Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nine-parish camera program will take aim at uninsured motorists, Amber & Blue Alerts

Nine-parish camera program will take aim at uninsured motorists |

Law enforcement officials in nine parishes are poised to launch a new technology program aimed at catching uninsured motorists in Louisiana using automated cameras.

Supporters of the pilot program who testified before the House transportation committee Tuesday (May 26) were quick to point out that the cameras won't be used to catch speeders or red light violators, acknowledging those devices have been controversial in years past. But the cameras do have the technology to take photos of license plates, check whether the motorist is insured and use that information to generate citations.

The program is the first of its kind in the state, and is being funded under a fee model that will pay 30 percent of the proceeds from the citations to the company that owns the cameras. That company is known as Louisiana Insurance Consortium and will invest about $5 million up front in the program, said Plaquemines District Attorney Charles J. Ballay, who testified in support of the legislation (SB 250) on Tuesday.

State Sen. Ronnie Johns, who introduced the legislation for the program, said the program is designed to cut down on the huge number of uninsured motorists in Louisiana. Between 25 and 28 percent of motorists are estimated to drive without insurance in the state in violation of state law, Johns said.

"We've done everything in the world -- I've been here since 1996 -- to try and take uninsured motorists off the road," Johns said. "All of us in this room pay our hard-earned for insurance premium and we pay a lot for our insurance. That's one of the reasons that we do -- we have so many uninsured motorists that still refuse no matter what we've done here in the legislature, they continue to violate the law."
The cameras will automatically scan license plates of cars on the road and check them against a statewide database of uninsured drivers. The plates of uninsured drivers will be sent to a center in Iberville Parish staffed by law enforcement officers, who will examine the plates and determine whether they're insured.

Those officers will send the information to a district attorney, and if the car is determined uninsured, a $200 citation will be sent to the vehicle's owner. Drivers would have an opportunity to challenge the citation in court.

Some of the cameras will be mounted on patrol vehicles; others will be mounted on portable trailers designed to be moved to different areas. Fixed locations such as bridges are also possible for cameras. 

Officers in patrol vehicles will be alerted to other problems with vehicles, such as a license plate being flagged as stolen or the subject of an Amber or Blue alertTom Berry, Director of the National Blue Alert System, is excited to see how the New Program will work with Active Blue Alerts. Anything to speed the apprehension of violent criminals who kill or seriously injure local, state, or federal law enforcement officers is a plus, Berry said..

"It will help with all kind of criminal activity, and at the same time ensure more compliance with the motor vehicle laws," John DeRosier, district attorney for Calcasieu Parish, said in testimony.

Ballay said the cameras should also aid law enforcement officials in reducing the number of vehicle roadblocks in the state that are set up to catch uninsured drivers.

"It costs a lot of man hours and there's a lot of liability" Ballay said of the roadblocks. "The other part of it is, at least 80 percent of your drivers stopped are good, law-abiding citizens and you're bothering them and taking time away from them to do it. This is basically allowing us to use technology to work in law enforcement."

The nine parishes that will be part of the pilot program are Allen, Ascension, Avoyelles, Bossier, Calcasieu, Iberville, Plaquemines, Terrebonne and Webster. Other parishes who want to join the program during the two-year contract would be allowed, Ballay said.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Virginia Fraternal Order of Police: 'Blue alert' law will save lives

Virginia Fraternal Order of Police: 'Blue alert' law will save lives

There is a new effort to keep our men and women in uniform safe. You have heard of amber alerts for kids, and now there is a new national blue alert law on the books for police.

"I don't know what I would do without my husband," said Chesterfield resident Kelly Wince. "He's my best friend."

Kelly Wince has watched the local reports in horror…Waynesboro Reserve Police Captain Kevin Quick abducted and murdered…Trooper Junius Walker shot and killed during a traffic stop.

"It makes me sad because that could be my husband," said Wince.

This wife of Officer Richard Wince is happy there is a new blue alert law that will create a national notification system meant to alert the public to assaults on police officers, those who are missing in the line of duty, and threats against officers.

"What people have to understand is if someone will kill a police officer," said Kevin Carroll with the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police. "They'll kill anybody."

Carroll is convinced this blue alert will save lives.

"It gives the information the information that we need to get out to the community," said Carroll. "So the community can give feedback to us and perhaps get a dangerous criminal off the street."

22 states, including Virginia, already their own forms of blue alerts. This national system is meant to help spread those alerts faster across the country.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Obama signs 'Blue Alert' law to protect police

Obama signs 'Blue Alert' law to protect police

WASHINGTON — President Obama has signed into law a measure that will require instant nationwide "Blue Alerts" to warn about threats to police officers and help track down the suspects who carry them out.
The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 is named for the two New York Police Department officers killed in an ambush attack last December.
The assailant, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had killed his girlfriend earlier in the day, and then threatened on his Instagram account to kill police officers in retaliation for the recent police killings in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City. But that information never made it to New York.
"They were serving their community with great honor and dedication and courage, and all of New York grieved and all of the nation grieved," Obama said in an Oval Office signing ceremony with the families of the slain officers. "It's important for us not only to honor their memory, it's also important for us to make sure that we do everything we can to help ensure the safety of our police officers when they're in the line of duty."

The law requires the Justice Department to create a notification system relating to assaults on police officers, officers who are missing in the line of duty, and credible treats against law enforcement. The system is modeled after Amber Alerts for abducted children and Silver Alerts for missing seniors.
It's the 12th bill Obama has signed into law so far this year.
Obama called the bill "the best of a bipartisan support for law enforcement." It was so uncontroversial that it passed both the House and the Senate by voice vote.

Blue Alert Web SIte
Follow Gregory Korte on Twitter @gregorykorte.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

$10 Donation to Help Supply Protective Vests for Police Dogs

$10 Donation to Help Supply Protective Vests for Police Dogs 

The Issue: Fatal Injuries to Police Dogs in the Line of Duty

Dogs employed in law-enforcement K9 units risk their lives on a daily basis, often without the proper protective equipment. While on call, they are deployed ahead of their human counterparts, often confronting serious and possibly fatal danger to protect local communities. In 2014 alone, 20 American police dogs were killed in the line of duty.

The Campaign: Supplying Dogs with Bullet- and Stab-Protective Vests

All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. to supply bullet- and stab-protective vests for police dogs. For every $1050 raised, Vested Interest can purchase one vest. The organization aims to provide at least 200 vests to active-duty dogs across the country, presenting the vests at ceremonies to demonstrate their valor and service.
During the month of May, all K9 vests supplied by this Grassroots campaign will be embroidered, “In Memory of K9 Kye, Oklahoma City Police Department.” Kye—the black dog featured in the second image—was a three-year-old Belgian German Shepherd that was fatally injured in a stabbing on August 24, 2014, and Vested Interest wishes to honor his sacrifice.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

Lifelong animal lover Sandy Marcal created Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. to raise awareness and funds for bullet-protective vests for K9 police-unit dogs. She has more than a decade of experience working with K9 teams and has raised funds to purchase more than 1350 protective vests for K9 dogs in 49 states. Vested Interest’s team of volunteers also spreads the word of its mission through networking, donation collections, and fundraising events. Each time a new vest is procured, Marcal organizes and presides over a vesting ceremony for the chosen K9 unit.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

National Blue Alert System - Police Week 2014 Fallen Heroes T-Shirt

The Blue Alert Foundation is pleased to offer this 'Limited Edition' National Police Week 2015 Honor Roll shirt to serve as a 'walking memorial' to the men and woman who gave their lives in the line of duty during 2014. 

To Order: Click Here 

Blue Alert Web Site: Click Here

Monday, May 11, 2015

This Week In Congress: Blue Alert, Freedom Act.

This Week In Congress: Blue Alert, Freedom Act.

The House returns this week from a district work period, set to focus on legislation related to law enforcement, defense and national security matters, while the Senate will begin debate on trade promotion authority.

The House will begin the week on Tuesday by completing consideration of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, a bill to prevent implementation of the so-called “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) regulation that would bring within the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers a much wider array of property deemed to be wetlands under federal authority than under current regulation. The bill will be sent to the president for signature after House passage.

Members are then scheduled to consider several suspensions related to fallen law enforcement and public safety officials. S. 665, the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015, will assist with the establishment of a nationwide Blue Alert system to apprehend violent criminals who have injured or killed police officers. This bill is named in honor of two New York City police detectives who were assassinated while sitting in their police patrol car in December 2014. H.R. 606, Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act, would amend the IRS Code to exempt death benefits paid to surviving dependents of public servants who died in the line of duty from being considered taxable gross income. H.R. 723, the Fallen Heroes Flag Act of 2015, would provide Capitol-flown flags to the immediate family of fire fighters, law enforcement officers, and other public safety officers who are killed in the line of duty. Also related to law enforcement and public safety officials is H.R. 2146, which would allow federal law enforcement officers and firefighters to access money in their Thrift Savings Plan accounts without the 10 percent tax penalty when they are eligible to retire.

Monday, May 4, 2015

We are mourning with the NYPD after the loss of a young Brother. Patrol Officer Brian Moore

                                                                        From: Blue Line Across America

We are mourning with the NYPD after the loss of a young Brother. Patrol Officer Brian Moore, 25, succumbed to injuries after being shot in the face by a suspect on May 2. PO Moore and a partner working with the anti-crime unit pulled up to a subject who appeared to be adjusting something in his waistband. During the brief encounter the suspect drew a handgun and opened fire on the Officers striking Officer Moore. Surrounded by family, Officer Moore was removed from life-support and regretfully passed.

Officer Moore served with the NYPD for 5 years. He is survived by his parents. His father, Raymond, is a retired Officer.

We create these humble memorials as a small token of our appreciation for the dedication to service our Brothers and Sisters have while protecting the citizens of the communities they serve. We also light blue lights to honor the memory of these fallen Officers as a symbol of hope and gratitude. We will shine our blue lights across America tonight for Officer Moore. May he follow the blue glow home. Rest easy Sir.

Officer Moore is the 31st Officer honored by Blue Line Across America to fall in the line of duty during 2015. He is the 3rd Officer lost this year from the State of New York.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Senate Passes Bill to Create “Blue Alert” to Help Catch Suspects Who Attack Law Enforcement Officers

Senate Passes Bill to Create “Blue Alert” to Help Catch Suspects Who Attack Law Enforcement Officers

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today the Senate passed a bill he co-sponsored to establish a national “Blue Alert” system within the U.S. Department of Justice to help catch those who kill, harm, or threaten law enforcement officers.

“Should law enforcement officers be killed, seriously injured, threatened, or go missing while in the line of duty, this system would be utilized to widely disseminate information to help identify and apprehend potential suspects,” Senator McConnell said. “Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect Kentuckians and this legislation will help bring to justice those who would harm our police officers and hopefully help to deter the violence in the first place. I was honored to support it and help push for its passage on behalf of the thousands of brave Kentucky law enforcement officer
The National Blue Alert Act would create a nationwide system similar to what the Amber Alert system does for abducted children.

Web Site:
Alert Sign-up: National Blue Alert