Example of Abuse– and Culture

This is an anecdote regarding the abuse of power and responsibility that law enforcement officers have.

The reporting officer alleged that both Ruiz and Glashoff found women’s profiles had been browsing women on dating websites like Tinder, eHarmony, and Match.com while working at the investigations bureau office of the Fairfield Police Department

Court documents allege the officers then used a police-issued computer to look up the women they found appealing in a confidential law enforcement database that connects to the DMV and state and federal records.

 

Now spending time on dating sites instead of solving crimes is a bad problem….but the major concern is the use of the database for personal reasons. This is a great example why registries for anything, especially gun ownership, is a bad idea in my opinion. The ease of abuse is frightening.

What is worse in my view is this:

Court documents go on to say Sgt. Ruiz and Detective Glashoff would perform the searches and have conversations about the dating sites in front of other officers.

The court documents allege another Fairfield officer reported the incidents to his superior back in June.

Emphasis above mine — because consider how long it had probably been happening, how they got the idea that it was okay to even run the searches and why every single officer who knew about it didn’t immediately stop it.

One — just one — officer complained when probably several or more knew about it.

The goal of the Investigation Bureau operates using two divisions: Major Crimes Division and Quality of Life Division.

Major Crimes Division

Major Crimes Division is commanded by a Lieutenant and Sergeant.
The division employs 10 detectives who handle crime in the following catagories:

The division also has a Police Probation Team Unit that addresses juvenile crime and diversion.

Quality of Life Division

Quality of Life Division is commanded by a Lieutenant and two Sergeants (Gang Unit and Narcotics Unit).
The division uses several units to address crime in the community:

How many officers knew about their activities? We’ll never know– and isn’t that a problem also — but it was probably more than 1….probably half a dozen or more. How many officers have done the same or related invasion of privacy? We won’t know and isn’t that another problem.

 

And isn’t this just lovely?

If the allegations are found true, the officers could face felony criminal charges.

Both officers remain assigned to their regular duties.

Yeah— facing the possibility of felony charges and still working — able to access the same databases….doesn’t that just thrill everyone?

And this is a relatively passive abuse; what happens when the police have other tools available to them?

 

The deputy police chief in Dallas told Fox News over the weekend that Americans had the misperception that police forces were over-militarized because departments had not painted armored vehicles blue.

During an interview about the unrest after Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro pointed out to Dallas Deputy Police Chief Malik Aziz that “the perceived militarization is a problem.”

Aziz argued, however, that police departments were not over-militarized, and that people were more concerned about the misapplication of military equipment that was procured through Department of Defense programs.

“There are a lot of applications for it,” he insisted. “What is catching so much attention is the misapplication or the misuse or the deployment of it. And I’ve heard that from around the United States.”

 

The equipment used in policing is an issue; the way it is used is an even greater problem. Deputy Police Chief Aziz is correct in that aspect. So what does he offer as a solution?

But Aziz said that local police department still needed to solve the problem of “misuse or misapplication.”

“And that comes with training,” he continued. “We’re going to have to train police departments to respond. We’re going to have to train leaders, chiefs of police to respond better for leadership and command decisions. And that way, people won’t feel like they don’t have any value or equity in the system when it looks like a war zone.”

Training — professionals involved with resolving problems well recognize how vacant and nearly worthless that answer truly is. We need to train officers in ethics, morality, not breaking the procedures and policies??

That is the solution???

So Deputy Police Chief Aziz just what is the correct training needed to deploy sniper rifles to cover a peaceful protest? What is the correct training need to roll out Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles during riots — making sure the paint scheme is correct?

There has to be a better answer.

 

 

 

 

Limits of Cameras

Great story on WFAA today about a homeowner using a camera to protect his property.

.

.

 

But note some of the issues –

First -

The alarm stopped the burglary but not the break in ! The homeowner still had an expensive repair bill.

Second -

It’s an upscale North Dallas neighborhood.  And apparently it’s good prey for thieves.

Yeah, so much for ‘you only need self defense if you live in a bad area.  And make no mistake, the camera (to some extent) and the alarm are self defense measures. They are just passive measures that a person living in a good neighborhood can afford. The technology is not cheap — the camera is $199 for the top model and cloud storage is $99 (for 7 days) or $299 (for 30 days) a year.

Third -

Even with the notification, even with the alarm company — the police did not arrive in time to catch the criminal !! He and his possible partner are still out there. And now, thanks to the photos, probably moving to other areas to avoid being recognized.

Fourth -

Even with all the mug shots, the facial recognition software, the databases, etc –

As of Wednesday night, Dallas police had not identified the suspect, but investigators said they are working good leads.

That’s right. With great images available, with clear evidence that this person committed a crime; police still don’t know who he is.

This type of technology is great and will probably, eventually, lead to his arrest and definitely will help his conviction. Unless he plea bargains out but that is another post.

I support and encourage folks to use surveillance cameras and alarms if they can afford them. Proper lighting and securing fences are also great ideas. Just recognize they will not stop everyone.

 

 

Please join the discussion.

Seems About Right….

….but fails to mentions it has be changed every 8.1 days and you can’t use any of your last 187 passwords.

 

 

Government Getting It Wrong – Again

One of the thing that perplexes me about the anti-rights cultists proposals is how often they call for the government to step up and take charge of everything.

President Obama’s call for the government to share more information regarding background checks really has me worried in light of this news report.

A digital chart used by the minesweeper Guardian to navigate Philippine waters misplaced the location of a reef by about eight nautical miles, and may have been a significant factor when the ship drove hard aground on the reef on Jan. 17.

The Guardian drove onto Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea around 2:25 a.m. on Jan. 17 (some sources cite a date of Jan. 16, since that was the date in Washington, D.C. when the incident occurred). The reef is about 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island.

Now, I know you may be wondering why a ship running aground is cause for concern; after all ships have been doing that for centuries, right?
Let’s look at a possible (highly probable) root cause of the incident.

The Digital Nautical Charts (DNC) used by the Guardian and most Navy ships are produced by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), a largely secret organization headquartered in Springfield,Va.

The DNC charts come in several versions. “General” and “coastal” versions are used in open areas such as the Sulu Sea, and “approach” and “harbor” versions are used for operating in and around harbors. According to an NGA memo sent to the Navy on Jan. 18, the error was in the coastal DNC, apparently in use on board the Guardian at the time of the grounding.

The general DNC and hardcopy charts show the reef’s location correctly, NGA said. (Emphasis mine – Bob)

This isn’t a case of communication being garbled between two different agencies. This is a government agency making a profound mistake — and it going undetected until now — on what should be a fundamental and routine element of their job !
It isn’t like the reef was wrong on every map in the world – they knew exactly were it was and still produced digital maps that got it wrong.

Does this give you confidence they will do any better if they are further involved with our 2nd Amendment rights?

Effectiveness of Less Lethal Options

Many people recommend carrying/using “Less Lethal” means of protection instead of a firearm.

I’ve talked about the effectiveness of TASERs before but Barron at The Minuteman had a video that brought it to mind again.

.

.
Here is a recap of how they are supposed to work.

Many might think the answer is simple: The prongs of a taser send electricity directly into muscle fibers and cause them to contract uncontrollably. But that’s not the whole story. According to the website of TASER International, an Arizona company that provides electronic devices for use in law enforcement, a taser incapacitates a person by highjacking the reins of the central nervous system—the ultimate controller of our muscles.

The electrical weapon, according to TASER International, overrides the brain’s control of the body by speaking the same ‘language’ as nerves. It achieves this by emitting electric pulses that match those used by neurons, which transfer information between the brain and muscles. When these nerves are flooded with pulses that are similar to their natural frequency and strength, normal signals get drowned out and muscles contract uncontrollably.

Now check out the actions of the lady in the video; does it look like her muscles ‘contract uncontrollably”? Or does it appear the reins of her central nervous system where highjacked?

Not so much to me. The TASER was likely ineffective because the barbs were too close. The officer fired from near contact distance. And no, he didn’t use the ‘drive stun’ mode; the wires are clearly visible as he walks off screen.

Shot placement apparently isn’t just appropriate for firearms.

Some people may advocate less lethal means but given the problems with them (hey, I’m an Asthmatic & can you say “winter coats” ?) I think I’ll stick with something that I can practice with over and over again.

Please join the discussion.

 

 

 

 

 

Text Messages and Law Enforcement

Not surprisingly,  those in charge of catching criminals want it to be easy to snoop through your private communications.

AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and other wireless providers would be required to record and store information about Americans’ private text messages for at least two years, according to a proposal that police have submitted to the U.S. Congress.

CNET has learned a constellation of law enforcement groups has asked the U.S. Senate to require that wireless companies retain that information, warning that the lack of a current federal requirement “can hinder law enforcement investigations.”

They want an SMS retention requirement to be “considered” during congressional discussions over updating a 1986 privacy law for the cloud computing era — a move that could complicate debate over the measure and erode support for it among civil libertarians.

2 years worth of text messages for each and every cell phone user would be a considerable burden on companies. And that is just if they record the meta data (to/from, date/time); recording the actual text messages would be a staggering issue. Just check out what companies have to do for email archiving to comply with federal laws for an example of how bad it can be.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the law enforcement proposal is to store the contents of SMS messages, or only the metadata such as the sender and receiver phone numbers associated with the messages. Either way, it’s a heap of data: Forrester Research reports that more than 2 trillion SMS messages were sent in the U.S. last year, over 6 billion SMS messages a day.

I know what I plan on doing if this becomes law; passive resistance.
I will send a message to all my contacts explaining that at least once per day one or more people will receive a text containing such words as; cocaine, murder, secession, robbery, assault, etc. I plan on making it very difficult for law enforcement to actually use any of my text messages as evidence. Oh, they will be able to I’m sure. But they’ll have to comb through them individual and repeatedly.
I say this because the wireless companies and law enforcement agencies do not seem to think my communications should be secured by the 4th Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If companies and law enforcement agencies respected my rights (e.g. actually obtained a search warrant) instead of writing themselves one through the guises of ‘exigent circumstances’ I would make their job easier.

Here is a simple and easy test;  Would each and every officer and official would agree that any citizen could examine their cell phone logs and text messages simply by signing a paper asking for that information?
I’m guessing they wouldn’t.

Please join the discussion.

Not Quite Endlessly Refreshing

….but very close.

I have found a great App for my Android phone.

For when you are Waiting on the Trucks of Happiness to show up

 

It has a huge list of delivery companies available; simply enter the tracking number and follow the progress of your package across the country.

 

I’m expecting one of these to be on my doorstep when I get home. Going to be the first modification to any of the firearms I own. Should be lots of fun.

Stay tuned for pictures and a range report.