Canadian arrested for hacking revenue agency using Heartbleed security bug

A 19-year-old Canadian man has become the first person arrested in relation to the Heartbleed security vulnerability, which he used to steal taxpayer information.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is accusing Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes of hacking into the Canadian Revenue Agency’s (CRA) website late last week.

Solis-Reyes, of London, Ontario, is suspected of stealing around 900 Social Insurance Numbers.

“It is believed that [Mr] Solis-Reyes was able to extract private information held by CRA by exploiting the vulnerability known as the Heartbleed bug,” the RCMP said in a statement.

“The RCMP treated this breach of security as a high priority case and mobilized the necessary resources to resolve the matter as quickly as possible,” RCMP assistant commissioner Gilles Michaud said. “Investigators from National Division, along with our counterparts in ‘O’ Division have been working tirelessly over the last four days analyzing data, following leads, conducting interviews, obtaining and executing legal authorizations and liaising with our partners.”

Solis-Reyes has been charged with “unauthorized use of a computer” and “mischief in relation to data.” He is scheduled to appear in court on July 17.

The 19-year-old is a second-year student at Western University, located in his hometown. In high school, he was on a team that won first place in a programming competition at the London District Catholic School Board. He has also authored a BlackBerry phone app that solves Sukoku puzzles, according to The Globe and Mail.

His father is a Western computer science professor. The family lived in Lafayette, Indiana before moving to Ontario.

Early last week, the open-source OpenSSL project released an emergency security advisory warning of Heartbleed, a bug that pulls in private keys to a server using vulnerable software, allowing operators to suck in data traffic and even impersonate the server. Heartbleed was first noticed by a Google researcher and Codenomicon, a Finnish security firm.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reported that the private information of about 900 people was stolen thanks to Heartbleed’s impact. CRA became one of the first major organizations to curtail services as a result of the vulnerability.

“Regrettably, the CRA has been notified by the government of Canada’s lead security agencies of a malicious breach of taxpayer data that occurred over a six-hour period” last week, CRA said on Monday.

Private firms and governments are working to patch their vulnerabilities to the bug, yet more breaches are expected.

The Canadian government “was really slow on this,” Christopher Parsons from the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto told CBC.

Yahoo was one major private entity to immediately address its exposure to Heartbleed, claiming it had successfully updated its servers after hearing of the bug.

“If you look at Yahoo, it had begun updating its security practices prior to the CRA fully taking action,” Parsons said. “The same thing with other larger companies. As soon as they saw what was going on, they immediately reacted and issued public statements.”

View Source

$3 million in merchandise recovered from Hazel Park shoplifting ring

What is believed to be one of the largest local shoplifting rings in at least four decades has been broken up by Oakland County detectives, officials announced Wednesday.

Five people have been arrested in connection with the ring: Shah Abullais Khalish, 28, of Hazel Park and Delwar Miah, 23, of Detroit, are believed to have been the ringleaders, and April Lynn Cooper, 29, and Sandra Gale Cooper, 47, both of Warren, and Shantell Danne Collins, 24, of Detroit, were also charged.

The suspects are believed to have been part of a $3 million-plus retail fraud ring — the largest such operation that Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard has ever seen.

“The scope and size” of the operation is “amazing,” Bouchard said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

Bouchard’s law enforcement career began in the 1970s.

Investigators seized merchandise believed to have been stolen from multiple retailers, including CVS, Walgreens and Victoria’s Secret.

The investigation began as a drug case, as the Sheriff’s Office’s Narcotics Enforcement Team received a tip about people who were possibly selling pseudoephedrine for use in methamphetatmine production.

NET investigators soon determined that the suspects were not selling pseudoephedrine but were stealing between $9,000 and $15,000 worth of merchandise, per person, per day.

“This was great work by the detectives to follow a case where it goes, and they’ll continue to do that,” Bouchard said.

The merchandise was taken to a warehouse on Dequindre near 8 Mile Road in Hazel Park, and it was sold on Amazon, eBay and other online retailers.

“A lot of this (theft) was right out the front door,” Bouchard said, adding that those who commit retail fraud often have special “boosting” clothes with compartments sewn into them.

Investigators obtained search warrants on March 19, watched the suspects steal items from CVS and Walgreens and arrested all five suspects, officials said. More than $9,000 worth of merchandise was found in the suspects’ vehicle.

A search of the warehouse followed. The building contained more than $3 million worth of Victoria’s Secret merchandise, along with $30,000 worth of CVS and Walgreens merchandise and $100,000 in other brand name products. Investigators also seized $75,000 in cash from the building.

“This warehouse was a substantial warehouse,” Bouchard said.

“They bought this warehouse about nine months ago with $200,000 in cash. They were generating that much money that they could plunk down $200,000 in cash.”

Seven semi trucks were needed to empty all the merchandise from the building.

The operation crossed state lines, as most of the Victoria’s Secret items came from Las Vegas, Bouchard said.

He could not reveal the exact details of where the items came from and said more charges could be forthcoming.

It is unclear how long the operation had been in place but the time frame is likely measured in years, Bouchard said.

All five suspects are charged with two counts each of organized retail crime and one count each of receiving and concealing stolen property. Bond was set at $300,000 for both Khalish and Miah, while the Coopers and Collins received $50,000 bonds. All five have been released on bond and are next scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. April 25 in front of 44th District Judge Derek Meincke.

View Source

Grand Rapids Public Schools security officers help nab man with gun

GRAND RAPIDS, MI April 5 2014 – Grand Rapids Public Schools security officers helped police track down a teen who allegedly carried a concealed stolen handgun during a fight Thursday near the district’s Central Campus.

Police were called to a fight between about 15 people in the area of Lyon Street and Prospect Avenue NE about 2:54 p.m. April 3.
Security officers from nearby Innovation Central High School, 421 Fountain St., attempted to break up the altercation and noticed a 17-year-old male with a handgun, police said. The teen rode away on a bicycle before police arrived.

The suspect isn’t a student, but a security officer provided police with his name and a description.

Police arrested the teen about a half-mile away near Hawthorne Street and Eastern Avenue NE. The handgun was recovered in a garage in the 100 block of Langdon Avenue NE. Police said the suspect admitted to dropping the gun there after the fight.

Police determined the gun was reported stolen to the Wyoming Police Department.

The suspect is held on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a stolen firearm, police said. The prosecutor’s office will review the case Friday.

Anyone with additional information about the incident is asked to call police at 456-3604 or Silent Observer at 774-2345.
MLive!
View Source

Parking argument leads to armed confrontation outside club

A dispute about parking at a Near North Side nightclub early Friday ended with security guards detaining a man who they said threatened them with a gun.

The guards told police that they asked Van M. Johnson, 30, to move his Chevrolet Camaro out of the valet parking lot in the 800 block of North Orleans Street. Johnson argued, police said, and the guards eventually told the Near West Side man that he wouldn’t be allowed back inside the nightclub but that he still needed to move the car.

At that point, prosecutors said, Johnson retrieved a revolver from the car’s glove box and threatened the security guards. When the guards drew their own weapons, Johnson complied and was detained until police arrived at around 2:25 a.m., his arrest report said. Officers recovered a .32-caliber revolver loaded with four live rounds from his car.

Johnson, of the 2200 block of West Monroe Street, was charged with three felony counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer with a weapon, as well as a single felony count of aggravated unauthorized use of a weapon.

In bond court Saturday, Judge Laura Marie Sullivan ordered him held on $25,000 bail.

Court records didn’t name the nightclub.

View Source

NOPD to kick off city-wide surveillance camera database

NEW ORLEANS — A gunman approached a couple in the 500 block of Dumaine Street and attempted to rob them Wednesday morning.

It’s a crime that might have gone unsolved before, but thanks to Safe Cam 8, police know a nearby businesses’ surveillance camera captured the entire thing.

“Very quickly the detective are on the case and looking for video,” said Bob Simms, chairman of the French Quarter Management District’s Security Task Force. “We found video from one of the businesses on the 500 block and she just sent that to the detectives.”

The business and its cameras are one of 1,300 cameras registered on Safe Cam 8, a database used by police to keep track of all the privately-owned and operated cameras in the French Quarter and the CBD.

“It’s very rewarding, but I am very surprised at how quickly it has taken off,” Simms said. “People in the 8th District want to be a part of making the French Quarter a safer place.

” Because of its success, police are now launching a city-wide version of the crime-fighting tool.

“Our district supervisors or our district investigations supervisors and detectives can now just go to one database and say show me anything in the 900 block of Royal Street, and it will give them a visual as well as well as the contact information and the detectives will immediately start trying to contact people,” said NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

Serpas said their new citywide database Safe Cam NOLD will be rolled right into the Safe Cam 8 program so detectives will knows where cameras are up throughout the city.

But the NOPD stressed one important point, and one that could be a deterrent for residents if they’re don’t with how Safe Cam NOLA works.

“We are not tunneling in in anyway,” he said. “We are not using the Internet in any way to look at people’s videos or house any of that data. This information stays on their personal camera systems in their homes and business.”

The Safe Cam NOLA website went live Wednesday. So if residents or businesses have surveillance cameras installed, they can start registering their cameras immediately.

View Source

Allow armed ‘school safety’ employees on every campus

Every Florida school could have an employee carrying a concealed gun, under a bill a House education panel approved Wednesday. The bill is a reworked version of an armed-teachers bill that died in the Florida Legislature last year. Both are a response to the fatal shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 and an effort, one lawmaker said, to provide “one additional gun for the good guys.”

Like last year’s bill, this year’s is controversial, though opponents said the 2014 version was much improved.

The House bill (HB 753) would allow districts to have at least one “school safety designee” on each campus. That person would carry a concealed gun but would first need to meet firearm and school safety training requirements. To be tapped, that person would have to be an active duty or retired military or law enforcement or licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, said previous laws that made schools “gun-free zones” were well intended but inadvertently left schools defenseless, if a “monster” got on campus.

“They don’t even have a water pistol in which to charge the gates of hell…to confront this monster,” he said.
“I think it’s time to embrace this,” he added. “Firearms save people’s lives. That’s why policemen carry them.”

The bill passed with strong support from the House education k-12 subcommittee’s Republican leadership.

But Democrats on the panel said their local school districts did not support the legislation.

“They’re saying arming administrators and teachers does not guarantee any more safety in the school system than what is in there now,” said Rep. Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed, D-Deerfield Beach.

But Rep. Dave Hood, R-Daytona Beach Shores, said it was a “creative solution” to school safety worries and provided “one additional gun for the good guys.”

Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, the bill’s sponsor said it would allow “properly trained individuals” to help defend students. Schools would not have to create the new armed “designee” program, however.

But Steube said it could help those campuses that feel vulnerable. “Let’s give ourselves the Constitutional and God-given rights to defend ourselves.”

View Source

Mi.Sheriff’s department can now monitor school security cameras

ROMULUS MI March 11 2014 — Calling it “another layer of security,” Marty Rotz believes having cameras at Romulus Central School linked to the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office is another way to give parents peace of mind.

“We’re very excited about this partnership with the sheriff’s office and the extra security it will provide,” the Romulus superintendent said Wednesday during an interview with Sheriff Jack Stenberg and Undersheriff Gary Sullivan at the sheriff’s office.For the last several weeks, the sheriff’s department has had access to school cameras via computer through LAKENet, which connects dozens of school districts through Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES.

Rotz believes Romulus is the first district in the region to have its cameras linked to a police agency.

Rotz said the link was established after Romulus made upgrades to its camera system last summer. There are about 50 cameras in the school, mostly in corridors, entrances and around parking lots; because of privacy issues, they are not in classrooms and bathrooms.

“We have had cameras for years, for our own use such as investigating student trouble … and we started asking questions to the sheriff’s office about the possibilities,” he said. “Getting the sheriff’s department to have access to what we have is frosting on the cake.”

While Rotz, Stenberg and Sullivan said the cameras can certainly alert police to an emergency situation, they can also help with the investigation of less serious incidents at the school. The district’s computer server stores video on the cameras for about two months.

“We can look at back tapes if we’re looking into criminal mischief, maybe somebody joyriding in the parking lot,” Stenberg said. “To be able to go back and look at the footage could be invaluable.”

While the cameras at Romulus Central are not monitored continually at the sheriff’s office, Sullivan said road patrol deputies can also access them by vehicle computers. The Internet portal allows for numerous camera angles to be seen at one time.

“We’ve found it works beyond our wildest expectations,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan credited two information technology employees, Sue Fegley from the school district and John Palladino from the sheriff’s office, for their work. Sullivan added that the camera link is among several measures Romulus has added to increase security, including putting large classroom numbers on windows and having key fobs for access to entrance doors, which deputies can use to make sure doors are locked during non-school hours.

“Romulus is at the forefront of schools when it comes to security,” he said.

Stenberg said the sheriff’s office may also reach out to the South Seneca school district on a similar partnership, and possibly work with police in Waterloo and Seneca Falls on doing the same in those school districts.

Rotz said the district’s increased security, in part, is due to the lack of a school resource officer. The district cut that positions several years ago due to funding.

He added that the cameras and the link to the sheriff’s office is not meant to provide constant surveillance.

“This is not something we were looking to throw in people’s faces and say we’re always watching,” he said. “We just want folks in the district and parents to know there is a level of security here. We also think there will be an element of deterrence by having the cameras and people knowing the sheriff’s office has access to them.”

Stenberg said in the event of an emergency, access to the cameras could give officers valuable information before entering the building.

“It could save a tremendous amount of time in assessing a situation. Going into a building is scary enough. Without information makes it even moreso,” he said. “With the cameras, now the first man in the door has some information, and getting to the scene quickly and having that information is crucial.

Time is of the essence in these situations and critical to our response.”

View Source

Security Professionals Find Balance in Backing up a Good Look with Experience

When teams of agents are deployed on assignments, from a corporate event to a personal VIP assignment for a foreign dignitary, the most important question to ask is: Does the experience of the agent match the assignment?

The vetting process for each assignment begins with the goals of the project, and understanding a client’s security expectations. On the day the assignment begins, when the agents show up, that level of expertise should also shine through via the agents’ presentation — good grooming and a neat and clean uniform go a long way toward instilling immediate confidence.

Security Stereotypes

In the restaurant industry, a sloppy, dirty look is unacceptable. Patrons would assume that the meal would have the same level of care put into it. You wouldn’t eat there.

The same is true of a security company that doesn’t take pride in the look of the agents; the attention to detail could be reflective of the protection services being provided.

The stereotype of an out-of-shape man sitting in a room watching a monitor while half-sleeping or fully asleep has changed. With shrinking police department budgets and greater security presence needed (because corporations are being targeted and extremists are carrying out attacks on civilians), the need for in-person professional security personnel is very real.

A Growth Industry

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the security-guard industry is expected to grow 12 percent annually through 2022. Part of this growth can be attributed to the need for a manned presence when a security situation arises in a retail setting. It takes an in-person agent to provide property patrols and manage access control systems for buildings and facilities.

These are important jobs that keep the public safer. And, as we’ve seen in recent news, soft targets (such as movie theaters and malls) need an expert security guard on the premises, not a surveillance camera or a minimum-wage employee snoozing at a bank of TV screens.

The security guard field relies heavily on training and experience in personal protection. Security guards are required to interact with people, handle crowds, assess situations and react quickly. Their demeanor and personality are important, as they need to handle a range of situations with control and good judgment.

Conveying Control

A clean-cut appearance and fit physique plays well in visual professionalism but also conveys control over the situation. A crisp uniform and strong physical appearance says, “here’s a person to depend on and look to, should a situation arise.” In an emergency, there’s great comfort in a good presentation, backed by experience, when all details from the ground up are covered.

Furthermore, security guard services have changed; guards today need to be well versed in law enforcement procedures, military maneuverers, marshal arts training, and should ideally possess bilingual skills.

Hiring Strategically

A professional team of security guards should go through a meticulous hiring process that includes background checks and even (depending on the range of assignments) testing applicants’ physical and mental stamina. There could come a time when an assignment may not end for days. In such a case, is this person up to the task, physically and mentally?

Agents must have the ability to use their endurance and survival skills training. They may need to stand guard over a facility during and after a hurricane, for instance. They should be able think on their feet and help others who may not be part of the assignment but are in need of assistance — especially important when on duty after a disaster.

Not all assignments are cut-and-dried within a limited time frame. Sometimes, guard services are called upon when law enforcement is busy handling an emergency. A guard service could — in situations of public unrest after a natural disaster such as a tornado, earthquake, or hurricane, for example — need to remain in place for days, weeks, or months. In New York City during Occupy Wall Street, guard services for corporations were needed around the clock for months to escort employees in and out of the area.

Representing the Brand (and Other Practicalities)

A professional team of security guards can also burnish a security company’s brand. Clients will associate the company’s appearance with professionalism and the ability to handle themselves in any situation.

When purchasing uniforms, keep in mind seasonal concerns and the environment in which the clothing will be worn. Stretch material allows for greater freedom of movement, and a mixture of athletic or performance materials will add comfort.

When it comes to professionalism, relying solely on a clean uniform is a mistake. The look is only the beginning.
Security guards stand for long periods, so footwear is extremely important to reduce fatigue and injury. Placement of logo and size are important and serve as a means of advertising and guard recognition — make sure it is large enough to see.

However, when it comes to professionalism, relying solely on a clean uniform is a mistake. The look is only the beginning. Security is an evolving process — crime and security risks change constantly. This requires that field agents and guards be tested, challenged, and analyzed periodically, to probe for gaps in security and readiness.

Summary

The growth outlook for security professionals is positive, as guards are needed to operate the latest technology that can be used to complement the protection services being offered. In-person guard services are part of the security team and interact with IT professionals in many industries.

View Source

Video Surveillance In Tactical Planning

On a hillside in New England, two narcotics investigators armed with a video camcorder and a 500mm lens are watching a farmhouse on the other side of the valley. From their observation point in the tree line, they are able to get license plates and legally identifiable video of all who visit the farmhouse. The video provides raw intelligence as well as insight into how the drugs are moved and stored. While watching the video, raid planners learn critical details about which doors open out and that there are children present in the farmhouse.

A covert entry team in Europe is wiring a location for sound and video. While they work, the security officer is watching all the approaches using four tiny Wi-Fi enabled camcorders. They are capturing more than 4,000 lines of resolution (4k) and sending their signals to a handheld tablet. These camcorders, hidden inside fast food cartons near a trash barrel and in other easy to make “hides,” can pick up the slightest movement and warn the team in time to take evasive action. Once the entry is complete, the camcorders can be retrieved and used again elsewhere.

In North America, Mobile Surveillance Teams (MSTs), sometimes referred to as “Spin Teams,” are shooting video of suspects as they conduct their criminal enterprises and meet other criminals. The teams spend their entire shift in the field. At the end of the day, video of targets is emailed to case officers and intelligence analysts.

A successful tactical mission involves many intertwined elements: target identification, planning, team selection, scheduling, support manpower, transportation, supplies, operator rehearsals and, of course, intelligence. None of these can be overlooked if the mission is to be successful. But time and again planners forget to include video surveillance in their tactical plan. Perhaps that is because they are unaware of the technological advancements of the past two years.

4k mini video cameras and High Definition handheld camcorders are changing the way surveillance is shot. Gone are the grainy videos of the VHS era. (VHS, by the way, was 250 lines of resolution; 4k mini video has 16 times more resolution.) None of the equipment mentioned above is classified. Nor is it expensive. It can be delivered to your agency overnight. In the U.S. and in some Canadian Provinces, the equipment can be borrowed from a Regional Intelligence Sharing System (RISS) Agency at no cost to the LEA.

Why then doesn’t every tactical team use video? I have heard all the excuses: “It is too complicated, the camcorders are too big, the camcorders cost too much, the camcorder has too many buttons, we don’t have anyone who knows how to use the equipment. Our people already have digital SLRs.”

In my view, those excuses don’t hold water. Around the world, law enforcement agencies are adapting video surveillance and it is helping to win cases. In Korea, a police officer is using video to win convictions in an illegal gambling operation. The officer attended a class conducted by the International Tactical Training Association (ITTA) at the Korean National Police Institute. In North America, municipal and regional intelligence units are using inexpensive High Definition camcorders to record criminal activity. In both cases, a key to their success has been training, learning to operate their equipment under real-world conditions.

Another key to a successful video surveillance operation is equipment selection. Hi- Def camcorders range in price from about $400 to more than $5,000 and price generally denotes quality. The more expensive camcorders from Canon, Panasonic and Sony use interchangeable lenses, which make them perfect for long-range surveillance from fixed locations. My personal choice is the Canon C-100 camcorder because it uses widely available EOS-mount lenses.

The longer the lens, the more impor- TACTICAL SOLUTIONS 23 tant the tripod becomes. The price for high quality carbon fiber tripods can be daunting. Instead, select a metal tripod with a fluid head. For extremely long lenses consider adding sandbags to each to minimize vibration and shake.

At lower price points, today’s camcorders have some extraordinary features such as the ability to see infrared light and to stream video to other locations using Wi-Fi. Some have very long optical zooms. Most of today’s camcorders also have digital zooms, which give the operator that ability to video objects up to half a mile away. The compact size of these camcorders makes them perfect for deployment in many situations.

No matter the price, when purchasing a camcorder insist on these four features:

1) A viewfinder in addition to a flip-out view screen,

2) On-the-lens focusing,

3) An auxiliary microphone jack and

4) Removable digital media.

Look for a camcorder that has a viewfinder. Most of the current camcorders have a flip-out view screen. They are difficult to use in bright sunlight. At night, in my opinion, flip-out view screens are downright dangerous because they light up the operator’s face endangering their safety and the surveillance operation. A viewfinder is easier to use and can be adjusted to match the operator’s individual eyesight. Using a viewfinder conserves battery power.

Many of the best-known brands of consumer camcorders use what is called “Touch Screen” focusing on the flip-out view screen. Others use a small joystick on the flip- out view screen. Both of these methods are nearly impossible to use while wearing cold weather gloves. Further, they can only be used when the flipout screen is open. On-the-lens focusing is easier to use under all conditions.

An auxiliary microphone jack allows the operator to use a “Dead Short” knockout plug, which blocks the camcorder’s on-board microphone. Without a microphone, the camcorder records silent video. Why silent video? Let’s say you are shooting surveillance video and your cell phone rings. No matter whether the conversation is professional or personal, you do not need to share that conversation with a jury or the court. Frequently, surveillance teams have sat in the same place for hours and may make comments that should not be shared with anyone. In my opinion, a camcorder that lacks an auxiliary microphone jack may not be suitable for use in law enforcement. Removable digital media refers to either a Compact Flash Card or an SD card, which are used to record the video files. The alternative is an internal hard drive. Removable media have several advantages. Each operator can be assigned their own media and thus are responsible for maintaining chain of custody and duplication. The original media can be kept with the case file and used to prove that duplicates of the video were not altered. Some camcorders have two digital media drives that allow you to continue recording on the “B” drive when the media in the “A” drive has filled to capacity. In selecting digital media, make certain it is suitable for recording video. At the moment, most manufacturers recommend “Class 10” SD cards for their camcorders.

Because camcorder models tend to change each year, it is impossible to recommend any specific unit because it may not be available when you need to make a purchase. A knowledgeable video store is a good source for camcorder recommendations. If, when you mention the four required features, the clerk does not understand what you are looking for, find another store. I am reluctant to recommend shopping online because while the prices may be better, some vendors sell “Gray Market” goods intended for sale in another country. “Gray Market” camcorders may not have a warranty for your country. If all else fails, contact the camcorder manufacturer’s office in your country. Almost all manufacturers will have a tech rep who deals with law enforcement and may be able to make a recommendation.

No matter which kind of mission your team undertakes, video is simply the best way to quickly and safely gather intelligence.

About the Author

Wadi Sawabini has 23 years experience teaching law enforcement professionals how to shoot evidence-grade video. A former Reserve Deputy with the Erie County, New York Sheriff’s Office, Sawabini has taught for the ATF, FBI, the U.S. Border Patrol and dozens of other federal agencies. He has also taught members of the Korean National Police, the Bermuda Police Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Criminal Intelligence Service of Ontario and the Ontario Regional Police

View Source

Oak Park, La Grange police vetting gun permits

Police chiefs in Oak Park and La Grange said their departments have carefully vetted dozens of local concealed-carry permit applications, as the first round of state permits hits mailboxes this week.

Eighty-nine Oak Park residents and 75 La Grange residents applied for concealed carry permits as of Feb. 25, according to Illinois State Police. Statewide, about 50,000 people have applied since January. About 5,000 security guards, firearms trainers and others who paid extra to get permits early are expected to start receiving them this week, Illinois State Police officials said.

Under the new law, the state checks applicants’ backgrounds before approving permits. The law also gives local police departments discretion to file objections to individual applications up to 30 days after they are filed. Neither the Oak Park nor the La Grange departments have objected to any applications so far, police chiefs said.

The state bars anyone with three gang-related arrests or five other arrests in the last 7 years from getting permits. Applicants also must meet certain requirements regarding past drug and alcohol convictions, and must meet the criteria to obtain a Firearm Owners Identification Card. Applicants are fingerprinted and are required to take a 16-hour training course.

The objection process for local departments allows police to screen applicants based on behavior that might have raised concerns but did not rise to the level of criminal charges, Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley said in an email.

“Generally, we are screening for applicants that have demonstrated a pattern of behavior that indicates that they may be a danger to themselves or others,” Tanksley said.

Police investigators in La Grange have been looking for familiar names among the applicant list, including people who have made gun-related threats in the past, La Grange Police Chief Michael Holub said.

So far, no such names have appeared on the list, Holub said. He said he doesn’t expect the new law to increase any gun-related confrontations, adding he is more concerned about people carrying weapons illegally.

“Quite frankly, I don’t anticipate those kinds of issues because the people who have concealed carry are probably not the ones who will be causing us trouble,” he said.

Both the Oak Park and La Grange police departments have been training officers for the new law, and have been advising local businesses, schools and other institutions of its specifics, police officials said. The law allows concealed weapons in some public spaces and in businesses that don’t post signs banning them. Concealed guns are banned in government buildings, schools, public parks, hospitals and some other places outlined in the law.

Procedures for transporting armed people to hospitals will not change much with the new law, La Grange Fire Department Chief Bill Bryzgalski said. The fire department oversees emergency medical services.

“In reality, we’ve been working with this for many years,” Bryzgalski said. “We have to be cautious, but it’s the same as pulling up on any other scene. We have to make sure the scene is secure.”

Ambulances are gun-free zones under the law in the same way most public buildings are, he said. When police are present at the scene of an emergency, they will take custody of weapons, Bryzgalski said. If police are not on the scene, the ambulances have been outfitted with lockboxes to hold the weapons until police can take them, he said.

View Source