Category Archives: Law.Enforcement

Montana to outsource autopsies in July

Source: Spokesman Review, June 29, 2015

Montana autopsies will have to be done in other states in the coming weeks because the state’s only two forensic medical examiners qualified to assist county coroners are leaving. …. The bodies of those who die under suspicious circumstances in the western part of the state will be driven by a coroner to Seattle. Bodies in the eastern part of the state will be transported to Rapid City, South Dakota, for autopsy.

ISP communication consolidation affects 3 in East Moline

Source: Stephen Elliott, Quad-Cities Online, July 8, 2015

The Illinois State Police plan to consolidate District 7 radio communication services in East Moline into the District 1 communications center in Sterling starting Sept. 1. State police said the East Moline consolidation is the first of three planned in this phase. District 16 in Pecatonica and District 17 in LaSalle also will become part of the Sterling communications center. … According to a state police news release, the agency began consolidation communication centers in 2012, working to merge 20 centers into six in Sterling, Chicago, Springfield, Pontiac, Collinsville and DuQuoin…..

State board backs Woodbury County sheriff’s deputies in courthouse security dispute

Source: Kirby Kaufman, Sioux City Journal, June 10, 2015

A state board has found in favor of the union representing Woodbury County sheriff’s deputies who challenged the county supervisors’ decision last year to outsource security for the county courthouse. The victory for members of the Communications Workers of America Local 7177, Monday’s ruling by the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board will not have any practical effect, however. Since the union filed a grievance against the county last year, a new majority of supervisors, reversing the earlier decision, voted to turn over the courthouse security to Sheriff Dave Drew. …. The action pitted Local 7177 against the new security workers, who were represented by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3462. The county supported AFSCME in the Public Employment Relations Board case, which advanced to an arbitration hearing.
Related:
EXCLUSIVE: Woodbury County will switch courthouse security staffing on May 1
Source: Bret Hayworth, Sioux City Journal, April 15, 2015

Bringing an expected end to a yearlong struggle, the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office will take over courthouse security and replace the current supervisor on May 1. Sheriff’s Deputy Don Armstrong will be transferred from patrol duty and take over for current security chief Marty Pottebaum. …
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Woodbury County Sheriff pitches plan to take over courthouse security

Source: Bret Hayworth, siouxcityjournal.com, January 28, 2015

Security guards working at the Woodbury County Courthouse could be reapplying for their jobs less than a year after they started. ….. The outsourcing, aimed at saving an estimated $70,000 a year in personnel costs, resulted in sheriff’s deputies filing a grievance through their union. The action before the Public Employee Relations Board in November pitted deputies in the Communications Workers of America Local 7177 against the new security workers, who are represented by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3462. The county supported AFSCME in the action. The relations board’s decision is due by March 22…..

State police to bring back emergency dispatchers to Montville, other barracks

Source: Greg Smith, The Day, May 18, 2015

State police have abandoned the controversial consolidation of emergency dispatchers into regional call centers and plan to divert 911 calls back to local barracks by the end of the year. Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora B. Schriro made the announcement on Monday, following a yearlong review of a move that sent many 911 calls from eastern Connecticut to a consolidated dispatch center in Tolland. …. Osten had proposed legislation ending the consolidation, which was widely criticized shortly after it was initiated and led to what some had called a disconnect by dispatchers unfamiliar with the areas they were covering. ….
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Dispatchers say money-saving efforts are jeopardizing public safety
Source: Jason Frazer, Joseph Wenzel IV, WFSB, December 11, 2013

A move to consolidate 911 dispatch centers for the Connecticut State Police is supposed to save money. However, some first responders told Eyewitness News it’s putting your safety in jeopardy when you dial 911. Dispatchers said they are overtired and overworked. In some cases, they have been forced to work 17 to 18 hours per day for six days in a row. They added they’re drinking a lot of coffee to stay awake….

… Last year, the state police started merging troops. It started in the western part of the state when two troops merged into Troop L in Litchfield. Soon thereafter, troops based in Hartford and Bradley International Airport combined. In October, three state police troops in the eastern part of Connecticut, including one in Danielson, are all merging into Troop C in Tolland. That’s where the union said there have been problems. …

Back To The Drawing Board On Consolidated Dispatch

Source: Carrie L. Gentile, CapeNews.net, April 24, 2015

With Town Meeting resoundingly objecting to housing a consolidated emergency dispatch hub in the Gus Canty Community Center, selectmen will now have to decide how to proceed. …. During last week’s Annual Town Meeting, voters rejected an appropriation made by selectmen to convert part of the community center on East Main Street into a dispatch hub and instead approved a smaller amount of $75,000 to place it on the third floor of the Falmouth Fire Rescue headquarters on Main Street. Advocates state the fire station is better equipped and better suited for such a purpose, while the community center remodeling would cost more and take away municipal recreation space. While the final decision lies with the board, the Town Meeting vote sent a strong message to selectmen and the town manager to reconsider their choice. ….

Private prison vendors could face new scrutiny

Source: Mary Ellen Klas, Miami Herald, April 19, 2015

Looming in the background in the legislative debate over prison reform is a question that could come into new focus: How productive was the move to privatize prisons and inmate health care and how much farther should it go? Florida legislative leaders last week tentatively agreed to the creation of a joint legislative oversight board with the power to investigate and monitor the performance of Florida’s troubled Department of Corrections. It’s goal is to secure the safety of inmates in the face of mounting reports of suspicious inmate deaths, excessive use of force and allegations of cover-ups at the agency that houses more than 101,000 prisoners, said sponsors of the measure, Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, and Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami. But the legislative panel could also open the door to an evaluation of the recent shift in priorities that has led the state to open seven private prisons, contract out services for 21 inmate work camps, and shift mental healthcare and substance abuse treatment and inmate health care to private vendors….
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Evers looking to make substantial reforms to prison system
Source: Tome McLaughlin, Daily News, February 7, 2015

As he embarks on his final term in the state Senate, Greg Evers is confronted with the greatest challenge of his long legislative career. The state’s prison system is in turmoil, as recent scrutiny has revealed deficiencies and evidence of negligence or even corruption that has led to inmate deaths. …. He said the number of corrections’ officers working in state prisons has dropped by about 3,000 since 2009 and somewhere between 2,300 and 4,000 positions need to be filled or created. …. The governor has also proposed spending to replace DOC vehicles, replace its food service contract, additional electronic monitoring, adjustments to health services contracts and substance abuse and mental health programs and treatments.

New Project Confronts Citizens on Surveillance in Oakland

Source: Andrew Stelzer, KQED, April 9, 2015

….“True or false? Surveillance cameras purchased by private citizens and neighborhood associations can be linked up to the Oakland Police Department’s network.”

“True or false? Private citizens can purchase license plate readers and can send data about the plates they scan to the Oakland Police Department.”

The first is false, the second is true. But the point isn’t whether one’s answers are right or wrong….

Escaped prisoner apprehended in D.C. after hours-long manhunt

Source: Justin Jouvenal, Dana Hedgpeth and Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, March 31, 2015

…When a guard took a bathroom break, Wossen Assaye, a federal prisoner, somehow slipped his shackles and overpowered a second guard, taking her gun and using her as a human shield, authorities said. Assaye was being treated because of a suicide attempt, they said. ….Robert W. “Bobby” Mathieson, U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia, said it has been agency policy to have private security firms, not the Marshals Service, guard prisoners being treated at hospitals. Federal records show that in January 2014, Allied Protection Services was awarded a contract with the Marshals Service to provide armed guards for work in the Eastern District of Virginia. The contract is reviewed annually but would be worth a total of $306,000 over five years…..
Related:
Escaped prisoner arrested in D.C.
Source: Dana Hedgpeth and Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, March 31, 2015

An escaped prisoner who overpowered a private security guard at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church and later carjacked two people was arrested in D.C. shortly before noon, police said…. The escaped prisoner, who took the security guard’s gun, is known by police as the “Bicycle Bandit” and is believed to be involved in several bank robberies in the area, escaping on a bicycle… Police said a private security company was hired to guard him at the hospital. According to the police account, a struggle ensued between the guard and Assaye inside a hospital room. Assaye overpowered the guard and took a gun. Police said one shot was fired but no one was injured. Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler did not specify who fired the shot. Assaye “gained control of the gun,” Roessler said. He said two guards were watching Assaye at the time of the incident, but only one guard was involved in the struggle….Under an agreement with the U.S. Marshals Service, federal prisoners are held at the Alexandria detention center, according to Amy Bertsch, a spokeswoman for the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office. Bertsch said Alexandria sheriff’s deputies remained with Assaye until Saturday afternoon and then turned custody over to security officers hired under a contract with the U.S. Marshals office. Assaye escaped from the hospital under the watch of two private security officers. Desmond Proctor, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals, declined to comment Tuesday on the incident or discuss the agency’s policy for maintaining the custody of prisoners in medical settings. He said they expected to release a statement later today…..

Shared services a way to cut human cost, but is it better?

Source: Cindy Nevitt, pressofAtlanticCity.com, March 20, 2015

Shared services have become a popular way for municipalities to trim the high cost of services, as is contracting out services. Hopewell Township, Cumberland County, for example, shares municipal court, senior center and volunteer fire services, and, noted acting Township Clerk Susan Quinones, “the majority of our employees wear multiple hats to limit the number of individual employees required to perform the duties as required by the State of New Jersey.” In addition to her role as township clerk, Quinones herself is also the township administrator and economic development director. In Upper Township, Cape May County, the municipal engineer is also the computer director, municipal housing liaison and flood plain manager. Avalon, Cape May County, shares its financial director and police dispatch services with neighboring Stone Harbor, and aggressively contracts out such functions as management of its water utility and its landscaping work. Still, while salaries and wages for 98 employees represented a relatively low 24 percent of the borough’s budget last year, that percentage bumped up to 39.5 percent when $2.44 million in health care costs were added….

…James Moran, the administrator in Stafford Township, does not think there is anything unclear about which method works better. “Frequently, it is not in our best interest to privatize services,” he said. ‘Generally, you save money in the beginning but you spend more in the long run because often, after the first contract, they raise the price and then you’re stuck.”…

Opinion: Designing Private Cities, Open to All

Source: Alex Tabarrok and Shruti Rajagopalan, New York Times, March 16, 2015

….As the world urbanizes, we need to experiment with new urban forms and new forms of urban planning, and privately designed and operated cities — proprietary cities — like Jamshedpur, India, or Reston, Va., may provide answers….. Private cities are also thriving in the United States. Companies created proprietary communities in Reston, Va., and Irvine, Calif., in the 1960s, which were recently ranked by CNN Money magazine as the 10th and 14th best places to live in America, respectively, because of their efficient city services and pleasing integration of business, commercial and residential uses.
Throughout the United States, new housing is governed privately. Millions of Americans live in homeowner associations that often provide security, garbage collection and transportation. Some large cities supplement public police with private security. San Francisco, for example, has had a private police force protecting some downtown areas for almost 170 years…..