society, and it's important in this juvenile justice system. Unfairness creates ineffectiveness,” she said. “We want to make sure that we are fairly treating youth that are coming into the system, and that we're being effective,

This is not just a moral imperative, but a practical one for professionals working in the system, Davis said.

“We know from the research that youth are not likely to engage in the system that they perceive as unfair,” she said. “If there's a perception of unfairness then you're going to have an even greater challenge at being effective with the young people that you are working with in the system.”

After laying out the various technical and utilitarian reasons that these racial biases and disproportional outcomes undermine the system, Davis said that ultimately: “It's just the right thing to do.”

Davis described what she called the three widely identified key indicators of how race corrupts the juvenile justice system. First there is overrepresentation of youth of color in the system. When youth of color are held in facilities in greater percentages than their population in the community, then you have a textbook example of overrepresentation.

Next she identified disparate treatment of youth of color. She said they — more than their white counterparts — tend to receive harsher, more punitive treatment. As illustrated starkly by the bike stealing video: two kids, same age, same offense, but with different skin color and experiencing sharply different outcomes.

And the final indicator, she said, is how once a youth of color enters the system he moves deeper into the system. She said too often youth of color will descend into the deep end of the system while their white counterparts — through diversion or lighter sentencing — end up in the shallower end.

The data, Davis said, bear this out. Researchers at the Center for Law were studying one of its jurisdictions when they made a troubling discovery. They found the number one reason why youth of color were in secure detention facilities was because they had violated court orders for truancy proceedings.

“Here you have one of the most intensive interventions you can have in the juvenile justice system — removing them from their communities, from their families, putting them into a locked facility — because they missed school,” Davis said. “We consider that an abuse in many ways of that type of intervention of incarceration, and certainly that is unnecessary. Completely off the wall.”

Davis projected a chart illustrating the numerous points where a youth could end up in the shallow end or the deep end of the system at every stage in the process. For example, if there's an arrest the deep end of the system is law enforcement and probation, the shallow end is diversion or community service. In nearly every stage of process, she said, youth of color are treated more harshly than white youth.

How to stop disparities

Paul Daniels, the court manager for King County, which covers Seattle, said his department has started a “decision point framework” based on a similar model.

“We've basically looked at every decision point from first law enforcement contact to all the way up to including probation to when a decision is made. We've done all we can to identify ... how and why that decision is being made,” said Daniels, who attended the workshop. “We've looked at the police contact, the referral to the prosecution attorney, diversion. What are the racial and ethnic breakdowns? We're trying to get to the point where kids are treated equally and no one is over-represented. That's one of our number one priorities in King County.”

Davis laid out five approaches to rolling back racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. She encouraged collaboration between agencies within the system, but also with systems that touch juvenile justice such as schools, child welfare and mental health institutions.

She stressed a commitment to learning how to use sound data and what it can tell us to drive change. Sometimes that data can yield counterintuitive results, she said.

For example, despite the popular perception that law enforcement is singling out black youths, 30 percent of youth arrests in New Orleans were triggered by calls coming from their community, said John Ryals, evaluation/treatment supervisor of Jefferson Parish (Louisiana) Department of Juvenile Services. He was speaking at another workshop.

When they dug into the data, they found that only 10 percent of the youth entering the system were there as a result of a police officer on patrol making a stop and an arrest, he said.

Ryals said this information allowed his boss Roy Juncker, director of the Department of Juvenile Services, to concentrate on outreach and developing other programs in the community to figure out how to remedy the situation there instead of devoting all the resources to law enforcement.

“The data allows us to focus all of our efforts on creating better outcomes for the kids, which is at the end of the day what we all want,” Ryals said.

It's crucial to have policies and practices based on objective criteria, Davis said. When professionals go with their gut, he or she is most likely to let bias sneak into the decision-making process.

Finally, she pointed to “culturally responsive programs” that engage communities of color in new ways that allow the system to be able to better serve them. “They're greater stakeholders in this, even more than us,” she said. “This is their lives.”

She said even if you do intercede on behalf of a youth of color and divert him from going into the “deep end” of the system it's of no use if they end up in a program that doesn't work for them.

“If the program they go to doesn't serve them you might as well not have not sent them there at all,” she said.

‘The numbers don't change'

In an interview after the workshop, Hill said she learned an uncomfortable secret after her daughter started working in a retail store: Security guards told her that it was common practice for employees at stores to come and politely ask people they suspected of shoplifting: Can I help you with anything? When Hill learned that tidbit it struck her how many times over the years she was approached while she was shopping and asked that very thing.

“Maybe I was naive,” she said. “Like I said, I never stole a bike, but I've gone shopping.”

Her own experience is an example, Hill said, of the deeper, cultural battle over race that needs to be won to really curb the persistence of disproportionate outcomes along racial and ethnic lines in the juvenile justice system.

More than a decade ago, she led workshops and presentations like the one she had just sat through, she said. Back then she too cautioned juvenile justice professionals against implicit bias, and encouraged them to let objective criteria guide their decision-making instead of their gut. But a decade later the problem still plagues juvenile justice systems across the country.

“We called it something different back then but the proposals were the same. Unfortunately the numbers don't change,” she said. “That video reveals where we are. I feel like there is a certain level of racism that goes along with those numbers.”

Hill noted how the black family from the video thought the white thief was an employee.

“They've been so negatively affected by the bias that they see their own faces as criminal,” she said. “They couldn't see that white young man as a criminal, even when it's right there in your face.”

She used to attend citywide meetings to talk about the subject with other stakeholders, Hill said. One conversation stands out still. She was at a pre-meeting with the presiding judge in the district. She asked the judge to consider a hypothetical. What if out of 25 people on the docket on a given day, 20 were in wheelchairs?

“You're going to say to yourself, wow, there must be something going on with kids in wheelchairs. I need to look into this and figure out what's going on,” Hill said. “Why don't black youth get the same attention? Why doesn't anyone try to figure out what is going on?”

The judge, Hill said, just looked at her. She didn't have an answer.