NEWS FROM THE FIELD
366,000+ Targeted by Fake IRS Agents in Tax Scam
In early March, it was reported that more than 366,000 people received aggressive phone calls from fake IRS agents, during which the people were harassed and threatened if they did not comply with the apparent refund.
These scams have been occurring since 2013 and have affected more than 3,000 people. In an attempt to lower these numbers, the IRS has increased efforts to detect large number of tax refunds going to the same address or bank account and has been working closely with U.S. attorney’s offices to combat refund fraud conducted through identity theft. As of October 2014, the IRS caught over 517,000 suspicious returns and blocked $3.1 billion in fraudulent returns. Over 1,400 people have been prosecuted for these crimes.
The fake agents use the phone to contact their targets and often insist on the use of prepaid debit cards, which are more difficult to trace. If you receive a phone call by someone claiming to be an IRS agent, keep in mind that real IRS agents will email first instead of call, and they will never instruct you to make payments by debit card, credit card, or wire transfer.
Life-Saving Officer Shares His Story
The police officer responsible for saving a man’s life last February is now speaking out about the incident for the first time since it occurred.
On the evening of February 7, 2015, shots rang out at the Monroeville Mall in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Three people were gunned down, one of them Thomas Singleton, who had been shopping in Macy’s with his wife and son. Losing massive amounts of blood, Singleton was saved by Officer Pierre Defelice’s use of the tourniquet he was issued just five months prior. Defelice’s quick-thinking and application of his recent training slowed the bleeding long enough to get Singleton to Forbes Regional Hospital, where he recovered and was released nearly two weeks later.
Supreme Court to Examine Qualified Immunity
There is an implied contract between law enforcement and the federal courts that goes like this:
"We, the officers, promise to use constitutional force." And we, the courts, promise to put officers on notice about what is not. Absent a use of force that was clearly established as unconstitutional at the time the officer used it, the court will dismiss the case against the officer.
Whether that contract was broken, and by whom, is one of the issues the U.S. Supreme Court will answer this year in San Francisco v. Sheehan.
Cuba Refuses to Extradite Fugitive Convicted of Killing Officer
A top Cuban official said that his government has no intention of turning over a fugitive wanted by the FBI for killing a New Jersey police officer.
“I can say it is off the table,” said Gustavo Machin, the deputy director for American affairs at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, when asked about calls for Cuba to return Joanne Chesimard.
Chesimard, 67, is on the list of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives, with a $2 million bounty on her head for the 1973 murder of a state trooper during a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike. Convicted in 1977, Chesimard—a onetime member of the radical Black Liberation Army—escaped from a New Jersey state women’s prison two years later and fled to Cuba, where she lives in seclusion under the name of Assata Shakur, officially protected by the Cuban government.
States Seek to Limit Access to Body Camera Recordings
Lawmakers in at least 15 states have introduced bills to exempt video recordings of police encounters with citizens from state public records laws or to limit what can be made public.
Their stated motive: preserving the privacy of people being videotaped and saving considerable time and money that would need to be spent on public information requests as the technology quickly becomes widely used. However, critics point out that body-worn cameras are often touted as tools to increase transparency, a goal that is thwarted by the proposed restrictions.
LEAP: Identity Theft and Tax Refund Fraud
The IRS has developed the Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) as part of its effort to support the prosecutions of tax-related identity theft. LEAP has released a list of signs for law enforcement to look for during investigations, traffic stops, and other procedures that could identify whether a subject has stolen anyone’s identity.
A handout has also been has also been developed to help outline what tax-related identity theft is, the warning signs, what to do if you find yourself as the victim of such a crime, and how you can reduce your risk. Forms have also been produced and made available to help you in the reporting process.
Law Enforcement Bulletin
Identify and Refund Fraud
Information for Taxpayers
Tax Forms for Identity Theft Victims – Affidavit
Tax Forms for Identity Theft Victims – Release of Identity
Justice Policy Institute Report on Cost of Youth Incarceration
The Justice Policy Institute has released “Sticker Shock: Calculating the Full Price Tag for Youth Incarceration.” The authors of this report estimate that the long-term costs to taxpayers for incarcerating juvenile offenders in the United States are $8 to $21 billion annually. Long-term costs include the effects of recidivism, fewer future earnings and tax revenues due to lost educational opportunities, additional public assistance spending, and higher victimization rates. The report’s recommendations to policymakers for reducing incarceration include shifting funding to community-based alternatives and larger investments in diversion and prevention programs.
View and download the full report.
Children of Arrested Parents Webinar Available
On the January 14, 2015, the IACP, in collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, presented the webinar “Collaborating with Community Partners to Safeguard Children of Arrested Parents.” Panelists who led the webinar were representatives of the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children and the Plano, Texas, Police Department. The webinar, now available online for viewing, focused on developing strategies for law enforcement, child welfare services, and other community partners to ensure the best outcomes for children of arrested parents.
Access the webinar.
Safety Information for Grade Level Railroad Crossings
The recent crashes in Valhalla, New York and Oxnard, California, highlight the dangers of grade level railroad crossings—“From 2010 through 2014, there were 10,263 crashes at highway-rail grade crossings nationwide that resulted in 1,211 death and 4,644 injuries.” The Federal Railroad Administration is asking law enforcement to take some simple steps to help reduce these crashes.
1. Take time each day to sit at grade crossings and make your presence known.
2. Write citations. If you notice a vehicle driving around a crossing gate or ignoring a warning system, take the time to write the violation.
3. Review the Federal Railroad Administrations, Guide to Best Practices and Resources for Grade Crossing Safety (see link below) and implement the “best practices” that are appropriate for your local community.
For more information on resources for dealing with grade level crossings, contact Ronald Ries at 202-493-6285 or by email at Ronald.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get more information.
Webinar Available: Forensic Markers of Elder Abuse and Neglect Available
A recent webinar by Laura Mosqueda on elder abuse and neglect is now available online. Those in law enforcement or involved in the care of the elderly can attest that it can often be difficult to judge if an injury an elderly person has sustained is caused by the easy bruising and pressure sores that come with age or by abuse. This webinar hopes to define that difference in order to more effectively protect our elders.
Mosqueda, who is the Professor of Family Medicine and Geriatrics at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, presents research and clinical findings that help distinguish these markers.
View the webinar here.
Nationwide Alert on Fentanyl Issued by the DEA to Law Enforcement Personnel
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued an alert directed at all U.S. law enforcement about fentanyl and its compounds.
Fentanyl, usually used as an analgesic and anesthetic, is often laced in heroin and can be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 30-50 times stronger than heroin. It has the same euphoric effect as heroin and morphine, but as one of the most potent medical opioids available, it can be lethal even at low levels and can triggers seizures.
Fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled as airborne powder, and, therefore, it is a particular concern for law enforcement personnel, who are likely to come in close contact with people under the influence of the drug. This warning is especially serious with the recent increase in use of heroin and the subsequent rise in fentanyl cases across the United States.
IACP Webinar on Task Force on 21st Century Policing Report
On March 20, 2015, the IACP held a members-only webcast to discuss the recently released report of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and how the report could affect law enforcement agencies. An in-depth policy and operational analysis and interpretation of the task force report was discussed by Hassan Aden, IACP Director of Research and Programs; James Baker, IACP Director of Law Enforcement Operations and Support; and John Firman, IACP Director of Development.
Access a recording of the webcast.
Mid-Atlantic INLETS Seminar and Awards Program (6/22–6/22/15)
Mid-Atlantic INLETS is holding its annual training seminar on June 22–26, 2015, in Annapolis, Maryland. The event is targeted at law enforcement officers, investigators, and analysts, as well as campus police and security departments, Department of Defense personnel, and other risk/safety practitioners. The seminar will focus on school shootings, the Paris terrorist attacks, drug cartels, and homeland security, among other topics.
Additionally, the Sponsor a Cop Scholarship Award program is looking for police chiefs and sheriffs to nominate sworn and civilian personnel for valor or distinguished service. The winners will receive a scholarship that will cover registration for the INLETS seminar, as well as the cost of hotel accommodations.
Click here for more information about the seminar and awards program, or contact Bruce Lohr with any questions.
Webinar: Child Trafficking in Tribal Areas (3/26/15)
The MECP and AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program have scheduled a webinar to take place on March 26, 2015, from 2:00–3:30 p.m. The topic will be on child abuse and trafficking in Indian Country.
The webinar will be led by Dianne Barker-Harold, Resource Delivery Coordinator with Unified Solutions Tribal Community Development Group, and Attorney with the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council. In addition to explaining child trafficking in Native regions, she will also address reporting and investigation issues, cultural considerations when aiding victims of abuse and sex-trafficking, and recommendations for community outreach efforts.
Reaching For The Gold Seminar (5/23/14)
Reaching For The Gold Seminars are designed to assist aspiring law enforcement executives, managers and supervisors with the improvement of their performance in selection interviews for chief of department positions.
The next RFTG Seminar takes place on May 23, 2015, at the Culver Hotel, Culver City, California.
ATF National Tracing Center No-Cost Webinar (4/2/2015)
IACP’s Project Safe Neighborhoods and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives will be presenting a webinar on the ATF National Tracing Center (NTC) and the eTrace program. The webinar will go over the mechanics of eTracing, how the NTC works, and how to submit a tracing request.
This event is free and will be held on April 2, 2015, at 11 a.m.
Register here or contact Dominick Liberatore for more information.
Registration Open for the 21st Annual DRE Training Conference
The 21st IACP Training Conference on Drugs, Alcohol and Impaired Driving will be held in Cincinnati, OH, August 10 - 12, 2015. Early bird rates apply until May 20. The deadline for pre-registration is July 24, or earlier if space is completely filled. On-site registrations will be accepted if space is available.
The conference hotel, the Hyatt Regency, is offering a group rate at the prevailing government per diem rate plus taxes, until July 17, 2015, or until the room block is filled.
Learn more or to register.
IACP PIO Section Mid-Year Conference (6/22–6/24/15)
Legal Officer Section Spring Training (5/18–5/22/15
Accepting Applications for the Oregon Leadership Institute
The IACP, in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, will be holding the Oregon Law Enforcement Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women on August 18-21, 2015, in Salem, Oregon. The Leadership Institute provides Oregon law enforcement executives the opportunity to discuss and develop practical methods that will increase the effectiveness of agency responses to and investigations of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking-related crimes.
Learn more or access an application.
Leading by Legacy Training – Hawley, MN (5/5–5/5/15).
Applications Being Accepted for Campus-Supervisor Training
Applications are now being accepted for the IACP’s National Campus Law Enforcement First-Line Supervisor Training on Violence Against Women. The training will be held at the University of Maryland, College Park, and will run June 23–26, 2015.
The event will bring together campus law enforcement with first-line supervisors to address the issues of stalking, domestic/dating violence, sexual assault, and other violence against women that occurs on campuses.
Learn more or access an application.
IACP President Richard Beary Testifies on Hearing on UAS
On March 18, 2015, IACP President Richard Beary testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency regarding the potential threat posed by unmanned aerial systems (UAS), the need for guidance and best practices for law enforcement mitigation UAS, and the need for training on mitigation techniques. President Beary discussed the great benefits UAS can have in aiding in law enforcement operations, but also highlighted the potential danger they have in the wrong hands. President Beary proceeded to offer suggestions on how the U.S. federal government can help provide guidance for law enforcement officers on what they should do when encountering a UAS.
Read President Beary’s testimony or listen to the hearing.
IACP Highway Safety Committee Awards
The IACP Highway Safety Committee has several award opportunities to recognize agencies and individuals for their work in traffic safety. Available award opportunities are:
• The National Law Enforcement Challenge, which focuses on an agencies traffic safety enforcement efforts; applications are due May 1.
• The J. Stannard Baker Award, which focuses on an individual’s lifetime achievement in traffic safety; applications are due May 8.
• The Looking Beyond the License Plate Award, recognizes individuals who demonstrate the most initiative in solving serious crimes by enforcing license plate laws; applications are due May 15.
Visit http://www.iacp.org/Awards and select the Highway Safety Awards tab to learn more.
Vehicle Theft Committee Award
The IACP Vehicle Theft Committee annually recognizes law enforcement agencies, task forces, and individuals that have done outstanding efforts in vehicle theft prevention. Applications are due May 11.
Visit http://www.iacp.org/Awards, and select the Highway Safety Awards tab to learn more.
IACP/LogIn Excellence in Victim Services Award
The Excellence in Victim Services Award strives to recognize law enforcement agencies that have demonstrated excellence and have successfully integrated current best practices of victim response into their organizations in order to provide innovative, top quality service to victims of crime.
A representative from each of the winning agencies will travel to the 122nd Annual IACP Conference in Chicago, Illinois, October 24–27, 2015. Conference registration, transportation costs, three nights of hotel lodging, and meals will be included.
Applications are due May 1, 2015. View the award guidelines , or contact Christina Horst at email@example.com or 1-800-THE-IACP ext. 837.
Apply for the award.
Police Chief, City of Warrensburg, Missouri
Chief of Police, Greenville Police Department, North Carolina
Chief of Police, City of Frederick, Maryland
Police Chief, The City of Ashland, Oregon
Foundation Director, IACP, Alexandria, Virginia
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