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It happened in the 7800 block of N. 19th Avenue.
The 20-year-old suspect gave a note to the teller stating he was robbing the bank. The teller was able to alert other employees who advised the on-site, armed security guard.
The guard confronted the suspect at gunpoint and held him down on the floor until police officers arrived to take him into custody.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.Oct 5 2011 — Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies are trying to identify a couple that pulled a knife on a security guard during a robbery at Marshalls.
The armed robbery occurred Sept. 23 at the Marshalls on Military Trail.
Deputies said the man and woman were caught stealing from the store. When a security guard approached them, the man pulled out a knife and threatened the guard before they got away in a red Dodge Durango.
Anyone who recognizes the couple is asked to call the sheriff’s office.
Raymond Lewis Perry, 19, received the 97-year sentence Monday in federal court, the Associated Press reported.
Perry was convicted in June on charges of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by means of robbery, three counts of interference with commerce by means of robbery, and four counts of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, according to the AP.
The robberies occurred in September 2010 at a pizzeria, convenience store and gas station in Virginia Beach, and two grocery stores in Gates County, North Carolina.
Then he returned to class. The girl, shaken and crying, found Chamberlain High School’s police resource officer.
Authorities did a medical exam and interviewed the young woman and her suspected attacker, an acquaintance, after Monday’s incident. That evening, police arrested Joshua Bynum, 16, on charges of sexual battery and kidnapping. Police say his statements were inconsistent and were refuted by a medical test.
He will not be returning to the North Tampa school, principal Thomas Morrill told students over the intercom Tuesday.
Several students say they’re still scared.
“Especially as a woman,” said Erin Helmick, 16.
A group of teens walking home from school Tuesday said they’ve never felt completely safe at Chamberlain, but their fears were previously aimed at outsiders. Bynum was supposed to be there.
“We need more cops,” said Yessenia Vazquez, 17.
“And cameras,” said her friend Mariah Hernandez, 17.
And maybe a buddy system, suggested Lynn Johnson, the mother of a freshman.
She received a recorded phone message sent to Chamberlain parents Tuesday. In it, principal Morrill says a student has been arrested on a sexual battery charge. He assures parents their children’s safety is a priority.
“I was shocked,” Johnson said. “I felt so bad for the girl.”
The incident happened in a boy’s restroom near the gym, which is at the end of a hallway and next to the stadium. Police say they’re interviewing potential witnesses and ask anyone who may have seen anything to contact the school’s resource officer.
After Monday’s incident, Chamberlain officials plan to limit hall passes to emergencies. Other measures might come later, after school authorities meet with Tampa police, said district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe.
Chamberlain, like most schools in Hillsborough County, does not have surveillance cameras. There’s a school resource officer, but no one is assigned to monitor halls between class, Cobbe said.
“It’s a matter of resources,” she said. “Teachers need to be in class during class time.”
The problem with a buddy system, Cobbe said, is that students should be inside classrooms, learning. Officials want to limit the number of teens walking the halls during class.
Hillsborough County School Board member Candy Olson said it’s difficult to ensure all students are safe all of the time.
“Always, when something like this happens, as board members we ask ourselves, ‘What could have been done better?’ ” she said. “And we always know there is no easy answer.”
Bynum was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center on Monday. His father, Freddie Mitchell, said his son told detectives the sex was consensual.
Police say evidence and interviews show otherwise.
The girl’s version of events remained consistent and was corroborated by the medical exam, said Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy.
Bynum, on the other hand, first told detectives he had no contact with the girl. He changed his story later, McElroy said, telling police the pair had consensual oral sex.
However, the medical test indicated there was intercourse, police said.
Bynum has a disciplinary history with the district. Last year, he was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer. A police report states that Bynum got in a fight with a fellow student at Sligh Middle School and threatened the school officer who intervened.
The charge was later dropped, state records show.
Source:St Petersburg Times
Tampa Fla Oct 5 2011 Former Atlanta Brave center fielder Jordan Schafer was smoking marijuana in traffic when arrested early Tuesday on felony marijuana possession charges, Tampa police said.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Former Atlanta Brave center fielder Jordan Schafer was arrested early Tuesday in Tampa on felony marijuana possession charges.
Schafer was with two other people in his 2008 Land Rover when he pulled alongside an unmarked police car at a red light on Columbus Drive and Glen Avenue in Tampa, according to the police report.
Police smelled a “strong odor of marijuana coming from the [open windows of the] vehicle and saw the driver smoking a marijuana blunt,” the arresting officer wrote.
Schafer, drafted by the Braves out of Winter Haven High School near Tampa in 2005, pulled over in a Cheescake Factory parking lot and police found a bag containing 25.9 grams (just less than 1 ounce) of marijuana. The cut-off for a misdemeanor charge is 20 grams.
Schafer also had three marijuana peanut butter cups in the car and claimed ownership of all the drugs.
He was taken into custody at 12:38 a.m. and released at 5:15 a.m. after paying a $2,000 cash bond.
The Houston Chronicle reports Schafer, under his Twitter handle @jordanschafer, tweeted he was tailgating at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday Night Football game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Schafer, 25, was suspended for 50 games in 2008 for allegedly taking human growth hormone. He was traded to the Astros in 2011 along with three young pitchers for center fielder Michael Bourn.
VINELAND NJ October 5 2011 — The school year is off to a tumultuous start at Vineland High School where two security guards were attacked on Monday and five students were arrested, making for a total of 17 arrests since the academic year began.
One security guard was sent to the hospital as a result of three separate incidents. The first two were fights between students in which a security guard became involved, while during the last a student directly assaulted a security guard.
“I was an assistant principal for 11 years before this, and it happens. We have almost 3,000 students” said Principal Thomas McCann, who is in his sixth year of overseeing the high school’s north and south campuses.
Vineland police said the juvenile unit was first dispatched to the north campus of the East Chestnut Avenue school at 7:24 a.m.
Two male students aged 14 and 15 were involved in a physical fight in the cafeteria. A security guard attempted to break them up and police said, “…both students turned their physical assault against the security guard.”
Although the 51-year-old male guard was not injured, police arrested the two boys and charged them with aggravated assault on a school employee and disorderly conduct.
They were then released to their parents or guardians.
Less than three hours later at 9:46 a.m., officers from the juvenile unit were again called to the upstairs north wing of the north campus for a fight involving two females, also aged 14 and 15.
The same security guard attempted to intervene in this fight at which point the 14-year-old knocked him to the ground, causing the guard to strike his head on the concrete floor.
Both of the girls were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, and the 14-year-old was additionally charged with aggravated assault on a school employee.
A Vineland EMS ambulance took the guard to the South Jersey Healthcare-Regional Medical Center where he was kept overnight for observations because of his head injury.
Lt. Matt Finley said the guard was still in the hospital Tuesday morning.
Once being charged the girls were also released to their parents or guardians.
About two-and-a-quarter hours later at 12:05 p.m., the juvenile unit was once again dispatched to the north campus cafeteria for a report of an assault on a security guard.
A guard in the cafeteria stopped a 16-year-old boy from entering without a pass. Not pleased with his decision, police said the boy attacked the guard, knocking him to the ground where he started to physically assault him.
The boy was restrained, then arrested and charged for aggravated assault on a school employee.
The guard escaped any serious injury and did not require treatment by Vineland EMS.
Finley said the 16-year-old was lodged in the Cumberland County Juvenile Detention Center rather than turned over to a parent or guardian because of the manner in which he attacked the guard.
“The other kids were already involved in fights and ended up making contact with the guards. This was a separate incident in which he directly attacked the guard,” said Finley.
Principal McCann said he was in the south campus building when all three fights broke out.
“The assistant principals Melanie Beck and Hope Johnson dealt with it,” he said, adding,
“We have a zero tolerance policy here for assaulting employees, so the students each got a 10-day suspension.”
He said the school will hold administrative hearings on the children.
“I don’t know what it was related to but normally it’s boyfriend, girlfriend stuff,” he said.
So far police have made 17 arrests at the high school since class started Sept. 6, including three for possession of weapons, although Finley said none of the weapons were guns.
In addition to the two security guards attacked Monday, one other was also attacked so far this year.
Finley said the actions of this crop of students seemed particularly troubling.
“Its getting worse with each year,” he said.
BILLINGS, Mont.Oct 5 2011 — A shooting left three people dead at a rural residence on Montana’s Crow Reservation and a manhunt was under way Tuesday for an armed suspect, prompting a lockdown of schools, a hospital and other public buildings, authorities said.
Authorities were searching for 22-year-old Sheldon Bernard Chase, who has a history of mental illness and is considered armed and extremely dangerous, said Eric Barnhart, FBI supervisor in Billings.
The killings took place in a remote area of the southeast Montana reservation roughly 10 miles from the Wyoming border, local officials said. The victims’ identities weren’t released and it wasn’t immediately clear when they were killed, but Barnhart said they were shot with a high-powered rifle.
Lodge Grass City Clerk Cody Not Afraid said those killed were an elderly woman, her granddaughter and the granddaughter’s boyfriend. She said authorities were searching for a suspect in a white, four-door vehicle with North Dakota plates.
The two younger victims were in their 20s, said Not Afraid, who knew the victims’ families. She said they lived along Lodge Grass Creek Road about 10 miles outside of Lodge Grass, a city of about 500 people.
Not Afraid said she did not know what led to the shootings.
Chase was described as 6’2″, with brown hair and brown eyes and weighing 230 pounds. The FBI said he may be driving a Toyota Corolla or Celica with South Dakota license plates. Chase also may be driving a 2000 red, 4-door Volkswagen Jetta with expired Montana license plate number 2210861, FBI spokeswoman Deborah Bertram said.
“Our concern is he may be out of the area and driving any one of those vehicles,” she said.
Anyone who sees Chase is asked not to approach him but instead call law enforcement. Meanwhile, authorities throughout the state, as well as in Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota have been notified of the manhunt.
Public buildings across the reservation were locked down at about 1:30 or 2 p.m. while the search for the suspect took place, tribal representative Donald Spotted Tail said.
People were told to stay inside, including about 160 students at Lodge Grass High School.
Tanya Little Light, a secretary at the school, said authorities “just told us code yellow, which means get in your class, turn the lights off and put stuff on the windows so nobody can see inside.”
“It was probably about 1:50 or so,” she said. “They just told us there was some kind of accident or something.”
Little Light said security guards were at the school, but that there were no police officers outside or indications that the manhunt was taking place nearby.
School was supposed to be out for the afternoon when she spoke, and some parents were coming to get their children, Little Light said. The parents had to come to the front door before the children would be released.
Spotted Tail said students were released Monday evening and told to stay home until the suspect is arrested.
“Pretty much everybody has been sent home,” he said. “There is word from law enforcement and local officials to be careful.”
Big Horn County Commissioner John Pretty on Top said the killings occurred at a home and that a family member was a suspect in the killings. That couldn’t be immediately confirmed by law enforcement sources.
“A young man went and killed some people up near Lodge Grass,” Pretty on Top said. “They’ve got rangers up there, moving about quite a bit.”
NEW YORK CITY NY Oct 5 2011 – A helicopter carrying five people on a private tour for a birthday celebration sputtered and crashed into the East River on Tuesday afternoon shortly after takeoff from a riverbank heliport, killing one passenger and injuring three others.
The victim, visiting the city with her family to celebrate her 40th birthday, apparently was trapped inside as the chopper sank about 50 feet below the surface of the swift-moving water, police said. New York Police Department divers pulled her from the water about 90 minutes after the Bell 206 Jet Ranger went down at around 3 p.m. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Emergency crews arrived within seconds of the crash to find the helicopter upside-down in the murky water with just its skids showing on the surface. The pilot, Paul Dudley, and three passengers were bobbing, and witnesses reported a man diving down, possibly in an attempt to rescue the remaining passenger.
The passengers were friends of the pilot’s family: Paul and Harriet Nicholson, a British husband and wife who live in Portugal; the wife’s daughter, Sonia Marra, also British, who died at the scene; and the daughter’s friend Helen Tamaki, a New Zealand resident. The daughter and her friend were living in Sydney.
They met in New York to celebrate the birthdays of Marra and Paul Nicholson, 71. They were sightseeing and had planned to go to Linden, N.J., for dinner afterward, police said.
Survivors are pulled ashore by rescue workers following a helicopter crash in the East River in New York on Tuesday.
The pilot’s wife, Sunhe Dudley, told The Associated Press that she had spoken to her husband briefly after the crash.
“I think that he’s OK,” she said. “These were actually very dear friends of ours that were in the helicopter.”
The three surviving passengers were pulled from the water shortly after emergency crews arrived on the scene, police spokesman Paul Browne said. All were hospitalized. The pilot was uninjured and swam to shore.
The private chopper apparently had run into trouble and was trying to return to the heliport when it went into the river off 34th Street in midtown Manhattan, a few blocks south of the United Nations headquarters. It’s unclear what happened, but witnesses reported it was sputtering and appeared to be in some type of mechanical distress.
Joy Garnett and her husband were on the dock waiting to take the East River ferry to Brooklyn when they heard the blades of a helicopter and saw it start to take off from the nearby helipad. She said she saw it do “a funny curlicue.”
“I thought, ‘Is that some daredevil move?’” she said. “But it was obviously out of control. The body spun around at least two or three times, and then it went down.”
She said the chopper had lifted about 25 feet off the ground before it dropped into the water without much of a splash. It flipped over, and the blades were sticking up out of the river.
Joseph Belez was watching helicopters from a boardwalk and saw the crash.
“It was going up, and then all of a sudden it just spun itself and went down to the water,” he said. “I was just watching it take off, and it was just all of a sudden spinning. It just went down. It was a shock. It really was.”
A massive rescue effort was under way within minutes of the crash, with a dozen boats and divers down into the cold, grey water. Police officers doing a counterterrorism drill nearby jumped into the water wearing their uniforms, and without any rescue equipment they pulled the three passengers to shore.
“The pilot did indicate that there was somebody still in the helicopter,” Lt. Larry Serras said. “By the time we swam to the helicopter it was completely submerged.”
Officer Jason Gregory, one of the divers who brought Marra’s body to the surface, said the helicopter was upside down in the sediment. He said Marra was in the back seat and wasn’t buckled in by any seat belt.
The helicopter was from Linden, N.J., near the Statue of Liberty and the Newark, N.J., international airport and a popular base and refueling stop for helicopters operating in New York. The pilot apparently reported problems in the helicopter and said he was turning around, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Paul Dudley is a commercial pilot and owns Linden Airport Services, the company that manages the Linden municipal airport under a 20-year contract with the city, Linden Mayor Richard Gerbounka said.
“He flies light aircraft, he flies helicopters,” Gerbounka said. “He’s an accomplished pilot.”
In November 2006, Dudley landed a Cessna 172 light plane in a park near Coney Island in Brooklyn after the engine failed. No one was hurt during the emergency landing, and the plane was taken back to Linden after mechanics removed the wings.
The National Transportation Safety Board was on scene Tuesday, and crews pulled the wreckage from the water about four hours after it went down. The chopper would be taken to the police department’s Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. The airport in Linden was locked down briefly pending the arrival of Federal Aviation Administration and NTSB investigators.
The Bell 206 Jet Ranger is one of the world’s most popular helicopter models and was first flown in January 1966. They are light and highly maneuverable, making them popular with television stations and air taxi companies. A new one costs between $700,000 and $1.2 million.
The East River has been particularly tricky for pilots because of its many bridges and its proximity to LaGuardia, one of the nation’s busiest airports. In 2006, New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle died when the Cirrus light plane he was flying crashed into a residential building while trying to make a turn over the river.
On Aug. 8, 2009, a small plane collided with a helicopter over the Hudson River, on the other side of Manhattan, killing nine people, including five Italian tourists. A government safety panel found that an air traffic controller who was on a personal phone call had contributed to the accident.
The FAA changed its rules for aircraft flying over New York City’s rivers after that collision. Pilots must call out their positions on the radio and obey a 161 mph speed limit. Before the changes, such radio calls were optional.
Earlier that year, an Airbus 320 airliner landed in the Hudson after hitting birds and losing both engines shortly after taking off from LaGuardia. The flight, U.S. Airways Flight 1549, became known as the Miracle on the Hudson plane.
On Tuesday, Bloomberg praised a coordinated emergency response. Witnesses said the crash happened quickly. Carlos Acevedo, of Puerto Rico, was with his wife at a nearby park area when they saw the helicopter go down.
“It sank fast,” he said. “In seconds. Like the water was sucking it in.”
NORTH MIAMI BEACH Fla Oct 5 2011 – A North Miami Beach police officer who was scheduled to be laid off due to budget cuts was fired after he allegedly posted some derogatory comments on a local blog site.
According to investigators, on September 19th the website http://www.votersopinion.com received posts from anonymous individual whose wrote about all the good things the police department did for the city. The anonymous blogger then went on to use derogatory words to describe two local residents and also list their addresses encouraging criminals to “have fun”.
The blog’s creator, Stephanie Kienzle, believed the comments had been sent from a North Miami Beach Police Department computer server. She reported the incident to police who launched an investigation. They were able to determine that the remarks did indeed come from a North Miami Beach Police Department computer and reportedly identify the officer responsible.
According to police Officer William Hobbs, hired by the department in October of 2009, was responsible for posting the comments. Hobbs was charged with “Conduct Unbecoming a Police Officer” and terminated.
“Any such wrongdoing by any of our officers will be swiftly and firmly dealt with,” said Interim Police Chief Larry Gomer in a statement. “Our department prides itself on providing professional services to our citizens and we will not tolerate such remarks from our officers.”
Hobbs will not face any criminal charges stemming from the incident.
Ventura CA Oct 5 2011 A jury Monday found Joshua Graham Packer guilty of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury in connection with a 2009 incident involving a female security guard at Ventura County Medical Center, said prosecutor Anthony Sabo.
The judge set sentencing on the felony assault for Nov. 22.
In June, another jury convicted Packer of misdemeanor battery involving a male security guard during the incident. Jurors deadlocked on the felony assault charge involving the female guard at that time. That led to a retrial.
Packer was in the hospital for a brief stay after a motorcycle accident, Sabo said.
Packer, 22, is awaiting trial on a more serious and unrelated charge, the killings of Brock and Davina Husted and her unborn child at their Faria Beach home. The district attorney is seeking the death penalty.
In April, Packer was found guilty of two misdemeanors and a felony for dissuading a witness related to a vehicle crash in December 2009, seven months after the Husted deaths.
Packer crashed into a parked car and prevented the victim from calling the police, according to court testimony.
Packer’s misdemeanor and felony convictions could be used against him at the murder trial if he testifies and possibly during a punishment phase if Packer is convicted, Sabo said.
The death was caused by a blow to the head when the man fell, officials said.
Thomas Fitzpatrick, 47, of the 25000 block of Maxwell Street, Manhattan, was found dead Wednesday morning in the parking lot of Andrew Corp., 10500 W. 153rd St., Orland Park Police Cmdr. John Keating said Monday.
Foul play was not a factor in the death, Keating said.
“There’s nothing that indicates any type of foul play. No theft or burglary, nothing of a criminal nature,” Keating said.
A co-worker reporting for his shift as a security guard at the shuttered plant found Fitzpatrick’s body beside his car at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Keating said.
Andrew Corp. closed the plant in 2007, but a private firm handles security there.
Police said, a security guard making his rounds Sunday morning found a sport utility vehicle under water with a man inside.
Emergency vehicles responded to the incident and removed the victim from the vehicle.
Crews pronounced the man dead on scene.
Columbia SC Oct 5 2011 A 22-year veteran with the Florida Highway Patrol has been named South Carolina’s Department of Public Safety director.
Maj. Leroy Smith, 46, appeared at a news conference Monday with Gov. Nikki Haley for the announcement.
Smith, whose salary will be about $145,000 a year, will start work in mid- November.
“When you see him, we are looking at the total package,” Haley told reporters at the State House.
His experience includes top positions in headquarters management, criminal investigations, homeland security and that state’s troopers’ training academy.
“He has gotten Florida through eight hurricanes as head of the emergency management division,” Haley said.
In Florida, Smith is one of 13 majors in the 2,500-member Highway Patrol, with three chiefs, two lieutenant colonels and one colonel above him, according to that state’s highway patrol. He currently makes about $110,364, according to Florida’s payroll records.
For the current fiscal year, the S.C. Department of Public Safety — which oversees the State Highway Patrol, the State Transport Police and Bureau of Protective Services — has a $65.7 million annual budget and 1,412 employees, 1,045 of whom work with the Highway Patrol.
Since June, F. Kenny Lancaster Jr. has served as Public Safety’s interim director, though much of his tenure has been overshadowed by controversy from events dating to the late 1990s. Those allegations are now being reviewed by the attorney general’s office.
Before the allegations surfaced, Lancaster was regarded as a contender for the permanent director job.
Haley said Monday she was satisfied with the job Lancaster has done but wanted “the best person for the job” to lead the department.
Haley said Smith has extensive field and financial experience that will serve him well in South Carolina’s tight budget times.
“He has had boots on the ground as a captain and district commander and can relate to every officer that risks their lives every day. He has dealt with the budget … and he has handled legislative affairs within the state of Florida.”
Perhaps most important, Haley said, Smith — while an out-of-stater — understands the importance South Carolinians place on personal contacts.
“Major Smith understands he needs to get out there and meet with the (police) chiefs and meet with the sheriffs,” she said.
Smith vowed to “be fiscally responsible in terms of watching every penny that we spend” and to work with local, state and federal agencies.
“I’m excited to be part of Team Haley,” Smith said. “I can’t wait to get started.”
ST. LOUIS MO Oct 5 2011 Police officials in St. Louis and St. Louis County are trying to reach a compromise over how security guards are licensed and how fees are split. Hanging in the balance, some businesses warn, are dramatic changes in the industry and security at some city venues.
Since 1995, security guards have been able to get licensed in either the city or county but work in both jurisdictions.
But now, because of a disagreement over licensing fees, city police officials have proposed returning to a system in which security officers have to get separate licenses. St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom pitched the idea during a recent meeting of the Police Board, which oversees the licensing process in the city.
The change would force security guards who want to work in St. Louis and St. Louis County to pay twice for training, drug tests, firearms certifications and other requirements. That could lead many to choose to only work in one jurisdiction — and many in the industry believe most would drift to the county.
Private security companies and the businesses who use them fear a shortage of guards at, for example, grocery stores, banks, casinos and hospitals in the city.
The police board has received letters from security companies, Lumière Place and Schnuck Markets Inc., urging that the current program stay in place.
“Any organization that hires security guards has an interest in this,” Luke Hutsell, vice president of Securitas USA-St. Louis, said in an interview. “There are literally thousands of $9 (an hour) and $10 folks that this would affect. … The expenses are incredible for these lower-wage workers, and it’s just not fair.”
Schnucks has nine stores in the city and about 30 in the county, and security officers need to be able to float among them, said Robert Wiegert, director of government relations for the grocery chain.
“Ultimately there is a cost to us in this,” he said. “It’s a step backward in regional cooperation, and there is no need for” two separate licenses.
Through the years, as residents and businesses have increasingly shifted to the county, so has most of the security training. The county estimates that it issued 6,400 licenses last year. The city issued 2,200.
The 1995 agreement called for the city and county to share their fees. But a sunset clause on the fee sharing expired in 1999. In 2008, county police leaders discovered that clause, but by then had sent about $1.5 million in fees to the city— despite conducting the larger share of licensing, said St. Louis County Lt. Chris Stocker. So the county stopped splitting fees at that point.
In a memo proposing to require separate licenses, the city police department estimates that it has lost $350,000 in licensing fees to St. Louis County since 2008.
For now, both sides are optimistic about a solution and are working on a compromise. Isom, in fact, has asked the city police board to hold off voting on his original proposal until later this fall.
A COUNTY ADVANTAGE
The city and county each charge between $115 and $126 in fees, depending on the kind of security license, and between $69 and $85 for annual renewals. Security officers must pay additional fees depending on the license, such as one for firearms qualifications.
It can take six to eight weeks to complete the training and for background checks by the Missouri Highway Patrol and the FBI.
But the county offers a temporary license to those who have a letter of intent to hire from a security company, as well as no felony convictions or active warrants. The temporary license allows someone to work as a security guard when alongside a fully licensed guard. That’s one of the county’s main advantages for attracting most of the business, said Hutsell of Securitas.
“We can put people to work and get people on jobs,” he said. “It’s much more cumbersome to go through the city.”
City officials, though, have questioned the county’s licensing practices.
In a memo to police board members, Gerard Marstall, who leads the city’s private security unit, wrote that the county’s temporary licensing policy could put people with questionable pasts on the job before a thorough background check is complete.
Marstall also noted that the county allows those convicted of misdemeanor crimes to be licensed as long as the convictions are more than 36 months old.
“Conviction for misdemeanor crimes such as stealing, prostitution, certain assaults and sexual offenses are not a bar to licensing in St. Louis County,” Marstall wrote.
Stocker agreed with Marstall’s assessment, to a point. He noted that the county does not issue temporary licenses to those with felony convictions, those with violent misdemeanors or those prohibited from owning firearms.
“We don’t believe that it is right and appropriate to continue to penalize individuals who are convicted of misdemeanors that are older than three years,” Stocker said. “We believe those decisions are up to the human resource departments of those companies out there doing the hiring.”
HARDSHIP FOR GUARDS
Along with the temporary license policy, the county has a bigger advantage in attracting security guards, said Johnny Horten, who has worked as a guard in a Fenton corporate business park for 25 years.
“Since it’s a larger area, there are more jobs in the county,” he said.
That’s why he predicts most guards would opt for a license in the county if forced to choose, making it harder for companies to fill spots in the city.
He remembers how inconvenient and expensive it once was for security guards who wanted to work in both the county and city. Horten supervises a crew of 30.
“They’re all worried,” he said. “Contract security isn’t the highest-paying profession. If you start incurring more costs for separate licenses, it will be a real hardship. We could start losing security people because they don’t want to go through the hassle.”
The city runs its licensing program at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. The county runs its program at its Police Academy in Wellston, where nearly 100 security officers, including Shondra Adams of University City, gathered last week for a class required for annual renewals.
The looming licensing change was the talk of the class. Many of the officers said they would support the creation of a statewide license program, such as the one in Illinois, where one license allows someone to work anywhere in the state. Missouri is only one of four states that do not have statewide policies, said Kevin Garrison, who taught Adams’ class.
Adams, who works for Whelan and patrols Metropolitan Square, believes her fellow security guards would opt for only one license.
“That will hurt the companies that we work for because if you don’t have the manpower, you will have to pay overtime and that will cut into our benefits, uniforms and raises,” she said.
St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said he has proposed combining the licensing programs for both jurisdictions at one location, with the city and county splitting fees evenly. Isom said he is receptive to the idea of combining forces.
Muncie IN Oct 5 2011 A Muncie man with a history of drunken driving convictions was arrested for the same crime early Sunday, then compounded his legal problems by allegedly throwing a container of his urine at a city police officer.
Scott Allen Grahg, 42, 1115 W. 15th St., is preliminarily charged with battery by body waste, driving while intoxicated and driving as a habitual traffic offender. He was being held in the Delaware County jail on Monday under a $15,500 bond.
According to a probable cause affidavit, after being pulled over for erratic driving on West 13th Street about 2:40 a.m. Sunday, Grahg repeatedly said he had done nothing wrong by drinking and driving “since he hadn’t hit anyone.”
After refusing to take a breath test, Grahg was taken to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital for a blood draw. While at the hospital, he allegedly threw a container of his urine, which splashed on an officer’s boots and pants. Grahg was convicted of driving while intoxicated in 2007, twice in 2006 and in 1994.
Hospitals-churches working together to lower health care costs by adding services www.privateofficer.com
Memphis TN Oct 5 2011 Two mainstays of the Memphis community — the Methodist Le Bonheur hospital system and nearly 400 local churches — have teamed up for an innovative program that keeps church members healthy while reducing health-care costs. If not actually made in heaven, it’s a match that has significantly benefited all parties. Other health-care systems are taking note.
Methodist says 70 percent of its patients belong to churches. To help people get the care they need when they need it, the system assigns hospital staff, appropriately called “navigators,’’ to work with volunteer liaisons at area churches that have joined the health system’s Congregational Health Network. When a member of one of these congregations is admitted to the hospital, the navigator notifies the liaison. The liaison then plans a visit, if the member wishes, “so they have a support structure, not just the nurse and doctor,” says Valerie Murphy, the liaison for her small church of six families in Millington, a rural area north of Memphis.
When it comes time to discharge the patient, the liaison works with the navigator to make sure that the transition happens smoothly, connecting the patient with community services such as meals-on-wheels and transportation.
“It’s the social connections, the nitty-gritty practical stuff that makes a huge difference,” says Gary Gunderson, senior vice president for the health system. “Whether people understand how to take their medications, whether there’s food in the house.”
The health system compared the experiences and costs of 473 patients in the program with those of similar non-participating patients who received standard care from 2007 to 2009: The mortality rate for those in the network was 50 percent lower than for non-participating patients; their hospital readmission rates were 20 percent lower.
In the future, Methodist expects to reap savings by reducing the need for high-end specialized care and avoiding penalties for hospital readmission, says Teresa Cutts, Methodist’s director of research for innovation at its Center for Excellence for Faith and Health.
Patient education is another key to the program’s long-term success. In addition to helping hospital patients, the liaisons work to educate members of their congregations about healthful living and disease prevention. Murphy, for example, regularly posts information about risk factors for chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease in the church bulletin and on the church bulletin board, and she brings in experts to discuss chronic conditions.
Tyrone Griggs credits a sharp-eyed liaison at his church with his diabetes diagnosis nine months ago. The liaison noticed he was having trouble reading his Bible, he says, and talked with his wife about getting him tested. Griggs, 48, drives a truck and doesn’t have health insurance. But the liaison referred him to a nonprofit clinic that serves the uninsured.
“They monitor me and taught me how to take care of myself,” he says. “I’ve been going there ever since.”
Methodist may have one of the most extensive programs, but it’s by no means the only health system partnering with churches to improve congregation members’ health. At Loma Linda University Medical Center in Southern California, medical staff from the Seventh-day Adventist health system provide free health screening and education to members of area churches, says Dora Barilla, the medical center’s director of community health development.
Recently, for example, a neurologist with the Loma Linda physicians group spoke at a Temecula church with a large Hispanic population about the signs of stroke and early dementia, and about available services. “Our research showed that Spanish-speaking populations weren’t necessarily accessing dementia services,” says Barilla.
Although many health systems that are working with churches to develop their “health ministries” are faith-based, not all are. For more than a decade, the Inova Health System in Northern Virginia has been working with religious communities on health promotion and prevention through its Congregational Health Partnership. To better serve the area’s wide variety of faiths and languages, Inova employs different program managers to work with Hispanic, Muslim, Korean, Vietnamese and African American groups, says Maria Schaart, a physician who works with Hispanic churches.
If all this volunteer work sounds like a very good deal for financially strapped health-care systems, it is. “We’re saving a lot of money,” says Gunderson. “We’re mobilizing and aligning hundreds of people that we couldn’t pay,” he says, referring to the roughly 500 volunteer church liaisons.
Churches welcome the opportunity to work with health systems to help their members. “The church community wants to provide those hours,” says Mara Vanderslice Kelly, acting director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Last month, HHS invited Methodist to describe its programs at an event that brought representatives of 18 health systems together to discuss innovative faith- and community-based programs.
Unlike so many innovations in health reform these days, hospital-church partnerships probably don’t need a financial leg up from the federal government. “Our belief is that the hospitals have the funds to do these partnerships if they want to,” says Kelly.
This column is produced through a collaboration between The Post and Kaiser Health News. KHN, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health-care-policy organization that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
LeeAnn Dove, 48, of Herndon, was indicted in U.S. District Court in Alexandria on 15 felony charges including wire, mail and bank fraud, prosecutors said.
According to the indictment, Dove allegedly used her position at Great Falls Landscapes to add fake employees to the company’s payroll, whose paychecks she then deposited into her personal bank account.
Dove is also accused of using company credit cards for personal purchases, including electronics, furniture, limousine services, concert tickets, and thousands of dollars in gift cards, according to court records. Prosecutors say she embezzled nearly $490,000 during a six-year scheme between 2004 and 2010.
The indictment resulted from an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office as part of the Washington Metropolitan Area Fraud Task Force, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
If convicted, Dove faces up to 20 years in prison for each wire and mail fraud count, and up to 30 years in prison for each bank fraud count, authorities said.
“I know what it’s like to be a salmon now,” Richard Moyer told WHTM-TV.
His head and arms heavily bandaged, Richard Moyer said the bear ran inside his Perry County home as he let the dog in early Monday morning. Moyer and his wife, Angela, were hospitalized for bite and scratch marks but released in the afternoon.
The bear jumped on him and attacked his wife when she tried to intervene, Moyer said. Angela Moyer was knocked to the ground and dragged on to the home’s patio, prompting her husband to jump back into the fray, he said.
“That’s when the bear tried to make a meal out of me, and started tearing my head apart,” Moyer told WHP-TV.
The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Moyer said a doctor who treated him said he was fortunate that his size helped him fight off the bear.
“I’m just thankful it stopped,” Moyer told WGAL-TV. “Because if it didn’t stop I might be in a box right now.”
The bear was likely a female who felt her cubs were threatened by the dog, said Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser.
“A bear encountering a dog is more likely to run away,” he said.
Pennsylvania has not experienced a fatality from a black bear attack in more than a century, Feaser said.
The game commission has set up a bear trap in Moyer’s yard.
Miami Fla Oct 5 2011 It’s a terrifying thought that probably crosses the mind of every deep-sea diver – to resurface after a dive, only to discover that the boat that dropped you off is gone. And that predators in the waters are preparing to pounce. And the currents are swift and strong. And night is rapidly approaching.
All of those thoughts and more hit diver Paul Kline in the gut Sunday when he and another diver resurfaced three miles off Key Biscayne with no boat in sight.
“We were in shock,” said Kline, 44, visiting from Austin. “We could easily have died.”
Kline, a certified deep-sea diver, and Fernando García Puerta, a tourist from Spain, held on to a small fishing buoy for more than two hours until passengers on a boat spotted them and the captain stopped to rescue them.
It was 6:40 p.m. and conditions were getting worse. Waves were kicking up three to four-feet high and the winds were at 15 knots, according to Elie Trichet, captain of the “No Compromise” a 82-feet Sunseeker yacht headed back to Miami from Key Largo.
“We could see two divers with all their equipment and an inflated red tube.’’ The tube is commonly used in the diving community to signal when they come out of the water.
“You could notice a strong feeling of relief [when they saw us],’’ said Trichet, a diving instructor himself. “They had been clinging to that buoy for two hours hoping somebody would rescue them.”
The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the incident, said Sabrina Elgammal, the Miami spokesperson .
“We were contacted after the divers were found,” Elgammal said, declining to elaborate further.
Here’s what happened, according to Kline:
The divers were part of a large group that went out Sunday with Captain Mike Beach, of RJ Diving Ventures, a Miami-Beach-based company.
Kline said he paid $85 for the four-hour trip, which includes two one-hour dives at different sites. He and Garcia had just met.
The boat dropped everyone off at one site to see coral reef and marine life. Roughly an hour later, the boat picked up anchor and took the divers to another site.
Fifty-five minutes after diving the second time, Kline and Garcia came up to the surface and the boat was gone.
Kline said they initially thought that perhaps a diver had an emergency, forcing the boat to take off, but they felt another would come along soon to pick them up.
After a while they realized they had been forgotten.
It is unclear how Beach lost track of the two. He did not answer questions about the incident Monday.
“Everybody is OK, no one is hurt, everyone is happy. That’s all,” he said.
Not everyone is happy. Kline is scheduled to meet Tuesday with Sasha Boulanger, owner of South Beach Divers, which contracts with RJ Diving Ventures, the boat operators.
Boulanger said his company has an excellent record and the incident is the fault of the boat operator.
“We are the ones who facilitate the trip and connect A with B,” Boulanger said. “I must assume a certain degree of responsibility, but unfortunately, this falls on [RJ Diving’s] back. They are in control of the divers and their security.”
Kline said he and Garcia “tried to keep up our high spirits” while they held on waiting for someone to rescue them.
“If the night had fallen, the situation would have turned into panic.”
García, the Spanish tourist, could not be reached for comment.
The number of layoffs, stretching across all departments from the library to water and sewer to the jail, is expected to rise to about 350 by the end of the week. The cuts are likely to spiral even higher in coming months if the county and its 10 labors unions don’t reach new concessionary labor contracts in coming weeks.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez, elected on a pledge to rein in spending, has warned employees and unions that the county will have to lay off substantially more workers if the new labor agreements aren’t in place by Nov. 1. Gimenez has said the tough stance is necessary to ensure the county stays within budget.
In September, the Miami-Dade Commission approved a new $6.14 billion budget proposed by Gimenez that reversed an unpopular property tax rate hike pushed through a year earlier. That cut the county’s revenue, triggering the plan to pare staffing.
The layoffs come as bitter medicine for Gimenez, who has also placed a high priority on spurring economic development and fostering job creation in the county, where unemployment is 12.2 percent.
“Every day that passes [without a contract], the more layoffs will be incurred,’’ said Greg Blackman, president of the Government Supervisors Association of Florida OPEIU Local 100, which represents some 4,800 supervisory and professional employees in two bargaining units. “We had layoffs today and we expect many more to be coming in November and December.’’
Blackman said he expects the county to declare an impasse very soon, because GSAF members last Thursday rejected two tentative agreements recommended by the union leadership. “The reason we recommended the contract was to avoid more layoffs,’’ he said.
If the negotiations hit an impasse, the parties can either agree to go before a special magistrate or bypass that step and go directly before the County Commission, which has final say on labor contracts.
The county has proposed an 8 percent pay cuts for workers, but has allowed various unions to craft their own proposals for achieving cost savings. GSAF had presented a plan calling for employees to, among other things, give back their recent 3 percent raises and to take 11 furlough days in lieu of outright pay cuts.
The pink slips, which typically take effect in 21 days, don’t necessarily mean county employees will be left without a job.
Most county workers can seek to fill vacant positions that are funded in the new budget and can exercise classified service rights to bump other workers from positions. That process creates a rippling effect.
Those who don’t have the ability to bump another worker through their “retention scores,’’ which are based on seniority and performance, can go into the county’s so-called pipeline assistance process and compete for various spots.
Oakland CA Oct 5 2011 The police are known to curse a lot.
With a soaring homicide rate, rampant gang activity and a shrinking budget, officers at the Oakland Police Department have a tough job — and swearing has long been part of it.
But as part of an effort to transform the department from a traditional one into an agency based on community policing, Chief Anthony Batts is cracking down on bad language.
Several recent cases in which officers were disciplined for profanity have some officers rolling their eyes, highlighting a longstanding conflict within the department between two policing cultures that has come to a head under Chief Batts.
“I’m sorry. I’m not dealing with librarians. I’m not dealing with P.T.A. moms,” said Sgt. Dom Arotzarena, the president of the Oakland Police Officer’s Association. “I’m dealing with criminals, guys who are in San Quentin, guys who are in prison. The last thing I want people to think is that I’m some softie.”
Community policing relies heavily on strong community partnerships to spot and solve crime. While the model has been the nationwide standard for policing for decades, Oakland officers say a history of underfinancing and a contentious relationship with the public have fed into a scrappy and aggressive internal culture, more in line with older models of policing. In 2003, a judge ordered the department to institute reforms after a group of officers, nicknamed the Riders, were accused of planting drug evidence on suspects in East Oakland.
When Chief Batts took the job in 2009, he began to tackle the reforms, which include improving officer discipline, and to work on repairing the department’s relationship with the community. Under Chief Batts, officer disciplinary cases have tripled, but he has met resistance to internal changes among officers unsure of his commitment and leadership.
In one incident, according to officers familiar with the cases, an officer was disciplined after he was caught cursing to himself in his patrol car. In another, an officer guarding a crime scene was disciplined after swearing at a man who turned out to be a city employee.
“I don’t want to say we have a runaway culture here, but I think we have a very traditional culture,” Chief Batts said. “It’s not just expletives; it’s their overall attitude.”
David Sklansky, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said the department had a history of embracing the “go-it-alone” culture of the ’60s and ’70s. “It used to be that police forces were overwhelmingly white and male, pretty uniformly and aggressively homophobic, and politically and culturally conservative,” he said. But as departments have diversified and surveillance technologies have proliferated, “police officers are expected to get along better with people now much more than they used to be,” he said.
Demographic and generational changes in the Oakland department have mirrored these trends. According to the police officers’ association, 50 percent of the department’s patrol officers have been hired since 2003. The force is now 20 percent Latino and more than 20 percent black, and department veterans say many officers have college degrees.
“The idea of who is a police officer and what our job entails is changing,” said Sgt. Holly Joshi, a department spokeswoman. “It’s been happening for a couple of decades.”
Cursing is not the only language-related issue that is out of sync with the community policing paradigm. Earlier this month, Thelton Henderson, a federal judge who oversees the federally mandated reforms, blasted the department’s decision to name a summertime sweep of probation offenders Operation Summer Tuneup.
The judge said the department told him the name was chosen because “people tend to fix their cars during the summer months,” he said. But tuneup, it turns out, is a slang term used by officers to describe the beating of a suspect.
Henderson said that asking the court to believe the earlier definition was “akin to a baseball manager who tells his pitcher to throw a bean ball and says he means for the pitcher to really throw a ball of pinto beans.”
Chief Batts told the judge that he also disapproved of the name.
“We’re not at war with our community,” he said. “I need to push that. I have to push that.”
Source: The Bay Citizen
Petaluma CA Oct 5 2011 Police arrested one man and are searching for another suspect in a strong-arm robbery on Sunday afternoon at the Kmart store at 261 N. McDowell Blvd.
Nicholas Martin, 19, of Petaluma was detained by Kmart security for shoplifting at 12:32 p.m., but he fought with the security employees and ran to his parked car, according to Police Sgt. Steve Nelson.
Meanwhile, Kmart had notified Petaluma police that they were holding a suspect, but had not updated police that Martin had fled in a vehicle.
A short time later, an officer responding to the call stopped a vehicle leaving the Plaza North parking lot at a high rate of speed. The driver, Martin, attempted to flee on foot, but was apprehended by the officer. The stolen property was recovered and returned to Kmart personnel.
Martin was charged with strong-arm robbery and was booked into Sonoma County Jail on $40,000 bail.
A second suspect who was with Martin also fled the area on foot. He was described as a white male adult, heavy-set, in his 20s wearing blue jean shorts and no shirt.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Officer Patrick Gerke of the Petaluma Police Department at 778-4372.
A state trooper left one of the so-called “training aids” behind on Sept. 2, 2010 while working with a dog before leaving the state for military training, according to an internal affairs report obtained through the Freedom of Information act.
Another trooper noticed that the explosive was missing on Sept. 22, 2010, the report states.
An internal affairs investigator found that Trooper First Class Shawn Swarz failed to properly perform the duties of his position when he failed to return the device, the report states. In the same report, the investigator recommended that the second trooper, Trooper First Class Michael Hearn, be cleared of the allegation.
The report doesn’t say if Swarz was disciplined. Swarz, who remains at the Troop W barracks at the airport, declined to comment Monday.
Any reference to the device, or where it was left, was blacked out of the report. But state police have said the device was not in a public area of the airport, nor was it highly explosive.
According to the report, Hearn signed out two explosive training aids on the morning of Sept. 22, 2010. When he returned and went to sign them back in, he realized he had only taken one of the devices.
Hearn checked the sign-up sheet, and the last person to sign them out, Swarz, did so on Sept. 2, 2010, the report states. Hearns looked for the missing device and called Swarz, who was training with the military in South Carolina.
After getting direction from Swarz as to where he might have left the aid, a third canine handler found the device about 11:30 p.m. when he came in for the midnight shift, the report states.
During a Nov. 17 interview with internal affairs investigator Sgt. Ralph Soda, an apologetic Swarz told the investigator that he doesn’t know how he lost the aid. It was an accident, he told him.
“…I’ll take whatever is coming to me,” he said, according to the transcript. “It’s a mistake.”
The barracks has alerted all staff that troopers who handle bomb-sniffing dogs — the property of the federal Transportation Security Administration — must have a second person witness and verify the removal and return of training explosives, as per TSA rules. The regulation had not been followed because of staff shortages, troopers told Soda.
Sorin Ciubucciu, 53, was wanted for failing to appear at a hearing stemming from charges of possession of a prohibited weapon and resisting arrest in Atlantic County, police said. The warrant was issued in 2008, according to court papers.
Sands security noticed that Ciubucciu had a bag full of comp cards and debit cards, but no identification, when security staff started asking questions at 3:47 this morning, police said.
Security staff soon figured out that Ciubucciu, originally from Romania, according to court papers, was wanted in New Jersey. Ciubucciu was detained without bail and awaits extradition at Northampton County Prison.
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. Oct 5 2011Authorities said officers have captured three men accused of shooting at passing cars and opening fire on a Georgia State Patrol trooper.
Deputies, police officers and state troopers set up a command post along Woodall Road near the Cherokee-Bartow county line on Monday morning. Police aggressively searched a wooded area for the gunmen. One of the three men was captured just before noon,the other two were arrested a few hours later.
A tracking dog and officers carrying machine guns searched for the group of men early Monday morning.
“Three suspects identified as Hispanic males fired upon the trooper numerous times,” said Capt. Joe Hamby of the Georgia State Patrol.
Hamby said it started when deputies got a call that someone in a Honda Civic fired shots at a SUV on Interstate 75.
“One of the troopers spotted the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop on it.
After the trooper dodged several bullets while chasing the Honda, Hamby said the suspects jumped out of the car on Woodall Road and Upper Sweetwater Trail.
“Not before firing on the trooper again, at which point, he returned fire,” said Hamby.
Officials identified two of the suspects as Arturo Aceves Ramirez, 21, and Jose Slavador Vera Lule. They are being held in the Cherokee County Jail.
The defendants also claimed the United States was bankrupt, and the country was actually owned by England.
The IRS investigation dubbed Operation Stolen Treasures targeted Fontana-based Old Quest Foundation Inc. and Rancho Cucamonga-based De la Fuente and Ramirez and Associates for filing federal income-tax returns with bogus claims for refunds.
There are 32 federal indictments, most alleging conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Hundreds of false tax returns were filed with the IRS seeking refunds. Refund checks for $5 million went out in error, IRS Special Agent Felicia McCain said Monday.
Eighteen defendants were arrested Friday and 10 defendants are fugitives or agreed to surrender Monday. Twenty-seven defendants will get a summons to appear for arraignment in coming weeks.
During presentations throughout Southern California, people falsely claiming to be attorneys, accountants and former IRS employees told potential customers that tax refunds were available through a secret government account.
Their tax defiance arguments also included claims the U.S. was penniless and Great Britain actually owned the country.
“Frivolous arguments were made by both groups,” McCain said, adding the IRS continually tries to stop such fraudulent schemes.
Those who signed up were required pay Old Quest up to $10,000 as well as a percentage of any refund they fraudulently received, authorities alleged. In exchange, Old Quest prepared and filed false income tax returns seeking huge income tax refunds, one of them for nearly $4.7 million.
When Old Quest customers received IRS letters warning that their tax returns were frivolous, members of the conspiracy prepared responses and assured customers the IRS letters were meant to intimidate them because the “IRS did not want to pay,” according to the indictments.
De la Fuente and Ramirez and Associates filed more than 35 false income tax returns seeking more than $19 million in income tax refunds, prosecutors said. The indictments said they also used seminars and one-on-one consultations to recruit customers who were each charged $2,500.
Telephone listings couldn’t be found in San Bernardino County for Old Quest Foundation Inc. and De la Fuente and Ramirez and Associates.