Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WI - 13 Sex Offenders on One Waukesha Block Upsets Neighbors

Original Article (Video, Listen)

06/16/2010

By Heather Shannon & Shelley Walcott

WAUKESHA - Thirteen sex offenders live in two different homes in the 1100 block of East Main Street in Waukesha. Those two homes are across the street from Marcia Gomez's home. She is upset that so many sex offenders are released from prison and placed on her block.

"In other cities they might allow one or two and then there's protests over that. But this is just amazingly way too high," Gomez said.

On Wednesday, Gomez got a notification alerting her that another sex offender, 46 year old [name withheld], is moving in. [name withheld] was convicted of sexually assaulting two children, including his former paperboy, who came inside [name withheld]'s home to pick up a payment. [name withheld] is the second offender released onto her street in less than a month.

"There's just way too many in one block," Gomez said. "Way too many."

Gomez is so scared, she won't let her seven year old grand-daughter play in the front yard.

"Some of the kids might not be watched as well and I just have concerns for them," Gomez said.

Parents who live on Moreland Avenue have the same concern. At least six sex offenders live near Rose Maik's condominium where she lives with her two children. And she recently received notice that another sex offender --- a man convicted of assaulting a 12-year-old child --- was moving in across the street.

"It's scary. We are afraid we can't leave them alone. We can't leave them for even two minutes while I'm in the kitchen," said Maik.

Authorities said that everything is being done legally. The Department of Corrections said offenders are required to be released into the counties where they offended, and since every offender on East Main Street committed his crime in Waukesha County, they all had to be placed in Waukesha County. The city of Waukesha also has a sex offender ordinance which restricts offenders from living 750 feet from any school, day care, park, or nursing home.

"Unfortunately what comes with creating an ordinance is the high density pockets in the city," Alderman Chris Hernandez (Email) said.

Hernandez said the majority of Waukesha's offenders live in three neighborhoods, one of which is Marcia's.

"One or two, even three wouldn't upset me. But when they keep on housing so many and then add a second house right next door to the first, it's just not right," Gomez said.

The Department of Corrections said there are 94 sex offenders under supervision in Waukesha County. The Wisconsin Sex Offender registry websites said 60 offenders live within Marcia's zip code in the city of Waukesha. The DOC said that's partly because there's more affordable housing in Waukesha than in several other cities within Waukesha county, and that there are more landlords who are willing to rent to sex offenders in this neighborhood.


CA - A High-Tech Parable: California Uses GPS to Track Parolees, Then Ignores the Data

Original Article (Listen)
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06/16/2010

By Erik Sherman

Several years ago, California decided to require high-risk parolees, such as gang members and sex offenders, to wear GPS monitoring devices. The idea was to relay location information to law enforcement to ensure that the convicts stay where they’re supposed to. Unfortunately, the state often misses those alerts, making the devices both a lesson in the pitfalls of technology management and a massive exercise in largely useless spending.

In 2004, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger first supported a pilot program to track 500 sex offenders and alert authorities if one of them wandered too far from home. California voters passed a ballot initiative, nicknamed Jessica’s Law, in 2006 that prohibited sex offenders from being within 2,000 feet of a school or park and required all offenders to wear monitoring devices for the rest of their lives. By this year, the state wanted to expand monitoring to a thousand paroled gang members at a cost of $9,500 a year for each one.

The move expands what is already the nation’s biggest Global Positioning System monitoring program of convicts, coming three years after voters required satellite tracking of more than 7,000 paroled sex offenders.

Unfortunately, the technology, as California implemented it, didn’t work. The case of convicted sex offender [name withheld] shows the system’s problem. [name withheld] cut the tracking device off his ankle and allegedly tried to rob or kidnap several women and girls over a two-day period. The device sounded an alarm and parole officers pushed through the paperwork for an arrest warrant, but the process took nearly 24 hours. Even then, police would only learn of the warrant if they picked up [name withheld] for some other reason and then checked the appropriate database.

Computers can automatically route signals to the proper people in law enforcement. Nevertheless, parole officials have left tens of thousands of electronic alerts unresolved:

Officials say the backlog grew because they lacked software to run an ongoing report of all unresolved cases. That is, supervisors in Southern California were working only with reports of new alarms, rather than a report showing previous alarms that had not been cleared.

Officials clearly didn’t have a desktop database or spreadsheet to filter and analyze the alerts, and so they were buried in unexamined data.

According to Petra Fuhriman, owner of GPS Monitoring Solutions, a monitoring consulting and services company never involved in the state’s system, California chose a passive alert system. Notifications from the monitoring devices automatically go to parole officers. However, there is no differentiation among different types of alerts. A device could as easily signal that it had been removed or that the battery was running down. Someone might be on a highway, technically in a restricted area but actually passing by at high speed — or stuck in traffic, where it might look like they were loitering.

Fuhriman says that that parole officers’ phones and email in-boxes “are flooded with these messages, so they become desensitized and stop paying attention.” The state could write software to prioritize the messages, based on the type of alert and the frequency of notification to help the officers choose the most important alerts, but it apparently hasn’t.
- Hmm, why right software?  If they use Microsoft Outlook or just about any other email program, you can create rules to move certain emails to certain folders, you don't have to waste more tax payer money to create another program.

Alerts also do little good when parole personnel are off-duty on a weekend and no one receives a message until the following Monday. Some companies provide real-time monitoring, with outsourced first level screening of alerts and officer notification for serious issues, but that is more expensive.

And so California, like so many institutions and organizations, looked to technology as a silver bullet siren, but failed to undertake the operational changes necessary to make it work. Officials cost-cut the original good idea to the point where it was all but useless.


PA - Ex-Nescopeck official (Buddy Lee Stepanski) pleads guilty to sexual assault

Original Article (Listen)

06/16/2010

By Michael R. Sisak

A former Nescopeck Borough councilman could face more than a decade in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl who was helping fix up his home and babysit his young daughter.

Buddy Lee Stepanski, 35, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Luzerne County Court to charges of statutory sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, both felonies. Prosecutors agreed to drop two lesser charges.

The charges carry a maximum combined sentence of 17 years in prison, but under state sentencing guidelines Stepanski will likely face nine to 26 months. President Judge Thomas F. Burke scheduled sentencing for Sept. 8.

According to prosecutors, Stepanski had sex with the girl in October 2008 after a months of a perverse courtship that included intimate hugs, open-mouth kisses and e-mails in which he referred to her as his girlfriend.

Stepanski was elected to a Nescopeck council seat in the November 2005 general election, according to county records. His term expired at the end of last year and he did not run for re-election.

Stepanski's attorney, Demetrius Fannick, did not return a telephone message.

Under his plea agreement, Stepanski must refrain from contact with his victim and must pay all court costs. He will not be required to pay restitution and under state law is not required to register as a sex offender.


MA - Police use Facial Recognition iPhone App to ID Perps

Original Article (Listen)

06/16/2010

With the snap of an iPhone camera, one police department is identifying suspects on the go.

Using an app called MORIS (Mobile Offender Recognition and Identification System), the police department in Brockton, Massachusetts is matching photos of suspects with a database in development by statewide sheriff’s departments.

Sean Mullin, president and CEO of BI2 Technologies of Plymouth who developed the app, explained that the app allows officers to identify suspects through facial recognition, iris biometrics and fingerprints – all on one device.

MORIS may be a quick, easy way to ID perps, but it isn’t cheap. Each iPhone loaded up with the app costs $3,000. These aren’t regular, off-the-shelf iPhones but augmented devices (considerably bulkier than what you’d find in a store and what could easily fit in a pocket) with super-sized batteries as well as some extra hardware.

During the testing phase, police have access to the facial recognition software but the system will later include both iris and fingerprint recognition. Brockton is using a federal grant to pay for the experimental program.

The first devices will be used by the gang unit until more grant money can be obtained to equip the rest of the force. In total, about $150,000 in grant money will be used in 28 police departments and 14 sheriffs departments across the state.

Police Chief William Conlan explained the advantages in a video interview,”This is something that the officers can actually access when they’re out on the road, so they don’t have to bring somebody back here to figure out who they are.”

Conlan also said that police officers will not be randomly stopping people for ID checks, but will only snap people who have done something, “only when we have probable cause.”

Other police forces are anxious to see how MORIS will fare. Sheriff Greg Solano of the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department in New Mexico told newspapers he “can’t wait” to get the new portable system. His department has been using has been using BI2 Technologies’ Sex Offender Registry and Identification System (SORIS) technology for a year to track sex offenders and more recently to create a database of people who have been booked for any crime.

The system has turbo-charged identification times: what used to take from two to six weeks is now immediate, even if the suspects don’t tell the truth about who they are or were booked under a different name.

We really are very impressed with it,” he said.

This is the latest in a growing number of iPhone apps designed to make the work of police officers easier and faster. Recent examples include an app used by cops in Australia to check car and license registration on the go and one US college where police are monitoring security cam footage from their iPhones.

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CA - Parolees’ GPS alert backlog targeted

Original Article (Listen)
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06/16/2010

By Jeff McDonald

Push is on to track sex offenders’ steps

Tens of thousands of electronic alerts caused by sex offender missteps have gone unresolved, a situation that the state is trying to correct this week with a massive push to get the backlog under control.

Parole supervisors are following up on more than 31,000 alarms in Southern California, caused by low batteries, lost signals, entry into forbidden zones or severed straps on electronic ankle bracelets.

Parole administrators got their orders June 3, the day after a state inspector general’s report found lax GPS supervision of paroled sex offender John Albert Gardner III, who went on to kill two San Diego County teenagers.

The backlog has developed since March 19, when the department committed to resolve “all alerts and violations” by sex offenders, in response to the Gardner case.

Officials say the backlog grew because they lacked software to run an ongoing report of all unresolved cases. That is, supervisors in Southern California were working only with reports of new alarms, rather than a report showing previous alarms that had not been cleared.

The retroactive reports have been available for the past week, revealing the backlog, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Gordon Hinkle said.

We have stated several times that GPS is an evolving science, where technology and best practices continue to be fluid,” Hinkle said by e-mail. “This is a new policy, and as CDCR leads the nation in GPS development, more improvements will be made.”

Agents and union leaders complain that the new emphasis on GPS monitoring by computer keeps them from performing important work in the field, where they can more effectively track dangerous offenders.

This policy has created so much busy work that this work cannot get done,” said Melinda Silva, the Parole Agents Association of California president. “The real work of getting out and supervising these people is not getting done.”

Hinkle said the department is reviewing workloads for agents handling GPS cases. Clearing the backlog will help, he said.

Once this reconciliation process is cleared, case management will become more manageable,” he said.

GPS monitoring can be a powerful tool, judging by the report this month by the state’s independent inspector general, David Shaw. He concluded that Amber Dubois, 14, of Escondido and Chelsea King, 17, of Poway would likely still be alive if agents had done a better job watching Gardner, who served five years in prison and three years on parole for a 2000 molestation conviction.

Among other mistakes, agents failed to check Gardner’s GPS tracks, which showed he broke curfew at least 168 times and visited remote areas near where he later hid Amber’s remains, the report found. GPS data also show he visited a state prison, which could be a felony. GPS data from 2008 show he parked in an area where officials say contraband is smuggled into the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility on Otay Mesa Road.

A spokeswoman for Shaw said Monday she could not address the unresolved alerts without seeing documentation, but noted the review included proposals to improve monitoring of sex offenders.

As we said in our report, the Office of the Inspector General recommended strategies that could allow the (corrections) department to more effectively review and use GPS data,” spokeswoman Laura Hill said.

According to records obtained by The San Diego Union-Tribune, unresolved alerts totaled more than 31,000 in Region III, which is Los Angeles , and Region IV, which includes counties from San Bernardino to the border with Mexico.

The problem grew so severe that administrators and unit supervisors held a special meeting last week at Region IV headquarters in Diamond Bar.

New reports documenting alerts will be developed every week by the company that supplies the GPS anklets, administrators wrote, in part because “the district management report is inaccurate.”

The alerts listed on more than a dozen pages of internal documents range from simple low-battery warnings to so-called strap tampers, when a parolee cuts off the buckle and removes the tracking system.

GPS devices need to be charged every 12 hours, creating a challenge for homeless parolees who lack a steady source of electricity.

Records also show thousands of inclusion- and exclusion-zone alarms, when parolees enter or leave restricted areas, as well as “message gaps” and “no GPS” cases, when signals are lost for some period of time.

Peggy Conway, editor of the Journal of Offender Monitoring, said most alerts are inconsequential, like low-battery signals or exclusion-zone warnings when a parolee drives past a school or park.

What (agents) are going to do is gloss over a lot of them because they know what they are,” she said. “Hopefully there are some that catch their attention and get them to say, ‘Hmmm, we need to take a closer look at this one.’ ”

California spends about $60 million a year tracking 7,000 or so convicted sex offenders with GPS systems.
- And this is $60 million that could be used elsewhere. If someone is so dangerous they need to be monitored 24/7, then they should have been sentenced longer.

Nonetheless, the technology’s effectiveness has been questioned by agents, lawmakers and criminal-justice experts because parole officials place so much emphasis on where parolees go rather than what they do.

Retired parole supervisor Rebecca Hernandez said she relied on lower-paid staff to monitor GPS tracks when she oversaw a sex-offenders unit in Huntington Park.

Interns were awesome in a lot of the stuff they could do, which freed up the agents,” said Hernandez, who retired in January after collecting a $900,000 settlement to a discrimination claim she filed against the department. “As long as you don’t give them personal data, it’s fine.”

Keeping sworn peace officers indoors to read GPS data and constantly respond to GPS alerts is not the best use of the agents’ time, Hernandez said.

You’re putting community safety at risk,” she said. “It means you’re telling agents not to go out in the field and monitor these parolees.”

Silva said the department took the unusual step last week of approving overtime so agents could resolve the alarms quickly. Even so, her members are overwhelmed with the workload, she said.

They’re tired. They’re burned,” Silva said. “Most people aren’t about the overtime. They want to do a good job and go home at the end of the day.”


PA - Play tackles child sexual abuse

Original Article (Listen, Podcast)

06/16/2010

By Maiken Scott

When it comes to sex offenders targeting children, the phrase "lock them up and throw away the key" sums up how many people feel. A play now running in Philadelphia takes a different tack: It delves into the family life and feelings of one pedophile. The play has stirred some controversy, as Maiken Scott reports from WHYY's Behavioral Health desk.

We think of them as the scary man in the park, the stranger offering candy, the terrifying face on a sex offender registry. But who are pedophiles, really?
- Well for one, not all sex offenders are pedophiles.

Chris Kirchner from the Philadelphia Children's Alliance [http://www.philachildrensalliance.org/] says the answer is often much closer to home.

Kirchner: Almost all of the cases, the largest percentage of cases that we see the child knows the alledged offender, and it's often a family member: a parent an uncle and aunt, it could be a sibling, about a quarter of cases that wee see involve a juvenile offenders

A new production called "Love Jerry" by the "Nice People Theater Company" takes audiences inside a family torn apart by child sexual abuse.

When Mike, his wife, Kate, and their 8 year old son Andy move in with Mike's brother Jerry, everybody seems happy.

Jerry: A toast – to my stupid brother, his gorgeous wife, and my beautiful nephew Andy, who looks just like me.

But the good vibe does not last. Jerry, who is shy and isolated, was sexually abused by his uncle as a child, and is sexually attracted to children. He is ultimately caught abusing Andy. His brother Mike must now decide if he will try to help Jerry as he undergoes treatment:

Mike: He is my brother Kate: Andy is your son! Mike: he's got nobody else in his life, Kate: yes, but you do, and if you stand by him, you'll be betraying us

The play takes audiences uncomfortably close to the predator, inviting compassion while making clear that his acts are appalling. After reading the play, co-artistic director of the Nice People Theater Company, Miriam White, had mixed reactions:

White: I think we were 75 percent excited and 25 percent terrified

Excited, says White about the play's depth and humanity, but terrified of touching a taboo. White and other staff say reactions have been mostly positive.

There's been criticism, including in an article in the Inquirer, that the play humanizes pedophiles too much, and asks audiences for sympathy were none is due. Playwright Megan Gogerty says her intention in writing "Love Jerry" was not to make excuses for pedophiles, but rather to open up a conversation, and dispel dangerous myths:

Gogerty: By not being honest and face the facts about this issue and who these people are, by painting them as monsters and boogiemen rather than flesh and blood people, it feeds into this cycle of denial that allows us to close our eyes to something that is uncomfortable, which in my view makes children less safe

Dr. Barry Zakireh of the Joseph J. Peters Institute in Philadelphia treats pedophiles. He says another myth is that these sexual predators inevitably will offend again and again:
- Not all sex offenders are pedophiles, nor predators, and not all pedophiles are predators either.

Zakireh: The rates of recidivism are far lower than commonly believed or stated in the media, so I think there is a huge misconception about how often people with sexual offenses re-offend.

Zakireh says up to 25 percent of child sexual offenders commit abuse again. He also says that treatment, usually a mixture of individual and group therapy, is effective for the majority of offenders – especially in getting them to monitor and control their behaviors.

Family ties and social support are crucial for treatment to succeed, says Zakireh. But that's what many pedophiles lack – even before their offense:

Zakireh: So once they are caught I think you can imagine, they lose friends, they lose family, and in a very rapid way they lose all of the social support that they might have had even in a limited way, and that has a tremendous impact on them, negatively.

The title of the play, "Love Jerry," is meant as a question. Watching the play, you find yourself grappling with the choice faced by Jerry's brother Mike. Could feel compassion for a sex offender, or even provide support.


PA - Former officer (David Makuch) to be sentenced in teen sex case

Original Article (Listen)

06/16/2010

PHILADELPHIA - A former Philadelphia police officer will be sentenced today for trying to solicit sex with teenage boys.

49-year-old David Makuch had plead guilty to approaching a 15-year-old boy last summer and asking him if he could take nude photographs of him.

The 21-year police veteran had spent the last nine years as a decorated member of the crime scene unit.

Makuch could face 7 to 14 years in prison.


FL - Handling of 'abduction' case involving teen has been absurd

Original Article (Listen)

06/15/2010

By Mike Thomas

I know that in this paranoid world, you never approach a small child who is by herself, take her by the hand and walk out of a store with her in search of mommy.

But I am not 14 years old.

I am not Edwin.

Last week, Edwin went to the Burlington Coat Factory store on West Colonial Drive with his mother.

He saw a 3-year-old girl without a parent. If he had it to do all over again, if he could see the cops, the handcuffs, the TV cameras and the jail cell all awaiting him, I imagine the last thing he would have done was try to help her.

But he did.

I pieced together what happened from the investigative report, a 911 call, surveillance video, news reports and interviews with the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Edwin approached the girl and told her he would find her mother. Edwin's mother said she saw the two together, asked Edwin what was going on, and then said she would help.

Then Edwin made his big mistake. He thought the girl's mother might be among a group of women that he saw leaving the store. So off he went.

The video shows him leaving the store, with the girl following behind. Once outside, he took her by the hand.

Edwin's mother then appeared, following after him and the girl.

It turned out the girl's lost mother was in the store. She told investigators that she was returning an item to the shelf when she lost track of her daughter. She naturally became alarmed. Another shopper told her that the girl left the store with a man. Edwin is big enough to pass for a defensive lineman, which probably is part of the problem here.

The video shows the girl's mother rushing out the door.

By that time, Edwin had discovered the girl didn't belong to any of the women he had seen leaving the store. He said he was turning back to return to the store.

There was a convergence of Edwin, his mother, the little girl and her mother. The girl was returned to her mother.

The video then shows mother and daughter going back into the store, followed shortly thereafter by Edwin and his mother.

A store employee then called 911 at the behest of the girl's mother. After the employee tells the dispatcher about the abduction, the dispatcher asks where the perpetrator is.

"He's over in shoes," the employee said.

Edwin is quite the kidnapper. He brings his mom along. He hangs out in front of the store until the victim's mother shows up. And then he returns to the store and starts shopping for shoes.

That's one cool customer.

Detectives arrived and investigated. They then slapped the cuffs on Edwin and paraded him out in front of television cameras by now waiting outside.

"We tried to be sensitive to the fact he was 14," said Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jeff Williamson. "We made an effort to keep direct questions out of his face."

Hardly. Two reporters shoved microphones in Edwin's face without any objection from the detectives escorting him. One of the investigators probably could have bitten one of the reporters on the arm.

"Can you tell us why you're in handcuffs?" a reporter shouted out. "Did you try to kidnap someone?"

Despite his young age, one television station identified Edwin and put the video of his arrest on its website.

Another station reported that deputies were able to arrest him before he was able to get away with the girl.

The Sentinel underplayed the story inside the local section: "A small child is safe and a teenager is in custody after an attempted abduction."

In the public eye, Edwin was busted and convicted. And don't think his friends, neighbors and classmates don't know.

But look at the evidence.

We have the little girl's mother losing track of her daughter.

We have Edwin's mother not taking the girl from Edwin and turning her over to a store employee.

And we have Edwin in handcuffs.

I'm not sure the problem here is with the 14-year-old.

Interestingly enough, the girl's mother never did press charges. But the Sheriff's Office decided it would, ultimately settling on a charge of false imprisonment.

"He was in custody of the child and had no authority to be so," said Capt. Angelo Nieves. "The thing is to make clear we have not charged him with an offense that did not occur."

Congratulations.

 


CA - Panel rejects legislation proposed by Moe Dubois

Original Article (Listen)

06/15/2010

By Michael Gardner

SACRAMENTO — The Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday rejected legislation proposed by the father of murdered Escondido teenager Amber Dubois that would have required a distinct identifier on driver’s licenses for convicted sex offenders.

Senators expressed deep reservations over the bill, noting it would brand even minor offenders and didn’t include penalties for noncompliance.

Further, experts said there is scant evidence that public safety would be greatly improved.

They brought up some points that we have to recognize are valid. We will have to rework it,” Moe Dubois conceded after testifying at the hearing. ”We knew this would be a tough one.”

The bill was rejected on a 5-2 vote split along party lines, with Democrats opposed. State Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, voted against the measure.

Fourteen-year-old daughter Amber was raped and murdered in February 2009 by convicted child molester John Albert Gardner III. In April, he pleaded guilty to the crime along with raping and murdering 17-year-old Chelsea King of Poway this past February. He is serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Dubois, teaming up with a bipartisan pair of lawmakers, has proposed a package of measures that he said would speed police response to abductions and help recover children before they are harmed further.

Assembly Bill 589, driver’s license measure, was the most controversial of the four bills.

My only child was murdered by a sex offender, I have nothing I can protect except the children of this state,” Dubois said, adding he wants to bring the bill back next year.

The legislation also would have required a designation on state-issued identification cards. Registered sex offenders would have had to carry a license of identification card with them at all times outside their homes.

Driver’s licenses with specific characteristics are not unique in California. Drivers under 18 are issued a license with a blue stripe because of certain limitations. Those under 21 are provided a license with a red stripe to make it easier for merchants to spot minors trying to buy liquor. There is also a large “donor” and pink dot on licenses of those enrolled in an organ registry.

Supporters say that will help police quickly identify sex offenders and assess clues as to whether the person poses a danger, such as having a child as a passenger or simply a toy or clothing in the back seat,

A few states have imposed similar requirements. For example, Delaware includes the letter “Y” on sex offender licenses. In Louisiana, it’s “SEX OFFENDER” in capital orange letters.

But the California measure ran into stiff opposition from several opponents noting that it would stigmatize many who pose no risk of attacking again and prevent them from finding jobs or otherwise leading law-abiding lives.

The worst of the worst offenders will simply choose not to (have) a driver’s license,” said Ignacio Hernandez, representing the California Attorneys For Criminal Justice.

Hernandez pointed out that police could quickly identify sex offenders given that law enforcement data bases already link to those on active parole.

The Sex Offender Management Board, an advisory panel to the governor and lawmakers, also refused to endorse the measure, saying there is no evidence that such identification reduces recidivism.

Also, the Department of Motor Vehicles expressed concern over mistakenly issuing a branded license to an innocent driver. DMV officials also said such a significant change could force them to reopen a new contract with a private vendor to produce licenses and identification cards at about 1.4 cents each.

Dubois is also lobbying for three other bills, all of which are before the Senate Public Safety Committee June 22:

  • Assembly Bill 1022 would establish within the Department of Justice the “California Missing Children Rapid Response Team” to help local police when children disappear. The team also would assist local officials in developing abduction-related protocols, programs and technologies.
  • Assembly Bill 34 would require the state to file within two hours information about a reported missing child under the age of 16 to the Violent Crime Information Center and the National Crime Information Center. Four hours is the current maximum wait.
  • Assembly Bill 33 would require the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to establish guidelines for law enforcement related to investigating missing children cases. That would also make it easier for law enforcement to target sex offenders who live within five miles of the scene of a crime.

Meanwhile, “Chelsea’s law ” faces a major test before the Senate Public Safety Committee June 29.

Chelsea’s parents, Kelly and Brent King, have been active in the campaign to pass the law named after their daughter.

Assembly Bill 1844 includes a one-strike penalty that eliminates any chance of parole for those guilty of a forcible sex crime against a minor under the age of 14 if the child is physically injured in other ways.

The legislation also would impose stiffer penalties for other sex crimes against those under 18 and bars predators from parks without prior permission of authorities.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who supports Chelsea’s Law, has not reviewed the measures proposed by Moe Dubois and does not have a position, said a spokeswoman.


GA - Sheriff: Deputy Sent Porn, Had Illicit Chats While On Duty

Original Article (Listen)

06/15/2010

FLOYD COUNTY - A Floyd County sheriff’s deputy was fired Tuesday after an investigation revealed he sent pornographic photographs of himself and engaged in illicit online conversations while on-duty at the county jail, authorities said.

Investigators said Deputy Mike Mitchell, a 15-year veteran who once held the rank of corporal, was assigned to a tower within the jail when the alleged incidents occurred. The Sheriff’s Office received a tip from one of the people with whom Mitchell is accused of having inappropriate conversations, authorities said.

Mitchell met with Chief Deputy Tom Caldwell about the matter. Caldwell said the Sheriff’s Office does not expect to file charges.

Anytime we have employees who don’t meet the standards we set for ourselves or that the public has of us, then we will take action every time,” said Caldwell.

Officials said all recovered evidence will be made available to Floyd County District Attorney Leigh Patterson. Mitchell has 10 days to appeal his firing to the Floyd County Civil Service Board.