Security cameras help Salvadoran police fight street gangs MS-13 and Barrio 18

first_img The surveillance cameras will help security forces keep track of the criminal activities of the two largest gangs in El Salvador – Mara Salvatrucha, which is also known as MS-13, and Barrio 18, which is also known as 18th Street and M-18. Both of these gangs engage in killings, extortion, armed robbery, kidnapping, and micro-trafficking of drugs. Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 have both formed alliances with international drug trafficking groups, such as the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, which operate in El Salvador and other parts of Central America. The gangs help drug cartels transport cocaine and other drugs north to Mexico, the United States, and other destinations. The Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, two Mexican transnational criminal organizations, have expanded their operations in recent years in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Monitoring MS-13 and Barrio 18 Training, coordination, and intelligence Technology is essential to the security forces of any nation, Aviles said. For example, London has used closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) for years to monitor the streets of the city. The new cameras will be phased in, authorities said. The first phase began May 20, when authorities began installing 360 security cameras, which the National Civil Police (PNC) will use to monitor city streets for criminal activity, according to the Ministry of Security. Each surveillance camera can cover as much ground as 22 police officers on patrol, Jose Ricardo Perdomo, the minister of justice and public security, told reporters the day authorities began installing the devices. Authorities installed many of the cameras on streets that led into and out of San Salvador. “In the past, it was easier to point to specific areas that could be dangerous. Unfortunately, crime is spreading geographically,” Aviles said. “San Salvador is a sensitive area again.” The government plans on placing up to 6,500 cameras in the capital city and outlying areas. Images captured by the security cameras can be stored in a database for up to eight years. Authorities will be able to use images to monitor crimes as they occur, to identify potential criminal suspects and victims, and to check the registration of vehicle license numbers. Each camera has a range of about 800 meters. The ability of cameras to cover large amounts of territory will allow police who monitor the cameras to conduct “virtual patrols.” The cameras will send images to the PNC’s central command and control center. PNC authorities will monitor the images to respond to dispatch officers to crimes in progress and to gather intelligence. A pledge to fight crime Using technology to fight crimecenter_img On June 10, Minister of Justice and Security Benito Lara pledged the government is doing everything it can to fight crime and improve security.in every part of El Salvador. “Our policy is clear, we will develop everything in our power to combat crime. We will deploy more police officers in areas where gangs operate,” Lara said. The combination of improvements in technology and cooperation between the police and the residents of El Salvador should lead to improvements in public safety, Aviles said. “Any action to prevent insecurity and violence brings results,” he said. “In the near future the crime reduction is expected.” The security cameras are an important tool in the fight against crime, but they are part of a larger effort which involves improved training, intelligence gathering, and cooperation between citizens and the PNC, as well as between Salvadoran and U.S. security forces, according to Aviles. “Technology alone will not solve the problem of gangs or organizations of transnational organized crime,” Aviles said. “Technology needs to be accompanied by good training for all members of the security forces, equipment, weapons, vehicles, advanced communication, coordination and intelligence to successfully combat these criminal organizations.” Before they began installing large numbers of security cameras, authorities tested the surveillance system by installing a small number of the devices in San Salvador, according to the Ministry of Security. Those first cameras helped police capture a gang of car thieves, stop a drug transaction, and identify extortion suspects. Video and images from security cameras can be important tools in the fight against crime, Aviles said. Police and prosecutors can use video and photographic images from security cameras to identify criminals and bring them to justice. Video and photographic evidence can be crucial in criminal trials. The security camera system cost more than $5 million (USD), according to the Ministry of Justice and Public Safety. The camera surveillance system is equipped with the most sophisticated technology available and is protected against cyber-attacks. Salvadoran authorities are increasing their use of technology to fight crime. For example, authorities have blocked cellphone service at 10 prisons throughout the country to fight crime. Cellphones are prohibited inside prisons, but some incarcerated gang leaders have had friends or relatives smuggle the devices to them inside prison. The gang leaders have used the smuggled cellphones to direct the criminal activities of their gangs. Providing the best in technology is part of government’s broad strategy to fight gangs, international drug trafficking groups, and common criminals. In addition to the surveillance camera system, the government in recent years has provided the PNC an automated ballistics and fingerprint identification system, which helps police conduct criminal investigations. By Dialogo July 21, 2014 Salvadoran authorities plan to install more than 6,000 security cameras in the capital city of San Salvador and outlying areas in the coming months to improve public safety. The cameras will help security forces monitor and confront violence by gangs, transnational criminal organizations, and common criminals, according to Educational Foundation for the Prevention of Drug Abuse (FORESEE) executive director Carlos Aviles. “The use of video surveillance cameras will enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement against drug trafficking, extortion, kidnapping, common crime, theft and other emerging threats,” Aviles said. “It will strengthen (crime) prevention in San Salvador.” last_img read more

Franklin County student earns agricultural leadership awards

first_imgBrookville, Ind. —Franklin Count y High School student Shelby Kolb has been recognized for her leadership, excellence in academics and agricultural work experience. She recently received the DEKALB Agricultural Accomplishment Award and the 2017 Franklin County High School Agricultural Achievement Award.Kolb has served as the FFA chapter president, vice president and District XII president and historian. She is also one of 23 candidates to serve as a state=level FFA officer.The Franklin County FFA and Agriculture Education educates, inspires and prepares students for agricultural careers.last_img read more

Captain Phillips speaks with USC students

first_imgOn Thursday, the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, USC’s research center for risk and management analysis related to homeland security, hosted its 10-year anniversary conference at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center.‘I am the captain now’ · Capt. Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama was the closing speaker of CREATE’s 10-Year Anniversary event, which took place on Thursday in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center. Phillips spoke on the 2009 hijacking of his ship by Somali pirates. – Nick Entin | Daily TrojanThe all-day event’s closing speaker was Capt. Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama. In 2009, a team of Somali pirates hijacked Phillips’ ship and held him hostage until a team of U.S. Navy SEALs rescued him; the incident inspired the 2013 film starring Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips, and made Phillips a national hero.Sponsored by the Viterbi School of Engineering and the Sol Price School of Public Policy, the event also featured panelists such as Randy Hall, vice president of research and co-founder of CREATE, and Michael Chertoff, the former secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Panels involving “Next Generation’s Greatest Chaos,” “Advancing Homeland Security through University Research” and “The Changing Face of Terrorism” were also featured.Yannis Yortsos, dean of the Viterbi School, introduced Phillips. Yortsos briefly discussed how rapid technological advances have expanded engineers’ role in society before commending Phillips’ heroism, calling Phillips a true American hero.“Engineering can now enable disciplines which in the past were nontraditional, like risk analysis, economics and behavioral science,” Yortsos said. “CREATE has utilized this convergence to help our country.”Phillips’ talk focused on leadership, and he emphasized the importance of preparation. Because Phillips knew about the prevalence of pirates off the coast of Somali prior to the highjacking, he organized a disaster drill to test the ship’s security procedures.After this test, Phillips developed a security protocol with his crew that may have saved their lives during the highjacking. Phillips stressed the importance of flexibility and adapting to situations, however, after sharing that he had to deviate from his plan to eject the pirates from his ship.Throughout the speech, Phillips reiterated three key points he wanted conference attendees to take away from his experience on to be applied to their own lives.“I have three things I would like to leave you with: One, you are stronger than you know and you can handle much more than you think,” Phillips said. “Two, the only time it is over is when you say it is over. Three, a motivated, focused team of professionals can solve any problem.”Throughout his talk, Phillips explained the events as they unfolded during the highjacking. After the pirates boarded the ship and held him at gunpoint, Phillips played what he called “mind games” to prevent further trouble.For example, Phillips prevented the pirates from calling their headquarters to assist in the highjacking by reconfiguring the radar system so they were unable to do so. Phillips was very humble when he discussed his actions during the hijacking, emphasizing that bravery is possible when one remains calm and maintains a level head during times of duress.“When faced with a threatening situation, we find something within us to do what must be done,” Phillips said. “It’s not possible to persevere when you’re panicked.”During the attack, Phillips attempted to regain control of the situation by luring the pirates off the Maersk Alabama and away from the members of his crew, who were hiding below deck. Adding that he wished to clear up one aspect of his portrayal in the media, Phillips said that he did not give himself up with the intent of becoming a hostage or as a heroic sacrifice.“My strategy was to be their adversary instead of their hostage, so I didn’t give up,” Phillips said. “My major responsibility was to get the pirates off my ship, so I carried out my duty.”last_img read more