Archive for September, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York City Council is expected to pass a bill requiring the school system to disclose how many students must pass through metal detectors to get to school.

The Council will vote Wednesday on amendments to the 2011 Student Safety Act.

That law requires the police and the city Department of Education to issue reports twice a year with information including how many students are arrested and how many are suspended.

The amended law will require additional information to be reported including how many schools have metal detectors.

Authorities will also have to report how many students are placed in handcuffs or other restraints.

Backers of the amended law rallied at City Hall on Tuesday.

City Council Member Mathieu Eugene says the new data-reporting rules will increase transparency.

View Source

A record number of guns were found in passengers’ carry-on luggage at airport security checkpoints during one week in September, according to the Transportation Security Agency.

TSA agents discovered 67 guns in carry-on luggage in airports across the country during the week that ended Sept. 17, according to the agency, which said the tally for the week broke a previous record of 65 firearms found during one week in May 2013. Of those 67 guns, 56 were loaded and 26 had a round chambered, according to the TSA.

Throwing stars, stun guns, gunpowder and belt buckle knives were also found during the second full week in September, the TSA said.

“Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds … This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home,” the TSA says in its weekly disclosure of weapon discoveries. The TSA adds that most passengers who pack heat in their carry-ons have “no ill intent.”

“In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items,” according to the TSA.

Guns and gun parts are prohibited in carry-on luggage, but passengers can check these items if they declare them with the airline, according to the TSA. Those who don’t follow the guidelines can face fines up to $11,000.

Read More

Latest Crime Stats Released

Decrease in 2014 Violent Crimes, Property Crimes

Today, the FBI is releasing the 2014 edition of its annual report Crime in the United States,a statistical compilation of offense, arrest, and police employee data reported voluntarily by law enforcement agencies that participate in the Bureau’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. This latest report reveals that the estimated number of violent crimes reported by law enforcement to UCR’s Summary Reporting System during 2014 decreased 0.2 percent when compared with 2013 data. And the estimated number of property crimes decreased 4.3 percent from 2013 levels.

Here are some highlights from Crime in the United States, 2014:

There were an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes (murder and non-negligent homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults) reported by law enforcement.

Aggravated assaults accounted for 63.6 percent of the violent crimes reported, while robberies accounted for 28.0 percent, rape 7.2 percent, and murders 1.2 percent.

There were an estimated 8,277,829 property crimes (burglaries, larceny-thefts, and motor vehicle thefts) reported by law enforcement. Financial losses suffered by victims of these crimes were calculated at approximately $14.3 billion.

Larceny-theft accounted for 70.8 percent of all property crimes reported, burglary for 20.9 percent, and motor vehicle theft for 8.3 percent

Police made an estimated 11,205,833 arrests during 2014—498,666 for violent crimes, and 1,553,980 for property crimes. More than 73 percent of those arrested during 2014 were male.

The highest number of arrests was for drug abuse violations (1,561,231), followed by larceny-theft (1,238,190) and driving under the influence (1,117,852).

Read More

Seattle will receive $1.5 million to combat human trafficking, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said during a visit to the city.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch came to Seattle Thursday to praise the progress of police reforms, meet with community organizers and announce a $1.5 million grant to help fight human trafficking.

It was Lynch’s first visit to Seattle since being named the country’s top law-enforcement officer, and it coincided with the release of the latest report by a federal monitor overseeing Department of Justice-mandated (DOJ) reforms of the city’s police department. The report found the SPD had reached initial compliance with three out of four key reforms involving the use of force by officers.

However, the report by federal court-appointed monitor Merrick Bobb said the department still has a lot of work before it reaches full compliance with a 2012 consent decree between the city and the DOJ to curb the use of excessive force and avoid biased policing. Thursday’s report dealt with the first four of 15 initial assessments the monitor will conduct over the next several months.

Lynch’s visit was part of a six-city tour to promote Community Oriented Policing, a concept at the core of the efforts to reform the SPD. The department came under investigation after community groups complained about harsh methods and lack of accountability that had resulted in a loss of confidence.

Read More

A security guard told today how he came to the aid of a teenager who was trapped under a double decker bus following a rush hour crash in Norwich by laying underneath the vehicle with the injured man.

Kiernan Broom, 22, has been praised by emergency services for his quick thinking on Tuesday afternoon after stopping to help the 19-year-old who he saw come off the pavement and under the bus which was packed with students at the time.

Within seconds of spotting the incident Mr Broom, who was heading out of the city, drove his car across the busy road and along the grass verge before leaping out of his car – with the keys in and engine still running – while on the phone to the emergency services.

The former Framingham Earl High School pupil said he told a “hysterical” woman who had also seen what had happened that he had called 999 and everything was going to be “all right” before looking up and seeing a bus full of students looking to get off the Konect Express vehicle.

He said: “I put my head through the door and screamed at them to stay on the bus and get back as they were bringing the weight of the bus down.”

Read More

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Newport News Police and the ATF are investigating a gun store burglary that happened overnight.

Police said they responded to an alarm at The Marksman, a firearms training center, shooting sports retailer and indoor shooting range, located in the 500 block of Industrial Park Drive, just before 2 a.m. Officers said they found a car had been driven through the building and was completely inside. Several guns were taken, but no suspects were at the scene, police said.

The car is a 2006 Lincoln and it was stolen from the Kiln Creek area of Newport News between 6 p.m. on Monday and 6 p.m. Tuesday, police said. The keys were left in the car.

Business owner George McClain said surveillance video shows it all happened in minutes.

“They backed the car up to the curb there and then put black marks down. They floored it, and so when they hit the wall, they hit it full speed. Our security video shows the car penetrating the wall, and when it did, the front tires were in excess of 12 inches off the ground, so they were coming in pretty good,” he said.

McClain thinks the burglars planned the crime carefully, and took at least 25 guns, valued at approximately $450 each.

“It’s very obvious, looking at the videos, that they knew exactly where the guns were. They didn’t waste any time looking some place else or looking for the guns. They went right to them, so this is somebody that has been in the store and they were there for a reason…Everyone wants to talk about, you know, the guns are the problem. It’s not the guns. It’s these type of individuals,” McClain said.

The ATF’s industry operations investigators and Violent Crimes Task Force are also working on the case.

Anyone with information on the burglary or the stolen car is asked to call the Newport News Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

View Source

If your evidence room contains any digital evidence on VHS tapes, it should be digitized as soon as possible

In this day and age, you’d probably be as surprised as we were to learn that many law enforcement agencies around the country are still using VHS tapes to store digital evidence. Most police departments have already stopped using VHS tapes, but still maintain a lot of old digital evidence, some of which is crucial, on VHS tapes. A few months ago, we published a blog post about the Problems with using CDs/DVDs to store digital evidence and today we thought it’s important to mention few of the problems you will face in the near future if you continue to use VHS tapes.

1. There is no real of custody for digital evidence as far as who has viewed the tapes or who has copied them. While you probably have a chain of custody for the VHS tape itself, that’s simply not enough.

2. There is no security. Once the VHS tape (or a copy) leaves the evidence room, you have no control over what happens to it. Imagine the embarrassment if a sensitive recording were to show up in the press or on YouTube.

3. There is no way to verify authenticity. Tapes could be altered before being copied to another tape and no one would ever know.

4. It can be tough to manage the digital evidence on large cases. For example, you receive multiple tapes from a crime scene, then, a few days later, more tapes arrive from the lab or from a search warrant.
Later on you receive videos from multiple suspect interviews. There are a lot of labeling considerations just to keep it all straight. It can be particularly challenging when investigators or prosecutors want to review the digital evidence. You’ll have to sort through all of those tapes and try find the exact ones you need, then go through the time consuming dubbing process.

5. Cross referencing one case with another or sharing a single piece of evidence between related cases is complicated.

6. The labor involved can be intensive. Even when the case is closed you still need to dispose the related physical evidence.

7. One little known technical problems with VHS tapes is that they go bad and become unusable after a certain period of time. Losing digital evidence might be catastrophic to your case and you will have to make new copies of VHS tapes for each case every 2-3 years just to preserve the evidence on them.

8. VHS tapes players are very rare in the marketplace today. What if yours breaks and you need to play that tape 5 years from now? Will you even be able to find a player by then?

9. Having any VHS tape close to any magnetic field will destroy the tape in a very short period of time.

Read More

School bus carrying 27 kids plunges into water

TAMPA — As the school bus loaded with 27 elementary school kids overturned and plunged into the water Thursday afternoon, 10-year-old Nicholas Sierra thought of one thing:

His job.

As other kids scrambled crying and screaming from the bus, the Mary E. Bryant Elementary School safety patroller grabbed a kindergartner. Her arms were wrapped tightly around Nicholas’ neck as he climbed out of the bus and took her to safe, dry land.

Then the fifth-grader went back into the half-submerged bus and came out with two more kids, a first- and second-grader.

“It wouldn’t be fair if they died and I lived,” said Nicholas afterward, still wearing his damp, electric-lime fluorescent safety patrol belt.

Thanks to the safety patroller’s heroics and some good fortune, none of the 27 schoolchildren were seriously hurt when their 21-year-old Hillsborough County school bus veered off Nine Eagles Drive, crashed and overturned into a 4-foot deep pond, authorities said.

Read More

SALT LAKE CITY — In a split ruling, the Utah Supreme Court sided with a group of Wal-Mart workers who were fired for exercising self-defense when confronting an armed shoplifter.

The case stems from an incident in January 2011, when six workers were fired after they fought with a shoplifter who pulled a gun on them inside the Layton Wal-Mart. The company had claimed the employees violated Wal-Mart’s policy of disengaging, withdrawing and alerting authorities.

During a hearing last year, Utah Supreme Court Justice Christine Durham bluntly asked if an employer should be able to fire somebody “for refusing to take a bullet for the company?”

In an opinion handed down on Friday, the state’s top court ruled that “Utah law reflects a policy favoring the right of self-defense, and that policy is of sufficient magnitude to qualify as a substantial public policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine, but only under the narrow circumstances where an employee cannot withdraw and faces imminent serious bodily injury.”

Read More

Gun Control Not Associated With Reducing Suicides

Throwing all manner of mud at the wall to see what might stick, Michael Bloomberg’s number-crunchers and whoever produces “reports” for the Brady Campaign nowadays have decided, as gun control supporters do, to try promoting gun control as the solution to suicide.

From their perspective, it makes sense to give it a try, since firearm murder and firearm accident death rates are at historic lows, the American people increasingly say that firearms help protect people from crime, and each of the anti-gunners’ attempts to promote gun control in knee-jerk reaction to high-profile crimes has motivated Americans to buy more guns.

A new study by researchers at Bloomberg’s Center for Gun Policy at Johns Hopkins University contends that if you juggle the numbers a certain way, suicide rates might hinge on whether a state requires a permit to purchase a handgun, while the Brady Campaign tries to link suicide rates to gun availability in general.

Dealing with the subject of suicide requires the anti-gunners to get creative, however. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, which cover years 1981 through 2013—incidentally, a period in which Americans acquired an additional 195 million firearms—the firearm suicide rate (the number of suicides per 100,000 population) decreased five percent, while the non-firearm suicide rate increased 27 percent.

Read More