Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina
End of Watch: Thursday, July 14, 2011 Age: 29
Tour of Duty: 1 year, 7 months
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: July 13, 2011
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Shot and wounded
Deputy Sheriff Roger Rice was shot and killed as he and other deputies searched for a murder suspect at approximately 11:55 pm.
Officers from the Fountain Inn Police Department had requested assistance from the sheriff’s office to locate the man, who had just murdered his girlfriend. Deputies and officers located the man near his home on Barrel Stave Road in Clinton. As they attempted to take him into custody he opened fire, fatally wounding Deputy Rice. Other officers on the scene returned fire and wounded the subject before taking him into custody.
Deputy Rice had served with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office for 18 months. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Agency Contact Information
Laurens County Sheriff’s Office
216 W Main Street
PO Box 68
Laurens, SC 29360
Phone: (864) 984-4967
New York City NY July 14 2011 The desperate search for a missing 8-year-old boy ended Wednesday in a blood-spattered Brooklyn kitchen, when cops opened a freezer to find his severed feet in Ziploc bags.
Hardware store clerk Levi Aron, a mentally “slow” misfit, was charged Wednesday night with murdering Leiby Kletzky, whose remains were also found in a trash bin 2 miles away.
Aron, who turned 35 Wednesday, gave cops a chilling confession, describing in graphic detail how he suffocated the child with a bath towel and carved up the body in a “panic.”
“I understand it may be wrong, and I am sorry for the hurt I have caused,” Aron said in his hand-written statement.
The murder left the Orthodox Jewish community reeling, even as the macabre details were hidden from the victim’s devastated parents.
Thousands gathered in the streets for Leiby’s funeral Wednesday night, and Mayor Bloomberg called the crime “a stunning shock to our entire city.”
Leiby vanished early Monday evening while walking home from a Borough Park day camp alone for the first time. Police said that even though he had practiced the route, he got lost and approached Aron for help.
“It was just happenstance, and a terrible fate for this young boy,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
In his confession, Aron spun a bizarre and improbable tale, claiming he simply offered to give Leiby a lift to a Jewish bookstore, then invited him to a wedding in upstate Monsey.
He claimed they got back late “so I brought him to my house, thinking I’d bring him to his house the next day,” according to the statement obtained by NBC New York.
By then, a huge search was underway, and Aron claims he was afraid to bring the boy home. He made him a tuna sandwich – then smothered him.
“He fought back a little,” he wrote. “Afterwards, I panicked because I didn’t know what to do with the body.”
Police were led to the suspect by surveillance video that showed Leiby on Monday asking directions from Aron, who was going into an 18th Ave. dentist’s office to pay a bill.
Kelly said the video showed Leiby waited seven minutes for Aron to emerge, then followed him into his 1990 Honda Accord.
“It’s very sad. The boy looks like he just found somebody who’s going to help him find his way home,” said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
Detectives located the dentist, Manis Berger, at home in New Jersey late Tuesday. With the help of another dentist and a receptionist, they learned the name and address of the patient.
“I’m glad I was able to help,” Berger said.
At 2:40 a.m. Wednesday, cops swarmed the home on E. Second St. “They went through backyards with their guns out. They knocked on the door, and I heard a noise as they busted down the door,” a neighbor said.
When officers arrived at Aron’s ramshackle attic apartment, they found his door ajar and the suspect shirtless.
“He seemed unhappily surprised to see police,” Browne said.
“Where’s the boy?” cops demanded.
Aron nodded toward the kitchen, where a horrific sight awaited police. In an otherwise empty fridge, they found three stained carving knives and a gore-smeared cutting board. The boy’s feet were in bags in the freezer. A garbage bag was filled with bloody towels.
The rest of Leiby’s body was found chopped up in black plastic garbage bags stuffed in a red suitcase inside a Dumpster 2 miles away in Sunset Park, Kelly said.
Investigators have no evidence Leiby was sexually molested before he was killed. There were indications he was tied with a rope.
Detectives believe Aron’s statement is not entirely true. They think Leiby was killed on Monday, not Tuesday, and that Aron did not take the boy to the wedding in Monsey.
Police said Aron’s only criminal record was a summons for public urination last year. His ex-wife took out, then dropped, an order of protection against him in 2007, during their divorce.
Police are also looking into a report that he may have tried to lure another boy into his car last year. That child’s mom said she thought Aron was just being “friendly” when he offered to give her son a ride.
The Borough Park and Kensington neighborhoods were grappling last night with the visceral horror of a child killed by a random stranger and the realization that a monster lived in their midst.
“Everyone is just beside themselves,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Borough Park). “We’ve showed in the last two days what an incredible community this is,” he said, referring to the huge search for Leiby. “But you know what, one of our people committed this dastardly act.”
Aron’s lawyer, Pierre Bazile, had little to say about his client or the crime. “Our condolences go out to the family of the victim,” he said. “And we’ll let the judicial system take its course.”
Roanoke VA July 14 2011 A security officer hired to patrol an apartment complex near northwest Roanoke’s Washington Park was shot to death inside his SUV early today, police said.
Steve Edwin Orange Jr., 46, of Vinton, was pronounced dead at the scene, said Roanoke Police Capt. Monti Lee. Orange was a Roanoke police officer for 11 years before resigning in 2000.
Officers responded to a call of shots fired at Afton Gardens apartments, in the 700 block of Hunt Avenue, off Liberty Road Northwest about 1:26 a.m., Lee said. They found Orange in his SUV. No one has been arrested and police haven’t commented on suspects.
Orange owned his own security company, called ProTecht, since 2010, according to State Corporation Commission records. He worked for Roanoke-based State Security from 2003 to 2005 and from 2008 to 2010, the company said.
Orange lived with his wife and had two children, according to next-door neighbor Keith Jackson. Orange and his wife, Stephanie, played bingo at a hall in Vinton with Jackson and his girlfriend last week and were planning on returning Friday, Jackson said.
“He was a friend. He was a father. He was a neighbor,” Jackson said. “He was putting duty and honor and trying to protect his community first. This doesn’t make any sense.”
Orange’s wife and his mother declined to speak with a reporter this morning.
At least four shootings have occurred at the same apartment complex in the last 10 years, three of them fatal.
Dione Jamar Tayvon Thomas of Roanoke was shot and killed at Afton Gardens this past September. Thomas, 26, was on his way to the mailbox at his mother’s home in the apartment complex when he stopped to talk to a woman and was shot by her jealous boyfriend, Thomas’ aunt said at the time. Ricco Ramone Devin, 24, was indicted on charges of murder in December.
Former William Fleming High School star basketball player James Granville Stokes, 29, was shot and killed there in 2008. David Tickle Jr. of Draper was shot to death on Halloween night in 2001 while going to buy drugs at Afton Gardens, formerly known as Brightwood Manor Apartments. Both cases ended with convictions.
A 21-year-old man was shot and wounded in a domestic dispute this past November.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 540-853-5959 or Crime Line, which may offer a reward, at 540-344-8500.
Miami Fla July 14 2011 A Miami woman has turned herself in in connection with the murder of a security guard at a strip mall in August.
Trellany Adams, 21, admitted that she and four other suspects tried to rob a store and that she was supposed to be the lookout.
She also admitted to bringing a crowbar, a ski mask, and a pair of jeans that were found on the scene, police said. A fingerprint found on the scene linked Adams to the crime, detectives said.
A revolver with one spent casing was also found on scene.
According to police, the 61-year-old security guard was patrolling the Colonial Shopping Center at 9576 Southwest 160th Street when he drove by the suspects and was shot by one of them after lighting them with his flashlight.
Police did not say Adams was the shooter.
A homeless man found the victim and reported the crime.
Nashville TN July 14 2011 A 41-year-old Clarksville woman was arrested after Nashville airport authorities say she was belligerent and verbally abusive to security officers, refusing for her daughter to be patted down at a security checkpoint.
Andrea Fornella Abbott yelled and swore at Transportation Security Administration agents Saturday afternoon at Nashville International Airport, saying she did not want her daughter to be “touched inappropriately or have her “crotch grabbed,” a police report states.
After the woman refused to calm down, airport police said, she was charged with disorderly conduct and taken to jail. She has been released on bond.
Attempts to reach Abbott on Tuesday were unsuccessful. The report does not list her daughter’s age. The mother and daughter were traveling from Nashville to Baltimore on Southwest Airlines.
“(She) told me in a very stern voice with quite a bit of attitude that they were not going through that X-ray,” Sabrina Birge, an airport security officer, told police.
“No, it’s not an X-ray,” she told Abbott. “It is 10,000 times safer than your cell phone and uses the same type of radio waves as a sonogram.”
“I still don’t want someone to see our bodies naked,” Abbott said, according to the police report.
At one point, Abbott tried unsuccessfully to take a video with her cellphone.
TSA policy revisedThe arrest comes on the heels of public outrage over a video showing a pat-down of a 6-year-old girl at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. The April video prompted a new policy that took effect last month in which airport security screeners must try to avoid invasive pat-down searches of children.
TSA says it will instruct screeners how to make repeated attempts to screen young children without invasive pat-downs. The instructions should reduce the number of pat-downs on children, TSA says.
Phoenix AZ July 14 2011 Laundry detergent, teeth-whitening kits and fabric spray are the unlikely contraband in a growing crime trend that Chandler police say is hitting grocers and raising prices for honest consumers.
“It’s a national epidemic,” Sgt. Joe Favazzo said of organized grocery-store theft rings like one recently identified in Chandler.
Last week, police arrested three men who are accused of purchasing the stolen goods and reselling them at two convenience markets they operated in Chandler and Phoenix. The arrests culminated a three-month undercover investigation during which Safeway and Fry’s grocery stores supplied police with loads of the most desirable items to sell as stolen merchandise.
“We couldn’t have done it without help from these stores,” Favazzo said.
The department launched the investigation after representatives from the grocery chains asked Chandler for help to stem increasingly large theft losses. Favazzo said an estimated $50,000 in stolen merchandise was resold by this ring in three months.
Sami Shiha, 32, Samer Shiha, 23, and Hane Sheiha, 32, were arrested at three locations in Chandler and Phoenix.
Records state the stolen items were sold to Shiha Corporation in Chandler at AAmigo Market, 500 E. Chandler Blvd., and in Phoenix at Easy Mart, 6351 N. 16th St. Both markets resold the stolen items at discounted prices, Favazzo said.
According to Arizona Corporation Commission records, Samir Shiha is president of the Shiha Corporation and a Sam Shiha is listed as president of A Amigo Food Mart. The corporate address listed for A Amigo is that of Phoenix Easy Mart.
Chandler police also served a search warrant on a Phoenix home in the 7000 block of North 15th Street, Favazzo said. Maricopa County property records show Samir Shiha is the owner of a house at 7041 N. 15th St., which also is the corporate address for Shiha Corporation.
On Friday after the arrest, A Amigo Food Mart was closed. It had reopened by Monday. An employee said the owners were not available.
Mike Slupinski, security manager for Safeway, said organized retail theft is growing in the Valley and nationwide, noting, “It’s a problem for consumers and local government.”
Stolen goods represent a loss in sales-tax dollars for cities and losses to the store that force price increases, he and Favazzo said.
Slupinski said retailers have come together under the Organized Retail Crime Alliance, a networking group formed last year. Members vow to “work with law enforcement to help them with whatever they need.”
Thieves are increasingly targeting non-food items such as cosmetics, cleaning products and personal hygiene items because they are easy to sell, Slupinski said.
“A lot of it is the economy. Criminals are going to find different ways to get what they want and they look at the market. If they feel there’s a market for something and they can sell it easily, they steal it,” Slupinski said.
Favazzo said his department and others across the Valley are seeing an increase in brazen, large-scale thefts from grocery and other retail stores.
They are known to load grocery carts with expensive cleaning products or grab dozens of clothing or jewelry items from retail racks without looking at prices or sizes. They ignore commands from unarmed store security, and by the time police arrive, they have driven away with the goods.
Consumers can help by being observant, writing down license-plate numbers or discreteely taking pictures with their cellphones, he said.
But he cautions them not to confront the thieves. Favazzo said he heard of a recent incident where someone pushed a shopping cart in front of the thief’s car after watching a store security employee’s failed attempt to stop the culprit. The suspect hit the cart and drove off.
Baltimore MD July 14 2011 The Transportation Security Administration caught a passenger trying to board an airplane with 13 knives in his carry-on luggage, the agency confirmed Wednesday.
TSA spokesman Kawika Riley told The Hill Wednesday afternoon that TSA officers at the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore/Washington International Airport discovered the weapons after the passenger’s bag was scanned by an X-Ray machine.
The bag was then searched by hand, which led to the discovery of the knives. The passenger was arrested and the incident did not cause any flight delays.
Riley said the incident was an example of what TSA does at airports across the country.
“Every single day our officers stopping weapons like these from moving from one side of the checkpoint to the other,” he told The Hill. “This is certainly unusual because there were 13, but in a way it’s an example of what happens at our airports every day.”
The news of the foiled knife-smuggling comes as members of Congress harshly criticized the TSA Wednesday for reports of breaches of airport perimeter security.
The House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security held a hearing Wednesday where lawmakers berated TSA Assistant Administrator John Sammon.
“We appreciate TSA in tracking and providing that data, but obviously, those are the ones we know about,” Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said during Wednesday’s meeting. “The deep concern is what about the ones we don’t know about, and the creativity and things that can happen in the future.”
Nashville TN July 14 2011 Vandalism charges were filed Tuesday against a woman suspected of spray-painting graffiti on the walls of the state Capitol.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol issued an arrest warrant for Barbara Ann Smith, 37, who is jailed in Rutherford County on charges of vandalizing government property near the Murfreesboro public square. Murfreesboro police said Smith took responsibility for the vandalism at both places.
“I am proud of the work our Criminal Investigation Division put into this case. Initially, there was not much information to go on, but they followed up several leads and, ultimately, solved the case,” Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.
In the early morning hours of June 19, state troopers on duty at the state Capitol discovered graffiti spray painted on the exterior walls of the building. The graffiti included hand-drawn pentagrams and the words “RIP TONY AL” and “WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE” spray painted in black. Surveillance video showed a hooded suspect near the scene.
“The state Capitol is the people’s house, and the c’s Capitol Security Unit is committed to securing it. We have taken increased steps to help ensure the safety of the building and those who work and visit there,” Gibbons added.
New York July 14 2011 A naked couple – their hands clasped together – leaped off the Tappan Zee Bridge on Tuesday morning in a fateful plunge that claimed one of their lives.
The woman, Alfa Choice, 29 – a former teacher at Bronx High School of Science – died in the 9 a.m. plunge, while her companion, Christopher Shears, 44, was rescued in extremely critical condition, officials said.
He was fighting for his life at Nyack Hospital, his distraught mother, who did not give her name, said Tuesday night. She told the Daily News through tears that her beloved son had just emerged from surgery. “He’s not doing better. They’re moving him,” she added. “He’s a great guy, a great son. He loved people.”
Both Shears and Choice, a graduate of Cornell University, are Bronx natives who had moved to Ithaca in central New York, where Cornell is located, sources said.
Choice, who attended Cornell on scholarship, was hired by the Board of Education in September 2004 as a biology teacher at the prestigious high school.
She resigned in August 2007 and was currently working at Cornell, said a source familiar with the investigation.
The nature of the couple’s relationship remained unclear Tuesday night. “I can’t even say because it’s not something I want to talk about,” said Shears’ mother.
The drama on the Hudson River unfolded Tuesday morning when construction workers on the bridge spotted a tan Chevrolet Tahoe, which pulled over in the southbound lane on the Westchester side of the span, about 25 miles north of the city. The couple, both naked, climbed onto the car’s hood to get over a barrier on the bridge and then jumped, New York State Trooper Glen Williams said.
The woman appeared to go over the rail first, either slipping or falling, witnesses told The Journal News. The man followed as the horrified workers looked on.
Source:NY Times Daily
LAS VEGAS NV July 14 2011 – Metro Police is warning the public about a growing problem. Marijuana grow houses are popping up in neighborhoods all over the valley. Now, police have launched a public service announcement on YouTube.
“We want you to call us. We will be there. You won’t see us we work undercover,” the PSA says.
Metro says as more illegal medical marijuana dispensaries opened in the Las Vegas area, people saw an opportunity to cash in.
Police say signs of a grow house may include activity only at night. On the windows, florescent bulbs may shine through. Dew or moisture may also develop, or the windows may be covered in tin foil. Officers say neighbors may also detect a “skunk-like” odor coming from a grow house.
Police say grow houses often lead to other crimes.
“Marijuana isn’t just marijuana anymore, and we’ve had several murders over the last two years based on a marijuana grows and marijuana sales,” Metro Vice and Narcotics Captain Richard Collins said. “We’ve seen 65 guns this year, and every time we go into a place, these people are armed.”
“These are real criminals. They’re not just nice guys that live next door that want to smoke a little bit of pot,” Captain Collins added.
Metro has shut down 88 grow houses so far this year. Police expect their grow house busts to be up 53 percent from last year.
Washington DC July 14 2011 U.S. airports have suffered more than 25,000 security breaches under the watch of the Transportation Security Administration in the past ten years, a House subcommittee on national security reported today.
At a hearing today of the House subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, lawmakers reported thousands of breaches and slammed the TSA for what members saw as a litany of security lapses at airports across the country. (TSA employee caught stuffing passengers’ junk in his trunks)
According to numbers provided to the committee by the TSA, more than 14,000 people accessed sensitive areas of airports and around 6,000 passengers and pieces of luggage were able to make it past security checkpoints without proper screening.
Some 1,388 breaches occurred at the perimeter areas of airports, such as at JFK, where a quarter-mile of perimeter fence has been missing for four years.
Airports are responsible for monitoring and maintaining perimeter security, although the TSA is responsible for enforcing guidelines.
In a statement to ABC News, the TSA said the 25,000 breaches “represent a tiny fraction of one percent” of the billions of passengers screened at the nation’s airports since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. “Airports today are safer than ever before,” the statement said.
However, Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz called TSA’s operating procedures “security theater.”
“There’s a better, smarter, safer way to do this, and the TSA isn’t prioritizing here,” Chaffetz said. “How do we be more secure but less invasive? We have to find that balance.”
Florida Republican Rep. John Micah was less sparing in his assessment.
“We’ve created an agency that’s run pell-mell away from security and turned into huge unthinking, non-risk-based bureaucracy,” Mica said. “Everywhere I turn I’m appalled at what’s taking place.”
Chaffetz slammed the TSA for not conducting thorough risk assessments at airports. A Government Accountability Office report found only 17 percent of U.S. airports have received joint vulnerability assessments.
“In September 2009, GAO reported that since 2004 TSA has taken actions to strengthen airport perimeter and access controls security by, among other things, deploying a random worker screening program; however, TSA has not conducted a comprehensive risk assessment or developed a national strategy,” the GAO wrote. “Specifically, TSA had not conducted vulnerability assessments for 87 percent of the approximately 450 U.S. airports regulated by TSA at that time.”
The joint vulnerability assessments are conducted by TSA in concert with the FBI are the most intensive risk assessments the agency performs.
A separate GAO report issued Tuesday also found TSA was facing serious challenges in upgrading its explosives detecting devices. TSA revised its explosives detecting requirements in 2010, but it had yet to even fully upgrade its fleet of machines to the previous 2005 standards.
“TSA did not begin deployment of systems meeting the previous 2005 requirements until 2009,” the report found. “As of January 2011 some of the EDS in TSA’s fleet detect explosives at the level established in 2005 while the remaining EDS detect explosives at levels established in 1998. Further, TSA does not have a plan to deploy and operate systems to meet the current requirements and has faced challenges in procuring the first 260 systems to meet these requirements.”
The GAO noted that practical issues, such as the difficulty of testing explosive compounds, had delayed the program. TSA assistant administrator John Sammon said the 1998 standards are still “more stringent than anything else in the world.”
Committee members also criticized TSA’s SPOT program, which uses behavioral analysis to detect potential terrorists. TSA has invested $800 million in the program, even though no independent studies have confirmed its effectiveness.
Committee members called for wider use of bomb-detecting dogs rather than body-imaging devices and improved cooperation between TSA and airports.
PORTLAND OR July 14 2011 – Fred Meyer Stores are being sued by employees who said a customer was sexually harassing them and the store did nothing to stop it.
The plantiffs allege a man who visited the store almost daily since 2007 would “sit by the employee time clock in order to pull women onto his lap as they walked past to punch in. He would also rub up against female workers, giving unwanted hugs and groping their bodies.”
The lawsuit claims managers told them nothing could be done unless a manager or loss prevention personnel directly witnessed the harassment.
“I reported this problem time and time again and they didn’t do anything to protect me,” plaintiff Laura Morrow said.
Fred Meyer spokesperson Melinda Merrill said the company’s labor relations department was reviewing the case.
The suit seeks an undetermined amount in monetary damages, training on anti-discrimination laws and posting of notices at the worksite to prevent sexual harassment.
NEW YORK NY July 14 2011 — A dripping-wet, naked man scaled an 8-foot-high (2.5-meter-high) beach-side fence topped with barbed wire and entered a restricted area at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, the New York Post reported Wednesday.
The man, who identified himself as Greg Rodriguez, 30, got within “a stone’s throw” of a storage facility housing thousands of gallons of jet fuel during the incident Tuesday morning, a Port Authority spokeswoman said.
Rodriguez — who was charged with trespassing and other charges — was never a threat, the spokeswoman said.
But another Port Authority official asked, “If this guy was a former Navy SEAL or someone with special-ops training from another country, do you have any idea the amount of havoc and fear he could have caused?”
Investigators say these shoplifting rings are well choreographed and can take local retailers for thousands of dollars in stolen items.
“Every time we go into a store, we pay higher prices because the stores have to cover their losses from theft,” said Curt Crum of the Boise Police Organized Retail Crime Unit. “In Boise, we have had great success partnering with local retailers to share information and be pro-active in trying to identify potential shoplifters and lower losses.”
Officers were alerted Monday by a security officer working at a shopping area near Franklin Road and Milwaukee Street that a crime was in progress. When officers arrived they saw the suspects take numerous high-end name brand clothing items from a store without paying.
The suspects were detained by police as they got into their car.
Jessica Padilla, 25, Yesenia Rangel-Reyes, 18, both of Granger, Wash., and Rosa Reyes, 44, of Sunnyside, Wash., have each been charged with burglary.
Police say Reyes was in possession of several stolen checks from Washington state. Ada County prosecutors say she will also be charged with grand theft by possession.
The estimated value of the stolen items is $900.
This was the second shoplifting ring arrested in Boise in the past week. On July 7, Boise Police arrested three suspects after observing a similar shoplifting incident.
Police believe these groups work together to steal items from retailers to sell them online or take them out of the area for sale.
Police said they caught a man taking pictures up women’s skirts while they were shopping in Spotsylvania, the Freelance Star reports.
Fredericksburg police spokesperson Natatia Bledsoe told the paper that shoppers at the Fredericksburg Target had complained to store employees that a man had reached under their skirts with his cell phone while they were in the store.
A Target security guard followed the man outside, and helped police catch up with him a short time later.
“Bledsoe said the man agreed to let the officer examine his phone, and the first picture showed showed a woman’s thighs, buttocks and underwear. Police believe the picture was taken in Target.
The man was also later found on the store surveillance camera taking a picture of the victim, police said.”
Authorities identified the man as 40-year-old Russell Hailstalk. Police said in a press release that in order to get the pictures, Hailstalk got very close to the women, in some cases following them around the store. He was charged with unlawful photographing.
This week, a Reston man received a 6-year prison sentence for his upskirt photography. David Solomon, 27, got caught taking pictures up women’s dresses at Dulles International Airport.
Washington DC July 14 2011 – What is the best way to search travelers for explosives: Full-body Imaging machines, which can see through your clothes? Or Rin Tin Tin, who can’t, but might lick your hand?
That, unexpectedly, became the most contentious issue at a fiery congressional hearing Wednesday on airport security.
In a sometimes blistering, sometimes comical debate, Republican lawmakers, a canine officer and a Transportation Security Administration official argued over the relative merits of dog vs. machine in assuring the national security.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, led the dog caucus, arguing that canines are cheaper and less invasive than body scanners. Dogs are exceptional at sensing explosives, do not require software upgrades, don’t depreciate with use and might even be able to detect bombs implanted under a person’s skin.
“The single best way to find a bomb-making device or bomb-making materials is the canine,” Chaffetz said.
And dogs are widely accepted by the public, he said.
“Who doesn’t like dogs?” chimed in Inspector William Parker, head of Amtrak’s K-9 unit.
Canines are missing one thing that body scanners have, Chaffetz said. Lobbyists.
“That’s what the problem is,” Chaffetz said. “If you look at those lobbyists who pushed through those machines, they should be ashamed of themselves, because there is a better way to do this and it’s with the canines.”
Transportation Security Administration Assistant Administrator John Sammon noted the TSA has fielded both body scanners and canines. But dogs have limitations, he said. They require frequent breaks, he said, while the imaging machines can be worked tirelessly.
And he said, a dog can cost “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
“How do you come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars. I mean Alpo only costs so much,” Chaffetz said. “I challenge you to verify that number.”
Sammon said the cost of trainers and handlers is substantial.
“I assume that your whole-body imaging machines require an operator too,” said dog fancier Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas. The machine at his local airport requires three, he said. “One to stop you going through, one to listen on the (walkie talkie), and the one in back (to review the image).”
Dogs and machines are both “expensive systems,” Sammon allowed. “They each have their role.”
But Chaffetz maintained dogs are more efficient and proposed a contest.
“Let’s do this,” Chaffetz challenged Sammon. “You take a thousand people and put them in a room, I’ll give you 10 whole-body imaging machines. You give me 5,000 in another room. You give me one of his dogs and we will find that bomb before you find your bomb,” he said.
“Let’s see who can find more bombs, and let’s see who is less expensive,” Chaffetz said.
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, asked Parker whether canines can detect explosive implants — devices surgically implanted on a human.
“Scientifically, right now there’s no data that says a dog can or cannot,” Parker said. But he noted that dogs can detect cancer and tumors. “Dogs can detect anything that they’re taught. I think if the dog is taught to do that, he’ll be a very good asset for that.”
TSA officials have told Congress that body scanners can not detect implanted devices, although they may detect modifications to body contours.
Sammon promised to look into the cost of dogs and report back to Congress.
Napa CA Fuly 14 2011 A Napa woman was arrested at about 4:30 p.m. Monday on suspicion of burglary at Kohl’s department store in the 1000 block of First Street, Napa Police said.
Cecilia Lyons, 30, of Napa, allegedly entered the store with a backpack stuffed with toilet paper to give the impression the bag was full, police said.
Lyons allegedly left the toilet paper in a dressing room and placed about $360 worth of jeans, tops, perfume, lingerie in the backpack.
Lyons, who was on probation, was stopped as she left the building, police said. She was arrested and booked into the Napa County Jail on suspicion of burglary and probation violation.
Robert Gambrazzio, 25, of 35 Corbett Road, Stoughton and Erin Clifford, 18, of 17 Mill Pond Lane, Norfolk, were arraigned Tuesday on charges of possession of a Class A drug, and released on personal recognizance.
Police said they responded to a call at about 8:30 p.m., Monday from Walmart security describing a man standing against a car and a woman passed out in the passenger’s seat.
When they arrived, officers found the man swaying from side to side and leaning against a Ford Mustang while “quite a bit of foot traffic” filled the neighboring parking aisles, according to a police report.
Gambrazzio had droopy, bloodshot eyes, police said, and slurred his words when he talked. When they approached him and asked him his name, “he looked up with a blank stare,” the report read, “and stated, ‘Huh?’”
Police asked him if was under the influence of heroin, to which Gambrazzio allegedly replied, “Not right now.” He then allegedly admitted he had used some earlier in the day.
Police said they found Clifford in the passenger’s seat with a needle in her lap and a white cap filled with heroin on the center console. When they searched the vehicle, officers found two more needles in the glove box, including one that appeared to have heroin inside it, according to the report.
The pair have a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Sept. 20.