More than 400 weapons and potential weapons seized

More than 400 weapons and tools that could be weapons have been seized by security at Plymouth’s crown and magistrates courts in the last two years – including one replica firearm.

Security guards seize a range of items every day including drugs and alcohol, and objects which could be used as a weapon.

The figures have been released today by the Ministry of Justice following a Freedom of Information request.

Some months see the city courts finding a weapon once every other day, with objects that could be used as a potential weapons routinely held.

In total 177 weapons were seized at the two courts in the last two years and 226 tools were held when security thought they could be used as a weapon.

In May 2014 a replica firearam was found on one person at Plymouth Magistrates Court.

Knives are the most common seized weapons, with 10 knives with a blade longer than three inches found in October 2013 alone at Plymouth Magistrates Court – the biggest monthly haul for large blades.

There were also 10 smaller knives found at Plymouth Crown Court in June 2013 and in November 2014.

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School resource officers now equipped with body cameras

JONESBORO, Ga. — Students in Clayton County heading back to school Monday will notice resource officers policing the campuses with body cameras.

Channel 2’s Darryn Moore talked to Clayton County school resource officers about the new cameras and what it means for privacy for the students.

Clayton County SRO Devon Greene said the goal is to use the cameras as an investigative tool.

“You can definitely use as a deterrent. And even if it does not prevent the act from happening, you have the actual event recorded,” said Greene.

The cameras will also have audio along with the video capabilities.

“The need for the camera is definitely for investigative reasons. Any time we have any incident that may occur inside or out of the school, it gives us an extra eye,” said Greene.

Several police departments around the state equip their officers with body cameras. Officer Devon Greene said it’s a deterrent and will hold students accountable for their actions.

Privacy is a concern; Georgia is a one-party consent state and the law allows for recording in public and only one party in the recording needs to consent.

“The community may have cell phones within their constitutional rights to record what they may, this is our constitutional right as well,” said Greene.

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Graton Resort & Casino security help capture auto thieves

Sonoma CA-Two men found sleeping Wednesday morning in a car parked at the Graton Resort & Casino near Rohnert Park were arrested at gunpoint when the car turned out to be stolen, a Sonoma County sheriff’s official said.

Casino security workers called law enforcement at about 8:25 a.m., asking them to check on the men sleeping in a silver Toyota Camry. A check of the vehicle’s plate showed it had been stolen Tuesday from a Rohnert Park location, sheriff’s Lt. Steve Brown said.

Deputies and Rohnert Park police responded and took the men into custody.

Inside the car deputies found several vehicle keys, suspected of being used to steal cars, Brown said.

The two men, believed to be transients from Santa Rosa, were both wanted on different arrest warrants, according to court records.

As well as the warrants, Armando Lopez, 29, and Filemon Vazquez-Montoya, 21, were arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property and burglary tools – misdemeanor charges.

Who stole the Camry remained under investigation.

Sonoma County has experienced a substantial jump in stolen cars so far in 2015 over 2014. In the last several weeks, several stolen cars have been found parked near the casino in the northwest corner of Rohnert Park, according to law enforcement officials.

The casino parking lot case netted one more person wanted by the law – Rohnert Park resident Dayna Grimwood, 35.

Brown said a woman’s identification was found inside the stolen Camry and casino security went inside to see if she was in the casino. They found a woman they believed matched the identification but it turned out to be someone else – Grimwood – who was wanted on a no-bail arrest warrant. She also was taken to jail, Brown said.

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Armored Natural-Gas Plug-In Hybrid Truck To Hit The Roads

Have you ever thought about the carbon footprint of your money?

Everything we use has to be transported from place to place, including the cash in our wallets.

And the big, hulking diesel armored trucks that move money around are hardly the most fuel-efficient vehicles.

Hoping to temper the all-important emphasis on security with some green thinking, three companies have just unveiled a cleaner alternative to the traditional armored truck.

The 26,000-pound vehicle is a plug-in hybrid with a natural-gas internal-combustion engine, according to Autoblog.

Six trucks were converted by Efficient Drivetrains Inc. and North American Repower, and will begin hauling valuables around the Los Angeles area with Sectran Security next year.

Efficient Drivetrains has already tried to market a plug-in hybrid SUV in Asia, while North American Repower specializes in natural-gas conversions.

An armored truck seemed like a good platform for the joint project because these vehicles most of their time in urban traffic, making many stops for deliveries.

During stops, a standard truck’s diesel engine is typically left idling for security purposes.

However, California regulations limit idling to 5 minutes, the partners say.

The powertrain’s electric component offers a way around that issue, while the natural gas power helps to reduce emissions while running the engine.

The demonstration fleet of six trucks will conserve 31,000 gallons of diesel per year, and cut emissions by 99.9 percent, the companies claim.

Natural gas has proven to be more acceptable as a fuel for fleets than individual passenger cars.

The lack of public fueling stations makes owning a natural-gas car somewhat inconvenient, but fleet operators can secure supplies of the fuel to distribute to their vehicles.

After 15 years of selling a natural-gas powered Civic sedan, Honda has withdrawn that model for 2016 after concluding that prospects for natural gas-fueled passenger vehicles remained dim.

Since most fleet vehicles operate within confined service areas, operators count on them not straying too far from a centralized fueling source, often “back at base” every night.

The armored-truck project received a $3 million grant from the California Energy Commission, along with a matching amount of private funds.

While this project will only demonstrate these unusual vehicles, perhaps more will be built if security companies show interest.

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National Academy: Training Law Enforcement Partners for 80 Years

Eighty years ago today, on July 29, 1935, the FBI opened its training facilities and expertise to law enforcement officers across the U.S., and the National Academy was born.

The idea of a national training academy was first raised in late 1934 as part of U.S. Attorney General Homer Cummings’ “war on crime.”

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover then fleshed out an idea for professional education for law enforcement officers at the annual meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) held in early July 1935.

An IACP committee on police training had urged Director Hoover, who spoke at the conference on the value of professional police training, to consider offering such training under FBI auspices.

Hoover returned to Washington, and later that month, the first class of 23 officers from across the country began training with the FBI.

They took a wide array of classes detailing the latest research and experience on police procedure, forensic science applications, the law, and other important issues. This first class graduated from this 12-week training course on October 19, 1935.

Within two years, these classes were accepting foreign law enforcement officers as well.

Since then, the FBI’s National Academy program has offered training to thousands of law enforcement professionals conducted by experts in law enforcement, legal matters, and scientific applications, and it has graduates spread across the globe. The next National Academy class—number 261—will graduate on September 18, 2015.

FBI press release on the first National Academy session (pdf)

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College security guards partake in bomb detection training

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — Security guards who work at colleges and universities across Connecticut participated in specialized training Wednesday, learning about detecting bombs.

Instructors show how to recognize different types of bombs, many made from things found around the home, and teach life-saving skills.

“Time, action, command initiation to give first-responders a heads up on what to look for, identifying key features and functions,” said Arthur Dererian, whose worked with explosives for more than two decades.

He says this training is crucial nowadays. Just recently, a Massachusetts man was arrested after allegedly plotting to set off bombs in college cafeterias.

“The threat is here in the United States, and this training will help public safety officials throughout universities identify these items, deem them suspicious, and follow proper protocols,” said Dererian.

The public safety officers in attendance were hand-picked to take part in the week-long bomb recognition training at Fairfield University.

“Scared in a small manner with the bombing idea, but if you don’t know about it, that’s the worst thing that can happen,” said Sacred Heart University public safety officer Candace Kinlaw.

“Knowledge is power,” said another Sacred Heart officer, Nicholas Pulaski. “The more you know, the better you will be at doing anything. This only helps us and preps us more to be much better and more safe at our jobs.”

Fairfield University has now held this training for seven years.

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LA Airport Police Back Effort To Ban Badges For Non-Sworn TSA Screeners

LOS ANGELES— Union officials for police at Los Angeles International Airport gave its support Friday for new legislation that would ban the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from allowing non-law enforcement personnel to wear metal badges.

The Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers’ Association (LAAPOA) issued the statement commending language in a Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill currently under consideration by lawmakers in

Washington, which includes an amendment that prohibits funding for TSA uniforms that include badges that resemble law enforcement badges.

While TSA screening agents are not sworn officers, the agency reclassified screeners as “transportation security officers” in 2005 in order to boost morale among its ranks. In 2008, the TSA did away with the embroidered logos and provided its screeners with metal badges.

But veteran law enforcement agents like Marshall McClain, President of the LAAPOA, say bestowing the title of “officer” to TSA screening agents and giving those screeners police-styled metal badges has granted agents the outward appearance of law enforcement authority – which they do not possess.

“The main mission of TSA agents is to screen passengers and baggage at the airport,” said McClain. “These screeners have not received law enforcement training and do not perform police functions at our airports so why would we ever allow them to wear police-like badges?”

The LAAPOA also supported a decision by TSA in Jan. 2014 not to arm its officers in the wake of the Nov. 1, 2013, shooting at LAX.

The Appropriations Committee bill will go to the full House floor for a vote in the coming weeks.

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Steeplechase opts for traffic enforcement on private roads.

An effort over the past year in Oak Brook to have residents in subdivisions with private roads agree to allow police to enforce the entire Illinois Vehicle Code has proven successful.

The Steeplechase Community Association of Oak Brook, which has 21 homes, is the latest homeowners’ group to agree to the enabling ordinance that allows enforcement. The Oak Brook Village Board approved the agreement July 14.

“We are restricted to what we can enforce on private roads unless those residents agree to the enabling ordinance,” Police Chief James Kruger said. “Having the enabling ordinance in place allows us to better serve the community and provide the same level of service for everyone.”

Without an agreement to the enabling ordinance, police are not able to write tickets for violations of lane usage and vehicle registration. Police also are not able to issue tickets to those driving without a license or with a license that has been suspended.

Bob Sheppel, president of the Steeplechase Community Association of Oak Brook, said the group’s board decided to accept the enabling ordinance because it “goes hand in hand with security.”

Kruger and Village President Gopal Lalmalani reached out to homeowners association presidents a year ago, asking that they agree to the enabling ordinance. Since that time, homeowners associations in Briarwood Lakes, Heritage Oaks and Midwest Chase also have agreed to the ordinance.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the response we’ve received from our homeowners associations,” Kruger said. “We’ve had a couple of requests for extra patrol, and some have expressed traffic safety concerns. This allows us to have an increased presence.”

Kruger said the Oak Brook Club and Covington Court are the only two remaining eligible subdivisions in the village that have yet to agree to the enabling ordinance.

“They have expressed interest, and we are working with them,” Kruger said.

Two Oak Brook subdivisions with private roads, Breakenridge Farm and Wendell Woods, are not eligible for the enabling ordinance because each has only nine homes. State law requires a minimum of 10 homes to enact the enabling ordinance, Kruger said.

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Balt police, partners create around-the-clock ‘war room’ to address crime surge

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, law enforcement officials and prosecutors have created an around-the-clock “war room” to address the spike in violent crime that has racked Baltimore since the death of Freddie Gray, they said Sunday.

Officials have identified several criminal groups as top targets of the effort.

“We are pushing for an all-hands-on-deck approach to this current surge in violence,” Rawlings-Blake told reporters at a news conference. “We know that crime is not static. Neither can we be. It is important for us to work together and recommit ourselves to that collaboration every single day in order for us to get on top of this crime spike.”

Violence has spiked since Gray, 25, died in police custody in April, and has showed no sign of abating. May saw 42 homicides, the deadliest month in Baltimore in 25 years. From Friday through Sunday, more than 20 people were shot. Seven died, and others were in critical condition.

Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, appointed by Rawlings-Blake last week after she dismissed Anthony W. Batts, said the war room — an operations center in which all of the partner agencies are to work together — will “ensure there are no gaps in our intelligence sharing, no gaps in our operational capacities, and no gaps in our overall commitment to identify the small number of folks who are harming our communities.”

Davis said officials have identified “four different groups of bad guys who are responsible for a disproportionate amount of violence in Baltimore City, and we’re going to work around the clock until we get to the point of probable cause to start taking those folks off the streets.

“The citizens of this city deserve nothing less.”

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N.J. task force makes recommendations to improve school security

A state task force on school security issued a final report Thursday that recommends more police presence, the creation of a school safety academy, and a requirement that all staff and students carry identification, among other measures.

The task force was created two years ago as state officials and educators sought ways to improve safety after the school shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn. in which 20 children and six adults were killed. The group, which included leaders in education and law enforcement, made 42 recommendations in the report.

The report calls for New Jersey to create and fund a “school safety specialist academy” to centralize information, resources and training in one place. The academy would oversee school compliance with safety rules and regulations and conduct a certification program.

For school security staff, the report recommends hiring school resource officers, sworn police officers assigned exclusively to schools, though the high cost of this approach was noted in the report. Schools that use non-police security guards should develop agreements with local law enforcement on qualifications, communications, chain of command and responsibilities, the report states.

The task force calls for more police patrols on school grounds, especially at busy times like the start of the school day, dismissal and at activities and events. Police should also be invited to talk about topics like bullying, “sexting” and school violence in an effort to build trust and cooperation with the community.

The report also urges that the state should require students and staff to carry identification cards in a visible place when school is in session, the task force concluded. It also calls for the state to require school security to have two-way radios in schools with a dedicated channel to talk directly to emergency responders.

The report also recommends practices that are already in place at many schools, such as limiting the number of doors that can be entered; monitoring and staffing entrances; and installing surveillance cameras outside as a deterrent.

Physical improvements like installing cameras and placing metal detectors at school entrances can be expensive and time-consuming in a time when school budgets are tight. Decisions to use those should be left to the school district, the task force wrote.

The report raised questions about the effectiveness of panic alarms that silently and electronically notify police of problems. Gov. Christie vetoed legislation last year that would have required every public school in the state to install panic alarms

An emergency could unfold in a place that isn’t near a panic button, while phone-based panic buttons are at risk of false alarms, the task force wrote.

Education Commissioner David Hespe and Christopher Rodriguez, director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, chaired the task force.

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