|From left to right, Frank Sweeney Jr, his wife|
Shirley, Sweeney's daughter Pat Huss and her
husband John, Mike Carroll, and Philomena Shook
and her son Denny Shook.
Photo courtesy of Chief Stephen J. White
t a July 2009 ceremony, the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association honored the three IACP presidents from Pennsylvania, to date. The following are the presidents so honored:
- Frank Sweeney, Chief of Police, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania and 1961-62 IACP President (deceased 1966)
- Howard Shook, Chief of Police, Middletown, Pennsylvania and 1977-78 IACP President (deceased 1999)
- Mike Carroll, Chief of Police, West Goshen, Pennsylvania and 2009-2010 in-coming IACP President
The plaque presented during the ceremony will hang in the Harrisburg office of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. For more information contact Amy Rosenberry, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, 717-236-1059; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web Site: www.pachiefs.org.
New Anti-Drug Banner Ads Available
The Office of National Drug Control Policy announces the addition of new Web banner ads to its National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign Ad Gallery. These ads are targeted to teenagers and parents and are available as free public service announcements to support anti-drug efforts in local communities.
The United States Congress created the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign in 1998 to prevent and reduce youth drug use. The campaign is the nation’s largest anti-drug media campaign and is generally thought to be the single largest source of drug-prevention messaging directed to teens.
Under the management of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the media campaign is modeled on the advertising industry and market research best practices complemented by public health communications and outreach activities. In 2005, the media campaign shifted its strategy and launched the Above the Influence teen-targeted campaign. The brand and associated messaging remains one of the most widely recognized youth brands in the country and continues to move anti-drug beliefs in a favorable direction.
Results from independent research show promise in the campaign’s ability to lower teen drug use. The media campaign’s approach to creating, testing, and tracking anti-drug advertising messages is modeled on best practices in the advertising and market research industries. These practices are more rigorously applied by the media campaign than by most commercial advertising campaigns of similar budget and size.
Additionally, all scientific and factual claims in ads and on the campaign’s Web sites are reviewed by the National Institute on DrugAbuse (NIDA) to ensure accuracy.
Departments seeking to include anti-drug messages in their community outreach efforts should explore this section for available images. Visit the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign on the Web at www.mediacampaign.org.
Report on Organized Retail Crime
Organized retail crime (ORC) poses a significant threat to the economic welfare of the $4.7 trillion retail industry in the United States. The latest Connecting Research in Security to Practice (CRISP) report, Organized Retail Crime: Assessing the Risk and Developing Effective Strategies, states that U.S. retailers lose billions of dollars to ORC each year. ORC affects all segments of the industry, including drug stores, supermarkets, and mass merchant chain stores.
During the past decade, according to the CRISP report, industry leaders and retail associations have increasingly acknowledged ORC as a growing problem, fueled, at least in part, by the emergence of Internet auction sites, the lack of effective legislation to increase criminal sanctions for ORC, and the ability to reintroduce stolen goods back into legitimate supply chain channels.
Effectively addressing this growing concern requires a comprehensive examination of ORC, its harmful effects, and the industry, legislative, and law enforcement initiatives most likely to curtail it. Currently, the CRISP report authors say no comprehensive source or definitive information to prevent ORC exists.
The report lists some of the “hot” items targeted by organized retail criminals, which are goods that command near-retail resale price. These include designer clothing, teeth whiteners, gift cards, electronics, DVDs, CDs, razor blades, over-the-counter medicines, beauty care items, and infant formula.
The report was commissioned by the ASIS International Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, which provides funding and manages endowments for a wide range of academic, strategic, and professional development activities.
Previous CRISP reports include Preventing Gun Violence in the Workplace, Strategies to Detect and Prevent Workplace Dishonesty, Lost Laptops=Lost Data, and From the Ground Up: Security for Tall Buildings.
To view or download the previous reports and Organized Retail Crime: Assessing the Risk and Developing Effective Strategies and other CRISP reports, go to www.asisfoundation.org.
DHS Announces Sites for Multi-Band Radio Pilot.
The Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the 14 lead organizations for the upcoming pilot phase of testing and evaluation (T&E) for the Multi-Band Radio project. The pilots comprise the final phase of a three-part T&E process that includes laboratory testing, short-term demonstrations, and pilot projects.
In 2008, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate awarded a contract to demonstrate a multiband radio that enables emergency responders—police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and others—to communicate with partner agencies, regardless of the radio band on which they operate. Currently, radios operate only within a specific frequency band; subsequently, responders are often unable to communicate with other agencies and support units that operate in different radio frequencies. Comparable in size and weight to existing portable radios with similar features, multiband radios would provide users with much-improved incident communications capabilities.
The pilot phase provides a unique opportunity for agencies to access the latest technology and implement it in their daily operations. Feedback from local, state, and federal participants during the first two phases was incorporated into a production-ready multiband radio to be used for this pilot.
The 14 lead organizations in the pilot are
- 2010 Olympic Security Committee (Blaine, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
- Amtrak (Northeast Corridor)
- Boise Fire Department (Boise, Idaho)
- Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
- Customs and Border Patrol (Detroit)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (multiple locations)
- Hawaii State Civil Defense (Honolulu)
- Interagency Communication Interoperability System (Los Angeles County, California)
- Michigan Emergency Medical Services (Lower Peninsula Area)
- Murray State University (Southwest Kentucky)
- Phoenix Police Department and Arizona Department of Emergency Management (Greater Phoenix and Yuma County)
- Texas National Guard (Austin, Texas)
- U.S. Marshals Service (Northeast Region)
- Washington Metro Area Transit Authority Transit Police (District of Columbia)
Each agency will conduct a minimum 30-day pilot in the fall of 2009. The pilots are designed to focus on the capabilities and effectiveness of the technology, with users primarily in a command-and-control role or involved in special operations with multiple entities. The agencies and sites were chosen to represent a broad range of communication environments. Factors such as operating bands, partner agencies and disciplines, interoperable conditions, and geographic landscapes were considered when selecting pilot sites.
Results will be documented at the conclusion of the test, and all findings and lessons learned will be published in a comprehensive report that is expected to be posted on the SAFECOM program Web site, www.safecomprogram.gov, in early 2010. The report will provide details to manufacturers about the needs of the response community and assist officials in making informed radio purchasing decisions in the future.
Mortgage fraud has been on the rise and is at an all time high. The news media has focused on it, and Florida is ranked second in the United States in mortgage fraud for 2008. Florida’s Division of Insurance Fraud, within the Department of Financial Services, is headed by a career law enforcement official and the lead agency in Florida’s fraud investigations.
There are many factors to consider about mortgage fraud and how it works. Some of the fraud schemes are simple; some are much more technical. A few years ago, the West Palm Beach Office of the Division of Insurance Fraud began noticing patterns in mortgage fraud cases. As the investigators began delving into the cases, it was clear that groups of individuals were walking away with hundreds of thousands of dollars for houses they never moved in to, and may have never even seen.
Essentially there are two types of mortgage fraud: fraud for property and fraud for profit. Fraud for property occurs when a home buyer lies about income, debt, or other information to buy a home with the intent to live in the house. However, once the house is purchased, the buyer is unwilling or unable to afford the mortgage payments because of upwardly adjusting interest rates, job loss, or other personal and economic factors. The buyer falls behind on the mortgage payments and the foreclosure process begins. This type of fraud accounts for approximately 80 percent of mortgage fraud cases.
Fraud for profit is much more complicated and accounts for 20 percent of the cases. These crimes involve people working in the mortgage and real estate industry (such as accountants, mortgage brokers, title agents, and lenders) and “straw buyers,” people with good credit who are solicited to put their name on a mortgage for a few thousand dollars. The transactions can include multiple loans with several financial institutions. To facilitate the mortgage-for-profit schemes, there are often misrepresentations in the mortgage applications and fraudulent supporting documentation, such as altered pay statements, tax returns, bank account statements, and lease agreements.
Mortgage fraud doesn’t just affect the lenders; it affects everyone that owns property in the neighborhood and throughout the state. Not only do the criminals get their money, but often no one moves into the house. It becomes neglected, blighting the neighborhood and causing neighbors great displeasure because the value of their property dwindles. Sometimes people do move in—drug dealers, squatters, and unauthorized renters—people that don’t care about the house or the neighborhood.
For more information, visit the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud’s Web site at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/fraud/. ■