Archive for January 31st, 2012

Jail for Man Who Attacked Police with Toy Light Sabers

January 31, 2012

From The Associated Press, January 31, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon judge is using his force to order a 45-day jail sentence and mental health evaluation for a would-be Jedi who attacked toy store customers with light sabers last December.

David Allen Canterbury told Judge Kenneth Walker that he is already seeking mental health treatment. Canterbury also apologized to his victims.

The Oregonian reports that the 33-year-old Canterbury pleaded no contest Monday to assault and resisting arrest.

Portland police say Canterbury had a Star Wars light saber in each hand as he swung at three customers last Dec. 14 at a Toys R Us store. He carried the light sabers outside the store and swung at police.

Officers eventually wrestled him to the ground.

Canterbury has been banned from the toy store.


Why Does a Policeman Touch a Tail Light?

January 31, 2012

By Wes Simons, eHow Contributor, November 11, 2011

Identification of Vehicle

Officers often press their hand against a car, typically the taillight or trunk, in order to leave fingerprints and that indicate the officer came in contact with the vehicle, according to the Santa Monica Police Department’s information office. Officers employ this practice as a safety precaution. Should the officer be attacked or “go missing” the fingerprint will provide evidence that can confirm the perpetrator’s vehicle.

Although video cameras are installed in most police cars, many officers still practice this physical safety precaution.


Older police teaching methods advocated tapping the trunk or taillight in order to surprise the driver in the car. This was thought to prevent those in the car from hiding illegal substances and to help the officer in identifying anything suspicious.

Common Practice

Police officers are no longer advised to tap on the taillights of cars, as this gives the officer’s position away, making them more susceptible to attack.


What Are the Best Places to Live With No Gangs in California?

January 31, 2012

By Daniel Thomas, eHow Contributor,

According to 2008 data, gang membership in the United States hovers at roughly 1 million members. California remains synonymous with gangs, as the groups tend to thrive in urban and suburban areas of Pacific and Southwestern states. As gang membership proliferates criminal activity, violence and drug distribution, looking at a city’s crime rates and safety rankings often provides insight into the its gang population. Fortunately for potential residents, California offers numerous cities that offer safe living.

Mission Viejo

  • Situated in Southern California at the midpoint between Los Angeles and San Diego, Mission Viejo’s rich history spans back to its development by Gaspar de Portola’s expedition in 1769. The city survived wars, and its missions became secularized, but it remains a safe and economically prosperous location. Morgan Quinto Press–a publication that ranks state characteristics such as crime, education and health care–names Mission Viejo the fourth-safest city in the United States. In this aspect, the city outranks all others in California. As of 2009, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department protected Mission Viejo’s 100,242 residents, with crime rates typically two-thirds below state crime rates and about half countrywide crime rates. Mission Viejo’s official website boasts of the town’s cultural interests (such as jazz festivals, a folk music series and an active Cultural Arts Committee) coexisting with its economic strengths, which are bolstered by an ongoing Community Development Program.

Lake Forest

  • Lake Forest lies roughly six miles north of Mission Viejo in Southern California. On the same overall safe ranking list reported by Morgan Quinto Press, Lake Forest falls in the position of sixth-safest city in the United States and second-safest in California. According to the town’s official website, Lake Forest hosts crime prevention programs specific to both neighborhoods and businesses–an anonymous hotline to report gang activity (800-NO-GANGS) serves as part of these programs. Similar hotlines exist for graffiti and drugs. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department answers these calls and serves Lake Forest’s 78,344 residents (as of 2009). The city’s industries include research and development, technology, manufacturing and retail. These businesses add an economic edge to the safety of a small, green community filled with 20 public areas.


  • The 135,721 residents of central California’s Sunnyvale enjoy a low crime rate, 18 parks, cultural attractions, nearby higher education facilities and thriving Silicon Valley industries (according to the city’s 2009 official website data). Sunnyvale rests within an hour of the Pacific Ocean and within a few hours of national forests and Lake Tahoe.
    According to, Sunnyvale’s violent and property crime rates per capita fall between 0.17 and 0.62 times the national average (most rates fall in the 0.20 to 0.30 range). On Morgan Quinto’s list, Sunnyvale ranks as the 18th-safest city in the country. In addition to crime control under the Sunnyvale Police Department, the city of Sunnyvale incorporates an environmental sustainability program and an ongoing anti-crime downtown redevelopment initiative.

Read more: What Are the Best Places to Live With No Gangs in California? |

NYPD, Feds Testing Gun-Scanning Technology, But Civil Liberties Groups Up In Arms

January 31, 2012

Terahertz Imaging Detection Out To Detect Illegal Concealed Weapons

January 17, 2012

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The NYPD is stepping up their war against illegal guns, with a new tool that could detect weapons on someone as they walk down the street.

But is it violating your right to privacy?

Police, along with the U.S. Department of Defense, are researching new technology in a scanner placed on police vehicles that can detect concealed weapons.

“You could use it at a specific event. You could use it at a shooting-prone location,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez on Tuesday.

It’s called Terahertz Imaging Detection. It measures the energy radiating from a body up to 16 feet away, and can detect anything blocking it, like a gun.

And the idea is causing quite the uproar on both sides of the privacy issue.

WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb On The Story

“I think it’s good. People will be safer and it will be a safer environment,” Jessica Ramos said.

“If it’s going to make us safer as citizens I’m okay with that,” said Lori Sampson of Lake Ronkonkoma.

“I think it’s all about invading people’s lives more and more and more,” Antonio Gabriel said.

“It’s definitely a privacy issue, but it’s for our safety. So it’s just one of those things, a double-edged sword,” added Clarence Moore of Union, N.J.

Police Commissioner Kelly said the scanner would only be used in reasonably suspicious circumstances and could cut down on the number of stop-and-frisks on the street.

But the New York Civil Liberties Union is raising a red flag.

“It’s worrisome. It implicates privacy, the right to walk down the street without being subjected to a virtual pat-down by the Police Department when you’re doing nothing wrong,” the NYCLU’s Donna Lieberman said.

“We have involved our attorneys as we go forward with this issue. We think it’s a very positive development,” Kelly said.

People on the street have differing opinions on the price they’d be willing to pay for safety.

“There are a lot of cameras already here, so as people walk they’re being filmed. And most of the time they don’t know it,” said Jennifer Bailly of Jersey City.

“If they search you, you’re not giving consent, so they can do what they want, meaning they can use that as an excuse to search you for other means. I don’t think that’s constitutional at all,” Devan Thomas said.

“I don’t agree with it. I have the belief that if you forgoe some of your freedom then it’s not freedom at all,” added Erwin Morales of Hoboken.

“I think it’s good. I think if someone has something to hide and they’re going to worry about it, who cares?” Robert McDougall added.

The Department of Defense is also researching the Terahertz technology to detect suicide bombers wearing explosives.