Arizona: Pro-Gun Bills Scheduled for Hearings Tomorrow

“This week, the Arizona State Legislature has scheduled hearings for several important pro-gun bills. Bills scheduled for hearings include:

Senate Bill 1266, sponsored by state Senator Steve Smith (R-11), would improve the state firearms preemption law to ensure consistency throughout the Grand Canyon State. This would be done by providing a mechanism to declare unlawful regulations null and void in addition to providing penalties for knowing and willful violations by localities. SB 1266 is a much-needed protection that will help law-abiding gun owners ensure they are in compliance with the law. SB 1266 is scheduled for two hearings on Wednesday, February 3. The first hearing is at 9:00am in the Senate Public Safety, Military and Technology Committee and the second at 2:00pm in the Senate Government Committee.

Senate Bill 1257, sponsored by state Senator John Kavanagh (R-23), makes changes to existing law and expands the list of places where law-abiding gun owners can exercise their fundamental right to self-defense to include some additional public areas where certain security measures are not in place. SB 1257 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Government Committee at 2:00pm on February 3.

House Bill 2446, sponsored by state Representative David Livingston (R-22), makes necessary revisions to Arizona’s current definition of a “prohibited weapon” to exclude all firearms or devices that are legally possessed in compliance with the National Firearms Act (NFA). The technical correction made by HB 2446 changes the registration of NFA items from the Treasury Department to the appropriate Federal Agency in order to be compliant with current federal law. HB 2446 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee at 9:00am on Wednesday, February 3.

House Bill 2494, sponsored by state Representative Steve Montenegro (R-13), would offer a tax credit for the costs incurred during the taxable year for training courses taken by the taxpayer, a spouse or a dependent, in order to apply and qualify for a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Arizona. HB 2494 was scheduled for a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee​ yesterday, and is now being held in committee for further consideration.”

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Off-duty NYPD cop saves suicidal man

A hero cop saved a man’s life by asking him a simple question: do you want a hug?

Officer Christian Campoverde was Christmas shopping with his family at Queens Center Mall last week when he heard a distraught man mumbling that he wanted to kill himself, according to the NYPD News.

Campoverde, who was off-duty at the time, noticed something didn’t seem right with the man and followed him to a balcony area where the man had one leg over a railing. There, Campoverde began to talk to him about why he wanted to end his life and as both strangers connected, he said “Is it OK if I give you a hug, do you want a hug?”

The man replied with a yes and was taken safely by EMS for evaluation.

“I just saw somebody who needed help,” Campoverde, who finalized the NYPD’s Crisis Intervention Team training the week prior, said.

The training focuses on assisting officers on how they can recognize signs of mental illness, respond to such calls and helping someone in a crisis.

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VSP promotion makes gender history

The Virginia State Police is marking a milestone with the promotion of a woman to lieutenant colonel.

That makes Maj. Tracy S. Russillo the department’s highest ranking female. She’s succeeding Lt. Col. Robert G. Kemmler as director of the Bureau of Support Services in Richmond — also a first in the department’s 83-year history. Kemmler is retiring.

Bureau operations include communications, information technology and training divisions, among others.

Russillo is a native of Fredericksburg. She joined the state police in May 1989. Her first patrol assignment was in Spotsylvania County, followed by two years in Culpeper County.

Her promotion to lieutenant colonel is effective Christmas Day.

The promotion was announced by Col. W. Steven Flaherty, commander of the VSP.

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2014 Expanded Crime Statistics Released

National Incident-Based Reporting System Includes More Detailed Data

Today, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program released details on more than 5.4 million criminal offenses reported by law enforcement through the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) during 2014. According to NIBRS, 2014, 6,520 law enforcement agencies—charged with protecting more than 93 million U.S. inhabitants—reported 4,759,438 incidents involving 5,489,485 offenses, 5,790,423 victims, and 4,414,016 known offenders.

Among the report’s highlights:

Of the offenses reported during 2014, 63.6 percent involved crimes against property, 23 percent involved crimes against persons, and 13.4 percent included crimes against society (so-called “victimless” crimes like gambling).

There were 4,414,016 known offenders, meaning that at least one characteristic of the suspect—such as age, sex, or race—was known. Of these offenders, nearly a third (32.3 percent) were between 16 and 25 years of age, the majority (63.9 percent) were male, and more than half (57.1 percent) were white.

Concerning the relationship of victims to known offenders, 52.7 percent of the 1,273,602 victims knew the individual perpetrating the crime but were not related to them. Nearly a quarter of the victims (24.8 percent) were related to their offenders.

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Shooting plot thwarted at Virginia school

WASHINGTON – Two teens were arrested after police thwarted a plot “to commit acts of violence against the students and staff” at Riverbend High School near Fredericksburg, Virginia, according to the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s department.

A 15-year-old and a 17-year-old boy, whom police did not name, were arrested after a school resource officer learned of the plot. The teens were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and are being held at Rappahannock Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

According to police, one of the teens was arrested Oct. 12 on a charge of threatening violence by means of Internet. “[The school resource officer] felt that there was something that didn’t quite fit in what he was looking at the time, so he began to dig a little deeper — and thus uncovered this situation,” Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Capt. Jeffery Pearce said.

Police said that’s what led investigators to the second teen, who was arrested on Friday.

“It became apparent that these two were serious and in their planning stages to carry out acts of violence with firearms and with knives … and that they planned to do this in the school,” Pearce said.

No additional suspects are believed to be involved in this conspiracy.

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Fairfax Co. police not notified of drill, respond to reports of shots

WASHINGTON — Fairfax County police say confusion surrounding an active shooter drill at a Bailey’s Crossroads office building Thursday led to alarm as businesses unaware of the drill locked down and people in the area scrambled for information.

At about 1:15 p.m., Fairfax County police said officers were investigating a report of shots heard at 5109 Leesburg Pike. Police tweeted that nothing was confirmed and they had not located any suspects or victims.

At about 2 p.m., police tweeted that they confirmed the incident was the scene of an active shooter drill.

Fairfax County police says they were not aware of the drill initially. A federal agency in the building was holding the drill, says police spokeswoman Officer Shelley Broderick, but she says it is still not clear which agency it is.

Neither Arlington County police nor the FBI Washington Field Office were aware of the drill either, both agencies told WTOP.

Fairfax County police say one of the building’s tenants received an email that there would be an active shooter drill, and the tenant forwarded the email to another person who worked in the building. The other person, not realizing it was a drill, called 911 presuming there was an active shooter.

Fairfax County police had a large presence and the incident caused alarm to people in the area who seemed to be unaware of a drill.

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U.S. attorney general Lynch lauds Seattle police for reform efforts

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.

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5 ways drones can help cops fight crime

Drones are becoming a go-to tool for law enforcement — here are five ways your agency can use them

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), more commonly referred to as drones, have been a popular topic among both businesses and law enforcement agencies due to growing interest in their use in non-military applications.

Police departments can deploy drones to improve their ability to enforce the law and protect lives, all while saving valuable resources like police officer time and tax dollars.

1. Active Shooter
A bird’s eye view can enable police to gain a quick understanding of the scope of what is going on in an active shooter situation.

The view from a drone can not only provide the location of the shooter, but also an understanding of the surrounding area, offering valuable information such as the direction the shooter might be headed, escape routes for victims and the shooter’s firing line.

UAVs are also great tools for active shooter situations because they can be deployed from almost anywhere and stored in the trunk of a cruiser.

They can also access areas traditional helicopters cannot. UAVs have an ability to fly lower to the ground, get into tight spots, hover under bridges and structures, and even fly inside buildings in order to help the experts gather as much detail as they can.

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Gov. Nikki Haley OKs armed guards at S.C. National Guard sites

Gov. Nikki Haley has approved armed guards at S.C. National Guard sites as a response to last month’s ambush-style killings of four Marines and a sailor near Chattanooga, Tenn.

Haley signed an executive order Monday that calls for a variety of security upgrades at recruiting, armory and depot sites around the state.

Additionally, S.C. Adjutant General Robert E. Livingston Jr. has changed S.C. National Guard policy to allow personnel to carry a weapon while in uniform under certain circumstances.

Among the areas covered in Haley’s order are increased hard-site security, protection training to be coordinated through the State Law Enforcement Division, and assigning and arming individuals who successfully complete training for station at all guard facilities in the state.

The long-term effect is that all National Guard locations will have permanent protection measures in place, the governor’s office said.

The announcement came after lone gunman Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, drove to a military recruiting office and to a Navy-Marine operations center outside Chattanooga, opening fire at both places. Four Marines were killed, and a sailor wounded in the attack died, as well. Abdulazeez also died.

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Bomb threats at 7 schools across Tennessee

Schools in seven Tennessee counties were evacuated Friday morning due to bomb threats.

No explosives were found at any of the schools, said Lt. Bill Miller of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Emergency crews were sent to schools in Murfreesboro, Millersville, Greenbrier and Columbia. Threats were also reported at schools in Wilson, Knox and Lewis counties.

Students, teachers and staff at Millersville Elementary were safely escorted to Millersville City Hall about 420 feet away on 31W Louisville Highway, Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford said. The sheriff’s office received a call at 9:48 a.m. on Friday, but nothing had been found nearly two hours later.

Millersville students were dismissed, but teachers were allowed back in the building to finish the day, Miller said.

Robertson County investigators spent most of the day at Greenbrier Middle School but found nothing, according to Greenbrier Deputy Chief Randy Pack. School officials there were notified that that a person was inside the building with a bomb, officials said.

Pack said the threat was called into the school at about 11:05 a.m. Students were transferred to nearby Greenbrier High.

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