police

New York
9:22 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Drone Use Over George Washington Bridge Leads to Two Arrests

The George Washington Bridge from above.
George Pankewytch Creative Commons

Police in New York City arrested two people for operating a drone over the George Washington Bridge that came within 800 feet of a police helicopter. 

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Policing Youth
9:44 am
Tue June 24, 2014

How Effective Is Bridgeport's Youth Curfew?

A Bridgeport street at night.
826 Paranormal Creative Commons

The trial of the alleged killer of a 14-year old Bridgeport youth began Monday. Justin Thompson was one of three teens killed amid a spate of deadly violence in the city in 2012.

Following calls by residents for better police protection, Bridgeport imposed a youth curfew that year. For the past two years, kids under age 18 have needed permission from a parent or legal guardian to be on the streets after 11:00 pm on weeknights, and after midnight on weekends.

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Transportation
7:36 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Metro-North Service Resumed Through Fairfield After Suspicious Package

Metro-North service is shut down in Fairfield.
Credit WalkingGeek (Flickr Creative Commons)

Metro-North Railroad said train service was temporarily suspended through Fairfield while authorities investigated a suspicious package near the station.

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Connecticut First
5:33 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Task Force Makes Mental Health Recommendations; Governor Signs Pet Shop Legislation

A task force created after the Newtown school shooting is recommending state lawmakers take steps toward improvement of mental health services to children and young adults. The 20-member panel, charged with examining mental health services for people between the ages of 16 and 25 released 47 recommendations on Tuesday for the General Assembly to consider when it reconvenes in January.

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Racial Profiling
8:39 am
Tue June 10, 2014

East Haven Reaches Civil Rights Suit Settlement

Michael Wishnie, at far right, speaks in the basement of St. Rose of Lima Church in Fair Haven. Father James Manship is at far left, and Marcia Chacon near left.
Credit Diane Orson / WNPR

The town of East Haven, Connecticut has agreed to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit involving its police department. The suit alleged police misconduct against Latinos.

For years, Latinos in East Haven complained of systematic abuse and harassment at the hands of the town’s police force.

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Driving Safety
11:37 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Crackdown On Danbury-Area Distracted Drivers

Police want drivers to remember, "Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other."
dolgachov/iStock Thinkstock

The fourth and final crackdown on distracted drivers is being held in the Danbury area. 

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Connecticut First
5:02 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Governor Malloy Signs Budget; Senator Murphy Announces Federal Gas Tax Hike Proposal

Governor Dannel Malloy signed the $18.9 billion state budget plan today, which was approved by lawmakers earlier this month. Malloy also vetoed two bills. The Democratic-controlled legislature approved the bill on the final night of the legislative session in an agreement with Republicans to assure passage of another environmental bill.

Senator Announces Proposed Federal Gas Tax Increase

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Drug Addiction
10:04 am
Fri May 30, 2014

In Connecticut, a Summit to Explore, and Maybe Expand Narcan Use

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder issued a rare memo calling on more first responders to carry Narcan, a drug that reverses the effects of opiate overdoses. Connecticut held its first-ever "overdose prevention summit" on Thursday to explore ways to expand Narcan's reach. 

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Mental Health 101
10:19 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Empathy Lessons: Training Police to Understand People With Mental Illness

Somerville Police Officer Eli Kim, left, tries to book Officer Samir Messaoudi — playing the role of a man with schizophrenia — while Cambridge Police Officer Fred Cabral does the sound effects of voices in Messaoudi’s head.
Cambridge Police Department

Earlier this month, Somerville Police Officers Alan Monaco and Timothy Sullivan responded to a call about a fight between two young men. They found one of them, Mike, in an agitated state.

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Forceful Arrest
1:28 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Bridgeport Police Respond to Arrest Video

A Bridgeport police officer was captured on video striking a teen while on the ground on Stratford Avenue.
Maria Diaz YouTube.com

Bridgeport police are defending the actions of a police officer shown in an Internet video forcefully arresting a teenager. 

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Training Police
12:55 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

More Police Officers to Get Mental Health Training

Michelle Malven/iStock Thinkstock

Edward Yergeau, a patrol sergeant with the Hartford Police Department, has seen how changing attitudes about mental health has actually changed outcomes.

"Ten years ago," Yergeau said, "you either arrested a person, or threw them in the ambulance, and you were done with them. That was it." 

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Freedom of Information
4:24 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Report: Hamden Police Records Still Not Available

Credit DavidsonScott15 / Creative Commons

Seven of eight Connecticut police departments that three newspapers say refused to release documents required by state law have improved their access to arrest information. 

The New Haven Register reported that the Hamden Police Department's arrest log was not available. Police Chief Thomas Wydra said he would look into it.

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Connecticut First
5:28 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Homeland Security Secretary Addresses Coast Guard Academy; Former Gov. Wants Indictment Dismissed

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson delivered the keynote address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's 133rd Commencement Exercises today in New London. The Coast Guard Academy is the smallest of the five federal service academies, and has about 875 cadets in its four-year program.

Former Governor Pushing for Indictment Dismissal

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Tasers
2:29 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Connecticut Could Be First In U.S. to Have a Law Tracking Taser Use

One of the Tasers made by Taser International.
Sarah Caufield Creative Commons

The use of Tasers by police has been controversial in communities nationwide after isolated deaths and reports of misuse. In Connecticut, lawmakers have approved a bill that would make it the first state in the country to require police to report how the weapons are being used.

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Mental Health
8:26 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Mental Health 101: Program Helps Police Intervene In Crises

A police officer stands outside the entrance to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 15, 2012.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 8:24 pm

How do you tell the difference between someone who needs to be taken to jail and someone who needs to be taken to the hospital? It can be a delicate situation to decipher, and it's been a big concern in Connecticut since the Newtown shootings of 2012.

Lance Newkirchen, a regular patrol officer in the town of Fairfield, is also specifically trained to respond to mental health calls. On a recent weekday, he headed out in his patrol car for a follow-up call.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Racial Profiling in Connecticut

Glenn Cassis, Executive Director of the African American Affairs Commission of Connecticut.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Former Major League ballplayer and current ESPN analyst Doug Glanville recently wrote a piece for the Atlantic about an instance of racial profiling in front of his house in Hartford.

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Law
7:35 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Gives Police New Power To Rely On Anonymous Tips

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 7:40 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police can stop and search a driver based solely on an anonymous 911 tip.

The 5-4 decision split the court's two most conservative justices, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing for the majority and Justice Antonin Scalia penning the dissent.

In August 2008, an anonymous 911 caller in California phoned in a report that a pickup truck had run her off the road. The caller gave the location of the incident, plus the make and model of the truck and the license plate number.

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Crisis Intervention Teams
11:45 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Training Connecticut Police in Mental Health 101

Fairfield Officer Lance Newkirchen on his way to visit the family of a man who, two days earlier, considered suicide.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

How do you tell the difference between someone who needs to be taken to jail and someone who needs to be taken to the hospital? That’s a big concern in Connecticut, where the intersection of law enforcement and mental health has been a huge issue since the Newtown shootings of 2012. 

WNPR spent time with police officers to learn about their training in mental health.

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Racial Profiling
7:06 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

NYPD Shuts Down Controversial Unit That Spied On Muslims

Men pray on the street before the start of the American Muslim Day Parade in 2010 in New York.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 7:19 pm

The New York Police Department said Tuesday it would disband a special unit charged with detecting possible terrorist threats by carrying out secret surveillance of Muslim groups.

The squad that conducted the surveillance, known as the Demographics Unit, was formed in 2003. It brought the NYPD under fire from community groups and activists who accused the force of abusing civil rights and profiling.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration has promised "a police force that keeps our city safe, but that is also respectful and fair.

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Law Enforcement
4:24 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Advocacy Groups Want to Know When and How Police Use Tasers

Credit TASER International

The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut is calling for statewide regulations and clear policies on how the police use Tasers.

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Connecticut First
5:38 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Bill Protecting Public's Right to Record Police Officers; Metro North Survey

Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would further protect the public’s right to record police officers. The bill has been pushed through the Judiciary Committee, which approved it two weeks ago. They’re awaiting waiting again for the Senate and House to act. Current law already allows people to record police from a safe distance, but the bill would take it a step further by allowing people to sue officers who interfere with the recording of their actions.

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Racial Profiling
5:26 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Retired MLB Player Racially Profiled in His Hartford Driveway

Doug Glanville played Major League Baseball for 11 seasons, most with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Credit Garrett Craig / Creative Commons

Doug Glanville is a lot more than a former Major League Baseball player. He graduated from an Ivy League school with a degree in engineering. He contributes to the New York Times and is a regular ESPN commentator.

In a recent piece for The Atlantic, Glanville wrote about how none of those accomplishments mattered when he was racially profiled by a West Hartford police officer in his own driveway...in Hartford. 

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Bridgeport
11:26 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Feds Arrest Bridgeport Resident in Alleged Bomb Plot

Credit banarfilardhi/iStock / Thinkstock

Federal officials said they arrested a Moroccan national living in Connecticut in an alleged plot to fly bombs on drone-like devices into a school and a federal building.

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Connecticut First
5:34 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Malloy Will Run for Re-Election; Police Campaign Targets Distracted Drivers

Governor Dannel Malloy is running for a second term as governor. He made the announcement in Hartford today. Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman will also be running for re-election. Malloy said because of the need to begin the process of setting up the infrastructure for fundraising in order to qualify for public financing, he and Wyman couldn't wait until the end of the legislative session in May to get started.

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WAMC News
8:33 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Mayor Sarno Defends Process For Picking New Police Commissioner

Deputy Police Chief John Barbieri was selected by Mayor Domenic Sarno ( at right) to be the next police commissioner.

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 6:17 pm

A 26-year veteran of the police department in Springfield, Massachusetts has been picked to be the next police commissioner.  It is a high-profile post in a city where public safety has consistently ranked as the number one issue.

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FOIA Compliance
4:20 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Connecticut Police Departments Withhold Public Information

Credit DavidsonScott15 / Creative Commons

Five municipal police departments in Connecticut and one state police troop failed to follow Freedom of Information law by refusing to release basic information upon request.

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Overdoses Rising
4:12 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Laced Heroin Seized in Hartford

A bag of heroin seized by Hartford police.
Credit Hartford Police Department

Hartford police said heroin-related overdoses are on the rise in the capital city, and they're trying to disrupt the drug's supply. Earlier this week, police arrested five people, and seized 2,000 bags of heroin. 

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Connecticut First
6:17 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

U.S. Attorney General Suggests Police Carry Narcan; Locked Facility for Girls to Open this Month

U.S Attorney General Eric Holder called an increase in heroin overdoses nationwide an "urgent public health crisis" and suggested law enforcement carry Narcan, a drug that can reverse opiate overdoses.  States like Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, already train first responders on Narcan.  Currently Connecticut police don't carry it - paramedics and hospital staff administer the drug.  A dramatic increase in drug overdose is a growing problem in the region but Hartford Police Department spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley believes Connecticut police officers carrying Narcan is a long way off .  

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