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.
Manhunt after makeshift bomb explodes ar small-town Florida mall
by Avi Selk
A police manhunt fanned out across central Florida on Monday after a makeshift bomb, possibly two, blew up outside the J.C. Penney in a small-town mall just as customers were finishing up their weekend shopping.
Physically, the device did not much more than knock some ceiling tiles loose and fill a service corridor with smoke. Psychologically, the attack Sunday was another matter entirely to Lake Wales, Fla., about 30 miles southwest of Orlando.
“We're a family-oriented community; this is a family-oriented mall,” said deputy police chief Troy Schulze, whose son had been working at Eagle Ridge Mall during the explosion.
“People here shopping, just enjoying a Sunday afternoon with their family, and literally, boom. That somebody would do that …”
As Schulze spoke to reporters in the parking lot Sunday night, officers formed a perimeter around the stores behind him. Inside the mall, a bomb squad made its way from the J.C. Penney to the movie theater, where another suspicious package had been reported.
The explosion happened about 5:30 p.m., Schulze said — half an hour before Eagle Ridge closed up for the day. WTSP reported that two pipe bombs, flares wrapped in PVC and electrical tape, went off in a delivery corridor outside the J.C. Penney.
Firefighters arrived to find the corridor wall and ceiling battered, Schulze said. No people had been nearby. They found a book bag in the hallway, which they suspected contained a second device.
“At that time they didn't know if they'd detonated or not, or were live or not,” Schulze said.
Police pulled up minutes after the firetrucks. They evacuated frightened workers and dozens of shoppers, Schulze said. In interviews outside the mall, they learned that a white, middle-aged, heavyset man in a gray shirt and gray hat was spotted running from the mall around the time of the explosion.
Witnesses also reported a suspicious package outside the mall's movie theater, thought WTSP later reported that this turned out to be an old box of no consequence.
Investigators in two counties and federal officials were put on the case, Schulze said. He had no idea what the bomber's motive was — whether to start a fire or kill someone or something else.
“We're definitely not calling it an act of terrorism at this point,” he said. “That's up to the FBI.”
Nevertheless, Schulze said, the mall would be open for business Monday morning — albeit with police standing guard nearby.
49th Precinct launches neighborhood policing program
by Patrick Rocchio
An effort in community policing that brings the ‘cop on the beat' into the 21st century has come to another borough precinct.
The 49th Precinct held the rollout of its Neighborhood Coordination Officers program – a community policing initiative being utilized in precincts around the city – with an event with community partners at Albert Einstein College of Medicine on Wednesday, January 10.
The launch of the precinct's NCO, the tenth in a Bronx precinct, will take place at midnight on Monday, January 22, said Captain Thomas Alps, 49th Precinct commanding officer.
Ten NCO cops, whose duties will include working with community members to better understand policing issues, holding quarterly meetings and working the same communities during the same shifts in order to identify trends, were introduced to the community during the rollout, said Alps.
NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison and NYPD Deputy Chief for Bronx Patrol Jesus Pintos spoke during the rollout event, said the 49th Precinct's commanding officer.
“It is a crime-fighting strategy, first and foremost, and beyond that it forges lasting relationships with the community,” said Alps.
For the program, three new sectors roughly corresponding with Van Nest and Morris Park, Bronx Park East and Pelham Parkway South, and Eastchester/Pelham Gardens/Allerton, as well as a housing sector, will see continuous patrolling and interaction with regular NCO cops, a new iteration of ‘cops on the beat.'
The ten NCO cops will work the same 8-hour shifts on the same days of the week, overlapping in crime fighting coverage with another dozen police officers that are assigned to each of the sectors.
They should be able to identify trends in crime and interact with community members to gather information while learning about any crime-related issues in their sectors.
“It is strategic in that it allows the community to get to know their officers…and in turn it will be helpful to the officers who will gain stronger relationships,” said Alps.
NCOs will hold quarterly meetings in their sectors to liaison with the community and provide their own analysis of trends, said Alps, who added that these meetings would not include police personnel outside of the NCO program.
The sector NCO cops will maintain a social media presence on Facebook, said Alps.
Edith Blitzer, Pelham Parkway Neighborhood Association president, said she sees NCO as an addition to existing police resources.
The 49th Precinct was one of the last precincts in the borough to implement the NCO program, which is a NYPD citywide initiative, with only the 45th Precinct and 50th Precinct remaining, according to Alps.
The 45th Precinct is scheduled to implement NCO in June, said Bob Bieder, 45th Precinct Community Council president.
“It is going back to the ‘beat cop,'” said Bieder. “We have wanted that for many years.”
The 45th Precinct and its community council are also hosting an event called Coffee with a Cop at the Miles Coffee Bar on Wednesday, January 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. with a goal of breaking down any barriers between the NYPD and the community.
Utah bill would lower age to charge teen cop killers as adults
by PoliceOne Staff
SALT LAKE CITY — A new Utah bill would lower the age requirement for teenagers accused of killing police officers to face adult-level charges.
KSTU reports that under Utah law, juvenile defendants must be at least 16 to be directly taken into the adult court system. In a bill filed by Rep. Mike Winder, the age would drop to 15 if the crime involves the murder of an officer.
Winder said the bill was in response to the 2016 murder of Officer Cody Brotherson , who was killed while attempting to stop a stolen vehicle driven by teens. Three teenagers, one 14-year-old and two 15-year-olds, were sentenced to confinement in a juvenile facility until they turn 21.
Brotherson's family felt that justice was not served and wanted the teens to face adult charges.
“I believe that if you intentionally murder a police officer or kill a police officer during an active crime, you deserve to face adult consequences,” one of
Brotherson's family members said. “Quite honestly, these guys shouldn't have been on the street the day they were. They had been committing assaults prior to that.”
Winder said Brotherson's family asked him to consider legislation that will allow teens to face adult charges when an officer is killed.
“When someone targets a police officer, in some ways it's a higher offense because that officer represents all of us in trying to keep law and order,” Winder said.
From the Department of Homeland Security
DHS, DOJ Report: Three Out of Four Individuals Convicted Of International Terrorism and Terrorism-Related Offenses Were Foreign-Born
WASHINGTON – On January 16, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a report revealing that three out of every four, or 402, individuals convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016 were foreign-born. Over the same period, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed approximately 1,716 aliens with national security concerns. Further, in 2017 alone DHS had 2,554 encounters with individuals on the terrorist watch list (also known as the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database) traveling to the United States.
This report was prescribed by Executive Order 13780, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States , which declared that “it is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, including those committed by foreign nationals,” and directed a series of actions to enhance the security of the American people.
The actions directed by Executive Order 13780 have—among other things—raised the baseline for the vetting and screening of foreign nationals, improved our ability to prevent the entry of malicious actors, and enhanced the security of the American people.
“My top priority as Secretary of Homeland Security is to ensure the safety and security of the American people,” said Secretary Nielsen. “This report is a clear reminder of why we cannot continue to rely on immigration policy based on pre-9/11 thinking that leaves us woefully vulnerable to foreign-born terrorists, and why we must examine our visa laws and continue to intensify screening and vetting of individuals traveling to the United States to prevent terrorists, criminals, and other dangerous individuals from reaching our country. Without legislative change DHS will continue to see thousands of terrorists a year attempt to enter the United States, and while we must be right every time, the terrorists only need to be lucky once. Therefore, DHS has personnel deployed around the world and along our borders working with our global and domestic law enforcement partners to stop terrorists before they enter the homeland.”
“This report reveals an indisputable sobering reality—our immigration system has undermined our national security and public safety,” said Attorney General Sessions. “And the information in this report is only the tip of the iceberg: we currently have terrorism-related investigations against thousands of people in the United States, including hundreds of people who came here as refugees. Our law enforcement professionals do amazing work, but it is simply not reasonable to keep asking them to risk their lives to enforce the law while we admit thousands every year without sufficient knowledge about their backgrounds. The pillars of President Trump's immigration policy—securing our porous borders, moving to a merit-based immigration system that ends the use of diversity visas and chain migration, and enforcing our nation's laws—will make their jobs easier and make the United States a safer place.”
The report reveals that at least 549 individuals were convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016. An analysis conducted by DHS determined that approximately 73 percent (402 of these 549 individuals) were foreign-born. Breaking down the 549 individuals by citizenship status at the time of their respective convictions reveals that:
254 were not U.S. citizens;
148 were foreign-born, naturalized and received U.S. citizenship; and,
147 were U.S. citizens by birth.
According to information available to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), since September 11, 2001, there were approximately 1,716 removals of aliens with national security concerns.
As mentioned above, in FY 2017, DHS encountered 2,554 individuals on the terrorist watchlist (also known as the FBI's Terrorist Screening Database) traveling to the United States. Of those individuals, 335 were attempting to enter by land, 2,170 were attempting to enter by air, and 49 were attempting to enter by sea. Where consistent with the law, such individuals are denied entry into the United States, while in some cases law enforcement authorities are notified and can take appropriate action.
From October 1, 2011, to September 30, 2017, a total of 355,345 non-U.S. citizen offenders, were administratively arrested after previously being convicted of an aggravated felony, as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43), or two or more crimes each punishable by more than one year (felony offenses). During that same period, a total of 372,098 non-U.S. citizen offenders were removed from the United States after conviction of an aggravated felony or two or more felonies.
Data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate shows that between 2007 and 2017, USCIS referred 45,858 foreign nationals who applied for immigration benefits to ICE for criminal or civil enforcement action, based on information indicating that such foreign nationals had committed egregious public safety-related offenses within the United States.
Between FY 2010 and FY 2016, CBP identified and prevented the boarding of 73,261 foreign travelers on flights destined for the United States, who may have presented an immigration or security risk.
In October, the Trump Administration sent to Congress a list of legislative priorities that would enhance our national security—such as eliminating the diversity visa lottery and extended family chain migration, funding the wall, closing loopholes in our asylum system, combatting visa overstays, and closing other loopholes in existing law that potentially benefit aliens who pose threats to our national security.
Background on the Executive Order
Section 11 of Executive Order requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, to collect and make publicly available the following information:
Information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation with or provision of material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national-security-related reasons;
Information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and who have engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States;
Information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including so-called “honor killings,” in the United States by foreign nationals; and,
Any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.
The link to the report is available HERE .
Take steps to 'own' your online presence
Data Privacy Day, which takes place Jan. 28, 2018, is an international effort designed to inspire dialogue and empower individuals take action to protect privacy, safeguard data, and enable trust in our interconnected world.
Millions of people are unaware of how their personal information is being used, collected and shared in our digital society. Following a year of massive data breaches at both public companies and government organizations, it's time we all learn how to secure our personal information and “own” our online presence.
Data Privacy Day also encourages businesses to be more transparent about how they collect and use data we provide to them.
We produce a nearly endless stream of data in our daily lives and conduct much of our lives on the internet and on our connected devices. Yet few people understand how much of their personal information is being collected and shared from our devices and the services we use online. This data can be stored indefinitely, and our personal information can be used in both beneficial and unwelcome ways. Even seemingly innocuous information – such as your favorite restaurants or items you purchase online – can be used to make inferences about your socioeconomic status, preferences and more.
I encourage everyone to think about the information you share online, and how that information is collected, stored and reused.
Follow these tips from the Stop.Think.Connect.™ cybersecurity awareness campaign for staying safe and private online:
PERSONAL INFO IS LIKE MONEY: VALUE IT. PROTECT IT. Information about you, such as your purchase history or location, has value – just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it's collected through apps and websites. You should delete unused apps, keep others current and review app permissions.
SHARE WITH CARE. Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what it reveals, who might see it and how it could be perceived now and in the future. It's a good idea to review your social network friends and all contact lists to ensure everyone still belongs.
OWN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE. Set the privacy and security settings on websites and apps to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application or browser you use will have different features to limit how and with whom you share information. It's OK to ask others for help.
LOCK DOWN YOUR LOGIN. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media. Choose one account and turn on the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code sent to your mobile device.
KEEP A CLEAN MACHINE . Keep all software, operating systems (mobile and PC) and apps up to date to protect data loss from infections and malware.
APPLY THE GOLDEN RULE ONLINE. Post only about others as you would have them post about you.
SECURE YOUR DEVICES. Every device should be secured by a password or strong authentication – finger swipe, facial recognition etc. These security measures limit access to authorized users only and protect your information if devices are lost or stolen.
THINK BEFORE YOU APP. Information about you, such as the games you like to play, your contacts list, where you shop and your location, has tremendous value. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and understand how it's collected through apps.
To learn more about staying safe and private online, visit Stop.Think.Connect.
Two dead, 17 wounded in Kentucky high school shooting
by Mark Hicks, Jake Lowary and John Bacon
BENTON, Ky. — A 15-year-old student opened fire Tuesday at a high school in rural Kentucky, killing two people and wounding a dozen more, authorities said.
Gov. Matt Bevin said five others suffered non-shooting injuries in the rampage and chaos that followed at Marshall County High School in Benton. Authorities believe all the victims were students, Bevin said.
He said the suspect would be charged with murder and attempted murder.
"This is a wound that will take a long time to heal," Bevin said. "For some in this community it will never heal."
Police identified the two students who died as Bailey Holt, 15, who was pronounced dead at the school, and Preston Cope, also 15, who was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, where he died.
The shooting took place in a common area of the school at 7:57 a.m. local time, before classes started, authorities said. The 911 call came in two minutes later. First responders reached the scene at 8:06 a.m., and the shooter was taken into custody "in a non-violent apprehension," Bevin said.
Marshall County Attorney Jeff Edwards said it did not appear the gunman targeted specific people. He called the scene "indescribable."
"To walk in, the backpacks laying around. The phones laying around, going off ... it's indescribable," Edwards said. "I've been doing this for 25 years. It's not like anything I've experienced in my life."
State Police, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on the scene.
Students were bused from the high school to a nearby middle school. Benton is a town of less than 5,000 people in western Kentucky, about 120 miles northwest of Nashville. Several victims were taken to the hospital at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
"This is a tremendous tragedy and speaks to the heartbreak present in our communities," Bevin said in a separate statement. "It is unbelievable that this would happen in a small, close-knit community like Marshall County. As there is still much unknown, I encourage people to love on each other at this time. "
Marshall County High School enrolled 1,374 students during the 2016-2017 school year, according to the Kentucky Department of Education. It is about 35 miles southeast of Heath High School in West Paducah, where on Dec. 1, 1997, Michael Carneal opened fire on a group of praying students. Carneal, 14, killed three people and wounded five others.
Sophomore Daniel Austin, a 17-year-old special needs student, was among those who were shot, said his brother, 23-year-old Shane Story.
"I was watching TV this morning and I got a phone call from my stepmom saying there had been a school shooting and it freaked me out," Story said. "I sensed something was wrong with my brother."
Daniel was one of the students flown to Vanderbilt Medical Center.
His brother said he is a "positive influence" for other students and that thankfully the odds look good for his survival.
"The doctor's said there's a 90 percent chance they can save his arm," Story said. "I'm grateful that he is alive, but just the pain he is going through. He has gone through so many uphill battles."
Story spoke to his brother while Daniel was en route to Vanderbilt. "He told me to be strong," Story said. "It's hard to be strong when it's your little brother."
Mark Garland owns a small auto shop near the school where some students sought safety.
One girl was close enough to the shooting that she felt and saw bullet fragments pinging off the walls and was distraught, barely able to speak, Garland said.
Hundreds of other students ran down U.S. 68 in front of the school, searching for parents, he said.
"Just the looks on their faces, it just kind of sticks with you," Garland said.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., who represents Benton, tweeted condolences to the Marshall community. "My thoughts & prayers go out to the students & faculty at Marshall County High School where there has been a tragic school shooting," Comer said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the floor of the Senate that "our hearts are with the entire community of Marshall County." He and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said they were monitoring reports from the scene and thanked first responders for their efforts.
National PTA President Jim Accomando also expressed condolences, issuing a statement saying families, educators, school administrators, community leaders and elected officials must work together to prevent gun violence in schools and ensure all students can learn in a safe environment.
“Any act of violence at a school or involving children and youth is intolerable," Accomando said. "And no parent should fear for the safety of their child every time they leave home."
Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded in a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that left six people dead, expressed similar sentiments.
“Our nation's schools should be some of the safest spaces in our communities. Why do we keep allowing this terror to happen?" she said in a statement. "Congress can protect our kids in their classrooms, in the cafeteria, and on the playground — but to do that they must strengthen our gun laws."
Baltimore commissioner: First days of 'Operation Blitz' a success
New Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa said that his stepped-up deployment of officers yielded immediate results
by Ian Duncan
BALTIMORE — Baltimore's new Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa said Monday that his stepped-up deployment of officers — dubbed Operation Blitz — had yielded immediate results, and he previewed other plans to reshape the department.
De Sousa briefed members of the City Council on his first days in office over a lunch of chicken, cornbread and macaroni and cheese. Mayor Catherine E. Pugh named him to the post Friday, as she announced the firing of his predecessor, Kevin Davis .
De Sousa said an effort to deploy more officers onto the street for a 13-day operation had already resulted in 19 guns' being seized, including an assault rifle and a shotgun, and 55 arrests.
“Very great work,” De Sousa said.
Pugh said Friday she needed someone new to tackle Baltimore's record violence. De Sousa, a veteran of the police department's patrol division, said his aim was “to do that at an accelerated pace.”
“I'm really, really excited about 2018,” De Sousa said. “I have just have some good vibes in my heart about it.”
But even as additional officers were out on the streets, the violence continued in Baltimore. Four people have been killed in shootings since De Sousa took over Friday morning. And in the early hours of Saturday morning, officers shot a man in the leg.
Police did not immediately respond to a question about how the arrest and gun seizure numbers De Sousa cited Monday compared to previous weekends. But court records don't indicate a surge in overall arrests — police filed charges against 153 people from Friday through Sunday, compared with 150 in the same period the week before.
De Sousa comes into office on the heels of the deadliest per-capita year in Baltimore's history, with 343 homicides, and a department under federal court order to overhaul an approach that the U.S. Department of Justice concluded routinely violated civil rights. His permanent appointment to the job requires a vote in the City Council, which is expected next month. The chairman of the committee that will handle the nomination appeared alongside De Sousa at the news conference announcing his appointment.
After De Sousa's presentation over lunch, council members said they were upbeat about the mayor's choice. Councilman Zeke Cohen, a member of the committee that will consider De Sousa's nomination, said what he had seen of the new commissioner so far was positive.
“I am excited for Darryl De Sousa and the urgency that he's bringing to the crime fight,” Cohen said. “He has stated in no unclear terms that reducing violence will be his top priority and that is my top priority as well.”
Mary Pat Clarke, another member of the committee, has known De Sousa for many years. She called him professional and organized.
“He seems to be very well received and I'm sure he'll do a very professional job,” she said. “He also has the benefit of coming up through the ranks.”
Councilman John Bullock, who represents part of West Baltimore, said he was encouraged by De Sousa's focus on getting officers onto the streets but said it was too soon to draw firm conclusions.
“It's probably a little bit early for me to say one way or another if it's having an impact,” he said. “Hopefully this is a move in the right direction.”
De Sousa told the council members that he plans to reorganize parts of the department.
“There are going to be some changes,” he said. “I'm shaking things up almost immediately.”
De Sousa said he plans to create a Youth Division that will focus on teenagers, hoping to intervene before they reach their 20s.
“We're actually going to focus on our young kids in the city,” he said.
Cohen said he hoped the division would both target young people who commit violence and try to reassure others that the police are there to protect them.
The commissioner said he plans to create a Constitutional Policing Unit that will provide on-the-street oversight to officers. It will focus on the statements of charges officers write when they make an arrest, on gun cases and on the use of body cameras.
“That unit is going to go out onto the streets and make sure the men and women do their jobs professionally each and every day,” De Sousa said.
De Sousa said he also will beef up an existing traffic enforcement unit called the Mobile Metro Team, doubling it from 14 officers to 28.
Search Continues For 2 Of 3 Suspects In Fatal Deputy Shooting
ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – For the second time in less than a month, a Colorado deputy has been shot and killed in the line of duty.
Adams County Deputy Heath Gumm was shot Wednesday night after he confronted a man suspected of an assault near East 88th Avenue and Washington Street in the Thornton area.
Gumm leaves behind a wife and family. He had been working for the Adams County Sheriff's Office since 2013. He was 32 and a graduate of Mullen High School in Denver.
“On behalf of the entire sheriff's office, we are praying for the wife and family of our fallen deputy. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers,” said Adams County Sheriff's office spokeswoman Amanda Overton.
Police say the shooter is in custody and they are looking for two other suspects in the case. An intensive search was going on at daybreak Thursday a few streets east of the shooting scene, right by the intersection of Edison Street and Sheldon Drive. Crime tape surrounded a large search perimeter.
“Please understand that this is an active investigation and crime scene and we are still searching for potentially armed and dangerous suspects,” Overton said.
The two suspects at large were described as being light-skin or Hispanic males wearing all black clothes. It's not clear what role they may are believed to have played in the crime.
Numerous schools in Adams County are closed Thursday because of the police activity.
The community came out to honor the fallen deputy overnight as law enforcement officers escorted Gumm's body from Denver Health Medical Center to the Adams County Coroner's office.
“(Police) don't get enough credit, they really don't,” said Jon Dean, who stood by the side of the road as a huge procession of police cars went by. “And we just want to show our support for the family of the fallen.”
Gov. John Hickenlooper issued a statement on the deadly shooting:
“Tonight we watched as a community was on edge and a sheriff's deputy was shot while responding to a call in Adams County. We are deeply saddened to learn that the deputy has died from injuries sustained in the shooting. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Adams County Sheriff's Office and the family and friends of the deputy killed. The investigation is ongoing and authorities continue to work to restore calm to the area.”
So far a memorial service hasn't been scheduled for Gumm. The Colorado Police Officers Foundation has set up a fundraiser for his family.
Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Zackari Parrish was killed in the line of duty on New Year's Eve in Highlands Ranch. He was among a group of deputies and a Castle Rock police officer who were ambushed by a gunman, and several officers were injured.
The Douglas County Sheriff's office tweeted Wednesday “Our hearts are heavy tonight as our brothers and sisters at @AdamsCoSheriff navigate through this difficult time. We stand with you.”
Detroit officer critically wounded in shooting
Authorities say a man shot and wounded a Detroit police officer who was responding to a domestic violence call
by the Associated Press
DETROIT — Authorities say a man shot and wounded a Detroit police officer who was responding to a domestic violence call.
Detroit police Deputy Chief Elvin Barren says officers responded Wednesday night to a home on the city's east side following a report a man was arguing with his wife and had fired shots. Officers encountered the man outside the home and he fired at them.
Police say the officer was a passenger in a police car and was shot before he got out. First Assistant Chief Lashinda Stair says the officer's partner drove him to a hospital, where the 25-year-old was in critical condition Thursday.
The man went back into the home. Barren says police eventually fired gas into the home early Thursday and arrested the 43-year-old when he came out.
Philadelphia wants safe injection sites to help opioid fight
Philadelphia's Police Commissioner said he was initially against injection sites but now is keeping an open mind
by Kristen De Groot
PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia wants to become the first U.S. city to allow supervised drug injection sites as a way to combat the opioid epidemic, officials announced Tuesday, saying they are seeking outside operators to establish one or more in the city.
Public Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said the sites could be "a life-saving strategy and a pathway to treatment," and would be just one piece of the city's overall plan to fight the epidemic.
"No one here condones or supports illegal drug use in any way," Farley said. "We want people saddled with drug addiction to get help."
Safe injection sites are locations where people can shoot up under the supervision of a doctor or nurse who can administer an overdose antidote if necessary. Critics have argued the sites may undermine prevention and treatment, and seem to fly in the face of laws aimed at stopping use of deadly illicit drugs.
Philadelphia has the highest opioid death rate of any large U.S. city. More than 1,200 people fatally overdosed in Philadelphia in 2017, one-third more than 2016.
The city hopes to hear from operators interested in setting up the injection sites — which they are calling comprehensive user engagement sites — where the city would provide outreach services.
Other cities have proposed similar safe havens. No U.S. city has established such a site, though Seattle has set aside $1.3 million to create a safe injection site there. Injection sites are operating in Canada and Europe.
Officials from Philadelphia visited Seattle and safe injection sites in Vancouver, where Farley said they have reduced overdose deaths, the spread of diseases like HIV and hepatitis C, and created safer neighborhoods that are free of used-needle litter.
It's not clear how the federal government would respond if Philadelphia gets a safe-injection site. The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment on the plan. Nearly three months ago, President Donald Trump declared the U.S. opioid crisis a public health emergency.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said he was initially dead-set against injection sites but now is keeping an open mind if they can truly save lives. He said he still has a lot of questions about how it all would work but added: "We cannot just throw our hands up and say, 'That's not my problem.'"
Mayor Jim Kenney wasn't at the news conference but Farley said the Democrat supports the recommendation.
Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym called the plan "bold, brave, and lifesaving."
"This crisis requires us to think differently and comprehensively about how to reach everybody impacted by the opioid crisis," the Democrat said.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said sanctioning such sites presents public safety concerns and changes in state and federal law would have to be made in order for them to operate legally. The Democrat also expressed doubt that the sites are an effective path to treatment.
"There is no safe way to inject heroin, fentanyl and carfentanyl," he said in a statement. "These are dangerous drugs with devastating consequences."
House Speaker Mike Turzai, who is running for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, called Philadelphia's safe injection plan misguided and a violation of federal law.
ICE is about to start tracking license plates across the US
by Russell Brandom
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has officially gained agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database, according to a contract finalized earlier this month . The system gives the agency access to billions of license plate records and new powers of real-time location tracking, raising significant concerns from civil libertarians.
The source of the data is not named in the contract, but an ICE representative said the data came from Vigilant Solutions, the leading network for license plate recognition data. “Like most other law enforcement agencies, ICE uses information obtained from license plate readers as one tool in support of its investigations,” spokesperson Dani Bennett said in a statement. “ICE is not seeking to build a license plate reader database, and will not collect nor contribute any data to a national public or private database through this contract.” (Vigilant did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)
While it collects few photos itself, Vigilant Solutions has amassed a database of more than 2 billion license plate photos by ingesting data from partners like vehicle repossession agencies and other private groups. Vigilant also partners with local law enforcement agencies , often collecting even more data from camera-equipped police cars. The result is a massive vehicle-tracking network generating as many as 100 million sightings per month, each tagged with a date, time, and GPS coordinates of the sighting.
ICE agents would be able to query that database in two ways. A historical search would turn up every place a given license plate has been spotted in the last five years, a detailed record of the target's movements. That data could be used to find a given subject's residence or even identify associates if a given car is regularly spotted in a specific parking lot.
“Knowing the previous locations of a vehicle can help determine the whereabouts of subjects of criminal investigations or priority aliens to facilitate their interdiction and removal,” an official privacy assessment explains. “In some cases, when other leads have gone cold, the availability of commercial LPR data may be the only viable way to find a subject.”
ICE agents can also receive instantaneous email alerts whenever a new record of a particular plate is found — a system known internally as a “hot list.” (The same alerts can also be funneled to the Vigilant's iOS app.) According to the privacy assessment, as many as 2,500 license plates could be uploaded to the hot list in a single batch, although the assessment does not detail how often new batches can be added. With sightings flooding in from police dashcams and stationary readers on bridges and toll booths, it would be hard for anyone on the list to stay unnoticed for long.
Those powers are particularly troubling given ICE's recent move to expand deportations beyond criminal offenders , fueling concerns of politically motivated enforcement. In California, state officials have braced for rumored deportation sweeps targeted at sanctuary cities. In New York, community leaders say they've been specifically targeted for deportation as a result of their activism. With automated license plate recognition, that targeting would only grow more powerful.
For civil liberties groups, the implications go far beyond immigration. “There are people circulating in our society who are undocumented,” says senior policy analyst Jay Stanley, who studies license plate readers with the ACLU. “Are we as a society, out of our desire to find those people, willing to let our government create an infrastructure that will track all of us?”
The new license plate reader contract comes after years of internal lobbying by the agency. ICE first tested Vigilant's system in 2012 , gauging how effective it was at locating undocumented immigrants. Two years later, the agency issued an open solicitation for the technology, sparking an outcry from civil liberties group. Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson canceled the solicitation shortly afterward, citing privacy concerns, although two field offices subsequently formed rogue contracts with Vigilant in apparent violation of Johnson's policy. In 2015, Homeland Security issued another call for bids , although an ICE representative said no contract resulted from that solicitation.
As a result, this new contract is the first agency-wide contract ICE has completed with the company, a fact that is reflected in accompanying documents. On December 27th, 2017, Homeland Security issued an updated privacy assessment of license plate reader technology, a move it explained was necessary because “ICE has now entered into a contract with a vendor.”
The new system places some limits on ICE surveillance, but not enough to quiet privacy concerns. Unlike many agencies, ICE won't upload new data to Vigilant's system but simply scan through the data that's already there. In practical terms, that means driving past a Vigilant-linked camera might flag a car to ICE, but driving past an ICE camera won't flag a car to everyone else using the system. License plates on the hot list will also expire after one year, and the system retains extensive audit logs to help supervisors trace back any abuse of the system.
Still, the biggest concern for critics is the sheer scale of Vigilant's network, assembled almost entirely outside of public accountability. “If ICE were to propose a system that would do what Vigilant does, there would be a huge privacy uproar and I don't think Congress would approve it,” Stanley says. “But because it's a private contract, they can sidestep that process.”
An inside look at how NYPD community meetings help officers and neighborhood residents
by Henry Rosoff
Brooklyn— Police Commissioner James O'Neill credited community policing efforts for bringing New York City's crime rate to its lowest since the lowest since the 1950s on Wednesday.
Those efforts include newer policing tactics in traditionally troubled parts of the city like the Marcy Houses. PIX 11 was given a rare inside look at a community meeting where street level officers solve problems for the people they police.
“You and us working together, the police and the community working together,” one of the officers said to kick off the meeting. It was part of the relatively new Build the Block program designed to give them face-to-face time with citizens.
It began last March across the city.
“It gives us another tool for problem solving what's going on in the community, be it a drug issue, or neighbors fighting," Officer Shakir Younger said. “We get feedback and then we can do what we do.”
NYPD leadership said the meetings are different from past police practices because there are no high level commanders here. The officers present to listen and talk are the ones people will see in their communities every day— capable to turning words into immediate action.
“So they have someone to speak to at our level,” Sgt. Bryan Miccio said. “We're not just out there to chase after anybody and taken them to jail. We're out here to get everyone to work together so we don't get to that point.”
You can learn more about “Build the Block” here .
Kabul attack: Taliban kill 95 with ambulance bomb in Afghan capital
by the BBC
A suicide bombing has killed at least 95 people and injured 158 others in the centre of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, officials say.
Attackers drove an ambulance laden with explosives past a police checkpoint into a street that was only open to government workers.
It happened near the old interior ministry building and offices of the European Union and High Peace Council.
The Taliban have said they carried out the attack, the deadliest for months.
A week ago, Taliban militants killed 22 people in a luxury Kabul hotel.
Witnesses say the area - home to foreign embassies, the city's police headquarters and a shopping zone known as Chicken Street - was crowded with people when the bomb exploded on Saturday at about 12:15 local time (08:45 GMT).
Plumes of smoke were seen from around the city.
MP Mirwais Yasini told the BBC the area looked like a butchers afterwards.
He was having lunch at his family home, just metres away, when the blast went off. "First of all we thought it was inside our house," he said. Then he went outside and saw scattered bodies. "It is very, very inhumane."
Another witness, a software engineer who wished to remain anonymous, told the BBC he was about a 1km away when he heard the noise.
"I saw a huge flame," he said. "The smoke was pungent. It entered my eyes and I was not able to see for some time."
He said when he moved closer he saw the dead bodies, like a "brutal graveyard". "It was a terrible moment. [The area] is completely destroyed."
The International Committee of the Red Cross said the use of an ambulance was "harrowing".
Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, said the attacker got through a security checkpoint after telling police he was taking a patient to nearby Jamhuriat hospital.
He detonated the bomb at a second checkpoint, said Mr Rahimi.
This is the deadliest attack in Kabul in several months.
In October, 176 people were killed in bomb attacks across Afghanistan in one week. The country's security forces in particular have suffered heavy casualties at the hands of the Taliban, who want to re-impose their strict version of Islamic law in the country.
In May, 150 people were killed by a suicide bomb attack in Kabul. The Taliban denied any role, but the Afghan government says its affiliate, the Haqqani group, carried it out with support from Pakistan.
Pakistan denies supporting militants that carry out attacks in Afghanistan. This month, the US cut its security aid to Pakistan , saying it had failed to take action against terrorist networks on its soil.
The area of the attack was a scene of devastation
The Taliban control large swathes of Afghanistan and parts of neighbouring Pakistan.
They were ousted from power in Afghanistan after a US-led invasion in 2001 but returned to run some key areas.
Who are the Taliban?
The hardline Islamic Taliban movement swept to power in Afghanistan in 1996 after the civil war which followed the Soviet-Afghan war, and were ousted by the US-led invasion five years later
In power, they imposed a brutal version of Sharia law, such as public executions and amputations, and banned women from public life
Men had to grow beards and women to wear the all-covering burka; television, music and cinema were banned
They sheltered al-Qaeda leaders before and after being ousted - since then they have fought a bloody insurgency which continues today
In 2016, Afghan civilian casualties hit a new high - a rise attributed by the UN largely to the Taliban
Civilian casualties remained at high levels in 2017 , the UN said
Lynch says community policing can improve relations
by Lenore Sobota
NORMAL — Even before she became U.S. attorney general in the Obama administration, Loretta Lynch worked on encouraging community policing.
Lynch, attorney general from April 2015 to January 2016, sees community policing as a way to improve communication and “restore trust where trust is lost.”
At times the problem might seem insurmountable, but Lynch — keynote speaker at Friday night's Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Dinner at Illinois State University — said that when the civil rights movement began, people thought problems such as segregation were insurmountable, too.
“At the time, … no one knew if this (the civil rights movement) was going to succeed,” she said in an interview before her talk.
One thing that changed people's attitudes was when they saw the level of violence some police used against civil rights activists, said Lynch.
In a similar way, videos of police shootings taken by civilians with smart phones or by police body and dash cameras are changing attitudes, she said.
The number of police-involved shootings has remained about the same in recent years, from 900 to 1,000 annually, she said. What has changed is the recording of these incidents.
“The visual makes it real,” said Lynch.”The viral videos show the depth of the problem.”
It's not a question of whether the videos are good or bad “but how we use them,” she said.
It is important, for example, to make sure people are aware of the limitations and differences between body cameras and cellphone cameras, in terms of what they do and don't show, she explained.
Civilian review boards, such as the Public Safety and Community Relations Board recently formed in Bloomington , are one approach to improving communication, transparency and accountability, said Lynch.
Too often, said Lynch, the discussions don't take place until there is “a tragedy, a shooting, a loss of life.”
The way to get buy-in from the police is to put them in touch with their peers and colleagues in other communities that have had good experiences with such boards to see what works, she said.
“Put in place real changes that are evidence-based and have proven to work in other jurisdictions,” said Lynch.
It's also important to provide “a bridge to communication” to help the public to better understand the police perspective, she said.
Police ride-alongs used to be a popular way of doing that. Lynch said Los Angeles is doing virtual ride-alongs, where people are able to view an officer's “typical day” by viewing body camera footage.
Helping the public understand how police work is different from most jobs, including the incredible amount of power, judgment and discretion they have, is also important, she said. Involving the public in police training is one way to do that, Lynch added.
ICE arrests 86 in North Texas and Oklahoma areas during 3-day operation targeting criminal aliens and immigration fugitives
DALLAS — Federal officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 86 criminal aliens and immigration violators in North Texas and Oklahoma during a three-day enforcement action, which ended Thursday.
During this operation, ERO deportation officers made arrests in the following Texas cities and towns: Abilene (3), Amarillo (3), Alvarado (2), Arlington (3), Athens (1), Breckenridge (2), Corsicana (1), Dallas (11), Denton (2), Fort Worth (3), Friona (2), Garland (1), Grand Prairie (1), Greenville (3), Hereford (8), Jacksonville (1), Kaufman (1), Longview (3), Lubbock (11), Mansfield (1), McKinney (1), Plano (1) and Terrell (4). A total of 16 arrests were made in Oklahoma in the cities of Oklahoma City (11) and Tulsa (5). Of the 86 arrested, 55 had criminal convictions; 82 were men and four were women. They range in age from 19 to 61 years old.
Aliens arrested during this operation are from the following countries: Mexico (55), Guatemala (10), El Salvador (6), Honduras (4) Bangladesh (3), Cameroon (1) Jordan (1), Laos (1), Liberia (1), Nigeria (1), Panama (1), Philippines (1) and Zimbabwe (1).
Most of the aliens targeted by ERO deportation officers during this operation had prior criminal histories that included convictions for the following crimes: sexually exploiting a minor, assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, drug possession, burglary, obstructing police, larceny, manufacturing methamphetamine, firearms offense, smuggling, receiving stolen property, illegally entering the U.S., and driving under the influence (DUI).
Twenty one of those arrested illegally re-entered the United States after having been previously deported, which is a felony. Depending on an alien's criminality, an alien who re-enters the United States after having been previously deported commits a felony punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, if convicted.
The following are criminal summaries of five offenders arrested in North Texas and Oklahoma during this operation:
Jan. 24 — A 43-year-old citizen of Mexico was arrested by in Breckenridge, Texas. He entered the United States in 1996 as a U.S. permanent resident. He was convicted in 2011 of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 10 years' probation. This felony conviction renders him removable. He is in ICE custody pending an immigration hearing before a federal immigration judge.
Jan. 24 — A 27-year-old citizen of Cameroon was arrested in Abilene, Texas. He legally entered the U.S. in 2014. In 2018 he was convicted of possessing child pornography and sentenced to two years' probation. This felony conviction renders him removable. He is in ICE custody pending an immigration hearing before a federal immigration judge.
Jan. 24 — A 37-year-old illegal alien from Guatemala was arrested in Dallas. He is pending criminal prosecution on multiple counts related to continuously assaulting a child under 14. He is currently in ICE custody pending disposition of his criminal charges.
Jan. 25 — A 57-year-old citizen of Bangladesh was arrested in Dallas. He legally entered the U.S. in 1994 on a temporary visitor visa. In 2017, he was convicted of manufacture/delivery of methamphetamine and sentenced to two years' probation. He is in ICE custody pending an immigration hearing before a federal immigration judge.
Jan. 25 — A 26-year-old citizen of Mexico was arrested in Corsicana, Texas. He legally entered the U.S. as a U.S. permanent resident. However, he is removable based on his convictions for the following crimes: invasive visual recording bath/dress room, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, and burglary of building. He is in ICE custody pending an immigration hearing before a federal immigration judge.
“This operation focused on targeting immigration fugitives and criminal aliens in North Texas and the state of Oklahoma, but we routinely conduct operations daily,” said Bret Bradford, field office director of ERO Dallas. “By removing criminal aliens from the streets, our ICE officers provide a valuable community service by improving public safety.” The Dallas area of responsibility includes 128 counties in North Texas and Oklahoma.
All of the targets in this operation were amenable to arrest and removal under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.
ICE deportation officers carry out targeted enforcement operations daily nationwide as part of the agency's ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety, and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls.
These operations involve existing and established Fugitive Operations Teams .
During targeted enforcement operations, ICE officers frequently encounter other aliens illegally present in the United States. These aliens are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and, when appropriate, they are arrested by ICE officers.
From the FBI
2017 Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics Released
Stats Show Slight Crime Decline in First Half of 2017
Preliminary statistics show declines in the number of both violent crimes and property crimes reported for the first half of 2017 when compared with the first half of 2016, according to the FBI's Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January - June 2017 , released today. The report includes data from more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide that submitted crime data to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.
According to the report, overall violent crime decreased 0.8 percent in the first six months of 2017 compared with the same time frame in 2016, though the number of murders and non-negligent manslaughters reported increased by 1.5 percent. Additionally, the number of rapes (revised definition) decreased 2.4 percent, robberies decreased 2.2 percent, and aggravated assaults were down 0.1 percent.
Overall reported property crime offenses dropped 2.9 percent in the first half of 2017 compared with the first half of 2016. Burglaries decreased 6.1 percent, and larceny-thefts decreased 3 percent. One area of property crime that did rise was motor vehicle thefts, with a 4.1 percent increase.
This UCR report is the first to only show rape data submitted by those agencies using the UCR Program's revised definition of rape .
Crime in the United States, 2017 , the full report for the year, will be released later in 2018.
Police recover guns, machetes in room of teen who allegedly plotted school shooting
by Emily Shapiro
Police recovered multiple guns and machetes from a Pennsylvania high school student's bedroom Thursday night after a classmate allegedly overheard the student threatening a mass shooting, officials said.
The alleged plot -- which was uncovered Thursday -- called for an attack to take place today, just days after high school shootings in Kentucky and Texas this week, officials said.
The investigation began Thursday night when Pennsylvania State Police received a report that a teen on a school bus discussed killing four students he didn't like at Uniontown Area Senior High School, Fayette County District Attorney Richard Bower said at a news conference.
The teen who reported the threat had overheard the conversation and recorded it, Bower said.
State police responded to the 14-year-old suspect's home where they took statements from the student and parents, determining that the student was "threatening to come to school today with weapons with rifles and shoot four students," Bower said.
Bower said, "He indicated that it would be extremely easy to sneak a gun into the school in his backpack. And he also indicated that he could use a sniper rifle from a distance, or use a shotgun for mass casualties."
A search warrant was obtained and police found multiple weapons in the teen's bedroom: a semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun, two machetes, throwing knives, two lever-action rifles, a revolver, a cross bow, "and bulk ammunition for all of the weapons," Bower said.
The teen was taken into custody Thursday night and remains in custody with juvenile authorities, Bower said, adding that his parents are cooperating. He is being charged with terroristic threats, possession of a firearm by a minor and criminal attempt to commit catastrophe at the high school, Bower said.
"A catastrophe" was likely "averted today," Bower said. "Thank God" the parent and child called, he added.
He said there were extreme precautions at the high school today, including a trooper riding on the bus where the threat was allegedly discussed.