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Burlington Police Chief Schirling testifies before Senate panel

first_imgStatement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,Hearing On Encouraging Innovative and Cost-Effective Crime Reduction StrategiesMarch 3, 2010Today, the Committee returns to the critical issue of finding the best strategies for reducing crime.  I chaired a hearing in the last Congress on this issue, and we now consider what the next steps can and should be. We will hear about innovative approaches that are working in police departments and criminal justice systems across the country, and examine what the Federal Government can do to encourage the adoption of approaches that work to keep our communities safe.  I hope we can make bipartisan progress on this issue.  We all want to effectively and efficiently reduce crime and keep our neighborhoods safe.In the 1990s, with the leadership of then-Senator Joe Biden and others, we passed legislation to create and fund the COPS program and other important initiatives, which put thousands of new officers on the street and encouraged innovative policing strategies.  Law enforcement leaders in cities and towns throughout the country, bolstered by this national support, revolutionized the way policing was done throughout the country.  These efforts led to the unprecedented drops in violent crime we saw during the 1990s.That progress stalled in the last decade as Federal funding for state and local law enforcement dried up, and Federal attention to finding the best approaches to reducing crime wavered.  Rates of crime stayed largely stagnant, despite skyrocketing incarceration rates, and some communities saw significant resurgences in violent crime. One of the factors that prevented the crime problem from worsening in the last decade was continuing innovation at the local level.  Enterprising police chiefs, hard working law enforcement officers, judges and community leaders worked together to find new and more effective crime reduction strategies, and many communities saw this work pay good dividends. The economic downturn has put an even greater strain on our communities efforts to keep crime rates down.  In response to this growing crisis, Congress and the President acted decisively, including $4 billion in Federal assistance to state and local law enforcement in last year s stimulus legislation.  I fought hard for that funding, and the results are already being felt.  Crime rates are coming down as police departments are adding or retaining officers and implementing new initiatives.Even with this help, though, police departments and criminal justice systems remain short on resources.  More money alone will not solve the problem.  It is important that cities and towns use their resources in the ways that have been proven to work best.We will hear today from leaders in the field who have been setting good examples for how our communities can make their law enforcement and crime reduction efforts work well.  Chief Mike Schirling from Burlington, Vermont, has brought significant innovation to a small city police force.  He has implemented comprehensive community policing and partnerships with all levels of law enforcement and with schools and community groups.  He is exploring the use of alternative sanctions to set low-level offenders on the right path before they enter the criminal justice system, targeted programs to address mental health needs, consolidation of resources to help police departments function more efficiently, and the use of new technology to share information more effectively.Chief Rodney Monroe has made great progress in Richmond and now Charlotte with initiatives like using technology to pinpoint law enforcement efforts and integrating law enforcement with economic development and job training.  Colonel Dean Esserman has made Providence into a national leader in community-based policing.  Chief Patrick Berarducci has also brought innovation to a small city police force.There are good examples from across the country.  Cities like Los Angeles and Chicago are seeing results with gang outreach and mediation initiatives.  Thinkers on crime reduction strategy like Jeremy Travis and David Kennedy with the National Network for Safe Communities have helped communities throughout the country effectively tackle intractable crime problems.  The HOPE program in Hawaii has shown that probation supervision with swift and certain consequences can greatly reduce recidivism.  Many jurisdictions have had great success with juvenile prevention and reentry programs.Today s witnesses come from communities that look like much of America and prove that innovative and effective crime reduction approaches are not restricted to the biggest cities with the greatest resources.  I hope that by highlighting these successes, we can encourage other communities to follow their lead.I believe the Federal Government can and must help by spreading the word about strategies that work, and also by targeted funding and support.  We have seen in Burlington and in many other cities that an initial Federal investment can make possible initiatives that would not be possible otherwise.  These programs are inexpensive and cost effective.  Over time, they should more than pay for themselves by reducing the costs of crime, improving local economies and creating jobs, and reducing the need for federal assistance. I know there is disagreement about Federal support for state and local law enforcement.  I hope there can be broad bipartisan agreement on supporting cost effective strategies that work to keep our communities safer.Source: LEahy’s office. 3.2.2010# # # # # Burlington Police Chief Michael E Schirling testified Tuesday afternoon before a congressional panel chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).  Leahy invited Schirling to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Encouraging Innovative and Cost-Effective Crime Reduction Strategies.Leahy has made state and local law enforcement issues a priority for the Judiciary Committee this Congress.  He dedicated the first hearing of the 111th Congress to examining the needs of state and local law enforcement.  Last year, Leahy worked to secure $4 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for state and local law enforcement, including the successful Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.  Twenty-five police departments in Vermont were recipients of COPS funding included in the ARRA.  In 2008, Leahy twice brought the Judiciary Committee to Vermont to hear testimony about community efforts to address crime. We have seen in Burlington and in many other cities that an initial Federal investment can make possible initiatives that would not be possible otherwise, Leahy said at the hearing.  These programs are inexpensive and cost effective.  Over time, they should more than pay for themselves by reducing the costs of crime, improving local economies, creating jobs, and reducing the need for federal assistance.  Schirling testified about the Burlington Police Department s success in developing and enhancing community policing.  Over the last 11 years, our policing paradigm shifted from a response-based model to one embracing the core tenets of community policing partnership and problem solving with an eye toward preventing crime and mitigating disorder on our streets and in our neighborhoods, said Schirling.   We believe that critical law enforcement innovation can occur not just in traditional policing endeavors, but also in other areas. Chief Schirling has brought significant innovation to a small city police force, said Leahy.  He has implemented comprehensive community policing and partnerships with all levels of law enforcement and with schools and community groups.Police departments across the country are facing cutbacks in resources and funding during difficult economic times, and are increasingly looking to local business and community organizations to help identify and implement innovative strategies to address violence and crime.Audio and video footage will be available later this afternoon.An archived webcast will be available online later today. # # # # #last_img read more

The Outdoor Ballot: Which midterm elections matter most?

first_imgMost people don’t associate the outdoors with politics and government policy. Around Washington, D.C., and state capitals, many take to the woods with the explicit goal of forgetting about politics for a while.Yet the outdoor environment and recreation there is inextricably linked to what happens in the halls of Congress and other political arenas. Whether it’s ownership of public lands or the quality of our environment, funding for land management agencies or the trade and tax policies affecting gear manufacturers, what happens in the outdoors is dramatically affected by elected lawmakers.With America more politically polarized than any time in the last 50 years, November’s congressional midterm elections carry higher-than-usual stakes. Beyond the issues that vary by district and state, voters will decide who controls both the Senate and House of Representatives. That will, in turn, determine the broader shape of politics in the country, including its wildlands.Although outdoors issues aren’t considered as divisive as cultural wedges such as guns and abortion, they have their constituencies. The League of Conservation Voters and the Outdoor Industry Association both issue lawmaker scorecards rating representatives on their votes on legislation affecting the environment and outdoors.Advocacy groups don’t limit their involvement to scoring lawmakers. The Sierra Club, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, has contributed $60,516 in the 2018 cycle so far. The Outdoor Industry has contributed $28,296. And the League of Conservation Voters already has spent $2.4 million, mostly on candidates.Some of this activity is a matter of course for Washington politics. Yet there’s also no doubt that Donald Trump’s 2016 election, Republicans winning majorities in both congressional chambers, and the decisive shift in policy and lawmaking since then has energized conservation and public lands advocates.In April 2017, Trump ordered a review of all 27 national monuments created since 1996. In December, he signed an executive order to shrink Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent. Political maneuvering in Utah around public lands, including calls to sell federal lands to the state, led the Outdoor Industry Association to move its Outdoor Retailer show from Salt Lake City, where it had run for two decades, to Denver, Colorado.The same dynamic played into the OIA’s decision to release and publicize its congressional scorecard.“The monuments review galvanized this industry and made it operate in an entirely different way,” said Alex Boian, the OIA’s political director. “Some of the brands got more vocal about the policies and their disappointment with what was happening. During the comment period on the monument review, more than 3 million Americans registered comments, and the majority said to leave the monuments intact. We really saw the American people stand up for public lands.”The OIA started planning its 2018 theme #VoteTheOutdoors last fall. The organization’s goals are different than some other groups in that it prioritizes not just conservation and public lands measures but also tax and trade policy, which matter to its members who manufacture outdoor gear. Boian said the organization is endorsing roughly 20 candidates and ballot measures, mostly in western states, but it is publicizing its congressional scorecard for a national audience to build momentum for the 2020 elections.“We really think the outdoor industry, the outdoor recreation economy, and protection of public land will be voting issues in the election this fall,” Boian said. “If we can prove that and help foster that in these races, then going into 2020 it’s going to be even stronger.”Most observers see an easier path for Democrats to win a majority in the House than in the Senate this fall. To win a House majority, Democrats need to net 23 seats—the same number of Republicans that hold seats representing districts won in 2016 by Hillary Clinton. Instead of focusing just on those districts, however, Democrats have broadened the field to target other congressional seats, even in areas where Trump won decisively.In the Senate, Republicans hold 51 seats to the Democrats’ 47, with two independents caucusing with Democrats. The path to a Senate majority is narrower but demographically harder, with fewer paths to victory.With both chambers potentially up for grabs, here are six key races to watch in Blue Ridge Outdoors country this fall.U.S. Senate:West VirginiaThe Mountain State has tilted increasingly Republican since 2000, when four of five of its seats on Capitol Hill were held by Democrats. That may have culminated last year, when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 42 points, the most in state history and second only in the country to Wyoming. That’s put all eyes on Joe Manchin, the only Democrat still standing in West Virginia’s congressional delegation.Attorney General Patrick Morrisey emerged victorious from a tough primary fight in which he defeated 3rd District Congressman Evan Jenkins (more on that district below) and former Massey Energy coal baron Don Blankenship, who somehow won nearly 20 percent of the vote despite decades of environmental atrocities, miners’ deaths, and a criminal conviction for conspiring to skirt mine safety rules.Morrisey is running as a Trump Republican, but he may have trouble painting Manchin as a Clinton Democrat. Manchin has long branded himself as a centrist. His first campaign for the Senate included an ad in which Manchin used a gun to shoot a bill to reduce air pollution by instituting a cap-and-trade system. Since Trump’s election, Manchin has played the role of swing voter, occasionally breaking with Democrats to support the president’s cabinet appointments but sticking with his party on healthcare and other issues.TennesseeIncumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Corker was among those to receive an F on the Outdoor Industry Association’s scorecard, but he is retiring. With his seat open, former governor Phil Bredesen won the Democratic nomination and will face Republican nominee Marsha Blackburn, a 16-year congresswoman.Tennessee leans Republican as a matter of course. The GOP holds seven of the state’s 9 House seats, and Democrats haven’t held either of its U.S. Senate seats since the mid-’90s. Trump won it by 26 points, so Democrats have a difficult slog ahead. However, pre-primary polling showed Bredesen with a lead over Blackburn, which gives Democrats some hope. The winner will represent a state with a thriving tourism industry that includes its share of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which drew 11 million visitors in 2017, making it America’s most popular national park.House of Representatives:Kentucky’s 6th District  KY-6 includes parts of Appalachian Kentucky but also the metro area around Lexington. It’s flipped back and forth between parties since the late ’70s, and since 2013 has been represented by Republican Andy Barr. He blew out his 2016 opponent, but this year faces a very different political atmosphere and opponent. Amy McGrath, a charismatic former fighter pilot, defeated Lexington Mayor Jim Gray in a May primary, largely by building a national fundraising network on the strength of her campaign ads. McGrath functions as the ideal 2018 Democratic candidate, both as a veteran and as one of a record-breaking number of women to run for office.Pennsylvania’s 17th DistrictEarlier this year, federal courts rejected Pennsylvania’s congressional districts and drew their own, with the result that incumbents Keith Rothfus, a Republican, and Conor Lamb, a Democrat, now live in the same western Pennsylvania district. Rothfus won election in 2012, narrowly defeating a Democratic incumbent after narrowly losing in 2010 to a different Democratic incumbent. Now he faces Conor Lamb, a Marine and former federal prosecutor who won a special election to Congress earlier this year. Lamb represents one model for success among several that Democrats are pursuing this fall: a scrappy, pro-labor veteran with enough independence from the national party that voters feel confident he or she will fight for them.Virginia’s 5th DistrictThe 5th once was a rural Southside Virginia seat dominated by tobacco and textile manufacturing, but economic decline and gerrymandering have stretched it north to the point that Charlottesville has become its center. Until this spring, it appeared that it would be defended by freshman Congressman Tom Garrett, a Republican. In May, however, Politico published a story in which former aides alleged he verbally abused them, and later that week, Garrett announced he was an alcoholic and would retire. Republicans subsequently nominated distillery owner Denver Riggleman, who faces journalist and filmmaker Leslie Cockburn. Republicans have accused Cockburn of anti-Semitism in a 1991 book she wrote; Democrats have accused Riggleman of an interest in, um, Bigfoot erotica. Buckle up, this is going to be a weird one.West Virginia’s 3rd DistrictTrump won this southern West Virginia district by 50 points in 2016, but WV-3 was actually held by Democrats up until 2014, when former Democrat Evan Jenkins switched parties to defeat longtime incumbent Nick Rahall. With Jenkins leaving to unsuccessfully run for the Senate, the 2018 campaign for his open seat has become one of the most closely watched House races in America. That’s due almost entirely to Richard Ojeda, a charismatic Democratic state senator who advocates for legalized marijuana, openly supported Trump in 2016, was brutally assaulted days before he defeated an entrenched incumbent in a primary that year, and became a hero of the 2018 teacher’s strike. He’s running against Carol Miller, a state delegate whose father represented an Ohio district in Congress.State governors:Georgia The race for governor in Georgia will be closely watched around the country. After years of mostly centrist white male governors, this year’s candidates, Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp, represent radically different views of America that in many ways echo national political and cultural clashes. Kemp is a populist in the Trump mold, proudly politically incorrect with ads that showed him brandishing a shotgun and offering to use his own truck to take immigrants back. Abrams, who could become the country’s first African American woman governor, built her primary campaign on an unabashedly progressive platform that includes affordable childcare, economic fairness, and clean energy jobs. Demographically, Georgia has been growing more diverse, and in November its voters will choose between two bright-line candidates who represent very different directions.TennesseeThe Volunteer State has seen Democrats and Republicans trade stints as governor in roughly equal measure since 1970. The outgoing governor is Republican Bill Haslam, whose net worth of more than $2 billion makes him the richest governor in America, including West Virginia resort and coal magnate Jim Justice. The state is home to much of the Smokies and Cherokee National Forest, with numerous state parks. Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is running as the Democratic nominee and will face businessman and political newcomer Bill Lee, who won a four-way primary that broke campaign spending records.  Ballot measures:GeorgiaThe “green space” amendment would change the Georgia state constitution to set aside up to 0.75 percent of sales and use taxes on outdoor recreation equipment to maintain, restore, or buy land, waterways, or parks for conservation and outdoor activities. The amendment, paired with action by state lawmakers, could funnel tens of millions of dollars into conservation and outdoor recreation in the state. Although the Outdoor Industry Association is focusing mostly on western races, it heavily supports this ballot measure.last_img read more

Nigeria v Serbia: Battle of Eagles in London’s Hive

first_imgDuro IkhazuagbeAfter the inspiring start of Nigeria in the warm up series to the World Cup 2018 in Russia by claiming a 1-0 victory against Poland in Wroclaw last Friday, the Super Eagles will file out against Serbia this evening at The Hive, Canons Park in London for another trial game. The match is scheduled to begin at 8pm.Although the victory against Poland was heart warming to both the players and Nigerian ball fans, the match threw up some of the grey areas that need to really work on. Team Handler, Gernot Rohr, has said it loud and clear to all who care to listen: This team is still work in progress! The Franco-German gaffer is not deluding himself that with the defeat of the sixth ranked team in the world, his wards have arrived at the global stage. Instead, Rohr has thrown in more hours of work to correct the many flaws noticed in the clash with Poland.“We’ve seen a lot of good things and some things we must work on before the World Cup in Russia,” Rohr observed in his post match review of the game.“Friendly matches provide a great opportunity to see everything about your team.“It is not really the same as a World Cup game. Our preparation is still a work in progress to be ready. We know winning friendly matches could give us false hope but we want to keep working hard,” stressed the Eagles coach ahead of tonight’s clash with Serbia.From the rear, the lad between the sticks for Nigeria at Stadion Miejski, Francis Uzoho, have another chance tonight to prove he’s good enough to pick the Nigerian Number 1 jersey. He was all bundle of fright in his first few minutes on the pitch against Poland. Though he later gained confidence as the game progressed, he has not proved yet he has the capacity to organise his backline in the heat of action.Eagles right and left backs need more attention. Shehu Abdullahi and Bryann Idowu still need to up their games to gain the confidence of Nigerians. The ‘Oyinbo’ wall in the central defence appears impenetrable but in situation where Leon Balogun or Williams Troost Ekong is injured (as we have it today with a likely absence of Balogun due to a knock), Rohr needs to experiment more for a perfect stand in.The problem appears more in the midfield with the absence of skipper John Mikel Obi. Torino player, Joel Obi who is just warming himself back to the team is yet to hit that form that endeared him to ball fans mainly due to his absence from the team due to injuries. There were lapses not common with him against Poland. Mikel Agu, and injured Oghenekaro Etebo are in the wing. One player who stands out of the pack, in that middle, is Wilfred Ndidi. He didn’t disappoint even if he needs to be cautioned on the why ‘too much hardness’ can lead to early exit.Junior Ajayi, Gabriel Okechukwu and a host of some of the players who didn’t get the chance to exhibit their skills against Poland have the Serbian game a clear opportunity to stake for places in the Russia bound final list of 23 Eagles!Up front, Odion Ighalo, Kelechi Iheanacho as well as Alex Iwobi showed good foot-works even though the Leicester City forward appears lost for the greater part of the game.As for Victor Moses, the Serbs are there for his picking! Which rule says Eagles cannot have both Moses and Ahmed Musa on at same time? Moses can effectively operate from the left with Musa doing his thing from the right wing.Serbia on the other hand will be disappointed this evening if they fail to get a result like they did in the tense friendly they lost against Morocco last Friday.The Serbians who had only lost once in their previous ten games before the fall to Morocco, will need to see a vast improvement before June as they have one of the tougher groups, consisting of Costa Rica, Switzerland and most worryingly, Brazil.Serbia Head Coach Mladen Krstajic may look to experiment after his side fell to Morocco last week, with the option to include Cardiff City midfielder Marko Grujic a possibility to add more attacking capabilities into the midfield. Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic and Dusan Tadic, the Southampton forward remain the biggest names for Rohr and his wards to worry about. Adem Ljajic is also to watch out for due to his splitting passes with Luka Milivojević (Crystal Palace), and Aleksandar Mitrović (Fulham) are the other Britain-based stars in the Serbia squad for the match against Nigeria.(Today)Spain vs ArgentinaNigeria vs SerbiaEngland vs ItalyGermany vs BrazilRussia vs FranceDenmark vs ChileEgypt vs GreeceBelgium vs S’ArabiaShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more