New York City NY May 17 2012 A wiretap by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to obtain evidence against a heroin trafficking ring uncovered a surprising suspect, officials said: a New York City police officer.
A heroin dealer, Guy Curtis, asked the officer on one occasion how to get “gunshot residue off your hands,” according to the authorities. And they said the officer, Devon Daniels, was once heard on the wiretap asking Mr. Curtis for help getting “any working revolver.”
Those requests and others were described in a criminal complaint against Officer Daniels that was unsealed on Tuesday in Federal District Court in Brooklyn. Shortly before, Officer Daniels, 30, was arrested on his way to work. The complaint accuses him of regularly misusing his authority to help Mr. Curtis, whom federal officials described as the head of a drug-dealing outfit in Queens known as Pov City.
Officer Daniels obtained a New York Police Department parking placard for Mr. Curtis, according to the criminal complaint, which was signed by Pathik R. Lotwala, an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
On another occasion, the officer, driving a vehicle belonging to Mr. Curtis, hurried to the site where one of Mr. Curtis’s associates was being arrested, the complaint says. After identifying himself as a police officer and talking to the arresting officers on the scene, Officer Daniels reported back to Mr. Curtis what he had learned, the complaint says.
It suggests Officer Daniels was at the drug dealer’s beck and call.
“Yo do them plates real quick,” Mr. Curtis once said in a text message he sent to Officer Daniels, asking him to run several license plates through a national law enforcement database to get information about the owners, the complaint says. “What u need I got it,” Officer Daniels replied, before sending along a name and address of the person to whom one of the cars, a BMW 5 series, was registered, the complaint says.
The complaint does not describe how Officer Daniels, who had worked as a patrol officer in the 111th Precinct in Queens, became acquainted with Mr. Curtis. But a law enforcement official briefed on the case said investigators believed that the officer and Mr. Curtis had been friends for years.
Mr. Curtis pleaded guilty in January to federal charges of conspiring to distribute heroin. His drug operation was concentrated in Jamaica, Queens, and federal authorities have said he was once stabbed in a dispute over drug turf on Jamaica Avenue. On a separate occasion, his top lieutenant shot at a woman believed to be the girlfriend of the man who stabbed Mr. Curtis, the authorities said.
Officer Daniels came to the attention of the Drug Enforcement Administration while investigators in the Wichita, Kan., office were monitoring a dealer there who received his heroin from Mr. Curtis’s crew in New York, according to the criminal complaint.
The agency began wiretapping Mr. Curtis’s phone in April 2011, leading to the discovery of his relationship with Officer Daniels, according to the complaint.
Once, the Wichita dealer wired $3,500 into Officer Daniels’s bank account as payment for heroin, which the officer passed along to Mr. Curtis, the authorities said.
The complaint charges Officer Daniels with misdemeanors of improperly using the law enforcement databases to which he had access as a police officer. In addition to checking license plates, Officer Daniels is accused of searching a database of warrants at Mr. Curtis’s request.
The complaint does not indicate whether the officer obtained a revolver from Mr. Curtis.
Officer Daniels entered no plea at his arraignment in Brooklyn on Tuesday.
Asked by the federal magistrate judge, Roanne Mann, if he understood the accusations, the officer responded, “Yes.”
His parents put up their house in Queens to secure a bond for his release.
The Police Department has suspended him without pay, Paul J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman, said in an e-mail. He added that Officer Daniels faced “department sanctions, regardless of the outcome of the criminal case, including termination.”
The department’s Internal Affairs Bureau was also involved in the investigation.
HAMPTON, Ga. May 17 2012
Residents in a Clayton County neighborhood said a gunman was aiming for children who were getting on a school bus.
David Dillard said he yelled at a man who was in his neighbor’s back yard holding what looked like a BB gun.
“About the time the school bus pulled up to pick up two kids and the guy started aiming the gun,” Dillard said.
Dillard said the gunman took off running when he yelled at him, but his nephew went after the man.
As my nephew ran after him, he started shooting at my nephew with a different gun, because he had dropped what turned out to be a rifle,” Dillard said.
Clayton County police said a rifle was found in the yard.
Homeowners in the Greystone subdivision in Hampton said they are on edge. They said they want to know why someone was targeting children and why police did not immediately alert the media when it happened Monday morning.
“Yeah, they should have called the media. Really, it should have been posted yesterday. I’m just going to be honest with it,” homeowner’s association vice president Curtis Berry said.
Channel 2′s Tom Jones asked police why the media was not alerted immediately. A spokesperson said he was preparing a news release.
Neighbors said the incident is so serious, police were out in force Tuesday morning, with patrols and a helicopter overhead, to make sure children were safe as they boarded their buses.
Los Angeles County CA May 17 2012 Just before 10:45 a.m., Keith Marks called 911 and the Los Angeles County emergency response system sprang into action. A fire engine, a paramedic squad and a private ambulance — eight men in total — rushed to the Martin Luther King Jr. urgent-care center in Willowbrook.
When they arrived, Marks, 56, was sitting calmly in a wheelchair just outside the entrance. His complaint: he was having joint pain from gout and wanted his medication refilled.
“I can’t walk,” he said. “I need to go to the closest emergency room.”
The paramedics checked his vital signs. Marks told them he called 911 after the county clinic wouldn’t see him for free because he had other insurance. Then the paramedics did what Marks wanted — sent him by ambulance to St. Francis Medical Center.
During an eight-hour period at L.A. County Fire Station 41 last week, paramedics responded to a handful of calls but only one actual emergency — a man who reportedly had a seizure while driving on the 105 Freeway. Several other calls, they said, could have been handled differently if there were other options. The call from Marks was one.
“Really, what are we going to do for gout?” Capt. Ernie Clayton asked.
The incident illustrates a chronic problem — unnecessary 911 calls that result in costly trips to already crowded ERs, which divert resources from true emergencies. Increasingly, uninsured patients rely on 911 as their only way into the healthcare system.
Now, four decades after public safety agencies began launching fast-response paramedics, counties around the nation are overhauling the 911 system to save money, improve care and reduce ER overcrowding, an especially acute problem in the Los Angeles area. Federal health reform is driving the changes, as hospitals try to reduce readmissions and the healthcare system prepares for more patients.
In San Francisco and San Diego, paramedics have worked with law enforcement to reduce the burden of alcoholics on the 911 system. Paramedics in Maine, Minnesota and Colorado are beginning to treat patients in their homes, doing preventive and follow-up care and helping manage chronic illnesses.
“The emergency room is expensive and not always a pleasant experience for patients,” said Maine’s community paramedicine coordinator, Kevin McGinnis. “It is much better to treat them where they are.”
Although the discussions in Los Angeles County are just beginning, officials said they hoped to make changes to the 911 system in the next few years. This is the perfect time, they said, because there is federal money available for new efforts to deliver better care in a more cost-effective way.
“People are calling 911 not because they are really, really sick or really, really injured. It’s because they have no other option,” said L.A. County Fire Department Chief Deputy Mike Metro. Fire departments cannot continue to add engines and paramedics to meet the need, he said. “We have to have the ability to make different decisions.”
Paramedics in L.A. County responded to 543,715 calls in 2010 — a little more than one call every minute. About one in five patients taken to the ER might have been better served elsewhere, according to Cathy Chidester, director of the county’s Emergency Medical Services Agency.
Under current emergency response rules, there is little flexibility. After receiving initial aid, 911 patients have only two choices — either go to the emergency room or stay behind. In L.A. County, more than three-quarters take the ambulance ride, which can cost up to $1,500, even when their complaints are as minor as a cough or a headache. By law, emergency rooms must take patients regardless of insurance status.
Officials are exploring whether ambulances could take certain 911 cases to clinics rather than hospitals. They are also exploring whether paramedics could treat some people at their homes and refer others to primary care doctors or advice lines. And they are considering mobile health vans in some cases.
This is a skilled workforce,” said Mitch Katz, director of the county Department of Health Services. “Their basic choice is to transport a person to the emergency room or not. That is not a very nuanced choice.”
Katz said the goal is that all patients “go to the right place and the right time to see the right person.”
California officials also are looking for ways to make the process more efficient and expand the role of paramedics, said Howard Backer, director of the California Emergency Medical Services Authority. Paramedic teams — staffed to provide service 24 hours a day — are qualified to do several medical procedures, such as insert breathing tubes and conduct electrocardiograms.
With additional training, Backer said they could help fill the primary care gap in California. “There are EMS personnel everywhere,” he said. “It’s natural to look at how we can do the most with the resources we have.”
Changes won’t be easy. California law restricts where ambulances can take 911 patients, and insurance, private and public, reimburses only when they are transported to hospitals. Clinics also would need to have the right hours, staffing and expertise to take the patients.
Then there is the concern about errors in judgment. What happens if a patient is taken to a clinic but really needed to go to an ER? What if a 911 patient is treated at home but really needed to see a doctor?
“It all comes down to liability,” said Patrick Hanrahan, an L.A. County firefighter-paramedic. “We don’t want to be left on the hook.”
Hospital personnel already talk with paramedics in the field, so under a new system, nurses and doctors could help quickly determine the best place for a 911 patient to be treated, said Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Assn. of Southern California.
“This is long overdue,” Lott said. “The communication is there, the technology is there, the expertise is there. There is no reason why this kind of triaging can’t be done effectively.”
Another problem is that paramedics and ambulances often get stuck with their patients waiting for ER beds to open; creating new protocols could make the process work more smoothly. “If you have ambulances waiting at the emergency room … the people who need the care are not getting it,” said Brian Bledsoe, who teaches emergency medicine in Nevada and has written several EMS textbooks.
At Station 41 in Willowbrook, paramedics said they have responded — with lights and sirens — to babies who wouldn’t stop crying, people who couldn’t sleep and alcoholics who drank too much. “In their eyes it’s an emergency,” Clayton said. “We know better. But once the call is made, we have to care for them.”
On the day Marks called from the urgent-care center, paramedics from a nearby station headed to a Watts motel for a call about a man with a gunshot wound. But the victim, Terrance Montgomery, said he was shot and had been treated nine days earlier. The motel owner said she called 911 because Montgomery owed her money and she wanted him off the property.
As he was loaded into the ambulance, Montgomery, who is uninsured, said he hadn’t seen a doctor since leaving the hospital the previous week. “This is going to be my follow-up,” he said.
Later in the afternoon, paramedics went to the home of 90-year-old Nathan Shands, who had been vomiting for a few days. His granddaughter said she couldn’t get him into the car, so she called 911 to take him to the hospital. She hadn’t expected so many people to show up.
“She just wanted transport to the hospital,” Clayton said. “She didn’t understand 911 response.”
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. May 16 2012
Police have tied together a strange chain of events, including a deadly shooting at an Atlanta drive-in and a pedestrian struck and killed by a DeKalb County police cruiser.
Officers were called to a shooting at the Starlight Six drive-in theater on Moreland Avenue early Tuesday.
Police said Mitt Lenix, 28, of Jonesboro, was having car trouble in the area, and approached a man to ask for help. The man, Quentric Williams pulled out a gun, shot Lenix and raced off, authorities said.
Police followed Williams to Gwinnett County where he crashed on Lilburn-Stone Mountain Road and escaped. Police were still looking for him on Tuesday night.
At the same time in Stone Mountain, an officer responding to the call struck and killed a pedestrian crossing the road on Memorial Drive near West Mountain Street.
Witnesses told Channel 2 Action News that 27-year-old Clifton Hightower was cutting across the street toward a gas station when he was struck.
“We saw a dude coming across the street. Saw the police coming up the street, doing every bit 70 or 80 mph. No lights. No sirens, and, boom,” witness Jerrard Bullock said.
A police spokeswoman later told Channel 2’s Erica Byfield that the officer’s lights may have been on, but a traffic specialist was investigating.
Hightower’s mother, Anna Maria Davis, told Byfield the officers came to their home with the news a few hours later.
“They said, ‘Mrs. Davis your son has died, your son got killed last night,’” Davis said. “I was like, ‘No, we aren’t talking about my son, no you aren’t talking about my son. My son didn’t get killed last night.’”
Davis said that Hightower was headed to his sister’s house to baby-sit when he was struck.
“We definitely need to know something, why it happened, why his lights weren’t on, why 80 mph and why you took my son’s life. That’s what he took,” Hightower’s father, Michael Davis said.
Officials told Byfield that Officer Jason Cooper was driving the cruiser and is now on administrative leave.
Clayton County GA.teacher accused of molesting, abusing special needs students www.privateofficer.com
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. May 17 2012
A teacher is fighting to keep his job after claims he molested and abused his severely disabled students.
Clayton County Schools is trying to fire Adamson Middle School teacher David Vollmer after a paraprofessional claimed that he groped and abused his students while in class.
Monique Hall testified before an Employee Tribunal Panel hearing. She recalled what she thought when she says she saw Vollmer inappropriately touching a student.
“I was playing over in my mind, ‘Did this just happen? Did he just grope him?’” Hall said.
She said Vollmer constantly abused his students. She said he once bent a student’s fingers back as he screamed in pain. She said Vollmer also slammed a student down in his chair.
“He used both of his hands and slammed him down in his seat. Darren immediately started jumping and grabbing his butt,” Hall said.
Hall testified Vollmer tickled students near their private parts as they sat in his lap. She said he stuck his hands down a student’s pants, and even followed a student into a girl’s bathroom.
“And if I was a parent I would not have wanted him in there with my daughter,” Hall explained.
The school system called the sheriff’s office, DFACS and is now trying to fire Vollmer. Vollmer’s attorney said the allegations are false and witnesses will testify Hall had motives to get Vollmer out of the classroom.
Hall said she is just speaking up for disabled non-verbal students who can’t speak for themselves.
“I just thought it was sad … that the kids were being abused by their teacher. I thought it was very sad,” Hall said.
The sheriff’ office said it has forward its investigation to the district attorney’s office.
The panel could decide to follow the superintendent’s recommendation to fire Vollmer, it could go against that recommendation or come up with its own punishment.
Whatever it decides, the school board will make the final decision.
Plan would let Detroit neighborhoods collect fee for private security, other services www.privateofficer.com
Detroit MI May 17 2012 A citywide coalition is preparing an ordinance for Detroit Council consideration that would allow willing neighborhoods to assess a fee on property owners to supplement services their government is struggling to provide: crime prevention, snow removal and mosquito abatement.
The ordinance, according to Karen Johnson Moore of the Grandmont Rosedale Neighborhood Development Corporation, would allow neighborhoods whose residents approve to hire private contractors for those services while potentially boosting city revenue through a likely increase in property taxes.
“It would help stabilize our neighborhoods,” Johnson Moore told MLive.com today after presenting an overview to council. “Many of us are in situations where the property values have declined so much.
“And obviously the most important thing is to make us more safe. That’s the ultimate goal for all of us, because if we don’t feel comfortable in our own neighborhood, then what’s the point?”
A state law written and recently amended with Detroit in mind allows for the creation of special assessment districts for select services in any city with a population of at least 600,000 residents.
The plan would allow any neighborhood in Detroit to levy a fee of between $50 and $100 on homeowners, contingent upon supporting petition signatures from residents who own at least 51 percent of the land.
It’s not the first time neighborhood groups have sought authorization for a special assessment district. A similar attempt failed in 2003, but organizers say this proposal is different because it is not limited to specific neighborhoods.
While the coalition includes residents from some of the city’s healthiest areas, many of whom already pool voluntary resources for private security, the ordinance will allow any neighborhood with willing residents to form a special assessment district to pay for a supplemental service-level of their choosing.
“We don’t want it to be just a Northwest Detroit idea, but something that’s good for all neighborhoods,” said Moore, whose Grandmont-Rosedale group is working with other community organizations around the city.
“(The 2003 ordinance) looked like an elitist proposal. Everybody assumes that we’re more stable than we are. We do have our own personal challenges, and we’re all trying to address them.”
The ordinance will require council approval, and several members praised Moore and other coalition members for creating a plan they appear ready to support.
“Thank your for trying to find solutions to help us resolve some of the problems that are plaguing our neighborhoods and not just coming here to complain,” said Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins. “It’s true that the city can’t do it all, unfortunately, so I appreciate you all being proactive.”
U.S. Coast Guard attorney and lieutenant commander tried having sex with 8yr old www.privateofficer.com
But when Gray arrived in Sarasota County, to a house where he thought the child would be home alone, he was instead greeted by Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputies who arrested him.
“He had hoped to have sex with an 8-year-old girl,” Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight said of Gray, who was charged with use of a computer and traveling to seduce, solicit or entice a child to commit sex acts.
Gray is being charged with a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, said Chief Assistant State Attorney Ed Brodsky.
Gray was one of 31 nabbed in a six-day sting called Operation Intercept, an attempt to protect Manatee and Sarasota counties’ children from online predators, Knight said Monday during a news conference at the sheriff’s office in downtown Sarasota.
Two of the 31 arrested were from Miami-Dade County. Besides Gray, 21-year-old Dalbert Borges of Hialeah was also charged with the same crime.
The sting concluded Saturday, Knight added.
All 31 suspects responded to Internet-based ads and engaged in sexually explicit written and verbal conversation, according to a Sarasota Sheriff’s Office press release.
What also is disturbing about the sting, in which the sheriff’s office also was able to take the suspect’s vehicles as “tools of their trade,” is that this form of predation seems to be able to fool children who are not fooled when someone tries to entice them in person.
“This is a different way of doing the stranger danger, and now they are using technology,” said Venice Chief of Police Thomas McNulty.
“An informed child is a child not likely to be victimized,” McNulty added.
The suspects all agreed to come to a secret location in Sarasota County with the intent to have sex with a child or children, the sheriff’s office said.
“We’re keeping the location secret because we plan to use it again,” Knight said.
When the suspects arrived, they were met by detectives and placed under arrest.
“Predators establish contact with kids through chat rooms, instant messaging and discussion boards,” Knight said. “The anonymity of the Internet allows these criminals to seem like caring individuals, but they’re only looking for vulnerable victims. Parents, you have to be your child’s protector and monitor what they are doing online.”
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office conducted the operation with the assistance of the Bradenton Police Department, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, the Sarasota Police Department, Venice Police Department, North Port Police Department, the State Attorney’s Office and other members of the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Springfield OR May 17 2012
Police have charged a 20-year-old man with felony robbery after he allegedly used a set of brass knuckles to attack a department store security agent who had confronted him about shoplifting, Springfield police said.
Christopher Allan Buttz, was taken into custody and is being held in the Lane County Jail on charges that include first-degree robbery, second-degree theft and unlawful use of a weapon, in connection with an incident that occurred this morning at Kohl’s in the Gateway Mall, police said.
Officers arrested Buttz a short time after the incident.
There was no word on the injuries of the security officer.
Chicago hospital employee payed her bills with credit cards stolen from cancer patients www.privateofficer.com
As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, police in south suburban Matteson report they found the Social Security and credit card numbers of more than 50 Northwestern Memorial Hospital patients when they searched the home of Shatina Golden, 35, who had worked there for the last four years.
The State’s Attorney’s office says the investigation started when the Matteson water department noticed Golden’s water bills were being paid with various credit cards, all of which traced back to one laboratory where Golden worked at Northwestern.
The investigation found that the bills were all being paid from Golden’s home, or from the hospital itself.
Golden has been released on $10,000 bond pending a hearing on identity theft charges, which carry a maximum of 7 years imprisonment if she were to be convicted.
GARY IN May 17 2012 — An offer that seemed too good to be true turned out to be just that.
But a 29-year-old Gary woman didn’t learn that until she lost about $200 to a couple who took her cash in exchange for a promise of more than $700 in credit on her NIPSCO bill.
Fortunately, a security guard inside the NIPSCO building at 3229 Broadway saw the victim talking to a couple in a battered blue car with a black hood about 1 p.m. Monday.
Lt. Jack Arnold saw the car driving south on Broadway and alerted other units, who arrested Marcus Witt, 26, of Chicago and Bianca Simmons, 23, of Gary, who face felony charges.
“I didn’t rob anybody. She gave me her money,” Witt told police as he was taken into custody at 39th Avenue and Broadway. Later, he told police he had performed the same action in Illinois and all he had to do was give the money back to the victim.
When the Gary woman walked into the NIPSCO building the guard questioned her and learned the man had taken her cash and made a phone call to someone he said worked in the building and would apply credit to her account.
The woman still had to go inside, however, because she had a money order to pay a friend’s bill. The guard alerted police, which led to the arrest.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” police spokeswoman Cpl. Gabrielle King said. “Go inside and pay your bills. Get a receipt.”
Detective Richard McClelland is investigating the incident.
Barry Martin, 58, of Gulf Shores, was charged with one count of second-degree theft of property and one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, according to police.
The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office recovered about 50 guns and narcotics believed to have come from the evidence room.
District Attorney Hallie Dixon earlier expressed concern that the thefts could affect the prosecution of up to 100 cases; this week, she put the number at 10 cases.
Four of the cases resulted in pleas or lesser charges, according to Dixon. Four others were no-billed by grand jurors and could not be prosecuted, and two more are expected to be no-billed.
Gulf Shores Police Sgt. Jason Woodruff was glad that the number was substantially lower than originally estimated. “But one is too many,” he said.
North Las Vegas slashes more than $33 million from its budget-fire-police layoffs looming www.privateofficer.com
NORTH LAS VEGAS NV May 17 2012 – The streets of North Las Vegas may soon have fewer patrols after city leaders voted unanimously to slash more than $33 million from its budget.
Public service is not the only place cuts could be seen.
The city has until June 1 to submit a final budget, and city leaders say the only way they can avoid those cuts is if unions agree to more concessions..
City leaders say up to 100 North Las Vegas Police Department employees, 57 Fire Department employees, and 60 other city employees could receive pink slips.
City officials have been trying for months to get unions representing employees to agree to concessions, mainly to skip raises once again.
The unions, which represent police, firefighters and municipal employees, have refused.
In a surprise move Tuesday, one union, Teamsters Local 14, says it’ll come back to the table.
Although union leaders with the police and firefighters association have not agreed to anything yet, they also say they are still open to negotiations.
But time is running out. The city has 17 days to present that final plan to the state. The final budget will go into effect July 1.
TULSA, Oklahoma May 17 2012 – Two bounty hunters bust their way through an elderly woman’s home in Tulsa looking for a fugitive.
They soon found out they were at the wrong house.
Police said two of the three bounty hunters had warrants for their own arrests.
Now, professional bounty hunters are calling for regulation.
Oklahoma law only requires bounty men to be 18 years old.
There is no gun or weapons instruction or even training on how to arrest the fugitives they are hunting.
Bounty Hunter David Dunn has been a licensed private investigator for 16 years.
Even though it’s not required, he has taken the initiative to get various certifications and training, which he said rouge hunters lack.
“They’re not licensed private investigators, they’re not licensed bondsmen, they’re not licensed anything. They simply buy a badge, a t-shirt and find a bondsman who will give them a file. From there, they go to work without knowing anything about what they are doing,” Dunn said.
Dunn said the weapons they use including, firearms, tasers, pepper spray, among others, can be deadly when used in unskilled hands.
Police said Ronnie Shaw and Cecil Deere, two of the three men who stormed through the elderly woman’s home, actually had warrants for their arrests.
Senator Ralph Shortey (R) has tried to pass Senate Bill 1872 calling for regulation of the industry for the past two legislative sessions; it failed each time.
Criminal defense attorney David Slane said, “No little old lady should be disturbed while home alone by three guys waiving guns and kicking in her front door.”
Another group of bounty hunters in Midwest City was accused of doing the same thing and holding an entire family hostage.
News Channel 4 obtained a list of almost a dozen working bounty hunters in Oklahoma who are targeting fugitives while they have criminal pasts themselves.
“We have to pass a test to drive a car. It’s just unimaginable that we allow people to kick in doors, arrest others and they don’t have to have any training or experience,” Slane said.
While there are many cases of cowboy bounty hunters who make huge mistakes, the Oklahoma Bondsman Association said legitimate bounty men save tax payers millions each year.
Green Bay WI May 17 2012 School crossing guards are angry about a city plan to save money by outsourcing their jobs to a private security firm.
The city is considering hiring Per Mar Security Services, based in Davenport, Iowa, to provide crossing guards for schoolchildren throughout the community.
Crossing guards now are city employees who are represented by the Teamsters Union and earn about $12 an hour through the police department.
As private-sector workers, crossing guards fear they would be stripped of their union representation, forced to accept a pay cut and, in a sense, cut off from the community
“I love working for the city,” crossing guard Robert Selissen said. “The city means a lot to me.”
Selissen, a crossing guard for more than 20 years, said he would walk away from the job before he would agree to be transferred to a company based out of state.
“I think they’re making a big mistake,” he added.
The change requires approval from Green Bay aldermen, who are scheduled to begin debating the issue later this month.
City purchasing director Julie Van Oss said the move would save taxpayers money, although she would not disclose projected savings or other details until aldermen have been briefed on the matter.
City staffers accepted proposals from private security firms in March and selected Per Mar from among four suitors. The city would pay the Iowa-based company $339,872 a year, or about $1 million over a three-year period.
Green Bay School District spokeswoman Amanda Brooker said school officials were unaware that the city was considering outsourcing crossing guards.
But as long as service is maintained at high standards, Brooker said, the school district would have no objection to the city’s efforts to find a more economical alternative.
“We’re facing tighter and tighter budgets,” she said. “We’re going to be looking at any way we can to save costs.”
Under an agreement between the two government entities, the city pays for crossing guard services while the school district pays for police officers to serve as school resource officers on various school campuses.
Crossing guards said they have heard the new deal would drop their pay to about $10 an hour and that they would lose other benefits under privatization.
“They’re just giving us a rotten deal all around,” said Debra Pichette, a veteran crossing guard.
Some crossing guards have reached out to the Teamsters for help, but under Wisconsin’s new collective bargaining rules for public employees, there is little the union can do.
Beth Kirchman, business representative for Teamsters Local 662, said state law no longer requires the city to consult with organized labor before outsourcing jobs. Kirchman voiced concern that a private company from out of state would cut corners to save costs and would not concern itself primarily with public safety.
“What is their vested interest in the community?” Kirchman said. “I think safety should be the No. 1 concern — not cost.”
Per Mar officials declined to comment.
Crossing guard Debby Nejedlo said she was disappointed to hear what the city was considering, adding that she likely would quit her job if it got outsourced.
Becoming emotional, Nejedlo noted that some former students have returned after many years to stay in touch with their former crossing guard.
“I see the kids grow up, and I won’t anymore,” she said. “I feel lost, but there’s nothing we can do.”
LOUISVILLE, KY May 17 2012 – Alert bank employees in Louisville led police on Tuesday to a South Carolina man wanted for questioning in alleged Craigslist scams.
Louisville Metro Police said employees of the U.S. Bank branch inside the Kroger store at 4501 Outer Loop reported a suspicious person just before 7:00 Tuesday night.
When officers arrived, they were informed by bank officials that the man, Brooks Elliott Sowell, 31, of Allendale, SC, was wanted for questioning by the LMPD fraud unit for possible Craigslist scams via money order.
Police said Sowell gave them a New York State driver’s license containing someone else’s name, date of birth and address. Sowell later admitted the driver’s license was fake.
Sowell was wanted by both Jefferson County officials and the National Crime Information Center.
He was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument and giving a peace officer a false name or address
Joseph Lewis was killed in the parking lot of Victory Way Assembly Church of God in Christ on Tireman between Livernois and I-96.
One person is in police custody but has not been formally charged yet, Detroit police Sgt. Alan Quinn said.
“We’re still looking for somebody else,” he said.
Two men walked up to the church parking lot and confronted Lewis Wednesday night as he was guarding cars during Bible study, police said. A struggle followed, and a bullet hit the security guard.
Lewis guarded churches across the city for more than 55 years, his youngest son Anthony Lewis said. He was a Korean War veteran who had been awarded a Bronze Star and was a retired automotive assembly line inspector
Rachel George, 21, and her father, Christopher George, 50, of Greensburg, face a preliminary hearing next week on charges that they attacked the officer and the guard, who was escorting her out of the ballpark during Saturday night’s game against the Houston Astros. Each is charged with crimes including aggravated assault, conspiracy, harassment, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.
Tensions flared after Ms. George was taken to the park’s security office for smoking in her seat, according to a criminal complaint filed by Detective Frank Rende.
As Pirates security supervisor Joseph Risher was escorting her out of the right field gate, Ms. George’s unidentified boyfriend assaulted him and ran off. Ms. George jumped on the guard’s back and started to pull him backward, the complaint says.
Her father joined in the attack, pushing him up against a fence.
“While defending himself, Mr. Risher got his left hand caught on the fence, and when he was pulled by both (defendants) his left middle finger was ripped off at the second knuckle and was hanging by a piece of skin,” Detective Rende wrote in the complaint.
Mr. Risher, he added, was screaming in pain.
Once in handcuffs, the Georges continued to be uncooperative, Detective Rende wrote.
Ms. George cursed and spit on him. As Sgt. Sean Duffy, who intervened, was placing her in a holding cell at the ballpark she kicked him, prompting him to use a “palm strike” to the left side of her face. He said he felt a sharp pain in his right shoulder while doing this, requiring care at UPMC Mercy.
The Georges were taken to the Allegheny County Jail, where court records show they posted bail.
Neither father nor daughter could be reached for comment this morning.
Police arrested two Petaluma brothers Monday evening who had about $550 worth of clothing from Kohl’s department store. They were wearing some of the store’s clothing at the time of their arrest, reported Sgt. Andrew Urton.
Store security officers called police Monday at about 5:45 p.m. to ask for help regarding the clothing theft.
As officers were enroute to the North McDowell Boulevard store, the two men left. Security workers attempted to stop them, but they ran to an awaiting car, police reported.
Officers stopped the car nearby and store employees identified the men.
As well as finding the stolen clothing, officers found 10.6 grams of suspected methamphetamine, packaged for sale, Urton said.
Suspect Giovanni Quiroz-Sanchez, 26, was carrying a small amount of meth when he was being held in the back of a patrol car. Officers caught him attempting to destroy it, said Urton.
Giovanni Quiroz-Sanchez and Andy Quiroz-Sanchez, 19, were arrested on suspicion of possessing and transporting drugs for sale, petty theft and violating their parole. The older brother also was arrested on suspicion of evidence destruction.
Driver Rachealle Flores, 25, of Petaluma was arrested on suspicion of possessing narcotic paraphernalia. She was released with a citation to appear in court.