|Julian Fantino, former chief of the Toronto Police Service|
Fantino Accepts New Position,
Leaves IACP Board of Officers
Julian Fantino, former chief of the Toronto Police Service, has been appointed commissioner of emergency management for the province of Ontario, Canada. The position was created last year to ensure a coordinated response to emergencies. As commissioner, Fantino will work with the various government agencies, including the police and fire departments as well as the transit systems, to ensure the province is prepared to cope with a major emergency.
Unfortunately, the duties and responsibilities of Commissioner Fantino's new position do not fulfill the eligibility requirements for continuing service as IACP vice president at large and, as a result, Fantino has left the IACP Board of Officers.
Fantino served as chief of police for three Ontario jurisdictions: London from 1991 to 1998, the York Region from 1998 to 2000, and Toronto from 2000 to 2005. Fantino directed Toronto's policing response to the 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak and the 2003 blackout. He directed the development of an upgraded emergency response plan for the Toronto Police Service, and he has spoken around the world on preparing for emergencies, fighting terrorism, and providing security for events such as the Olympics and papal visits.
Elected IACP vice president at large during the 2003 annual conference in Philadelphia, Fantino has been an active IACP member, serving on committees and participating in summits. He was the host chief for the 2001 annual IACP conference.
2005 National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 10-16
Twenty-five years ago, President Ronald W. Reagan declared the first National Crime Victims' Right Week in the United States and soon after issued an executive order that established the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime. The 25th anniversary of National Crime Victims' Rights Week will be observed April 10-16, 2005.
The theme of the silver anniversary is "Justice isn't served until crime victims are." This message focuses attention on victims' needs for justice, for comprehensive services to help them cope in the aftermath of crime, and for the right to be treated with dignity and compassion by the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems and society.
A new resource guide is available to help police departments plan for victim and public awareness activities during 2005 National Crime Victims' Rights Week and throughout the year. The comprehensive guide includes sample speeches and many other elements of value to the local police executive. The complete resource guide can be accessed in electronic format from the Office for Victims of Crime in the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs at (www.ovc.gov/ncvrw2005/welcome.html).
NIMS Compliance Assessment
Tool Available for Police Departments
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency and the NIMS Integration Center have released a Web-based self-assessment system that will help federal, state, tribal, and local departments and agencies evaluate their incident preparedness and response capabilities. The voluntary system, known as the National Incident Management Compliance Assessment Support Tool, or NIMCAST, will also help users determine what they need to do to comply with National Incident Management System (NIMS) requirements.
"NIMCAST is a valuable tool that will allow organizations to evaluate and monitor their progress in implementing NIMS," said Michael D. Brown, undersecretary of homeland security for emergency preparedness and response. "But it's more than just a technical assessment system. It also will help the federal government target NIMS improvement strategies in areas where there is the greatest need."
Although the NIMCAST is a permission-based system, anyone may access the site and use the NIMCAST Demo Assessment to work through topics, descriptions, and questions associated with all of the primary NIMS categories. Users may also download the complete assessment tool, chapter by chapter, in PDF read-only format. NIMS points-of-contact for each of the FEMA regional offices were trained on the use of the system in mid-January. They will in turn provide NIMCAST training to state contacts.
NIMCAST may be accessed via the NIMS home page at (www.fema.gov/nims), or directly at (www.fema.gov/nimcast). For more information about NIMS and NIMCAST, send an e-mail message to (NIMS-Integration-Center@dhs.gov), or call 202-646-3850.
Scam Artists Hit U.S. Residents with Counterfeit Postal Money Orders
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service reports that a fraud scheme is making the rounds through Internet chat rooms and auction sites, in e-mail messages, and over the telephone is costing victims in the United States time, money, and a not-so-pleasant chat with bank and other officials about passing counterfeit postal money orders.
According to postal inspectors, the counterfeit money order scam begins when someone contacts a victim through an Internet chat room or online auction site claiming to have financial problems or needing help to cash domestic or international postal money orders. The person in need often claims to be living in a foreign country (usually Nigeria), but the scam artist can cook up the scheme from any location. The scam artist is simply looking to recruit someone in the United States to cash the money orders and return the funds via wire transfer.
U.S. residents are lured into the scam when they are told they can keep some of the money as a gift or payment for their help. Unsuspecting victims provide their home mailing address to the fraudster and are told they will receive a postal money order that they should deposit into their own bank account. After receiving the postal order, the victim is to immediately send the money via Western Union or conventional bank wire transfer to a bank or person located outside the United States.
Victims learn the postal money order is counterfeit only when they attempt to cash it, or when their bank account takes a hit for the full amount when the bank refuses payment on the bogus deposit. For more information about postal money order security features, visit the U.S. Postal Service Web site at (www.usps.com/missingmoneyorders/security.htm).
The COPS office sponsored research resulting in the publication "Call Management and Community Policing: A Guidebook for Law Enforcement." The national call management survey conducted for this guidebook showed 77 percent of the departments assign patrol officers to specific geographic areas, and 55 percent have adopted problem-solving techniques. However, only one-third reported having changed communications procedures for call handling as part of community policing.
Call Management and Community Policing
"Call Management and Community Policing: A Guidebook for Law Enforcement," published by the COPS office, provides specific examples of how current call management practices support community policing, discusses strategies for improving community policing efforts. The full text of this publication is available online at (www.cops.usdoj.gov/mime/open.pdf?Item=913).