A Discussion of Criminal Justice Issues and Other Things

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Taking It Outside

The weather cooperated so we set up a canopy in the back yard to spend some time outside after a bout of hot weather the past couple weeks. Thanks to wireless technology, I can sit outside and finish this posting. One of our "neighbors" came by with a bite to eat.







This is my son Chris, 15, out hitting a few baseballs in the back yard.





I also took this shot to the south of our house. Three years ago there was nothing to see but empty lots. A lot has changed here since then.





Saturday, July 30, 2005

Summer Camp

My daughter Sarah, 13, got home today from a week at camp. Sarah likes horses so this is her chance to get up close and personal with a few of them for a week. She said she had a good time. Here's a picture of one of her new four-legged friends. Sarah is standing by the white horse.


Friday, July 29, 2005

Officer Memorial

Police Officer Scot Andrew Beyerstedt, 21, of the Mattawan, Michigan Police Department was killed Tuesday, July 26, 2005 as a result of a vehicle pursuit crash. Officer Beyerstedt had served as a part-time officer for the agency for only 2 week.

Police Officer Nels (Dan) Niemi
, 42, of the San Leandro, California Police Department died on Monday, July 25, 2005 as the result of gunshot wound when he was shot and killed in an ambush attack while investigating a disturbance call. Officer Niemi served his department for 3 years. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Dishing Out Something Other Than Advice




I'm the one wearing the hat. To my right, is Gerry Franek, Northfield Fire Chief. We were part of a group of locals ask to scoop ice cream for a good cause. The Northfield News has hosted the event for a number of years and I'm sure most who attended will agree it was a good time. It's always fun to get out in a setting like this to talk and meet people.

Here's a few other pictures of activities on Thursday evening courtesy of my wife, Ruth.








E-Democracy Conference Comes to Northfield

The E-Democracy Conference came to Northfield this afternoon for lunch at the Contented Cow and then a panel discussion at the Archer House.



A few of the participants enjoying a meal at the Contented Cow. The weather cooperated and provided a great Minnesota summer day.



The meal provided samples of English and Indian Foods


Fellow bloggers and panelists George Esbensen, Eden Prairie Fire Chief, Dan Carlson, Eden Prairie Police Chief and panel moderator, Griff Wigley.


Griff begins the panel discussion at the Archer House in Downtown Northfield.


Panelists (R to L): Dan Carlson, Eden Prairie Police Chief; George Esbensen, Eden Prairie Fire Chief; Scott Neal, Eden Prairie City Manager/Northfield resident; Ross Currier, NDDC member; Betsey Buckheit, Northfield Planning Commission Chair; and myself.



Panelists represented two groups: bloggers who participate in a city-sponsored weblog project and a more grassroots effort. The discussion centered on how we all got started blogging and the benefits and challenges we faced. The questions were good and the dialogue even better. It was an exhilarating opportunity to share ideas with representatives from around the world.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Welcome To Northfield!


Welcome to Northfield, E-Democracy Symposium Participants:

You will find Northfield a unique place in which to visit. Northfield is a diverse community with many opportunities for visitors to experience. Our history is a combination of pioneer spirit and an early appreciation of culture and education.

Northfield combines the charm of rural Minnesota and the social and cultural experiences of the suburban metro area.

Our police department is comprised of dedicated men and women who are committed to working with the community to proactively preserve our quality of life. Our department is unique with to respect to traditional policing methodologies. We work out of the box. We are one of only two nationally accredited law enforcement agencies in the State of Minnesota and only 1 of about 500 agencies in the US. The award of accreditation is a strong statement of the professionalism and dedication found among the members of the Northfield Police Department. Our contacts extend beyond the United States with my recent visit to Germany to study problem-solving strategies. We also work with state and local law enforcement organizations to provide safety and security in an environment that is daily challenged with new issues in policing.

I'll look forward to meeting many of you during the panel discussion in Northfield!

H.R. 3132 - Children's Safety Act of 2005

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children issued this release about new legislation that would strengthen penalties

Highlights of the bill as outlined by NCMEC is as follows:

- Increases penalties on offenders for failing to comply with the registration law. Makes failure to register, and failure keep one's registration current, both state and federal felonies.

- Requires all offenders to verify their registry information in person every 6 months, as well as enforces monthly verification by mail for certain high-risk offenders.

- Improves information sharing between states when sex offenders move from state to state.

- Increases the time period a child sex offender must register to either 20 years or life, depending on the offense.

- Expands the types of offenders required to register to include juveniles who victimize children.

Please review the information on the link provided above. If you agree this legislation needs to pass, contact your representative and let them know.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Officer Memorial

Trooper Vincent P. Cila of the Massachusetts State Police died on July 22nd as a result of a motorcycle accident. Trooper Cila had served with the Massachusetts State Police for 22 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Officer Carl Todd Helcher of the Braselton, Georgia Police Department died on July 25th as a result of an automobile accident. He had served his department for one year and is survived by a child.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Visitors


We had visitors this weekend. My Aunt Linda and Uncle Chuck Morgan, who live in Hastings, Nebraska came to visit. This was their first trip to Northfield and to Minnesota. Chuck was a long-time police officer in Hastings, Nebraska. He had a lot to do with my decision to get into law enforcement many years ago.

It was good to catch up on what was going on family-wise and to hear about their family. Linda and Chuck have a number of grandkids so they were busy making sure they covered all the bases with respect to taking back a bit of Minnesota to share with their kids and grandkids. Our tour included a trip to the Mall of America on Friday and a trip to Red Wing after a tour of Northfield and a bit of Northfield history on Saturday. We made a quick trip to Wisconsin just to let them say they had been there. They left to return home this morning. By the time of this writing, they should be back at home, enjoying those wonderful Nebraska temps, reported to be in excess of 100 degrees today.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Getting The Message Out

Bruce Morlan posted an entry that included my comment about 99.99% of public safety officials are hard working, dedicated professionals. He went on to discuss the need for the community to be involved...the whole community.

I agree with Bruce that our message needs to reach everyone. In the case of policing, I use a number of venues to make that effort outside even this weblog. It is my hope that by speaking to various groups and organizations throughout the community that the message will get out. Next Wednesday, I'll be participating in a panel to discuss the impact of the weblogs and to coin Griff Wigley's phrase, "e-democracy."

As Bruce noted, it is important that we get the message out. That's my goal.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Councillors Blogging

Griff Wigley has posted a short audio/video clip about how blogging is happing in the U.K. Check it out.

The clip features a 4.5 minute video titled "Councillors Blogging" features ReadMyDay councillor bloggers Louise Alexander, Andrew Brown, and Mary Reid. It was produced by Shane McCracken at Big Vote.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Integrity and Accountability

Tonight I presented to a group of individuals at The Center for Sustainable Living/Cannon Valley Friends meeting room. I discussed an area of study of which I am interested: ethics and accountability in public safety professions.

I appreciated the invitation and it was a good discussion.

The good news that I shared is that 99.99 percent of our public safety officials are dedicated, honest, hard working individuals. It's something that I very much appreciate here in Northfield.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Crime Information Management Systems

On Thursday, I'm attending two meetings that have a big impact on how our police department conducts business.

First, I'll be attending a meeting in Owatonna with a number of the public safety department heads and the director of the Pearl Street Communications Center. The Center is in the process of replacing the computer aided dispatch software (CAD) with a hopefully more powerful and open-ended design. In the afternoon, I'm going to St. Paul to discuss how the newly initiated CriMNet system will impact our local records management systems.

Minnesota is way out in front of any other state in the design of a comprehensive criminal justice information system that will be accessible to all components of the system. I'm fortunate enough to sit on the operations task force for CriMNet the past year or so and it's been a very interesting and informative experience.

The real winners are the residents of our communities who benefit from law enforcement's ability to communicate and share information with prosecutors, judges, probation officers and public defenders.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

New Crimes

I've had several inquires with respect to the new crimes defined by the legislature. I obtained the following information from the Legislature's site.

New crimes - effective July 1, 2005

The law creates several new crimes and establishes their penalties.

For example, a crime of domestic assault by strangulation is added to the list of qualified domestic violence-related offenses. Enhanced penalties will apply to those who commit more than one qualified domestic assault within a certain time frame. (Art. 17, Sec. 8)

It will be a crime to knowingly provide false information to a police officer. The law also establishes a crime for falsely reporting police misconduct when a person knows the allegations are not true. (Art. 17, Sec. 30)

Anyone who interferes with ambulance service personnel providing emergency care will face the same penalties as those who obstruct peace officers and firefighters performing their duties. (Art. 17, Sec. 29)

People convicted of gasoline theft will face a 30-day suspension of their driver's license. (Art. 17, Sec. 3)

It's already a crime to flee from a police officer in a motor vehicle, it will also be a crime to flee in other ways to avoid arrest, detention, investigation, or to conceal or destroy potential evidence. (Art. 17, Sec. 28)

The definition of "public place" is expanded for purposes of the prostitution statutes to include a motor vehicle on a public street, alley, parking lot or driveway that connects a parking lot with a street or highway. (Art. 17, Sec. 23)

Identity theft is a growing concern and one way the Legislature responded was by establishing new crime of "phishing" which is the electronic use of false pretense to obtain identities through e-mail, Web sites or any other Internet communication. The crime carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. (Art. 17, Sec. 35)

The harassment and stalking crime is expanded to include monitoring with the use of technology. (Art. 17, Sec. 46)

Officer Memorial

Police Officer Owen Fisher, 24, of the Flint, Michigan Police Department was killed in an automobile accident on Saturday, June 16th. Officer Fisher had been with the department for 4 months. He is survived by his fiancee, parents, sister and a grandmother.

Special Officer Dwayne Reeves
, 35, of the Newark, New Jersey School District Police Services was shot and killed after breaking up a fight between two female students. Officer Reeves had worked for the District for 3 years and the Newark Housing Authority for 4 years. He is survived by his wife and several children.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Teens No Longer Can Chat & Drive

Right before the legislature concluded their regular session they tacked on a measure that prohibits learners permit holders and provisional drivers from using cell phones while driving. The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2006.

According to Steve Murphy, DFL - Red Wing, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, "It's not a knock against them, it's just that when drivers are first formulating their driving experience, it's best that their attention be focused on learning the rules of the road."

These types of laws are becoming increasingly popular with states like Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Tennessee. AAA of Minnesota pushed for the legislation as well as other legislation that would have placed restrictions on young drivers such as barring them from driving between midnight and 5 a.m., and from having more than one non-family member under 21 as a passenger in the car.

According to Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for the organization, "The two greatest indicators of whether a teenage driver is going to be in an accident is the number of passengers, and if they're driving during those hours."

According to Senator Murphy, "Driving is a privilege. It's not a constitutionally guaranteed right. There's so much carnage on the road these days, we want these younger drivers to live long enough that they become experienced drivers."

I'll be interested in hearing from you as to your reaction to this legislation. I'll post some of the responses if I receive any.

Moving into Audio/Video Web Logs

Well, I'm going to take the next step and start incorporating audio and video (short ones I promise) into this web log on occasion. This one is just a test. Hopefully I have the opportunity to try out the audio/video options soon.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Memorial For A Young Man


Usually, I place the names of officers killed in the line of duty under the title of "Memorial." Today it is appropriate to list the name of Dylan Groene, the 8 year boy who was abducted along with his sister, Shasta, from their home in Idaho some eight weeks ago. Joseph Edward Duncan III is accused of killing Dylan's older brother, mother and his mother's boyfriend at their home.

Saturday was Dylan's birthday...it was also his funeral. It is believed that Duncan killed him and abandoned his body in the wilderness. Today is not about Duncan. It is about those who apparently were sacrificed to satisfy the unthinkable desires of a person with his own demons.

Dylan is in a better place today. My prayers are with his family and his sister, who must learn to deal with the terrible memories of the ordeal she has endured.

There are literally hundreds of other missing children in the United States. Please take the time to go to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to learn what needs to be done to stop the victimization of our children.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Officer Memorial

Sergeant Regelio Gonzales of the Franklin Parish, Louisiana Sheriff's Department was shot and killed on July 15th when he and three other deputies investigated reports of a man shooting at an airplane. One of the other deputies involved in the shooting incident was the son of Assistant Chief Bill Linder, of the Wisner, Louisiana Police Department who was shot and killed in the line of duty 10 months ago. Sergeant Gonzales had been with the sheriff's office for nine years. He is survived by his wife and son.

Sexual Abuse

Take a moment and view this article, written by Ruben Rosario in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The article that appeared July 11th does an excellent job of describing the horrible effects a child suffers when he or she is sexually assaulted. In this particular case, the assault came from a family member.

In light of recent events, a lot of attention is focused on child abductions and assaults by unknown strangers. Please remember that many of the assaults we see as law enforcement officers are the result of a family member. Unfortunately, many of the assaults never are reported because the child is terrified of the consequences or the threats made by the offender.

Kids need to feel safe. They need to know that no one is entitled to assault them in this manner. Advocacy programs work hard to provide instruction and support. It's a daunting job and I appreciate their efforts.

If you are reading this and are a victim of a sexual assault, know that you do not have to put up with it. There are many places you can go for help. You can contact school officials, social workers, ministers, and police officers. No one, especially children should be afraid to ask for help.

Please take the time to read the article.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Officer Memorial

Deputy Sheriff Kevin Blount of the Sacramento County, California Sheriff's Department was killed in a helicopter accident on July 13th. Deputy Blount had served his department for seven years. He is survived by his parents, brother and sister.

Deputy Sheriff Joseph Kievernagel
of the Sacramento County, California Sheriff's Department was killed in a helicopter accident on July 13th. Deputy Kievernagel had served his department for seventeen years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

What Is Meth Doing To Our Kids?

The New York Times posted a very interesting article about Meth and how it impacts kids. Take a minute and click on the link to read it.

Besides the very serious issues of neglect and abuse that is associated with drug-using parents and relatives, now kids thrown in those environments have their health threatened because of the toxic chemicals used in the processing of meth and the breathing of fumes when meth is smoked or scattered around the home to be absorbed, breathed or ingested by children of meth users.

As a person's addiction to meth increases, they become more self-focused and can quickly loose any sense of responsibility to their family and children. In extreme cases, children are offered as a prostitute by a parent or boy/girlfriend to obtain more meth. Oftentimes, the child assumes the role of the parent, isolating themselves from friends and family members to help conceal the growing addiction of the parent. Here's a link to my previous post on recent meth use information.

It's a pathetic life for a child. The article gives a number of examples of the increases of out-of-home placement for children as a result of meth usage. The numbers appear to be significant.

Ironically, at a time when there is a growing demand on foster homes and child care placement, Congress is considering eliminating the federal funding to states to assist them with the operation of foster homes. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and the funding will remain in place.

Kids taken out of a neglect situation or an abusive environment need an immediate place to go that is safe, caring and reassuring. Foster homes meet this need. I know because Ruth and I fostered for a while. We are fortunate in our area to have very caring families who open their homes to children in need to provide them a safe place to be. Kids need to learn that living in filth, being abused, often sexually molested, and eating off the floor is not the norm.

As long as there is a demand for the drug, there are going to be suppliers. The one option we do have right now at least for the safety of our kids is to provide save havens for them to be in time of crisis. I would hope that the ability to maintain quality foster homes won't fall prey other priorities.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Officer Memorial

Senior Investigator Thomas M. O'Neill of the New York State Police died of a heart attack on July 7th, 2005 shortly after a struggle with a suspect. Investigator O'Neill had served with the New York State Police for 33 years.

Trooper Todd M. Larkins
of the Tennessee Highway Patrol was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer while conducting a vehicle stop. The semi veered off the roadway and struck Trooper Larkins, killing him instantly. Trooper Larkins had served the Tennessee Highway Patrol for five years. He is survived by his wife and a daughter.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Saturday Afternoon Baseball

At about 1:30 this afternoon, the fluid in the thermometer was about as high as the sun was in the sky. I ventured out of the cool house into the blast furnace heat to get into an even hotter vehicle. I drove over to the high school to watch my son, Chris, play in a baseball tournament. Shade was at a premium when I met up with my wife and daughter. My 13 year old daughter, Sarah didn't want to sit in the shade. I think it had something to do with the social perception of a 13 year old female surrounded by older male teens in uniforms.

We were in for the duration. This was a double header for Chirs' team, so we eventually did seek the refuge of shade after Sarah decided to go home to enjoy the benefits of central air conditioning. We actually sighed a breath of relief that comfort won out over hormones.

As my wife, Ruth and I sat in the shade, sipping ice tea, we watched the kids out there in the afternoon sun, enjoying the game so much. I think they could have shut off the scoreboard. This group of kids is just intent on playing ball. They have endured a tough season this year. There are more zeros in the win column than there are mosquitoes around my back yard at sundown. It doesn't really seem to matter though. The kids just want to play ball. During the lull in the action, they talk about swings, pitches and stealing bases. If you watch them closely, you can tell they imitate their favorite major league player as they approach the plate to bat, how they lead off the bases and the intense look of longing for making that big play that will generate ooos and ahs from the crowd.

I've been to enough athletic events in my six years in Northfield to have a keen appreciation for Northfield parents and team coaches. They are friendly but more importantly; they come to cheer their kids on no matter what the score is and no matter how many errors show up on the scoreboard. Last Thursday, as we sat and watched Chris play his last regular season home game, for whatever reason, I remembered a TV announcer's call during the innings of televised major league games from the early 1960's "No runs, no hits, and nobody left on base."

Snapped back to reality, as we sat there in the shade, watching those kids on a baseball diamond hot enough to cook a pot roast, I noticed the mist of humidity escaping into the air almost creating a haze in the distance. I thought to myself that we are fortunate to be someplace where something so simple as watching kids play baseball on a Saturday afternoon can still exist. Someplace where kids can be kids and there are adults to encourage their dreams. Not everyone in the world is this fortunate.

The recent terrorist acts in London were a grim reminder of the evil that lurks out there. What the terrorists don't get; however, is the drive to just be a community. Around this country in every community on every field, the ritual of kids being kids was carried on, just as it's been for over 100 years. As long as there are kids with dreams, and adults to cheer them on, I think we are going to make it.

Play Ball!!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Joseph Edward Duncan III

I posted an item on July 3rd that refered to the arrest of Joseph Edward Duncan III, of Fargo, N.D., who has been charged with kidnapping and is being held without bond after being observed with one of the two children taken from the murder scene in Idaho over six weeks ago.

By now I'm sure you know that it has been publicized that Duncan had been posting his "thoughts" on his web log. The site has been removed but because of search engines, the postings are still out there. They are a stark reminder of the evil and illness found in a predator.

I found a few of the postings and they are obscene and very disturbing.

News reports indicate that Duncan had been incarcerated for sexually assaulting young boys and then recently had been arrested in Detroit Lakes, MN for assaulting a young child. In that case, he was allowed to bond out and then just never returned. While out on bond, it is alleged now that he kidnapped Shasta Groene who was found alive in Idaho with Duncan. Officials are afraid her brother Dylan is dead. There is speculation that Duncan may have murdered Shasta and Dylan's older sibling, their mother and her boyfriend.

News reports state that Duncan's neighbors in Fargo said he was a quiet, well-mannered neighbor. His ramblings of hate and violence in his web log entries and his actions in Idaho and Minnesota would indicate otherwise.

There has been and will be a lot of fingerpointing going on regarding the reasons why Duncan was allowed to be free. I would hope that an equal amount of time will be devoted to developing strategies to identify and keep these types of predators out of society. As I stated previously...no child should have to endure what Shasta has endured....ever.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Terrorists Acts in London

Intelligence notifications began to roll in via electronic transmission shortly after London experienced a number of explosions in their subway and transit system. Initial reports indicate that the criminal acts are the results of terrorists activity.

News reports are stating that radical Islamic extremists are responsible for the bombings.

The incidents are a reminder that we need to be vigilant in a post 9/11 world. Locally, we continue to have procedures in place to protect local infrastructure and work collaboratively with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to keep current on any threats and concerns that might impact our communities.

My thoughts and prayers are extended to those in London who were victimized by this event.

Photo Cop in Minneapolis

As I write this posting, cameras are taking pictures of violators' vehicles who run red lights in selected locations in Minneapolis and a ticket may soon be in the mail. The Minneapolis Star Tribune posted an article about "Photocop."

The article details the process used to monitor the new enforcement strategy. As automated systems go, it sounds well planned. It seems like the community ultimately decides the success or failure of Photocop. In some places it is well received and in others, not so well received.

It is an interesting concept of using automation to supplement already stretched police enforcement efforts. A few years ago, when I was in Germany, I learned that cameras are used extensively in that country to slow speeders down as well as control intersections.

We know through studies that speeding and violating traffic signals is a deadly business in our communities. It will be interesting to see how the experiment works in Minneapolis. I suspect its success or failure will determine the future of its use in Minnesota.

I would be interested in hearing from my international readers how the use of cameras for traffic enforcement works in their respective countries. If I get responses, I'll post them here.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Officer Memorial

Sergeant William McEntee of the Kirkwood, Missouri Police Department was shot and killed on Tuesday, July 5th after responding to complaints about fireworks in an apartment complex. Sergeant McEntee served the department for 24 years and is survived by his wife, daughter and two sons.

Reserve Deputy Constable Nehemiah Pickens
of the Harris County, Texas Constable's Office, Precinct 6 was shot and killed by a Harris County Sheriff's Department deputy when he was mistaken for an armed subject during a foot pursuit. Constable Pickens had served the agency for 4 years. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a stepdaughter.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Meth In The News Again

NPR posted a story about the impact of meth use has on jails and law enforcement operations. The survey spotlighted by the article tells the tale of the damage meth leaves in its path of destruction. The survey was conducted by the National Association of Counties (NACO).

Over 100 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have joined the Meth Caucus.

Here is a link to the caucus homepage. The link provides a list of the members of the caucus. Take a moment and check out who has joined this group.

Through the discussion of the problems related with meth, some of the funding initially cut from law enforcement efforts to combat this drug and others has been restored.

This article also links a number of related sites you may want to visit.

ABC News also posted a article about the problems of meth. They also post a number of links that I think you will find interesting.

The gist of the survey is as follows:

Meth is a major cause of child abuse and neglect:

Forty percent of all the child welfare officials in the survey report increased out of home placements because of meth in the last year.

During the past five years, 71% of the responding counties in California reported an increase in out of home placements because of meth and 70% of Colorado counties reported an increase.

More than 69% of counties in Minnesota reported a growth in out of home placements because of meth during the last year, as did 54% of the responding counties in North Dakota.

Meth hurts children and families over the long-term. County officials were asked if the particular nature of the meth user parent has increased the difficulty of family reunification and 59% said yes.

Another source of information is Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
. The organization works with law enforcement officials throughout the United States to help get the message out that investing time and resources to support our kids is the right thing to do.

Members of the Northfield Police Department are available to present information about meth and other drugs to groups so interested. If you would like to learn more about what you can do to help stop drug use or would like to learn more about the types of drugs and the culture in which they exist, please contact Sergeant Roger Schroeder at the Northfield Police Department at 507-663-9322.

Monday, July 04, 2005

July 4th - Celebrate Safely

As you celebrate the July 4th holiday, please do so safely.

1. Do not use alcoholic beverages if you are going to drive, set off fireworks or boat or other water activities.

2. Monitor the weather situation if conditions change or look threatening.

3. Supervise the use of fireworks by kids with adult involvement.

4. If you are traveling, allow plenty of travel time.

5. When using fireworks, keep a fire extinguisher available, put spent fireworks in a bucket filled with water.

6. Make sure kids do not get burned with sparklers or wear clothing that would easily catch fire.

7. Be respectful of your neighbors' privacy and their property. Use common sense when setting off fireworks and be cognizant of the time.

8. Do not set off fireworks in the street

9. Make sure the fireworks you are using are legal.

10. Do not discharge fireworks from a vehicle.

With some basic safety procedures in place, the holiday will remain safe and enjoyable.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Child Found In Idaho Other Feared Dead

The Star Tribune posted this article about the two missing children in Idaho who have been missing after other family members were found murdered in their home.

The little girl was found in a restaurant with a registered sex offender who had been arrested in Minnesota in April for molesting a six year old child but was allowed free on bail and never returned.

It is feared her brother is dead.

According to the article, Joseph Edward Duncan III, of Fargo, N.D., was charged with kidnapping and was being held without bond.


There should be outrage that this individual who had a prior history of violent sexual assaults, according to the article, was still out and about.

One can only imagine the horror this little girl has lived through for the past six weeks.

No child deserves this.

Take a minute and go to the article and read the complete text.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Officer Memorial

Lieutenant James B. (Bo) Weaver, 59, of the Dinwiddle County, Virginia Sheriff's Office was shot and killed with his own service weapon during a struggle with a juvenile prisoner on June 27th. The juvenile is charged as an adult with charges including murder. Lieutenant Weaver had served for 16 years. He is survived by his wife, three children and six grandchildren.

Officer Memorial

Deputy Sheriff Jerry Ortiz, 35, of the Los Angeles, California Sheriff's Department was killed on June 24th by gunfire when a gutless wonder shot and killed Deputy Ortiz while he was investigating a previous shooting. The shooter was captured and is charged with 1st degree murder. It's interesting to note that the person arrested is on parole and had prior arrests or convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, burglary, as well as gun and drug crimes. Somehow he was still on the street able to kill a decent, honorable man who served his community for 15 years and is survived by his wife, two sons and a mother. Deputy Ortiz' brother was killed six months earlier as he was working as a corrections officer for the California Department of Corrections. He was stabbed to death by a gang member inmate at the California Institution for Men in Chino, California.

These two men gave their lives to protect their communities.

Godspeed!