NO! Not the JELLY!!!!!!!!
Ar ar arrrrrrrr:)
Drive like a dope on Staten Island, and you’re 17 percent more likely to end up with a ticket.
Since July, Police Assistant Chief Stephen R. Paragallo’s mission to crack down on the borough’s worst drivers has resulted in thousands more drivers pulled off the road and ticketed.
The haul has been attributed in part to several enforcement initiatives, including the assignment of two officers in unmarked cars who look exclusively for traffic violators across the Island.
“We focused them in on community complaints and historic trouble spots,” Paragallo said.
Between July 1 and Oct. 31 of this year, the NYPD wrote 17,049 moving-violation summonses, compared to 14,544 over the same period last year.
Of those tickets, more than 60 percent were written for “hazardous moving violations” such as reckless driving, disobeying lights or unsafe lane changes.
“These two officers accounted for 8 percent (of tickets) in these four months,” Paragallo said.
And because the two officers had already been doing traffic enforcement in their respective precincts before being assigned boroughwide, their task force doesn’t take crime-fighting resources away from the rest of the Island, Paragallo said.
On top of the officers in unmarked cars, the Island’s three police precincts also worked to rein in unruly drivers, with four separate blitzes of key arteries, including Victory Boulevard, Forest Avenue and Hylan Boulevard.
Don’t expect the cops to hit the same hot spots over and over again. They’re mixing up their targets. One day they may be on a high-traffic road like Hylan. On another day they may be on a quaint side street after getting a complaint from fed-up neighbors.
“We don’t want people to be conditioned,” Paragallo said. “We want them to get to that corner and it’s a roll of the dice.
“You never know who’s going to be out there.”
RIVIERA BEACH, FL – A series of recent missteps and alleged crimes by Riviera Beach police officers have left the department’s K9 unit badly short-handed, or perhaps more accurately, short-pawed.
“It is disappointing when an officer is charged, however we still keep in mind that it’s an allegation in all five cases,” says the city’s spokesperson Rose Anne Brown.
In September, four of the department’s six K9 officers were taken off the street for allegedly downloading porngraphy on a computer at the Port of Palm Beach and re-assigned to the patrol division.
Now, a fifth handler has been removed from the elite squad.
43-year-old Maurice Morris in court Monday, indicted for sexual battery and bribery.
His dog will be retired, they say, temporarily leaving the city with just one of its K9 units.
“What we plan to do is we will actually operate with five K9′s when the four come out of training,” said Brown.
Meanwhile, taxpayers have temporarily lost the use of the dogs.
The animals will typically take three weeks to adjust to their new home and handler, but the human training will take longer.
“Learning how to track and lead the dog, all the obedience, all the bite work, all the control – uh, it’s physically and mentally extremely challenging,” says Bob Anderson, who owns Anderson International K9 college in Riviera each.
The department’s retraining work is going on at Anderson’s facility.
Anderson himself is a highly decorated former K9 officer with more than 20 years in the business.
“It’s a good group,” Anderson says of the new officers taking-on the K9 responsibilities, “It’s going extremely well. They’re having fun. The dogs are having fun. Challenging, but it’s rewarding.”
The dogs and their new hand-picked partners should be ready to hit the streets again in about two months, says Anderson.
In the meantime, Riviera Beach wants its citizens to know they’re fully covered.
If they need a K9 unit, and their remaining dog is off duty, they’ve worked out mutual aid agreements with surrounding cities to provide K9 service.
City officials say Riviera Beach already had the largest K9 unit of any local municipality, so going from six dogs to five when the training is completed won’t compromise their level of service.
Four of the officers who lost their spot on the elite squad have been moved to patrol positions. The fifth, Morris, is on paid administrative leave.
LOS ANGELES — Shrinking budgets are forcing such cities as Phoenix, Portland, Ore., and San Diego to make deep cuts, including to police. But Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton has grown his department with a persuasive argument about the financial costs of crime.
The city is adding 1,000 police officers, pushing its force levels in the Los Angeles Police Department to above 10,000 for the first time. Even as the city faces a more than $400 million shortfall for this fiscal year and next, the police budget — the city’s most costly department — is emerging largely unscathed.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made public safety one of his campaign planks and pushed through a tripling of the city’s trash tax to dedicate more funds to pay for the new officers. But the expansion of Los Angeles police, at a time when other city departments face cuts, is also the result of the chief’s argument.
Mr. Bratton has made a case that spending on his department returns financial dividends to the city. “The idea of being seen as an investment is that if you make it safe they will come,” he said.
For years, police chiefs have argued that safer cities are better for business, increase tax revenues and help property values. What distinguishes Mr. Bratton’s approach is the rigor with which he crunches the numbers, linking the performance of his police department to specific cost savings and new revenue.
Mr. Bratton, 61 years old, arrived in Los Angeles six years ago, after successfully heading up police departments in his native Boston, and New York. In Los Angeles, he has presided over a steady drop in crime. This year, the police department projects Los Angeles will have 374 homicides, down from 647 in 2002, when Mr. Bratton took over, and a level not seen since 1968. Aggravated assaults so far this year have declined 62.9% from 2002. Grand theft auto is down 31.1% from then as well.
Mr. Bratton said he thinks of Los Angeles’s crime reduction as money in the bank. “The cost of a homicide to the city is $1 million,” he said, citing an estimate based on a study by the National Institute of Justice that takes into account such costs as criminal trials and police salaries. “We’ve reduced the homicide rate by nearly 300 in six years,” he said. “That’s a $300 million annual benefit to the city.”
His department, he said, has a record of making arrests and winning convictions in 70% of the homicides in the city. Keeping a convicted murderer in prison in California costs about $70,000 a year when legal costs and other items are factored in. With close to 300 fewer homicides a year, that is about 200 fewer people “getting convicted and going to prison for murder. Multiply that by $70,000,” he calculates, and it leads to more than $13 million in reduced costs.
Factoring in declining property crimes, such as auto theft, he said, the savings skyrocket, covering the department’s roughly $1.3 billion budget. “The overall crime reduction in the city gets us close to my budget, so I’m basically cost neutral.”
Some question Mr. Bratton’s math. Rick Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, says Mr. Bratton’s numbers assume that policing is capable of controlling the entire crime situation in a city.
“Bratton has a view that police own crime,” said Mr. Rosenfeld, and that social and economic factors aren’t as significant. “There is a strong kernel of truth to the argument, but he takes it too far.”
Historically, he said, crime wanes during periods of economic growth and surges during economic downturns. “We haven’t had a recession since late 1950 in which crime did not go up,” Mr. Rosenfeld said. “The one we’re entering is not likely to buck that trend.”
Mr. Bratton countered that, considering all the varying social and economic factors in Los Angeles, the city should be on the verge of a major crime wave.
“The traditional argument of economists, academics, criminologists, demographers is that crime is caused by the economy, unemployment, racism, poverty,” said Mr. Bratton.
He noted that in Los Angeles, unemployment has been rising for several years, and the city is home to a large group of illegal immigrants, many of whom had been working as day laborers in hard-hit industries like construction.
“But my crime is down,” said Mr. Bratton. “It’s been that way for two years. And I expect my crime to go down more this year.”
It is an argument that Mr. Bratton used to his advantage in budget negotiations. He pledged that with more funds for his department, he will be able to deliver even lower crime rates.
“If you’re a political leader, it is very hard to go to Bratton and say, ‘We hear what you want but we’re not going to give it to you,’ after he has made such a compelling case,” said Anthony Pacheco, president of the city’s police commission, which oversees the department.
Mr. Bratton’s argument has also won over much of the city’s business community. Tim Leiweke, chief executive of sports and venue-management firm AEG Worldwide, has co-chaired two campaigns for ballot initiatives that sought to raise revenue for both the police department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He said Mr. Bratton’s effectiveness in lowering crime in the city “had a huge impact on our decision to invest $2.5 billion” in a downtown entertainment complex that is expected to generate $30 million in sales taxes.
Historically, Los Angeles is one of the most underpoliced cities in the country, with a force of 9,700 serving a community of nearly four million, compared with New York’s force of about 38,000 serving a community of more than eight million. Yet efforts by past mayors to increase force levels have met with mixed success. Former Mayor Richard Riordan, in the wake of the 1992 riots, pledged to increase the police force, then at around 7,200, by 3,000 officers. By 1998, levels hit 9,800 but fell back as funding dried up.
The current increase is linked to a rise in the city’s trash tax pushed through by Mr. Villaraigosa, which has risen to $38 from $12 for a single-family home. Though other areas of the police department’s budget are facing reductions, such as money allotted for new vehicles, the mayor has pledged to ensure there are sufficient funds to hire new officers.
“The irony is that as we go into this economic downturn, we’re expanding,” said Mr. Bratton, “which is exactly what you need to do when the economy turns bad.”
Some Irving high school students are spending their school days in jail – not as inmates, but as interns.
Eighteen-year-old Maclovio Martinez was recently on the job, sitting in the jail’s glassed-in control room.
“What do you need?” he asked, responding to an inmate’s request through an intercom.
“Can you change the channel to 23?” the inmate asked.
“On TV, prisoners look mean, but if you’re nice to them, they’re nice to you,” said Maclovio, who’d like to be a police officer or engineer someday. “My mom didn’t like the idea of me working here at first. She thought I’d end up getting hurt. But she let me.”
He watched inmates in jumpsuits walk around, outside the enclosure. Video monitors showed others in their cells. With the touch of a screen, Maclovio opens and closes the doors.
Maclovio said he has seen only one big incident, when an inmate resisted being placed in a cell and officers ran to restrain him.
He expected more action.
The Irving jail internship is a pilot program that started in September. Such programs are unusual nationally, mostly from safety concerns about having students in close proximity to inmates, said Joe Coffee, executive director of the National Partnership for Careers in Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security.
But many in corrections are desperate to recruit young people because detention officer positions are often hard to fill with qualified workers. Turnover is high.
“Corrections probably has a difficult image they have to deal with, which should be a reason to do more of the things Irving is doing,” Mr. Coffee said.
Maclovio and the three other interns wear uniforms of black boots, navy cargo pants and a light blue collared shirt with a badge bearing their school’s name, The Academy of Irving ISD. The interns are in the career-focused high school’s legal program. As seniors, they are expected to perform an internship.
Irving detention supervisor Kristin Spivey said jail officials want a good relationship with the school district.
“Being a parent, I know if my child wanted to apply for an internship in a jail I would have questions about safety,” she said. “So we had an open house, and we gave them a complete tour of the jail.”
Interns in Irving have no direct physical contact with inmates, and they are supervised at all times by a mentor. However they are performing all other tasks, such as booking inmates, entering charges, fielding calls from relatives, accepting bail money, opening and closing doors and answering questions from inmates.
All four interns are bilingual and have found that their Spanish is useful. The students are not paid and work at the jail two to three days a week, depending on their school schedules. Regular officers must be at least 18, and earn $15.39 an hour to start.
Ricardo Ordaz, 17, sat in the booking area behind a horseshoe-shaped desk, entering data on incoming inmates.
“My family’s proud of me; my friends don’t believe it,” said the teen, who wants to be a police officer. “It’s exciting.”
Academy criminal justice teacher Justin Harper, who worked in a jail before becoming a police officer, said the experience is valuable. He hopes to expand the program next year to have students intern in emergency dispatch.
“They’ve said they didn’t realize how many crazy things people do when they come in the jail,” he said. “I would say it’s a really life-changing experience, because even if they don’t stay working in the jail they can use that as guidance if they want to stay in criminal justice.”
Irving and Burleson school districts are teaching part of the training curriculum used for prison officers in Texas, said Michael Upshaw, director of correctional training for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. However, Mr. Upshaw made it clear the internship program was not a state prison system program.
“I’m not saying it’s a bad idea for them to work in the jails, but that’s a risk I don’t believe our agency could take,” he said. “We have very dangerous convicted felons locked up, and I would not want to take a risk of having a child injured by one of them guys.”
Sesilie Rico, 17, said her parents were at first “terrified” about having their only daughter work in a jail.
“I was nervous because I had never visited before,” she said. “I got to know the jail, and it was a nice environment.”
On Friday, November 28, 2008, Pittsburgh Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger announced the sixth grant in the 2008 grant cycle of the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The foundation invited police and fire departments in nine cities to submit proposals detailing their needs. In Boston, the department sought and received financial assistance for the purchase of K-9 vehicle bailout systems. The systems, which attach to the rear door of police vehicles, enable officers to automatically release the canine from the vehicle in the event of emergency.
In commenting on why the mission of the foundation is so important to him, Roethlisberger said, “Last year it was an honor and a privilege to work with police and fire departments in and around the Pittsburgh area as well as with others around the country. We have had the opportunity to see first-hand how important the dogs are to these men and women who risk their lives every day to protect us. It’s incredible to see the strong bond that is formed between the dogs and their partners both on the job and at home.”
Upon hearing the news that their department would receive the grant, Sergeant Francis Flynn of the Boston Police stated, “On behalf of the Boston Police K9 Unit, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ben Roethlisberger and the Foundation for their generosity and dedication to public safety. This grant will allow us to secure equipment that will greatly enhance both officer and canine safety. This is the second year we have received this grant, and we continue to be impressed with Ben’s dedication to supporting our community. ”
The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation seeks to provide support for police and fire departments throughout the US.
(This is the last in a series about the Bryant Citizen’s Academy, in which reporter Matt Burks took part for eight weeks. )
The resurrection of the Bryant Citizen’s Academy is considered a success, officials of the Bryant Police Department said, thanks to the diligence of a sergeant in his first year in the program.
When new Police Chief Tony Coffman decided to revive the program vacated since 2005, he assigned Sgt. Jenceson Payte to teach a class of 21 people about the life of a police officer. The class began on Sept. 16 and took place for two hours every Tuesday night and one Saturday for eight weeks. The goal is to eventually hold the class twice a year each year, officials said.
Though Payte has been with the Bryant Police Department since 2001, he has never directed a program working with civilians. Despite that, he said, Coffman thought he was the man for the job.
“He said he wanted to bring the program back and asked me specifically to take charge,” Payte said. “I think he saw that I have a good way of communicating with the public. He felt comfortable that I could interact with them and teach them at the same time.”
The citizen’s academy is designed to give participants a working knowledge of their police department’s operation. It also aims to teach people why officers act or react to certain situations and to create a mutual trust and cooperation between them the department, Payte explained.
“The ultimate goal is to provide citizens with an inside look at law enforcement and in doing so, they get a better understanding of what we do,” he said. “The police officers also get to interact with the citizens on a different level, other than just for a police matter. The more good people we get involved in the program, the more positive interaction they can have with the officers and the more apt they are to approach an officer.”
Although Payte takes the class seriously, he said one goal was to let the participants have fun through simulated activities.
He explained that the participants learn things inside the classroom and later test what they learned in the field.
“It is one thing to hear things in the classroom and another to experience it,” he said. “It gives a better viewpoint of the other side, and it is about understanding how officers act.”
Casey Cobb, 35, of Benton said it was because of that thinking that he gained a new level of respect for law enforcement officers.
“I realize now why officers approach situations in certain ways,” he said. “Even with a simple traffic stop, because they never know if it will be there last walk up to a vehicle or not. It was also a lot of fun to just get out of the classroom, put on equipment and see how an officer trains.”
Payte first created a mock traffic stop in which participants tried to stop a suicidal driver, and they faced another scenario of two suspects with guns. In the classroom, participants learned how to approach the vehicle, use simple techniques to diffuse the situation and even how to leave their fingerprint on the suspects vehicle.
Numerous participants said the field exercises were “fun, exciting and an adrenaline rush,” but many also said that a particular night in the classroom offered an eye-opening reality to their lack of safety and security. On the fifth week, Stephen Svetz with the State of Arkansas Attorney General Office talked to the class about identity theft. He taught the class how thieves can easily steal a person’s identity through the use of a computer, cell phone or simply stealing a wallet or purse.
“The most informative class was identity theft night,” said Lee Melton, 44, of Benton. “It scared me because I did not realize there was that much identity theft going on.”
“I went home and said to my husband ‘We’ve got to change this, this and this,’” said Alisha Vaughn, 23, of Haskell. “It was very informative.”
“I thought [Svetz] really did a good job of opening our eyes,” agreed Lisa Smith, 45, of Benton. “We found that everyone in today’s society can be a victim, and he helped us learn how to better prevent that from happening. It really scared me when he also showed how easy it is for someone to backtrack your information on the computer and get the address to your home.”
Class participants also said that week six, SWAT night, was among their favorite parts of the citizen’s academy. Julia Graham, 22, of Bryant said it was an “intense adrenaline rush” and gave her a better appreciation of SWAT members’ training.
During the SWAT training night, participants were taken to the Direct Action Resource Center in Pulaski County, where they met several Bryant Police Department SWAT team members, including team commander Lt. J.W. Plouch and team leader Sgt. Nick Dean. The participants first put on safety glasses and ear plugs and then were taken to a scaffolding to look down below on the SWAT team.
“SWAT night was really more of a fun night for the participants,” Payte said. “They got to see how specialized training is utilized and how police handle a variety of high risk situations.”
The participants muttered numerous “Oohs” and “Ahhs” as they watched flash bangs illuminate the night and heard the thunderous noise the diversionary devices create. The participants then put on 30-pound vests and headgear and were given weapons with simulated ammunition to track down an armed suspect inside a building.
“I love the building clearance,” said Jessica Stocks, 19, of Bryant. “It was very educational, and I got a feel for what SWAT does. I always wanted to work for SWAT and now I am 100 percent sure that is the field I want to go into.”
“I didn’t know there was that advanced of training for individual [SWAT members] in Arkansas,” said Jewell Crowson, 66, of Benton. “That was a really fun and good experience for everyone.”
Payte said the participants also learned just how difficult it can be to fire accurately with all the equipment a SWAT member wears.
“I think they understood the need for all the extensive training,” he said. “They experienced just how intense that training can be too.”
The seventh week, Payte introduced his newest partner to group: Drika, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois dual-purpose dog. He explained that Drika is trained for building searches, tracking people or suspects and for explosives detection.
“We have trained her approximately 240 hours of basic patrol,” Payte said. “She is trained in 11 explosive odors that are pertinent to this particular region. Her patrol functions include building searches to catching suspects.”
Drika is the second K-9 partner for Payte. He said his first K-9, Valek, who served numerous years on the force, was retired from the department in June. Payte also introduced another K-9 dog into the Bryant Police Department, Shelby, who is an eight-year-old black Labrador Retriever. Shelby is a narcotics detection dog, and her partner is Officer Kevin Smith.
Both Drika and Shelby displayed their skills outside the Bryant Police Department through a variety of scenarios. Smith showed the group how Shelby was able to detect hidden drugs among numerous items, and Drika showed how she can track an item as small as a set of keys in a field.
It was the third and final scenario that the participants reacted to strongly. Sgt. Jimmy Long dressed in a protective suit and, during a traffic stop scene, unexpectedly wielded a knife. Drika suddenly jumped over the hood of the vehicle and took down Long and his knife so that the other officers could take him into custody.
“Anyone that runs from a police dog is crazy,” Crowson said. “I didn’t know they could be that aggressive.”
Long also played the role of a bank robbery suspect that refused to exit the vehicle, despite opening the vehicle door. Drika was then given a command, latched on to Long and dragged him out of the vehicle, for officers to take him into custody.
“The participants really loved to see how the dogs work in action,” Payte said. “They were really amazed at the athleticism and versatility of the dogs. They saw how dogs are a tool, aide and back-up for an officer and what techniques they use. When a dog is properly trained and the officer is properly trained with the dog, they can get a suspect and help the officer take them into custody.”
If ever there was a class that Payte was attentive and cautious, it was the firing range day. It was the final week for the citizen’s academy, and it was the class’s second trip to the Direct Action Resource Center in Pulaski County. This is where participants were allowed to shoot numerous guns on three different firing ranges.
“[Payte] was very detailed in weapon explanation and safety training before we even went out to the range,” Vaughn said. “He even explained how a bullet is designed and how it works.”
After explaining numerous times how to “only put the finger on the trigger when you are ready to fire” and how and where to aim a weapon, the students were handed their weapons. Participants shot .40-caliber handguns, .45-caliber handguns, 5.56-millimeter M-4 rifles, .308-caliber sniper rifles and .9-millimeter semi-auto/full auto on the .308-caliber rifle chassis.
“They were taken through three shooting ranges, and almost everyone enjoyed that,” Payte said. “They were explained how to shoot the weapons, shot some targets and took home one of the targets as a memento.”
Many participants said the gained a new appreciation and respect for guns. Some were taken into a world they never experienced before and left with a new attitude about guns.
“I loved the shooting at the firing range,” Barbara Riggan, 48, of Sardis said. “I just like learning how to use guns in a proper way. The more that I think about it, the more that I want to go back and shoot the targets better.”
On the last day, numerous participants expressed their sadness about the last day of the program but strived to tell others about their experience.
“I loved it … it was fantastic,” said Jessica Luallen, 26, of Little Rock. “It added a whole new level of respect of what officers do on a day-to-day basis.”
“ I work for the Bryant Police Department as a dispatcher,” said Darcy Sparks, 49, of Bryant. “I am usually on the other end of sending out a call to an officer, so this helped me have a better understanding of what an officer faces. It lets you understand there end when you are talking to them.”
The participants met one last time at the Bryant Police Department, as they were given certificates and personalized coffee mugs during a graduation ceremony. Many participants said they either plan to take the class again or encourage a family member or friend to participate in the next session.
Payte said he is glad that he had a responsive group to work with during his first experience as an instructor for the citizen’s academy. He said he is eager to start the next round of classes, though he has not yet set the date.
“Overall, the group brought a completely different understanding of what a law enforcement officer does and they can now find it much easier to interact with an officer,” he said. “We a lot of different people in the group with a variety of different backgrounds. I met a lot of really good people and I enjoyed the interaction with them. I throughly enjoyed putting the class on. It was very challenging to put it all together, but I enjoyed watching them get experience. Getting positive feedback from them confirmed that we completed our mission and I will absolutely do this class again if asked, with no hesitation.”
Payte said special thanks goes to food sponsors: Pulaski Bank, Twin City Bank, Bryant Exxon, First Security Bank, Gladco Incorporated, Heartland Bank and BR McGintys Heat and Air.
For more information about the Bryant Citizen’s Academy call Sgt. Jenceson Payte or Chief Tony Coffman at the Bryant Police Department at 847-0211.
To find out information about the Benton Police Department Citizen’s Acad-emy, call call Sgt. Kevin Russell at 776-5948.
The Braelinn Kroger has historically made it a point to support law enforcement, and that effort has continued with a $500 donation that will go towards purchasing a dog for the department’s planned K-9 unit.
The dog will not only sniff out narcotics but will also be able to perform other tasks including tracking of suspects or missing persons, officials said. The dog’s presence also will serve as a crime deterrent by helping officers during physical confrontations, police said.
The dog will be able to detect drugs in areas such as school lockers and parking lots along with vehicles and homes, police said. They could also be able to conduct package searches, which would be handy at a local parcel distribution center.
The dogs will also be used for demonstrations at community events and at Drug Abuse Resistance and Education classes and similar events, police said.
Back in 1989 the Braelinn Kroger was able to provide all the funds to purchase a K-9 dog for the department, said Store Manager Paul Yellina.
In August the Panasonic corporation donated $13,000 towards the program. The start up costs are estimated to be $36,000 and that will include two dogs, training, special equipment for patrol vehicles, kennels and other needs.
Donations are tax-deductible and checks can be dropped off at the Peachtree City Police Department on Commerce Drive North. Checks should be made payable to the City of Peachtree City and a note in the memo line denoting its for the K-9 program.
For more information, email Becky Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sgt. Matt Myers at email@example.com.