LACP - NEWS of the Week
on some LACP issues of interest
NEWS of the Week
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles is but a small percentage of the info available to the community policing and neighborhood activist. 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.
"News of the Week"  

August, 2017 - Week 4
MJ Goyings
Many thanks to our very own "MJ" Goyings, a resident of Ohio,
for her daily research that provides us with the news related material that appears on the LACP & NAASCA web sites.


Exchange: Teens learn about being a police officer

by Jason Nevel


Ever since he could remember, Terrence Cypress has wanted to wear a uniform and a badge.

When the 15-year-old Springfield High School sophomore heard that the Springfield Police Department was offering its first-ever teen academy, Cypress was quick to sign up.

"My family said when I was younger, I always played as a cop," Cypress said. "When I got older, I just became more interested."

Cypress is one of 17 area teens registered for the Springfield Police Department's new teen academy.

The teens, a mix of races and genders, come from around Sangamon County, including Springfield, Athens, Pleasant Plains and Rochester.

Springfield Police Chief Ken Winslow said the teen academy was created to act as a bridge between the department's junior academy and citizen's academy.

The junior academy serves children ages 8 to 12, while the citizen's academy is for age 18 and over.

Winslow said he hopes the new program will plant seeds that lead teens to look into a law enforcement career down the road by giving them insight into core police functions and a snapshot of the day-to-day duties of a police officer.

The program is also another way to improve relationships with teens who may have a negative view of law enforcement, he said. The academy is being funded with money that was already in the department's budget. Winslow did not have an exact figure, but said the cost is minimal because the department developed its own curriculum.

"We are trying to reach out to more teens, and this is a more concentrated effort to educate and keep them interested in law enforcement," Winslow said.

The three-day training class was taught by Springfield police Sgt. Bob Davidsmeyer and training officer Chris Stout.

The academy started with an introduction and an overview of the department's hiring process, which surprised some of the teens in the class.

Among the steps applicants had to take is a physical exam that tests flexibility, sit-ups in one minute, bench press and endurance.

There was also a written exam, oral interview, background check, psychological exam, medical exam, as well as 14 weeks of training at the Illinois State Police Academy, an additional two weeks at Springfield's academy and training with a field officer, the two Springfield police officers explained.

"I didn't know it required that much training," said Anna Schoenhard, 14, of Athens.

Schoenhard said her father told her about the academy because he thought it would be a good opportunity. When she gets older, she wants be an undercover officer.

Also, students learned about firearm safety. Davidsmeyer said one session focused on defensive tactics, physiological effects officers endure in close encounters, gang awareness and efforts to curb violent crime in Springfield.

The Springfield Police Department is now accepting applications for the next Citizen's Police Academy.

The academy, which is free and open to individuals 18 years and older, meets every Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m., Aug. 23 through Oct. 18, concluding with a graduation ceremony.

The Citizen's Police Academy consists of classroom and hands-on instructional learning experiences. Subjects covered include officer selection and training, the job of the uniformed patrol officer, tactical operations, investigation skills, vice and narcotics, communications, firearms, defensive tactics, crime prevention and community policing. Participants will experience a variety of activities including using police equipment, firing service weapons, canine demonstrations, department ride-along and touring police facilities.

Interested individuals must fill out an application and agree to undergo a cursory background check prior to approval and admission.


A spate of U.S. Navy warship accidents in Asia since January

by Joe Sterling

Another US Navy warship accident in Asian waters took place early Monday, the fourth this year.

The USS John S. McCain, a Navy guided-missile destroyer, collided with an oil tanker east of Singapore.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Monday he supports a decision by the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson to conduct a "broader inquiry" into the recent accidents and "to determine any causal factors."

Mattis spoke to reporters while traveling in Jordan.

The following are the details of the four accidents:

USS John S. McCain

The Navy's 7th Fleet said the USS John S. McCain collided with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while the destroyer was making its way to a port in Singapore. The collision was reported at 5:24 am local time, east of the Malacca Strait, one of the world's most congested shipping routes. Ten US soldiers are missing.

Significant hull damage occurred on the McCain, with flooding in berthing compartments as well as machinery and communication rooms.

"There's probably a thousand different ways how something like this can happen," retired Rear Adm. John Kirby, CNN military and diplomatic analyst, told CNN's "New Day." "I know it sounds a little strange for me to say that, but it's unusual for ships to collide, although I know we have had several here in recent months."

In addition to the missing sailors, the Navy said five were injured in the collision. Four of those were flown to a hospital in Singapore with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, the Navy said.

Mattis said his "thoughts and prayers are with the sailors and the families" of the McCain.

USS Fitzgerald

The USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship off the coast of Japan in June, resulting in the deaths of seven US sailors. The Fitzgerald will be transported to the United States for repairs.

The bow of the cargo ship directly struck the commander's cabin, according to the Navy's report detailing the immediate aftermath of the collision.

The commanding officer, executive officer and senior noncommissioned officer of the USS Fitzgerald have been removed from their duties for cause

A Navy report on the immediate aftermath provides a harrowing account of US sailors attempting to escape a rapidly flooding sleeping area that filled with water within minutes after the cargo ship's bow tore a hole in the side of the Fitzgerald. Of the 35 sailors in the sleeping area at the time of the collision, 28 were able to escape, but the remaining seven sailors died.

USS Champlain

In May, a South Korean fishing boat struck the USS Lake Champlain, while the Navy warship was conducting operations in international waters near the Korean Peninsula, the Navy said. No injuries were reported.

The 60- to 70-foot-long fishing vessel collided with the Lake Champlain -- a 568-foot Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser that has been with the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson strike group.

The fishing vessel crew later said it didn't have a radio and didn't hear the radio calls from the Navy, according to a Navy official.

USS Antietam

In late January, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground while trying to anchor in Tokyo Bay.

The ship damaged its propellers and spilled hydraulic oil into the water off the coast of Japan.

The incident did not result in any injuries to US or Japanese personnel, but the discharge of up to 1,100 gallons of hydraulic oil prompted environmental concerns.



1 dead, 1 injured as van rams bus stops in France

A police official said "the terrorist motive is completely rejected" for the incident

by the Associated Press

PARIS — Police in France say there are ruling out terrorism as a motive for the van that rammed into two Marseille bus stops, killing a woman at one of them.

A police official said "the terrorist motive is completely rejected" for the incident Monday morning.

Police had already said that the driver of the white van that hit the bus stops in two neighborhoods is being treated for psychological problems.

The 35-year-old suspect was arrested in the Old Port neighborhood of France's second largest city.


Associated Press

PARIS — A van rammed into two bus stops in the French port city of Marseille on Monday, killing one person and injuring another, a police official said.

The driver of the Renault Master van was arrested in a third location, the scenic Old Port area of France's second-largest city, David-Olivier Reverdy of the Alliance police union said.

Police tweeted that an operation was underway and asked residents to avoid part of Old Port. BFM-TV said a witness noted the license plate of the van and was able to give it to police, allowing them to make the arrest.

A man was injured at the first bus stop and the woman killed at the second, Reverdy said. The two bus stops are about 5 kilometers (3 miles) apart in the northern part of Marseille.

A motive was not immediately known.

Reverdy said it was too early to blame the incident on terrorism, but "given the times" it could not be excluded as a possible motive. He said all possibilities were being studied.

The incident comes just days after back-to-back van attacks in Barcelona and Spanish resort town of Cambrils killed 14 people.



33 wounded, 6 fatally, in weekend shootings in Chicago

Police said the shootings happened in just a 13-hour period ending early Sunday

by the Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago police say at least 33 people have been wounded, six fatally, in weekend shootings in the nation's third-largest city.

The Chicago Tribune reports the shootings happened in just a 13-hour period ending early Sunday.

Police say someone in an SUV fired at a crowd outside a South Side banquet hall that serves as a nightclub, killing one and injuring six early Sunday. The gunman drove off.

Chicago's gun violence has drawn national scrutiny, including from President Donald Trump. The city had more than 760 homicides in 2016. That was more than New York and Los Angeles combined.


N. Korea warns of 'merciless strike' ahead of US-South Korea drills

by Faith Karimi, Brad Lendon and Yuli Yang

Joint US-South Korean military drills are underway Monday despite warnings from North Korea a day earlier that they could lead to a "uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war."

The 10-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises are conducted annually and touted by South Korea and the United States as defensive in nature.

But North Korea sees them as provocative and hostile, perhaps even preparation for an invasion.

"The Trump group's declaration of the reckless nuclear war exercises against the DPRK ... is a reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war," North Korean state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun said, using the acronym for Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the nation's official name.

The piece went on to say that the North Korean army can target the United States anytime, and neither Guam, Hawaii nor the US mainland can "dodge the merciless strike."

"The Korean People's Army is keeping a high alert, fully ready to contain the enemies. It will take resolute steps the moment even a slight sign of the preventive war is spotted," it said.

It did not provide any details on what it meant by "preventive war."

Guam in the firing line?

Just last week, Pyongyang said it had finalized a plan to fire four missiles toward the US territory of Guam, an important military outpost in the western Pacific. State media reported that leader Kim Jong Un would assess the US' next move before giving launch orders.

Kim would "watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees," a North Korean statement said last week.

As tensions have quickly risen in recent weeks, concerned parties like China and Russia have tried to tout a proposal in which the US and South Korea would pause its military exercises in exchange for a freeze or pause of North Korean missile testing.

The US has rebuffed the efforts so far and insisted that the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises would go ahead as planned, arguing they are lawful under international law as opposed to North Korea's missile and nuclear tests.

Both US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis said last week that the US was keeping military options on the table in dealing with North Korea.

Tillerson said peaceful diplomatic pressure was the preferred way to get Pyongyang to stop its testing of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. But he added that the diplomatic approach "has to be backed with military threat" if North Korea chooses to move forward with destabilizing actions.

Mattis also made clear the US' willingness to use force if North Korea steps out of line.

"In close collaboration with our allies, there are strong military consequences if the DPRK initiates hostilities," he said.

Promise from South Korea's President

As tensions escalate, South Korean President Moon Jae-in promised his citizens last week there "will be no war on the Korean Peninsula ever again."

Moon, who took office in May, announced on his 100th day in office that US and South Korean policies are aligned on North Korea.

President Trump assured South Korea he would consult with them before making any military decisions on North Korea, according to Moon.

Moon said North Korea's development of nuclear weapons technology was "nearing" a red line, which he described as "completing an ICBM and weaponizing it with a nuclear head."

North Korea claims it has successfully miniaturized a nuclear weapon. While some experts believe it may have the technology, others caution that even if it doesn't, North Korea should be taken at its word.

"If North Korea provokes again, it will face with much harsher sanction and won't stand it in the end. I want to warn North Korea to do no more dangerous gambling," Moon said.

His comments about averting war echoed similar statements he made Tuesday that only South Korea could give consent to initiate any conflict with the North.

"The government, putting everything on the line, will block war by all means," Moon said.

China weighs in

China has urged both Washington and Pyongyang to tone down the rhetoric and stop actions that inflame tensions, missile testing on North Korea's side and military exercises on the US and South Korean side.

China's Global Times newspaper, a state-run tabloid, was scathing of South Korea's decision to proceed with the drills.

"The drill will definitely provoke Pyongyang more, and Pyongyang is expected to make a more radical response," it said in an editorial.

"If South Korea really wants no war on the Korean Peninsula, it should try to stop this military exercise."



Shooting reported at Ohio's Jefferson County Courthouse

by Lauren Healy, Jessica Haberley and Sean Eiler

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio ( WTOV ) - Numerous police agencies are on scene at the Jefferson County Courthouse, where a shooting has been reported.

Steubenville City Manager James Mavromatis says Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. was ambushed and shot outside the courthouse. Bruzzese was taken to a Pittsburgh area hospital by medical helicopter. Mavromatis says Bruzzese was talking after the shots were fired and is said to be in stable condition.

Bruzzese's family is aware of the situation.

One suspect has died after being shot by a probation officer who returned fire.

“Shortly after 8 o'clock this morning, Judge Joseph A. Bruzzese Jr., who is a common pleas court judge in Jefferson County, Ohio, was ambushed by a man named Nathaniel Richmond," says Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin.

The alleged gunman is the father of Ma'lik Richmond, one of two young men found delinquent of rape in 2013. Hanlin wanted to make it clear there is no connection to the two incidents.

“There's absolutely no reason to believe that there is any connection, whatsoever, between Malik Richmond and the actions of his father today," said Hanlin, “this judge had nothing at all to do with that particular case. Ma'lik's case was handled by a visiting judge, who was not from this area, and he never appeared in Judge Bruzzese's common pleas courtroom for any reason at all."

A second suspect has been taken into custody after the shooting.

“We're starting to put this whole picture together, but basically what you have is the judge is going to work, these subjects were waiting for him. He comes up, shoots at the judge. The judge returns fire,” Mavromatis said. “We also have a probation officer that was behind the judge. He returns fire as he is shot at. The subject is deceased that he shot at.

“This probation officer has done his job. He reacted to the threat, trying to save the judge and any other bystander that may have been in the area.”

Witnesses said they heard multiple gunshots.

"My alarm went off at 8 a.m., and I snoozed it, and a minute or two later, I heard approximately 7 or 8 gunshots, and I went to look out the window and I seen somebody in a white shirt, probably a detective, kneeling down firing at something, and that's when I knew something happened down here," witness Cody Allison said.

Commissioners say the courthouse is shut down for the day. Employees are not permitted inside.

“There's people who were workers in the courthouse who witnessed this,” Jefferson County Commissioner Thomas Graham said. “A lot of people traumatized in light as to what occurred. Think that everybody needs a little time to settle down a little bit, get their thoughts together regarding this very tragic situation. Our prayers go out to Judge Bruzzese and his family.”

Additionally, traffic is closed off in the area of Market Street, though the Market Street Bridge remains open. Caution tape surrounds the left side of the courthouse.

Bruzzese has been a Jefferson County Common Pleas judge since 1996. His latest term lasts until February 2021.

Jefferson County Probate Juvenile Judge Joseph Corabi said he's known Bruzzese for more than 50 years.

“He's a really good man. He's a tremendous judge. He has the respect of all of his peers. This is a senseless tragedy …We hope that everything turns out of him. And let's the judge credit because he's a tough son of a gun. Apparently he got some shots back at him after he was hit, and that's the character of all of the Bruzzeses. They're good, tough people.”


Recent Rulings in 6 States Signal New Momentum for Ending Solitary for Juveniles

by Eli Hager

A nationwide shift toward abolishing solitary confinement for juveniles, which began to take shape in 2016 after former President Barack Obama banned the practice in federal prisons, has surged ahead in recent months, with a half-dozen states either prohibiting or strictly limiting its use in their youth facilities.

In just the past year, a series of strongly worded federal court decisions, new state laws and policy changes in Wisconsin, Tennessee, New York, California, Colorado, Connecticut and North Carolina have nearly eliminated “punitive” solitary — holding youth in isolation for long periods of time rather than briefly for safety purposes — from the juvenile justice system. It was already largely prohibited in at least 29 states, according to a July 2016 survey of policies in all states and the District of Columbia.

The developments suggest that long-term isolation is rapidly losing ground as an accepted practice within the juvenile corrections profession, and that a child-specific definition of “cruel and unusual punishment” is now being established by courts across the country.

“These diverse courts seem to all at once be coming to the same conclusion: that solitary confinement of kids, who are our most vulnerable citizens, is unconstitutional,” said Amy Fettig, an expert on the issue for the ACLU.

But for youth advocates, ending juvenile solitary will take more work. Twenty-three percent of juvenile facilities nationally use some form of isolation, according to a 2014 study by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The practice still has support from many, though not all, juvenile corrections administrators and officers, who are often underpaid, overworked and exhausted from double shifts and who believe solitary is the only disciplinary tool available to them without adequate mental health resources or alternative discipline options.

“The front-line staff, historically, they've been trained to use isolation as a means to control violent behavior and to keep themselves safe, and now we tell them, ‘Hey, there's a different way to do things,'” said Mike Dempsey, executive director of the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators. “So there is pushback, resistance, fear — a fear that changes like these will basically create unsafe conditions.”

But the momentum for juvenile solitary reform continues, with the latest development coming in July in Wisconsin, where a federal judge ruled that children at the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prison complex — one of the largest juvenile facilities in the nation and long the subject of litigation — have an age-specific “right to rehabilitation” and that “solitary confinement violates it.”

Under the preliminary injunction issued by Judge James Peterson of Federal District Court in Madison on July 10, Wisconsin officials must stop holding youths in solitary for longer than seven days, and must allow them outside their cells for at least 30 hours a week. (They had previously been held in isolation for periods of 60 days or longer, according to the underlying lawsuit by the ACLU and the Juvenile Law Center.) The youths must also be provided therapy, education and recreation, the judge said.

A spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections said that while the agency has moved to implement these changes, “The merits of the case have not been decided.”

The injunction echoes one in March by another federal judge, in Tennessee, who blocked a county from placing juveniles in solitary confinement. And in February, a third federal judge, in yet another preliminary injunction, ordered a Syracuse, N.Y., jail to immediately stop putting 16- and 17-year-olds in solitary, citing the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

The rulings also come in the wake of — and perhaps as a result of — two events involving juvenile solitary that drew national attention. The first was the death of Kalief Browder , the 16-year-old from the Bronx who, after being accused of stealing a backpack in 2010 — a charge he denied — was held at the Rikers Island jail for three years, about two of which he spent in solitary. In 2015 , after finally having his case dismissed and gaining his release, he hanged himself in his own home.

It was an image that, for many, drove home the total and long-term damage that isolation can do to young people, a group that depends more than most on social contact, educational stimulus, and a sense of purpose. More than half of all suicides in juvenile facilities take place in solitary, according to the Justice Department.

Soon after, in January 2016 , Obama banned the solitary confinement of juveniles in federal prisons and also wrote an op-ed article citing Browder's case and calling the practice “an affront to our common humanity.” It was a largely symbolic move, given that only 26 juveniles were being held in the federal system at that time. But many advocates credit it as an act of policy leadership that has spurred the flurry of state and local reforms in the year since.

In the months following, both California and Colorado legislatively banned the use of punitive solitary in juvenile facilities for periods longer than four hours. (However, an ACLU report published this year notes that despite the new law, Colorado's youth corrections department placed juveniles in solitary 2,240 times in 2016.) And both North Carolina and Connecticut in 2016 limited the solitary confinement of teenagers held in adult facilities, a different but related policy change. Since youth in adult prisons must by federal law be segregated from adult prisoners, they are often held in isolation for no reason other than to keep them separate.

Yet despite the recent spurt of reforms, according to a Juvenile Law Center report , states like Nebraska are still regularly holding youth in isolation. And in New Mexico, Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed a bill this year that would have restricted solitary for juveniles in adult prisons. She said it would have put guards in danger and hampered their flexibility to choose the best disciplinary options for the most violent inmates and also to keep youths fully separated from adults.

Even in the places where reform has been enacted, the work of translating a judge's order or a new piece of legislation into actual, sustained culture change remains to be done, according to a report from the Juvenile Law Center.

Indeed, many juvenile justice agencies, when challenged by litigation or legislation, simply rename solitary confinement using one of a variety of well-worn euphemisms: “room confinement,” “special management unit,” “restricted engagement,” “administrative detention,” “time out,” or even “ reflection cottage .” Other agencies just reclassify the type of isolation as “nonpunitive” in their official statistics, calling it “temporary” or for the limited purpose of protecting the youth or those around him from harm.

“Anytime you're talking about new or additional training,” said Dempsey, the executive director of the juvenile corrections administrators council, “it does cost money. It takes investment in alternative techniques, and that can be hard because in this line of work there's always turnover and staff shortages.”

That's why Dempsey's organization and the Stop Solitary for Kids campaign, which aims to end juvenile solitary within three years, provide on-the-ground technical assistance to state and local agencies that might otherwise be inclined toward superficial reform. Juvenile justice officials from Kansas, for instance, were brought to a successful facility in Massachusetts to observe alternatives to solitary for themselves, said Mark Soler, executive director of the Center for Children's Law and Policy and a leader of the campaign.

To Fettig, the ACLU advocate, the cause could not be more urgent. “Imagine if you left a kid locked in a small room for 70 days. Well, that same action is taken by state governments all over this country!” she said. “When you do this to children, they do not come back.”



Arrests Drop 24 Percent in Chicago

by Law Enforcement Today

CHICAGO – The Chicago Police Department made 85,493 arrests in 2016, a 24 percent drop from the year before and roughly half the number of arrests they made the year before Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office.

The steady and precipitous decline in arrests coincided with the mayor's decision to rely on overtime — to the tune of $143 million last year, and even more during in the first quarter of this year — to mask a severe manpower shortage before abruptly reversing course and embarking on a two-year hiring blitz, reported Chicago Sun-Times .

The mayor's leadership has had police officers operating on defense. So the decline underscores how important it is for Emanuel to bolster police morale.

The arrest figures are a buried bit of information included in the city's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 2016.

They show that Chicago police officers made 167,355 arrests in 2010; 152,740 in 2011; 145,390 in 2012; 143,618 in 2013; 129,166 in 2014; 112,996 in 2015, and 85,493 last year.

The largest percentage drop occurred between 2015 and 2016. This is when a judge ordered the city to release the Laquan McDonald shooting video, and when the U.S. Justice Department conducted its sweeping civil rights investigation of the Chicago Police Department triggered by the shooting of the black teenager.

Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham said the “steady and striking” decline in police arrests cannot be explained away by the fear police officers have of being captured on the next YouTube video.

“One problem is that our members are being excessively punished for minor or insignificant infractions. More importantly, there is a growing body of evidence that our officers are unfairly vilified, even when they conduct themselves ethically and according to the law and city policy,” Graham wrote in an emailed statement.

“The vilification of the police has been raised to a kind of hysteria, bolstered by the media, which, to this day, refuses to acknowledge the evidence of corruption in the anti-police movement,” he wrote. “Instead, the media prefer to rely on tired and false clichés about ‘a code of silence' among our members, rather than reasonably following and weighing the evidence.”

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) accused CPD of abandoning pro-active policing. He is the former longtime chairman of the City Council's Police Committee.

“I can ride around and show you things police tolerate in our community that they don't tolerate in other communities. They just drive right past. Quality of life issues are not being enforced in communities of color,” Beale said.

“Guys hanging out on the corner shooting crap. A group of guys on the corner drinking. People having parties that get out of hand,” he said. “A lot of your drive-by shootings are people hanging out on corners. That's an opportunity. If we police quality of life issues, we take away the opportunity.”

But should he expect anything less given the current political climate in the city?

Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi acknowledged that “last year's results across the board were not acceptable to anyone — especially CPD.” He was referring to a homicide rate not seen since the 1990s.

Yet Guglielmi argued that a “mass arrest strategy is not the solution, either.”

“CPD has implemented a strategy shift to arrest the right people for the right reasons. Our efforts focus enforcement around the disproportionate number of violent offenders, most of whom are documented gang members, and pose the greatest risk to our neighborhoods,” Guglielmi wrote in an email to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“CPD is also working to find alternatives for nonviolent drug offenders in lieu of being charged with a crime. … We have begun implementing programs to divert nonviolent drug offenders into treatment programs instead of incarceration,” he wrote. “Ultimately, increasing arrest numbers is not our goal, it's reducing crime numbers.”

In the fall of 2015, Emanuel contended during a closed-door meeting with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and 20 big-city mayors and police chiefs that police officers across the nation were becoming “fetal” because they're afraid their videotaped encounters with the public will end up on YouTube.

Less than two months later, the pullback by Chicago Police officers got dramatically worse. It happened after the court-ordered release of the video showing white police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.

“You have these body cameras now. The spotlight is on `em. So, they're taking a more passive approach. They're protecting themselves more so than they're protecting the communities,” Beale said on Monday.

After disclosing plans to hire 970 additional police officers over a two-year period above attrition, Emanuel openly acknowledged that it won't matter how many new officers the city hires if cops are in a defensive crouch, according to the Sun-Times report.

“We can't have a Police Department that feels like it's better for them to just drive in a community without stopping and stopping the gangbangers and the drug dealers. That's not good and healthy for the community,” the mayor said then.

“Unless we change the narrative where our police are seen as being put on the defensive, we're not gonna get where we need to be,” the mayor said.

ACLU spokesman Ed Yohnka maintained on Monday that the drop in police arrests could be a simple reflection of “giving a lower priority to making arrests for small amounts of marijuana.”

“It is not how many arrests are being made, it is that the right arrests are being made for the right reasons,” Yohnka wrote in an email. “As for the argument of a Ferguson effect, we reject that notion [as has the former Attorney General Eric Holder and former President Barack Obama.] Good policing — keeping communities free of gun fire and open air drug markets — and community policing are not inconsistent.”

However, Yohnka, Holder and Obama's rejection of the “Ferguson effect” shows how truly out of touch they are with American law enforcement. Of course there is a nexus to passivity!

In January, the Chicago Police Department and the ACLU once again agreed to simplify a burdensome “investigatory stop report.”

But the police union argued then that the changes would not be enough to reverse an 80 percent drop in street stops.

On Monday, Yohnka noted that the Sun-Times has reported extensively on “what happens when police operate in an uncontrolled fashion: we end up with arrests where the charges are not sustained. We need smart policing that serves the entire community, not simply larger numbers on a spreadsheet.”

While they argue against “numbers on a spreadsheet,” they're apparently ignoring the increased numbers of crimes, particularly murders, on those same spreadsheets.


End the Myth

by Jeffrey James Higgins

Stories about racism are dominating the news and the false narrative that there is an epidemic of racist police officers killing unarmed black men continues to be widely believed, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It was a hot political issue during the last presidential campaign and it became one of the most reported stories in 2016. The value of propagating this falsehood has dwindled since the election, but it still lurks below the surface, waiting to be resurrected as a political weapon.

It is time to end this myth.

A quick statistical analysis of reported police shootings in 2015 and 2016 clearly shows that the unlawful use of deadly force by police against blacks is statistically insignificant. The number of people killed by insects in the United States each year is higher than the number of unarmed blacks shot and killed by police officers. Unfortunately the proliferation of this political lie and the vilification of police has resulted in the assassination of police officers, inflamed racial tensions , and a surge of violence in black communities.

Obviously, there is racism in the United States, just like there is in every other country in the world. Some police officers do commit individual acts of racism and there may even be residual, systemically racist policies in some police departments. There are also instances when deadly force is improperly used by some police officers, but racism cannot be assumed without evidence. While individual acts of racism and excessive use of deadly force by police do exist, the characterization of these incidents as systemic problems is absurd.

Statistical Facts

The Washington Post's police shootings database has more comprehensive statistics than the numbers reported by the FBI. According to the 2016 database , police used deadly force to kill 963 people. Of those killed, 465 were white, 233 were black, 160 were Hispanic, 42 were other races, and the race of 63 victims was unknown. Over 95 percent of those killed were men.

Out of the 233 blacks killed by police, 175 possessed a weapon, 13 had a toy weapon, and 15 were in vehicles, which can be used as weapons. Only 17 of the black men killed by police were confirmed to be unarmed, according to the database. Being unarmed does not make a shooting unjustified, but these are usually the most controversial shootings.

The 2016 statistics on police shootings were not radically different from the previous year, though the 2015 numbers were higher. In 2015 , police shot and killed 991 people and there was an attack in progress in at least 730 of those cases. Blacks comprised 258 out of the people killed and 38 of them were confirmed to be unarmed.

Now, put these numbers into context. According to the US Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 750,340 sworn law enforcement officers in the United States, as of 2012. The 17 unarmed black men killed by police in 2016 give us a ratio of 44,137 officers for every one unarmed black person shot by police.

In 2015, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting, there were an estimated 10,797,088 arrests made by police in the United States. Assuming the 2016 numbers are similar, that's one shooting of an unarmed black person out of every 635,122 arrests.

In 2011, according to a survey by the FBI's Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 22.8% of the population had one or more face-to-face contacts with police. As of July 2016, there were approximately 323,148,587 people in the United States, of which approximately 13.3 percent , or 42,978,762, were black. If the rate of black interactions with the police is at least equal to the population average, approximately 9,799,157 blacks had contact with police. That's one unarmed black killed by police out of every 576,421 contacts between police and blacks.

The 2015 and 2016 statistics on police shootings show a very small number of unarmed blacks shot and killed by police compared to the size of the population, the number of police, the number of arrests, and the amount of contacts between the public and the police. Despite what is portrayed in the media and repeated by politicians, there is no epidemic .

Racial Disparity

The myth that police are systemically murdering blacks because of racism is often supported by statistics that show police shoot and kill a higher percentage of unarmed blacks compared to other races. In 2016, approximately 48 percent of people shot by police were white and 24 percent were black. Since blacks make up only 13.3 percent of the population, this number is disproportionately high.

Politicians have trumpeted these statistics as proof of racism. In a speech by President Obama about the 2016 police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the President said, “These are not isolated incidents. They're symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system.” The President continued, saying, “Last year African Americans were shot by police at twice the rate of whites.”

Comparing race and shooting statistics implies that police are shooting people based on race, but disparate outcomes alone don't provide proof of racism and mistaking correlation for causation is flawed methodology. Confounding variables need to be identified and controlled through regression analysis. For example, there is a strong correlation between increased ice cream sales and higher homicide rates, but that doesn't mean one causes the other. Other variables, like hot summer months, must be taken into account

Demographics, culture, poverty, urban residency, and behavior are just some of the variables, which may affect the rate that blacks are shot by police. It's important to note that race does not predetermine specific behavior, but differences in exhibited behavior by populations can impact the frequency of police shootings.

For example, higher crime rates in the black population can affect interactions with police. Blacks are approximately 13.3 percent of the population, but in 2015, they were approximately 26.6 percent of the arrests in the US. Blacks accounted for approximately 51.1 percent of the arrests for murder, 32.1 percent of the arrests for aggravated assault, and 40 percent of the arrests for weapons possession. The race of perpetrators committing crimes, as reported by victims, is similar to the arrest statistics.

There are numerous other variables that may contribute to causation. Young men commit a disproportionate number of serious crimes and in 2013; the median age of black men was 31, compared to 41 for whites. Blacks under the age of 18 accounted for 33.9 percent of all arrests in 2015. Per capita crime rates are much higher in urban areas and some of the most violent cities in the country have black populations that exceed their percentage of the general population. More police also work in high-crime areas, so if the black population is larger there, the chance of interaction with police is increased. Poverty is also correlated with criminal behavior and the poverty rate among blacks is almost twice the national average.

These are just some variables that may affect the interactions between police and black suspects and explain some of the variation in shooting rates. What is missing is any evidence that racism causes the higher percentage shooting deaths of unarmed blacks. A direct refutation of the racism theory is a study by Harvard Professor Rolan Fryer, Jr., who found no significant racial differences in police shootings under similar circumstances.

All police shootings need to be thoroughly and transparently investigated, because some police shootings are unjustified and a small percentage of police officers shouldn't be allowed to wear a badge. However, while all deaths are serious, the statistics clearly show that police are not murdering unarmed blacks in large numbers. Furthermore, racism is not a proven motivation for disproportionate outcomes.

This myth has to end.

Jeffrey Higgins – I am a retired DEA supervisory special agent, with 25 years of total law enforcement experience. I have a Master of Science in criminal justice degree, with a focus in research, from the University of Cincinnati. I also have a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism, from Boston University. I have received numerous awards, including the U.S. Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Heroism and the DEA's Award of Valor.

I also served as a former commissioner for the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, in Washington, DC. From 2014-2016, I represented approximately 2,000 constituents in Single Member District ANC-2C03.

I have been published in American Thinker, The Washington Times, Trail Runner Magazine, The Current Newspapers, The Public Spirit, The Pepperell Free Press, the Townsend Times, The Harvard Post, and the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. Please visit my personal website.



Community policing in action: Rookie cops assist in city cleanups

by Cory Davenport

ALTON - Following a court order, a home near the corner of Eighth Street and Alton required cleaning, and the rookies of the Alton Police Department accepted the challenge.

Rookie police officers joined with PAC-UP crews completing community service Wednesday morning to assist a person Alton Police Chief Jake Simmons and Alton Mayor Brant Walker described as an elderly hoarder maintain control of her yard. Simmons said the cleanup process began before 8 a.m. Wednesday, and by 9 a.m., they had hauled as many as four trailers worth of junk from the home. Simmons said the cleanup both assisted the woman and taught the incoming officers - who are only a few months out of the academy - about the true mission of police work.

"She's O.K. with it," Simmons said of the homeowner. "The neighbors are happy. I hope it's a lesson to the newer officers. Police work is about working in the community and making it better. This is a work in progress."

Five rookie officers assisted in the cleanup. Simmons said their efforts were a great display of Alton's community policing model. Following the completion of that home's cleanup, Simmons said the officers were going to travel around the city and clean television sets and furniture left on the side of the streets.

"There's a lot more to being a police officer than writing tickets," he said. "I'm going to show them the main purpose of their jobs is making Alton a better place to live."

Simmons was joined by Alton Police training officer Pete Vambaketes.

Mayor Walker described the situation as "sad in two ways."

"It's equally sad an individual was living in these bad and unhealthy conditions, and that an otherwise great neighborhood was exposed to these conditions," he said.

As far as the police participation, Walker was pleased with the good work they were doing. He lamented at the negative aspects of police work often displayed on the mainstream media and said the Alton Police Department was constantly working to make Alton a better place.

Second Ward Alderwoman Carolyn MacAfee said the home in her ward has been an issue for at least four years. She said an adjacent neighbor built a large white privacy fence between their home and the woman's, adding junk was as high as the top of that fence before the cleaning process.

The homeowner was not in the residence at the time of the cleanup, but MacAfee and Simmons said the woman was notified of it well in advance and was given her time in court to challenge the city's ruling.



NAACP forum draws a crowd to talk about community policing, other issues

by Nwadi Oko and Katie Rosso

With a larger turnout than organizers expected, an NAACP forum on community policing, equity and civility on Tuesday night had to move into the sanctuary at the Second Baptist Church downtown to accommodate more than 100 people.

The forum brought engaged members of the community together to talk about racial profiling, violence, economic opportunity and mental health. Local activists have been working for more than two years to create a community policing philosophy and increase equity for marginalized groups in Columbia.

The forum began with opening remarks by the Rev. Carlos Taylor of Friendship Baptist Church, Councilman Clyde Ruffin, Columbia NAACP President Mary Ratliff and city government officials, including Chief of Police Ken Burton.

Ratliff asked everyone to keep an open mind.

“There's no reason why we can't find a way to come together,” Ratliff said. “Columbia can be a model city.”

Also represented at the forum were Race Matters, Friends, Missouri United Methodist Church, CoMo for Progress, members of the Kiwanis Club and the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Much of the two-hour meeting was devoted to breakout sessions to address such issues as racial profiling and community policing, as well as civility and employment equity.

The breakout session that focused on community policing and racial profiling featured Burton. The session identified problems tied to profiling and ways to combat them.

The Columbia Police Department has come under fire from local activist groups over the past two years for racial profiling. An attorney general's report earlier this year showed black drivers in Columbia were stopped at a rate 3.9 times higher than white drivers in 2016.

People in the session, including the Rev. Karl Thomas, a pastor at Second Missionary Baptist Church in Mexico, Missouri, shared their frustration with the ongoing problem.

“What I am feeling is fatigue,” Thomas said.

Burton said he didn't think the data goes far enough, and it's hard to conclude that racial profiling occurs in the police department.

Several people in the session quickly responded to Burton's remarks, saying “racial profiling exists.”

During another breakout session, one on community engagement, Steven Calloway, president of the Minority Men's Network, asked everyone what groups they were representing.

“I'm going to be real honest here, there are some people here I've never seen at an engagement, at a community event,” Calloway said. “In terms of groups, I think we're well represented here.”

Trish Woolbright, opportunity gardens manager at Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, said that their annual Harvest Hootenanny saw more diversity at their events after they changed their advertising and activities to appeal to a wider community.

“It was beautiful,” she said. “Everybody is really isolated right now. I've never lived in a town like that.”

The Columbia City Council passed a resolution in February to work on conducting “a community engagement process for policing.”

On Monday, a city plan to work with a consultant to convene a public conversation about law enforcement issues was stalled when the council decided not to solicit any proposals.

That decision came after the Heart of Missouri United Way withdrew a plan it submitted to the city earlier this summer. Residents criticized the plan at a July 17 council meeting, saying it excluded key stakeholders from marginalized communities.

The council also decided to wait for the outcome of the Tuesday night NAACP forum to move forward on any action.

As the small group forum ended, Calloway summed it up: “Community engagement is not an end but a means to an end.”

Another community forum hosted by NAACP will held in late September.



Valuable crime fighting tool credited for a decrease in crime in Oahu neighborhood

by Alexander Zannes

They are the eyes of ears of the community.

Honolulu police rely a lot on neighborhood watch groups.

The biggest one is in Manoa. Their efforts have made the community a safer place to live.

Manoa residents say one of the reasons for the decrease in crime over the past decade is the network of residents that help police keep a look out for any suspicious activity in the valley.

Members of the Manoa community gathered to be recognized Wednesday for their contribution to keeping their neighbors safe.

This time keeping them safe in the event of a natural disaster. Wes Oda is a member of the group Be Ready Manoa, “In the event of a major disaster the whole goal is so we can survive for at least 14 days because in the event there is a major statewide disaster the thought is we are going to have to be on our own and wait for the first responders for 14 days.”

Many members of the community that went through the disaster readiness program, are also part of the Manoa neighborhood security watch, a network of residents that looks out for possible crimes each day.

The neighborhood watch has been active for nine years and residents residents like Oda say they've seen a significant drop in crime. “We are not asking to be the police but they certainly need to notify each other so that they know there might be problems in the community.”

According to HPD's Gerald Kaneshiro, Manoa has one of the largest neighborhood watch networks, which they say helps police keep up with crime in the area. “They're out and about they know what to look for because if you see they receive training from the community policing team so they're aware of what to look for, license plate numbers how to provide description so things out of the ordinary so they are an extension of us eyes and ears in the community.”

Major Kaneshiro says neighborhood watch groups are one of the department's most valuable tools.

If you'd like to get involved, go to HPD's community policing division to find all of their upcoming events.


Why police shouldn't use the 'F' word to describe use of force

Could language be the root cause of the public's misconception about the use of force in law enforcement?

by Steven M. Sheridan & Jeffrey S. Golden, JD

Public opinion impacts how effectively law enforcement can do its job, and the media heavily dictates the tone of that conversation.

These two factors have combined to create a perfect storm with law enforcement's use of force policies and procedures being scrutinized to an unparalleled degree.

Many departments are examining this phenomenon; however, few are looking at language as the root cause of the problem.

Once a trade, now a profession

Prior to the mid-20th century, law enforcement was considered a trade; today, it is recognized as a profession.

This transition has been accomplished through factors such as mandatory continuing education, accreditation programs and an emphasis on training. However, law enforcement officers and leadership still speak a tradesman language. Our terminology is vague, out of date and not accurate. This has a significant impact on how today's police officer interacts with members of the public. So how do we address this problem?

How to describe a police officer's responsibilities

First, we must properly define the prominent terms we use. We'll start with the word force.

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines force as “power or violence used on a person or thing,” and we see the word force in several common definitions for violence.

These words are clearly associated with each other. Knowing that, you can understand the public's unease with law enforcement's use of the word force in describing how citizen interactions are managed.

Law enforcement officers are trained to respond to resistance , not automatically bring violence. This is an essential distinction with serious consequences that impacts officers, departments and the municipalities hiring and insuring them.

An important consequence is the negative public reaction and a loss of trust, especially after legitimate force is used – regardless of whether the force was in complete compliance with policies and procedures.

For example, consider the following statement:

“The officer's use of force was in compliance with policy, procedure and the law.”

Now consider the following statement:

“The officer's response to your client's resistance was in compliance with policy, procedure and the law.”

Which statement better reflects what law enforcement does? Which communication would you rather have issued about your department?

Defining the response continuum

Consider what the public expects from good law enforcement. Should police officers bring the violence or respond to situations and/or resistance? The latter allows for a variety of appropriate and escalating options, including appropriate responses for someone who fails to respond to verbal requests, actively refuse to comply with verbal commands or responds with heightened physical resistance.

With the definition of force in mind, let's examine some of the language law enforcement uses to describe what it does and its main responsibilities:

•  The Use of Force Matrix

•  Force Continuum

•  Use of Force Scale

•  Force Response

•  Use of Force Wheel

The common denominator is the word force . When we look at a generic Use of Force Continuum, most of our time, energy and resources are spent on training skills for physical control and deadly force; little to no time is spent on skills to effectively use officer presence and verbal communication, which are the only continuous aspects throughout every contact for almost every officer.

Consider the common definitions of the term de-escalation : to decrease in extent, volume or scope, or to reduce the level or intensity of something (someone).

In the simplest terms, law enforcement officers are trained to prevent, reduce and/or stop resistance during every encounter.

The entire continuum is about de-escalation . At each point we are trying to prevent the person from becoming agitated or trying to reduce their resistance.

There are very few instances in which police officers are taught to respond with violence; the most notable exception is when deadly force is used against law enforcement.

Studies show changing a single word in a sentence will change how the sentence is interpreted and, most important, how both parties respond. Knowing this, are we properly describing our response process when we include the word force? Has our constant training in and reiteration to the public about our use of force helped us or hurt us?

To advance as a profession and rebuild relationships with the public, law enforcement must revisit its terminology. De-escalation should be used to describe all positions in the response continuum, including presence, communication, empty hands, less lethal tools, intermediate tools and lethal response.

Words have power, and law enforcement must step up to set the correct tone instead of ceding that responsibility to the media and the public. We must do a better job of articulating exactly what we do.

About the authors
Steven M. Sheridan, MEd, is a retired state of Florida law enforcement officer with over 14 years of service. He has 30 years of teaching experience, with over 14 years as a lead instructor for Florida's State Police Academy, designing and implementing highly specialized courses and programs in firearms, defensive tactics, and high risk vehicle and vessel stops. He has also supervised and trained the state's Special Operations Group (SOG), an integral part of Florida's homeland security initiative. He continues his law enforcement career as a Leon County Reserve Deputy assigned to the training division. He was inducted into the Police Hall of Fame for Life Saving in 2010.

He has been teaching crisis prevention, target-hardening and self-defense for over 30 years, developing programs for students, families, agencies and corporations nationwide. He is currently a BOW Personal Safety Instructor (Becoming an Outdoor Woman) for Florida. He is the founder of the Fortress Fighting System. Steve holds a Black Belt in Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido and Fortress Fighting, and is a high rank in Kenpo Karate and grappling. He is also the founder and president of the Leadership and Training Research Institute in Tallahassee, Florida, and Director of Training for DE-ESCALATE, LLC, which teaches de-escalation skills to Police and Corrections, Schools, Security Personnel and Hospitals. He owns and operates Arsenal Martial Arts in Tallahassee, Florida, and teaches safety and A.W.A.R.E. classes free of charge to the community.

Jeffrey S. Golden, JD, is executive director at DE-ESCALATE LLC, which provides training for law enforcement, corrections, probation, school personnel and others on de-escalating youth and adult anger and aggression. He is also an adjunct professor in the criminal justice program at Saint Leo University, Florida.


How a partnership between police and EMS cut opiod overdose deaths in half

A cross-agency collaboration in Lowell, Mass., uses an overdose data-driven approach to improve performance and save lives

by Mike Taigman and Jon Kelley

When was the last time you saw a cop hug a homeless addict and tell him, “I love you and hope that you get into rehab soon?” If you live in Lowell, Massachusetts, it's a pretty common sight. In Lowell, opiate-related overdose deaths have been cut in half through a compassionate collaboration between the Lowell Fire Department; Lowell Police Department; Trinity EMS; Lowell House; the District Attorney of Middlesex County, Mass. and others.

Unless you are totally unplugged from the news, you know that America is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic . According to the CDC, during 2015, 91 Americans died each day from opioid overdose. This year, it's on pace to be 161 deaths per day. Lowell is not on the list of the top 20 worst cities in America for opiate problems , but it's second in the state of Massachusetts.

Decide that you have an opioid problem

In January 2015, the city manager asked the folks at Trinity EMS what data they had on overdoses related to heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone. An EMT volunteered to help with the project by reading all the patient care records since the beginning of 2014. That EMT found that overdoses doubled in May 2014 and had been increasing nearly every month since then.

To help them really understand the evolving crisis, they worked with FirstWatch to create a system that alerts them every time a crew runs on an overdose-related incident. The system also aggregates and tracks these calls, monitors and alerts for surges in overdoses, and geographically highlights overdose locations.

Organize a team and a strategy to address the problem

Led by the Lowell police chief and fire chief, the Community Opioid Outreach Program (COOP) was created. Each chief assigned employees to this project full time along with Trinity EMS and Lowell House, an opioid addiction treatment facility . The objective of the COOP is to decrease overdose-related deaths and the suffering related to addiction.

One member of the team lost a relative to an opiate overdose. He asked his chief how he could help prevent this from happening to other families in their community. He, along with his colleagues from EMS, law enforcement and the treatment community, are kind, compassionate and experienced. They have a laser focus on preventing the next overdose.

Every time an EMS crew, fire crew or police officer is dispatched to an overdose-related call, members of the COOP receive an alert via e-mail and on their smartphone app. The day after a patient has been resuscitated from their overdose, the COOP team tracks them down wherever they are for a visit.

One of the most effective strategies to preventing overdose death is to help people who use opiates get into rehabilitation . The COOP has a direct line to in-patient beds and out-patient appointments. They are able to cut through the normal red tape and get people admitted quickly.

Often, one of the challenges involved with getting people to accept rehabilitation is that they often don't remember how bad things were during their overdose. The team was visiting with a 28-year-old man in his home with his 3-year-old daughter sitting next to him. They were talking about getting him into rehabilitation. The man was brushing the incident off as no big deal and he was refusing rehab.

The Trinity EMT on the team pulled up the patient care report from the day before using the app on his smartphone. He read the narrative to the man, explaining what the medical jargon meant along the way, “Patient found unconscious, unresponsive and apneic – that means you were totally out and not breathing. With vomit on his shirt and feces in his pants. Skin was cool and cyanotic – that means you were cold and blue. You were close to death and you looked like it. Ventilations were supported with a bag-valve-mask – meaning that we had to breathe for you since you'd stopped breathing for yourself. Two mg Narcan administered IV, continued ventilating for five minutes – that means that we gave you a high dose of the medication to counteract whatever it was that you shot-up and it still was not working. Two more mg of Narcan – that means whatever you shot was probably not heroin. Patient respirations restored – meaning that you were finally able to breathe on your own.”

After hearing what actually happened and realizing that his 3-year-old daughter had witnessed the whole thing, he allowed the team to admit him to a rehabilitation bed on the spot.

Policies and procedures to curb overdoses

The real-time monitoring and analysis of overdoses allows the COOP to spot when a new batch of opiates comes into their service area and geographically fence the area that's hardest hit. One day they had six respiratory arrest overdoses in 15 hours. The COOP launched a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter about the dangerous new batch of drugs that had entered their community.

They reached 20,000 people in two hours and 150,000 in 72 hours. It was on TV news within five minutes of launching the campaign. Overdoses dropped off within a day or so of their social media campaign.

Additional steps include:

•  All Lowell Fire Stations are safe havens for rehabilitation. That means that someone who is using illegal drugs can come to any fire station and be referred to rehabilitation without fear of getting arrested for possession.

•  They have tested several theories about opiate use using data. For example, there is no correlation between day of the week or between when Social Security checks are administered and overdoses. But there is a relationship between overdoses that occur outdoors and the proximity of the drug purchase. This is helpful for law enforcement working to arrest dealers. All of the 200 communities included in the 13 towns served by Trinity, across all socioeconomic backgrounds, have had at least one overdose.

•  The COOP has been effective at pushing insurance companies to cover drug treatment even when reluctant.

•  The COOP has developed a short presentation on overdoses for businesses and the general public. This presentation includes what a narcotic overdose looks like, when to call 911 and what to do with a needle when you find one.

•  Because Trinity has such a deep dataset and the tools to analyze it, they have become the go-to agency for questions about the crisis. Recently, someone was asking about the number of overdoses that happen in public bathrooms. Trinity had the answer.

•  The District Attorney became concerned about the impact this crisis was having on children. It's estimated that 34,000 children are being raised by grandparents or others because their parents are dead, in jail or otherwise unavailable due to addiction. She launched Project CARE (Child Assessment and Response Evaluation) to help provide immediate services to children who experience opioid-related trauma. The COOP team activates this resource anytime they see toys, car seats or other evidence of children.

The opioid crisis shows no signs of slowing down across the country. Using a data-driven approach to performance improvement, it's possible to save lives and decrease suffering for people who suffer from addiction and the people who love them.

About the authors
Jon Kelley is the director of communications and information technology for Trinity EMS. An award-winning expert in the field of opioid related data analysis, program development and community engagement, he regularly presents at conferences and workshops.

Mike Taigman uses more than four decades of experience to help EMS leaders and field personnel improve the care/service they provide to patients and their communities. Mike is the Improvement Guide for FirstWatch , a company which provides near-real time monitoring and analysis of data along with performance improvement coaching for EMS agencies.

He holds a Master's Degree in Organizational Systems and is an Associate Professor in the Emergency Health Services Management graduate program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He's also the facilitator for the EMS Agenda 2050 project . Email Mike Taigman at .



Houston area copes with flooding as Harvey delivers

Pounding rainfall

by Ray Sanchez, Nicole Chavez, Steve Almasy and Doug Criss

The sprawling and soaked Houston metro area and other deluged towns in southeast Texas braced for devastating floods and pummeling rainfall on Sunday as Tropical Storm Harvey stalled over land and drenched dogged searchers and anxious residents.

A flash flood emergency was in effect for parts of the Houston area. National Weather Service and local officials are advising Houston-area residents to avoid traveling.

Three to 4 inches of rainfall were reported in the region in one hour's time. First responders investigated the report of a woman swept away in her vehicle by floodwaters.

"Stay put," the National Weather Service said.

"It's going to last four to five days," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who urged drivers to stay off the road. "This is Day One."

Hard-hit Rockport

Texans who rode out the most powerful hurricane to hit the United States in a decade ventured out on Saturday to see what was left of their neighborhoods in what was "now turning into a deadly inland event."

The first fatality was reported in the hard-hit coastal city of Rockport, where the person died in a house fire during the storm, Aransas County Judge Burt Mills said Saturday afternoon. "We didn't know about it until today," he said.

At least a dozen people were injured, Mills said.

With dire warnings of tornadoes, torrential downpours and days of flooding to come, broad swaths of southeast Texas were littered with uprooted trees, toppled signs, flagpoles that snapped like toothpicks and clusters of bricks peeled like scabs from walls and rooftops.

Additional fatalities were feared in Rockport, where an estimated 5,000 residents had stayed put for the storm that blasted ashore as a Category 4 around 11 p.m. ET Friday between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor, Aransas County Sheriff Bill Mills said.

Callers to the local emergency dispatch line told of walls and roofs collapsing on people across the city, where an official had warned those who opted to stick out the storm to write their Social Security numbers on their arms for body identification.

CNN meteorologist and severe weather expert Chad Myers warned residents of Houston to move to higher ground.

"The storm isn't moving, but the rain bands are moving like a pinwheel," he said. "You are going to get a pinwheel (Saturday night) that will wake up -- or you'll wake up with 12-18 inches of new rainfall on the ground."

Shortly after Harvey became a tropical storm, with sustained winds of 70 mph, Saturday afternoon, Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters that the state had more than 1,000 workers involved in search and rescue operations.

"There's been widespread devastation," Rockport Mayor Charles Wax told CNN late Saturday morning. He said emergency workers were going house to house to check on residents and assess damage.

"We've already taken a severe blow from the storm, but we're anticipating another one when the flooding comes," he said.

The storm was a Category 1 by late Saturday morning, packing winds of 75 mph before Harvey stalled during the afternoon. Some places even far inland were predicted to get as much as 40 inches of rain through Wednesday.

While the worst of the storm surge had ended by midday Saturday, the coastal flooding threat was due to increase as already-swollen rivers and bayous get pounded with heavy rain, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said. Sea water pushed onto the shore also won't recede quickly, he said, meaning "this is going to be a long, ongoing flood event."

Abbott said the 210-mile-long corridor between Corpus Christi and Houston was expected to receive as much as 30 more inches of rain on top of the double-digit rainfall figures that had already fallen.

Harvey wielded the "highest potential to kill the most amount of people and cause the most amount of damage," Brock Long, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, had warned. He echoed forecasters who predicted Harvey would be leave areas "uninhabitable for weeks or months," echoing language last seen ahead of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 .

Here's where we stand:

Latest developments

-- Even after weakening upon landfall, Harvey was still a dangerous storm and "turning into a deadly inland event," the FEMA chief tweeted .

-- Harvey could maintain tropical storm strength through late Sunday, then weaken into a tropical depression that hangs in the region through Thursday, the National Hurricane Center predicted.

-- Parts of southeastern Texas remained under a flash flood watch through Tuesday evening, the National Weather Service office in Houston said.

-- More than 300,000 customers on the Texas Gulf Coast had no power around 2 p.m. ET Saturday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said, amid reports of downed power lines and trees.

-- There were more than a dozen tornadoes spawned by the storm hit Texas on Saturday. The Houston office of the National Weather Service reported 12 twisters in its area. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said deputies saw a possible tornado near Cypress Fairbanks, just outside Houston. There were no immediate reports of injuries. "We're seeing extensive damage to properties," he said.

-- Structural and building problems were reported in Rockport, Aransas Pass, and Port Aransas, Texas, said Tom Beal, a meteorologist with National Weather Service office in Corpus Christi.

-- Corpus Christi officials tweeted Saturday afternoon that evacuees could return "but be advised we are under a water boil advisory & limited wastewater usage due to outages at treatment plants."

-- Coast Guard helicopters rescued 15 people aboard three vessels in distress near Port Aransas on Saturday, according to Capt. Tony Hahn, commander of Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi.

-- About 25% of oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been halted because of Hurricane Harvey, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced Saturday evening.

Damage assessments underway

Firefighters who hunkered down in their station in Rockport as Harvey passed over the city of about 10,000 residents recounted a harrowing night.

The wind was "howling," said Roy Laird, assistant chief of the city's volunteer fire department. "We had probably 140-mph winds earlier."

For hours, Karl Hattman and his family listened to "what sounded like a freight train" roar outside their Rockport home. When the fury calmed, they headed out into the darkness to find many trees down, debris blocking their driveway and Hattman's vehicle damaged by flying roof tiles.

James Salazar is the captain of the volunteer fire department in Seadrift, Texas.

He rode out the storm and drove around Saturday to check on other residents. Salazar said he had some roof damage at his house, but it was not too bad. He said damage to the town could have been worse.

"As far as homes go, there are some with damage and some that are flooded. It could have been much worse," he said.

Taking shelter and bracing for rain

"This thing is turning into quite the marathon," Nick Gignac, of Corpus Christi, told CNN around 2 a.m. ET. "You expect these things to be a quicker flash-and-bang than they are. To be honest, the intensity still hasn't let up as the storm came in. Things were a little lighter than they are right now, and you expect it to get intense and let up. And things have not let up at all."

In San Antonio, about 950 people took refuge in shelters, Woody Woodward, a spokesman for the city fire department, told CNN, adding that there was still plenty of space for more people.

Ten critically ill babies in Corpus Christi were taken to a hospital in North Texas ahead of the storm, the Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth said in a statement.

"All our babies made it here safely," Dawn Lindley, a registered nurse with Children's Health Transport Team, told CNN. "The majority ... were premature and had ongoing issues. They were easily accommodated to the hospitals here to make sure they had continued care and the storm wasn't going to be a factor in how they recovered from their illnesses."



Illegal immigrants arrested after cross-border tunnel found in San Diego

by Susannah Cullinane

US agents have arrested 30 illegal immigrants thought to have crossed into San Diego through a cross-border smuggling tunnel from Mexico, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said.

The agents discovered the tunnel after encountering several people who had apparently just been smuggled into the California city, near the Otay Mesa port of entry, early Saturday, CBP said.

"US Agents searched the area and discovered a crude opening in the ground with a ladder inside and determined that is was a smuggling tunnel. The tunnel's exit is located just north of the secondary fence in the vicinity of the Otay Mesa port of entry," it said in a statement. "The 30 aliens are now in Border Patrol custody pending further questioning."

CPB said the group consisted of 23 Chinese and seven Mexican nationals.

"While subterranean tunnels are not a new occurrence along the California-Mexico border, they are more commonly utilized by transnational criminal organizations to smuggle narcotics. However, as this case demonstrates, law enforcement has also identified instances where such tunnels were used to facilitate human smuggling," it said.

The San Diego Tunnel Task Force is investigating the tunnel in coordination with law enforcement in Mexico. "Preliminarily it appears this latest tunnel may be an extension of an incomplete tunnel previously discovered and seized by Mexican authorities," CBP said.


Border Patrol Overview


The priority mission of the Border Patrol is preventing terrorists and terrorists weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, from entering the United States. Undaunted by scorching desert heat or freezing northern winters, they work tirelessly as vigilant protectors of our Nation's borders.

While the Border Patrol has changed dramatically since its inception in 1924, its primary mission remains unchanged: to detect and prevent the illegal entry of aliens into the United States. Together with other law enforcement officers, the Border Patrol helps maintain borders that work - facilitating the flow of legal immigration and goods while preventing the illegal trafficking of people and contraband.

The Border Patrol is specifically responsible for patrolling nearly 6,000 miles of Mexican and Canadian international land borders and over 2,000 miles of coastal waters surrounding the Florida Peninsula and the island of Puerto Rico. Agents work around the clock on assignments, in all types of terrain and weather conditions. Agents also work in many isolated communities throughout the United States.

Border Patrol Staffing

Since 1924, the Border Patrol has grown from a handful of mounted agents patrolling desolate areas along U.S. borders to today's dynamic work force of over 21,000 agents at the end of FY 2012.

To ensure that the increased staffing and new resources provided by Congress were deployed in the most effective and efficient manner possible, the Immigration and Naturalization Service acted in early 1994 to develop and implement the agency's first National Border Patrol Strategy.

The Border Patrol continues to operate an aggressive recruiting program to bring new Border Patrol agents into the government. Read more about Careers with the Border Patrol.

All Border Patrol agents spend 13 weeks in training at the Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico, which is a component of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

Border Patrol Operations

The primary mission of the Border Patrol is to protect our Nation by reducing the likelihood that dangerous people and capabilities enter the United States between the ports of entry. This is accomplished by maintaining surveillance, following up leads, responding to electronic sensor alarms and aircraft sightings, and interpreting and following tracks. Some of the major activities include maintaining traffic checkpoints along highways leading from border areas, conducting city patrol and transportation check, and anti-smuggling investigations.

Often, the border is a barely discernible line in uninhabited deserts, canyons, or mountains. The Border Patrol utilizes a variety of equipment and methods to accomplish its mission in such diverse terrain. Electronic sensors are placed at strategic locations along the border to detect people or vehicles entering the country illegally. Video monitors and night vision scopes are also used to detect illegal entries. Agents patrol the border in vehicles, boats, and afoot. In some areas, the Border Patrol even employs horses, all-terrain motorcycles, bicycles, and snowmobiles.

Linewatch and Signcutting
Linewatch operations are conducted near international boundaries and coast lines in areas of Border Patrol jurisdiction to prevent the illegal entry and smuggling of aliens into the United States and to intercept those who do enter illegally before they can escape from border areas. Signcutting is the detection and the interpretation of any disturbances in natural terrain conditions that indicate the presence or passage of people, animals, or vehicles.

Traffic Checkpoints
Traffic checks are conducted on major highways leading away from the border to (1) detect and apprehend illegal aliens attempting to travel further into the interior of the United States after evading detection at the border and (2) to detect illegal narcotics.

Transportation Checks
These are inspections of interior-bound conveyances, which include buses, commercial aircraft, passenger and freight trains, and marine craft.

Marine Patrol
Along the coastal waterways of the United States and Puerto Rico and interior waterways common to the United States and Canada, the Border Patrol conducts border control activities from the decks of marine craft of various sizes. The Border Patrol maintains over 109 vessels, ranging from blue-water craft to inflatable-hull craft, in 16 sectors, in addition to Headquarters special operations components.

Horse and Bike Patrol
Horse units patrol remote areas along the international boundary that are inaccessible to standard all-terrain vehicles. Bike patrol aids city patrol and is used over rough terrain to support linewatch.

Border Patrol Apprehensions
In FY 2012, Border Patrol agents made over 364,000 arrests of people illegally entering the country. Considerable success has been achieved in restoring integrity and safety to the Southwest border, by implementing our border-control strategy. These include Operation Gatekeeper in San Diego, CA, Operation Hold the Line in El Paso, TX, Operation Rio Grande in McAllen, TX, Operation Safeguard in Tucson, AZ, and the Arizona Border Control Initiative (ABCI) along the Arizona border.

Drug Seizures
An increase in smuggling activities has pushed the Border Patrol to the front line of the U.S. war on drugs. Our role as the primary drug-interdicting organization along the Southwest border continues to expand.

The heightened presence of Border Patrol agents along the Southwest border has burdened narcotic traffickers and alien smugglers.

In FY 2012, Border Patrol agents on the Southwest border seized more than 5,900 pounds of cocaine and more than 2.2 million pounds of marijuana.



Here's What Chicagoans Think of CPD's Latest Community Policing Plan

A draft was released this month, but residents at three town halls pointed out weak spots when it comes to turning around the culture of the police department

by Kevin Stark

This month, the Chicago Police Department released a draft of reform recommendations to its beleaguered community policing program. The reforms—which include new community partnerships, a focus on engaging youth, and community-oriented training department-wide—are an effort to improve the frayed relationship between police officers and people, particularly African Americans. Many residents are wary of a department that has a history of corruption, brutality, and a code of silence within its ranks.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has said community policing will be “a pillar” of a new crime-fighting strategy, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has staked the success of this effort on departmental reform.

Police officials have been crisscrossing the city, presenting the ideas in a series of town halls—designed in an open format to solicit a wide range of responses (although, as City Bureau's Briana Burroughs noted , a meeting held at Sullivan High School in Rogers Park was poorly attended). A Thursday town hall at George Westinghouse College Prep in East Garfield Park had more people, and a few dozen residents attended the August 10 gathering at Corliss High School in Pullman. Here is a sample of the community response.

At the Corliss High meeting, resident Marcel Bright said that police should have a stake in the community and recommended that officers expand engagement to block clubs and youth groups. “[Officers should] treat people like they want their family members to be treated,” he said. “That should be damn near written on the side of these cars.”

Robin Robinson, director of community affairs for CPD, said the latest reform draft was a step in the right direction, but she agrees that police need to integrate. “You don't just serve there, you are there,” she said, adding that police shouldn't be an “occupying force … [that] doesn't have any connection with anyone there.”

One business owner Kevin Jones said he's more concerned with the safety of his family and business. “I want the police to police. I don't care what color they are, where they come from. My property has been broken into, I don't care who the police are as long as they come,” he said.

Many residents said the department culture needs to change. Andre Garner, a South Sider, said the policy recommendations are good ideas. “In a vacuum, they work absolutely,” he said, but community policing needs to be adopted by all officers and the recommendations address policy only.

“Where we have had a breakdown in recent years is in culture. And the culture is the purview of the [police union],” Garner said. “Nothing I've seen here is addressing [the union].” He wants police to adopt a pay-for-performance model with tangible goals that “officers are measured on.”

(Robinson said that throughout the department, community police are considered separate from the “real police,” and that's a problem—an idea echoed in the U.S. Department of Justice report on the CPD's systemic problems).

Alderman Ariel Reboyras, chairman of the City Council's public safety committee, said the changes are already underway and success of the program will require “every officer” to understand it. “All categories, not just the CAPS office, needs to follow the same rules.”

An advisory panel of 12 people drafted the recommendations, and Jim Lew sat on it as a community representative (he helped write the original policy, back in 1993). He says the framework is strong—“a true attempt to change the culture”—but its success depends on implementation, which he says has failed in the past. “It was gutted,” Lew said of the previous community policing program.

A 2016 report by the Chicago Reader and City Bureau found that the community policing program had been carved out by budget cuts and neglect. Lew is watching closely to see who is appointed to direct the program and wants to see an organizational chart outlining how the ideas will be baked into the department.

“We actually have to say, there's no room in this department if you're not going to take on those [community-oriented] roles,” Lew said. “We [have to] figure out how to evolve, which means rehabbing a house that [we are] living in. That's going to be our challenge.”

Officer Vanessa Wesley said the community policing program works, but it's old and needs to evolve. She said the community should take ownership. “What we're looking at now is how do we come along side of community and empower them to be the sustainers of their safety.”



Savannah police seek to improve relationships with community, youths 'caught doing good'

by Brittini Ray

It was a hot and humid afternoon in mid-August when a young Savannah male spotted a group of police officers in Cuyler-Brownville.

The boy's steps quickened as he intentionally walked out of the officers' pathway until he eventually came to a complete stop at the officers' request.

The incident turned out to be nothing at all as the officers were simply looking to commend the young man for properly using the sidewalk as he travelled home from school. But it was just another story in the nationwide narrative about the tense relationship between African American youth and law enforcement.

And it's a narrative the Savannah-Chatham police department is hoping to change with efforts like its “Caught Doing Good Campaign” and intensive community policing.

The Caught Doing Good Campaign is designed to encourage “positive, out-of-car interactions between police and Savannah's youth,” according to Cpl. Hillary Nielsen.

“It facilitates that interaction between our officers and kids,” Nielsen said. “So kids will get rewarded for doing something that makes Savannah a safer, better place.”

For the month of August, officers on patrol were on the lookout for kids doing things like wearing a helmet, using a crosswalk, or picking up litter in their neighborhood. Kids “caught” doing these acts are rewarded with a treat from McDonald's, in the form of a voucher for a free apple pie, ice cream cone or ice cream sundae.

It's the kind of initiative that Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin has repeatedly stressed is necessary to battling crime in Savannah. Lumpkin has called for increased daytime visibility and community networking events like Roll Call in the Streets and Friday Night Lights, which put police and city workers in hot spot neighborhoods to reach out to youth and the elderly.

Community oriented policing was a high priority for Lumpkin, who arrived in Savannah in 2014. The former Athens-Clarke police chief pushed heavily to increase “walk and talk”-style policing while still responding to back-to-back calls and trying to curb rising violent crime.

And so far this year crime numbers are on the decline.

According to early August crime statistics, police investigated 88 total violent crimes this month, which include homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault with and without a gun. In June, police investigated 101 instances of violent crime, and the average number of instances per month in 2016 was 96.

At this point in 2016, police had investigated 753 violent crimes, about 6 percent more than the 708 investigated this year.

Lumpkin reiterated the numbers to the county commission on Friday during his bimonthly report. Despite some high profile criminal activities reported in the jurisdiction recently, Lumpkin reported that violent crimes have been on the decline, both in unincorporated Chatham County — which has decreased 17 percent from the same period last year, and jurisdiction-wide.

The latest campaign was launched just as a group of 26 new officers hit the streets. The officers completed 11 weeks of state-mandated training at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Garden City and eight weeks of patrol school. Following formal training, the officers spent their time walking the neighborhoods they are now responsible for policing.

Lumpkinsaid Friday that 618 of the department's 625 positions had been filled.

“It's very important that the residents see us out here, and it's important for them to know that we are here to help them,” said Officer Julie Cavanaugh.

Walking patrol

Cavanaugh is one of those 26 new Savannah-Chatham police officers.

Last week, Cavanaugh and five of her collegauges spent hours walking about a mile around Cuyler-Brownville greeting residents perched out on their front stoops and passers-by.

Faces of worry and panic quickly eased as officers offered kids high-fives and coupons for free ice cream cones. And quizzical expressions quickly turned to smiles as officers waved.

“This is our fifth day of doing walking patrol,” said Crime Prevention Officer Barry Lewis, who led the group of new officers. “We're out here because of the importance of getting to know the people in the neighborhood. Driving by in car you can wave and say hello. But actually walking up and being able to shake somebody's hand — you see more, it means more and that's what we're out here to do “

Armed with sweat towels and bright orange McDonald's coupons, officers made their way down each block keeping their eyes peeled for young Savannahians on their way home from school as part of the police department's latest campaign.

Cuyler-Brownville is bounded on the north by Anderson Street, on the east by Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, on the south by Victory Drive, and on the west by Ogeechee Road and Kollack Street. The neighborhood is directly related to the migration of former slaves to Savannah after the Civil War, and the historic housing consists of a variety of types and styles built from the 1880s to late 1930s, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior, which certified the neighborhood's place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

The neighborhood has seen its share of crime over the years and has since become an area that police are “intently trying to improve.”

“We want people to know that we care,” Lewis said. “That's why we are here. We want it to get to the point where a resident will call us and say ‘hey we're having trouble with a car that was broken into or an abandoned house.'”

And the desire for an open line of communication is mutual among residents.

“We open our arms to the police,” said Gloria Williams, president of the Cuyler-Brownville neighborhood association. “It's very important for this area to have that personal connection with these officers. Our neighbors like to know who protects us. They are welcomed in the neighborhood and if we could be of any help to the police, then we will.”


From the FBI

Cold Case Homicide

Law Enforcement Hopes Advances in Technology Can Help Solve Tammy Zywicki's Murder

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the tragic kidnapping and murder of Tammy Zywicki, but the FBI and the Illinois State Police have never stopped searching for the young woman's killer—and they are actively pursuing new investigative strategies that could help solve the case.

On August 23, 1992, Zywicki was a 21-year-old college senior who played sports and was passionate about photography. She had driven her brother to college in Evanston, Illinois, and was on her way to Iowa, where she was in her final year at Grinnell College. Her mother called the Illinois State Police that night to report that her daughter had never arrived.

That afternoon, Zywicki's car—a 1985 Pontiac T1000—was found abandoned by a state trooper on Interstate 80 near Utica, Illinois. At the time, it was reported that a tractor/trailer was seen near Zywicki's vehicle, and the trucker was described as a white male about 40 years old, over six feet tall, with dark, bushy hair.

Nine days later, Zywicki's body, stabbed and possibly strangled, was found wrapped in a sheet and blanket and bound in duct tape—nearly 500 miles away in Missouri.

“A lot of people are still passionate about this case,” said Special Agent Amanda Becker, who has been working on the investigation for the past two years from the FBI's Chicago Division. “No one has forgotten Tammy—not her family, her high school and college friends, and certainly not law enforcement. I am very motivated to find her killer.”

“These cold case homicides are always difficult cases,” said Lt. Jeff Padilla, an Illinois State Police detective who has been working on the investigation for the past six years, “but this case has so much evidence that still exists, it should help us be able to bring justice to Tammy and her family.”

The FBI and the state police have been working closely together to review and catalogue the extensive amount of physical evidence in the case. The goal is to determine which evidence will best lend itself to the newest forensic techniques for DNA extraction.

Padilla estimated that more than 200 pieces of physical evidence exist in the case file. To date, a definitive DNA profile has only been extracted from one item—a beer can found near where Zywicki's car was abandoned that may or may not have anything to do with the crime.

“That profile has never returned a match with any known offender,” Padilla said, “and beyond that, we don't currently have any other profiles because the technology used then was inadequate.”

Advances in DNA testing mean that the same evidence—the blanket, sheet, and duct tape Zywicki was wrapped in, shoelaces found at the scene, and other significant items—could reveal the killer's DNA.

“I'm hopeful this new technology will help us,” Padilla said. “I am convinced the DNA and the suspect are in the case file. It's just a question of finding them.”

Some of Tammy's personal property is known to be missing, including a Cannon 35mm camera, a musical wristwatch with an umbrella on the face, and a distinctive patch issued by Zywicki's soccer team for only one year. The patch was missing from the shorts she was wearing.

If the killer kept the soccer patch, camera, or watch, Becker explained, a tip from someone who recognized the items could help lead to his capture. “There continues to be a $50,000 reward offered in this case,” she added. “Even after 25 years, a concerned citizen doing the right thing can help us solve this case.”

JoAnn Zywicki, Tammy's mother, said she was happy that the investigation continues and that the latest DNA techniques will be used. “I'm glad to see they are pursuing that,” she said. “It's good to see the FBI and the Illinois State Police working together.” She added that her daughter's tragedy “has brought a lot of attention to how many cold cases we have, and that's important.”

Milestone years such as the 25th anniversary of her daughter's death can be particularly hard, JoAnn Zywicki said, but she also see the positives. “It always amazes me how many people remember Tammy in different ways,” she said. “She did make her mark. She would have been a very successful person. She was well rounded and had a lot of interests, and she was very motivated.”

As to whether Tammy's killer will ever be captured, JoAnn Zywicki said, “I never give up hope.”

If you have information concerning the Tammy Zywicki case, please contact your local FBI office or submit a tip online.