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Texas leaders take aim at federal gun control plan
The Associated Press via Amarillo Globe-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A state lawmaker pushing a bill to defy federal gun laws. A governor disgusted by what he calls exploitation of the school mass shooting in Connecticut. An attorney general paying for ads inviting New York gun-lovers appalled by their state's new, toughest-in-America firearms restrictions to move to here. Welcome to Texas, where top leaders declared that federal gun control measures unveiled by President Barack Obama are most unwelcome. Gov. Rick Perry has questioned Obama's authority to limit gun rights under the Second Amendment. More

Johnson County sheriff plays 'hit man' to foil plan
The Joshua Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
He should have known not to trust strangers, even if it was the local sheriff. An inmate at the Johnson County Corrections Center is facing additional charges after soliciting and hiring whom he thought was a hit man to kill two people. Turns out the "hit man" was Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford. Johnson County Jail inmate Tab Johnson, 52, who already was incarcerated on criminal charges stemming from offenses involving his estranged wife, with bond totaling $100,000, faces additional charges for capital solicitation of murder with two additional $500,000 bonds added to his original bond, Johnson County Sheriff's Office Lt. Tim Jones said. More

Police, other first responders rely on training first, deal with emotions later
Abilene Reporter-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The fact that people even consider the effect of catastrophic events on first responders — including police officers and firefighters — is a step in the right direction, according to Abilene family counselor Marc Orner. "Thirty years ago, they would have been told, 'You have a job to do. Just do your job and you'll be all right,'" Orner said. "It isn't true anymore and it wasn't true then." Orner said first responders, such as the ones who arrived on the scene at Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, often exhibit the effects of a profound tragedy later. More

Texas State hosts hostage negotiation school for more than 200 law enforcers
The Hays Free Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 200 law enforcement personnel from around the country recently converged on the Texas State University campus for the three-day Hostage Negotiation Training and Competition. The event, now in its 23rd year, was the brainchild of Wayman Mullins, professor of criminal justice at the university and an expert in hostage and crisis negotiations and terrorism. For the past 16 years, he has been a reserve deputy and member of the regional Hostage Negotiation Team comprised of officers from the Hays County Sheriff's Office, San Marcos Police Department and Kyle Police Department. He provides mental health services as well. More

Dallas Police Department now has 3 women in its uppermost ranks
The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As far as Dallas Police Chief David Brown sees it, the "glass ceiling" has been shattered. Brown promoted Brigitte Gassaway from the rank of deputy chief to assistant chief. She will be Brown's new chief of staff and joins Assistant Chiefs Cindy Villarreal and Patricia Paulhill in the department's uppermost ranks. "It's the first time in our history to have three women at the top ranks of the department," Brown recently said. "It's a big deal for the women on the department." The department currently has six assistant chief slots. More

Big-business lobby enters fray on criminal justice reforms
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a significant shift in lobbying clout, Texas' most powerful business group has decided to make criminal-justice reforms a key focus of its priorities for legislative action, seeking ways to spend taxpayer money more efficiently and to improve the state’s economic future. Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business, said the group plans to push to expand successful rehabilitation and community-based corrections programs; to change Texas' drug-sentencing laws to put more low-level offenders in local treatment programs and reduce penalties for small amounts of drugs; and to modify state licensing laws that keep some ex-convicts from ever becoming certified for various trades. More

FBI starts website to help catch bank robbers
WNEW-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The FBI has launched a website aimed at catching bank robbers. The website features surveillance pictures of bank robbers about whom the authorities are seeking leads and tips. Visitors also can search for bank robbery investigations and see them plotted on a map. Timothy Gallagher of the FBI's Washington field office says the FBI uses electronic media in so many of its cases now and the new website is simply a utilization of that technology. More

Highlands County Sheriff's new forensic technician goes high tech
Highlands Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Jason Dionne analyzes evidence in a Highlands County, Fla., Sheriff's Office case, he doesn't examine fingerprints, hairs, fibers or other such physical evidence. He typically works with cell phones, computers, video cameras and other electronic devices. "In my world, I care about your computer fingerprints," said Dionne, who recently became the office's first forensic technician. His investigative world is a far cry from what existed when his boss, Highlands County Sheriff Susan Benton, began working in law enforcement in the 1970s. More

FBI data: Crime reported by law enforcement rises    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of violent crimes reported by law enforcement for the first six months of 2012 increased 1.9 percent, compared with figures from the same period in 2011, according to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigations' Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report. Property crimes also rose 1.5 percent overall. More


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