Friday, January 19, 2018

Alabama state troopers at 'dangerously low' levels

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Jan 19 2018— As a winter storm system freezes over parts of Alabama this week, law enforcement officers across the state are working to keep roadways safe and clear.
For Alabama state troopers, winter weather events like Tuesday's highlight an ongoing personnel shortage, which leaders say is reaching "dangerously low" levels.
"There are less than 250 troopers to serve all of Alabama, even though recent studies suggest that over 1,000 troopers is the appropriate number for a state the size of Alabama," Alabama State Troopers Association President David Steward said. "At current staffing levels, there is one state trooper for every 214 square miles of Alabama."
Steward and ASTA Executive Director Neil Tew on Tuesday called on state legislators to increase funding for hiring at the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
"It would be great to hire several hundred troopers right now. I don't know if we'll ever see 1,000 troopers," Steward said. "But right now we're at a critically low number."
According to data provided by ASTA, trooper staffing has dropped by 22 percent in four years. In the same time period, auto accidents have increased by 16 percent and fatalities have increased by 28 percent.
"We're short statewide," Steward said. "There's not an area in the state that has the manpower they need to sustain their patrol coverage."
As personnel numbers dip, Steward said, troopers are tasked with longer shifts across larger territories. With troopers traveling longer distances, their fleet is also feeling the wear and tear.
"As we see with the storm coming in today, many of these troopers are going to be working 12 to 16 hours before they get a break," Tew said. "And they're doing it in patrol cars that are 8 to 10 years old that could have upwards of 250,000 miles or more. It's a huge problem, and it's got a lot of tentacles to it."
A combination of budget cuts and staff attrition has atrophied trooper count over several years, leading to some situations where one trooper is responsible for swath of several counties.
Tew said the agency has lost more than 300 troopers in the last decade due to retirements, job changes and other reasons. In the same time period, less than 100 new troopers were hired.
"This is a problem that has been a long time coming," Tew said. "We've been constantly losing personnel, but we've rarely been in a position to hire personnel."
Gov. Kay Ivey has requested a $3.2 million increase in ALEA's General Fund appropriation to be used for a new class of 30 state troopers.

"It's a start," Tew said. "30 is something to build on. We're hoping it will be more the following year.
Montgomery Advertiser 

Maryland man arrested for allegedly planting camera in mall bathroom operates security company

NOTTINGHAM, Md. Jan 19 2018 A Maryland man had been arrested and charged after he allegedly installed a security camera in a family bathroom at a local mall.
Mussawwir Sterrett is charged with prurient intent and peeping tom; he is currently being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on denied bail status.
Baltimore County police were made aware of the camera that had been installed in a restroom at the White Marsh Mall on Dec. 23.
Police were able to identify the suspect because he recorded himself as he was setting the camera up.
The investigating officer “took note” of 11 videos saved to the camera's SD card.
Most of the videos are several minutes long, and detectives also found deleted files with images taken inside of a bathroom. The date stamp on those pictures are July 5, 2013.

After posting Sterrett's photo online, Baltimore County police were able to identify Sterrett within thanks to two calls from citizens.

The anonymous callers also said that Sterrett worked for a company called Custom Runs, a tech company in the Baltimore area.
It is confirmed that Sterrett is the general manager of the company, which provides tech consultations as well as security camera installation.

TSA agent shortages, snow at Atlanta Airport slows down security lines


ATLANTA GA Jan 19 2018 – Passengers flying out of Atlanta need to be prepared to wait in long security lines at the airport.
In the middle of hundreds of delays and cancellations, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is working through only one domestic security checkpoint.
The website states only the Domestic Main Checkpoint is open on Wednesday following the snow storm that hit the city. Reports state passengers could wait over an hour and half to make it through security.
One of the reasons for the slow-moving lines is because TSA is understaffed for the day.
” Due to dangerous road conditions, traffic and public transportation delays and school closures, a number of employees were not able to come to work or arrived when they were able to do so safely, as was the case for most Atlanta residents today,” TSA spokesperson said.
TSA stated that some agents who were off, did volunteer to come in, including canine teams and administrative staff who assisted with non-screening functions.

Both Domestic North and South checkpoints were closed as TSA said the decision was made to consolidate operations at the main checkpoint to more efficiently screen passengers with available resources.
While wait times at the main gate continue to grow over an hour long, the airport’s website stated the International Checkpoint’s wait was less than 15 minutes.

The airport tweeted travelers should get to the airport at least two hours before their flight is expected to leave. TSA and the airport stated you should factor in traffic, parking, and checking your bags.

Ohio Deputy shoots, kills 16-year-old boy during scuffle at courthouse

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Franklin County OH Jan 19 2018 Chaos unfolded Wednesday afternoon in a hallway outside a Franklin County courtroom, when a scuffle involving a teenage defendant, his family members and a deputy ended in fatal gunfire.
The Franklin County sheriff’s office deputy, who was knocked to the ground, fired a single shot, killing 16-year-old Joseph Edward Haynes of the Hilltop.
Haynes was in court on two delinquency cases, both involving guns, Juvenile Court records show. During the hearing, Magistrate Larry Sanchez ordered him placed on electronic monitoring.
“At some point, as the hearing was concluding, there was an altercation involving the deputy and some of the family members,” said Franklin County Chief Deputy Rick Minerd, who oversees investigations. “And what we have learned was the deputy was knocked to the ground as part of that altercation where he came under attack ... one shot was fired.”
Minerd said the Franklin County sheriff’s office would not immediately identify the deputy, but would do so at a later date.
It’s unclear how many people were involved in the scuffle, which broke out at 12:40 p.m. Wednesday on the fifth floor of the Downtown county courthouse, which is set aside for Juvenile Court. The shooting took place around the corner from Courtroom 56, where the hearing was held, in a hallway that leads to a door where court officials and attorneys can get to the magistrates’ offices.
There was one deputy assigned to the fifth floor at the time, Minerd said.
Haynes’ attorney, Jennifer Brisco, said the fray occurred when the deputy threatened to arrest her client, who had become emotional during and after the hearing.
“Joseph was a little out of sorts because of how things went at the hearing,” Brisco told The Dispatch. “The officer threatened to lock him up and a scuffle broke out. Joseph was resisting, and that’s when there was a scuffle.”
She said she backed away as “a bunch of people” tried to break up the struggle, then heard a gunshot.
Haynes was hit by the bullet in the abdomen and rushed to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:14 p.m. The deputy was taken to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Brisco didn’t see the shooting or Haynes’ family members intervening, she said, but did witness Haynes’ mother fall into the deputy during the struggle.

“I think she kind of lost her balance,” Brisco said. “I know she was trying to get to her son.”
Geraldine Haynes, Haynes’ grandmother, told The Dispatch that she was only a few feet away when the struggle broke out.
“They could have Tased him. He didn’t have to shoot him,” she said as a tear rolled down her face at her South Side home.
In her account of events, Geraldine Haynes said her grandson became upset when the deputy put his hands on Haynes’ mother. Karen Haynes, 41, was pushed up against a wall, Geraldine Haynes said, which prompted Joseph Haynes to shout at the deputy to “leave his mom alone, leave his mom alone.”
Joseph Haynes grabbed the deputy’s shoulder, Geraldine Haynes said. The deputy “let go of Karen and slung Joey on the ground,” she said.
At that point, she said, Joseph Haynes didn’t move and his hands were above his head.
“All of a sudden he pulled his gun and shot him,” Geraldine Haynes said of the deputy. “You could smell the gunpowder.”
The family was taken into other rooms immediately after the shooting. They didn’t learn until about 4 p.m. that Joseph Haynes was dead, Geraldine Haynes said.
A deputy handed her a card with the Franklin County coroner’s office number scribbled on the back.
“There was no reason why that cop would have been terrified of Joey,” she said. Joseph Haynes was a lanky 6-foot-tall teen.
But Keith Ferrell, executive vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9, which represents Franklin County deputies, said that hands were reaching for the deputy’s service weapon, Taser or both during the scuffle.
“We’re responsive to people’s actions. We don’t choose to come to work and shoot people,” Ferrell said. “It gives our people very little choice to protect themselves and the public.
“Unfortunately, he had to stop the threat,” Ferrell said. “It was a significant struggle. And his injuries support that.”
Ferrell was returning to the hospital Wednesday afternoon where the deputy was being treated and undergoing tests. Ferrell said the deputy’s injuries were not career-ending, but he wouldn’t give more details. He anticipated it will take him some time to recover.

In September 2016, Magistrate Sanchez placed Joseph Haynes on probation after finding him delinquent for carrying a concealed weapon. According to a complaint filed by Columbus police, Haynes was found to be carrying a .380-caliber pistol in “the right front pocket of shorts worn under his jeans” in April 2016.
He was still on probation when police charged him with delinquency counts of aggravated menacing for allegedly pointing a handgun at two people and threatening to shoot them on Nov. 14, 2016.
Wednesday’s hearing was to address the most-recent charges and the status of Haynes’ probation. Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said that one of the issues that upset Haynes during the hearing was the magistrate’s decision that he had to continue to wear an electronic-monitoring device until his next court date.
Brisco declined to discuss details of the cases, citing client confidentiality.
“I think he’s a good boy who got caught up in a bad situation,” she said.
Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady said he was saddened to hear about the shooting.

“Any time there’s a deputy-involved shooting where we’ve got the public involved, obviously it’s a terrible incident,” he said. “Our hearts go out to the deputy, the family and anyone involved.”
Columbus Dispatch

KS man alleges he was chained to a bench by security guards and racially berated

The Power & Light District again is being sued for racial discrimination after a black Shawnee man says he was verbally and physically abused there.
Kansas City KS Jan 19 2018 The Power & Light District again is being sued for racial discrimination after a black Shawnee man says he was verbally and physically abused there.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court comes against the backdrop of a similar pending case.
Arthur Wayne Brown alleges he was at the entertainment district on Oct. 26, 2014, to watch the Royals and the Giants in the World Series on the big screen. Brown says he was buying drinks from the Dubliner’s outdoor bar and needed to use the restroom inside.
When he came out of the stall, Brown said, he was confronted by three security officers who told him he was trespassing and needed to leave. He says the men cursed him with racial and profane language. Brown says he showed them his receipt from the outdoor bar but they pushed him out of the restaurant.
Brown says security officers then handcuffed him and took him to the entertainment district’s security office, where he was “chained to a bench.” The lawsuit says the officers wanted Brown to sign a false statement but he refused. Brown says he was eventually cited for trespassing and told he was barred from the entertainment district.

The lawsuit names Kansas City Live LLC and Downtown Irish Pub LLC.
Rachel Waller, a spokeswoman for Kansas City Live, said the company expects the lawsuit to be dismissed.
“Moreover, not only do we believe these allegations are without merit, they are also strictly limited to a third-party tenant and a third-party security company, not the Power & Light District,” a company statement said.
Downtown Irish Pub, which does business as the Dubliner, did not return a call for comment.
The lawsuit also names First Response Inc. of Mission and individual security officers. First Response is no longer in good standing with the Kansas secretary of state. The lawsuit asks for a jury trial and unspecified damages.
Last summer a federal appeals court reinstated part of a previously dismissed 2014 lawsuit that alleged the entertainment district had policies to exclude African-Americans.
A separate discrimination lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court was dismissed in 2016.

Shortly after opening in 2008, the Power& Light District was accused of enforcing a dress code that some said was intended to exclude black customers. The owner of the entertainment district, Baltimore-based Cordish Companies Inc., denied those allegations but modified its dress code and in 2010 settled a complaint filed by the Kansas City Human Relations Department.
Kansas City Star

Bar security to wear body cameras after multiple stabbings

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South Yorkshire England Jan 19 2018 Owners of Crystal on Carver Street in the city centre have agreed to a series of security improvements at the venue after six men were stabbed there in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Violence flared at around 2.30am at the top of a flight of stairs in the House of Hugo section of the bar on the third floor.
The victims, from Birmingham, all suffered stab or slash wounds in the brawl, which detectives believe may have been gang related. Two of the men were left fighting for life but have since left hospital.
Police chiefs ordered the closure of the bar in the immediate aftermath of the attack but it has since been allowed to re-open after bosses agreed to step up security.
They have agreed to employ more security staff, who will wear body cams.
 Plastic glasses will now be used at the bar and search procedures will be improved.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “A city centre bar is free to re-open after a number of temporary conditions were placed on its licence, in line with recommendations made to the Licensing Committee at Sheffield City Council by South Yorkshire Police.
“Discussions between the police, partners and the licensee, have resulted in the bar adopting a number of recommendations to improve security.
“These include an increase in security staff, more robust search procedures, the adoption of body mounted cameras by security staff and a requirement to use plastic or polycarbonate glasses and containers.”
 A review of the new security measures will be carried out next month. No arrests over the stabbings have yet been made.

Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101.

Bar Bouncer Sentenced to Probation, Jail After Punching Man Who Fell and Was Fatally Hit by Vehicle

 Star Garden, in the 6600 block of Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood, is shown in a Google Maps image.
Los Angeles County CA Jan 19 2018
A former bouncer was sentenced to three years probation, 180 days in county jail and 240 hours of community labor after he punched a man who then fell into traffic and was fatally struck by a passing vehicle just over a year ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.
Ernest Shawn Reyes is a 35-year-old resident of Arleta who was working as a bouncer at Star Garden, a topless bar in North Hollywood, when he threw a punch at Wilfredo Rodriguez, officials said at the time.
Rodriguez, 47, fell back after the punch and into passing traffic along Lankershim Boulevard, officials said. He was struck by a vehicle that fled the scene and died. The crash happened at about 1:15 a.m. on Dec. 15, 2016.
Reyes pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter last month, prosecutors said. In the days after the incident, he was initially charged with murder — a count that could have landed him a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison if convicted. His bail was set at $1 million.

At the time of his death, friends of Rodriguez described him as a loyal, honest friend who was a native New Yorker.
“Just a man of his word, very rare to find a character like that in LA,” said one of his friends, Jack Atolikian.

It is unclear if the hit-and-run driver was ever identified or charged in connection with Rodriguez’s death.

Riot causing $200,000 in damage at Cleveland juvenile detention center

Cuyahoga County police chiefs, prosecutors and community groups are concerned by a rising number of violent teens passing through the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center for serious offenses such as armed robbery, carjacking and homicide.

CLEVELAND, Ohio Jan 18 2018 -- Last week's riot at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center spotlighted the stark reality that a rising number of inmates there are in custody for violent crimes -- including armed robbery, carjacking and homicide.
Two of the 12 inmates involved in the fight that caused an estimated $200,000 in damage to the detention center are accused in the killing of a 12-year-old boy outside his father's beauty supply store, and eight others are charged with armed robbery, officials said.
The inmates' charges offer a snapshot of what law enforcement officials, prosecutors and community groups have identified as an increase in violent crimes involving juveniles. That's particularly evident at the detention center, where more and more violent offenders have created a volatile atmosphere, Cuyahoga County Michael O'Malley said.
"The reality is that facility has a high concentration of inmates charged with aggravated murder or murder," O'Malley said. "The reality is, if that was an adult facility, it would need to be a 'supermax' facility. It's certainly a much higher level of crime than [adults] who are housed at the county jail."
The uptick has created a conundrum for a justice system historically focused on rehabilitating young offenders rather than punishing them, namely, how should the justice system balance that goal with the need to protect the public?
The riot sparked calls for reform of the detention center. One suggestion is to allow the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department to assume management of the facility, which is currently run by juvenile court judges.
O'Malley and area police chiefs understand that the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court should focus on rehabilitating young offenders, but they are also faced with the reality that serious nature of the crimes in which many of these young offenders are accused.
"I think the system is set up to recognize that they're kids, and the preference is taking the least punitive action to correct the behavior," South Euclid police Chief Kevin Nietert said. "I think that probably works in most cases. But the reality is that, with some of the people committing these serious crimes, that type of approach doesn't work."
What complicates the issue further, in O'Malley's view, is the fact many of the most serious cases involve teenagers with lengthy criminal records, and the punitive action to correct the behavior often involves releasing defendants from the detention center sooner than adults charged with similar crimes.
"They've had interactions with the [justice] system before and they're indifferent to the consequences," he said. "We have to work with the court to make sure those initial interactions [with the justice system] are meaningful. If the rehabilitation lacks substance, then you're just wasting your time."

The issue will be at the forefront as communities see more violent crimes involving juveniles. While final statistics are not yet available for 2017, officials believe more teenagers are being charged in cases involving gun-related offenses.
The Cleveland Heights Police Department, for example, arrested 20 juveniles -- mostly teenage boys -- last year and charged them with carjacking. The South Euclid Police Department arrested a 16-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man Nov. 15 following a bank robbery that involved a fake bomb.
"I certainly think that there is a perception that there is in increase in the amount of serious juvenile offenses recently," Nietert said.
Nearby communities have seen teenagers commit violent crimes, too. University Heights and Bedford detectives each investigated one armed robbery involving a teenager in 2017, and the Euclid Police Department arrested a teen last year for a carjacking that happened in 2016, records provided by the three police departments show.
The Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, which mediates disputes and mentors at-risk teenagers and young adults, feels gangs and the prevalence of guns on the streets are fueling the violence, director Sharyna Cloud said.
Some teens are driven to crime because they do not feel valued at home, in schools or in the job market, said Mike Walker, the executive director of the nonprofit Partnership for a Safer Cleveland.
"They all have a concern that they are invisible, and that they don't count," Walker said. "They are always perceived to be the problem."
The alliance works to address the issue by hosting community forums and embedding violence interrupters - workers trained to defuse conflict between people aiming to do harm to each other -  in neighborhoods. The Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland, which oversees the alliance, also offers programs such as Pathway to Resilience, a career-training program that combines instruction with extracurricular activities such as athletics and music.
"Exposure to gangs shouldn't be your opportunity," Cloud said. "There are other opportunities without having to go that route."

Officials and community groups believe the rise in violent crimes involving juveniles can be traced to a few "bad apples" in a neighborhood. But their actions amplify the problem by causing other teens and young adults to feel unsafe.
Some teens are carrying guns because they do not feel safe.
"If you have a conversation with young people, they're going to say they don't feel safe," Walker said. "There's a preponderance of feeling they're not safe anywhere."
One way communities can reduce violent crime is by preventing retaliation, Cloud said. The Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance works to prevent teens affected by violent crimes from seeking revenge, she said.
The alliance has these violence interrupters at the MetroHeath and University Hospital emergency rooms to help victims and their families avoid more violence. The alliance is also working to put more outreach workers on the streets.
"It's a large-scale effort, but we are up for the challenge," Cloud said. "We don't want to see another uptick in violence this year."
Peace in the Hood, a Cleveland organization that is also known as the Coalition for a Better Life, believes teens will avoid violence if they are pushed toward educational and work opportunities instead of gangs, co-founder Khalid Samah said.
"They can be in control of themselves," Samah said. "They can be disciplined and be responsible."
Many communities have diversion programs for juveniles who are charged with misdemeanor offenses. In Cleveland Heights and Bedford, for example, the police departments uses diversion programs to prevent low-level offenders from committing future crimes.
"I believe [our diversion program] has been very successful," Cleveland Heights police Chief Annette Mecklenburg said. "We reach these kids at an early age before they commit serious crimes, and show them the consequences of the choices they make."
Mecklenburg has been in contact with several nearby police departments and hopes law enforcement agencies can work with the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court to develop strategies to address violence among juveniles. O'Malley acknowledged the rise in violent juvenile offenders is an ongoing issue that needs attention in order to keep neighborhoods safe.

"It's unfortunate neighborhoods are being destroyed because a small group of kids have made the decision they want to terrify these neighborhoods," he said. "It certainly seems much worse today than it did years ago."

Accreditation program begins for investigators, guards

COLUMBUS, OHIO Jan 19 2018
The state is launching a voluntary accreditation program for Ohio's licensed private investigators and companies that provide security services.
The program's standards were developed last fall by the Department of Public Safety's Private Investigator Security Guard Services unit.
Brandon Gardner, the unit's executive director, says the goal is to raise standards in a profession often tasked with protecting major facilities including sports arenas.
The standards include use of force policies for firms that employ armed guards and conducting fair and professional employee recruiting.
Other standards require companies to evaluate employees properly and regularly to reduce the field's high turnover rate and to maintain proper bookkeeping.
The International Foundation of Protection Officers will help participating companies meet the standards.

Ohio has about 25,000 security guards and private investigators.

A New Jersey suburb wants to fine you $200 for driving through during rush hour

Authorities in Leonia, New Jersey, attribute heavy traffic jams to navigation apps.

Lenoia NJ Jan 19 2018 A New Jersey suburb is getting tired of out-of-towners using navigation apps that send them through its narrow side streets on their way to and from the George Washington Bridge.
Its solution? Hitting nonresidents with a $200 fine during rush hour.
The borough of Leonia, just west of New York City, says it plans to prohibit outsiders from using 60 public roads between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., beginning January 22.
Leonia's police department plans to distribute yellow tags for residents to hang in their cars and employee/visitor tags for motorists who have a viable reason for driving through the town regularly.
"The whole idea is to keep the vehicles on the major highways where the traffic belongs. We are doing this to keep our residents safe," said Thomas Rowe, Leonia's police chief. "It's certainly extreme. And I've told everybody the traffic is extreme."
Traffic approaches the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey. More drivers are turning to navigation apps like Waze to help them find shortcuts, causing gridlocks on suburban streets.
Traffic approaches the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey. More drivers are turning to navigation apps like Waze to help them find shortcuts, causing gridlocks on suburban streets.
Rowe blames mobile apps like Waze for suggesting short cuts through narrow Leonia roads that cause bottleneck backups. He said it can take some residents over an hour just to get out of their own driveway when roads are congested, especially if there is an accident on the George Washington Bridge or on Interstate 95, which flanks Leonia.
For a police force of 18, patrolling 60 roads and keeping up with tag distribution for new residents and approved visitors will be a tall order.
"Would I prefer not to do this? Of course," said Lowe. "This is a major lift for us. We're a small department in a small town but in a very busy area."
Leonia is not an anomaly, since many small towns in close proximity to busy highways face similar issues. And other towns also have blamed navigation apps for flooding their streets with traffic.
Borough officials claim that closing roads to nonresidents is legal and falls within the Leonia Police Department's jurisdiction.
But many locals are pushing back, especially since Leonia shares a school system with the neighboring town of Edgewater. Parents are up in arms about having to scrap their daily routes to and from Leonia's schools for a longer journey. Employees are in the same bind.
Rowe dismisses their concerns, arguing that there are still plenty of unrestricted roads.
Leonia's proposal also is being criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
"We're concerned about the enormous power that it gives to law enforcement," said Jeanne LoCicero, deputy legal director of the ACLU-NJ.
"These rules allow the police to stop people who are traveling safely down public streets. It discriminates against people based on their residency and it could have a potential impact for undocumented immigrants."
A 2015 report by the ACLU found that in New Jersey, minorities are much more likely to be arrested than whites for low-level offenses, including loitering, disorderly conduct and traffic violations.
Rowe insists the only motive behind Leonia's traffic plan is to thin congestion on secondary streets -- not to profile certain types of motorists.

"We're not using it to stop vehicles or to search vehicles," he said. "We're not putting anybody in jail."

Durban mall security says they protect shoppers-not staff

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Durban South Africa Jan 19 2018 - Six-months-pregnant cellphone store employee Tasnim Khan was enjoying her day until seven men walked in, one pulling out a gun and cocking it.
Her day was about to get worse.
“He ordered my colleague and me to move to the back to our storage room. He asked for the safe. I told him we did not have one.
"He pushed me against the wall and ordered us to sit under the table,” she told POST.
While she and her colleagues were fortunately unhurt in the recent incident, the gang made off with almost R100 000 worth of devices and cash.
But it’s what could have happened to his staff that has infuriated their boss, Mahmood Younis, owner of the Vodacom franchise at Montclair Mall.
He claims that when he questioned the mall’s management on the whereabouts of security guards during the incident, he was told the guards were responsible for protecting patrons only, and not tenants.
“When I told the centre manager that not a single guard was around, she said ‘the guards are for shoppers, not tenants’,” Younis said.
“I could not believe what I was being told, as I know that mall securities are generally for everyone, including the tenants.
"Does this mean if a store is being robbed that they would not assist? What if a shopper had walked into my store at the time of the robbery, would the security not have assisted?
"My staff member who is pregnant could have been badly injured and no one would have helped her. It does not make sense.”
Khan, 26, said two men had walked into the store first, around 4pm.
“When I asked if they needed help, they said they were just looking and would come back at the end of month, before leaving.”
Five minutes later the two men returned followed by their five accomplices.
“Just as they entered the store I woke up from my seat - that is when one of the men pulled out a gun and cocked it.”

Khan added that the gunman then ripped out the CCTV cords and began emptying the cellphones off the shelves into a bin bag, before locking the staff in the back and fleeing the store.
“Luckily an employee at another store had witnessed what had happened and screamed out to us that they were gone.
"When we got out of the room, my colleague attempted to chase after them but they were long gone. Another store employee said they tried to locate the security but could not find them,” said Khan.
The incident has irked other tenants at the mall.
Robert Alcock, the manager at a print shop, said tenants were charged for security services.
“In our invoices it details what we pay towards each month; we pay over R1000 a month for ‘operating costs’ and to our knowledge that includes security. So why are we paying for a service we are not receiving?"
Younis said he would now consider hiring a private security guard.
“Although we are connected to a private security company, it takes them at least five to 10 minutes after we press the panic button to arrive. We will now have to get our own guards to stand at the door.”
Montclair mall spokeswoman Sophia Naidoo, portfolio manager at Excellerate Real Estate Services, said their security personnel were “trained and briefed to secure the area and protect all people within the area to the best of their ability”.
Naidoo, however, did not challenge Younis’s claims.
Police confirmed that a case of business robbery was being investigated.
POST asked other malls about the focus of their security guards.

Pavilion shopping centre manager Nisha Kemraj said their guards were used to protect both patrons and staff.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

16, 208 lawsuits filed in 2017 against private security firms, employees and clients

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Charlotte NC January 18 2018
Security companies, security employees and customers who employed private security agencies faced more than 16, 208 lawsuits in 2017.
Of the lawsuits filed, 67.6 percent were for assault, excessive use of force, unlawful restraint or claims of being injured at the hands of private security guards.
Another 8.2 percent of the filings were for wrongful deaths.
11.3 percent of the filings were for breach of contract or other contractual agreement violations.
6.5 of the claims involved theft, damage of property and more than 4.8 percent of the lawsuits filed were for various miscellaneous claims.

While most lawsuits were settled prior to trial, many were adjudicated through the court system and some companies and individual security workers did receive judgments against them including a number of large judgements in the amounts of $678,300, $2.3 million and $477.000 as well as one for $3.4 million dollars.

Teen arrested in mall gun incident

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. Jan 18 2018— Authorities arrested a teenager and called off a search for one other person Sunday night after Otay Ranch Town Center mall security reported seeing them holding guns inside a Jack in the Box, police said.
Police went to the restaurant on Birch Road just before 8 p.m. They confronted the teenagers, who ran across Birch Road before crossing into an apartment complex currently under construction, Chula Vista Police Department sergeant Fred Rowbotham said.
A short time later, an unidentified 15-year-old man surrendered to authorities, before leading them to a black pellet gun hidden on the construction site, Rowbotham said.
Officers, assisted by police dogs and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department’s helicopter, were not able to find the other teenager, and called off the search around 9 p.m.
The arrested teenager faces charges, including displaying an imitation firearm in a public place.

No injuries were reported.

Former Maine police chief is now in charge of security for Patriots home games

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Foxborough MA Jan 18 2018 Police lay out security plans for New England Patriots home games days in advance, and while players and fans are concentrating on what’s happening on the field, law enforcement officers remain vigilant.
And the man in charge of that security — Foxborough, Massachusetts, Police Chief Bill Baker — comes to that post from Maine, where he served as an officer in Cumberland and police chief for five years in Westbrook. Baker sat for an interview about his job with WGME, CBS 13.
The importance of Baker’s work came was put in perspective by the news that police have apprehended a man who alleged sent messages threatening to carry out an attack at Sunday’s playoff football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars.
“The Steelers game will be packed, and that’s when I plan on killing Steelers football players and fans before taking my own pitiful life,” one of the man’s messages allegedly said, according to multiple news reports.

The Patriots played their own playoff game Saturday night, defeating the Tennessee Titans without any major security incident.
Most NFL football stadiums like the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium and the Steelers’ Heinz Field have the capacity to hold nearly 70,000 fans apiece.
“When you think about it, it’s a little bigger than the whole population of Portland transplanted into a single building in Foxborough,” Baker told CBS 13.
That means Baker and his team have to be thorough and careful. It’s a job Baker, who still has family in Maine and vacations every summer on Peaks Island, said he relishes.
“The Patriots have always been my football team and football has always been a favorite sport … to watch, so to end up the end of my career the police chief in Foxborough ministering to the needs of the Patriots, it’s a pretty cool way to end your career,” he told CBS 13.
Baker said sometimes fans from Maine will recognize him at the games.
“I could be walking along behind the team bench and someone in Section 121 will scream out my name and get my attention and I’ll be able to go over and say hello,” he told the station.

Baystate Franklin, security union going to court

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GREENFIELD MA Jan 18 2018 — Baystate Franklin Medical Center has decided to take its chances in court over charges filed by its security union.
Following a finding of merit regarding union allegations by the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board in December, the hospital had until Jan. 11 to potentially settle with the union and the fired security employees named in the charges. Instead, the hospital plans to make its case in U.S. District Court in Hartford, beginning May 7, if there isn’t any change between the two sides in the meantime.
Given the “ongoing nature of this legal action, we won’t have any updated comment,” hospital spokeswoman Shelly Hazlett stated in regards to the charges with the Law Enforcement Officers’ Union.
Hazlett, though, reiterated the hospital’s stance on the charges.
“We have every confidence that a full hearing of the facts will show that we acted appropriately in this matter,” she said in a statement.
The security union claims that while employees were in the early stages of forming a union, hospital staff used interrogation and surveillance tactics to try to disrupt the efforts.
The charges, first filed by the union’s representative Steve Maritas in May was amended twice, including on Nov. 29, when it was updated to include then hospital president Cindy Russo’s name.
Maritas said the hospital’s stance did not surprise him, given the circumstances.
“I’ve been on this situation many times before and it always seems before it goes to the trial, we’re able to work some kind of settlement agreement out,” Maritas, who is the business agent of the union, said. “I expect the same results with this particular case.”
In its case, the union claims three security officers at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Mike Kubasek, Kris Morandi and Shannon Wissman-Hoar, were “suspended and subsequently discharged in retaliation for their union and protected concerted activities, or as a cover for these discriminatory discharges.”
Also, the hospital is alleged to have “created the impression of surveillance” of the union’s activities by telling an employee that they were aware of a planned meeting that had not taken place.
The hospital also allegedly “interrogated employees about their union and protected text exchanges, in the guard’s office of the facility,” and requested and received copies of text exchanges from employees who were a part of a union-related group chat.
The union also alleges that the hospital had been “discriminating in regard to the hire or tenure or terms and conditions of employment of its employees, thereby discouraging membership in a labor organization.”

Maritas said he thought that once the evidence, which he said he is privy to, is presented to the hospital, that Baystate Franklin’s position will change.

“Right now they’re only looking at what the allegations are,” Maritas said. “They’re not looking at what evidence is actually in place, so I expect them to make that kind of decision, but people have a change of heart once they see the evidence.”

Critically Wounded South Carolina Sheriff's Detective Dies


YORK, South Carolina Jan 18 2018-- Michael “Mike” Doty, the York County deputy who was one of four law enforcement officers shot in a Tuesday incident involving a domestic violence suspect, has died.
York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson confirmed Doty’s death at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte Wednesday around 7 p.m.
Officers Randy Clinton and Buddy Brown of the sheriff’s office and Kyle Cummings of the York Police Department also were shot in the attack and are recovering at CMC after surgeries.
Doty’s twin brother, Chris, also is a sheriff's office deputy.
Mike Doty was 37 years old, said Trent Faris, spokesman for the sheriff's office.
York Police Chief Andy Robinson, whose department had one officer wounded, said Mike Doty’s death "hurts us all in the law enforcement brotherhood."
Yet Robinson said police officers will not be deterred from protecting the public and their resolve.
"Every one of my officers, and every officer from other departments I have talked to since this happened, remains committed to helping protect people and serving people," Robinson said. "The best way we can honor Mike Doty is to do what we as police do –serve everyone else."
Police and prosecutors say Doty was shot by Christian Thomas McCall Tuesday after McCall ambushed Doty and the other officers.
McCall now could face murder charges in Mike Doty's death, and possibly the death penalty.
While not commenting on the evidence in the case, 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett said late Wednesday after confirming Doty's death that the same evidence in the case where he has advised police to seek attempted murder warrants against McCall for shooting the other three officers would support seeking murder charges against McCall.
Brackett declined to comment further on the case or if prosecutors will seek the death penalty.
However, Brackett confirmed Tuesday in a news conference when questioned by The Herald that a murder case involving a police officer as a victim does qualify under South Carolina law for potential capital punishment prosecution.
Doty started with the sheriff's office in 2006 after working for the York Police Department. He worked as a detective with the York County drug unit, as well as other duties including being a member of the SWAT team.
Doty, Cummings and Brown all were working as SWAT members when they were shot while searching for McCall, police said.

Doty was assigned to the northern York County part of the county drug unit based out of an office at the Fort Mill Police Department. Jeff Helms, Fort Mill Police Department chief of police, said Doty was "family."
"When family dies, it hurts," Helms said late Wednesday.
Helms also said that his officers, and others who knew Doty, will continue to serve the public with professionalism because that's what Mike Doty did all during his career.

Funeral arrangements for Mike Doty are pending.
The Herald

New Orleans man arrested outside Boulder hotel with sword, knives and pellet gun

Christopher Dassau
New Orleans LA Jan 18 2018
A New Orleans man was arrested this week after police say he was found in a hotel parking lot with a sword, four knives and a pellet gun — weapons the man says he was carrying to protect himself.
Christopher Michael Dassau, 35, was arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed knife.
According to an arrest affidavit, a security guard at the Millennium Harvest House Boulder, 1345 28th St., called police at 6:33 a.m. Tuesday when he saw a man pacing on the property in all black clothing and wearing what appeared to be a large sword on his back and a gun in a holster on his hip.
The security guard said the man did not appear to be threatening anybody.
When police arrived, they found Dassau on the property and placed him in custody without incident. In addition to a 3-foot "samurai-style" sword in a sheath on his back, police also found four sheathed knives — one in a holster under Dassau's armpit, one in his waistband and two in his boots — and a pellet gun.

Police took Dassau into custody at the Boulder County Jail and he was released on bond.
Dassau told the Daily Camera on Wednesday that he was carrying the weapons because he and his fiance had been threatened on several occasions while smoking outside the hotel, where he has been staying for several months.
"I felt like I didn't want to be bullied," Dassau said. "It was mostly for show so I could keep the guys who were harassing me at bay. It wasn't any crazy stuff."
Dassau also said he is a martial artist, and wanted to practice using the katana sword in the parking lot, though he did not have the sword out when police arrived.
"The parking lot was empty, so I figured I would get some practice," Dassau said. "It wasn't like I was walking around threatening people with it. I guess it got interpreted wrong."
Dassau said he had interacted with the security guard before, but thinks he didn't recognize Dassau with his coat on.
"I apologized to that guy," Dassau said. "Because of the way I was dressed, I guess he couldn't see it was me."

Dassau is scheduled for a formal filing of charges later this week.

Woman accused of shoplifting, trying to stab security with needle

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. Jan 18 2018 An accused shoplifter may be charged with aggravated assault after police say she tried to stab a grocery store worker with a needle.
According to the criminal complaint, 21-year-old Jordan Bakke went into the Albertsons at Lomas and Juan Tabo Saturday, filled a cart with merchandise and tried to leave without paying.
When a security officer tried to stop her, he says she pulled out an uncapped needle and swing it at him. The two then got into a physical fight.

Online records show Bakke is being released on her own recognizance.