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"  

September, 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.

America's deadliest shooting incidents are getting much more deadly

by Philip Bump

The mass shooting that killed at least 50 people in Las Vegas on Sunday night was the worst in modern American history. Police suspect that Stephen Paddock fired on the crowd at a country-music concert indiscriminately from his hotel room window, killing dozens and injuring hundreds more.

If it seems as though we only just experienced another deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, it's because we did. About 16 months ago, Omar Mateen killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. Before that, the record was held by the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007, in which 32 people were killed.

Looking at the timeline of these incidents, a recent trend emerges: The death toll from these shootings has increased dramatically.

Obviously any new “deadliest incident” will have more deaths than the ones that came before. From 1949 to 1991, though, the increase in the number of deaths was only nine. The shooting at Virginia Tech was more than double that in Camden in 1949. The killings in Orlando added 17 more deaths to the total. How many will end up as victims in Las Vegas isn't yet known — but it's already twice the toll of the deadliest shooting in history as of 11 years ago.

That the most recent incident to set a record was only 16 months ago may have been a grim fluke; these incidents are too few to draw a real pattern in that regard.

That the next incident to establish itself as the deadliest in American history will mean that more than 50 people will have given their lives, though, is only slightly less alarming than the near-certainty that there will be a next incident.

America's deadliest mass and spree shootings

•  1949, Camden, NJ - 13 killed - Howard Unruh, a World War II veteran, walks the streets of Camden killing random people.

•  1966, Austin, TX - 18 killed - Charles Whitman fires from a tower on the University of Texas campus.

•  1982, Wilkes-Barre, PA - 13 killed - George Banks kills five of his children and eight other people.

•  1984, San Ysidro, CA - 21 killed - James Huberty enters a McDonald's and begins shooting.

•  1986, Edmond, OK - 14 killed - Postal worker Patrick Sherrill kills 14 people at his workplace.

•  1990, Jacksonville, FL - 10 killed - James Pough kills eight people after his car is repossessed. He killed two others earlier.

•  1991, Killeen, TX - 23 killed - George Hennard drives his truck into a cafeteria and then opens fire.

•  1999, Littleton, CO - 13 killed - The shooting at Columbine High School was the deadliest school shooting to date.

•  1999, Atlanta, GA - 12 killed - Mark Barton kills nine people at brokerage firms in Atlanta after having killed three relatives.

•  2005, Red Lake, MN - 9 killed - Jeffrey Weise kills members of his family and then students at a local high school.

•  2007, Blacksburg, VA - 32 killed - Until 2016, the 32 people killed by Seung-Hui Cho was the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

•  2009, Fort Hood, TX - 13 killed - Nidal Hasan kills 13 people at Fort Hood.

•  2009, Binghamton, NY - 13 killed - Jiverly Wong murders 13 people at a small immigrant services center in southern New York.

•  2009, Geneva County, AL - 10 killed - Michael McClendon kills 10 people, including a baby, in rural Alabama.

•  2012, Newtown, CN - 27 killed - Adam Lanza's rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary including the murder of 20 children.

•  2012, Aurora, CO - 12 killed - James Holmes kills a dozen people during a late-night movie screening.

•  2013, Washington, DC - 12 killed - Aaron Alexis kills a dozen people with a shotgun.

•  2015, San Bernardino, CA - 14 killed - Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik kill more than a dozen people during a holiday party.

•  2015, Roseburg, OR - 9 killed - Chris Mercer kills nine in a shooting at a community college in Oregon.

•  2015, Charleston, SC - 9 killed - Dylann Roof attends a prayer meeting at a church in Charleston before opening fire.

•  2016, Orlando, FL - 49 killed - Omar Mateen murders dozens at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State.

•  2017, Las Vegas, NV - 58 killed - Stephen Paddock shoots at a concert crowd from a hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip.



50 killed after shooting on Las Vegas Strip; suspect ID'd

by Susannah Cullinane, Euan McKirdy and Holly Yan

At least 406 people have been taken to hospitals following a massacre on the Las Vegas Strip overnight, police said.

At least 50 people were killed in the shooting rampage during a Jason Aldean concert. An off-duty Las Vegas police officer was among those killed, the police department said.

Authorities say the suspect, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, fired from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. Officers found at least eight weapons, including multiple long rifles, in Paddock's room, Las Vegas Police Undersheriff Kevin McMahill told CNN.

Paddock was eventually killed.

"He was shot, but I cannot tell you that it was the police that shot him," McMahill said. "He may have self-inflicted that gunshot wound. Those details are still emerging throughout our investigation."

Thousands of country music fans became sitting ducks in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history when a gunman fired hundreds of bullets into the Las Vegas Strip crowd.

At least 50 people were killed Sunday night during an outdoor performance by country singer Jason Aldean, police said.

The barrage of bullets and the subsequent stampede left more than 400 people injured, police said.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said the gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, was firing from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel.

Festival turns into massacre

The massacre started around 10:08 p.m. Sunday (1:08 a.m. ET Monday) at the Route 91 Harvest festival, Lombardo said.

Police don't believe there are any more shooters. "Right now, we believe it's a sole actor, a lone-wolf-type actor," the sheriff said.

Two Las Vegas police officers are being treated at a local hospital for injuries they sustained during the shooting, Lombardo said. One is in critical condition, and the other sustained minor injuries.

In addition, the sheriff stated that there were off-duty officers attending the concert who may have died. The identities of those officers have not been released.

"Pray for Las Vegas," the city's mayor, Carolyn Goodman, tweeted. "Thank you to all our first responders out there now."

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said on Twitter that a "tragic & heinous act of violence has shaken the #Nevada family" and offered prayers to all those affected by "this act of cowardice."

Aldean posted a statement on Instagram saying that he and his crew were safe.

"My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night. #heartbroken#stopthehate," he wrote.

The investigation

So far, massacre has no known link to overseas terrorism or terror groups, a US official with knowledge of the case said.

And a woman described as a "person of interest" after the attack is not believed to be involved in the shooting, police said in a statement.

"Marilou Danley is no longer being sought out as a person of interest," the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said. "LVMPD detectives have made contact with her and do not believe she is involved with the shooting on the strip."

'We just ran for our lives

Aldean, his wife Brittany, his band and crew were able to get offstage safely and unharmed. But fans described chaos after the barrage of bullets.

Rachel De Kerf filmed her escape from the venue using her cell phone, starting just after the first shots were fired.

She described ongoing gunfire, and played out the video she had recorded during which more than five minutes of gunfire were intermittently audible.

"The gunshots lasted for 10-15 minutes. It didn't stop," she said. "We just ran for our lives."

De Kerf's sister, Monique Dumas, said that everyone instantly crouched when they heard the shots.

"The band was rushed off the stage, the floodlights came on the crowd, and you see on the right hand of the stage the person who was injured, so they're calling for medics, calling for security, then there was gunfire again," Dumas said.

'Go, go, go'

"It seemed there was a pause in the gunfire and the people in the yellow shirts were telling the people to 'go, go, go, go' ... the gunfire never ended, it seemed like it went on and on and on," Dumas said.

SiriusXM Country radio host Storme Warren was on the side of the stage as Aldean was performing when the shots rang out.

"I thought it was fireworks going off and maybe it mistriggered, and then it happened again. And when it happened the third time, we knew something was wrong," Warren said.

Warren said he heard "more than 50 shots fired and probably in the hundreds."

"The shells were hitting the deck of the stage when I was on it," he said, adding that he could still hear the shells as he went under the stage for protection.

A concertgoer told CNN affiliate KLAS that everybody was lying on top of each other trying to get out of the shooter's way.

"Everybody's hiding everywhere, they're hiding under the bleachers and the stanchions, anywhere they could and everyone is telling us to 'run, run as fast as you can,'" she told KLAS.

"And my husband and I ran out toward our car, and there were people hiding underneath my car for cover and there was a gentleman who was shot and he said, 'Can you help me?' And so I put him in my car and I had like six people in my car, people without shoes, running, just to get away."

'Like shooting fish in a barrel'

Audio of the shooting suggested that the shooter had used a military-style weapon, CNN law enforcement analyst James Gagliano said.

"Automatic weapon(s) like that -- had to be numbers of magazines or a very large drum, it sounded to me like a belt-fed weapon, a military-style weapon and then to be shooting down, to use the analogy, it was like shooting fish in a barrel in that space," Gagliano said.

MGM Resorts, which owns the Mandalay Bay, tweeted its condolences.

"Law enforcement and emergency personnel responded quickly to the incident a secured the scene," it said in a statement. "Law enforcement requested that we put hotels in the vicinity on lockdown to ensure guest safety. We will provide more information as it becomes available."

Facebook has set up a crisis response page to help people determine whether their loved ones are safe.


Washington D.C.

Trump administration announces new travel ban: "The tougher, the better"

by Jeremy Redmon and Kelly Yamanouchi

The Trump administration late Sunday announced it is replacing its travel ban with a new proclamation barring visitors from eight countries, saying those nations are not doing enough to block terrorists from reaching the United States.

The new directive continues existing restrictions against Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. And it adds new ones for Chad, North Korea and Venezuela, starting Oct. 18 and remaining in place indefinitely until they toughen their security procedures. Venezuela's restrictions narrowly apply to that nation's government officials – and their immediate relatives – who are responsible for traveler screening procedures.

“The travel ban: The tougher, the better,” President Donald Trump told reporters in Washington Sunday.

Signed Sunday, Trump's proclamation could have a substantial impact on Atlanta, home to the world's busiest airport as well as businesses and universities with international connections. With its popular tourist spots, plentiful jobs, affordable housing and mass transit, the Atlanta region has become a magnet for tourists and immigrants.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport officials said they were monitoring the situation. Operations at the airport appeared to be running smoothly early Sunday evening.

The first version of Trump's travel ban — announced in January — sowed widespread confusion, triggered angry demonstrations in Atlanta and across the nation and ultimately stalled amid constitutional challenges. Trump replaced it in March with an order barring visitors from six Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

It also halted this nation's refugee resettlement program, leading to staffing and budget cuts at Atlanta-area humanitarian agencies. Senior administration officials said Sunday they would announce plans for next fiscal year's refugee resettlements in the coming days.

Like his original travel ban, Trump's March 6 order drew court challenges. Trump has cast his travel restrictions as efforts to block terrorist attacks, while his critics say they are driven by discrimination. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments about it on Oct. 10.

Walt Wallace — a traveler from Richmond, Va., who was traveling through Atlanta's airport Sunday — said he understood the security issues involved in the travel ban. But he also said he was concerned about the impact on "people who are legitimately trying to come here... escaping persecution."

Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Friday his organization might send attorneys to the airport. Mitchell added his organization will be watching to see if the restrictions are "motivated by legitimate concerns about national security, or are they motivated by anti-Muslim bigotry."

"If the order only impacts people who do not already have visas to travel here, then nobody should be caught up at the airport," Mitchell said. But, "if the order affects those already in transit like the first order did, then chaos could erupt and we'd need our attorneys at the airport."


Washington D.C.

Police: Man arrested near White House had cache of weapons in car

by Noah Gray

A man who was arrested near the White House Sunday morning was found to have nine guns and three knives in his car, according to a police report. The man was initially stopped by law enforcement for allegedly urinating in public.

Secret Service Uniform Division officers approached the man outside an art gallery in the area of 17th street and Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House, according to law enforcement sources and arrest records.

The suspect told Secret Service officers and agents that he was going to the White House to speak with National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers and Defense Secretary James Mattis "for advice on missing paychecks and how to get the chip out of my head," according to the incident report obtained by CNN.

The man was discovered driving a 2009 Silver Nissan with Tennessee Fraternal Order of Police license plates. After being questioned by law enforcement and admitting to having multiple weapons, according to the report, he consented to a search of his vehicle. The search turned up nine guns, three knives, brass knuckles, suppressors, and various types of ammunition. The firearms included multiple handguns as well as AR- and AK-style rifles.

The suspect was taken to a DC facility "for mental observation" and later transported to a DC police station, where he was charged with multiple weapons violations, according to the report.



Citizens' concerns: Policing and lowering crime

by Natalie Wickman

CHAMPAIGN — Before their goal-setting sessions start this week, the city council will have already heard from 265 residents.

Topping many of their wish lists: reduced crime and increased policing.

A city-administered survey, which ran from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13, allowed those residents to have their voices heard early. It asked what respondents value most about Champaign and what the city's highest priority should be from 2017 to 2019. That's how long this next round of goals will last, and the city council will establish them at meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Crime and police recommendations came up 108 times in the surveys, according to a report from city staff. That didn't surprise councilman Tom Bruno.

"There's less violent crime than there was 10 or 40 years ago, but it doesn't feel that way with the information age," Bruno said, noting how things like social media neighborhood groups can heighten concern.

There wasn't more than a 10 percent increase in Champaign violent crime between each year from 2012 to 2016, according to the report. Both 2016 and 2014 saw 689 violent crimes, and there were 632 in 2015, 665 in 2013 and 697 in 2012.

Champaign property crime, however, hit a 17-year high in 2016.

"I do want to address violence, but I also want a healthy local economy and to keep our tax burden low," Bruno said about his goal setting plans. "I'm thinking about long-term priorities — high quality of life and a welcoming community we can be proud of."

Rounding out the top five, these are the other popular recommendations for highest city priority:

— Improve/add public infrastructure, 36 respondents.

— More attractive/thoughtful building standards, 16 respondents.

— Increase social services, 15 respondents.

— Increase sustainability efforts, 12 respondents.

This will be the first round of goal setting for new councilwoman Alicia Beck. She has her eye on diversity in workforce development and social entrepreneurship.

"(Social entrepreneurship) is a burgeoning method," Beck said, noting Courage Connection for domestic violence victims as an example. "It uses economic development as a city to impact community needs."

Workforce and economic development are at the forefront for Mayor Deb Feinen.

"Small business creation or ... matching companies and people," Feinen said. "Addressing issues around local poverty and making sure that people who want to be employed are employed."

Julie Pryde, administrator of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, said the goals should include gun violence prevention.

"Reduce gun crime as a community-wide effort and with the (Champaign) Community Coalition," Pryde suggested.

Matt Duco, an attorney at Spiros Law Firm, said maintaining the Mahomet Aquifer is a vital priority.

"(The city) has been working on it, but I think it needs to stay at the forefront of what they're doing," Duco said. "And I'd like to see Champaign step up and make sure the state is funding the University of Illinois."

Following in Urbana's footsteps, Champaign County Healthcare Consumers' Adani Sanchez wants the city to adopt a sanctuary city proclamation for undocumented immigrants.

City council members have said previously that is not on the table.

"I'd also like more funding for social services and more affordable housing," Sanchez said.

After this week's meetings, city staff will draft a goal implementation plan and the council will take its first vote on it later this fall. Final approval for council's goals, vision and implementation plan will come "no later than" January, according to the report.

The goal setting meetings will be at I Hotel and Conference Center's Chancellor Ballroom, 1900 S. First St. They will start at 5:30 p.m. on both days, and there will be time for audience participation.



7 charged with rioting after protest in St. Louis County

Nearly 200 people have been arrested in demonstrations since a judge acquitted former officer Jason Stockley of first-degree murder

by the Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Protesters who were arrested at an unruly demonstration at a suburban St. Louis shopping mall were released from jail Sunday amid cheers from demonstrators.

An estimated 200 people gathered at the St. Louis County Justice Center Sunday afternoon, a day after 22 protesters were arrested at the St. Louis Galleria in Richmond Heights. Among those released Sunday was the Rev. Karla Frye. Protesters claim Frye was choked by police.

Frye was charged with assault, rioting and two counts of resisting arrest. A court document accused her of jumping on the back of a police officer, injuring the officer.

Six other protesters were charged with rioting and resisting arrest. The 15 others will be referred to Richmond Heights Municipal Court for local charges.

The protest was one of several since mid-September, when a judge acquitted former police officer Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the death of a black drug suspect. Nearly 200 people have been arrested in demonstrations since the ruling.

On Sunday, a much smaller group of protesters stood outside a hotel near Lambert Airport, where a conservative group was hosting a rally that included Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist to President Donald Trump.

The Galleria protest began peacefully before some protesters began overturning trash cans, leading to a confrontation between police and demonstrators. Officers cleared out the mall and began making arrests.

Stockley was found not guilty in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith. He testified he shot Smith in self-defense because Smith was reaching toward a gun in his car. Prosecutors accused Stockley of planting the gun.



Community Policing: It Is That Simple

by Robert Johnson

In the Courageous Leadership Seminar that Law Officer recently partnered with, one of the sections I was impressed with was the issue of Courageous Community . “What does it really mean to engage with the community,” Major Travis Yates declared to those in attendance?

Yates details that the issue of Community Policing is both confusing and misinterpreted by many. “If you have ten people in the room and ask them what community policing is, you will get ten different answers,” Yates said in a recent seminar I attended on behalf of Law Officer.

As Yates points out, you can boil down community policing into two specific definitions.

“Treat people the way you would want to be treated and see those you interact with as people rather than problems.”

It sounds simple and that is the point. It's as simple as what we saw in Montebello (CA) this past week.

After the Montebello Police were called to a Bank of America for a disturbance, they encountered a 92 year old man who was trying to withdraw money from his account but his California Identification was expired and the man was upset. Bank policy required a current identification, which is exactly what Officer Montebello Police Officer Robert Josett (above) could have said.

“The problem is that you don't have current identification so the bank wins and you lose,” which frankly is what some in law enforcement would have done but if you believe in Courageous Community , more must be done and that is exactly what was done.

Much more….

When officers arrived, Officer Robert Josett took the man to the Department of Motor Vehicles and he helped him renew his identification card. Once renewed, the man was taken back and was able to take money from his account.

As the Montebello Police Facebeook said, “He thanked Officer Josett and went on his way.”

The pundits, politicians and even some police administrators may say that isn't good enough. Police need more programs, more people and more funding when the reality is, we don't.

While it is true that some activists will never be satisfied until we never make another arrest, that is not the answer. We see the answer right here in a small city just east of Los Angeles. The city of Montebello Police Department and Officer Robert Josett get it.

It is really that simple.



Creating a community of choice in the Fairmount neighborhood

by John Bardo

A horrifying murder in Fairmount Park three years ago mobilized residents, city officials and many of us at Wichita State University to come together, pledging to reclaim one of Wichita's finest historic neighborhoods.

There's been significant progress since then, built on combining grassroots neighborhood leadership with resources from the university, city and Kansas Health Foundation.

On Thursday, we'll be releasing and discussing the first wave of survey results based on face-to-face interviews with hundreds of residents.

The university, the park and the neighborhood that surrounds it have a shared DNA that runs through the history of all three. It's important to the university that the neighborhood thrive, but it's also personal. Going back 40 years to my time as a broke young professor, Fairmount Park was where Deborah and I shared many happy hours while we courted and later as young marrieds and as new parents.

In response to global economic challenges, the mission of WSU has evolved to function as an economic engine for south-central Kansas. The university is employing a place-based economic development strategy that works best when the university and the Fairmount neighborhood are seamlessly and collaboratively connected, creating a “community of choice” where people want to live, learn, work and play.

Strengthening university-neighborhood collaboration begins with an improved understanding of the needs and concerns of Fairmount residents. The Public Policy and Management Center at WSU has been working with the Shocker Neighborhood Coalition to develop an improved understanding of the neighborhood and the challenges that need to be overcome to promote neighborhood vitality consistent with a community of choice.

The PPMC research team, including some dedicated graduate students, spent three months going house to house, meeting with Fairmount residents. Nearly 400 of these residents took the time to respond to a survey to provide an improved understanding of their needs, concerns and strength of connections to the neighborhood.

Fairmount residents are invited to participate in the first of three discussions of survey results on Sept. 28 in Fairmount Park. The survey findings allow us to look through the eyes of residents to better understand how they see the community in which they live.

This dialogue will provide an improved understanding of how residents currently view quality of life in the neighborhood and their willingness to work collaboratively with their neighbors to make improvements.

This discussion will also examine issues related to public safety. Community policing can be a particularly effective approach for addressing public safety, assuming that citizens trust and are willing to share information with police to prevent and solve crime.

Research findings also explore the willingness of neighbors to work together and with the Wichita Police Department to create a defended space and community of choice where crime is unacceptable.

Neighborhood diversity is a celebrated part of Fairmount's history. It is important that issues of race are addressed in a straightforward fashion. The research provides evidence the Fairmount neighborhood can become a model for embracing diversity to contribute to the creation of a community of choice.

I'm looking forward to the discussions to come and having the park, the neighborhood and the university flourish together.



Wilmington victim record exceeded after weekend shootings

by Adam Duvernay

Wilmington appeared to set a new record for the number of people shot in a year over the weekend, and it's still September.

Two men were shot in a single incident Saturday and one was hit Sunday, tying and then breaking by one the record of 154 shooting victims set in 2013.

A Wilmington police spokesperson did not return calls and emails requesting comment on Monday.

Two men, a 35-year-old and a 44-year-old, were on a corner in the 1100 block of Beech Street around 7:35 p.m. Saturday when they were hit in the right ankle and right foot, respectively, police said in a news release issued Sunday.

They were taken to St. Francis Hospital. No suspect was captured.

Just before 5 p.m. Sunday, police met with a 26-year-old man at Wilmington Hospital who had arrived there with a gunshot wound to his torso and later needed surgery.

Police said they did not know where this shooting happened. The city's gunfire tracking system, Shot Spotter, did not notify police of the incident.

If he dies — or when the next fatal shooting occurs — 2017 will tie the record for shooting death victims. That record, 26, was set in 2015.

The New Journal has been tracking Wilmington shootings since 2011. The record is based on the number of shooting victims. A previous police chief recalled a year before 2011 with more shootings, but no details were released and the paper could not confirm his claim.

The Rev. Sandra Ben, pastor at Praying Ground Community Church on East 22nd Street in Wilmington, is an advocate for peace on the streets who often walks with friends and police through neighborhoods to show solidarity and support. She learned Monday about the record being broken.

"That's sad. We have to change the mindset of our young people," Ben said. "And more people are starting to realize we need to make a change."

Wilmington's well-earned reputation for gun violence is most glaring in its young shooters and young victims. This month, The News Journal published a yearlong project that showed young people in Wilmington are twice as likely to be involved in gun violence than anywhere else in America.

The per capita data in Wilmington showed that roughly 3 out of every 1,000 adolescents are injured or killed every year from gun violence. Sixty-four kids were shot in Wilmington between January 2015 and Labor Day. Five died and police made 16 arrests.

During the first seven months of this year, a third of the shooting victims under age 21 were linked to gang rivalry, according to a News Journal analysis.

There were 119 shootings and 21 shooting deaths by this date in 2013 and 2015, respectively.

The average age for shooting victims since 2011 is about 27 years old.

But unlike previous years, where the average age of victims had been going down, so far this year the shooting victims' average age is 28.

The city's new police chief, Robert Tracy, has pledged to turn around the violence by targeting known perpetrators and by taking a data-heavy approach to policing.

He's promised to bring back community policing by encouraging officers to spend less time waiting for service calls and more hours walking the streets, learning who residents are and addressing their needs with a personal touch.

He said the work has started and just needs time to take hold.

"We are just scratching the surface. This is a just a start," Tracy said at a community meeting in July.

Ben said Tracy has been supportive of her ministry and her walks. She said she's been seeing slow change over time and thinks more community policing will improve lives in Wilmington.

In the meantime, she said she'll continue to walk the neighborhoods and serve as best she can.

"It's not going to stop the killing, but it shows that people do care and people are trying to make a difference," Ben said.


From the Department of Homeland Security

Federal Response Continues to Focus on Saving and Sustaining Lives

WASHINGTON – As the response to Hurricane Maria continues, and the recovery begins, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the entire federal family remain focused on life-saving and life-sustaining measures to ensure the safety of residents in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).

Today, FEMA Administrator Brock Long is meeting with FEMA personnel and the governors of the USVI and Puerto Rico to get an update on the current situation and each governor's priorities and assess the progress of response and recovery efforts underway.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has more than 300 staff on the ground, including a National Disaster Medical System Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT), with more on the way. A DMAT is a federalized workforce of doctors, nurses, paramedics, emergency management technicians, safety specialists, and others who provide medical care during natural disaster relief efforts. HHS is working around the clock with staff from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to re-open hospitals around Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Additionally, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Critical Water Assessment Team arrived yesterday to address drinking water needs and conduct wastewater assessments at facilities that service hospitals.

Making sure that residents have access to health and emergency services is a top priority of the federal and territorial governments, and hospitals have been a priority focus for fuel delivery and power restoration.

In Puerto Rico, power is restored to the following hospitals:

•  Centro Médico Hospital in San Juan, also serving as the HHS Disaster Medical Assistance Team Base of Operations for critical and acute care services

•  San Pablo Hospital in Bayamón

As areas become accessible, more fuel is able to be delivered to critical facilities. Puerto Rico hospital fuel needs are prioritized for those serving patients with critical needs.. The Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital in St. Croix and the Schneider Regional Medical Center Emergency Room in St. Thomas were re-energized and re-established as mobile hospitals over the weekend by HHS and Department of Defense (DoD) .

HHS and DoD are conducting medical evacuations; so far they've evacuated more than 150 patients from the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to locations in the continental United States. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, FEMA and the American Red Cross are providing hotel lodging and support for the remaining patients until additional movement can be coordinated. More than half of the dialysis centers in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are now operational.

HHS Liaisons and a Health and Medical Task Force (HMTF) arrived to St. Croix today; additional Liaisons are on the ground in St. John and St. Thomas. These liaisons and teams join the teams and equipment already on the ground serving the residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Nine FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams working in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard , U.S. Customs and Border Protection , and others continue to conduct search and rescue operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Together, these teams have saved or assisted 530 individuals so far.


From the FBI

2016 Crime Statistics Released

Violent Crime Increases, Property Crime Decreases

Violent crime increased for the second consecutive year, while property crime decreased for the 14th straight year, according to the FBI's annual report on national crime statistics released today. There were an estimated 17,250 murders in the U.S. last year, an 8.6 percent increase from 2015.

Overall violent crime rose 4.1 percent last year, while property crime fell 1.3 percent compared to 2015 figures.

Crime in the United States, 2016 is a compilation of information reported to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program by more than 16,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide.

The report showed there were an estimated 1.2 million violent crimes in the U.S. last year. Though the violent crime numbers rose from 2015 to 2016, the five-year and 10-year trends show an increase from 2012 (up 2.6 percent) and a decrease from 2007 (down 12.3 percent).

Additional statistics from Crime in the United States, 2016 include:

•  Last year's data shows there were 95,730 rapes reported to law enforcement, based on the UCR's legacy definition. (Learn more about the updated rape definition .)

•  Of the violent crimes reported to police in 2016, aggravated assault made up 64.3 percent, while robbery was 26.6 percent. Rape (legacy definition) accounted for 7.7 percent of the violent crimes reported last year, and murder made up 1.4 percent.

•  About 7.9 million property crimes were reported to the UCR, with losses (excluding arson) of about $15.6 billion.

•  The report estimates that law enforcement agencies made about 10.7 million arrests in 2016 (excluding arrests for traffic violations).

The 2016 report has been streamlined from 81 information tables to 29, but it still includes key data on major categories—such as known offenses and number of arrests—that researchers, law enforcement, and the public expect. Crime in the United States, 2016 also includes the additional publications Federal Crime Data , Human Trafficking , and Cargo Theft .

In his message accompanying the report, FBI Director Christopher Wray called on law enforcement agencies to continue transitioning to the more informative National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Use of NIBRS data, which will be the national standard for crime reporting by 2021, will provide additional transparency. Wray called for the country to “get beyond anecdotal evidence and collect more comprehensive data so that we have a clearer and more complete picture of crime in the United States.” He also noted the creation of the FBI's database to collect law enforcement use-of-force statistics to facilitate an informed dialogue within communities.

“The more complete the data, the better we can inform, educate, and strengthen all of our communities,” Wray said.



Mattis target of failed Kabul airport rocket attack, Taliban says

by Euan McKirdy and Keith Allen

Defense Secretary James Mattis was the target of a failed rocket attack near a key Afghanistan airport Wednesday, the Taliban said, though the attack occurred after he had left the airport.

Hours after Mattis landed, the rockets were fired at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport from an unknown location and landed in an open area, according to Najib Danish, spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry. He did not reveal how many rockets were fired.

Mattis and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had already left the airport at the time of the incident, Danish said. No one was injured.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility and said Mattis' plane was the target of the attack, the Taliban's spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, tweeted.

Up to 40 rounds of munitions hit the airport, according to a US military official, 29 of which were rocket-propelled grenades. The nature of the other munitions was not immediately known.



LAPD uses community as part of policing model

by Grace Hase

When officers helped children carve spooky faces into pumpkins last October, the activity aligned with the Los Altos Police Department's philosophy.

“We're in the customer service business,” Los Altos Police Chief Andy Galea said. “Clearly, we deal with law enforcement, traffic enforcement – things of that nature – but it's about our relationships with our community … and making sure we deliver on our community's expectations.”

While Galea isn't new to the department – he came from the San Jose force eight years ago – he's still relatively new to the job of top cop. He was promoted from captain to chief in December, replacing the retiring Tuck Younis.

Since his ascension to chief, Galea said he's been busy with personnel matters; a series of promotions, retirements and officers moving to other agencies has left vacancies that still need to be filled. The chief wants officers who will help fulfill his philosophy and build relationships with the people they serve.

“Officers are encouraged to come up with creative ideas on how to reach out to the community,” Sgt. Katie Krauss said. “It's not something that comes from the top or comes from one specific unit. … No, it comes from the officers who have ideas and then bring it up, and it's well received by administration.”

Krauss, who came up with “Carving with a Cop,” said last fall's event was a spin-off of “Coffee with a Cop” – a nationwide opportunity for community members to have a cup of coffee and discuss matters with their local police officers. She said the department wanted to get creative, so they blasted the idea across their social-media outlets, purchased carving tools and decorations, and provided food and drinks for what they thought would be a turnout of 20 people. Instead, more than 100 people showed up with their families and pumpkins in tow.

“It's just a way for families to come in with kids,” Krauss said of what she hopes will be an annual event. “Did we get into a whole lot of deep conversation with people about issues in Los Altos? Not necessarily, but we built relationships and made contacts, and especially when you have kids there and kids get a positive view of law enforcement, that's what really starts in a community.”

Krauss said kids and their families are a large part of the department's community outreach efforts. Over the summer, the Los Altos Police Department sponsored its second Youth Exhibiting Safety campaign. Rather than focusing on negative behaviors, officers rewarded kids and teenagers with prizes for law-abiding behavior such as using crosswalks and wearing helmets. The local business community donated approximately 600 prizes, ranging from ice cream to art classes, she said, and officers distributed tickets to kids that could later be redeemed for prizes.

Community policing

While it may seem all fun and games for Los Altos police with pumpkins and prizes, Galea acknowledged that it's a difficult time for law enforcement.

“(We) talk about different events that are going on in the nation – whether it relates to use of force, police shootings, conflict between police and the community – because the reality is we're not immune from that,” he said. “I think it's a reminder to us all that it can happen here and that we (need to) continue to work with our community.”

So far, the outreach has been successful. According to Capt. Scott McCrossin, working with the community has even led to the department making several arrests. At the end of 2014, he noted, there were a few burglary crews targeting Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto. The department only has so many officers, so they turned to residents for support.

“They had some community meetings … and basically just encouraged people to keep their eyes open and report things that are suspicious,” he said of Neighborhood Watch-type groups. “You know, a ‘See something, say something' kind of thing.”

Residents reported suspicious activity that ultimately led to the arrest of the burglars.

This type of relationship is what Galea and his colleagues refer to as “community policing” – a term McCrossin said dates back to the beginning of policing in the United States.

“It's a partnership with a community,” McCrossin said. “It's about developing that relationship between the police department and the community to kind of break down that proverbial wall that's kind of present in a lot of communities.”

The Los Altos Police Department's next community event is its second “Carving with a Cop,” scheduled 3-5 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Los Altos Youth Center, 1 N. San Antonio Road.



Athens Police Chief Talks Community-Oriented Policing

by Blake Aued

Traditional policing has failed because the focus on arrest rates, the tactic of random patrols, incarceration as the sole tool for law enforcement and the lack of relationships between police and citizens alienate the public and do nothing to prevent crime or the fear of crime, Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Freeman said at the ACC Commission's Sept. 18 work session (rescheduled because of Irma). He pointed to Ferguson, MO, the site of riots in 2014, where “there were systemic issues that should have been caught early on.”

Instead, in ACC, officers are assigned to zones where they get to know residents and business owners, Freeman said. The philosophy calls for treating crime as a symptom and working to solve the root problem. Examples of community-oriented policing Freeman cited included a reading program for children at Bethel Midtown Village, community cookouts at Athens Garden apartments (where there had been a rash of drive-by shootings), officers helping a victim of elder abuse to move and First Friday basketball games in East Athens, organized by local artist and activist Broderick Flanigan.

ACC started moving toward community-oriented policing in 1995, after an officer shot and killed Edward Wright , a young African American—an incident that still reverberates through Athens' minority communities, Freeman said. Former police chief Jack Lumpkin, hired in 1997, was the father of community-oriented policing in Athens, Freeman said. Freeman was hired to replace Lumpkin in 2015, and said he is now trying to take the concept “light years above every other department in this country,” with a new strategic plan and rewritten policies (available at the ACCPD website .)

Although Georgia only requires police officers to undergo 20 hours of training per year, ACC officers receive 66, in areas like de-escalating conflict and implicit bias. But Freeman said he would like to double that number. To provide that level of training and fully implement community-oriented policing, Freeman said he needs 50 new officers.

He's having trouble keeping the ones he has, though. Twenty-two of 242 officers have left this year—mainly because of money and feeling unappreciated in the current anti-cop climate, according to Freeman—the highest turnover rate in the eight years the department has kept that statistic. UGA students “do not want to even consider us for $36,000,” Freeman said. Since Gov. Nathan Deal raised the minimum salary for state troopers and GBI agents to $47,000, officers have been flocking there from local departments, he said.

The ACC police department is 26 percent black, according to Freeman, which closely mirrors the makeup of the city. But commissioners questioned him on the lack of female and minority representation on his leadership team. Freeman said he put the most qualified candidates into place without regard for race or gender. But “diversity is absolutely a priority,” and he is revamping the promotion process, he said.

Commissioners also pressed Freeman on traffic enforcement—speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving. Wrecks are up, but Freeman attributed that to an increased population.

In response to a question about marijuana decriminalization, he said he can't let that slide, even if the commission passes a parallel ordinance setting just a small fine for possession. “Legally, we have to follow state laws,” he said. “As long as those laws are passed, it's our job to enforce those laws.”


New York

Rochester to fight human trafficking through community policing

by the Democrat & Chronicle

The city of Rochester wants to raise awareness and fight human trafficking and child abduction.

Mayor Lovely Warren and Councilman Adam McFadden announced a joint initiative Wednesday to curb and combat the illicit and tragic activities through community policing. They also announced a series of events between Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 to headline "Community Policing Week" in Rochester.

Human trafficking occurs in situations where people are recruited and then exploited in the form of forced sex work or other labor. It affects virtually every low-wage industry, and often victims were tricked into thinking they will have a stable, legal job that they can vacate whenever they want.

“Rochester is blessed to have so many agencies whose mission is protecting children,” Warren said in a release. “That is why I am proud to work with Council member McFadden to bring these agencies together in the spirit of community policing to shine a spotlight on the horrors of human trafficking and child abduction and give parents the tools and information they need to keep our children safe.”

McFadden added, “Come on Saturday and get a Safe Child I.D. Card for your kid, come to the events on Tuesday and Wednesday so that you can learn how to keep your children safe,” McFadden said. “... My goal for this week is to bring awareness to these heinous acts and teach parents warning signs to look for and ways to prevent these tragic events from happening to their family.”

An estimated 17,500 people are trafficked into or around the U.S. each year, and the industry's proceeds measure in the billions globally.

Federal and state laws, including New York's Anti-Trafficking Law in 2007, have given prosecutors and investigators tools to target traffickers and levy heavier penalties

The week will include the following activities and events:

•  Operation SAFE CHILD registrations from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at four locations: Avenue D R-Center, 200 Avenue D; Maplewood Community Library, 1111 Dewey Ave.; Frederick Douglass R-Center, 999 South Ave.; Adams Street R-Center, 85 Adams St. Obtaining a SAFE CHILD identification card and register your child or children on the New York SAFE CHILD database. This gives authorities access to vital information in the event of an AMBER Alert of the search for a missing child.

•  Human trafficking prevention town hall meeting: 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 3 at City Hall, Council Chambers, 30 Church St. Members of the Rochester Police Department and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will answer questions and provide information on how to avoid the risk of child abduction and how to respond if a child disappears.

•  Not for Sale film screening and panel discussion: 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. at the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center (REOC), 161 Chestnut St. The documentary looks at modern-day abolitionists and the fight to end slavery and human trafficking. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion.



Kids vs Cops Creating a New Lane For Community Policing

by Justin Surrency

DES MOINES, Iowa -- If practice makes the perfect jumpshot, it's also scoring points for community policing in Des Moines. Sergeant Ryan Doty with the Des Moines Police Department said, "Any time you can have a positive interaction with kids and officers in things other than police and citizen scenarios, that`s a positive thing."

In it's second year, the partnership between Des Moines Parks and Rec and the Des Moines Police Department called Kids vs Cops is placing a full court press on changing perceptions. "My hope is that sometime in the future they'll see an officer and it'll spark positive thoughts in their mind," said Doty.

Instead of patrolling through east Des Moines, officers are using Wednesdays to play pickup ball at the Four Mile Community Center. "All these officers that are here are here on their own time and came in on their days off," Doty said. Early dismissal on Wednesdays allows kids like Mark Yahkwenneh to see what's behind the badge. "It's not everyday you see cops play basketball with kids so it's a good opportunity for the community." He admits the program is eye-opening for him. He said, "At first, I was kind of scared of cops but now that I get to know them, it makes me get a different point of view of them and that they are friendly and nice." Mark is not alone. The game also changed the mind of Berhane Mikele. "I always thought differently of cops like racism and stuff." After playing against Des Moines' finest, Berhane said, "Now, they are not that bad."

While the final score had little significance, those statements proved to be a real victory for everyone, Doty Said, "Ultimately we are all a part of the same community here together. We all live here and we want to make this place a better place."

The next Kids vs Cops event is October 25th when they will play Dodgeball at Four Mile Community at 1:30 pm.

November 15th at 1:30 pm there will be a bomb sniffing dog demonstration.

January 24th at 1:30 pm there will be a Kids vs Cops floor hockey game.

February 28th at 1:30 pm there will be a SWAT tactical vehicle Bear Claw.

March 28th at 1:30 pm there will be Beer goggles and impaired driving obstacles.

April 25th the cops will choose what game will be played versus the kids and pizza will be provided.



Denver police, auditor vehemently disagree about whether police are working to end racial profiling

Denver City Auditor Timothy O'Brien says a September Check showed the department is not following the recommendations

by Kirk Mitchell

The Denver City Auditor Timothy O'Brien says Denver police have not implemented any of his recommendations to help patrol officers avoid racial bias despite their partial agreement to do so, but police say that's simply not true.

“There is no way to tell if officers are stopping people without bias regarding race, gender or age if officers choose not to document demographic data,” O'Brien said in a Thursday news release.

Although police officials had agreed with recommendations made in a 2016 audit, a follow-up review in September showed that none of them had been followed, O'Brien's news release says.

“It's important for Denver Police policies to protect and serve all people equally,” O'Brien said.

But Deputy Chief Matt Murray of the Denver Police Department said O'Brien doesn't know what he's talking about.

“We are absolutely in compliance with what we agreed to in the audit,” Murray said. “I think the auditor is misinformed and doesn't know what we're doing.”

In fact, Murray said the police department has gone the extra mile to create a data collection system that meets national standards by hiring the Center for Policing Equity and meeting on a weekly basis every Monday for a year with community leaders. But oddly, Murray added, O'Brien has never released his survey to the police department.

“That's always been a mystery to us why he wouldn't release that to us so we know where we stand and where we need to improve,” Murray said.

But O'Brien sees it differently.

Denver police agreed to use the U.S. Justice Department's community policing self-assessment tool to review police actions over time, O'Brien said. Instead, the department told O'Brien's office that they used two other surveys.

“Auditors were unable to see these survey results or the contents of the survey. Denver Police shared no information regarding the independent survey, which the Denver Police Protective Association keeps for internal purposes,” O'Brien says. “We cannot assess whether either survey met the spirit of or captured content similar to the CP-SAT survey. As a result, we consider this recommendation as having not been implemented.”

Murray said the police department is preparing a memorandum of understanding between the Center for Policing Equity and city and police officials. Only then can it begin to collect data, which has not begun, he said.

“We're very very close” to signing the memorandum after a year of meetings, Murray said.

O'Brien also had recommended that Denver police update its biased-policing policy including doing an annual demographic study that would have required officers to collect data for all pedestrian and traffic self-initiated contact. Currently, officers only collect this data for encounters that lead to a citation, arrest or street check.

Again, Murray disagreed. The police department did update its biased-policing policy in 2016, following O'Brien's recommendations even though the department had not agreed to do so, he said.

O'Brien stressed the importance of doing surveys including asking each person police contact demographic information including the contact's ethnicity.

“Without demographic data from police encounters there is no way to ensure community policing efforts are effective or equitable,” O'Brien says.

Murray said such questioning would be intrusive and counterproductive. If police asked each person they contacted personal information including their race, ethnicity, age and sexual orientation it would further drive a wedge between police and members of the community.


U.S. To slash embassy staff in Cuba, warns travelers of hotel attacks

by Carol Morello

The United States is yanking more than half its diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Havana and warning Americans not to visit Cuba, saying it is for their own safety after a string of mysterious injuries harmed at least 21 Americans stationed there.

Senior State Department officials said embassy employees have been “targeted” for “specific attacks,” a significant change from previous characterizations of what happened as simply “incidents.”

Some of the diplomats were injured in at least one hotel in the Cuban capital, the Capri near the embassy. Employees temporarily deployed to the mission were staying there. The officials said they know of no other guests or hotel employees who were affected, but concern that others might be hurt prompted them to issue a broader warning advising against travel to Cuba.

“We have no reports that private U.S. citizens have been affected, but the attacks are known to have occurred in U.S. diplomatic residences and hotels frequented by U.S. citizens,” said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a statement. “The Department does not have definitive answers on the cause or source of the attacks and is unable to recommend a means to mitigate exposure.”

The withdrawal order applies to all nonessential staff and their families. Only “emergency personnel” will stay. The skeletal staff is being kept to assist U.S. citizens in Cuba who have pressing issues, but more routine diplomatic and consular functions will likely be slowed.

The diplomatic drawdown means that no visas will be processed at the embassy because there will not be enough people to do the work.

In addition, only U.S. government officials involved with the ongoing investigation or who need to travel there for national security or critical embassy operations will be allowed to travel to Cuba, the officials said. No U.S. delegations will visit Cuba for bilateral meetings, although they may meet in the United States.

“The reduction in diplomatic presence was made to ensure the safety of our personnel,” said one official. “We maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba, and our work in Cuba will be guided by national security and foreign policy goals of the United States.”

The State Department has acknowledged that at least 21 Americans connected to the embassy have been hurt in the attacks, the most recent of which occurred in August. No Cuban employees of the embassy have complained of any symptoms, only American diplomats.

Among the health symptoms are hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, balance problems, visual difficulties, headaches, fatigue, cognitive issues and sleeping difficulties.

Nearly 10 months after the first complaints surfaced, neither U.S. nor Cuban investigators are any closer to identifying what is causing the injuries, or who is responsible. Investigators are looking into the possibility that they were subjected to some sort of “sonic attack,” among other theories, though it is not clear why American diplomats and a handful of Canadian envoys would be the only ones to complain of symptoms.

Cuba has denied having anything to do with the injuries. Among the possibilities being explored is that agents acting on behalf of a third country may be responsible.

The decision to draw down the diplomatic presence in Cuba does not represent a break in U.S.-Cuba relations, which were normalized in 2015 by President Barack Obama. But the move marks the most serious crisis between the two countries since and comes at a time when the Trump administration is seeking to limit tourism and trade to the island until the government makes more democratic reforms.

Cuba was concerned enough that its foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, requested a meeting with Tillerson and flew to Washington on Tuesday for the one-hour conversation. Cuba said afterward it has been investigating but so far has found no origin or cause for the health disorders. It said measures have been taken to protect the diplomats remaining.

But apparently Tillerson found those efforts wanting.

U.S. officials acknowledged that Cuba has facilitated the U.S. investigation as well as conducting its own probe. But they said they cannot allow a full diplomatic presence to be maintained and must discourage American citizens from traveling to Cuba “until we understand more about the source, and means, and ways to mitigate the attacks.”

The U.S. travel warning may bite into Cuba's burgeoning tourism industry. The Cuban government says more than 4 million people visited last year, a 13 percent increase it attributed to American and European visitors. Over all, the government said they pumped almost $2 billion into the economy.

About 615,000 were Americans, a 34 percent increase in the first year after diplomatic relations were restored. That includes 330,000 Cuban-Americans visiting relatives. The rest were Americans who fit into one of 12 categories the U.S. government considers legitimate for travel purposes, including “educational” reasons cited by many individual travelers.

Cuba has experienced shortages in hotel rooms as visitors have flooded in, and some hotels have more than doubled their rates. Airbnb has called Cuba its fastest-growing market.


Puerto Rico

Getting relief supplies to Puerto Rico ports is only half the problem

by Arelis R. Hernandez and Steven Mufson

Three days after Hurricane Maria clobbered Puerto Rico, the Crowley shipping company opened its San Juan terminal and switched on its computers. When the port opened at 8 a.m. the next day, the shipping firm delivered 500 containers of commercial goods. Three of its managers had to cut their way out of their homes to get there.

Four days later, those containers and others filled with goods for stores such as Home Depot and Walgreens have been languishing at the port. Retailers hobbled by broken distribution chains and damaged stores have opened only a few outlets, and customers have had to wait in long lines.

“It's pretty ugly out there,” said Jose Ayala, Crowley's vice president for Puerto Rico services. “There is damage to the trucking infrastructure, to the distributors, to the supermarkets, to the roads. And then, if your infrastructure is not so damaged, and you can get a driver to the truck, there is no fuel to move the equipment.”

About 15 federal agencies, charitable groups and the Puerto Rican government are rushing to get goods shipped to the territory and to have them distributed.

Crowley is filling its ships with generators, food and water for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and it expects to deliver more than 1,000 containers on five barges in the coming days. It dispatched more than 200 on Thursday.

President Trump, under political pressure from critics who say his administration has lagged in providing aid to Puerto Rico, flipped his position on Thursday on the 1920 Jones Act and said he would waive the requirement that vessels traveling between U.S. ports be U.S. ships. However the waiver lasts only 10 days, according to a Bloomberg News report.

While many lawmakers from both parties said the Jones Act waiver would speed assistance for Puerto Rico and reduce costs, U.S. shipping executives — including Crowley's — and maritime unions warned that the bottleneck was on the island, not on the seas. Huge swaths of the population still lack fuel, water supplies and communication links.

John Rabin, acting administrator for FEMA Region II, said the agency has established 11 staging areas and delivered food and water to 78 municipalities. He said that 676 gasoline stations were open Thursday morning, although residents said that supplies ran out by early afternoon at many of the stations.

“Today is going to be a very difficult and hard day,” Rabin said. “Hopefully today will be a little bit better than yesterday was. And hopefully tomorrow will be a bit better.”

One of the most troublesome obstacles to relief efforts has been the electrical grid, crippled by fallen transmission and distribution lines. Though utilities belong to national groups that help coordinate out-of-state workers to help repair storm damage, so far the mainland utilities have sent crews only to help assess damage. Sue Kelly, president of the American Public Power Association, said Wednesday there was no point in sending repair crews who need food, water and shelter if they did not have the poles, wires and trucks needed.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Congress and Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló have been jockeying over who should take charge of the humanitarian response effort.

Rosselló asserted that he was fully in command even as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and other lawmakers on the mainland stepped up demands for the appointment of a federal official to oversee relief efforts.

“Let's make this clear, this is an operation of the government of Puerto Rico,” Rosselló said. “We set the priorities. .?.?. We are taking action, and there are results.”

Yet the results are mixed, even by the governor's own assessment.

Luis Muñoz Marin Airport in San Juan has been able to handle a trickle of flights — about half a dozen a day — for several days; it was expecting nearly two dozen planes to land on Thursday. To relieve congestion, the Air Force opened airports in Ceiba and Aguadilla. Rosselló described plans to reestablish a radar in El Yunque, the national rain forest, to augment operations at all the island's flight hubs.

Ports are slowly reopening. FEMA said it would bring in about 3.2 million meals and 2.68 million liters of water, some by air and some by sea. Only 28 percent of the island now has some cellphone reception. About 86 bank branches are open, but many people still have no cash or access to checking accounts.

FEMA said it would use barges to ship 100 fuel distribution trucks with 275,000 gallons of diesel and 75,000 gallons of gasoline. The shipment is expected to arrive Sunday.

“I wish we were in a better position but we are limited by the gravity of the situation,” Rosselló said. In Florida and Texas, where major hurricanes landed in the past two months, resources were brought in by road, but “Puerto Rico is an island. We have to bring them through boats and airplanes.”

Hence the fight over the Jones Act. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a longtime advocate of repealing the Jones Act restrictions, wrote to the Department of Homeland Security saying, “I am very concerned by the Department's decision not to waive the Jones Act for current relief efforts in Puerto Rico, which is facing a worsening humanitarian crisis following Hurricane Maria.”

Economists agree. In 2015, Anne Krueger, former chief economist of the World Bank, wrote that the Jones Act “requires using very costly US-built ships and crews for all sea transport to and from the mainland.”

Thomas B. Crowley, chief executive of the Crowley shipping firm, said this issue should appeal to Trump, who says he wants to protect American jobs.

“If we cut some American jobs, replace them with foreign labor and save a few pennies on the delivered goods, then perhaps you could get the answer swayed to yes, but no one has ever made a factual case that this is true,” Crowley said in an interview.

After the president announced the waiver, Crowley said in an email: “We understand the waiver will be temporary. In the meantime, we hope people will take the time to learn what our American vessel crews, dock workers and truck drivers are doing 24/7 to bring help to Puerto Rico. Americans responding to Americans in need.”


From ICE

ICE arrests over 450 on federal immigration charges during Operation 'Safe City'

WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Fugitive Operations teams arrested 498 individuals from 42 countries for federal immigration violations in multiple cities across the U.S. during a four-day operation that ended Wednesday. Operation ‘Safe City' focused on cities and regions where ICE deportation officers are denied access to jails and prisons to interview suspected immigration violators or jurisdictions where ICE detainers are not honored.

The operation targeted individuals who have violated U.S. immigration laws, prioritizing aliens with criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, known gang members and affiliates, immigration fugitives and those who re-entered the U.S. after deportation. Individuals with active DACA were not targeted for arrest.

“Sanctuary jurisdictions that do not honor detainers or allow us access to jails and prisons are shielding criminal aliens from immigration enforcement and creating a magnet for illegal immigration,” said ICE Acting Director Tom Homan. “As a result, ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities.”

“ICE's goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners to help prevent dangerous criminal aliens from being released back onto the streets. Non-cooperation policies severely undermine that effort at the expense of public safety,” he said.

Operation Safe City arrests took place in Baltimore (28), Cook County, Illinois (30), Denver (63), Los Angeles (101), New York (45), Philadelphia (107), Seattle (33), Santa Clara County, Calif (27); and Washington, D.C. (14) and the state of Massachusetts (50).

Among those arrested during this week's operation were:

•  In Baltimore, a citizen of El Salvador who entered the U.S. illegally on a fraudulent passport, and was previously charged with attempted murder/conspiracy to commit murder and convicted of first degree assault. She was previously released from local custody before ICE could assume custody.

•  In Boston, a citizen of India who entered the U.S. illegally and who was convicted of indecent assault/battery on a person over 14 and was required to register as a sex offender.

•  In Denver, a citizen of Guatemala with lawful permanent legal status who was previously convicted of felony menacing, 6 DUIs, child abuse, assault and domestic violence harassment.

•  In Los Angeles, a citizen of Mexico and documented Colonia Chiques gang member who entered the United States illegally. At the time of his arrest, the subject rammed multiple law enforcement vehicles in an effort to evade arrest. After he was placed under arrest, a search of his person revealed a loaded handgun in his pocket. The subject was turned over to local authorities and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, probation in possession of firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded firearm in public.

•  In New York, a citizen of Ecuador with lawful permanent resident status who was previously charged with sexual abuse of a minor and convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, and convicted of sexual abuse of a minor under 14. He was previously released from local custody before ICE could assume custody.

•  In Philadelphia, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, who entered the country illegally and who has previous convictions for possession of firearms. He was previously released from local custody before ICE could assume custody.

•  In San Francisco, a citizen of El Salvador who entered the country illegally and who has previous convictions for sex with a minor under 16. He was previously released from local custody before ICE could assume custody.

•  In San Jose, a citizen of Mexico who entered the U.S. on a visa and overstayed that visa for more than 10 years. He was previously convicted of felony possession and purchase of narcotics, possession of a controlled substance for sale, and felony child cruelty with the possibility of injury or death. He was previously released from local custody before ICE could assume custody.

•  In Seattle, a citizen of Mexico who entered the country illegally and who has previous convictions for DUI, reckless endangerment and negligent driving.

•  In Washington, D.C., a citizen of El Salvador who entered the country illegally and who has previous convictions for possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Of the 498 individuals taken into custody during this operation for immigration violations:

•  317 had criminal convictions, as noted in the chart below;

•  68 are immigration fugitives;

•  104 are previously deported criminal aliens; and

•  18 are gang members or affiliates.

Operation Safe City Criminal Convictions

Criminal Conviction


Criminal Conviction


Aggravated assault


Illegal re-entry


Agg. assault public officer strong arm


Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child


Aggravated assault weapon


Invade Privacy


Amphetamine possession




Amphetamine sell


Marijuana possession




Marijuana sell


Assault - Domestic Violence


Negligent manslaughter vehicle




Obstructing justice




Peeping tom




Possession of Cocaine


Carrying concealed weapon


Possession of Firearm


Cocaine possession


Possession of weapon


Cocaine sell




Contempt of court


Public order crimes


Controlled Substance






Receive stolen property


Cruelty toward child


Robbery strong arm


Cruelty toward wife


Robbery weapon


Damage property


Sex assault


Dangerous drugs


Sex offense against child/fondling


Disorderly conduct


Sex offense other


Domestic violence


Sexual exploitation of minor


Driving under influence




Drug Possession


Simple assault


Drug trafficking


Stolen Property


Extort threat to injure person


Stolen vehicle


False citizenship


Theft of us government property




Threat terroristic state offenses




Threat to kidnap


Harassing communication


Traffic offense other


Heroin possession




Heroin sell


Vehicle theft


Identity theft


Weapon offense


Illegal entry




Data Note: Criminal aliens with multiple prior convictions are categorized based on their most serious conviction. All statistics remain preliminary until finalized by ERO data teams.

Some of the individuals arrested during this operation will face federal criminal prosecutions for illegal entry and illegal re-entry after removal. The arrestees who are not being federally prosecuted will be processed administratively for removal from the United States. Those who have outstanding orders of removal, or who returned to the United States illegally after being removed, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.

These enforcement actions were spearheaded by ERO deportation officers assigned to the agency's Fugitive Operations Teams, which are tasked with locating, arresting, and removing individuals who are unlawfully present in the United States. The teams give top priority to cases involving individuals who pose a threat to public safety, including members of transnational street gangs and sex offenders.

The officers who conducted last week's operation received substantial assistance from ICE's National Criminal Analysis and Targeting Center and from ICE's Pacific Enforcement Response Center (PERC). Established in 2015, the PERC operates 24/7 to take appropriate enforcement action against criminal aliens and public safety threats who are booked into local law enforcement custody. The PERC shares leads with ERO field offices nationwide, issuing immigration detainers on high-priority and high-risk criminal aliens.



Free book exchanges coming to Detroit police precincts

Little Libraries are designed to promote literacy and a sense of commumity among area youth

by the Associated Press

DETROIT — Police in Detroit want to help children in the city read more often.

The police department is partnering with the national Little Free Library and the Detroit branch of the Little Libraries on the effort.

Little Libraries will be placed at each city police precinct. Details of the campaign will be released Friday morning at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters.

A Little Free Library is a book exchange where books are taken and returned. Children can take and leave books as they please. The libraries are designed to promote literacy and a sense of community among area youth.

Little Free Library says on its website that there were more than 50,000 registered Little Free Library book exchanges last year in the United States and more than 70 other countries.



Watch an Air Force general rebuke students over racism at Air Force Academy: Show respect or 'get out'

by Christopher Woody

(Video on site)

After racial slurs were found on dormitory message boards belonging to five black cadet candidates at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School this week, the academy's superintendent offered a harsh rebuke of racism, misogyny, and other forms of bigotry.

"If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you can't treat someone of another gender, whether that's a man or a woman, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out," Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria said to a gathering of Air Force Academy cadets, flanked by academy officers and staff.

"If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out," he added. "And if you can't treat someone from another race or of different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out."

Lt. Col. Allen Herritage, director of public affairs for the academy, told Air Force Times that the slurs were found Monday. According to a photo posted on Facebook by one cadet candidate's mother, "go home n----r" had been written on one of the boards.

"This is why I'm so hurt!" she said in the post, which was posted on Wednesday and taken down on Thursday, according to Air Force Times. "These young people are supposed to bond and protect each other and the country. Who would my son have to watch out for? The enemy or the enemy?"

Herritage told Air Force Times that the academy's security services were looking into the incident. The father of one of the cadet candidate's involved said his son was fine and that the school was handling the situation properly. He called the incident "utter stupidity."

Silveria said the prep school's commander had discussed the incident with students and faculty there, and the Air Force Academy's superintendent told officials there not to avoid the subject.

In his address on Thursday, which touched on race relations in the US in the wake of incidents in Charlottesville and elsewhere, Silveria told the cadets assembled to take out their phones and record his final comments, "so that we all have the moral courage together."

"All of us on the staff tower, lining the glass, all of us in this room, this is our institution," he said. "And if you need it, and you need my words, then you keep these words, and you use them and you remember them, and you share them and you talk about them. If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out."


'Not enough' troops, equipment in Puerto Rico, says general in charge of relief

by Ellen Mitchell

The Defense Department has not sent enough troops and vehicles to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico but will soon send more, according to the three-star general newly in charge of coordinating the military response.

Army Lt. Gen. Jeff Buchanan said Friday morning that the Pentagon has 10,000 people helping with the response after Hurricanes Irma and Maria ripped through Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands earlier this month.

“We're certainly bringing in more [troops]," Buchanan said on CNN's “New Day.”

"For example, on the military side, we're bringing in both Air Force, Navy, and Army medical capabilities in addition to aircraft, more helicopters. ... [But] it's not enough, and we're bringing more in.”

The Pentagon has already allocated more than 4,000 troops to help in rescue and restoration efforts to the U.S. territories, but it wasn't until Thursday, eight days after Maria slammed the Caribbean, that U.S. Northern Command (Northcom) sent Buchanan .

The head of Northcom's Joint Force Land Component Command is now serving as the Defense Department's primary liaison to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Tom Bossert, the President Trump's homeland security adviser, has defended the wait time in between the end of the storm and appointing Buchanan.

“It didn't require a three-star general eight days ago,” Bossert said of the government response.

When asked whether it was a mistake to not have Buchanan on the ground in Puerto Rico earlier, Bossert replied, “No, not at all.”

“In fact, that doesn't affect the way that we stage equipment and the way we area command and field operational command. This is textbook and it's been done well,” Bossert told reporters Thursday at the daily White House press briefing.

The Pentagon has been steadily increasing its help to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands after both were slammed by the two Category 5 storms. The hurricanes knocked out power across Puerto Rico, leaving nearly half of its population of more than 3.4 million without drinking water.

Puerto Ricans and lawmakers, however, are frustrated with the federal government's response.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Friday on CNN that Trump should put the U.S. military in charge of handling and delivering aid to Puerto Rico. He asserted that only the Pentagon could repair the logistical issues preventing aid from reaching island residents.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Friday urged Trump to ramp up the federal assistance, ripping acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke for referring to the government's response as a “good news story.”

“Damnit, this is not a good news story,” Cruz said. “This is a people-are-dying story.”



Bike patrol adds flexibility, community element to downtown Loveland policing

Patrol officers with the Loveland Police Department can now be seen pedaling the streets as part of the renewed bike patrol

by Julia Rentsch

LOVELAND -- It has become familiar to see officers patrolling downtown Loveland on foot, but now the police are using a new form of locomotion: bicycles.

The Loveland Police Department bike patrol hit the street Sept. 9 with the aim of making officers more mobile as they patrol areas of downtown Loveland that are not easily traversed by car or on foot, such as alleyways and bike paths.

Officers patrolling on bicycles coordinate with officers on foot patrol to maximize their effectiveness.

Capt. Tim Brown, who heads up the downtown enforcement program, said that 14 sworn officers — including Chief Bob Ticer — and two civilian volunteers completed an intensive 40-hour training program in August to be eligible for bike patrol duty.

During the training, which was conducted by the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association, participants learned maneuvers and bike repair and safety, biking nearly 100 miles in the process.

Sgt. Brandon Johnson said he recognized the value of revitalizing the program after it was brought to his attention by one of LPD's patrol officers, Burke Baldwin.

Johnson pitched the idea to his commanding officers and said he was "fully supported."

"Right about the same time, we were plagued with some problems in the downtown area, and we were trying to find ways to mobilize officers and make them more visible," Johnson said.

Bike patrol officers circulate the streets and alleyways of downtown, as well as the neighboring bike paths, in order to combat common criminal offenses including open drinking, loitering, vandalism, theft, threatening behavior and drug use.

Among the cycling officers is Jay Smith, who has spent the past couple of weeks patrolling downtown Loveland on his bike, communing with business owners, getting to know the transient population, and, of course, working to put a stop to crime.

Smith described an incident two weeks ago in which he and other bike patrol officers chased a suspect in a hit-and-run who had fled his vehicle and run into an alleyway. They didn't end up catching the suspect.

Officers Shawn Gladu and Baldwin saw greater success on their first bike patrol night shift when they arrested a person and confiscated methamphetamines, Smith said. The officers also arrested several other people with outstanding warrants during that shift.

"Their first night, they had a really productive interaction, getting some people off the streets that had warrants, getting rid of some people toting controlled substance, so it was a good night," Smith said. "We had similar success the next night."

Another positive anecdote, Johnson said, occurred when officers on the night shift bike patrol smelled someone smoking marijuana in public and, after contacting him, discovered that there was a felony warrant out for his arrest and an unlawful gun in his backpack. The officers arrested the individual.

"An officer on a bicycle can see and hear things that an officer in a patrol car wouldn't be able to," Johnson said. "If (the officers) were in a patrol car, they probably wouldn't have even seen or contacted that person."

Last week, the bike patrol recovered a middle-schooler's stolen bike and returned it to her, Smith said.

In addition to law enforcement, officers emphasized that the bike patrol program is really about educating and integrating with the community.

Both Johnson and Smith said that cycling officers are much more approachable in the community than an officer in a patrol car, which enables officers to interact with members of the community more casually

"It's not all about citing people or arresting people," Johnson said.

"The businesses and the people, they like seeing you downtown, especially on the weekends, like when people are eating at Mo' Betta's, and they're sitting on the patio," Smith said.

It also gives officers the opportunity to get to know the local transient population, including instances where no illegal activity is occurring, and the officers just stop to chat.

"A lot of the local transient guys, their main transportation is riding bikes, and so some of them know a lot about bicycles and everything," Smith said. "So, when we have these bikes, it is a good conversation starter with them."

The department purchased five new bicycles for the program, as well as breathable, short-sleeve uniforms and helmets. The bikes have adjustable shocks for riding on streets and off-road and are fitted with a rack on the back for an officer's bag of essential supplies.

It costs the department about $900 to outfit an officer with a new bike and gear, Johnson said, but it tried to defray some costs by refurbishing three older bicycles owned by the department.

Those bikes are left over from LPD's previous bike patrol initiative, which became dormant several years ago due to challenges associated with equipment needs and the accreditation process, Brown said.

Because the Loveland Police Department is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, the department must comply with more than 400 standards for best practices in all of its endeavors, Brown said.

Whether the department is able to get officers onto bicycles during their shifts depends on how many people are working a shift, Smith said.

"If we only have five or six officers, it's hard for us to have someone break off and get on the bike for a couple of hours," Smith said. "Some days, we have 12-15 officers, so it's easy to have one or two people to hop on the bike, and you don't really miss them as much."

The neighboring cities of Greeley, Longmont and Fort Collins also have active bike patrols.

As to how an officer would fire a gun while riding a bike, Smith said it's not advisable, and the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association doesn't offer training for that practice.



Ga. police officer shot dead, another wounded

Officer Kristin Hearne was married with a 3-year-old son

by the Associated Press

Duty Death: Kristin Hearne - [Cedartown, Georgia]

End of Service: 09/22/2017

CEDARTOWN, Ga. — Two police officers were shot, one of them fatally, when a man walked out of the woods Friday and opened fire as the officers investigated a stolen car found beside a road in rural Georgia, authorities said.

The suspected gunman, 31-year-old Seth Brandon Spangler, was arrested a few hours later after he again emerged from a patch of woods — this time wearing no clothes — and surrendered, said Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd.

Dodd said Spangler was wanted for a probation violation in a neighboring county. Now he faces felony murder and aggravated assault charges in the slaying of Polk County police Officer Kristin Hearne and the shooting of Officer David Goodrich, whose bulletproof vest protected him from serious injury.

"This was obviously not his first run-in with the law," Dodd said at a news conference. "I have no idea why he thought it was worth the life of a police officer who was just doing her job. It's a senseless killing."

Goodrich had gone to investigate a report of a stolen vehicle just before 11 a.m., and Hearne came as backup. Spangler and Samantha Roof, 22, walked out of a wooded area toward the officers. When the officers began talking to them, they acted suspiciously and Spangler pulled out a handgun and shot both officers, said Vernon Keenan, director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Spangler and Roof ran from the scene and a manhunt ensued. Roof was quickly arrested and Spangler surrendered to officers hours later, Keenan said.

"He came out of the woods with no clothes on and just gave himself up," Dodd said. "So we are currently out there with canines searching for articles of clothing."

Roof will also face felony charges, Keenan said.

A county official initially said two suspects had been captured and one was at large. But police later said only two suspects were involved.

Goodrich was hit in his bulletproof vest and was able to return fire, Dodd said. Hearne, a detective, was in plainclothes — a polo shirt and khakis — and wasn't wearing a bulletproof vest.

"It's not common for an investigator to wear a vest all day at work," Dodd said. "It may be a policy we need to rethink."

Hearne, 29, was a five-year veteran of the department who worked hard and loved her job, Dodd said. She was married with a 3-year-old son.

"Words can't express the sorrow and the hurt that we feel right now as an agency," Dodd said.

Goodrich was a rookie officer who'd been with the department for about six months. Both officers acted bravely, Dodd said.

Spangler was wanted on outstanding Walker County warrants for probation violation, Keenan said.

Georgia Department of Corrections records show Spangler was released from prison in August 2016. He had been serving time for convictions on a 2011 charge of cruelty to children as well as criminal counts added in 2015 for methamphetamine possession and possession of drugs by a prisoner.


From the Department of Homeland Security

Three Ways To Help After Hurricane Maria

WASHINGTON – In the wake of a disaster, Americans have always come together with compassion and courage to ask how they can help survivors. For Hurricane Maria, there are three ways that the public can leverage the expertise and experience of non-profit, faith- and community-based organizations and private sector partners to most effectively and efficiently help provide support for survivors in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and ensure that an individual contribution – whether financial donation or personal volunteerism – is carried out responsibly.

The fastest way to help – cash is best

The most effective means to support recovery of communities affected by Hurricane Maria is to donate money to trusted voluntary-, faith- and community-based charitable organizations. This gives these organizations the ability to purchase what survivors need right now. In addition, when these organizations purchase goods or services locally, they pump money back into the local and regional economy, helping businesses recover faster.

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) list trusted organizations receiving donations, many of which are already coordinating relief and response efforts in the Caribbean. To make a cash donation directly to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, visit . You may also make financial donations to a National VOAD member organization to help voluntary or charitable organizations continue to provide services to Hurricane Maria survivors.

Donating Goods

It is important to remember unsolicited donated goods (e.g., clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs) require voluntary agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.

To responsibly donate goods, the NVOAD website has information on non-profit organizations accepting or registering individual and corporate in-kind donations here .


Anyone seeking an opportunity to get involved in response and recovery operations underway is encouraged to volunteer with local and nationally known organizations. A list of volunteer websites is available at .

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands ask that volunteers not self-deploy, as unexpected arrival in affected communities creates an additional burden for first responders. Volunteer registration for Hurricane Maria can be conducted here for Puerto Rico and here for the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To register as an affiliated volunteer with a voluntary or charitable organization, visit the National VOAD for a list of partners active in disaster. Alternatively, you may register to volunteer here for partner organizations to reach out to you.

Patience is paramount, and the need for volunteers endures. Recovery activities associated with Hurricane Maria will require volunteer engagement for many months and years to come, and the help of many will be required.