ATLANTIC CITY NJ Sept 26 2011— Richard Chaz brought something extra when he visited Atlantic City last weekend. “Mace,” he said, holding the small canister of protective chemical spray in his right hand.
The last time the veteran casino player and his wife, Grace, both 49, came down from Brooklyn, N.Y., he said they read how another gaming customer had been robbed of several thousand dollars inside a supposedly secure hotel elevator. Chaz, an engineer, figured that Mace was a rational response. Now, he said, if someone ran up to him, “I wouldn’t think twice about gassing them and walking away.”
Chaz’s comments illustrate the fear among tourists that Atlantic City is a dangerous place. Those concerns were heightened by last Sunday’s carjacking from the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort parking garage that left one visitor from Middlesex County dead and his female companion wounded by gunfire.
Crime fears add to the troubles of a gambling resort that has suffered more than a 30 percent decline in gaming revenue in the past five years due to the shaky economy and growing competition from casinos in surrounding states.
“Everybody is concerned about that. The entire industry feels horrible about this,” Dennis Gomes, co-owner and chief executive officer of Resorts Casino Hotel, said of the carjacking. “It’s tragic that someone lost their life in this random act of violence. I came from a law enforcement background and have a real strong focus on these things. We have a responsibility to protect the customers.”
Atlantic City’s violent crime rate — 19.7 incidents per 1,000 people — was highest of all 15 top-ranked U.S. gaming markets during 2010, according to FBI data. During the previous five years, local casinos cut security personnel by 24 percent, New Jersey Casino Control Commission statistics show. Property crime, meanwhile, fell by 32 percent, but the 75 per 1,000 rate tops every other town on that list except St. Louis.
Those statistics do not consider that the crime rate is based on Atlantic City’s 39,000-person population, rather than the millions of visitors the city sees each year, part of the argument police — and some researchers — have made for years.
They also don’t establish whether that crime happens in and around casinos, or elsewhere, although Atlantic City police are on the cusp of getting crime-mapping technology in place. Such technology is used in many other cities.
One casino customer, Amid Armstead, of Sicklerville, Camden County, said people are protected inside the casinos, but he believes much more needs to be done to spread the security measures to the rest of the city.
“It’s not secure,” said Armstead, 33, as he and Renea Lopes, 30, waited with their 7-month-old daughter, Adele Armstead, for a shuttle bus at Harrah’s Resort. “The problem is the security is all on the inside and none’s on the outside.”
Despite those types of fears, Gomes and other casino executives argued that Atlantic City’s reputation as a crime-ridden area is grossly exaggerated. They say the problem is more a matter of perception than reality. Calling violent crime a rare occurrence in the tourist areas, they believe Atlantic City is as safe or safer than many other cities.
“I think it’s all about perception as opposed to reality,” Gomes said. “The reality is, I feel we are one of the safest areas in the country. We have to get the message out.”
Don Marrandino, president of the Bally’s, Caesars, Harrah’s Resort and Showboat casinos owned by Caesars Entertainment Corp., also defended Atlantic City as being a safe haven for tourists.
“It’s really infrequent,” Marrandino said of violent crimes against tourists. “I think we’re in a position where we’re very safe, very secure. I’m not going to say that things don’t happen, but when you compare it to other major markets, I think we’re doing a pretty good job.”
Marrandino also blamed Atlantic City’s “perception problem” for hurting the tourist trade. He said there has been unprecedented cooperation between the casinos and all levels of government to make the city safer and cleaner. Tourists may not be aware of the broad safety measures — including surveillance cameras, security officers, and police patrols — that the gaming industry and law enforcement agencies use to protect the casinos and the city, he added.
“I would say that we’re vigilant when it comes to policing our properties and with security,” Marrandino said.
Gomes pointed to July’s shooting and bombing rampage in normally peaceful Norway and the 2006 murders of five Amish schoolgirls in Pennsylvania’s bucolic Lancaster County, Pa., as examples that no area is immune to violent crime.
“You can’t completely protect yourself against crazy acts. I don’t care whether you’re in Atlantic City, New York City, Las Vegas or in Lancaster County’s Amish country,” said Gomes, who once served as a law enforcement officer and casino regulator in New Jersey and Nevada.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel stressed that the carjacking “could have happened anywhere” and was not an indictment of Trump Taj Mahal or any other casinos.
“These are crimes of opportunity committed by individuals who believe there is money to be made by robbing patrons at casinos,” Housel said at a news conference Monday. “There is no reason to believe Atlantic City casinos have dropped the ball when it comes to security.”
By Friday, authorities had arrested the last of three suspects in the carjacking. All three men, from Camden, have been charged with murder, carjacking, kidnapping and weapons offenses.
Atlantic City’s crime problem — real or perceived — played an important part in Gov. Chris Christie’s creation this year of a state-run Tourism District to clean up blight and oversee the casino zones, beaches and Boardwalk.
Just as the Tourism District is getting under way, there are already fears that the carjacking has hurt the “clean and safe” image that the city and state are hoping to build.
“It’s a setback,” acknowledged Tom Gilbert, the Tourism District’s commander. “It’s a very severe setback, but that’s not going to keep us from moving forward on the things we have to do.”
Only half in poll say A.C. is safe
The Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey conducted a survey in April at more than 70 locations throughout Atlantic City to gauge public perceptions of crime and safety. Of 938 responses, only 52 percent of those surveyed rated Atlantic City as being safe or very safe.
“Folks see the boarded-up windows, they see vacant lots, they see chain-link fences and the perception is that it’s not a safe place,” said Brian J. Tyrrell, a Stockton professor of hospitality and management who helped oversee the survey.
Tourists, residents, business patrons and workers were surveyed. Tyrrell noted that an overwhelming number of people said they felt safe or very safe in two popular tourist areas of the city, The Walk shopping district at the foot of the Atlantic City Expressway and on the Boardwalk. But outside those areas, there are fears that the city is not nearly as safe.
“The survey showed that you really need a safe and clean corridor that fans out north and south from the expressway along Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic avenues,” Tyrrell said.
Moreover, the survey found that Atlantic City’s most frequent visitors are the ones who have the greatest fears that the city is unsafe.
Just 43 percent of the visitors who had been to Atlantic City 26 times or more in the past year believe that Atlantic City, as a whole, is safe. That compares with 67 percent of the first-time visitors, nearly 59 percent of the people who have visited two to 10 times and 53 percent of those who have visited 11 to 25 times.
“We’re finding that the more folks come to Atlantic City, the worse their perception is of Atlantic City,” Tyrrell said.
Much like the casino executives believe, Tyrrell asserted that Atlantic City’s reputation for violent crime is overblown, that the perception overshadows the reality. He said the new Tourism District will be key for reversing the negative image.
“When you look at the official crime rate in Atlantic City, it actually compares favorably to other areas,” Tyrrell said. “It’s been low for years, and, according to the official crime rates, it’s safer down here now than in the pre-casino era.”
Casino customer Helen Brzezinski, though, is worried about being a crime victim again. She said she leaves her good jewelry home in Pittsfield, Mass., and packs travelers checks when she visits Atlantic City. Brzezinski, 78, described how her purse was stolen several years ago as she and her sister walked to their car in a casino parking garage. The thief, hiding behind a pillar, ran by, grabbed the purse and fled down the stairs.
Brzezinski lost IDs, credit cards, medication and some cash. Security guards heard her scream, and took her to the Atlantic City Police Department. But when she couldn’t identify the thief, she said, police told her there was nothing they could do.
“It’s not safe here,” she said. “I don’t wear my diamond ring when I come into the city.”
She came back to Atlantic City because she has earned frequent-player points that granted her additional casino privileges. She waited for a shuttle bus to arrive at Harrah’s Resort, while her boyfriend, Peter Yun, fed pigeons nearby.
“He has beautiful jewelry, but he won’t wear it here,” she said of Yun. “It’s sad, very sad, but it’s just not safe here.”
Issaquah WA Sept 26 2011 A 51-year-old Maple Valley man brandishing two rifles was shot and killed by Issaquah police Saturday on the grounds of an elementary school after he reportedly opened fire on officers.
Police began receiving calls about 11:15 a.m. about a man who had abandoned his car in the northbound lane of Front Street South near Newport Way Southwest, at the south edge of downtown Issaquah, according to King County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart.
The man, whose identity was not disclosed, headed south and east carrying two rifles, Urquhart said.
The man pointed his weapons “menacingly” at pedestrians, but did not fire, as he walked about ½ mile to Clark Elementary School, Urquhart said.
Witnesses reportedly saw him trying to break into an unoccupied parked car in the school parking lot, where he fired his first shot, according to Urquhart. The gunman also fired more shots during or after an unsuccessful attempt to enter the cab of a parked backhoe.
Urquhart did not indicate whether the gunman was shooting at anyone.
When Issaquah police confronted him on a service road at the school, he reportedly dropped to the ground and began shooting.
Some shots were aimed at officers, but others appeared to be random, Urquhart said.
Four Issaquah officers returned fire, striking the man more than once. He died at the scene.
There were no other injuries. Police didn’t know the gunman’s motive, Urquhart said.
David Korpi told KING-TV he had witnessed the confrontation between the man and police. He said he was at a nearby church for a yard-cleanup event when he heard the commotion and ran over to see what was causing it.
“I saw one person off the side of the building,” Korpi told KING-TV. “There were a number of shots and that person went down and then there were a number of shots around that person to probably make sure they were down.”
A youth football game was under way at the time at Issaquah High School, just south of Clark.
Cheryl Puterman, whose daughter Dalia was a cheerleader at the contest, said a coach and police officer announced seven minutes into the game that the field needed to be evacuated.
“Everyone was in a panic,” she said.
About 150 people were ushered under the bleachers and “told to keep down and be quiet,” she said. “Then we heard the gunshots. Everybody was crying, scared.”
They were kept there for two hours, Puterman said, with parents separated from their children.
They got no information from authorities, she said, and so depended on family and friends outside to find out what was happening.
“People were on the phone, texting, quietly talking, saying prayers,” Puterman said.
Eventually the group was allowed to sit in the bleachers for about another hour before being allowed to leave, she said.
To get from his abandoned car to Clark, the gunman most likely would have traversed the grounds of Issaquah Middle School and crossed Issaquah’s popular Rainier Trail and Second Avenue Southeast, an arterial.
Martin Donnelly, who lives on Front Street south of where the gunman left his car, said he saw the man pass through his backyard, carrying the two rifles, and head east up a wooded slope. He appeared to be wearing green hunting gear.
Donnelly said he phoned police and heard shots two or three minutes later.
He and his wife, Barbara, moved into the town house two months ago.
“We thought this was a nice, quiet neighborhood where nothing happens,” Barbara Donnelly said.
Police cordoned off streets around Clark and the gunman’s abandoned car, a silver 2011 Kia, after the shooting. Several blocks of Front Street, downtown Issaquah’s major north-south thoroughfare, were blocked until after 5 p.m
Washington State man faces charges after injuring Anchorage police officer in wrong way crash www.privateofficer.com
Officer Randy Hughes sustained multiple fractures in the crash early Friday on the Glenn Highway in Eagle River, a suburb north of Anchorage.
Hughes was responding to reports that a sedan had been traveling the wrong way down the highway for miles, making no effort to avoid oncoming traffic, when his cruiser was hit by the car.
KTUU-TV reports that a judge signed an arrest warrant for the driver, 49-year-old Gregory Fulling of Marysville, Wash.
Hughes is still in a hospital in Anchorage, and Lt. Dave Park says his recovery is going to be long. Fulling was also hospitalized. He was to be arrested upon his release and charged with first- and second-degree felony assault, as well as driving under the influence.
Shreveport LA Sept 26 2011 People entering Barksdale Air Force Base will see slight changes at the gates starting Oct. 1 as Department of Defense civilian police officers replace the current contract gate guards.
The current guard contract expires Sept. 30, and members of the 2nd Security Forces Squadron have spent months planning for the transition, said Christopher Bowman, the squadron’s chief of plans and programs.
“The effectiveness of our mission here at Barksdale will be dramatically increased,” he said.
“The police officers who will take the place of the current contractors will be trained to work in a variety of locations on base.
This will allow stability and a smoother transition when military personnel from Barksdale get deployed.”
The DoD civilian police officers will rotate between law enforcement, flight line and gate duty, allowing them to be fully integrated at Barksdale, Bowman said.
This way, when military security airmen get deployed, the DoD police will be fully trained and prepared to watch over all areas of the base.
About 45 DoD civilian officers already have been hired to fill positions on base.
Most are prior military, and more than 70 percent have prior law enforcement experience.
“In addition to their past experience, the new officers will be required to complete eight weeks of training,” said Tony Sawyer, the lead trainer for the new hires.
The officers are required to complete five weeks of training at a law enforcement training center in Little Rock, Ark.
They are also required to complete three weeks of training at Barksdale, Sawyer said.
“Our goal is to retain job-knowledge experts at all times,” Sawyer said. “Maintaining continuity is extremely important to us.”
Training for 11 of the new hires has already begun. The officers will be trained according to standards of the Air Force and will be familiar with the mission here, Sawyer said.
Training for the first group is scheduled to wrap up just in time for the switch.
“This training will ensure a smooth transition,” Bowman said. “The new navy blue uniforms will be the only change noticeable to the public.”
VANCOUVER Canada Sept 26 2011 – Retail crime accounts for $3.6 billion of goods disappearing from stores in Canada every year, and a big chunk of that comes from shoplifting. News1130 has a list of the top 10 most-stolen items and is talking to shoplifters about why they do it.
“I shoplifted as a kid, when I was younger,” says Phil. Many people we spoke with have, but there are some — not an insignificant number — who continue on with it into their adult lives. There are no definitive statistics, but one US study estimates it is up to 10 per cent of the population.
Phil’s seen it in several stores. “Drug sections where there’s expensive medicines and cough syrups and stuff like that. If they see a suspicious person in that section, they’ll keep an eye on that person. Those are the easy items to steal and they’re expensive, right?”
Graham can’t understand the attraction or thrill of shoplifting. “You know, there are ways to make things disappear but that’s something I’ve never done. I’ve even seen people doing it and then reported it — I’m that guy. Maybe it’s because I’m a minister’s son.”
A report from the Retail Council of Canada says 87 per cent of retailers were the victim of some form of retail crime in 2007, with the average loss over $12,000 per year.
For some shoplifters, it’s the thrill of the steal; for others, it can be a sense of entitlement. Some people can’t say why they shoplift.
US numbers suggest Americans with incomes above $70,000 shoplift 30 per cent more than those earning $20,000 or less. The crime often spikes during boom-times.
The top 10 most shoplifted items listed in the book The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting are:
1. Gillette razors and cartridges
2. Toiletries and alcohol
6. Vitamins and pregnancy tests
7. CDs and DVDs
8. Luxury toothbrushes
9. Instant coffee
NATICK MA Sept 26 2011 — A Watertown man told police he stole $2,800 worth of necklaces from JCPenney on Wednesday because he needed to sell them to cover gambling debts.
Gerard P. Coffey, 20, stole 53 sterling silver necklaces ranging in price from $30 to $70 from Natick Mall store at 2:29 p.m., Framingham District Court records show.
In a report filed in Framingham District Court, store security showed a video of the theft to Officer Allen Graham Jr.
“He walked up to a tall sterling silver necklace display,” Graham said. “He began taking all the necklaces off the display and putting them into his pocket.”
In an affidavit filed in Framingham District Court by JCPenney store security officer Jules G. Sautelet, he said he watched Coffey on a security camera in the jewelry section where many thefts occur.
Sautelet said he watched as Coffey walked past the cash registers while talking on the phone and go out to the parking lot. Sautelet said he followed Coffey outside.
Coffey then ran and tried to get into a white Chevy pickup, but the driver wouldn’t let him in, police said.
Coffey threw the jewelry on the ground and began walking away, but Sautelet stopped him.
“Coffey stated he stole the merchandise to sell because he owed money to a bookie,” Sautelet said.
Police arrested Coffey, of 28 Center St., and charged him with larceny of property worth more than $250.
Coffey also has an open shoplifting case from Watertown. He was arrested there on Aug. 5 and charged with stealing several video game controllers from Target. He is also facing an unarmed robbery charge after Watertown Police said he acted as a lookout during a June mugging.
Coffey pleaded not guilty in Framingham District Court yesterday. He posted $500 bail after he was arrested Wednesday, and Judge Robert Greco did not increase that amount. Coffey is due back in court on Oct. 27 for a pretrial conference
Barnstable MA Sept 26 2011 Police arrested a man for shoplifting by concealing merchandise at Kmart after loss prevention officers saw him allegedly place toys into his pants, according to police.
Police arrested Jonathan A. Eldredge, 35, of 9 Justice Douglas Way, Centerville at 8:15 pm Wednesday night, according to police.
Police allegedly found toys, specifically Matchbox cars, stowed and hidden in Eldredge’s pants, according to police.
According to the arrest report, Eldredge stated he was stealing the toys for his kid.
Eldredge pleaded not guilty to his charges on Thursday in Barnstable First District Court.
TRENTON NJ Sept 26 2011 — A brawl erupted outside Club 712 early Saturday when two armed men confronted a dancer who was being escorted to her car by a bouncer, according to a police source, who said the bouncer brought his fists to a gunfight.
City cops confirmed the arrests of Pennsylvania residents Richard Navarro, 22, and Xavier Santiago-Ortiz, 21, on charges they toted an AK-47 rifle and knife to commit a robbery outside the gentlemen’s club located at 712 S. Broad St.
The police department didn’t give a narrative, but the cop source said the incident began about 3 a.m. as a 712 bouncer was walking one of the club’s dancers to her car in the parking lot across the street.
That’s the moment when one of the suspects accosted the dancer at gunpoint, according to the source, who said the bouncer was unfazed by the gunman’s AK-47.
The bouncer fought the old-fashioned way — using his fists — and managed to pummel the gunman, according to the source. But then the other suspect slithered into action and stabbed the bouncer in the back with the knife, the source alleged.
Another bouncer who exited the club rushed over to the parking lot upon seeing his co-worker fighting against the armed duo, according to the source. This second bouncer joined the battle and pummeled the suspect who was wielding the knife, the source said.
The police department didn’t identify the victims of the incident nor did the department provide injury information. According to the source, the first bouncer may have suffered a punctured lung and one of the suspects was treated and released from a local hospital.
Police said suspects Santiago-Ortiz and Navarro, both of whom are unemployed residents of Lancaster, Pa., were both slapped with the same charges: two counts of robbery, two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon, two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and possession of a large-capacity ammunition magazine.
Club 712 is a women-owned and operated business, according to its website, which says, “This all female review smacks of sophistication and hails more from the tradition of burlesque and cabaret than the run-of-the-mill ‘strip club.’
Lake City Fla Sept 26 2011 A man who shot three police officers then barricaded himself in a Northwest Irma Street home and held off law enforcement officers for seven hours, was found dead in the home last night, officials confirmed at 9:18 p.m. Friday.
Dead is Jesse Ralph Custer, 26, of Lake City.
“He had a self-inflicted injury,” said Sgt. Ed Seifert, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office public information officer.
Custer held authorities at bay for more than seven hours by sporadically firing shots, shifting his position in the home and utilizing a homemade tear gas device to keep them entering the Irma Street address.
Three Lake City Police officers were shot Friday afternoon while investigating reports of a man entering the home of his estranged wife in violation of a court-ordered injunction.
LCPD Investigator Mitchell Cline, Sgt. Jason Byrd, and officer David Greear all were shot as they approached the home Friday afternoon. The three were airlifted from the scene to Shands at the University of Florida hospital. None of the injuries were life threatening.
Lake City Police Department chief Argatha Gilmore said that around 12:14 p.m., a neighbor saw Custer enter the home at 391 NW Irma Street. Knowing a court injunction had been filed against Custer, she called police.
Gilmore said the order of protection issued by a judge Thursday could have been what set Custer off. She said Custer had no previous criminal history before Friday’s incident.
“This was a domestic violence situation, but it was dealing with an injunction,” she said.
The neighbor reported the incident to the Lake City Police Department. Custer’s estranged wife later went to the police station to make a report after going home around 12:10 p.m. and seeing Custer’s car there.
“She said she was afraid and fearful and came to the police department to report that,” Gilmore said. “That’s when we began to look into what was going on to find out whether he was there. We had officers go by the residence to see if we could make contact with him. When our officers went there to make contact with him, setting up a perimeter and doing all the necessary things that we do, when we suspect there is some one in there … the neighbor did tell us he saw him (Custer) go into the house with several weapons. That heightened the process of how we were going to approach that house. Once we went by there, we did see the car and when the officers were setting up and trying to make telephone contact with him, that’s when Custer came to the door and started firing at our officers. During the exchange of gun fire, three LCPD officers were shot. They are in stable condition at this point.”
Gilmore said Byrd was in surgery and Greear and Cline have since been released.
Neighbors said they heard a loud succession of rapid gunfire, as if from an automatic firearm.
Shortly before 6 p.m., Melissa Williams was temporarily displaced when authorities would not allow her access to her home because it was near the unfolding event.
She said she had been out of her home since 1 p.m.
“I was on my way back home and someone called and said something was going on in my neighborhood,” she said, noting her dogs were in the home alone. “As I came down the road I was detoured by officers with guns in the middle of the road.”
Robert and Gloria Molosso, who reside near the site of the shooting, were told not to leave their home by authorities.
“We’ve been in the house all afternoon,” Robert Molosso said Friday. “I heard the shots. It sounded like some type of automatic weapon. The only police officers told my wife was to go back into the house and stay there because she was in the yard. We heard the shots but we didn’t realize what was going on. We just waited to see what was going to happen and pretty soon all the police started to arrive and block the streets. We knew something serious was about to happen and we just sat here and waited to see what was unfolding.”
SWAT team officers as well as Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies, Lake City Police officers and Florida Highway Patrol troopers answered an “all call” page and swarmed to the scene where the shooter was barricaded inside a house. Deputies from Alachua and Suwannee counties also responded to assist.
After the officers were shot, LCPD officials called for assistance from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and its SWAT team.
Mark Hunter, Columbia County Sheriff, said authorities determined that the suspect had barricaded himself in the house and they established a perimeter.
“We immediately tried to get the family members to assist with our hostage negotiations team so that we could establish contact, but he (Custer) refused to answer any calls that were made to the house by the hard line telephone or cellular phone,” Hunter said.
Since Custer had already fired at officers, Hunter said authorities decided to expand the perimeter and began evacuating citizens around 4:20 p.m. He said authorities did a mandatory evacuation were four blocks were cleared of residents.
A command post was established following the evacuation.
“It was determined the suspect had multiple weapon systems in the house — long guns, shot guns and possibly some explosives,” Hunter said.
Negotiations broke down and law enforcement officers attempted to move a vehicle that was parked near the home to keep the incident from “going mobile”.
“We took one of our armored vehicles and attempted to push the vehicle away from the home and in doing so the suspect initiated a chemical agent device,” Hunter said, noting it appeared to be some form of tear gas. “At that point we backed off. We also learned the suspect had a military-styled chemical mask.”
Repeated attempts by authorities to contact Custer were ignored and several other law enforcement agencies came to Lake City to aid in Custer’s apprehension and end the standoff. Multiple SWAT teams from surrounding counties were also on site.
Authorities sent a robot, equipped with a camera and audio equipment, to the front door of the home, as well as around the house, but Custer reportedly keep moving inside the home to avoid the camera and equipment.
Authorities then began using a armored bobcat-type vehicle, called “The Rook” to probe the exterior of the home and attempt to unlock the door.
“We pushed the door in to see whether we could see the suspect and at that point it was determined there were weapons in the house,” Hunter said. “Due to the situation that the guy was not going to come out, at some point you have to say we’re going to go in and we took the bobcat, started opening the windows, the suspect was moving around in the house and trying to evade the equipment. At some point, we’re not sure exactly when, the suspect took his own life. The investigation does continue.”
Hunter said Custer’s body was found at 8:24 p.m. by a tactical vehicle authorities used to enter the home.
Hunter said the home remains cordoned off and is being investigated by an Alachua County bomb squad, which is checking the area for explosives or other chemical agents.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will soon take over the investigation.
“Any time you have a use of force or instance such as this FDLE comes in and they will do the oversight on the investigation,” Hunter said.
County officials said airspace within a five mile radius of Lake City was shut down to allow law enforcement helicopters to search for any suspect movements in the neighborhood.
Red Cross volunteers arrived at the scene’s perimeter around 6:30 p.m. Friday to assist officers with food and water. Portable toilets also were delivered to the perimeter to assist officers and emergency personnel.
COOKEVILLE TN Sept 26 2011 — It started as a shoplifting investigation, but ended in an arrest for meth, police said.
Cristy Ann Detty, 35, of Shipley Road, Cookeville, was charged in the case, says a report by Cookeville Police Officer Luke Ward.
The officer said he was sent to the Walmart store parking lot on Monday afternoon on a complaint about a “possible shoplifter” and said when he and Sgt. Mitch Harrington arrived, they were told two male suspects had already left the scene.
“But the vehicle that dropped them off was still in the parking lot, and we were told which vehicle was involved,” the report says.
Officer Ward stopped that vehicle and did not find the two male suspects, but found that Cristy Ann Detty was the driver.
A records check showed she was wanted on a probation violation charge, and an inventory of the vehicle turned up a green plastic bottle containing a white powder residue, the officer said.
The residue tested positive for methamphetamine, and a bag found in the car contained two used syringes and a glass pipe, the report says.
Detty was arrested on the probation violation charge and was also cited for simple possession of meth and for possession of drug paraphernalia
Source: Herald Citizen
Reading PA Sept 26 2011 A 34-year-old Reading man threatened Kmart employees with a pocket knife after he was caught stealing televisions, Muhlenberg Township police said Friday.
Elijah M. Bray ran from the store on the Fifth Street Highway and through a nearby rental store to escape store employees who were chasing him Thursday afternoon, police said.
Police said they caught Bray as he tried to board a BARTA bus at Kutztown Road and George Street.
Bray of the 100 block of Fifth Street was committed to Berks County Prison in lieu of $20,000 bail following arraignment before Senior District Judge William N. Hall Jr. in Reading Central Court.
Bray was charged with robbery, retail theft, disorderly conduct and simple assault.
Police gave this account:
Store security officers were monitoring surveillance video about 3:20 p.m. when they saw Bray put two 26-inch LCD TVs with a total value of about $540 into a cart and take them into the garden center.
Bray handed a TV over the fence to an unidentified male when Brian Martinez, a security officer, confronted him. Bray dropped the TV on the head of the other male.
Martinez identified himself and told Bray that police had been called.
Bray tried to leave but ran into a closed sliding glass door. Several employees surrounded Bray, and he pulled out a folding pocket knife and told the employees to get back. The employees backed off, and Bray ran through the store as Martinez chased him.
The accomplice remains at large, and an investigation continues.
Source:Reading Eagle Tribune
The Honolulu Police Department has removed the accused officer’s gun, badge and police powers, and he’s the focus of an internal affairs investigation, an HPD spokeswoman said. The officer has not been charged with a crime.
The Kailua police officer, who has been on the force for four years, is accused of raping the 47-year-old woman in the second floor of the parking structure next to Longs Drugs Kailua.
A source said the woman was suspected of stealing a handbag or purse from Macy’s Kailua last Friday at midday, right next to Longs.
Sources said three police officers arrived and spoke to the woman in front of Longs. The woman told investigators two officers left and the third officer took her into the parking structure and had her move her vehicle next to his blue-and- white police car.
A source said they ended up behind a wall in the parking structure, out of the view of security cameras. That’s where the woman said he raped her in the front seat of her vehicle.
“I said, ‘So what did he say?’ She said he kept telling me, ‘You’re not going to tell anyone, are you?’” said the woman’s aunt, who spoke to KITV 4 News Friday. KITV and most news organizations keep the names of rape victims private, so KITV is also not identifying the woman’s aunt.
She said since her niece had a brain aneurism in 1999, she has not been 100-percent sound mentally, making her attractive to a sexual predator.
“She’s slow, so he would be able to take advantage of her,” the woman’s aunt said.
The woman told her aunt the officer had a bunch of condoms on the floor of his police car.
“So if he has (condoms) there in the police car, he has done it before,” her aunt said.
A witness told police he saw the male officer patting down the woman in this part of the Longs parking garage.
Investigators said that raises red flags because police usually prefer to search people in the open where there are plenty of witnesses, and police training recommends getting a woman officer to search a female suspect, or at least calling in a second officer to observe the search.
“What this man has done is wrong. He should be put in his place, put in jail, in prison,” the woman’s aunt said. “In the meantime, she’s sitting at home, deathly afraid because she’s by herself. And she knows that he knows where she lives.”
She said her niece called her case worker, who reported the rape allegation to police last Friday and took her to the Sex Abuse Treatment Center at Kapiolani Medical Center. The woman picked the officer out of a lineup at police headquarters later that day, her aunt said.
Police internal affairs detectives working on the case visited the scene in Kailua yesterday and spoke to witnesses, a source said. They have administered lie detector tests to both the accused officer and the woman who claims to be the victi, sources said.
Public records show the woman who reported the rape was convicted of misdemeanor theft last year and felony theft in 2009. Her aunt said the woman’s mental problems have caused her to shoplift in the past. She also was found guilty of domestic abuse in 2001.
The officer has been reassigned to a desk job while he’s under investigation, an HPD spokeswoman said
Columbus OH Sept 26 2011 Two Ohio State University police officers worked so many extra shifts in 2010 that their overtime pay was thousands more than their base salaries, pushing their total compensation to more than $165,000 each, according to the Dayton Daily News.
The newspaper’s review of university payroll records found that overtime shifts are so plentiful at the OSU police department that 16 officers earned more than $100,000 last year and five made more than Police Chief Paul S. Denton. The two top officers, Richard A. Green and Thomas A. Schneider, each took in more than $84,000 in overtime last year.
The overtime numbers “horrified” state Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, who chairs the Senate Education Committee and is a nonvoting member of the Ohio Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s public universities.
“This does not sound appropriate, and it sounds wasteful on the surface,” Lehner said. “It sounds to me like you could hire additional police officers at less expense.”
The department’s 53 supervisors and officers earned more than $1 million in overtime pay in 2010; the total payroll is $4.9 million. More than half of the overtime pay was earned working special events and is reimbursed by other agencies, police officials say.
Denton defended the amount of overtime pay, saying it was not unlike that in other central Ohio police departments. OSU is a “city within a city” with 100,000 people — students, faculty members and visitors — as well as a hospital, major sporting events, campus-wide construction and even a nuclear reactor to secure.
“We are one of the largest campuses in the country,” Denton said. “We are a flat organization and a lean organization.”
OSU police staffing is less than 1 officer per 1,000 students; that’s lower than the national average of 1.5 officers per 1,000 students for universities with more than 15,000 students, according to U.S. Department of Justice statistics.
University officers can work as long as 119 hours a week, provided that they take seven hours off between shifts and work no longer than 17 hours at a time, as stipulated by their union contract.
Jim Gilbert, Capital City Fraternal Order of Police president, said it is unusual for police officers to earn more in overtime than in base pay. Gilbert’s organization represents 28 departments, including Ohio State’s. He said he had no objections to a few officers earning extra money by working extra hours in one year, but “it’s impossible for somebody to have the ability to sustain” that amount of work.
“We’d love to see more officers hired,” Gilbert said.
Denton also would like to hire more officers, but he said that in tight fiscal times for state universities, it’s more cost-effective to use overtime than hire more employees who receive training, vacation pay and other benefits. “If I need officers, we need to justify that,” he said.
Denton said Ohio State has so many overtime opportunities that the university often hires from other departments, including the Columbus police and State Highway Patrol.
Much of the overtime is needed for special events such as football games and large concerts at campus venues, Denton said. Those events’ costs are passed on to event organizers and ticket holders, so “no public money” is used, he said.
The chief said the school bills organizations more than $2 million a year for security at events, and he estimates that about half a million of that goes to his officers.
Then there’s unexpected overtime: $7,400 for police to be at a late-night student jump into Mirror Lake that drew thousands, $25,000 for a presidential visit, $17,000 for a bomb threat. Such costs average $25,000 to $45,000 a month, he said.
Police overtime at Ohio State is not limited to the campus unit: While university officers worked 14,000 overtime hours for special events last year, Columbus police worked 17,000 on the campus, too. With so much construction on campus needing extra patrols and traffic assistance, Denton said his officers’ overtime roughly doubled from 2009.
“There’s no question that they earned and worked for what they earned,” Denton said. “If we thought anyone’s work performance was affected by that, absolutely we would take action.”
Added Chief Deputy Richard D. Morman: “Some of these high earners you look at, these are officers who are willing to work jobs nobody else wants to work. Believe me, they’re earning their money.”
The newspaper requested interviews with the top overtime-earning officers at OSU through their union but did not receive a response.
Overtime pay can increase pension payouts after retirement. The top five overtime earners at OSU police have between two and 22 years of experience.
Denton said that when more than one officer volunteers for a overtime shift, it is awarded to the one who has worked the fewest overtime hours.
A Dayton Daily News analysis of police pay at other public colleges and universities found that overtime is common, but nowhere near Ohio State’s levels.
The University of Cincinnati has one more officer on its police payroll than OSU and spent one-third as much on overtime: $348,744. That’s 11 percent of the university’s police payroll budget, much lower than OSU’s proportion of overtime: 21 percent of police-officer and supervisor payroll.
Cincinnati’s top overtime earner was police officer David Henson. He earned $23,017 in overtime last year, in addition to his $59,404 salary.
“Dave Henson volunteers (for overtime) a lot, and that’s good because we don’t have to mandate an officer who didn’t want to come in to come in the day they don’t want to work,” said university Police Chief Gene Ferrara.
Cincinnati “football is nothing compared to Ohio State, but on our football detail, we have over 100 officers on post,” he said.
The two schools are quite different in terms of facilities and enrollment size.
Cincinnati bills between $25 for security officers and $49 for a police captain per hour. The university received $756,457 in such payments between July 2010 and June 2011.
The university contracts with area off-duty Cincinnati police officers and deputy sheriffs to supplement its force at big events. That cost the school $298,410 last year.
Other than covering these events, “most of our overtime is someone called in sick, or at the last minute we had to ask someone to work over,” Ferrara said.
He said he controls his personnel costs by having 25 security officers supplement his 50-officer force. The security officers don’t carry guns and have no arrest power, so they are paid less.
“It doesn’t make sense to us to pay the higher salary for police officers that have higher levels of training (and) make decisions about denying people their freedom when some of the activities being done don’t require that level of training and don’t require arrests,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anyone who uses it to the same extent we do.”
State Sen. Chris Widener, R-Springfield, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has asked universities to better control spending amid Ohio’s financial difficulties.
OSU police overtime is “just another example of how those in the public sector need to continue to find ways to reduce their expenditures,” Widener said.
Source:Dayton Daily News
New York City NY Sept 26 2011 A traveler headed to Saudi Arabia was arrested at John F. Kennedy Airport after transit security workers found several stun weapons in his checked baggage.
Officials said Transportation Security Administration officers detected a stun gun, three stun batons, a stun pen and a can of pepper spray in his bags.
Port Authority police confiscated the weapons, which are prohibited, and arrested him.
He was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor charge.
Macon GA Sept 26 2011 The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting at a Macon night club.
According to Sgt. Sean DeFoe it happened in the parking lot of Rock-A-Billy’s on Sheraton Drive around 3 a.m. Sunday.
Witnesses told authorities an armed security guard approached 21-year-old Terrance Davis of Macon, after shots were fired in the parking lot.
The guard told Davis to drop the handgun he was holding, but Davis then shot at the security guard.
The security guard returned fire and hit Davis in the hip.
DeFoe says Davis then jumped in a car and tried to flee the scene.
Officers stopped the vehicle nearby and found Davis with the handgun.
Davis was taken to the hospital for his injuries. DeFoe says he’s in stable condition.
The security guard was not hurt during the shooting.
ALBANY, New York Sept 26 2011— The OnStar automobile communication service used by 6 million Americans maintains its 2-way connection with a customer even after the service is discontinued, while reserving the right to sell data from that connection.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York says that’s a blatant invasion of privacy and is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate. But OnStar says former customers can stop the 2-way transmission, and no driving data of customers has been shared or sold.
“OnStar is attempting one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory,” said Schumer, a Democrat. “I urge OnStar to abandon.”
But the General Motors Corp. OnStar service says customers are thoroughly informed of the new practice. If a customer says he or she doesn’t want to have data collected after service is ended, OnStar disconnects the tracking.
And although OnStar reserves the right to share or sell data on customers’ speed, location, use of seat belts and other practices, a spokesman says it hasn’t done so and doesn’t plan to.
“We apologize for creating any confusion about our terms and conditions,” said Joanne Finnor, vice president of subscriber services. “We want to make sure we are as clear with our customers as possible, but it’s apparent that we have failed to do this. … We will continue to be open to their suggestions and concerns.”
A week ago, OnStar changed its policy and began continuing the connection for ex-customers unless they asked for it to be discontinued.
Finnor noted keeping the two-communication active for former customers could someday allow for emergency messages to be sent even to ex-customers about severe weather or evacuations. The open line could also allow OnStar to alert drivers about warranty information or recalls, she said.
Schumer said he isn’t persuaded. He said customers shouldn’t have to “opt out” of the tracking after they end service. He accuses OnStar of actively deceiving customers.
Schumer is announcing the effort Sunday by releasing a letter to the Federal Trade Commission seeking an investigation.
OnStar charges about $199 a year for basic service and $299 a year for service that includes navigation aid.
East St Louis shooting leaves nightblub security officer in critical condition www.privateofficer.com
East St. Louis IL Sept 26 2011 Two men and a woman were shot behind an East St. Louis nightclub early Saturday, including an unarmed security guard who was on duty.
The shooting happened in the rear of Denese’s Place at 218 Collinsville Ave.
“One male victim, a 21-year-old, was shot multiple times. The female was shot twice and the security guard was struck once,” Detective Michael Floore said
Two of the victims are in critical condition and one is in stable condition, Floore said.
The suspect had not been arrested, but Floore said police have developed information about him that have led them to believe an arrest may be made.
“Allegedly, the shooter came from the rear of the club. He chased one of the victims while shooting at him. It appears that the other victims got caught in the crossfire,” Floore said.
Police were called about 2:25 a.m.
After he talked to the police and the club’s owner, Mayor Alvin Parks said he decided to allow the club to remain open.
Parks said the 21-year-old victim was ambushed and shot 10 times and that there wasn’t anything the owner could have done to stop the gunman.
“We have to recognize that in urban America, there is a desire to show gangsterism and hooliganism,” Parks said. “If you have 10 policemen in riot gear and an individual wants to come after somebody, they’re going to do this.”
Parks, who has been criticized for allowing nightclubs to stay open in the early morning hours, said Denese’s Place had three guards on duty and the required lights and security camera.