Chicago Police, Feds Team up on New Effort to Curb Violence

Chicago police, federal agents and prosecutors are launching a new initiative Friday to stem the flow of illegal firearms in the city as part of efforts to curb rampant gun violence that President Donald Trump says is at “epidemic proportions.”

Trump’s remark on Twitter came ahead of an announcement by Chicago police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives about the formation of the Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force. The Chicago Sun-Times reported 20 additional ATF agents have been sent to Chicago.

State police, intelligence analysts and state and federal prosecutors will target illegal guns and repeat gun offenders, Chicago police said. Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement Thursday night that “we are foundationally changing the way we fight crime in Chicago.”

Trump tweeted Friday morning that “Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help.” In January, he warned Chicago about its high number of homicides, saying on Twitter that he is ready to “send in the Feds.”

Trump’s latest tweet said there have been 1,714 shootings in Chicago this year. The Sun-Times said its count showed 1,737 people have been shot in 2017, including 306 who died. The Associated Press sent a message to a police spokesman seeking their most recent count.

Police and federal officials note, however, that efforts to curb gun violence in Chicago have been cooperative — and are ongoing. Under the new effort, the federal prosecutors and prosecutors from Cook County will work on new strategies to prosecute gun crimes and offenders.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, speaking Friday on the Fox News Channel’s morning show, “Fox & Friends,” said the Justice Department is “sending in additional gun investigators” to Chicago and that he has urged the U.S. attorney’s office to prosecute gun cases aggressively.

“The police have been demoralized in many ways,” he said. “In many ways, the policies in Chicago have not been working. Murders are way, way too high. It is critical for the people of Chicago’s public safety that we begin to work together here and deport violent criminals that have been convicted. They need to not be a sanctuary city, they need to be protecting the people of Chicago from violent criminals.”

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Train Nurses to Spot Human Trafficking Victims

Healthcare professionals are in a unique position to identify and rescue victims of human trafficking. Nearly 88 percent of them seek medical treatment during captivity, and of those, 68 percent of them are seen in the emergency department (ED). Unfortunately, many victims slip through the cracks and remain “hidden.” A study released today (June 26, 2017 at 12:01 a.m.) in the Emergency Nurses Association’s Journal of Emergency Nursing aims to help emergency nurses better identify victims of human trafficking. The study details an evidence-based project that shines a spotlight on the importance of formal education, screening and treatment protocols for emergency department personnel to guide identification and rescue victims of human trafficking.

“Interestingly, we found that not only were formal education and treatment methods effective strategies to improve recognition and save human trafficking victims, but they also increased the identification of other forms of abuse such as domestic violence and sexual assault,” said study author Amber Egyud, DNP, RN, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services at Forbes Hospital, Allegheny Health Network.

A multidisciplinary team implemented the project at a level two trauma center in a southwestern Pennsylvania community hospital ED where no human trafficking victims had ever been identified before. The team taught ED staff a two-pronged identification approach: medical red flags created by a risk assessment tool embedded into the electronic health record and a silent notification process. They also advised on the proper protocol to ensure the successful rescue and safety of the victims.

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Smile! Your face is changing how you move through the airport

After years of using passports and boarding passes to check bags or board a flight, travelers in Boston and Minneapolis are trying something new: facial recognition identification systems.

This week, Delta is launching a pilot program in Minneapolis-St. Paul where some passengers will check their bags automatically through kiosks that use facial recognition software to identify ticketed passengers.

Meanwhile, JetBlue is boarding some flights in Boston with the passenger identities being confirmed by a facial recognition system before they board the plane.

“We see a future where your face is your passport for travel. Where you can show up in an airport and your face checks you in, your face allows you to drop a bag, and your face allows you to go through the TSA checkpoint and ultimately board a flight,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue executive vice president, customer experience.

The goal is an admirable one: move passengers through airports quicker and with less hassle. For the airlines there is the extra benefit of freeing up gate workers and those staffing ticket counters to focus on passengers who need more attention.

“It frees up the personnel that we have, to be able to deal with customers when they really need that human heart to empathize and understand,” said Gareth Joyce, senior vice president of airport customer service at Delta.

How do the new facial recognition systems work?

At Delta’s hub in the Twin Cities, passengers use self-serve kiosks to check in, get a luggage tag and tag their bag. After that, they take it to a self bag check terminal, scan their boarding pass and look into the camera screen to confirm their identity. If everything matches, they put their bag on the carousel and it will head on its way to the plane, while passengers walk to the security checkpoint.

JetBlue’s facial recognition system is used at the gate where passengers board a flight to Aruba.

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Spare change you forget at TSA checkpoints

All the nickels, dimes and quarters travelers leave behind at airport security checkpoints adds up to big bucks — enough that next time you forget your change after emptying your pockets, you might want to go back for it.

In fiscal year 2016, travelers left behind a record $867,812.39, according to a report from the Transportation Security Administration. That’s over $100,000 more than went unclaimed the previous year. Of that amount, nearly $80,000 was in foreign currency.

“TSA makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the checkpoint, however there are instances where loose change or other items are left behind and unclaimed,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said. “Unclaimed money, typically consisting of loose coins passengers remove from their pockets, is documented and turned into the TSA financial office.”

New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport ranked the highest for unclaimed money with $70,615. That was followed by Los Angeles International at $44,811.82. Among D.C. area airports, only Dulles International made the top 10 in unclaimed funds with $20,801.25.

National Airport travelers, however, weren’t far behind Dulles, leaving $18,753.31. And despite being the region’s busiest airport, travelers left only $5,946.50 at checkpoints at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport.

So where does all that spare change go? In 2005, Congress gave the TSA the authority to spend the money on security operations.

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Horry County Schools officially using private armed guards

“Private armed security guards will protect your kids next year.

The Horry County school board voted Monday to approve a $550,000 contract with U.S. Security Associates to provide 18 armed security guards who will patrol the 15 schools that Horry County police previously patrolled as well as three new schools scheduled to be open by next year.

Chief Financial Officer John Gardner said doesn’t recall the district ever using private security inside schools before.

U.S. Security Associates is an insured, American-owned company that provides over 50,000 security professionals with 160 branches in the United States, according to its website.

The firm also provides unarmed security outside Horry County schools and its existing contract with the district provides that it may supply armed security guards for an additional cost if needed.

The security guards in the schools would have arresting authority on school property, according to district spokeswoman Teal Britton.

Unlike police officers, they would operate at the disposal of the school district.

The company in its proposal told the district that all armed guards would receive all necessary training required by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division as well as an additional 16 hours in training from U.S. Security Associates.

“The company will be required to provide proof of all background checks and training,” Britton said last week.

U.S. Security Associates District Manager Ed Leitgeb said the firm puts its employees through extensive social security and background checks and would like to recruit veterans and law enforcement to fill the positions in Horry County Schools.

Leitgeb said all security guards are required to be trained in CPR, first aid and automated external defibrillator operation.

The district already has budgeted $801,000 in the 2017-18 budget for all SROs, including $592,000 for officers at the schools that Horry County police would have patrolled this year: the amount budgeted for the officers under the previous agreement with the county.

The district began looking at private security options after the county in March abandoned a long-standing agreement to split the cost of school resource officers’ salaries, and most recently asked for more than $1.6 million to patrol the schools.”

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Behind-the-scenes of what triggers TSA luggage inspections

“Giant sandals, sun tan lotion and leftover fried chicken crammed into a suitcase triggered searches Friday of several pieces of checked luggage at Myrtle Beach International Airport. Pretty standard stuff, except for maybe the fried chicken, says Mark J. Howell, regional spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration.

Myrtle Beach tourists are more likely to pack jars of sand, which can also result in a searched bag.

Or relish. And, lots of golf clubs, Howell said.

It’s not always so much what’s in a piece of luggage that will flag an inspector, but the density of the item, and how the bag is packed, Howell said.

“Over-packed bags will tend to show as density on the machine,” Howell said. “If you pack super tight, if you’re sitting on top of your suitcase to try and get it closed.”

The TSA official took area media on a behind-the-scenes tour Friday of the inline baggage system at Myrtle Beach International Airport, to show how the belts and conveyors move baggage from the ticketing area through security and to the aircraft.

“This is something the public doesn’t get to see every day,” Howell said.

Currently, about 2,200 bags a day go through the airport, while 3,300 a day will ride the conveyer belts daily in July.

Howell said only a small percentage of those are searched by hand, and passengers are notified if their suitcases have been opened.”

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How To Know Which NIST Framework To Use

“One of the most important aspects of the recent cybersecurity executive order is also the aspect causing the most confusion.

When President Donald Trump signed the executive order in May, it included the requirement federal agencies use the NIST Cybersecurity Framework to manage their cybersecurity risk. However, some have confused the NIST CSF with the NIST Risk Management Framework, which all federal agencies have been required to follow since its 2010 introduction.

To put it succinctly, they are two different frameworks. As industry and government work together to execute this order, it is very important for everyone to fully understand the two frameworks, and how they differ.

NIST CSF Overview

The NIST CSF was released in February 2014 in response to a 2013 executive order that called for a voluntary framework of industry standards and best practices to help organizations manage cybersecurity risk.

The CSF was created as a result of collaboration between government and the private sector. It “uses a common language to address and manage cybersecurity risk in a cost-effective way based on business needs without placing additional regulatory requirements on businesses.”

The heart of the NIST CSF is the Framework Core, which consists of five functions: identify, protect, detect, respond and recover. The functions and their components aren’t a checklist of actions to be performed in order. Rather, they are concurrent and continuous activities that “provide a high-level, strategic view of the life cycle of an organization’s management of cybersecurity risk.”

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$200K for private security in 2 northeast Canadian towns

“Two towns on the northeast Avalon have hired a company to patrol their streets due to what they see as a lack of police presence.
Torbay and Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s (PCSP) hired the Commissionaires, a not-for-profit Canadian company, this spring to supplement patrols by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

“The RNC is not willing to do patrols to the degree that we would like to see,” said Portugal Cove–St. Philip’s Deputy Mayor Gavin Will.

“We’ve talked with the RNC chief, right down the line about more enforcement from their end,” echoed Torbay Mayor Ralph Tapper.

“We understand the RNC, they are restricted, their resources are limited, but we had to take this step as a town to add to the enforcement and presence in our community,” Tapper added.

The towns are spending a total of $200,000 to have the Commissionaires patrol their streets. Some of the biggest problems in the area include ATV traffic, illegal dumping and people leaving hypodermic needles, said Will.

“We have had problems with parks being used as hangouts, drinking, smoking,” said Will.

Tapper said in his town, drivers in vehicles and ATVs speeding by some high school students has forced council to act.

“When it came to speeding on the roads, it went to the extreme,” Tapper said.

“We had so many calls from neighbourhoods about it, even during the day time, lunch hours when school gets out.”

The Commissionaires will conduct patrols, and report activity they see to the RNC, but have no enforcement power.

“The Commissionaires will take records. They’ll photograph any violations they see. So it’s really the record keeping that goes along with what they do,” said Will.

Both mayors said they’ve already seen a difference having the Commissionaires on patrol.”

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Modesto security officer rescues puppy left in a bag

“A sergeant with Rank Investigation & Protection who was on patrol early Wednesday in downtown Modesto saw movement in a plastic bag on the ground and looked inside to find a roughly month-old puppy.

About 1 a.m. Wednesday, Sgt. Dre Castano was at a commercial property on the 1100 block of 12th Street that Rank does security for, said Lt. Brian Rank. He was checking on a homeless encampment that had been vacated, with belongings left behind.

Castano was picking up trash, Rank said, when he found the puppy. It appears someone put the dog in the bag, rather than it having crawled inside, because it was loosely tied closed and the pup couldn’t get out, he said.

The puppy probably wouldn’t have suffocated, he said, but could have died from exposure or starvation. But it still “was in good condition, healthwise,” when found, Rank said.
Castano took the tiny animal to the Rank office, where a dispatcher looked after it until the sergeant finished his shift and took it home. The dog, which looks to be a Chihuahua mix, Rank said, was started on puppy formula and is doing well.

The sergeant intends to adopt the puppy, Rank said. He didn’t know the gender of the dog or if Castano had yet named it.
That wasn’t the only dog rescue in the area on Tuesday. Because no animal-control unit was available, a Modesto Fire Department truck crew was dispatched to a call for a dog with its head trapped in a dollhouse.

The small dog was in distress and having trouble breathing , according to the daily incident summary by Battalion Chief Jesse Nicasio. Firefighters were able to extricate the dog without injuring it.”

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Corporate Sector Special Operations: Myths & Realities

“It was still dark outside when the first undercover operative arrived at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. A thick layer of fog swirled through the streets as the operative made his way into the lobby. He sat down to wait for his partner, and for the man who had hired them for the job. The hotel was to be the site of a large tech conference that day, and the two operatives had to be in position fast. Conference attendees would soon be streaming in for registration, and before long, the guest speakers would begin to arrive—including one specific Silicon Valley billionaire they would be watching for.

As the hubbub in the lobby built to a crescendo, the operatives slid into the background. It was imperative for their mission that no one knew who they were or what they were doing there.

While this might sound like a nefarious plot in some Hollywood movie, this was actually a covert protective operation, and part of a whole undercover world that very few people know exists—an invisible world I call the “surveillance zone.”

Introducing the “Surveillance Zone”

Let me offer you a peek behind the curtain—and into the “zone.” That first undercover operative mentioned above? That was actually me, and the man who had hired us was the senior security director for a well-known Silicon Valley corporation. We’d been hired to covertly protect the billionaire founder and CEO, whose company—despite some dramatic downswings and falling stock prices—was about to unveil a new venture. The mix of angry stockholders, excited techies, and nervous investors had company execs feeling skittish and us on our guard, and made for a tricky and interesting assignment.

On top of all that, the CEO had been receiving increasingly violent threats from a dedicated stalker who had demonstrated the will and ability to take things to the next level. Having surveilled the CEO’s home and workplace, and even physically confronted the CEO, there was ample reason to take the stalker’s intentions seriously.

When the threat to harm the CEO at the convention had come in (just a day before the event), the company decided to take action. At ten pm, I received a call from the security director, requesting our presence at the hotel at six am the following morning.”

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