Chicago crime rate drops as concealed carry applications surge. City sees fewer homicides, robberies, burglaries, car thefts as Illinois residents take arms.
THE WASHINGTON TIMES By Kelly Riddell
An 86-year-old Illinois man with a concealed carry permit fired his weapon at an armed robbery suspect fleeing police last month, stopping the man in his tracks and allowing the police to make an arrest.
Law enforcement authorities described the man as “a model citizen” who “helped others avoid being victims” at an AT&T store outside Chicago where he witnessed the holdup. The man, whose identity was withheld from the press, prevented others from entering the store during the theft.
PHOTOS: Best concealed carry handguns
Police said the robber harassed customers and pistol-whipped one.
Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. 1. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, 2. the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.
“It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers.”
As of July 29 the state had 83,183 applications for concealed carry and had issued 68,549 licenses. By the end of the year, Mr. Pearson estimates, 100,000 Illinois citizens will be packing. When Illinois began processing requests in January, gun training and shooting classes — which are required for the application — were filling up before the rifle association was able to schedule them, Mr. Pearson said.
According to Bureau of Justice Statistics data from 2008, there roughly 765,000 sworn officers in the United States — and an absurdly small number ever fire their weapons outside of training
Due to the success of American policing, our citizenry is able to remain blissfully unaware of the terrible dynamics of encountering an attack or resistance. That success fortunately means that most people are safely protected from harm but it also means there are some common concerns and misconceptions about what it’s like to be attacked, and importantly, what it’s like to respond to an attack.
This is largely responsible for the chorus of questions about the officer-involved shooting in Ferguson. It probably makes it more likely that you’ll be asked these questions by the people you protect.
If you find yourself in such a discussion, here are some facts you might use to generate deeper understanding for them.
1. “Why did the officer shoot him so many times?” Shooting events are over far faster than most people think. According to a scientifically-validated study on reaction times, the time from a threat event to recognition of the threat (the decision making process) is 31/100 second. The mechanical action of pulling the trigger is as fast as 6/100 of a second.
My name is Nikki Fedorko. I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Upon high school graduation, I moved to Kentucky to start my undergraduate career.
In 2011, I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Special Education-Learning and Behavior Disorders from the University of Kentucky. I am starting my second year of graduate school at the University of Kentucky; I will graduate in May of 2015 with my Masters in Social Work.
I thoroughly enjoyed teaching special education in Fayette County. However, I realized that my talents, interests, and objectives would be better suited outside of the classroom. I became interested in social work and the criminal justice field in general after I realized how many of my students were in and out of the court system. A multitude of them were defendants, but a majority of them were victims. These students are often over-looked in the school system and in the community in general. I hope to be able to serve individuals with disabilities in my future career.
My interests in social work and advocacy vary, but one constant always remains the same for me: I want to be an advocate for victims. I am currently contemplating applying for law school upon graduation. I am confident that this amazing opportunity with Fayette County Commonwealth’s Attorney office will not only provide me with a high-quality, “hands-on” learning experience, but it will also guide me when pursuing my future aspirations.
On June 29, 1981 David Matthews burglarized the home of his estranged wife, Mary Matthews’, in Jefferson County. He executed Magdalene Cruse, his mother-in-law, by shooting her in the back of the head: she agonized and convulsed for 8 hours before dying.
David Eugene Matthews was tried and convicted on October 8, 1982. He was then sentenced to death November 11, 1982.
Americans receiving food stamps were caught selling and bartering their benefits online for art, housing and cash, according to a new federal report that investigates fraud in the nation’s largest nutrition support program.
Complicating the situation is the fact states around the country are having trouble tracking and prosecuting the crimes because their enforcement budgets have been slashed despite the rapidly-rising number of food stamp recipients, according to the Government Accountability Office report.
Under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, 47 million people have been awarded $76 billion in benefits. State agencies are responsible for addressing SNAP recipient fraud under the guidance and monitoring of the Food and Nutrition Service.
“Such rapid program growth can increase the potential for fraud unless appropriate agency controls are in place to help minimize these risks,” the investigators said in their report.
The GAO report resulted from a review of 11 state and federal efforts to fight food stamp fraud, effectiveness of certain fraud detection tools and how FNS oversees state anti-fraud efforts.
The report found that “most of the selected states reported difficulties in conducting fraud investigations due to either reduced or maintained staff levels while SNAP recipient numbers greatly increased from fiscal year 2009 through 2013.”
The report also said some of the state officials interviewed suggested “changing the financial incentives structure to help support the costs of investigating potential SNAP fraud.”
As for the actual fraud itself, during a 30-day testing period of the automated tool for e-commerce websites, the GAO report found “28 postings from one popular e-commerce websites that advertised the potential sale of food stamp benefits in exchange for cash.”
The GAO also found limitations on the effectiveness of recommended replacement card data and website monitoring tools for fraud detection.
It also said states have different thresholds for prosecuting food stamp fraud.
In Tennessee, for example, $100 in benefits must be fraudulently obtained before officials will consider prosecuting, but in Texas it is a $5,000 level.
Allegations of fraud and abuse have long-plagued SNAP and have been used by lawmakers in Washington to argue that the program has spiraled out of control.
My name is Anika Gooch and I am currently completing the second year of my Master’s at the Kent School of Social Work in Louisville, Kentucky. I graduated from Centre College in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology.
It has been apparent to me for some time that I wished to pursue a career in speaking for those whose voices are have been lost amongst the crowd. A Master’s in Social Work will allow me the opportunity to advocate for those who have been left in the dark. Social work is more than Child Protective Services, it is protective services for all who need assistance. The versatility of Master’s in Social Work will allow me the opportunity to work with a large variety of populations.
As my first year at the Kent School concluded, it became time for students to interview for possible practicum placement opportunities. When searching through the list, the Victim Advocacy Program at the Commonwealth Attorney’s in Lexington, Kentucky seemed to allow for all the opportunities in regards to social work that I was looking for. The decision to accept the opportunity to learn from one of the largest victim advocacy programs in the state was a simple one. I am very interested in learning the ways in which social workers can advocate for those who have been the victims of crimes.
Only in recent decades have victims been allotted certain rights that have allowed them to move productively through the healing process. As a victim’s advocate, I hope that I can assist others in the long process of overcoming the trauma caused by experiencing a crime. I am excited about the upcoming year and look forward to learning more about the connections between the criminal justice system and social work. I hope that at the end of this opportunity, I will be equipped with the tools necessary to make a difference in the world of those affected by crime. I am overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to intern at the Commonwealth Attorney’s office for the 2014-2015 academic year.
My name is Tyler McKendrick and I am currently an undergraduate student at the University of Kentucky. I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but have bled blue all of my life and made the decision to complete my undergraduate work at UK.
While I love being at student at the University of Kentucky, I am extremely excited to be graduating after the upcoming fall semester with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Spanish. Upon graduation, I plan on attending law school, a step that is sure to be a huge change of pace from my engineering background.
During my undergraduate career, I spent three semesters working for General Electric in Louisville as a Technical Design Engineering Co-op, but until this summer, I had no previous legal experience. In order to dampen the transition to law school, I wanted to immerse myself in the field of law and familiarize myself with the legal process, and what better way to accomplish that than working in a prosecutor’s office?
I come to the Fayette County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in Boone County, where I was an undergraduate intern this past summer. Working in a prosecutor’s office has been an excellent opportunity for me to experience the daily intricacies of the legal profession and I hope to continue to grow and learn in the Fayette County office. Thus far, my experience with the legal field, attending court and docket proceedings, preparing indictments, and have been fascinating. This internship is a wonderful opportunity for me to not only enhance my legal background, but also to hopefully provide the office with a slightly different perspective than what might be the norm. I look forward to an insightful semester as an intern in the office and I cannot wait to get started.