Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Community Oriented Policing Services Outlines Best Practices for Use of Body-Worn Cameras for Police Officers

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) released Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program: Recommendations and Lessons Learned. The report analyzes some of the costs and benefits of law enforcement using body-worn video technology.

“Law enforcement agencies across the nation are contemplating how best to use body-worn cameras and these guidelines will help them weight the costs and benefits,” said COPS Office Director Ronald L. Davis. “There are many considerations when implementing a body-worn camera and this report will help chiefs and sheriffs make the best decision for their jurisdiction.”

The publication was developed jointly by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and COPS through a cooperative agreement under the FY 2013 Community Policing Development Program. PERF conducted research on the use of body-worn cameras, identified promising practices and lessons learned from the field, and produced a set of guidelines for agencies interested in implement a body-worn camera program. Included in this effort was a one-day executive session with more than 200 police chiefs, sheriffs, scholars, representatives from federal criminal justice agencies, and other experts present to share experiences and lessons learned about body-worn cameras, to identify promising practices from the field, and to engage in a dialogue about the issues surrounding cameras.

The publication reviews the perceived benefits of body-worn cameras and considerations surrounding body-worn cameras before proposing a set of comprehensive policy recommendations that reflect the promising practices and lessons that emerged from PERF’s conference and its extensive discussions with police executives and other experts following the conference.

The policy recommendations cover all aspects of what a police department should consider when deciding to use body cameras including:

  • Basic camera usage, such as who will be assigned to wear the cameras and where on the body the cameras are authorized to be placed;
  • Recording protocols, including when to activate the camera, when to turn it off, and the types of circumstances in which recording is required, allowed or prohibited;
  • The process for downloading recorded data from the camera, including who is responsible for downloading, when data must be downloaded, where data will be stored, and how to safeguard against data tampering or deletion;
  • The length of time recorded data will be retained by the agency in various circumstances;
  • The process and policies for accessing and reviewing recorded data, including the persons authorized to access data and the circumstances in which recorded data can be reviewed; and
  • Policies for releasing recorded data to the public, including protocols regarding redactions and responding to public disclosure requests.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Turkish Airlines to Upgrade Chicago Route Planes to Boeing 777-300 Beginning in May 2015

Turkish Airlines, recently voted Europe’s Best Airline for the fourth year in a row, will upgrade its Chicago route planes from Airbus A330-200 to Boeing 777-300 starting in May 2015. Thanks to the airline’s continuous growth, the much-anticipated upgrade will expand Business Class seating capacity to 49 luxurious seats and the Economy Class seating capacity to 300.

With the upgradeTurkish Airlines to Upgrade Chicago Route Planes to Boeing 777-300 Beginning in May 2015, free Wi-Fi will be offered to Business Class passengers, and Live TV option will be available with BBC World, Sky News Arabic, Euronews and Sport 24, along with the airline’s unparalleled in-flight service and award-winning cuisine.

Chicago, one of Turkish Airlines’ six U.S. gateways, continues to thrive in the highly competitive travel industry. Recognized as one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Turkish Airlines currently flies to 260 destinations in 108 countries – more than any other airline.

In addition, the airline currently offers spectacular roundtrip airfare deals out of Chicago for this fall – especially for travel hotspot, Istanbul – the number one destination worldwide in TripAdvisor’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice awards!

Friday, September 12, 2014

LaPorte County Deputy Auditor Charged with Embezzlement and Tax Fraud

A former LaPorte County deputy auditor has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Indiana for embezzling over $150,000 from the LaPorte County government and committing tax fraud.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David Capp of the Northern District of Indiana made the announcement.

The indictment returned on Sept. 10, 2014, charges Mary Ray, 66, of La Porte, Indiana, with two counts each of theft of government monies and of making false statements on a tax return.

According to the indictment, from September 2011 through December 2012 and while she was working as an auditor, Ray embezzled more than $5,000 from LaPorte County, which had received more than $10,000 in federal benefits in both 2011 and 2012.

The indictment also alleges that Ray underreported her income on her U.S. Individual Tax Returns in 2011 and 2012 by failing to report the embezzled funds.

An #EastSideBloods Gang Member Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy, Attempted Murder and Firearms Charges

An East Side Bloods (ESB) gang member from Scottsdale, Arizona, was sentenced to serve 30 years in prison for his role in the violent street gang, which operated on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community reservation.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo of the District of Arizona made the announcement after the sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge David G. Campbell of the District of Arizona.

Denicio Elrayno Francisco, 28, a long-time member of East Side Bloods, was convicted by a jury on Oct. 31, 2013, of conspiracy to participate in a pattern of racketeering activity, attempted murder in aid of racketeering and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

According to evidence presented at trial, from August 2004 through January 2013, the ESB was a criminal street gang, which perpetuated itself and enriched its members through activities such as murder, robbery, aggravated assault, fraudulent “straw” purchases of firearms and the distribution of drugs, including marijuana and cocaine. The gang preserved and protected its power on the reservation and adjoining communities through the use of intimidation, violence, assault, drive-by shootings and murder. The gang also retaliated with violence and threats of violence against victims who contacted law enforcement to report the gang-related crimes.

Evidence at trial demonstrated that Francisco arranged a meeting with a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, ostensibly to discuss some gang-related conflicts on the reservation. On Nov. 23, 2012, Francisco arrived at the meeting with two other armed ESB members wearing gang colors. He stepped out of his car, yelled a gang slogan and opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle toward the intended victim. Those present with the intended victim included a five-month-old baby, the wheelchair-bound homeowner, and seven other adults. The intended victim was struck by a bullet in the left forearm, resulting in permanent injury. Testimony at trial also showed that Francisco committed the attempted murder to maintain his position and increase his status within the ESB.

In addition to the prison term imposed, Francisco was also sentenced to serve five years of supervised release.

The defendant’s brother, Martinez Francisco Jr., 31, was also convicted at the same trial and was sentenced on Feb. 10, 2014, to serve 30 years in prison for participating in a racketeering conspiracy and illegal firearms trafficking. Eight additional gang members who entered guilty pleas in the case were previously sentenced to terms ranging from 27 to 156 months in federal prison.

The case was investigated by the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission (GIITEM), the Mesa Police Department, the Salt River Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Substantial assistance was provided by the FBI, Scottsdale Police Department and Tempe Police Department.

The case was prosecuted by Hans Miller of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith E. Vercauteren of the District of Arizona.

FBI Announces Arrest of Edward G. Klich, Suspected of Being #HoodedBandit

A man who allegedly robbed a Wood Dale bank on Thursday was arrested a short time after the heist and has been charged in connection with the robbery. EDWARD G. KLICH, 62, of the 3200 block of Peacock Lane in Rolling Meadows, was charged in a one-count criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court. The charge was announced by Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI and Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

The complaint alleges that the robber, later identified as Klich, entered the U.S. Bank branch located at 333 East Irving Park Road in Wood Dale just before noon on Thursday, approached a bank teller and made a demand for money. Law enforcement officers responding to the robbery noted a green-colored Buick in the area of the bank. Aware that a green Buick had been identified as the vehicle allegedly used in other recent bank robberies in the area, the officers stopped the vehicle following a brief pursuit and arrested the driver, Klich.

Klich was subsequently turned over to the FBI and appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney I. Schenkier, who ordered him held pending his next Federal Bureau of Investigation – Chicago Field Office court appearance. Klich is scheduled to appear again in court on Monday, September 15, 2014, at 1:00 p.m.

Klich is suspected of being the Hooded Bandit, so named by the FBI for his habit of wearing hoods during the commission of robberies. The Hooded Bandit is suspected of carrying out at least eight bank robberies in the northwest suburbs dating back to a July 28, 2011, robbery of a Chase Bank branch in Rolling Meadows.

If convicted of the charge filed against him, Klich faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Spate of Dismembered Bodies Sign of Prison Culture on the Streets

Violent crime in Venezuela has taken a gory turn as a spate of dismembered bodies has turned up around the country, their detached heads and limbs often scattered far away.

Forensics analysts say six victims' body parts have been found in the past two months, a disconcerting trend in a country that already has 70 murders a day, according to researchers -- one of the world's highest homicide rates.

Police have also registered a recent rash of other macabre crimes: women stabbed to death by their partners; a man shot in the face while walking with his baby; and a son who slit his parents' throats.

Edgardo Buscaglia, a social policy expert at Columbia University in New York, said the brutal violence is the product of a government that has been "paralyzed in its capacity to confront the criminal networks operating in the country." He said the weakness of the Venezuelan state mired in economic woes ranging from rampant inflation to chronic shortages of basic goods -- has enabled foreign criminal networks to infiltrate the country, including from Mexico and Colombia, two nations plagued by ultra-violent drug crime.

Even Venezuelan Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez has acknowledged the gravity of the problem, condemning the "Colombianization" of organized crime. Rodriguez said police had dismantled 255 criminal networks and captured 13,000 criminals from May 2013 to August 2014, but that 92 "highly dangerous" gangs remained.

One victim was Yesenia Mujica, a 22-year-old student, whose dismembered body was thrown in a trash can in Caracas, where a group of homeless people found it. No one has been arrested in the case.

Criminologist Fermin Marmol Garcia told AFP that dismemberment tends to occur in cases of drug addiction or crimes of passion. In Venezuela, the practice was "unusual" in the past, but has grown more common recently, he said. Killers have also begun dumping their victims in a widening range of sites. "Criminals feel confident that the likelihood of being detained by the authorities with a body in the car is very low," Marmol said.

One theory for the increase in dismemberment crimes is that prison culture has permeated the street, bringing with it a brutal code under which "pranes," or prison gang leaders, and their entourage can condemn opponents to death and dismemberment for breaking their rules, Marmol said.

An alternative theory is that new youth gangs are striving to make their mark on a crowded criminal market by demonstrating their brutality and fearlessness, he said.

According to government figures, Venezuela has 39 homicides a year per 100,000 inhabitants. But researchers put the rate -- 100 percent higher -- at 79.

President Nicolas Maduro's government has faced mounting anger over crime and chronic shortages, which exploded into violent protests earlier this year. The South American country has the world's largest oil reserves, but is struggling to sustain its lavish subsidy programs and rigid foreign currency controls.

Roberto Briceno Leon, the head of Venezuelan Violence Watch, said the government had left a vacuum in the fight against crime. "We have a society with much more violence, aggravated by the absence of a state response to the situation, tremendous impunity -- 95 percent -- and criminals' noticeable awareness that nothing is going to be done to them," he told AFP.

Maduro's government has unveiled plans in the past five months to increase police patrols in the most violent cities and break up organized crime networks. But the new policies have had little visible impact so far.

Thanks to Jamaica Observer.

Joanne Drayton, Author of "The Search for Anne Perry", Appears Tonight on Crime Beat Radio

Joanne Drayton, author of the The Search for Anne Perry: The Hidden Life of a Bestselling Crime Writer, appears tonight on Crime Beat Radio.


In 1994, director Peter Jackson released the movie Heavenly Creatures, based on a famous 1950s matricide committed in New Zealand by two teenage girls locked in an obsessive relationship. The movie launched Jackson's international career. It also forever changed the life of Anne Perry, who at the time of the movie's release had achieved remarkable success as a crime writer but was publicly outed as one of the murderers, Juliet Hulme. A new light was now cast, not only on Anne's life but also on her novels, which feature gruesome and violent deaths and confront dark issues, including infanticide and incest.

For this biography, Joanne Drayton was given broad access to Anne Perry and her friends, relatives, colleagues, and archives. In a gripping narrative that alternates between the story of Juliet Hulme leading up to the murder and Anne's life and writing career afterward, Drayton illuminates both parts of Anne's life, while drawing parallels between Perry's own experiences and her characters and storylines. She also gives a riveting account of the outing and Anne's response. Anne Perry's books deal with miscarriages of justice, family secrets exposed, punishment, redemption, and forgiveness, and these themes are all the more poignant in light of her past. She has sold twenty-six million books worldwide and is published in fifteen different languages, yet she will now forever be known as a murderer who became a writer of murder stories.

For the writer's many fans, The Search for Anne Perry offers a rich new understanding of the girl Anne was, the woman she became, her compulsion to write, her books, and her view of the world.

Crime Beat is a weekly hour-long radio program that airs every Thursday at 8 p.m. EST. Crime Beat presents fascinating topics that bring listeners closer to the dynamic underbelly of the world of crime. Guests have included ex-mobsters, undercover law enforcement agents, sports officials, informants, prisoners, drug dealers and investigative journalists, who have provided insights and fresh information about the world’s most fascinating subject: crime.