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.
With finalists for LAPD chief picked, Mayor Garcetti gets the final word
Frank Stoltze | May 18, 2018
The three finalists to replace retiring LAPD Chief Charlie Beck are longtime veterans of the department who each offer something different to the city and to Mayor Eric Garcetti, who ultimately decides which one will get the job.
The three finalists are Deputy Chief Robert Arcos, First Assistant Chief Michel Moore and San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott, according to two sources familiar with the selection process. Scott spent more than 25 years with the LAPD before leaving about 18 months ago to take his current job.
In the past, mayors have made public the list of three finalists in the interest of transparency. Garcetti said this week that he will not follow suit.
“To protect the confidentiality of the candidates, we do not expect to make any announcements in this process until after Mayor Garcetti makes a selection,” the mayor's office said in a statement earlier this month.
Within 24 hours, KPCC and other news outlets had reported the names based on sources. It's unclear how or whether this will affect the selection process. The sources confirming the names spoke to KPCC on the condition they not be named.
KPCC has learned that the finalists were interviewed on Friday by the three top officials on the L.A. City Council: President Herb Wesson, President Pro Tem Mitch Englander and Assistant Pro Tem Nury Martinez.
Here's a quick look at those candidates and the selection process:
Deputy Chief Robert Arcos joined the LAPD in 1988. He currently oversees policing in the central part of the city, including Skid Row and the Rampart area.
For much of the last year, he's reassured Latino communities during dozens of meetings that the department would not help President Trump engage in mass deportations.
If chosen, Arcos would be the first Latino chief of police in a city that is majority Latino.
He was born in San Antonio but his family moved to Los Angeles when he was young. According to his bio on the LAPD website, Arcos enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school and served for four years.
Moore joined the department in 1981. His rank is now First Assistant Chief. As second-in-command, he directs day-to-day operations, overseeing uniformed patrols citywide. Nine years ago, he was also a finalist for chief. Then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa picked Moore's current boss, Charlie Beck, instead.
Moore grew up in various areas of the United States, graduating high school in Conway, Arkansas and then returning to Southern California to join the LAPD. He offers the city and mayor perhaps the most direct experience.
Former Chief Bill Bratton appointed Moore deputy chief in 2004 and he has been part of the LAPD's top command staff since. Over the years, he's held many top jobs at the department.
Before leaving the LAPD, Scott had served more than 20 years with the department. Most recently, Scott ran operations in South Los Angeles.
He has long been recognized as a leader in community policing.
Scott, an Alabama native, was hired in 2016 by then-Mayor Ed Lee, who died unexpectedly of a heart attack in December.
"He's seen firsthand what it takes to ... transform a department. This starts at the top," Lee said at the time Scott was named.
Scott, for his part, said he had always wanted to live in San Francisco.
CHOOSING LA'S NEXT CHIEF OF POLICE
The number one issue raised is by the public has been the relationship between the LAPD and the communities they police. There's a widespread desire to see LAPD leadership shift the focus more to working together with communities to solve problems. There's also a demand to address racial disparities in law enforcement.
The next chief of police will need to have the charisma and reputation to inspire the rank and file, be politically savvy enough to navigate city hall, and manage a nearly two billion dollar budget.
For Mayor Garcetti, the next police chief will have to show promise of having a positive working relationship with the city. Unlike the more divisive relationship's between LAPD and the mayor's office of the past, Garcetti is hoping to have a personal connection with the next chief.
After Columbine, Sandy Hook and Parkland, focus on school safety is long overdue
by Bob Gabordi
I wouldn't like to be a public official in today's politically polarized America. Everything an elected official does can invoke anger from those on the other end of the spectrum.
I try not to be that guy, the second-guesser on everything. In truth, most officials that I know – and most that I've ever known – do their best to do the right thing in serving the public, earning very little money and getting their servant's heart stepped on regularly.
That said, I cannot help but believe we just decided to spend $1.2 million to make ourselves feel good about doing something – anything – in the name of making our students safer. I cannot help but think all we did was create a false sense of safety, and that might be worse than doing nothing at all.
Our new school security guards will be better trained than mall security and hired to be solely focused on security in a kind of compromise between volunteer school marshals and full-time law enforcement officers or school resource officers. In fairness, they will get the best possible training, without a doubt.
But they won't be officers and in that sense, they are neither fish nor fowl. Or, to look at it another way, they are a cheaper alternative to real officers.
I wonder if part of the problem is we are trying to solve new-world problems with old-world thinking. For example, we can all agree that in the aftermath of Columbine, Sandy Hook and Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the focus on school safety is overdue. Brevard has 82 schools. What if each school was treated as a “precinct” headquarters and we assigned police and deputies to work from there?
What would happen if five or even 10 or more officers or deputies were assigned to each school as a base for their duties, whatever that might be? Maybe some schools would require more and others fewer officers, whatever disbursement of resources makes sense. More careful thought on how officers could be dispersed might yield a better arrangement.
But if our priority is to make our schools our most secure zones, then let's do that. At the same time teach our children that police officers are the good guys through the concepts that work for community policing. Maybe re-thinking deployment out of more buildings would require hiring fewer additional school resource officers or school employees.
Would it work? Maybe, but isn't school-based community policing worth a conversation? Move law enforcement into our schools and school neighborhoods, de-centralize our resources and let communities and schoolchildren get to know them.
All I'm suggesting is that we haven't exhausted all ideas for how we make our children safer. All we have done so far is to layer new public expenditure on top of old ways of doing business, even as our priorities have suddenly changed.
Let's create public-private partnerships, bring in business and other community leaders who have been forced to restructure in the face of changing realities within the past decade. Our new challenges require new thinking, and perhaps new technologies that offer solutions not tied only to adding more weapons.
Technology now allows for detection of threats more quickly, taking the guess work out of discovering explosives and pinpointing the location of shooters. If we are willing to invest in real safety measures, there are solutions that are available.
The Brevard County School Board has shown a willingness to listen to the community, and that is a start. Now that it has implemented its feel-good compromise plan, it is time to get to work on finding long-term solutions that will actually make it safer for our kids to go to school.
Crowdsourcing Surveillance? Newark, N.J.'s New Policing Program Raises Concern
Dozens of surveillance cameras throughout the city have been opened to the public in the hopes that fresh eyes will spot crimes in progress. But civil rights advocates see a problem: racial profiling.
by Jonathan Lai
You never know who's watching. And in New Jersey's biggest city, that might be a problem.
Newark has installed dozens of surveillance cameras around the city and is giving the public access to the live footage, asking people to call in anonymous tips based on what they see. It's like a town watch program, except online and accessible to anyone with a computer and internet connection.
“The mission is to help reduce crime and help get our residents involved in engaging the police,” Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said in an interview.
By dramatically increasing the number of virtual eyes and ears on the physical streets, Baraka said, the program will allow residents to help monitor their homes and neighborhoods, involving the public in keeping the city safe. As in other urban areas in New Jersey and across the country, crime in Newark fluctuates by year but is often concentrated in specific neighborhoods. The surveillance program's aim is twofold: stopping or solving crimes while serving as a deterrent and helping to lower Newark's crime rate, which is among the highest in the state.
The 62 cameras were installed in recent months and went live April 26. The next day, 662 people logged into the site, the mayor's office said. The first 60 days are a test phase, Baraka said, with the ultimate goal of installing about 300 cameras across the city.
The project, which will cost about $1 million this year, is funded largely by state and federal grants. The city believes that is money well spent and Baraka said he's hopeful that the program will accomplish its goals and improve the quality of life in Newark.
But the program has drawn criticism from civil liberties advocates, who cite privacy concerns and worry about the collection of data on people's movements and interactions with others.
“We are engaging in a mass surveillance scheme that the people, not the police, do policing work,” said Amol Sinha, the head of the New Jersey chapter of the ACLU. “It's going to create a concern where every move of every neighbor is going to be able to be tracked by anybody who wants to watch. So if I am leaving my home every day at 9 a.m., people are going to know my patterns. People are going to know when my home is empty, people are going to know when I'm on vacation.”
Many of the cameras are stationary and cover intersections. A few automatically pan back and forth across an area. Some show storefronts and residents' homes.
“It's maybe good intentions, but it certainly seems like there are some unintended consequences of having this sort of a scheme in place,” Sinha said. And while the cameras are set up in public places, he said, “the concern is there is a fundamental difference between me being able to go outside and stand on a street corner and see what's going on and the police recording every single move 24/7 and broadcasting it live on camera for everybody to access. I think the scale of it is what's incredibly concerning.”
An even broader concern, criminal justice and law experts said, is what happens when a noble ambition meets the messy realities of policing. Even when the program works exactly as it should — well-meaning people watching for suspicious behavior and calling it in — racial biases could come into play.
“We know people of color are stopped and frisked at higher rates, stopped and ticketed at higher rates... This opens them up to the potential for more criminalization of everyday life, which is these small, lifestyle-type crimes that in some ways can escalate,” said Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, a criminal justice professor at Temple University. “How much do you in some ways harass a community, surveil a community, put them under constant lock and key so they're treated like outlaws in their own community? How much do you do that and keep the legitimacy of the police force?”
Van Cleve and others pointed to a number of high-profile incidents in which police were called to investigate reports of suspicious activity by people of color.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., the prominent Harvard University professor, was trying to force open the door to his own house when a neighbor called police about a potential burglary, leading to his arrest. Darren Martin, a former White House staffer, was moving into a new home in New York when he was stopped and questioned by police after a neighbor called to report a potential burglary. Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was playing with a toy gun when Cleveland police received a call reporting “a guy with a gun” and shot him within seconds of their arrival, killing him.
Jerry Ratcliffe, a criminal justice professor at Temple University, said he worries that such incidents will only increase when police encourage the public to watch surveillance footage and call in behavior they see as suspicious, without training or police experience.
“I'm seeing — and I think a number of people are seeing — an increasing number of situations where people of color are having police arrive because members of the public see something they think is criminal, but it's just people standing on a street corner,” he said.
Newark's program requires easy registration, no more than a minute or two, using Twitter, Facebook, Google, or an email address. Baraka said the program is “intended for people who live in the city,” though there are no geographic limits for users to access the site.
Once logged in, users are presented with a map showing the placement of 62 cameras around the city and a list of them on the left-hand side. Select a camera and a small window appears. The video can be made larger or full-screen.
Surveillance cameras are widely used by police in many cities, both to solve crimes and as a deterrent. The cameras currently available to the public in Newark are all located at sites that previously had surveillance cameras accessible only to police.
What's new in Newark is the ability to make the cameras available to the public in real time. (A handful of other cities have considered doing so, but ultimately decided against it.) Newark calls the program Citizen Virtual Patrol and touts it as a virtual version of a neighborhood watch or town watch program.
But the effectiveness of such programs is unclear, and participation isn't universal. And when citizens feel empowered to take the law into their own hands, experts said, the consequences can be devastating.
George Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch coordinator when he spotted Trayvon Martin, followed him, and shot him to death in Florida.
Now imagine Zimmerman watching from his computer for anything he deems suspicious, said Adnan A. Zulfiqar, a law professor at Rutgers-Camden.
“He sees this young black male walking with his hoodie in the neighborhood … and he's like, I'm going to head out there and check it out and I'll keep an eye on him until the police get there. You can have that type of scenario,” Zulfiqar said. “Or George Zimmerman is monitoring Newark and he calls up his buddy Jim and he says, ‘Hey, I've been watching Newark, there's some suspicious guy on X or Y block, why don't you go out there, make sure you're strapped, and make sure that guy doesn't go anywhere until the police get there.
“I mean, you're just creating volatile situations,” he said. “You're essentially enabling an army of George Zimmermans.”
Baraka, the mayor, scoffed at such criticism. Residents support the program, he said, and are more concerned about crime that goes unsolved than about the potential for racial bias in policing.
“What I'm worried about is murder and violence and crime that happens to black and brown people in our communities,” he said, adding that his concerns about police violence and racial profiling are best addressed through training and community policing. “We're going to continue to do those things, but I'm not going to take tools from the police department simply because we fear people will use it in a racist manner.”
Baraka did not deny that policing can have racial overtones. In 2014, a Justice Department investigation found that police officers in Newark had engaged in a pattern of unconstitutional stops, searches, arrests and the use of excessive force. This, federal authorities said, disproportionately affected minorities. Two years later, the city pledged a series of reforms, including improved officer training, that are still being monitored by the federal government.
Police officers will play an important role in the new surveillance program, Baraka said. When someone calls in a tip based on the camera footage, a police staffer will review the footage before passing the information along, he said, providing a trained set of eyes.
Dorothy E. Roberts, a law professor and sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania whose work often explores issues of race, said there are legitimate public safety reasons for asking for residents' help — but also legitimate concerns.
“Whenever you hear about, ‘Well, this is required for safety,' look at whose rights are being violated in order to protect whose rights,” she said. “Surveillance is not the way to make communities safer. The way to make communities safer is to provide the resources and support that communities need to flourish.”
Explosion at California medical facility appears to be intentional act source says
by Cheri Mossburg, Sara Sidner and Darran Simon
Aliso Viejo, California (CNN)The deadly explosion in an Orange County building that killed one woman and injured three others appears to be intentional and is being investigated as a criminal act, a law enforcement source told CNN.
But the source also cautioned that it's early in the investigation.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department stated in response to news reports: "Despite media reports quoting unnamed sources, we have not confirmed that the explosion is intentional, nor have we conclusively identified the source of the explosion. Investigation is in early stages, as information is confirmed we will share it."
The explosion rocked a medical building in Aliso Viejo, California, on Tuesday. It blew out walls and windows, heavily damaging the first floor corner of the two-story building and hurling debris outside, said Capt. Tony Bommarito, a spokesman for the Orange County Fire Authority.
In a news conference Tuesday night, Orange County Sheriff's Department Commander Dave Sawyer said it was unclear whether the explosion was intentional or accidental.
The investigation is still in its early stage and authorities had begun processing the inside of the building, he said.
"We have not found any type of specific device inside of the building right now that would tell us or lead us to exactly what the device was -- if there was a device," Sawyer said.
The identity of the female victim who was killed, has yet to be released. She and the three injured were likely in close proximity to the explosion, Sawyer said. Investigators are interviewing the three injured.
Two survivors had critical injuries "that were consistent with an explosion, but not necessarily consistent with a bomb," said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Bommarito said there didn't appear to be a gas leak.
At this point, officials are not ruling anything out. The blast caused extensive damage to buildings in the area, Sawyer said.
"Anytime you see an explosion of this magnitude, it would definitely be suspicious to us and that's why we rolled out all the resources to get to the bottom of it," he said.
Nothing indicates there were any threats made before the blast, which appeared to be concentrated in a suite on the first floor of the office building, Sawyer said. And there is no specific person that authorities are searching for right now, he added.
FBI spokesman Mike Gifford had said earlier there was no initial indication of terrorism in the facility about 7 miles northeast of Laguna Beach.
The sheriff's department is partnering with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who will assist the investigation.
Firefighters responded to a call of an explosion shortly after 1 p.m. local time.
Dong Shin, a witness, said he heard a loud boom minutes before his appointment in a nearby building.
"And the ground shook," he told CNN. "My whole body shook."
"While the ground was shaking ... my body jolted and my head hit the wall," Shin said.
He said it felt "almost like an earthquake, but a big earthquake."
Shin said he and others hurried down the stairs to get out of that building, and saw "two holes in the wall" of the medical facility.
Shin said he also saw "fire, smoke, insulation popping out of the walls, a lot of scared people running around, a lot of commotion."
He recalled that one woman ran out of the medical building and was escorted to safety. Her face was covered in blood, he said.
Ohio police, fire department data wiped out by ransomware attack
The Riverside police and fire departments have been hit by a cyberattack twice in the last few weeks
by PoliceOne Staff
RIVERSIDE, Ohio — The U.S. Secret Service has launched an investigation into two cyberattacks that wiped out data from a city's fire and police departments.
Hackread reported that Riverside's fire and police departments were first attacked on April 23, when the departments' computer systems were compromised and sensitive data was recorded, including information from ongoing investigations.
The departments were attacked again on May 3 and the systems were infected with malware, which caused the U.S. Secret Service to begin an investigation.
City manager Mark Carpenter confirmed that the second attack led to a ransomware infection, but it was unclear how the attack took place.
The city said it is unclear if a ransom was demanded from the attackers, but Carpenter said eight hours' worth of data was wiped from the servers.
“Everything was backed up, but we lost about eight hours' worth of information we have to re-enter,” he said. “It was our police and fire records, so we just re-enter the reports."
Girl, 8, travels country to hug police officers
The young girl is on a mission to hug a cop from every state in the country
by PoliceOne Staff
DETROIT — A young girl is continuing her mission to hug a law enforcement officer from every state in the country.
WJBK reports that several Detroit Police Department officers were the latest to receive a hug from 8-year-old Rosalyn Baldwin.
Rosalyn, who's from Louisiana,even hugged Alice, a bomb-sniffing yellow labrador retriever, according to Detroit News.
“You're a little angel, and the police officers love you,” Police Chief James Craig told Rosalyn. “This is special.”
Michigan is the 28th state she's visited since she started her mission, which was prompted by the ambush killings of five Dallas officers in 2016. Rosalyn's mother, Angie, said her daughter was “on a God mission.”
“After those officers were killed, she said, ‘I've got to do something,'” Angie said. “So she decided to do this.”
Rosalyn attended a barbecue put on by the PD and even got to ride in a police helicopter. Craig said he and the other officers appreciated the young girl's actions, especially during a time “when police officers in some instances are under fire.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to help pay for Rosalyn's travel.
Community Groups Finalize Consent Decree Demands for Chicago Police Department
by Monique Judge
How officers with the Chicago Police Department interact with black and brown people as well as those with disabilities, young people, women and LGBTQI individuals is the focus of a proposed consent decree that would overhaul the accountability and disciplinary systems as well as create new performance metrics for the evaluation of police officers.
The 125-page “ Recommendations for the Consent Decree in State of Illinois v. City of Chicago ” (pdf) was made public Tuesday by community groups involved in the Campbell v. City of Chicago class action lawsuit. That lawsuit was filed June 14, 2017, in an effort to force federal courts to oversee reform of the CPD.
The recommendations and provisions of the decree include the following:
Use of Force
A mandate that officers resolve incidents without force whenever possible, through trauma-informed and tactical de-escalation techniques;
A specific prohibition of officer behavior that escalates incidents and the prohibiting of the use of force as retaliation for speech or as a form of punishment;
The development of supportive services for police-violence survivors and their families.
The creation of programs that will ensure a least intrusive policing model, including a prearrest diversion program that will allow officers to address incidents without arrest, a community-based mediation/restorative-justice program that will allow communities to defuse conflict and maintain peace, and a citation program for minor offenses;
Crisis-intervention teams to support people with behavioral health issues or who are in crisis;
The elimination of financial incentives that officers have to arrest, ticket and escalate encounters with community members.
Racism and Gender Bias
Numerous provisions aimed at eradicating racism and bias, including ensuring that officers are trained about CPD scandals, like Jon Burge ;
The mandatory collection, analysis and reporting of data tracking various kinds of profiling and selective enforcement and, with community input, the development and implementation of corrective action plans based on the data;
Prohibiting the selection of particular communities for policing based to any degree on the racial or ethnic composition of the community;
Prohibitions on officer sexual harassment, sexual abuse and on-duty sexual activity, and the creation of an affirmative duty for officers to treat all civilians, including LGBTQI and gender-nonconforming individuals, with respect, professionalism and courtesy.
An accountability system made up of an elected council that has the power to hold police accountable and hire the superintendent, and that is wholly independent from City Hall and the CPD;
Independent civilian investigations into all serious uses of force and all police-misconduct complaints involving the abuse of community members, including sexual abuse and assault. Provisions that guarantee the resources, powers, robust transparency and community oversight to ensure independent, rigorous, high-quality and unbiased investigations into police misconduct;
Provisions that prevent and root out officer collusion, protect officers who report police abuse, require officers to report misconduct, and fire officers who lie or retaliate against witnesses in misconduct investigations;
Procedures to identify, investigate and fire individual and groups of police officers who are engaged in patterns of abuse.
Hiring and Retention
Hiring, retention and supervision practices ensuring that the CPD force reflects the diversity of Chicago and implements nonbiased and least intrusive policing;
Implementation of hiring and promotion practices that ensure that CPD hires and promotes officers who demonstrate a commitment to upholding the sanctity of life, implementing the least restrictive police response necessary in any given situation, and engaging in nonbiased policing.
The creation of a public database that reports, in real time, critical public information about police-misconduct complaints and major uses of force.
Monitoring and Enforcement
Provisions ensuring that the people most affected by police violence will monitor and enforce the decree.
In January 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice concluded a yearlong investigation into the CPD that found the department was guilty of using excessive force—especially when dealing with black and Latinx people.
In June it was reported that the Justice Department would not be forming a consent decree agreement with the city of Chicago or its Police Department. Instead, the city filed a proposed agreement with the DOJ that would not be backed by federal oversight.
As a result, a class action lawsuit— Campbell v. City of Chicago —was filed by a group of plaintiffs that included four private citizens and 10 community-based organizations: Black Lives Matter Chicago, the Chicago Urban League, Blocks Together, the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Justice for Families-Black Lives Matter Chicago, Network 49, Women's All Points Bulletin, the 411 Movement for Pierre Loury, and the West Side Branch and Illinois State Conference of the NAACP. The defendants named are the city of Chicago as well as 16 individual Chicago PD officers.
The attorneys for the plaintiffs in Campbell v. City of Chicago include lead attorneys Craig Futterman of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School and Sheila Bedi of the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. The plaintiffs' legal team includes Alexa Van Brunt and Vanessa del Valle of the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law; Randolph Stone, clinical professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School; Brendan Shiller of Shiller Preyar; Jeanette S. Samuels of Samuels & Associates; Cannon Lambert Sr. of Karchmar & Lambert; Andrew Stroth of Action Injury; and the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton of New York.
For more information about the Campbell efforts and recommendations to the city and the state of Illinois, including the Chicago Community Consent Decree, visit CPDclassaction.com.
New Community Policing Strategy Ready To Roll Out
by Tom Robb
A new force of non-sworn Niles police community service officers will hit the streets on foot and bicycle early next month as part of a new community policing strategy.
Starting the week of Friday, June 1, community service officers will be deployed on foot to business districts throughout Niles while community service officers will be deployed on bicycles in residential neighborhoods in 10 beats throughout the village.
The goal of the program is for community service officers to build relationships with business owners, managers and employees in business districts and people, primarily teenagers and young adults, in residential areas to increase communications and preemptively solve problems before they escalate.
Where sworn police officers are armed and wear dark blue shirts, community service officers wear gray shirts and a different patch.
Niles Police Cmdr. Robert Tornabene, who heads the police Crime Prevention Bureau, said although community service officers have the authority to issue parking tickets and village ordinance violation citations, both business district foot patrol and residential bike patrol officers would have the goal of building relationships and solving problems without issuing citations.
The village has a core of community service officers who perform duties including administrative office functions, traffic control, crowd control at events and other duties. Niles trustees recently reclassified auxiliary police officers to become community service officers as well.
Tornabene said although staffing levels could fluctuate, given community events, generally two, two-man teams of community service officers would be assigned to business districts each day.
The business district community service officers would work with businesses to build relationships to address and solve issues ranging from parking to credit card fraud and identity theft to issues of customers leaving behind wallets, cell phones and car keys at store counters.
Part of building those relationships would include keeping key holder lists up to date. Police need to be able to quickly contact business owners or managers when doors are found unlocked or when other issues arise.
Police have trained four community service bike patrol officers, mostly teenagers, to fan out on bikes across residential neighborhoods primarily Thursdays through Sundays through September when many younger community service officers would return to school.
The primary goal of these officers will be to build relationships with teens and young adults, preemptively solving problems. Bike community service officers would also be present at community block parties and other community events.
Niles ran a similar bike patrol program decades ago. Before becoming a police officer and rising through the ranks, retired former Niles Police Chief Dennis McEnerney worked as a non-sworn bicycle officer as a teen in the 1970s.
Niles police also run a separate bicycle unit of regular sworn police officers not part of this program.
The Other Cost Of School Security: Fewer Cops In Your Community
School Safety is part of many teacher rallies and lawmaker talks. In Florida, there is a new mandate for cops in every school. What does that mean? From longer response times to taking officers out of gang units, Florida agencies are expecting the newly approved school mandate to adversely affect their community policing.
by Noah Pransky
TAMPA BAY, FL -- Tallahassee's mandate that every school in Florida have an armed resource officer or guard this fall created a pair of unfunded mandates: one financial and the other one of manpower.
Not only are communities scrambling to find funding to pay for the thousands of new positions created by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, but police department and sheriff's offices are scrambling to find ways to staff schools with the new academic year fewer than 90 days away.
Even though many districts are choosing to place retired military or law-enforcement personnel in schools to satisfy the new law, it is expected to take years to find and train all of the new hires.
As a result, the new law is stressing an already-stressed system, where many law-enforcement agencies across the state already have dozens, if not hundreds of positions each they are trying to fill.
"Now that virtually everyone is hiring," said Palmetto Police Chief Scott Tyler, "there's going to be a trickle-down effect with some agencies that don't pay as well as some of the bigger ones.”
The Palmetto Police Department, whose starting pay is $37,675 a year, frequently loses officers to competing departments, such as the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, whose starting pay is 24 percent higher. The need to compete for officers has pushed salaries at the Hillsborough and Sarasota sheriff's offices above $50,000 for starting deputies, approximately 35 percent more than Palmetto.
“When we lose somebody, it affects the entire department," said Palmetto Corporal Micah Mathews.
Tyler said the trickle-down is likely to impact the speed in which officers respond to calls as well as the experience of the department's officer ranks.
But it isn't just small departments that are feeling the pinch.
Requiring armed security in every Florida school, including elementary and middle schools, where there has never been a mass shooting in the state's history, is forcing large cities and counties to immediately find dozens of officers to work 40 hours a week in a school, starting in August.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office told 10Investigates it would likely need to re-assign 60-to-80 deputies from their standard patrol responsibilities to county elementary schools this fall.
And the St. Petersburg Police Department plans on filling the immediate need with officers from its community policing unit, which responds to neighborhood and property crime issues, as well as from its dedicated gang unit.
UPDATE 5/15: Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Wednesday, due to community outrage, he is telling the Pinellas Co. School District that SPPD will not provide officers to the dozens of elementary schools in the city after all. The district will be responsible for filling the positions with only limited time before the start of school; hiring SPPD officers as outside detail remains a possibility.
But Chief Anthony Holloway said he hoped the impact wasn't a long-term one, as school resource officers are eventually hired and he can hire more street cops -- potentially from smaller departments, like Palmetto's, where he has recruited a handful of officers in recent years.
"I'll try to hire as many certified officers as I can, so I may find (officers in) one of those small agencies and say, ‘You want to come to St Pete?'"
Trump pays tribute to fallen LEOs in emotional ceremony
President Donald Trump called the fallen LEOs 'among the bravest Americans to ever live"
by PoliceOne Staff
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump paid tribute to fallen law enforcement officers during an emotional ceremony Tuesday, calling them "among the bravest Americans to ever live.”
Speaking during the 37th Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service on Capitol Hill, Trump vowed that his administration will “protect those who protect us,” CNN reported. He also addressed the children of the fallen law enforcement officers who attended the ceremony.
“I want you to know that your moms and dads are among the bravest Americans to ever live. When danger came, when darkness fell, when destruction loomed, they did not flinch,” Trump said. “They were not afraid; they did not falter; they stared down danger, raced down alleys, chased down criminals, kicked down doors and faced down evil. Brave."
The president also shared several stories of fallen officers. He told the story of off-duty Officer Charleston Hartfield, who was killed during the Las Vegas mass shooting. Trump told Hartfield's children that their father “was a guardian angel to those in need” and that he's “keeping watch on you from heaven.”
Trump also called for the death penalty for those who kill LEOs, according to CBS News. He said he's directed the Justice Department to do “everything in its power to defend the lives of American law enforcement” and to help “end attacks on our police.”
"We believe criminals who kill our police should get the death penalty -- bring it forth,” Trump said. "If we want to bring down violent crime, then we must stand up for our police; we must condemn dangerous anti-police prejudice."
Near the end of his speech, Trump invited the elderly mother and other family members of slain Officer Miosotis Familia, according to the Associated Press. Familia, a mother of three, was killed in July 2017 after being shot by a man who fired into a parked patrol vehicle. The gunman was later fatally shot by police.
Trump told the family it was “an honor to have you up here” and told Familia's children how proud their mother was of them.
"She's looking down, and she's so proud of you. She's so proud of you. And you are great," Trump said. "Your mom's legacy will never, ever die. You have good genes. Right? Good genes. The best genes I've ever seen."
SRO takes down high school shooter, saves lives
The officer, who was not injured, was hailed a hero for his quick response protecting students and staff
by the Associated Press
DIXON, Ill. — A police officer at a northern Illinois high school was hailed as a hero Wednesday for shooting and arresting a former student who fired on him in a hallway while staff and seniors were meeting for a graduation rehearsal.
The 19-year-old former Dixon High School student suffered wounds that weren't life threatening, according to police, who didn't release his name. The school resource officer, Mark Dallas, took the gunman into custody after shooting him.
"He saved an enormous amount of lives," Lee County Sheriff John Simonton said. His comments were echoed by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, who in a statement credited "Dallas for his bravery and quick action to immediately diffuse a dangerous situation."
The shooting happened shortly after 8 a.m. while staff and students were gathered for a graduation rehearsal.
Police Chief Steven Howell, Jr., told reporters that the officer called to report that he'd spotted an armed male at the school. He said the officer confronted the former student near the school's west gym and, as he ran after him, the suspect fired several shots at the officer.
Howell said the officer returned fire, shot the suspect and took him into custody. Neither the officer nor anyone else at the school was injured. Police said they believe the gunman acted alone and that there was no further threat to anyone in the area. Howell declined to discuss why the former student brought a gun to the school.
"I could not be more proud of the police officer and the way he responded to the situation. With shots ringing out through the hallways of the school, he charged towards the suspect and confronted him, head on," Howell said. "Because of his heroic actions, countless lives were saved. We are forever indebted to him for his service and his bravery."
When police searched the school they found that the faculty and students had barricaded themselves inside by blocking the classroom doorways with desks, chairs and other furniture — just as they had been trained to do.
"A lot of things went right today and many things could have gone wrong," Dixon Mayor Liandro Arellano Jr., told reporters at a news conference outside the school.
Officials said all schools in the city about 80 miles (130 kilometers) west of Chicago were placed on lockdown in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. The other schools re-opened after officials determined the gunman acted alone.
Teen gunman attacks Texas high school art class, kills 10
by Erwin Seba
SANTA FE, Texas (Reuters) - Texas on Saturday will likely release the names of nine students and a teacher killed by a gunman, identified by authorities as a 17-year-old student armed with a shotgun and pistol, who opened fire in a morning art class in his Houston-area high school.
Santa Fe High School, southeast of Houston, joined on Friday a long list of U.S. campuses where students and faculty have been killed in mass shootings.
Shortly before 8 a.m., students said the gunman, identified by law enforcement as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, opened fire in an art class, sending students and staff fleeing.
Ten people were wounded, with several in critical condition.
It was the fourth-deadliest mass shooting at a U.S. public school in modern history, and again stoked the nation's long-running debate over gun ownership three months after 17 teens and educators were fatally shot in Parkland, Florida.
(A timeline of major mass shootings in the United States since 2007: tmsnrt.rs/2LfKug6)
A vigil was held Friday night for the victims, who have not been officially identified.
"This will bring us closer together - hopefully, a positive impact from something negative," said Clayton George, 16, who played football with the suspect.
The Pakistan Embassy in Washington D.C. identified one of the victims on Twitter as Sabika Sheikh, a Pakistani exchange student, while the brother-in-law of Cynthia Tisdale, a teacher's aide and mother of four, said on Facebook she was killed in the attack.
National Football League star J.J. Watt, who plays defensive end for the Houston Texans, said he will pay for the funerals for the deceased, local media reported.
"Absolutely horrific," he tweeted about the shooting.
Classmates at the school of some 1,460 students described Pagourtzis as a quiet loner who played on the football team. On Friday, they said he wore a trench coat to school in Santa Fe, about 30 miles southeast of Houston, on a day when temperatures topped 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Pagourtzis obtained firearms from his father, who had likely acquired them legally, and also left behind explosive devices.
Abbott told reporters that Pagourtzis wanted to commit suicide, citing the suspect's journals, but did not have the courage to do so.
"I HAD TO GET OUT OF THERE"
Pagourtzis was charged with capital murder and denied bail at a brief court hearing later on Friday, where he appeared in handcuffs and wearing a green prison jumpsuit. He spoke in a soft voice and said "Yes, sir" when asked if he wanted a court-appointed attorney, along with other questions.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told CNN authorities were investigating whether anyone else helped in the attack.
Authorities have not disclosed how many explosive devices were found or if any of the deceased were killed or hurt by explosions. It is also unclear why the shooter targeted the art class.
"I wanted to take care of my friends, but I knew I had to get out of there," said Courtney Marshall, 15, who was in the class, adding that she saw at least one person hit. "I knew the guy behind me was dead."
Pagourtzis spared people he liked so he could have his story told, a charging document obtained by Reuters showed.
""Abbott said investigators had seen a T-shirt on the suspect's Facebook page that read "Born to Kill," and authorities were examining his journal. But there were no outward signs he had been planning an attack, he said.
Some aspects of Friday's shooting had echoes of the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999. The two teenaged killers in that incident wore trench coats, used shotguns and planted improvised explosives, killing 10 before committing suicide themselves.
It was the second mass shooting in Texas in less than a year. A man armed with an assault rifle shot dead 26 people during Sunday prayers at a rural church last November.
Two school officers engaged the shooter, including school district police officer John Barnes, who was in critical condition after a gunshot wound to his elbow that almost caused him to bleed out, hospital officials said.
Authorities have not made public details of how they engaged the shooter.
Two others among the injured were also in critical condition.
"Law enforcement should be the last resort.' School resource officer uses proactive policing
"It's a very sad thing to think that I may have to take down a student," said Sgt. Dan Stewart, an armed school resource officer at RSU 22.
by Clay Gordon
HAMPDEN, Maine (NEWS CENTER Maine) - How can school resource officers remain approachable without making a student feel as if they are a tattler? Especially, when it's sensitive information that could have life or death implications. One Maine school resource officer is building a repour with students and staff at RSU 22, and he says his way of community policing is working for him.
Sergeant Dan Stewart is the armed school resource officer for the towns of Hampden, Newburgh, Winterport, and Frankfort. He wears a full Hampden Public Safety uniform, responds to incidents at all schools in the district and he is an EMT. When he is not on an active call, he walks the hallways, checks the doors, and rattles handles to make sure empty classrooms are locked. Stewart has served on the force for 25 years, and 8 of those years as a SRO.
“People think a SRO is an armed cop sitting at the door waiting for the next big bad thing to happen," said Stewart. "It's so much more than that.”
He clocks in at 7:00 a.m. and he stays past the last bell to attend extracurricular activities and sports, such as basketball. Stewart is known to open the concession stand, cook the hot dogs and to make the popcorn until volunteers appear to take over. He believes the extra-effort outside of class, will go a long way with students and staff.
“It's that whole community feeling and I think the kids would relate to me better if I'm someone who is supporting them, rather than someone who punches a clock and goes home.”
A large fraction of his responsibilities falls under the realm of an educator and counselor, not as a police officer. "Which is a good thing," he added. "We don't want to have to arrest kids. We don't want to give kids criminal records. We would rather work with the school system.”
Stewart also teaches students at Hampden Academy the importance of being aware of your surroundings.
"I'm trying to get kids to think, when you come into a building, go to a movie theater and go to the mall, think of where the exits are. Take that extra minute or two to look around and see where your exits are. If something bad were to happen where are you going to go?”
As for school shootings, Hampden Academy is prepared for the worst. The district will host a drill this summer, when class is out of session, to apply different scenarios with the lessons learned from recent school tragedies.
"It's a very sad thing to think that I may have to take down a student," said Stewart. The mindset is that if someone is taking other peoples live you have to stop that and that's what you have to train for."
Students at Hampden Academy refer to Sargaent Stewart as "Stewie." Some students feel comfortable texting him to make him aware of an issue, and after graduation they can request him on Facebook.
How Neighborhood Policing Works
Chief Andy Mills integrates a new tool into SCPD's law enforcement strategy
by Mat Weir
From the top-floor briefing room of the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD), windows look out over rooftops throughout downtown. It's one of five regions that city cops have staked out for the new neighborhood policing strategy announced by Chief Andy Mills a few months ago.
“We're not going to sit back and wait for crime to come to us. We're going to go to it,” Mills says.
Mills is standing in front of a large map that has Santa Cruz split into color-coded areas—the Upper Westside, Lower Westside, Downtown, Upper Eastside and Lower Eastside. In some ways, the operation sounds more like a department store staffing than a police operation, with Mills describing his lieutenants as “mid-level managers.” Each lieutenant gets assigned a number of police and community service officers. In a department with 94 cops total, 26 community service officers, lieutenants and sergeants have been reassigned without an increase in spending, Mills says. The SCPD is also still relying on its predictive policing algorithm to target higher-crime areas before new crimes happen.
“The theory behind neighborhood policing is to work with the neighbors to deal with long-term problems and reduce them,” Mills says, “because the problems in one area are different than in others.”
By focusing on specific sections of the city, lieutenants and their small teams of police and community service officers get to know the neighborhoods and community members better. The idea is that the groups can prioritize, respond to and prevent crime in their sections.
Although it was only implemented in February, it's a plan Mills has worked on since becoming chief in July of last year. Over that time, the police department has held 10 community meetings to gather information and listen to residents' concerns about what they think are ongoing problems in their areas.
The policy has two goals. The first is to prioritize each area's crime so that officers can more efficiently respond if a top level threat occurs. “When you call 911, what do you expect?” Mills asks rhetorically. “Someone to respond immediately.”
That's an approach often known as “no call too small.” However, according to a study by the Center for Public Safety Management—a nonprofit that assists local governments on how to better serve their citizens—that philosophy comes at a great cost.
The SCPD dispatches officers on roughly 68,000 of the estimated 100,000 yearly calls. But according to the study, 22,000 of the cases responded to could be handled by someone other than a police officer. The 911 emergency line is intended for a crime in progress, to save a life or stop imminent violence, but unintentional abuse of the hotline has dispatchers busy with barking dogs, loud music complaints and other activities that are not crimes, no matter how bothersome.
“About 77 percent are bottom-priority calls,” Mills says. He encourages residents to make such calls to the department's non-emergency number, 471-1131.
The second goal is to keep arrests low by preventing common crimes in specific areas. Mills says he wants officers to make any necessary arrests, but also believes many problems in the community can't be fixed through enforcement alone.
He gives the analogy of a hypothetical intersection with a high collision rate. Officers can zero in on that intersection, ticketing anyone who runs a red light. And the city can install traffic signs with violation fees and program a forced delay between light changes to clear the area. In the case of neighborhood policing, preventative and informative measures can be as simple as educating communities with high-volume break-ins to lock their windows when they're not home.
Still, Mills says there are other methods “to fix these problems in the long haul” and that the department has many tools at its disposal. “SCPD is not here to make excuses for why crime exists,” Mills says. “We're trying to figure out how to proactively control it.”
The department has integrated this neighborhood-oriented strategy into predictive policing, a tool the department has been using for more than six years. Local company PredPol helped lead something of policing revolution when it launched in 2012, helping departments like Santa Cruz target higher-crime areas at higher-crime times. PredPol is now in more than 50 departments, according to co-founder Dr. Jeff Brantingham, who is also an anthropology professor at UCLA.
These days, neighborhood lieutenants receive a report every morning to see which areas on their beat should be more heavily patrolled, based on previously reported crimes. It also serves as a gauge that will show whether or not previously problematic spots are becoming safer through officers' efforts. The managers then give Mills a weekly report of the locations and types of crime they're working on, how they are doing it and their results.
Former SCPD crime analyst and current county supervisor Zach Friend says he's seen predictive policing have a positive impact over the years.
“It was meant to complement the strong history and philosophy of community-oriented policing within the department,” says Friend, “and allow for the most effective allocation of very limited resources.”
Councilwoman under fire for comparing officers to terrorists
In a tweet, Charlotte councilwoman LaWana Mayfield said: "Being Black in America under #45 (Donald Trump) has created homegrown terrorist wearing blue uniforms"
by Mark Price
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Just weeks after Charlotte councilwoman LaWana Mayfield ignited controversy for supporting a 9/11 conspiracy theory, she is on the defense for a tweet likening law enforcement officers to terrorists.
That tweet, sent March 26, said: “Being Black in America under #45 (Donald Trump) has created homegrown terrorist wearing blue uniforms.”
She expanded on her argument Thursday with a follow-up tweet alluding to police "corruption."
"I have and continue to be one of the strongest supporters of law enforcement," she tweeted, "but I will NOT turn a blind eye to corruption, assaults, and the killings of unarmed black & brown people. If you are offended by my comments and not the situation YOU need to re-evaluate."
Criticism of her statement has continued for weeks but gained a higher profile this week when two Charlotte TV stations took notice. WSOC reported Wednesday that some officers are calling the message "inappropriate, especially as they are asking the City Council for a pay raise and are trying to recruit more officers."
Mayfield, a Democrat who represents Charlotte's west side, responded to the criticism on Twitter late Wednesday with a tone of defiance. “So YOU do NOT support Freedom of Speech? Or do YOU support the attacks on unarmed Black & Brown people????” she said in the tweet.
The message was directed at social media critics like Ryan Parker, who tweeted that she needed to step down from her role as a city leader.
“I don't support calling police officers terrorists. And I don't support 9/11 conspiracy theorists,” Parker tweeted.
Another critic, Jani Cho, said Mayfield's March 26 tweet was “extreme” for applying the word terrorist to “someone who puts their lives on the line for the citizens of this city.”
Calls for Mayfield's resignation also erupted in mid-April, when she posted a Facebook link to an article on 9/11 conspiracy theories. She added the comment: “I am still waiting for someone to produce pieces of the alleged plane that opened the doors for US citizens to lose all privacy rights.”
That tweet drew criticism from across the country, including condemnation from people who said they were related to 9/11 victims. Mayfield responded by suggesting the criticism had “racial overtones.”
A petition calling for her resignation was launched on Change.org and it had more than 1,500 signers early Thursday.
Mayfield said she would not resign over the 9/11 tweet, but apologized April 22 during an interview on the WCNC show “Flashpoint” for the “hurt and pain” her comments may have caused.
From the Department of Homeland Security
DHS Honors Fallen Law Enforcement Officers During Police Week
Throughout the 2018 National Police Week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) honored law enforcement officers and their families for their service and sacrifice. In Washington and around the country, DHS has been involved in memorializing these heroes throughout the week.
Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen attended memorials that focused on the important work that DHS law enforcement officers and agents do every day, and honored those killed in the line of duty:
“Every year, in honor of Police Week, we pay tribute to the law enforcement community,” said Secretary Nielsen. “We lay a wreath in memory of those who put on a badge, went to work, and never came home again. We take time —one week out of the year—to say ‘thank you,' and ‘I miss you.' We reflect on those who've gone before us. We remember their sacrifice, and we comfort those they've left behind.
“It is a remarkable privilege to lead the men and women of this Department, particularly the members of our law enforcement family. I am grateful for every one of you who has answered the call to stand up for our homeland.”
DHS is the largest employer of federal law enforcement agents. Approximately one-third of our employees serve as law enforcement officers, and nearly 70 percent perform law enforcement functions. The Department's law enforcement family includes U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Federal Protective Service (FPS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
DHS also plays an important role in training law enforcement across the country through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), which provides vital training to more than 90 federal partner organizations, as well as many state and local officers. Since its inception in 1970, FLETC has trained more than one million law enforcement professionals nationwide.
DHS is proud to participate in Police Week to pay tribute to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty and honor all law enforcement officers and their families for their service to our country.