NY county approves firearms for probation officers

PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County legislators agreed to allow probation officers to carry firearms if they wish, but not without some dissent.

“This may be overkill,” Legislator Mark Dame (R-Area 8, City and Town of Plattsburgh) said at Wednesday night’s meeting.


For the past two years, the legislature has been considering allowing the use of firearms for probation officers, studying the issue at length.

Probation Department Director David Marcoux said the number of people on probation that they have to supervise has grown significantly in recent years and that concern about people becoming violent during home visits has increased.

The policy that Marcoux and the legislature’s Public Safety Committee came up with allows officers to use firearms, if they want, on certain home visits.

The guns and ammunition would be purchased by the county, and the officers would be trained before they are issued.


Legislator Robert Hall (D-Area 10, City of Plattsburgh), who chairs the Public Safety Committee, said the situation has gotten so dangerous in the county because of drugs that the need for firearms is real.

“I really do believe that this is a deterrent,” Hall said.

Legislator Peter Keenan (D-Area 5, Peru) agreed with Hall.

“These officers will be well trained, and I think we really need this program badly,” he said.

Harry McManus (D-Area 1, Champlain), Chairman Sam Dyer (D-Area 3, Beekmantown), Patty Waldron (D-Area 6, Saranac), Jimmy Langley (R-Area 7, Peru), John Gallagher (D-Area 9, City of Plattsburgh) and Jonathan Beach (R-Area 2, Altona) also favored the policy allowing guns to be used.

“Our job is to hire good department heads and give them the tools to do the job right without micro-managing them,” Langley said, adding that Marcoux’s endorsement of the policy was enough for him.

“David (Marcoux) moved up the ranks in this department quickly because of the good head on his shoulders. I have the utmost faith in him. This is not an ego thing with him.”

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$280K buys more campus security officers at Huntsville City Schools

Huntsville City Schools expects to spend $280,500 for hiring 15 part-time campus security officers to help protect students before and after regular classroom hours.

The district must strategically assign its current campus security officers because it doesn’t have enough CSOs to work every campus, Dr. Jeff Wilson, director of operations, told school board members last week, and adding 15 more will cover the district.

More to the purpose, a larger CSO staff provides enhanced security as part of a new transfer student supervision plan, he said. This means more eyes to keep watch in the mornings and afternoon when both magnet school and Majority-to-Minority students are in the midst of moving to campuses.

The supervision plans also tasks school principals to designate a space outside their school and a space inside their school in which students waiting for magnet buses, M-to-M transfer buses, or other transportation will wait to be picked up.

Transfer students can arrive at their zoned school as early as 7 a.m. to get a bus that takes them to their transfer school. On afternoons, they can remain on campus as past 4 p.m. Some schools also offer after-school programs that extend to 5:30 p.m. The officers will work weekdays 6:45 to 8:45 a.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The unarmed CSOs will be there to ensure the campus only contains students who are meant to be at school during those extra times, Wilson said, and prevent unauthorized youths or young adults from loitering before or after school. The officers will be equipped with two-way radios and remote access to student ID picture to verify students are who they claim.
The part-time CSOs will earn $15 per hour and operate on a work schedule much like crossing guards.

The wages will cost an additional $236,340, which includes $91,000 for overtime. The district also will spend $18,000 for Motorola 1500 XTS radios and $5,040 on uniforms. The school board is expected to approve the expenditures through its annual budget process.

Wilson said he has already received interest from qualified applicants to work as CSOs. Most of them are recently retired personnel, who like the idea of earning $60 a day for four hours work.

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British hospital issues security staff with BODY CAMERAS

£80,000 police station opened at Royal Blackburn Hospital last April
Security guards now given high-tech cameras to record potential attacks
Devices are switched off while guards walk around hospital wards
But in the event of an attack they can switch on and record any incidents

The first NHS hospital to establish a police station on site is now issuing security staff with body cameras to deter attacks.
Health bosses said they hope the move will reduce threatening behaviour at the Royal Blackburn Hospital in Lancashire, and help bring any offenders to justice.
The East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, which also runs Burnley General and some smaller hospitals, reported 223 assaults on staff in 12 months from 2013 to 2014.
The figures showed assaults had almost doubled when compared with the year previously, when 114 attacks were recorded.

The £80,000 police station opened at the Royal Blackburn last April after frustration over the number of police call-outs.
Hospital guards will be kitted out with the high-tech devices as part of a new initiative to tackle the rising number of assaults and aggression against NHS workers.
During 2013/2014, aggressive incidents involved 30 of every 1,000 staff members at the hospital.

Jed Morris, security and governance manager for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: ‘This is a brilliant new initiative for the hospital and will really help to protect our patients and staff when they’re on our site.

All security officers will undertake thorough training to operate the equipment and the recording, storage and use of the video footage will comply with current law and guidelines.’
The cameras are around the size of a pack of cards and are worn on a security vest.
As officers patrol the hospital they are switched off.
But if a potentially violent or dangerous situation arises they can be switched on and instantly begin capturing the event.

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TSA Employees Work Together to Save Man at Virginia Airport

Charles “Chuck” Bolen said that in his 10 years living in the Washington, D.C. metro area he had never seen as much rain fall as he did on April 30, 2014. So it was fitting that on that day of remarkable events, Bolen would do something memorable as well—save a passenger’s life.

An Assistant Federal Security Director – Law Enforcement at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Bolen just finished resolving a firearm situation at one of the checkpoints when he was told that someone needed immediate help.

“As soon as I saw the person slumped in the chair, I knew he needed attention right away,” said Bolen, who spent nearly 15 years in law enforcement before joining TSA in 2002. Bolen felt a weak pulse and noticed the man’s discoloration becoming increasingly severe.

Realizing that the man’s condition was declining rapidly, Bolen sprinted to grab the nearest AED machine. With help from Federal Air Marshal Brian Stout, they worked together to apply the AED machine. After a single attempt, the machine advised to begin CPR. Bolen initiated chest compressions and continued administering the life-saving action, even after first responders arrived on scene.

“When moments like this happen, you just react,” said Stout, who did three combat tours in Iraq as a Marine Infantry Sergeant. “We knew we didn’t have a lot of time and just got to work doing whatever we could to keep the man alive.”

Luckily, their quick, collaborative actions paid off. While in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, the man’s heart started and stopped several times, but today he’s alive after recovering from triple bypass surgery.

Office of Security Operations Director of Field Operations Scott McShaffrey called the actions “inspiring and heroic.”

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Sea Point sees two-thirds Crime Drop after Hikvision Cameras Deployed

Hikvision secures one of Cape Town’s busiest and most affluent suburbs with Licence Plate Recognition solution and sees 65% decrease in crime

Some of Cape Town’s busiest roads, leading to one of the wealthiest suburbs, are now being secured with an automated Licence Plate Recognition system installed by LPR Solutions. At its heart is a network of 42 sophisticated Day/Night cameras from Hikvision, whose iVMS video management software streams the video data to the LPR software. The increased surveillance has led to a dramatic drop in crime within the suburb, down an indicated 65% following the introduction of the cameras.

Sea Point is one of Cape Town’s most affluent and highly developed suburbs, the only one in fact to have high-rise development of any significance. The area’s oceanside location and general level of affluence make it very popular with city residents who enjoy the beach front promenade, a paved walkway along the beach-front used by residents and tourists for walking, jogging and socialising. It is also attracting a large amount of investment in second homes and apartments.

However, it is not that long ago that the area was regarded as less desirable, even dangerous. On top of South Africa’s high crime rates, many of the apartment blocks had been neglected by the absentee landlords, leaving them in poor physical condition. The result was a very high crime rate, much of which was attributed to vehicle-borne criminals.

Monitoring universal access
Located just a few kilometres west of the city’s Central Business District, the roads that access Sea Point are some of the busiest in the entire peninsular. Many arterial roads lead in and out of the area, providing drivers with a wide variety of route options and appealing to residents and legitimate visitors. However, the sheer number of route options means that the criminal fraternity has also been able to enjoy only partially restricted access to this valuable real estate.

Recognising the possibility to improve the safety and security of the area, the Sea Point City Improvement District, a joint Municipal/Police entity, decided to establish a licence plate recognition (LPR) system to monitor Sea Point’s access roads and highways. Their aim was to identify and track every individual vehicle entering or leaving the area and co-ordinate law enforcement activity to combat crime. To design and implement the system they turned to local company, LPR Solutions.

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Va. man allegedly robs bank, posts pictures and videos of heist to Instagram

He swindled them with charm.

A Virginia man who posted footage of himself allegedly holding up a bank on Instagram claims it wasn’t actually a robbery—because he was polite, didn’t wear a mask and filmed the entire incident.

Dominyk Antonio Alfonseca was arrested just 20 minutes after his alleged heist of a TowneBank branch in Virginia Beach on Monday afternoon, reports The Virginian-Pilot.

The 23-year-old allegedly walked into the financial institution, which he told reporters he chose because it was the “fanciest” one around, and handed over a note.

“I need 150,000 Bands Right NOW!! Please Police take 3 to 4 minites to get here, I would appriceate if you Ring the alarm a minute after I am gone … Make sure the money doesn’t BLOW UP ON MY WAY OUT;-) (sic)” it read.

He left with his loot, before bizarrely posting two clips and a photograph online of what he’d allegedly done.

The videos show the teller reading the note, and then pulling out stacks of cash and placing it into a bag. The picture features the demand letter.

Alfonseca filmed the bank teller forking over the cash.

Alfonseca was detained shortly after and charged with robbery.

But he claimed in an interview with WAVY-TV from city jail on Wednesday that what he did wasn’t actually a crime.

He said the fact that he was polite and used “please” in the note, did not wear a mask and recorded the incident meant he was not guilty.

“I’m basically asking permission for money. In my eyes, I did not commit a robbery, and I feel I’m being charged without reason,” he said.

“I posted the video on my Instagram. I videotaped it. If it was a robbery, I don’t think I would videotape it, post the picture of the letter and do that all to come to jail,” he added.

Alfonseca refused to reveal why he’d gone to the bank and demanded he speak directly with the President. He also gave shoutouts to Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

“Michelle Obama — high five!” he said during a rambling jailhouse interview with WTKR-TV.

Police have not commented on the Instagram account, which also features amateur rap music videos and other bizarre missives typed up by Alfonseca.

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Bill to Improve Security Guard Licensing Approved by Committee

A bill to clean up California’s security industry was unanimously approved by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee Tuesday, moving it one step closer to becoming law.

Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) introduced the bill, AB 1042, after seeing an NBC 7 Investigates story exposing the local underground industry of untrained, unlicensed security officers.

The story came after two local deaths involving bouncers – one where the bouncer was arrested and charged for involuntary manslaughter and the other where the death was ruled a homicide. The San Diego Police
Department forwarded that investigation to the San Diego County District Attorney’s office for review.
Click here to see the complete investigation.

If adopted, the bill would further professionalize the security guard industry and protect public safety.

“If a guard or bouncer wears a uniform or performs a security role, they should have to meet minimum professional standards and pass background checks,” Cooper said in a press release about the bill. “AB 1042 will ensure individuals providing security services are properly licensed, trained and certified,” he added.

NBC 7 Investigates original story, exposed two issues in the security industry:

If a security officer/guard isn’t wearing a uniform, he or she does not have to be licensed in the state of California.

Many of security guards are getting state-issued security guard registration cards (also known as guard cards) and getting jobs but may be completing only a fraction of the curriculum.

AB 1042 updates the definition of a Proprietary Private Security Officer and adds examples of security officer duties to ensure individuals employed by a business such as a bar or restaurant and who provide security services are not unlicensed.

The bill is supported by the California Association of Licensed Security Agencies, Guards and Associates and will next be heard on the Assembly floor.

NBC 7 Investigates is working for you. If you have more information about this or other story tips, contact us: (619) 578-0393, NBC7Investigates@nbcuni.com. To receive the latest NBC 7 Investigates stories, subscribe to our newsletter.

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Next Generation Crime Stats, UCR’s NIBRS Can Offer Fuller Crime Picture

“I believe that NIBRS is the pathway to better data—to richer data—that we can all use to have informed conversations about the most important issues we face.”

That statement by FBI Director James Comey regarding the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s National Incident-Based Reporting System, or NIBRS, was part of a speech he delivered recently to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives on the topic of law enforcement and race. To help address the issue more effectively, Comey called for better reporting of incidents where force is used by—as well as against—police. He noted that current demographic data regarding officer-involved shootings is not consistently reported to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program because reporting is voluntary for police departments.

The desire to enhance the quality and quantity of the crime data collected throughout the nation is not new.

Back in the 1980s, the Bureau—working directly with our law enforcement partners to help us improve UCR—took advantage of a rapidly changing data processing environment to create a system that would capture more detailed information on individual crime occurrences. All of this additional detail would, collectively, paint a more comprehensive picture of crime on a national level.

NIBRS was officially implemented in 1989. While there have been agencies submitting NIBRS data since then—mostly through their state UCR programs—still not enough do so to report on it from a national perspective. Explains Assistant Director Stephen Morris, who heads up our Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, “The biggest challenge for any agency, whether you’re a local police department or a state program office, is the resources needed to convert systems to NIBRS and the personnel needed to oversee those systems.”

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Busted headlight leads police to arrest man with 197 charges on record


A busted headlight led police to arrest a man Friday night who was driving in west Nashville on a revoked license. The man also had an additional 197 charges on his record.

According to an affidavit, an officer saw Trenton Harris driving on Dr. D.B. Todd Boulevard with the driver’s side headlight out.

After initiating a traffic stop, a records check revealed that Harris, 52, was driving on a revoked license and had 197 previous charges, including 62 failures to appear, and 13 failures to be booked, according to the report.

Court documents show that Harris was arrested in Davidson County on three other occasions: in 1989, 1991 and 2014. Two of the arrests were for traffic violations.

Harris was taken into custody Friday night and charged with driving on a revoked license.

His bond was set at $2,500.

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DNA Leads to Man’s Arrest in 1995 Rape

A man is facing rape charges in an attack that happened more than 20 years ago after Manhattan prosecutors said a DNA sample linked him to the crime.

Joseph Giardala pleaded not guilty Friday in state Supreme Court to charges that he attacked a 25-year-old woman after she left a West Village movie theater on Jan. 23, 1995. Prosecutors say Mr. Giardala, now 44 years old, forced the woman into a nearby building’s vestibule and raped and robbed her at knife point.

Mr. Giardala’s attorney, Richard Ma, declined to comment on the case. His client was ordered held without bail; his next court appearance is set for June 4.

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Mourges said prosecutors identified the suspect through DNA. Immediately after the rape, the woman went to a hospital, where DNA from the attacker was collected as part of a rape-evidence kit, Ms. Mourges said.

The attack was reported to police, but leads were exhausted and the case went cold, she said.

The kit was tested in 2001 as part of an effort to tackle a backlog of rape-kit cases and the data uploaded to the national DNA database, Ms. Mourges said, but no match was found.

Under the statute of limitations, prosecutors had 10 years from the time the crime was committed to file charges. So, in 2003, Ms. Mourges said, the Manhattan district attorney’s office obtained a “John Doe” indictment listing the attacker’s DNA profile in lieu of a name.

Ms. Mourges said the office was informed April 7 that the DNA matched Mr. Giardala, based on a DNA profile that was entered into the national database in Florida earlier this year.

A warrant was issued for Mr. Giardala’s arrest and authorities apprehended him at Los Angeles International Airport last week. He was accompanied to New York by detectives from the Manhattan Special Victims Squad on Thursday night, Ms. Mourges said.

Prosecutors said Friday the arrest stemmed from a project begun in 2000 that led to the testing of 17,000 sexual-assault evidence kits in police storage.

In denying bail for Mr. Giardala, Judge Bonnie Wittner cited his “total lack of ties to New York City and his nomadic existence.”

Mr. Giardala had close to a dozen credit cards and several driver’s licenses from different states when he was arrested, Ms. Mourges said. In the past five months, he had used an electronic benefits card in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Los Angeles, she said.

She said that in the 12 months before April 11, Mr. Giardala purchased more than 200 airline tickets for destinations as far-flung as Moscow; several countries in Europe and South America; and Japan, Hawaii and Guam.

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