Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Oklahoma
End of Watch: Friday, May 18, 2012
Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 7 years
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 5/18/2012
Weapon: Officer’s handgun
Suspect: Charged with murder
Probation / Parole Officer Jeffrey McCoy was shot and killed while performing a pre-release supervision check at a home on Maple Drive in Midwest City, Oklahoma.
A male subject who lived at the home, but who was not the focus of Officer McCoy’s visit, answered the door and immediately pushed Officer McCoy off of the front porch. The man then attacked him and was able to gain control of his service weapon during the ensuing struggle. The subject shot Officer McCoy at least once before fleeing back into his home.
The man fired at officers from the Midwest City Police Department as they arrived at the scene. He was taken into custody moments later after he exited the home again.
Officer McCoy had served with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for seven years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Director Justin Jones
Oklahoma Department of Corrections
3400 Martin Luther King Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Phone: (405) 425-2500
WINCHESTER, KY May 19 2012 - It may be spring, but one man is already playing the role of Santa for one Kentucky town.
A man purchased the remaining inventory at a Clark County Kmart and proceeded to donate the goods to a local charity.
Businessman Rankin Paynter was at the Kmart in Winchester a few weeks back buying things for his business.
“I said to the lady ‘what are you going to do with all this stuff that’s leftover two days before you close,’” said Paynter.
They told him everything goes to Kmart power buyers, so he went and became one. Six and a half hours and four cash registers later, Paynter had his fortune.
Instead of selling it and making some cash, he donated everything Wednesday to a Clark County charity. The charity is excited to have enough hats and gloves to give away this winter for the first time.
San Antonio TX May 19 2012 When Gloria Leija learned that one of her neighbors had been shot in the head after asking a driver to slow down, she thought it easily could have been her.
Instead, a man who lived across the street from the suspect was hospitalized in critical condition after being shot three times Wednesday, including once in the head.
Police said Adolph Ramos Suarez, 57, was driving near his home in the 800 block of Utopia Lane when neighbor Jacques Gonzales, 41, who was getting something out of his car, yelled that he was going too fast.
They argued, then Suarez got out of his car and shot Gonzales, police said. Witnesses said he then walked up to Gonzales as he lay in the street and shot him twice more.
“Any one of us would have yelled at him for driving down the street fast,” Leija said, adding that she was unsurprised to learn the suspect’s identity.
Robert Tamez, a neighbor to both men and friend to Gonzales, said his vehicle was dented in a failed attempt to stop the gunman from fleeing.
Gonzales was taken to San Antonio Military Medical Center in critical condition, but Tamez said his friend was in stable condition at an area hospital Thursday morning.
Suarez later turned himself in at police headquarters downtown and handed over a gun he said he used in the shooting, police said.
He remained behind bars in lieu of $100,000 bail Thursday afternoon. He was charged with attempted murder.
Suarez was wearing a security guard’s uniform during the shooting, and he told police he was employed as a guard. But a search for Suarez on the Department of Public Safety’s private security division yielded no results, and police had no information on where he worked.
Leija and other neighbors described Suarez as abrasive, and said he’d pulled a gun on neighbors before. Four years ago, he threatened her husband’s cousin with a gun after the family’s dog walked into his yard, Leija said.
Tamez said Suarez rarely interacted with neighbors, and his family didn’t spend much time outside.
He added that he and his neighbors were stunned that Gonzales — “the nicest guy” — was shot “over words.”
“I’m shocked that somebody has been shot right here in front of my house,” Leija said. “(But) when they said who (the suspect) was, we could all see that happening.”
Indianapolis IN May 19 2012
Security guards explained their plight to the Workers’ Rights Board Thursday night in hopes of better working conditions.
Three security guards explained their working conditions to a panel of four community leaders. IUPUI Associate Professor Tom Marvin helped facilitiate the event and says they heard testimony about the guards’ poverty-level wages and lack of benefits. “In spite of the fact that two of the guards are working at the site of the new public hospital in Indianapolis, they don’t have adequate health coverage,” Marvin says. “Their employer doesn’t contribute anything toward their health care and with the wages that they earn, they really can’t afford a decent plan on their own.”
Marvin says the guards also mentioned their lack of training which was another concern. James Townsel, a guard with Securatex, is one of the guards at the site for the new Wishard Hospital and says there is a lot of turnaround of security guards because of the lack of training. Townsel says they often work 12 hour shifts with few or no breaks.
Marvin says the panel will write a report on the testimony and will look at possible steps to improve the security guards’ conditions which may include an appeal to the City-County Council. He says the panel may try to pass a proposal through the Council that deals with the training of security guards. He says the panel also hopes employers will become open to bargaining with a union so the guards can have a chance to earn better wages and benefits.
Milwaukee security officer finds homicide victim in U.S. Bank parking structure www.privateofficer.com
MILWAUKEE WI May 19 2012 - A man in town for a Milwaukee Brewers game wound up dead beneath the U.S. Bank parking structure on Sunday morning.
According to the medical examiner’s report obtained by 12 News, a security guard found Robert Pierzchalski, 32, on the sidewalk underneath the structure.
Investigators said they found scuffle marks on the sixth floor, but were not able to determine a cause of death.
The report said Pierzchalski was in town from Birnamwood, near Wasau, with a friend. The friend told police they had gone to the Brewers game the night before and had been drinking, according to the report.
The friend said after checking into the Ramada Inn downtown, they went out on Water Street and ended up eating food at Real Chili on Wells Street, according to the report.
The friend said Pierzchalski got into a fight, and they ended up running from the restaurant and got separated.
Police said they are reviewing surveillance video from several downtown businesses to try to piece together what happened.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI May 19 2012— Grand Rapids police are searching the downtown area for a man who allegedly pulled a gun in a huge crowd of people after being forced from a downtown night club.
Police briefly blocked off the Ellis Parking lot on Pearl Street NW while searching for a skinny Hispanic male with a trimmed goatee, red plaid shirt, and jeans, who caused some kind of disturbance at Raggs to Riches, 106 Pearl St NW.
According to police dispatch reports, the man pulled a gun on security after being bounced from the bar about 10:45 p.m.
The night club, located in the lower level of the Ledyard Building, draws huge crowds of young people on Thursday nights.
The man who fled may be driving tan sedan registered to an Alpine Ave NW address, according to dispatch reports.
The assailants hit Sgt. Joseph Forrester in the head with a chair and repeatedly punched him in the face during Tuesday’s incident at the Horizon Juvenile Center.
The detention facility is run by the Adminstration for Children’s Services and houses suspects as young as 10 while their cases are pending.
“I don’t know why it happened. I’m just trying to make myself well,” Forrester said from his bed at Lincoln Hospital.
He said he had been working security at the facility for nine years and took the job because “it was working with kids, a good thing, trying to make a positive change.”
He said he had been told not to talk about the attack, but his cousin, Christopher Forrester, 50, said the teens deserved to “pay the price.”
“These kids should be given a stiff penalty so it doesn’t happen in the future,” he said.
Sources said the blowup began because the suspects were upset with how much food they were being served.
Forrester, 39, was trying to break up an assault in which Randy Estevez, 16, punched a counselor in the stomach, authorities said.
That’s when Kevin Rivas, 16, flung a chair at Forrester, striking him in the back, Assistant District Attorney Joseph Shmulewitz said at an arraignment.
Leon Smalls, 16, picked up another chair and threw it at Forrester, hitting him in the head.
Bryan St. Fleur, 14, Michael Mendoza, 16, and Anthony Mashburn, allegedly punched Forrester in the face, and he was bleeding profusely and convulsing when paramedics arrived.
Estevez was charged with misdemeanor assault for punching out the counselor; and the other five were charged with assault, gang assault and assault on a peace officer.
A spokesperson for ACS condemned the attack. “The incident at the Horizon Juvenile Center was an unprovoked assault on one of our sergeants by six young people who were detained for allegedly committing serious crimes. Our staff works every day to protect and maintain safety for the young people in detention and our workforce, and violence against either is taken very seriously.”
The prosecutor said the attack was captured on videotape even though petroleum jelly was placed on a second camera to obscure the lens.
Lawyers for the defendants had no comment on the charges.
The injured sergeant’s friend, Divine Brooklyn, 42, said the boys were likely at Horizon on minor charges and had now graduated to major crimes.
“Wherever they go I think they are going to have plenty of time to think about what they’ve done, especially when they roll with the big boys,” Brooklyn said.
A security guard called police around 3:30 a.m. to report that a “suspicious” man at the FedEx Warehouse on Stone Road was asking for gas. When police arrived, they tracked the man and the van he was driving to a neighboring business, police said.
The driver, Phillip Garcia, 26, was taken into custody without incident shortly after, once an officer ran the van’s license plate and it came up as reported stolen out of Berkeley. Garcia and the van’s owner reportedly knew each other, but Garcia reportedly did not have permission to borrow the vehicle, police said.
Police also confiscated a glass narcotics pipe for smoking methamphetamine from inside the van. Garcia was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft, stolen property possession and narcotic paraphernalia possession.
Prince William County jail officer plotted to have man falsely arrested, sexually assaulted www.privateofficer.com
MANASSAS, Va. May 19 2012 — Police say a jail officer in Prince William County plotted to have a man arrested and then leave him exposed to a sexual assault at the jail.
Prince William Police on Thursday announced the arrest of 61-year-old Ralph Justice of Woodbridge. He was charged with conspiracy to commit forcible sodomy.
Justice, who worked at the Prince William County Adult Detention Center, conspired with Michael Rusinack to have Rusinack’s stepson arrested and sent to jail. If all went according to plan, authorities say the Justice would then have left the stepson in place in jail where he could be sexually assaulted.
The intended victim was never hurt.
Rusinack later allegedly embarked on a separate plan to have the man killed.
Rusinack was arrested Saturday. Both men were being held Thursday.
Police said Rusinack had a long-running dispute with the alleged victim, the son of a woman who had been in a relationship with Rusinack.
MILWAUKEE WI May 19 2012 - Authorities arrested a Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division security officer who they said stole a patient’s wedding ring.
Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputies said the 36-year-old victim reported the theft of a yellow gold ring inset with diamonds. Video in the intake area showed her placing a ring on her finger after a guard removed it from her purse.
Detectives searched pawn shop databases and located a transaction matching the description of the ring. The pawn shop provided a color photocopy of a Wisconsin ID of the man who sold the ring.
The ID belonged to a BHD security officer, Devin L. Lloyd, 21, of Milwaukee.
Deputies said Lloyd was the security officer who had written a report after the victim reported her ring missing, where he stated she had her property in her possession.
Detectives said Lloyd was arrested at his home on a misdemeanor charge of theft. If convicted, Lloyd faces up to nine months in jail, deputies said.
A veteran police officer who was arrested last week on larceny and evidence tampering charges related to evidence missing after a 2011 drug bust has been fired, Chief Mike Manzi said on Thursday.
Jeremy C. DePietro was arrested on Friday by Suffield police following a lengthy investigation that led the department to get a warrant earlier in the week, Manzi said. He was charged with sixth-degree larceny and tampering with evidence, Manzi said.
He was fired as a result of a police commission meeting on May 9, Manzi said.
DePietro posted a $24,000 bond and is due to be arraigned in Superior Court in Enfield on Tuesday. The Hartford State’s Attorney’s office also involved in the investigation, Manzi said.
“Unfortunately … this internal investigation resulted in the dismissal of this officer,” Manzi said.
DePietro was with the Suffield Police Department for more than six years, and before that he was a police officer in Bridgeport, Manzi said.
The Suffield investigation followed a drug bust on March 3, 2011, at an apartment on Mountain Road. Suffield police responding to a medical call seized illegal narcotics and $332 in cash, and DePietro arrested a suspect, Manzi said.
The evidence seized was tagged and kept in the police department’s temporary evidence room, and after the suspect’s criminal case is adjudicated on Nov. 2, 2011, the court ordered the narcotics destroyed and the money that was seized returned to go into the court’s general fund, Manzi said.
When a detective went to bring the money back, he determined that $120 was missing from the original total, which set off the internal investigation, Manzi said.
The investigation led police to seek an arrest warrant for DePietro that was signed last week and served on Friday.
Source: Hartford Courant
GILBERT, AZ May 19 2012 - A Chandler man was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly grabbed a jogger running in the bike lane on a Gilbert street and claimed to be making a citizen’s arrest.
Karl “Jack” Frost, 47, was arrested for unlawful imprisonment, disorderly conduct and assault after he grabbed the 52-year-old Chandler man who was jogging on Islands Drive West toward Warner Road.
Frost told ABC15 that he and the jogger argued over who had the right to be in the bicycle lane.
According to Arizona law, “a path or lane that is designated as a bicycle path or lane by state or local authorities is for the exclusive use of bicycle.”
Frost claims the jogger pushed him as the two were passing. That’s when Frost grabbed the jogger, held him to the ground and dialed 911.
Gilbert police stated that Frost, the jogger, and a witness all reported the same facts, but that Frost did not mention the initial assault until after he was arrested.
“I was blown away,” Frost said of being arrested. “I’m in the bike lane, in the right. The jogger is breaking the law. He assaulted me first.”
A witness said that Frost was the aggressor, according to police.
Frost said that witness did not see the entire incident.
In an e-mail to ABC15, Gilbert police said that a citizen cannot make a “citizen’s arrest” on someone misusing a bicycle lane; in fact, neither can an officer since that violation is only a “civil traffic offense.”
Frost said that when the 911 call is released, it will prove that he mentioned the assault initially to police as a reason for holding the down the jogger.
When interviewed at his home, Frost told reporters he is a security guard who currently teaches and was a former police officer in the United Kingdom. He is now a citizen of the United States, he said.
“I’m extremely well trained,” he said, “so if I wanted to injure [the jogger] I could have. I didn’t.”
When Frost was arrested, police found him to be armed with a loaded .40 caliber Glock in his waistband. Frost told ABC15 that the weapon was a 9mm and he has a permit to carry it.
Frost believes he was only arrested because he told the officer he wanted to record the officer’s comments.
Cyclist can die and have died when trying to avoid obstacles in the bike lane by swerving into traffic, said Frost.
Gilbert police urge citizens to call police and avoid confrontations in situations like this.
Apparently, the girl did not want to go, and was causing a scene.
According to police the girl will more than likely be charged with simple assault and underage drinking. The girl was not allowed on the plane after the incident.
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio May 19 2012 – For decades, Ohio’s 10 mental health residential facilities have enjoyed an on-campus police force. But that run comes to an end next month.
The state says it can evolve and save millions. But as WSAZ.com discovered, some say safety and security will be jeopardized.
Custodian Nikki Jones is one of more than 400 employees and 175 residents at the Gallipolis Developmental Center (GDC). She says when her ex-husband recently violated a restraining order and stalked her on-campus with a can of gas, the Center Police Department came to the rescue.
“He does have a history of setting a girl on fire,” Jones said. “And, by the time I got back, they had him arrested.”
Dennis Salisbury wants to keep his job. He’s one of three GDC officers that Ohio will soon eliminate.
The state’s rationale is this: there is little if any criminal activity occurring on the grounds, so they say with evolving, the specialized police officer positions are no longer needed
Salisbury says without an on campus police force security — both inside and outside the grounds — becomes jeopardized.
“We can deal with our people on a one-to-one basis,” he said. “We know our clients.”
Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning says he doesn’t have the manpower to pick up the slack.
“It’s very helpful to have those officers at that facility,” Browning said.
The state will replace the police with administrators to focus on residential abuse and neglect investigations.
Salisbury said that will not work.
“We’re the police, and we know how to investigate,” he said.
But the state says all police officer investigations will end on June 15.
Ohio says it will save more than $2 million during the next two years by eliminating 30 mental health police officers.
The Obama administration has drawn some flak for supporting some of these intrusions — such as warrantless wiretaps and warrantless GPS tracking — in the name of “fighting terrorism (the Obama administration was admonished by the Supreme Court on the latter issue). Still, for supporting such zealous federal surveillance provisions, the Obama administration did take a rather progressive stand on Monday, looking to stomp out local and state officials efforts to ban civilians from taping on duty law enforcement officers.
I. Department of Justice — Citizens Have a Right, Responsibility to Tape Cops
The issue of citizens taping the police is a thorny one — particularly if you’re a cop. While some police officers support the practice, others claim it prevents their law enforcement abilities. Whether or not the latter claim is true, it’s clear that video tapes of U.S. cops brutalizing civilians [example] — at times beating them to death [example] — have placed some cops in a load of trouble when the videos found their way to YouTube or other popular sites.
Many police fraternities and police departments have fought to ban the “right to tape”. They argue that they don’t need citizens to fight police brutality — that they’ll manage their own affairs internally. Some departments have gone as far as to invading the homes of citizens who taped them operating on the street or imprisoning citizens who record them.
The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) was one of the departments that fought to silence members of the public, seizing their cameras and trying to prosecute them. But a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) forced the department to rethink its procedures — and pay a steep settlement to a citizen whose camera was seized.
While the BPD sent a letter to its officers “clarifying” that civilians had the right to tape, the Obama administration felt that effort was insufficient. On Monday, U.S. Department of Justice Special Litigation Section chief Jonathan Smith wrote an admonishing letter [PDF] to the department.
In it he recalls how citizen taping helped bring justice in one famous incident of police brutality. He comments, “A private individual awakened by sirens recorded police officers assaulting King from the balcony of his apartment. This videotape provided key evidence of officer misconduct and led to widespread reform.”
He adds “given the numerous publicized reports over the past several years alleging that BPD officers violated individuals’ First Amendment rights.”
Bans on taping also violating the Fourth and Fourteenth amendment, according to Mr. Smith.
He concludes that the department needs to clarify the importance and right to civilian taping, which he argues is necessary to “engender public confidence in our police departments, promote public access to information necessary to hold our governmental officers accountable, and ensure public and officer safety.
II. Letter to Attorney General May Have Spurred Response
The letter comes in the wake of a letter from several journalistic and civil rights organizations to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, pressing him to crack down on local efforts to ban taping.
The groups write:
The First Amendment has come under assault on the streets of America. Since the Occupy Wall Street movement began, police have arrested dozens of journalists and activists simply for attempting to document political protests in public spaces. While individual cases may not fall under the Justice Department’s jurisdiction, the undersigned groups see this suppression of speech as a national problem that deserves your full attention.
The alarming number of arrests is an unfortunate and unwarranted byproduct of otherwise positive changes. A new type of activism is taking hold around the world and here in the U.S.: People with smartphones, cameras and Internet connections have been empowered with the means to report on public events. These developments have also created an urgent need for organizations such as ours to defend this new breed of activists and journalists and protect their right to record.
The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has been fought by numerous state and local governments and become a crucial censorship and civil liberties battlefield in the tech industry.
III. Court of Appeals Forbid Chicago From Suing ACLU or Banning Taping
More pressure also came earlier this month when the U.S. 7th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Chicago banned the city from suing the American Civil Liberties Union from audio taping officers on the job. No, you didn’t read that wrong — in an ironic twist Chicago tried the bold move of turning the tables and suing the ACLU over taping.
In its ruling, the court wrote, “The Illinois eavesdropping statute restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests.”
The victory came by a narrow 2-to-1 margin.
U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner — the lone appellate justice who voted to dismiss the ACLU’s countersuit — acknowledged that taping was “more accurate” than relying on recalled conversations, which are often ruled unreliable evidence in court. But he argued allowing civilians to maintain accountability via taping violates officers’ rights to privacy and could hurt officers’ ability to “perform their duties”. He writes, “These are significant social costs for weighting them less heavily than the social value of recorded eavesdropping.”
In response to Judge Posner’s minority criticism, the ACLU argues that the only “duties” taping prevents would be orders to brutalize citizens. The Illinois branch’s legal director, Harvey Grossman comments on the victory, “In order to make the rights of free expression and petition effective, individuals and organizations must be able to freely gather and record information about the conduct of government and their agents — especially the police.”
Much like the controversy over corporate intrusions of individual home networks and data mining, the debate over bans and prosecution for civilians who tape cops is unlikely to go away. It is an issue that divides cities, courts, local officials, and even the police officers themselves. But much like the issue of corporate surveillance, the Obama administration appears to be increasingly throwing its weight behind a pro-civil liberty stance on this issue, even as it pushes what some would call an anti-civil liberty stance on federal surveillance.
Other appeals courts have issued similar rulings defending the “right to tape”.
IV. Both Baltimore and Chicago Have a History of Police Brutality
To put this debate in context, it is important to note that both the Chicago Police Department and the Baltimore Police Department have a reputation for police brutality.
The BPD is under scrutiny for spending $10.4M USD in the past three years ($3.5M USD annually) to defend its officers against allegations of brutality and wrongdoing. This week the latest in a string of internal affairs investigations of the department led to the suspension and criminal arrest of a BPD officer.
Chicago also has spent millions to defend allegedly crooked cops, keeping them on its payroll. Citizens of Chicago were protesting in the streets this week in the streets over alleged police brutality. While not all locals are fans of the protests, some argue it is necessary. An anonymous resident told Fox News Chicago, “I’m glad they got a march because the police are crazy out here. They come out here roughing us up … sending innocent people to jail.”
The Chicago PD has faced 441 citizen lawsuits and paid out $45M USD in damages over the past three years. The city has successfully fought to prevent the release of the names of 662 cops who each had 10 or more complaints of misconduct or brutality filed against them. Most of these cops remain active and prowling the streets.
PLAINFIELD NJ May 19 2012 — Two local men are being held on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers after allegedly attacking and stabbing a security guard at a downtown bar, authorities said this week.
Officers responded to the Faraones bar on the 100 block of East Front Street at about 9:50 p.m. Sunday on a report of an assault to find 25-year-old Manuel Guardado of North Plainfield and 27-year-old Fredy Guardado of Plainfield claiming that the security guard in fact had just assaulted both of them, according to a police report. The older of the two was bleeding from the nose, while both men had glassy eyes and strong odors of alcoholic beverages on their breath, the report indicated.
The security guard, an unnamed 26-year-old resident of the Kendall Park section of South Brunswick, told a different story. The man said he had removed the pair from inside the bar for “attempting to start fights with other people inside,” noting that he subsequently asked them both to leave the area.
After a brief argument, the two suspects turned to walk away. But several minutes later, the security guard said, they returned, running toward him and attacking him while he stood in front of the bar’s rear entrance.
The man said he was able to defend himself, but during the attack he felt something sharp slice under his right arm. When an officer at the scene inquired about it further, the security guard removed a towel from his arm, revealing a “large gash” on his right bicep, according to the police report.
The security guard was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for treatment while the Guardados were arrested, authorities said. Manuel Guardado was charged with aggravated assault and two weapons offenses, with bail set at $25,000, while Fredy Guardado was charged with simple assault, according to police. Both men were held in lieu of their immigration detainers.
Teachers with the Clark County Education Association flooded Wednesday night’s board meeting. They stood in defiance with their backs to speakers and trustees, while coughing collectively to drown out the microphone.
When trustees began making their case, the teachers started shouting and stormed out of the room in protest.
“We never yelled at each other. We never yelled at our parents,” said School Board President Linda Young.
Trustees expressed taking offense to the demonstration, but carried on with business. All of them approved the layoffs. They maintain the cuts are necessary to balance the budget.
“Our entire intent was not for one person to lose a job,” said School Board Trustee Deanna Wright. “Not one of us wanted anybody to be without insurance and a paycheck, because we know how devastating that is.”
The district recently lost an arbitration decision to the teachers’ union which created the massive budget gap. While the union maintains layoffs are not needed, district officials say there is no other option. The layoff notices will go out the second week of June. The exact number of teachers to receive a pink slip will be determined following resignations and retirements.
CCSD officials tell 8 News Now layoffs will begin with 27 teachers who’ve had five days or more of disciplinary suspension in the last two years. District seniority will determine the remainder of the layoffs.
The teacher reductions will increase class sizes by an average of two to three students with schools staffed at 93 percent. CCSD Superintendent Dwight Jones spoke briefly about the budget he submitted.
“It is our job to move forward as a community,” he said.
The union and trustees will have to overcome their disagreements about whether the union could have compromised to avoid layoffs and if the board could have taken another direction.
“We weren’t even asking for a pay cut. We were just asking for a freeze, because we wanted to protect jobs,” Wright said.
“For them to try and tell us that it’s our fault is not true,” replied CCEA President Ruben Murillo. “I could use other words, but I’m not.”
CCSD spokeswoman Amanda Fulkerson said the district wants to meet with the union to see if they can change the layoff process to include 150 teachers who had unsatisfactory evaluations in the past two years, despite their seniority.
The Clark County School District has had to cut more than $500 million during the last few years to balance budgets. The district is fully tax funded with salaries and benefits making up 90 percent of operational costs.
Nashville Mayor warns 200 police officers will be layed off if budget not approved www.privateofficer.com
Nashville TN May 19 2012 Mayor Karl Dean warns that he may have to lay off 200 police officers if his proposed budget and tax increase fail to pass.
His $1.71 billion budget proposal, which would be funded partly by the first property tax increase in years, includes $6.3 million in increases dedicated solely to public safety. The increase would fund a new police DNA forensics lab and 50 police officers hired under a federal policing grant. Dean says if those officers aren’t funded, the city would lose not only those 50 officers, but also an additional 150 who would have to be laid off so the city could repay the grant money.
“We have been able to make, I think, tremendous progress in public safety and now is not the time to back off,” Dean said Wednesday. “We’d be foolish not to fund the fourth year. That would be a dramatic reduction for public safety in Nashville.”
But critics say that Metro government should look to cut elsewhere.
“I would want to allocate resources from other areas to make sure that department was made whole,” said Metro Councilman Robert Duvall. He’s not sure where the money would come from but is certain other departments could absorb the cuts.
Three years ago, Metro government received nearly $8 million to hire 50 police officers through a program known as the COPS grant. The grant is designed to grow police departments by adding new officers and paying for the first three years of their employment. But the offer comes with a catch: The department has to continue funding those officers once the grant runs out or risk having to repay it back to the federal government.
Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson said the additional federal money allowed the department to open its Madison Precinct earlier this year, reduce the size of the North Precinct and better serve both areas.
“That’s the key to driving crime down, to keeping this community safe,” Anderson said.
He said that without the funding, those 50 officers would lose their jobs and 150 more might have to be laid off to cover the $8 million or so the department could be forced to repay for not meeting the obligations of the COPS grant.
That $3.6 million string attached to the grant is why Duvall opposed taking the money three years ago. He said he wasn’t opposed to adding more officers, he just wanted them fully funded by the city ahead of time.
“The question I had was, will we, three years from now, be able to pay for it?” Duvall said. “I said if you pass it, in three years you may have to lay them off because I’m going to fight you every step of the way.”
Duvall said he doesn’t want to lay any officers off and the money can be found in other departments instead of taxpayers’ pockets.
An additional $1 million would go to pay for the first 6 months of a police DNA lab, including equipment and 17 scientists. Police now rely on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for DNA results, which can take weeks to months for results and often only involve the processing of evidence in violent crimes.
Anderson said having the lab in-house would allow the department to add to the list of crimes where DNA is processed, namely property crimes such as burglary, which have plagued the city in recent years. And, results could come back as quickly as 48 hours.
“The future is here,” Anderson said. “If we wait too many more years, then the future will have left us behind.”
Duvall said he needs to hear more about the DNA lab before he weighs in on it, but he wondered if it could be put off until the city could pay for it without a tax increase.
“Conceptually, I don’t struggle with it,” he said. “But what do we have right now? Can it hold us through this cycle?”
Dean said he doesn’t expect any significant opposition to his public safety plan.
“This is the one I think is the easiest to understand and the clearest,” he said of his budget requests.
Duvall may have other ideas. “I think it’s going to be an interesting process,” he said.
DTR9 LLC won the judgment earlier this month in Maricopa County Superior Court against AT Security Service Inc., which moved into a 58,090-square-foot office at 8665 E. Hartford Drive in October and relocated to a Phoenix office at the end of January.
AT Security is under investigation by the Arizona Auditor General’s Special Investigations Unit.
The security company was awarded $250,000 last fall from Gov. Jan Brewer’s job-creation fund.
At the time, the Arizona Commerce Authority and Greater Phoenix Economic Council touted AT Security as a California-based company that would bring 200 high-wage jobs to Scottsdale and $5.1 million in capital investment.
But there is no record of AT Security ever operating in California.
Jacques Davis, AT Security chief executive, did not return calls seeking comment about the default judgment.
Davis and James Hatfield of AT Security were both named in the lawsuit, which was filed in March.
DTR9, affiliated with Desert Troon Cos., said in its lawsuit that AT Security accepted three months of free rent, a savings of $279,557, and used a $381,070 tenant-improvement allowance before it defaulted on its lease.
Delaware State Police officer settles sex discrimination lawsuit against former Gov. Ruth Ann Minner www.privateofficer.com
Attorneys for Master Cpl. Timothy Shockley announced the settlement of his federal lawsuit on Friday.
Shockley filed the lawsuit in 2006, claiming that he was improperly denied a promotion and barred from becoming head of Minner’s security unit in 2003 because she wanted a less-qualified female trooper to lead the team.
A federal appeals court last year rejected Minner’s claim that she was entitled to immunity from the suit as an elected official.
That ruling came after federal district court judge previously refused to dismiss the lawsuit against the former two-term Democrat in 2010.
A lawyer for Minner did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment
Sikh American police officers in the nation’s capital can wear the turbans and beards www.priavteofficer.com
Sikh community leaders said they know of no other major metropolitan police department with a written policy ensuring that Sikhs can maintain turbans and full beards while serving as full-time officers, though other law enforcement agencies have made less formal accommodations.
The change will have minimal practical effect, at least initially. The department’s only Sikh officer is a reserve who is scheduled to graduate from the police academy in August. But advocates for Sikh rights said the change was significant and could encourage other Sikhs, who have a long history in law enforcement, to join.
“I think it’s a step forward not only for civil rights and religious freedom, I think it’s a step forward for law enforcement,” said Jasjit Singh, executive director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which pushed for the change. He said the public benefits when police departments represent the diversity of the communities they serve.
The special order permits Sikh officers to tie their beard in a knot and tuck it beneath their chin and to wear a turban at all times unless it conflicts with an assigned duty — such as responding to a riot — that requires them to wear a helmet. The turbans are supposed to match the color of the department-issued caps — blue — and display the same badge or plate as seen on the caps.
Police departments routinely ban beards for safety reasons, such as the need to ensure that an officer can be fitted for a gas mask, though exemptions are made for medical conditions. Officers seeking to waive the grooming requirements would be expected to seek permission from the chief, who would decide on a case-by-case basis.
D.C. police officials described their new policy as a commonsense way to preserve religious freedom without compromising an officer’s safety.
“If in fact they had to don, say, a helmet for a protest, then they could wear a smaller turban — so there are exemptions that could be made to that,” Assistant Police Chief Patrick Burke said in an interview.
The special order took effect last December but was not announced until Wednesday because of scheduling issues and to give the policy some time to be in place, Singh said.
Sikhism, a monotheistic faith, was founded in South Asia more than 500 years ago and has roughly 25 million adherents worldwide. Observant Sikhs do not cut their hair — covering their heads with turbans — or shave their beards.
Sikh advocates say there are only a handful of Sikh police officers nationwide, though Sikhs are a much more visible presence in police forces in places including Canada and Great Britain.
“Sikhs are warriors. We always have volunteered ourselves into law enforcement, Army, anything you can think of,” said Jagjit Singh, an observant Sikh and a reserve deputy sheriff in Los Angeles County who says he fought for the right to wear articles of faith on the job.
There are signs of a growing acceptance of Sikh personnel within law enforcement. Last year, the state of California settled a lawsuit from a Sikh man who said he was prevented from becoming a prison guard because he refused to shave his beard. The state did not change its grooming rules under the settlement but agreed to pay the man $295,000 in damages and gave him a position as a corrections department manager. The U.S. Army has also permitted observant Sikh officers to serve in recent years.
The New York Police Department permits the type of turban that can fit under a uniform hat, and full beards can be worn for religious reasons with permission from the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
“When somebody’s being robbed, nobody cares whether the person who is helping them is wearing a turban or not. They just want help,” said Amardeep Singh, program director of The Sikh Coalition, a Sikh civil rights organization. “We haven’t reached a stage in our culture yet where people understand that it’s the actual ability to do the job rather than the uniform that matters.”