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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Lower Bucks Lawmakers Announce $5.8 Million in Grants through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

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Democratic lawmakers representing districts in Bucks County announced $5.8 million in grants from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

State Reps. Tina Davis, John Galloway and Perry Warren joined  by state Sen. Steve Santarsiero in announcing the following grants last week.

  • $70,250 to the United American Muslim Association of NY, Inc. for safety and security upgrades.
  • $75,000 to the Zubaida Foundation for safety and security upgrades.
  • $525,164 to Bristol Township for mobile data computers, camera and license plate recognition (LPR) upgrade, and fixed LPR recognition.
  • $515,793 to the Central Bucks Regional Police Department for maintaining and expanding the co-responder Victim Services Unit, consultant counseling services for victims of crime and for officer wellness, and mobile data terminals and laptops.
  • $125,200 to Falls Township for retention bonuses and implementation of a recruitment program.
  • $68,371 to Lower Makefield Township for Cellebrite physical analyzer annual subscription and related forensic subscriptions, Talino forensic workstation, AXIOM software, and related training expenses.
  • $89,793 to New Hope Borough for CODY Pathfinder records management system, body worn cameras system, and accessories licensing.
  • $144,049 to Plumstead Township for Records Management System upgrade, in-car cameras, automated license plate readers, and an evidence-building camera.
  • $70,915 to Yardley Borough for mobile data terminals, body-worn cameras, and license plate readers.
  • $3,079,328 to the Bucks County Commissioners to support the salary and benefits of two new county detectives, one new prosecutor, and four task force officers.
  • $47,000 to the Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA) for the 2023 National Children’s Alliance (NCA) Member Child Advocacy Center.
  • $291,162 to the Bucks County Commissioners – District Attorney for Rights and Services Act compliance for 2023 and 2024.
  • $304,396 to NOVA for Rights and Services Act compliance for 2023 and 2024.
  • $254,422 to the Bucks County Commissioners – Juvenile Probation for Victims of Juvenile Offenders (VOJO) 2023 and 2024.
  • $66,174 to A Woman’s Place for improving response to domestic violence victims.
  • $71,463?to KS Consultants for the Bucks County Youth Justice Advisory Board.

The grants from PCCD will allow localities to invest in infrastructure critical to their core functions and prevent them from becoming obsolete. The grants to Bucks County will allow the Commissioners and District Attorney to hire new officers, detectives, and a prosecutor which will lighten the individual caseload and allow the county to function more efficiently. Finally, the organizational grants will allow the various nonprofits in the community to continue to operate in a way that maximizes the safety and security of all involved, according to a joint press release from the four lawmakers.

“The grants awarded from PCCD will provide meaningful improvements throughout the district to protect our community, prevent crime, and prosecute those responsible for committing crimes,” Santarsiero said. “These grants will support local law enforcement and victims of crime alike. I was proud to work with my colleagues to pass a budget that allowed for the PCCD to give nearly $230 million in grants using funding from both state and federal sources. I am pleased that the PCCD has awarded nearly $5.8 million in Bucks County and I look forward to seeing all the good it will do.”

Community safety is a legislative priority,” Warren said. “These state grants to local governments and local and countywide organizations are investments in the present and future safety and security of our communities.”

“This state funding for the Bristol Township Police Department will help make our streets safer, our homes safer, our workplaces safer,” Davis said. “A commitment to public safety will fuel Bristol’s economy, drawing new homeowners and contributing to Bristol Township’s growth. This is a wise investment in Bristol Township’s future.”

“We owe our safety to the Falls Township Police Department, so I am proud that the Falls Township FTPD Recruitment and Retention Program has been awarded this state funding to retain its great officers and implement a recruitment program to build an even stronger department,” Galloway said. “This is state funding being put to great use to build safer, and therefore stronger, communities.”

The United American Muslim Association of NY, Inc aims to create a safe space where Muslims can fulfil their educational and religious duties, and to teach Islamic knowledge without separation or discrimination. Visit their website.

The Zubaida Foundation is a non-profit in Yardley that holds congregational prayers, educational programs, social activities, interfaith dialogues, and peace efforts centered around the teachings of Islam. Visit their website.

NOVA’s programs serve residents across Bucks County, with offices in Jamison, Perkasie and Fairless Hills. Their Children’s Advocacy Center is a member of the NCA and works to provide a child-friendly setting to assist children and families and investigate abuse. For more information about NOVA, visit their website. For information on the Children’s Advocacy Center, visit their website.

A Woman’s Place is a domestic violence community benefit organization that provides programs and services to individual’s experiencing domestic violence, their children, and their community. Visit their website.

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

More than 80 Police Departments across Southeast Pennsylvania to Target Aggressive Drivers during Statewide Mobilization

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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that more than 80 municipal police departments from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties will join the Pennsylvania State Police in a coordinated aggressive driving enforcement wave. This collective effort, part of a statewide mobilization running through August 18, is aimed at reducing the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our area roadways, ensuring your safety on the road.

The enforcement wave will target heavy truck violations, pedestrian safety, red light running, and tailgating. Motorists demonstrating unsafe behaviors, such as driving too fast for conditions or other aggressive actions, will also be cited.

Law enforcement will utilize strategies such as traffic enforcement zones, saturation patrols, speed enforcement details, corridor enforcement, work zone enforcement, and multi-jurisdictional patrol to identify and cite aggressive drivers.
The enforcement is part of Pennsylvania’s Highway Safety Program and is funded by part of PennDOT’s investment of federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
If you encounter an aggressive driver, PennDOT offers these tips:

  • Get out of their way and don’t challenge them.
  • Stay relaxed, avoid eye contact, and ignore rude gestures.
  • Don’t block the passing lane if you drive slower than most traffic.
  • Do not attempt to follow or pursue the vehicle. You or a passenger may call the police. But, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location.
  • >

    According to 2023 PennDOT crash data, there were 1,363 aggressive driving crashes, resulting in 39 fatalities and 104 suspected serious injuries in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. Aggressive driving crashes involve at least two aggressive driving factors in the same crash. Factors include, but are not limited to, running stop signs or red lights, tailgating, careless turning or passing, and driving too fast for conditions.

    The goal of targeted enforcement is to reduce the number of aggressive driving-related crashes, injuries, and deaths on roadways throughout the state. Any aggressive driver stopped by police will receive a ticket.

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Local Lawmakers Want to Expand DNA Sampling in Criminal Cases

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Last week a group of Bucks County Republican lawmakers with local authorities held a press conference to discuss changes they said need to be put in place regarding the collection of DNA from potential criminals.

State Senator Frank Farry state Rep. K.C. Tomlinson, Rep. Joe Hogan, Rep. Kristin Marcell, Rep Labs, joined First Assistant District Attorney Ed Louka, Bucks County Sheriff Fred Harran, Chief of Lower Southampton Police Department Ted Krimmel, and local law enforcement officials at Comic Collection, in Feasterville to discuss the importance of DNA technology in Pennsylvania’s Criminal Justice System.

Specifically legislation the legislators  are working on would expand the number of DNA samples in the criminal justice system by requiring post-arrest testing of anyone charged with a felony or certain misdemeanors.  This sample-taking would be much like the established process of taking an arrestee’s fingerprints.  Nineteen states currently collect post-arrest DNA samples.

The press conference highlighted the impressive work by the Lower Southampton Police Department in an investigation of a violent robbery at Comic Collection in September 2022, where a DNA match led to the charging of two Michigan men 18 months after the crime.

It will also in mind the importance of conviction integrity served by advanced use of DNA identification. A sample can prove the innocence of someone else who has been incorrectly accused or convicted and imprisoned for a crime when the DNA ends up matching someone.

SB988, and its companion bill HB2030, would also expand the collection of DNA samples for those offenders convicted of criminal homicide, which under Pennsylvania law are their own classification of crime and technically not classified as felonies. This legislation would close that loophole and require collection of DNA samples from these offenders to solve other cold case murders and crimes.

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Updated: Bucks 9-1-1 Call Center Under Cyber Attack, Investigation launched

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Updated: 7:15 am Tuesday January 23: 

In response to a request for comment Bucks County Spokesperson James O’Malley included a message sent out to police, fire and EMS chiefs, as well as local Emergency Management Coordinators, adding that the county has no further comment at this time. The message is below in its entirety in italics:

The Bucks County Department of Emergency Communications is investigating a cybersecurity incident affecting the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system.
 
All phone systems and radio systems remain operational, and all calls for service from the public are being received and dispatched to first responders without delay. All incidents are being documented using a backup system.
 
The CAD system has been offline since Sunday afternoon, and there is currently no projected timeframe for restoration. County IT is working to assess the issue and restore CAD service. The County has engaged state and federal partner agencies to assist in our response and investigation.
 
Automated resources powered by the CAD system will be unavailable for the duration of the outage.
 
Additionally, the County’s access to CLEAN and NCIC databases has been temporarily disconnected.  
 
We are requesting that radio communication be kept to essential transmissions only. We cannot field requests for incident times and suggest that responders attempt to maintain their times as best they can.
 
Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

 

Original Story 

The Bucks County Computer Aided Dispatch system (CAD) has been down for more than 24 hours, multiple sources told Lower Bucks Source.

Sources said the reason for the system going offline is due to a cyber attack.

An email to county officials was not immediately returned late Monday night.

The CAD system went down, sources said, late Sunday afternoon.

911 Dispatchers use CAD, a source familiar with its inner workings said, to input and broadcast specific location information on incidents. The information goes to first responders helping to facilitate the  units dispatched to a given incident.  Part of the CAD network in Bucks County is linked to License Plate Reader (LPR) system which police departments use to check on motorists, sources told LBS Monday.

Officers are now taking down information with pen and paper.

A source with knowledge of the system being down said so far there have been no major issues in terms of communications, and it’s been “relatively quiet” in terms of major incidents in the county.

But how long can this keep, the source was asked, and they couldn’t respond with a concrete answer.

What is apparent is first responder services are being held hostage by cyber attackers, two sources said, and little to no information about the downed system is out there.

Versaterm’s Computer Aided Dispatch system (vCAD) for Police, Fire & Emergency Medical Services went live approximately two years ago.

Bucks County 911 Pennsylvania now supports more than 130 independent agencies, together responding to more than 600,000 calls for services each year, including 40 individual law enforcement entities, 60 volunteer and combination fire departments, and 17 emergency medical services, as well as a number of County-based and State-based agencies, says a Versaterm press release.

According to Diamond IT,  attacks of 911 call centers have been a growing and emerging problem over the last 10 years. 911 call centers have become a symbol of rescue and hope. But since 2014, that very symbol of safety has come under attack in cities such as Baltimore, Atlanta and Seattle, says one report from the cyber security firm.

Sources did say the full weight of the Federal Government is part of the cyber attack investigation, as of early Monday morning.

The  9-1-1 operations center is based in Ivyland Borough, and handles calls for municipal police departments, fire companies, and EMS squads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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