Statement 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. # # # # #
Aug 26, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A Listeria outbreak linked to a Maple Leaf Foods meat product plant in Toronto has expanded to 26 cases, and 12 people have died, though it was not yet clear how many of the deaths were directly due to the illness, Canadian officials announced yesterday.In a statement, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said 26 cases involving the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes had been confirmed in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.Of the 26 cases, “there are 12 deaths associated with the outbreak strain (11 in Ontario and one in B.C.),” the agency said. “Six of these deaths, reported from Ontario, have linked listeriosis as the underlying or contributing cause of death. In the remaining deaths, the role that listeriosis may have played remains under investigation.” The deaths occurred over the past several weeks.The agency said another 29 suspected cases were under investigation and predicted that the numbers of both suspected and confirmed cases would increase in the days ahead. All the suspected cases are known to be listeriosis, but test results were awaited to determine how many involve the outbreak strain, officials said. The agency has said the incubation period for listeriosis can be as long as 70 days.The outbreak prompted Maple Leaf Foods on Aug 20 to announce a recall of products made on two production lines at its Bartor Road plant in Toronto. On Aug 23 the company expanded the recall to include all products produced at the plant since January. Products made there carry the establishment number 97B on their labels. It was not immediately clear if any products from the facility are exported to the United States.The PHAC confirmed the connection between the outbreak and Maple Leaf products on Aug 23. Testing of three product samples showed that two were contaminated with the outbreak strain, while the third had contamination that differed slightly from that strain, the agency said, adding that it expected to learn more this week.L monocytogenes can grow on refrigerated meat and cause serious illness in pregnant women, elderly people, and others with weak immune systems. Largely because of the risk of listeriosis, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says these groups should not eat hot dogs or deli meats unless they are reheated, nor should they eat refrigerated meat spreads, refrigerated smoked seafood unless cooked, or products containing unpasteurized milk.Symptoms of the illness include fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea or diarrhea, according to the PHAC.According to a Reuters report published yesterday, a Maple Leaf official said the company was unlikely to be able to determine exactly how its meat was contaminated, because Listeria organisms are common and pervasive.The outbreak apparently is one of the larger ones in North America in recent years. Records indicate that the last high-profile Listeria outbreak in the United States occurred in the Northeast in the fall of 2002 and involved at least 53 cases and 8 deaths in nine states.See also: Maple Leaf statement on the outbreakhttp://www.mapleleaf.ca/Aug 23 Maple Leaf news release about expanded recallhttp://www.mapleleaffoods.com/news/maple-leaf-expands-product-recall-fro…Nov 21, 2002, CIDRAP News story “New Jersey firm expands Listeria-related recall to 4.2 million pounds”
The Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG), has noticed with profound regret the barbaric act of violence perpetrated on one of its members, Daniel Kenu of the Daily Graphic, by Baffour Gyan and a bunch of hooligans.Baffour, elder brother of captain of the Black Stars, Asamoah Gyan and some thugs physically attacked Kenu, at the Kumasi Sports Stadium last Friday, for asking questions relating the disappearance of Theophilus Tagoe, also known as “Castro” a popular musician during a press conference.A statement from the secretariat of the Association, said, SWAG was at a loss that, in this day and age, some people apparently suffering from some kind of delusions of grandeur, will take the law into their own hands and fly in the face of the laws of the land.It said the incident flowing from the press conference earlier in Kumasi, clearly shows how some national stars have assumed they are always a law unto themselves and can get away with irresponsible acts and behaviours. It said the Association will resist any attempt or overtures to settle the issue out of court adding that, it was time characters like Baffour are dealt with according to the laws of the land.It commended the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) Ashanti Region branch and the Regional Police Command for the swift action on the barbaric act of Gyan and his thugs.The statement called on the Ashanti Regional Police Command, to pursue the matter to its logical conclusion as the entire nation observes with keen attention and interest. The statement also expressed shock at comments made by Mr. Farouk Al Wahab, a Sports Consultant and former Management member of Accra Hearts of Oak who publicly rationalised the attack on Mr Kenu. The statement described the conduct of Mr. Al Wahab as a height of ignorance and irresponsibility on his part.