Two years after the Los Angeles Police Department loosened its “zero tolerance” drug policy as it struggled to boost its ranks, city officials say they’ve hired six officers who have used hard drugs such as cocaine. Personnel officials are quick to note that’s less than 1 percent of the 818 officers who have been hired, and although the officers experimented with hard drugs as teenagers they later showed the good judgment and strong character required in a police officer. But the issue still has raised questions among some City Council members and police union leaders who worry the LAPD is on a slippery slope that could damage the caliber of the police force. “This is a massive, major change in the way we assess a candidate,” said Councilman Bernard Parks, who was an LAPD officer for 38 years and chief from 1997 to 2002. “Hard drugs in the background indicate integrity and character issues that, in my judgment, shouldn’t be allowed. If you don’t protect the standards you won’t have any.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThe LAPD defends its standards, citing its campaign to add 1,000 officers amid competition from sheriff’s and police departments around the country all vying for the same pool of candidates willing to work long hours in dangerous conditions for a starting salary of roughly $50,000. In that climate, the department must be willing to consider individuals who have experimented with drugs, said Los Angeles Police Commission President John Mack. “The reality is young people who would be a candidate in their twenties and thirties, there’s a high probability that they have had some drug use,” he said. While the Personnel Department, citing privacy concerns, declined to reveal the names of the six officers who have hard-drug use in their past, it said one took an amphetamine while in ninth grade, eight years ago. Another thought he might have been given cocaine but wasn’t really sure because he didn’t feel anything after taking it. One officer was 15 when he tried cocaine, but said he was so scared by the experience he never tried it again. Another was 15 when he tried cocaine, 23 years ago. “Someone 23 years ago tried cocaine. That’s a lot of time. That doesn’t condemn a person for the rest of his life from doing good things,” said Margaret Whalen, general manager of the city’s Personnel Department. “It’s very evident we’re not talking about people who are risky.” While the LAPD and the city’s Personnel Department long had maintained a strict policy that barred candidates who had used cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and hallucinogens – even once – times have changed. Drugs are more easily available and young adults more likely to have experimented. About 40 percent of adults ages 18 to 25 reported using illicit drugs other than marijuana at least once, according to a 2004 survey by U.S. Health and Human Services. The City Civil Service Commission adjusted its police officer hiring policies in 2003 to reflect that reality, and to give the Personnel Department more freedom to weigh such experimental drug use against an applicant’s other accomplishments such as community leadership, college or military service. The “whole person” analysis, as it’s known, is “more modern because this generation you have more people who have tried drugs versus the old ways where we’d throw you out if you tried hard drugs,” said LAPD Commander Kenneth O. Garner, who oversees hiring. “We’d have bare academy classes if we did that.” Garner said the screening and standards still are tough. Since 2001, the city has required polygraph tests for all candidates and those who admit to drug use are extensively questioned about the details. The department has no exact limit on what constitutes acceptable previous drug use; there is no rule that says you can use cocaine twice, for example. Rather, screeners consider the applicant’s age when they sampled drugs and how long or how many times drugs were used. Accelerated hiring drives in the late 1960s and early 1970s were blamed for some of the department’s most egregious examples of police corruption and brutality, including a 1983 case in which two officers were convicted of being contract killers. Later, the Christopher Commission – formed after the 1991 videotaped police beating of Rodney King – recommended more rigorous background checks to screen out problem recruits. In the mid-1990s the city’s Personnel Department and LAPD considered allowing candidates to have some past, experimental use of hard drugs in order to expand the applicant pool, but political leaders balked. But personnel and police screeners complained they couldn’t fill new academy classes and said strong candidates were being sidelined for trying a hard drug back in their early teens, even as they certified mediocre candidates who had minor problems all over their applications that weren’t technically significant enough to disqualify them. That led to the “whole person” analysis adopted by the Civil Service Commission in 2003. “We’d rather have someone with one big flaw that has gotten beyond that flaw, corrected it and had an exemplary life since then. Those are the kind of people we want to hire. The mediocre candidates we don’t want to hire,” Whalen said. Los Angeles is not alone. An increasing number of police departments have changed their “zero tolerance” policies on hard drug use, said Elaine Deck, program manager with the International Association of Police Chiefs. “The more we look at the people who are applying for these positions the more we recognize that a higher number of them have experimented with drugs, so we have to adjust our selection criteria to make reasonable choices.” Nevertheless, Parks and Councilmen Dennis Zine and Greig Smith – both reserve police officers – want the Civil Service Commission to reconsider the hiring policy. And Police Protective League President Bob Baker said rank-and-file officers are very concerned because drug use – even if it’s limited – can be a sign of poor coping skills and bad judgment. “When you go out on the streets you want to make sure you’ve got the best of the best that’s riding alongside you. That’s an obligation we have to the officers and the community,” he said. firstname.lastname@example.org (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Irish Water has announced the latest plans to replace part of the ageing water mains which have caused major problems in Falcarragh this year.The upgrade works will require a seven-week road closure from the top of Falcarragh Hill (R256) along the Ballintemple Lower Road. Irish Water has been granted the closure from 8am on Monday 4th November 2019 to 6pm on Friday 20th December 2019. The company has assured local residents that emergency and local access for residents will be maintained at all times. An alternative route will be available and diversions will be clearly sign-posted. Approximately 1.6 kilometres of problematic water mains will be replaced with high density polyethylene (plastic) materials during this time.Works to replace 1.7 kilometres of problematic water mains to the Cashel reservoir in Gortahork continues to make headway with 1.1 kilometres replaced to date since construction commencement in early September. These works are on programme and are expected to be completed in March 2020. Irish Water Regional Lead Declan Cawley said: “The works in Gortahork are progressing well and we thank the local community for their ongoing patience and look forward to commencing the next phase of works in Falcarragh.”Details of work in the area will be updated regularly on the Water Supply Updates section of the Irish Water website at https://www.water.ie/water-supply/supply-and-service-update/ Seven-week road closure for Falcarragh water works was last modified: November 1st, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:FalcarraghIrish Water
A young Donegal man will be swapping a cosy Christmas at home to help people in Somalia, one of the poorest regions of the world.Paul Carr, from Cranford, whose sister is senior Donegal footballer Niamh Carr, works in Somalia for aid agency Concern Worldwide as their emergency programme officer. This is a critical role in a country where 5.2 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.He has been there for over a year in a region troubled by droughts, severe flooding and conflict. “We are at the front lines of any crisis that hits the Somali people,” said Paul, a DCU and Trinity College graduate who previously worked overseas in Panama with the United Nations.Makeshift tents into Baidoa – an internally displaced persons Camp Concern Somalia“Just this year, Somali’s have been hit by severe droughts resulting in loss of crops and livestock, extreme flooding and a constant threat of conflict and forced evictions from their homes and shelters.“My job is to help manage the response to these crises. When drought hits, we provide cash transfers so families can buy the food they need to survive, build wells and truck water across the desert to families without water.“When rivers burst their banks we are there piling sandbags to protect shelters and farmland and repair toilets and other sanitation facilities to prevent the outbreak of disease. “And all year round, we are there to provide critical medical support to malnourished children and those suffering from illness and disease and providing protection and education for children who have been forced to flee their homes.”Concern Worldwide’s Emergency Programme Officer Paul Carr (on right) with a colleague in Somalia discussing with a local village committee about what challenges they have faced in recent monthsBaidoa – an internally displaced persons Camp Concern SomaliaPaul admits that it is most likely that Christmas Day will be like any other in Somalia with more women and children arriving at nutrition centres in need of food and treatment for malnutrition.He said he will miss spending Christmas with his family, especially his nieces, but he said he chose to be in Somalia and he “wouldn’t have it any other way.”Paul CarrPaul is also an avid hiker and plans to take advantage of his time off from St. Stephen’s Day when he begins a six-day trek up Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano in Tanzania that is Africa’s highest peak.He hopes to reach the peak by sunrise on New Year’s Day and he is ready for temperatures, which can drop to -10, in addition to the challenges with nausea and fatigue. He said it is something he always wanted to do. “It’s not very often you get the opportunity to spend Christmas in Africa doing the job you love or to scale volcanoes for the New Year, so I’m more than happy to seize this opportunity,” he said.“At 5,895 metres, it’s Africa’s highest peak and over 500 metres above the Everest basecamp.“It will be cold, it will be long, but the killer will be the altitude, I’ve gone over 5,000 metres before and it wasn’t easy, but I am really looking forward to it.”Concern Worldwide’s Emergency Programme Officer Paul Carr hiking Slieve League cliffs in Donegal with Concern’s Climb4Concern challenge in 2018Paul praised his Concern colleagues, who he said “work tirelessly with families and communities to try and build a Somalia where possibly one day, Concern won’t need to be there.” Concern has been in Somalia for 33 years where the aid agency has responded to famines and refugee crises caused by conflict and droughts.An estimated two million people are displaced inside the country.Successive below-average rainy seasons in recent years has resulted in crop failure, widespread livestock deaths and loss of people’s assets, causing hunger and malnutrition.Donegal man giving up his Christmas to help others in Somalia was last modified: December 20th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:aid workcharityCHristmasConcernPaul Carrsomalia
SAN JOSE — Erik Karlsson had the puck on his stick to the left of the Calgary Flames’ net as the Sharks were on their fourth power play of Thursday’s preseason game at SAP Center.Karlsson then fired a pass through the slot right on the tape of Joe Thornton’s stick. Thornton put a shot on goal from near the top of the circle that was saved by Flames goalie Mike Smith, and the rebound came right to Karlsson.After his shot went off the side of the net, Karlsson looked up in disbelief, and the …
Eight persons died in Uttar Pradesh as a thunderstorm hit parts of the State on Wednesday, a senior official said.Four deaths in EtawahFour deaths were reported in Etawah, three in Mathura and one in Agra. Four others were injured in Etawah, said Awanish Awasthi, Principal Secretary of the State Information Department. “One person has died in Etmadpur area of Agra after tree fell on his kuccha house. The DM has been told to distribute the relief immediately,” Mr. Awasthi said.The districts affected included Agra, Aligarh, Firozabad, Mathura and other parts of western U.P. Compensation orderedIn a statement issued by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is away campaigning in Karnataka, he directed district officials to provide immediate compensation to the affected persons and calculate the losses.“The Chief Minister said laxity and callousness in relief works will not be tolerated,” a government spokesperson said.73 died last weekThe storm comes a week after 73 people died in the State as hailstorm, lightning and dust storms damaged property, crops and caused human loss in 22 districts.With 43 casualties and 51 injured, Agra was the worst-affected district.
Freedom to express views is a golden gift of the Constitution and intolerance for it in any form can destroy the democratic fabric of the country, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar said on Sunday. Mr. Dhankar’s comments come close on the heels of State Congress spokesman Samanay Bandopadhyay’s arrest over alleged criticism of the Trinamool Congress government and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on social media.‘Rescued’ Minister The Governor, who has been on a collision course with the State government since he ‘rescued’ Union Minister Babul Supriyo from the grip of agitating students of Jadavpur University here, called for “decent ways” to disagree over a matter. “Expressions of your viewpoint is a golden gift of the Constitution and its intolerance in any form is destructive of democracy. Let’s learn decent ways to disagree with one another. Intolerance by structured mechanism is painfully worrying (sic),” the Governor said without naming anyone.Mr. Dhankar, who took over as the Governor of West Bengal on July 30, had ‘rescued’ Mr. Supriyo last month from a section of agitating students at JU, who tried to stop the Minister from attending an ABVP programme. TMC leaders had alleged that the Governor, who is also the Chancellor of the University, visited the campus without taking the State government into confidence.Security upgrade A fresh war of words erupted last week when TMC Minister Subrata Mukherjee criticised Mr. Dhankar for seeking a security cover upgrade without consulting the State. Mr. Bandopadhyay’s arrest on Thursday sparked outrage among all major opposition parties in Bengal. A section of BJP leaders visited his residence on Saturday to express solidarity with him. Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had on Friday condemned the TMC government’s move and said, “The arrest of Mr. Bandopadhyay is a classic example of intolerance of the highest order. Samanay was arrested from his home for criticising the State government.” “Such blatant attack on freedom of speech and expression will not stop us from protesting against the ruling dispensation. We condemn such undemocratic assault on freedom of speech,” Mr. Chowdhury had said. Reacting to his allegations, senior TMC leader and party Chief Whip in State Assembly Nirmal Ghosh said, “Mr. Bandopadhyay has been arrested as there are several criminal charges against him. It has nothing to do with criticism of the State government.”
Nasser HussainThere has been a lot of commotion and concern around the batting powerplay in this World Cup and the sides most affected by it are not the minnows but teams such as India and England.Batting powerplay is not an exact science. There are those who insist there is a definite way of doing things during a batting powerplay. I disagree. Every game, every situation, every team is different. So is the frame of mind of the batsmen at the crease at that point. But one thing is certain. Most teams have not quite got their batting powerplays right.The batting powerplay is about changing the momentum of the game if it needs to be changed. I have seen too many sides in a comfortable winning position throwing away the advantage by opting for a batting powerplay. India and England erred in Bangalore which ultimately resulted in their sharing points in a game either side should have won.At Nagpur, against South Africa, India were cruising at 267 for 1 and looking at a 350-plus total. They opted for the powerplay in the 38th over and lost their last 9 wickets for just 29 runs. I can’t understand why India would want Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir to start slogging all of a sudden when they were easily scoring a run a ball. They should have taken the powerplay in the 45th over when it would have become mandatory to take it. I agree with captain M. S. Dhoni that the boys got carried away with the situation. Let’s not also forget that Dale Steyn is the world’s best fast bowler and he deserves full praise for destroying the Indian batting and winning the man of the match award in a high-scoring game.advertisementMy advice to all captains is that leave the powerplay for the last five overs of your innings when things are looking good. Or take it when you think are losing the game. Ireland was in tatters against England when they opted for the powerplay at 111 for 5. They knew they could not win the game in singles and twos. They had to try and change the momentum and were able to, thanks to Kevin O’brien’s match-winning century. Whether the going is good or not, there must be a stop-loss strategy around the powerplay. For instance, if the team loses two wickets, they will have to start playing normally again. So, batsmen must first get their eyes in before they go for the big shots.During the powerplay against South Africa at Nagpur. India lost four wickets, including that of Tendulkar.During a powerplay, you have eight fielders within the 30-yard circle, which makes it difficult to pierce the gaps and get the singles. A couple of dot balls only increases the pressure on the batsmen. Given the hot and humid conditions in the subcontinent, fatigue sets in, and batsmen prefer to go for the big shots. We have seen set batsmen such as Tendulkar (twice), Andrew Strauss, Virender Sehwag and Ian Bell succumb to audacious shots during the powerplay.There is a lesson for fielding captains as well. If things aren’t going your way, bring those fielders in, stop the singles and create pressure on the batsmen, even if it’s not a powerplay. The only captain who has practised this is William Porterfield of Ireland.Dhoni has been criticised for giving Ashish Nehra the last over at Nagpur. That is uncalled for. If I were the captain, I would have handed the ball to Harbhajan Singh as he is India’s best bowler after Zaheer Khan and a feisty competitor. Whether the result would have been different is impossible to know. But let me remind those, who believe that an off spinner is more difficult to read for a left-handed batsman, about how Michael Hussey shattered the figures of Saeed Ajmal in the 2010 icc World Twenty20. Robin Peterson is no mug with the bat.The World Cup is advancing to the knock-out stage. Group B is where all the action is. To progress to the next round, England must beat West Indies but need South Africa to win their remaining matches. India need to win its last group match to qualify. South Africa, Bangladesh and Ireland are also in the running for a place at the quarters. Group A is more or less decided. Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka are likely to make the cut. This certainly has been the most intense group competition in any cricket World Cup so far.advertisement- Nasser Hussain is a former captain of the England cricket team. Syndicated by Sporting Excellence
It was a humiliating Cricket World Cup loss to Bangladesh that set the wheels in motion for a virtual reboot of English cricket.Four years later, England is playing the Tigers again on the biggest stage in 50-over cricket and the consequences of another defeat could be just as telling.Heading into the third of its nine group games, England the host nation and pre-tournament favorite is already under pressure after an unexpected loss to Pakistan in Nottingham on Monday.A potential two losses in three matches was certainly not in the script for the world’s top-ranked ODI team so England must show some nerve against Bangladesh in Cardiff on Saturday to get its World Cup ambitions back on track.”It is going to be a difficult game,” England captain Eoin Morgan said Friday on a wet day in the Welsh capital. “They are a good side. I think people underestimate them. We certainly don’t.”And why would they? After all, Bangladesh has beaten England at the last two World Cups, first in Chittagong in 2011 and then at the Adelaide Oval in 2015 in a result that guaranteed England would be eliminated at the group stage.Many overlooked Bangladesh’s improvement in world cricket and treated that loss as an all-time low in the English game. The response by the England and Wales Cricket Board was to channel most of its focus on the one-day format, which meant the hiring of Trevor Bayliss a coach with a proven record in the white-ball format and the introduction of an overall strategy where the test and limited-overs teams were separated.advertisementEngland became an aggressive, positive, risk-taking ODI team that has soared to the top of the rankings and made it the side to beat at the World Cup.Yet the loss to Pakistan, and the specter of a match and possibly another defeat against a Bangladesh lineup that has given England so much World Cup heartache, has suddenly thrown up some concerns.For Morgan, however, it is business as usual.”We’ve remained in a head space where we believe we can still win the game,” he said, “and that shows, probably a lot more to us than to our supporters. They see an exciting team the majority of the time and when we lose games, we want to see character. We want to see another side of our game.”England’s players have used the five-day gap between fixtures to get away from the tournament. Morgan went back home to spend some time with the family and watch some horse-racing.Their Bangladesh counterparts will know they can put a supposed thoroughbred in real trouble by earning a famous win in Cardiff, though.They’ve started the World Cup well, outclassing South Africa in an opening victory and then falling to a two-wicket loss to New Zealand on Wednesday in the most exciting match of the tournament so far.Bangladesh is no longer the minnow it once was and has more caps in the team than England has. It is a gnarled, experienced lineup that can beat anyone.”I think this is one of the best teams England have ever produced, especially in the World Cup. I think still they are in the right way, winning matches, and they are in good touch,” Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said Friday.”But, on the other hand, obviously I know there was a little bit of pressure that the people are expecting that England will take the trophy this time.”England could drop legspinner Adil Rashid and replace him with Liam Plunkett, who lost his place to fellow paceman Mark Wood for the Pakistan game. That would give England an attack mostly filled with seamers on what could be a heavy wicket with a bit of grass.There is no danger of Bangladesh dropping any of its slow bowlers, who have proved to be the team’s most efficient so far especially allrounder Shakib Al Hasan. Mosaddek Hossain, a right-hand offspinner, had 2-33 against New Zealand.Mortaza said Bangladesh could give the new ball to a spinner, like South Africa and Pakistan have done against England to good effect, with openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow more destructive against pace.England will look for a big improvement in its fielding, which was mostly to blame for the loss to Pakistan.The team also looked anxious and flat during that game, after the high of beating South Africa in the opening match.World Cup pressure might already be playing a role. And that pressure will ramp up significantly if England loses to Bangladesh for a third straight tournament.advertisementAlso Read | England vs Bangladesh, World Cup 2019 Match 12: Prediction and Probable Playing 11Also See:
With the high cost of energy affecting their bottom line, small hoteliers across the region are welcoming the introduction of a project that is aimed at fostering energy efficiency in the industry.The Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Action Advanced Programme (CHENACT AP), is a project geared towards enhancing the competitiveness of small hotels under 400 rooms in the region. It focuses on the hotel’s use of renewable energy and micro-generation and has been successfully piloted in Barbados. It is to be implemented in Jamaica and the Bahamas by the end of this year.Funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), it has received endorsements from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM), the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourist Association (CHTA).Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, describes the initiative as timely and says that it is consistent with the Government’s move to drive down national energy consumption and increase competiveness. Mr. Paulwell points out that there is s trend towards energy efficiency that is being adopted within the global tourist industry. “The aviation industry is implementing cutting-edge technologies to make aircraft lighter than ever before, commercial flights are beginning to use bio-fuels in their fuel mix, key card systems and energy saving light bulbs are increasingly being implemented in hotel rooms worldwide, and tour operators are asking for energy efficiency throughout their chains,” he explains.Mr. Paulwell pledges his support for the project, which is being implemented in Jamaica through partnership with his ministry, the JHTA and CHTA.Through the project, the sector hopes to see more efficiency in energy use in the Caribbean; reduced energy costs to hotels; increased competitiveness in the sector through lower operating costs; increased use of renewable energies with positive environmental impacts; and additional revenue generated from the sale of carbon credits.In the meantime, Chairman of the CHTA, Josef Forstmayr notes that returns to the hotels from energy savings will come quickly. He is advising members that implementation of the project will allow the sector to be more profitable, more competitive, and they will be able to invest the returns into their product.Mr. Forstmayr informs however, that only hotels that are members of the CHTA and JHTA are eligible to participate in the project. He is inviting non members to join the associations to take advantage of the project offerings.“Remember, energy efficiency is not just about going green, and appealing to environmentally conscious visitors, it is a common sense practice that will pay for itself very, very quickly,” Mr. Forstmayr says.Meanwhile, President of the JHTA, Evelyn Smith, is recommending that investors in the sector take decisive steps toward making energy management a central part of their respective organizational structure.“We encourage all our Caribbean Hotels and Tourism Association members to embrace this project in the interest of the viability of their businesses, our industry and ultimately, for the benefit of Jamaica,” Mrs. Smith says.Regional Programme Manager with CHENACT, Loreto Duff-Mayers, says the pilot project was a success in Barbados and many of the models that did well there, will be used here.“We will be looking to replicate that in Jamaica, but looking, obviously, at the differences between Jamaica and Barbados,” she says.She explains that funding for CHENACT will come from the Smart Fund, which is a $US10 million loan from the IDB. Hoteliers will be able to accessed loans at 3.7 per cent for energy efficiency.“We are looking at demonstration models which could be wind or could be solar water heaters in at least two hotels in Jamaica and the Bahamas,” she explains while giving an update of the project. The major objectives listed for the project include developing energy efficiency models for hotels; conducting energy audits and walk-through assessments for the sector; conducting audits for Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS); analyzing Caribbean EnergyServices Companies (ESCOs); and initiating/accelerating movement towards greater efficiency and micro-generation through the use of renewable energies within the sector.
APTN National NewsCritics of the Harper government’s anti-terror bill were on Parliament Hill Wednesday.They came to show their opposition hours before a vote in expected to pass in the House of Commons.APTN’s Annette Francis in Ottawa.