Peachtree GA. Sept 5 2011 The Target store in Peachtree City was robbed at gunpoint Tuesday night by two men, one of whom was armed with a black semi-automatic handgun, police said.
The two male aggressors entered the store as employees were attempting to close for the evening around 10 p.m., police said. They threatened several employees and customers, and forced employees to open several cash registers, police said.
Police said the robbers were only inside the store for a short period of time and fled on foot after getting away with an undisclosed amount of cash. At this point in the investigation no vehicle description is available, police said. The first suspect, the gunman was described as “possibly a white male” wearing black clothing and with a black T-shirt wrapped around his head. He also was carrying a blue backpack.
The second suspect was described as “possibly a hispanic male or black male” with a medium complexion who also was wearing black clothing and a red T-shirt wrapped around his head.
The second suspect also was carrying a gray backpack. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Peachtree City Police detectives at 770-631-2510 or the crime and narcotics information hotline at 770-487-6010. Callers may remain anonymous.
Miami Fla Sept 5 2011 The next time a hospital official asks to look into your eyes, it might not be your health he’s checking.
In South Florida and across the nation, hospitals are implementing high tech biometrics technology to speed up the admission process, reduce errors and add a layer of security in an age where insurance fraud and identity theft is a serious problem.
They include such things as palm readers, iris scanners and voice recognition systems, which are methods to recognize a person based on unique biological characteristics and patterns, according to companies that create the technology.
These systems help locate patient records and log them into electronic files. It can also track who is looking at sensitive information stored in hospitals and cut down on patients pretending to be someone else to dodge a bill.
“The advantage is that it prevents some lunatic from walking in off the street with someone else’s identity,” said Dr. Fred Valdes, of Hollywood, whose palm was recently scanned at Memorial Hospital Miramar.
To prevent errors and enhance security, some hospitals, such as Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach, require new moms and their babies to wear bracelets with their photos attached to barcodes. When they leave, the bar codes must match so the family is “as safe as possible,” said Lisa Kronhaus, director of public relations and marketing.
Others medical centers have finger scanners that only allow authorized workers to access certain records. The Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Palm Beach is considering incorporating face recognition programs in the future.
“In the case of hospitals, there is a lot of private patient data that you don’t want to fall in the wrong hands,” said Dr. Anil Jain, distinguished professor in the computer science department at Michigan State University.
South Florida has had its share of medical fraud and identity theft. In April, a former emergency room clerk at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale was sentenced to two years in federal prison for selling patients’ personal information to a South Florida identity-theft ring. She admitted copying documents containing patients’ addresses, ages and Social Security numbers and passing them along for cash.
In February of last year, a man was charged with using a fake name to receive more than $106,000 in medical care at Boca Raton Community Hospital. Police later found the social security number he had provided belonged to an Arizona resident.
At Memorial patients have the right to decline having their palms scanned. But there is rarely any resistance from residents.
BernadetteLopez, director of pre-services at Memorial, said the system has decreased the number of people looking to use someone else’s insurance card or assume someone else’s identity.
The system costs the tax-assisted hospital district about $150,000 annually to maintain.
“It’s like airport security; we know it’s part of our lives.” said Kerting Baldwin, director of media relations.
Those who ask the most questions tend to be lawyers and police officers, Lopez said.
Experts say we can expect to see more of these and other high-tech gadgets, especially since they’re becoming less expensive and easier to intergrate with existing security systems.
For example, In New York, the Urban Health Plan clinic in the Bronx began using iris scanners about two years ago to cut down on mistaken identities. The clinic is in a majority Hispanic area, where many of the clients didn’t’ speak English.
When a patient visits a clinic employee scans their eyes using a handheld camera. Within seconds, the camera reads the patient’s iris patterns, and a computer locates their medical record.
But Jain said patients still have to warm up to the idea of having their eye scanned for record keeping reasons. Plus, he said, iris scanners tend to be more expensive and, “it takes longer. People have to get used to opening their eyes and standing in front of [it],” he said.
In addition to cutting down on fraud, technology can be used to assist patients trying to access information remotely.
At the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Palm Beach, a veteran’s voice can be used to access information over the phone about treatment. Now the center is researching how to use face recognition programs as it expands it services over the Internet and teleconferencing.
“A lot of the time patients have chronic diseases so they have travel limitation,” said facilities coordinator Dan Dwyer. “These would make it easier for them to interact with their healthcare provider and health care team without having to travel great distances or even leave their homes.”
Still, some face recognition programs can be problematic, said Jain, because they can be very sensitive to changes in lighting and modified facial expressions.
“Matching can be difficult. It depends on the pose and the expression,” he said.
Over at MD Now Urgent Care walk-in clinic, which has six locations in Palm Beach County, patients have their photo ID’s scanned into the system which is attached to their electronic files. They don’t use any biometrics yet and Dr. Peter Lamelas, CEO of the MD Now said there are no plans to do so in the near future.
Lamelas said the current system in place works
“Sometimes science fiction is ahead of science fact,” said Lamelas. “It takes a while for the real life application to catch up.”
Read more:sun sentinel
BRITISH COLUMBIA Sept 5 2011 — Police say a remote-controlled unmanned drone is expected to help crash analysts get better, faster images.
The $30,000 aerial vehicle being tested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) hovers over crash sites to take photos or video, according to BC Local News. It sends images to officers on the ground, who use them to reconstruct accidents.
The Draganflyer X6 will allow police to reopen roads faster after crashes than they can when using a helicopter, RCMP Insp. Norm Gaumont said. Because it flies at lower altitude than a chopper would – up to 175 feet – it can also capture more detailed images.
Officers are permitted to fly the unit, which fits inside a suitcase, at speeds of up to 30 kilometers per hour.
The RCMP will test the unit for one year before deciding whether to buy one, Gaumont said.
SAN FRANCISCO CA Sept 5 2011 — Bicyclists zoom across the Golden Gate Bridge, wander open walkways on either side and stop for hot coffee at a cafe at the base. A bridge officer cruises by on his patrol bike.
The security at one of the country’s most famous landmarks is pretty relaxed. And so are the tourists.
“If there was a place terrorists would pick, this would probably be it,” admitted 33-year-old Alison Fine of Houston, who snapped photos of her family with the bridge shrouded in fog. “I’m not worried, though.”
Across the country, tourists go through security scanners and remove belts and shoes before they can get close enough to the Statue of Liberty.
As millions flock to summer vacations at national landmarks — particularly those that are embedded in our culture as symbols of freedom and the American spirit — the level of post-Sept. 11 security often depends on the symbolism.
There have been few credible threats to the nation’s icons over the past decades, authorities say — although a New York suspect admitted to a plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge, and many others have talked about attacking other New York landmarks. There have been other pranks and incidents — like when pro-Tibet protesters tried to climb up the Golden Gate in 2008, or when Greenpeace unfurled a banner atop Mount Rushmore in 2009.
The statue, the White House, Washington Monument, Liberty Bell and St. Louis’ Gateway Arch still have “airport-like” security nearly a decade after Sept. 11, National Park Service spokesman David Barna said.
But U.S. officials disagree on how to strike a delicate balance between protecting our national icons from terror threats and inviting the public to visit them.
In 2003 and 2009, the General Accounting Office wrote reports saying that security at the nation’s monuments needed improvement. The U.S. Park Police said something similar in 2008. The latest report in 2009 charged that the National Park Service was disorganized in the way it spends money, shares information and trains officers.
“For example, staff that are assigned security duties are generally not required to meet qualifications or undergo specialized training,” the report said. “Absent a security training curriculum, there is less assurance that staff are well-equipped to effectively identify and mitigate risks at national icons and parks.”
In an email sent June 3 to The Associated Press, GAO spokeswoman Laura Kopelson wrote: “According to the director of the national icon security review, NPS has not yet informed us of their actions on our recommendations in the 2009 report.”
Barna said all of the recommendations have been implemented. The number of law enforcement officers within the park service — which oversees both wild parks such as the Grand Canyon and national monuments — has increased by 1,500 to almost 4,000 since Sept. 11.
The five most secured icons in the country “tend to have a single access entry point,” Barna said, making mass casualties more of a threat.
At the base of the Washington Monument, visitors get their bags searched in a small white building at the monument’s base, which houses a magnetometer. A submerged sidewalk was built after Sept. 11 all the way around the monument.
At the Statue of Liberty — which shut down completely until 2004 and kept its crown from visitors until 2009 — a complex system greets visitors. After they wait in a long line behind police barricades, visitors enter a giant white tent where they face security that resembles an airport terminal with six metal detectors. The tent is staffed by a private security firm and several police officers are also on hand.
Signs posted near the tent entrance warn visitors that use of cell phones and cameras is not allowed in the tent. Other signs are filled with graphics illustrating a lineup of items that cannot be taken along, including coolers, large baggage and packages.
Once on Liberty Island, visitors are required to have special passes — acquired days or weeks earlier — to enter the statue itself. And another security tent is set up just feet from the base of the statue.
You just accept it,” shrugged Martin Lightfoot, a 51-year-old from London. He noted he shed his belt and watch before being allowed to pass through.
“It’s tighter security than I saw at the airport,” he said.
Compare that to the freer and easier Golden Gate Bridge.
Visitors park in a lot on the San Francisco side of the span, while vehicles slow nearby pay tolls to drive across. Buses lumber into the lot and disgorge dozens of awe-struck tourists. From there, people can freely walk around a small park with plaques and flowers, then it’s a few hundred feet to the bridge’s sidewalk.
At least one Golden Gate Bridge District officer is nearby, with a mix of city police, U.S. Park police and occasional Coast Guard patrols. The Bridge district police carry guns but don’t have the power to make arrests.
The number of bridge security officers increased after Sept. 11, but in recent years, the number has remained static, at 31.
It’s always been a challenge to maintain security and public access simultaneously, said Golden Gate Bridge District Spokeswoman Mary Currie.
“We recently had 8,000 Girl Scouts on the bridge,” she said. “Do we search the girls’ backpacks? No, we have to rely on intelligence. We don’t necessarily worry about an individual — one backpack is not going to bring down the bridge.”
Tourists milling around the bridge on a foggy spring day were nonplussed when asked about fears of terrorism.
“I think the worst has already happened,” said Roberto Vasquez, 46, from nearby Hayward.
Over the years, federal authorities have said more could be done to make the American icons safer; a delicate balance between protecting the sites and the public’s need to feel free and open.
At Mount Rushmore in Keystone, South Dakota, rangers have received special training and have gas mats and hazardous materials suits in case of a chemical attack. There, rangers have received special training and have gas masks and hazardous materials suits on hand in case of a chemical attack.
At Nevada’s Hoover Dam, security guards give a cursory check to all vehicles and a more thorough search of all trucks and buses. A sign near the parking garage tells visitors that the area is under video surveillance and that they can’t bring anything that doesn’t fit within the confines of a small black square.
After Sept. 11, the park service placed ugly fencing around the top of the Lincoln Memorial, which was later removed when numerous bollards were installed to prohibit anyone with a car bomb from driving into National Mall, he said.
But even to a 6-year-old, the security can make sense. Kaylee Kennedy rode back on the ferry from Liberty Island with her father, Darren, a deputy sheriff from Florida after going through two security checkpoints. Kaylee said she knew why.
“They don’t want anyone to shoot at the Statue of Liberty,” she said.
The robbery happened at a house in Aiea on Aug. 22, around midnight.
According to police, the men approached two of the victims in the driveway of the house, and ordered them to the ground after showing badges and a gun.
The suspects then went inside the house, and confronted five people playing video games in a back bedroom.
After taking everything in their pockets, the imposters took off in a white pickup truck.
The suspect was arrested for impersonating a police officer and first degree robbery, along with three probation violations and contempt.
Nashville TN Sept 5 2011 Undercover Metro Police detectives charged 136 people this week with mostly drug and prostitution offenses after investigations in several Nashville neighborhoods.
South Precinct detectives charged 24 people after investigations on Richards Road, Harding Place and Murfreesboro Pike. They seized one gun, small amounts of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine and $625 cash.
Hermitage Precinct detectives charged 23 people after investigations on Murfreesboro Pike, Millwood Drive, Old Hickory Boulevard and Lafayette Street. They seized 2.6 pounds of marijuana and 5.4 grams of cocaine.
West Precinct detectives charged 19 people after investigations on Kentucky Avenue, Hillside Avenue, 12th Avenue South and Patterson Street. They seized five grams of cocaine, 12 grams of marijuana, one vehicle and $4,400 cash.
North Precinct detectives charged 20 people after investigations on Ames Court, Forest Park Drive, Heritage Lane, and Buchanan, Underwood and Cherry Streets. They seized five guns, eight grams of cocaine, two marijuana plants, 12.2 grams of processed marijuana, 112 pills, one vehicle and $1,587 cash.
East Precinct detectives charged 28 people after investigations in the James Cayce public housing development and on Litton Avenue, Dickerson Pike and Trinity Lane. They seized 7.25 grams of cocaine, 12.8 grams of crack cocaine, 400 Dilaudid, 6.5 hydrocodone, a small amount of marijuana, three vehicles and $37,083 cash.
Central Precinct detectives charged 22 people after investigations on Murfreesboro Pike at Lester Avenue, Thompson Lane, the 200 block of 2nd Avenue South, and 6th Avenue South at Lafayette Street. They seized 95.8 grams of cocaine, one vehicle and $1,400 cash.
Anyone suspecting drug activity in their neighborhoods is asked to call the police department’s 244-DOPE hotline.
American Canyon Sept 5 2011 Three 19-year-old men were arrested at about 9:25 p.m. Friday on suspicion of stealing alcohol at Walmart, American Canyon Police Sgt. Mike Milat said.
Walmart security officers tried to stop the men — Brian Fite and Elliot Patterson of Vallejo, and Arion Wiley of Richmond — as they left the store allegedly carrying the alcohol in backpacks, Milat said. The men were also suspected of stealing alcohol on a prior incident, he said.
The suspects allegedly became uncooperative and fought back in an attempt to get away, Milat said. Police officers were dispatched, he said.
Fite, Patterson and Wiley were booked into the Napa County jail on suspicion of robbery, Milat said.
Two people were arrested on weapons violation charges and three for disorderly conduct during the 90-minute rally on W. Greenfield Ave. between S. 75th and S. 76th streets in front of City Hall.
There were a few tense moments when a separate group of neo-Nazi sympathizers in the crowd were confronted by a group of angry protesters. Insults were hurled. Then someone threw a metal object, and the crowd backed off.
Police dressed in riot gear moved in quickly, surrounding the area and forming a barrier with their batons.
The rally was organized by the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group out of Detroit, to call attention to incidents of violence this summer. Those include so-called flash mobs involving groups of young African-Americans attacking white adults. One of the incidents occurred on the first night of the State Fair in West Allis, and another after the July 3 fireworks in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood.
The neo-Nazis numbered 25 to 30. About 2,000 people attended a counter-rally an hour earlier, according to police. The counterprotest featured drumming, chanting and a rendition of “Kumbaya.” Speakers invoked Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and the lyrics of the Broadway classic “South Pacific” (“You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear.”)
People strolled the rain-soaked streets with harmonicas and tambourines. One sign read: “I dislike your hate!”
Sister Charlotte Smits, 69, of Milwaukee, showed up lugging an oxygen tank.
“Nothing is going to stop me,” the nun said.
She dismissed the notion that racially motivated crimes are a problem.
“These were a bunch of stupid kids with bad parents,” she said.
More than 100 police officers provided security. Officers were from the West Allis, Greenfield, Milwaukee and Wauwatosa and State Fair police departments; the Milwaukee County sheriff’s office; and State Patrol.
Police barricades kept the neo-Nazis and the counterprotesters more than 20 yards apart.
Chanting from the much larger crowd drowned out the neo-Nazis, who could barely be heard.
“I love being black!” Devote Richards, 18, a senior at Nathan Hale High School in West Allis, shouted into a bullhorn.
Darryl Nitsch, 49, and his wife, Laura, 42, live four blocks from where the rally was held. They said they were nervous about what might have happened and pleased that no one was injured.
“I’m pretty proud of West Allis today,” Darryl Nitsch said.
The rally was originally scheduled to go until 4 p.m., but the neo-Nazis wrapped it up early, finishing their speeches about 3:30 p.m. They posed for a photograph in front of City Hall and then were ferried away in a yellow school bus.
Steve Kinzey, who has been an associate professor of kinesiology at California State University, San Bernardino for nearly 10 years, is suspected of leading a motorcycle gang and methamphetamine drug ring in southern California.
Law enforcement officials said they believe he is the president of the local chaper of the Devils Diciples motorcycle club, which has been the target of a six-month narcotics and weapons trafficking investigation.
San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said investigators determined Kinzey and his girlfriend, Holly Robinson, were allegedly buying large amounts of methamphetamine and distributing it to at least six other people throughout San Bernardino county. Police intercepted a package of methamphetamine allegedly being distributed to his house, and on Aug. 26 raided his home. Upon discovering drugs and illegal weapons in his home, police issued a fugitive arrest warrant for Kinzey, who was on the run.
Kinzey, a university professor is on the run following a raid on his home that turned up more than a pound of methamphetamine, unregistered rifles and handguns, body armor, leather biker vests, and evidence of his involvement with a motorcycle gang.
The investigation into Kinzey began when the San Bernardino Gang Impact team started looking at the Devils Diciples motorcycle gang, and Kinzey’s name came up in connection with illegal activity.
According to Bachman, during the probe, police turned up some surprising information on the alleged drug kingpin: he was a well-liked university professor.
One of Kinzey’s students, Drew Peterson told ABC station KABC-TV in Los Angeles that he can’t believe his professor could be the leader of an outlaw motorcycle gang, but he said Kinzey “would talk about his biker buddies, or his brothers, and say that they had each others’ backs and were basically family.”
University president Albert Karnig said the school would assist the sheriff’s department in the investigation.
“To have an associate professor who is a member of the Devils Diciples and allegedly dealing methamphetamine is quite alarming. I mean, it’s unusual to say the least,” San Bernardino County Sheriff Rod Hoops said
The fall quarter at CSU-San Bernardino begins Sept. 14, and according to the school website Kinzey was set to return to campus and be an adviser to several students in the Department of Kinesiology this fall.
Seven other people were arrested on drug-related charges. But Bachman said “the investigation is ongoing, and Kinzey is still a fugitive.”
The guard contacted the 20-year-old man near an apartment on the 600 block of West Gutierrez Street after a tenant reported him pounding on the windows. The man grabbed the guard by the shoulders and tried to throw him to the ground.
The guard pulled away and pepper sprayed the man. The man backed off and sat down on the curb.
When police officers arrived, the man became aggressive and threatened the officers. They had to take him to the ground and use a taser to subdue him. The man scraped his face during the struggle.
He continued to fight with officers at Cottage Hospital and was arrested for resisting arrest and assault.
CHICAGO IL Sept 5 2011 – A man was taken into police custody after making a bomb threat on a flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, officials said on Sunday.
Spirit Flight 245 left McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas around 5:30 p.m. Saturday but returned shortly after, according to McCarran spokesman Glenn Gardener.
“He made some kind of a threat while in the air and they had to turn around,” Gardener said. Airline officials arranged to meet with Las Vegas police at the gate, and the man was taken into custody, Gardener said.
The passengers were taken off the plane as a precaution on and put on another plane to Los Angeles. “Whenever we get a bomb threat we have to screen the aircraft,” said Gardener.
Las Vegas police said the man was drunk, according to a KLAS-TV report. A police representative was not immediately available for comment.
The threat was made just one week before the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.
Misty Pinson, spokeswoman for Spirit, said in an e-mail the plane landed normally, and authorities conducted a search and found nothing.
Pittsburgh PA Sept 5 2011 Pennsylvania State Police officials insist none of their workers is breaking moonlighting regulations like off-duty Trooper Ed Joyner did last year while working for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during a scandal in Georgia.
But a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review analysis of 1,038 supplementary employment requests filed by state police employees since 2005 found:
• Twenty troopers approved to work at firms that hire or train bodyguards, conduct background checks, draft security plans, monitor employees and facilities, prevent theft or probe fraud.
• Four vehicle fraud or inspection troopers OK’d to own transportation companies or work at vehicle dealerships that the state police regulate.
• Four troopers and a civilian clerk cleared to become salesmen for firms later accused in lawsuits or by attorneys general as scams.
• Four troopers permitted to work at establishments that sell alcohol, despite department regulations prohibiting such employment.
Over the past 6 1/2 years, state police officials ultimately denied only two moonlighting requests, and Joyner’s was the sole endorsement they rescinded. Troopers will be paid a low of $55,227 by the state this year, excluding overtime. One moonlighting major will make $132,319.
Maj. Martin L. Henry III, director of the State Police Bureau of Records and Identification, told the Trib that state regulations, collective bargaining agreements and precedent-setting labor hearings let employees take nearly any job.
“Because of certain arbitration rulings or decisions, it puts us into a position when we’re evaluating these,” he said. “We may already have an idea that some of these might go a certain way.”
President Bruce A. Edwards of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association said the union contract sets “stringent conditions” for approving outside employment and “rejected seven out of 12 grievance requests” over the past decade.
“In fact, only two cases have gone to arbitration — and one was denied by the arbitrator. The other allowed a trooper to set up chairs at an arena. A single case simply cannot carry as much weight as the department indicates. Unfortunately, it seems as if collective bargaining and the arbitration process have become convenient targets for misplaced blame,” said Edwards in a prepared statement.
Edwards is approved to work as the union’s elected leader. He and 564 other moonlighting troopers comprise only about 13 percent of the approximately 4,400 troopers. That doesn’t include military reservists or unpaid volunteers for charities.
Henry was himself approved in 2008 to teach social studies at Reading Area Community College, records show. About a third of all troopers who moonlight teach, coach or referee.
Nearly a fifth of the agency’s estimated 1,600 civilian employees have been approved for off-duty work since 2005, mostly in retail and restaurant jobs.
On March 5, 2010, a 20-year-old woman accused Roethlisberger of raping her in a Milledgeville, Ga., tavern. Joyner accompanied Big Ben on that night’s pub crawl, and underage female drinkers say he was the quarterback’s bodyguard and paid his bar tab. The allegations of witnesses weren’t proved, and authorities never charged the men but criticized Roethlisberger’s conduct and the role played by his employees that evening.
Joyner filed, and lost, a grievance hearing to get his job with Roethlisberger back. He’s still allowed to work as a “self-employed actor” for TV and movies under a separate 2006 request approved by the state police.
In the wake of the Roethlisberger scandal, state police officials said they never knew the nature of Joyner’s work for the quarterback. Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents, however, told the Trib it was an open secret at the Washington County barracks that Joyner was Big Ben’s bodyguard, chauffeur and handyman.
He also was an usher at Roethlisberger’s July 23 wedding in Ohio Township.
It might not have mattered if commanders opposed Joyner’s work request. Since 2005, supervisors of at least eight troopers, a motor carrier enforcement officer and a liquor control enforcement officer have recommended state police brass deny jobs the managers thought conflicted with Department Directive AR 4-17 on supplemental employment, the Governor’s Code of Conduct or their employees’ busy work schedules.
All those requests were ultimately approved, the Trib’s analysis of state records found. Even requests by supervisors to put stipulations on troopers’ approved jobs were sometimes disregarded.
Cpl. Albert R. Ogden III, Towanda Station’s criminal section supervisor, wanted to work for an auctioneer used by the Bradford County District Attorney’s office to sell property seized by the state police. His commander, Capt. James E. Degnan, wrote on the request that the corporal oversaw “the seizure and disposition of seized items” and asked for stipulations barring him from “any auctions or purchasing of these seized items” so Ogden’s secondary job wouldn’t put the agency in an “unfavorable or questionable position.”
The department’s chief legal counsel, Barbara L. Christie, and Maj. Charles J. Skurkis — now retired — approved Ogden’s request on Feb. 22 with no stipulations. Christie didn’t return messages seeking comment on numerous requests, and Skurkis could not be reached. Degnan and Ogden declined to comment.
“It was approved because he’s a general laborer. He has no input into what is auctioned or not auctioned,” Henry said.
As a commander in 2009, Henry opposed a request filed by a document examiner to do the same work for private clients because it might “conflict with the duties of a Pennsylvania State Police Trooper.” Christie and Lt. Col. John Brown — also now retired — OK’d it anyway.
Since 2005, records indicate that 13 collision reconstruction troopers, six forensic experts and nine polygraph examiners have been approved to do the same services off-duty for pay.
There might be even more cases of top officials disregarding recommendations from the chain of command. Although regulations force supervisors to ink their approval or disapproval on the forms, department censors blocked the Trib from one out of five of those records filed by troopers and nearly a third of those for civilian employees.
State police spokeswoman Maria Finn said they did so to comply with court orders.
Pushing the envelope
Booze and security figure prominently in the department’s directive on supplemental employment. Because the state police enforce liquor laws, troopers can’t “own, hold office in, or be employed by an organization which dispenses alcoholic beverages.”
Yet, the Trib found four troopers approved to work at establishments with liquor licenses, including a stadium usher, a resort ski instructor, a parking valet and Trooper Michael J. Banovsky of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
On Dec. 18, 2005, Banovsky was approved to work as a floor manager at The Fez in Hopewell Township, according to his request. The well-known wedding reception hall has long held a liquor license.
Owners told the Trib that Banovsky no longer works there. He didn’t return messages, and state police officials declined to comment.
Civilian employees are discouraged from working at places that sell alcohol. However, approval can be granted on a “case-by-case basis,” and 22 agency civilians have such clearance.
Regulations bar troopers from serving “in a security-guard related capacity where investigative, arrest or prosecutive action could result from the member’s participation in supplementary employment.”
Henry defended all security jobs approved for department employees since 2005 — including troopers who own or manage security firms, hire and train bodyguards.
“There are no indications that you can or can’t do something related to security,” Henry said. “The larger issue is whether it will demean the image of the state police.”
Pittsburgh barracks Trooper 1st Class Francis J. “Frank” Murphy III owns Murphy’s Law Consulting LLC, an approved 2008 request shows. Murphy told the Trib that he also owns Romans XIII, whose services include workplace violence protection, safeguarding loved ones from “paparazzi or kidnapping” and providing security for executives, schools and businesses.
Identified on the company’s website as its chief executive officer, Murphy said he avoids potential conflict with department directives by never working as a guard or otherwise demeaning the image of the agency.
“Not everybody is a creative thinker who thinks outside the box,” Murphy told the Trib. “I reviewed the regulations and am in compliance with them
Read more: http://www.pittsburghlive.com