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NewsWatch: Public Safety



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July 14, 2010 By

L.A. Police help Marines Prepare for Afghanistan

A tough-talking, muscular Los Angeles police sergeant steadily rattled off tips to a young Marine riding shotgun as they raced in a patrol car to a drug bust: Be aware of your surroundings. Watch people's body language. Build rapport. Marine Lt. Andrew Abbott, 23, took it all in as he peered out at the graffiti-covered buildings, knowing that the lessons he learned recently in one of the city's toughest neighborhoods could help him soon in the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Austin American-Statesman

Court: N.J. Police May Have to Learn 150 Languages

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Monday that police must explain the state's implied-consent law to motorists in a language that they understand. In a 4-3 decision, the court overturned German Marquez' conviction for refusal to take an alcohol breath test because the man, who spoke only Spanish, did not understand the consequences. The ruling compels police officers to use a language that suspects understand when informing them the law requires a breath test. The decision could have a wide effect in New Jersey, which has 1.75 million immigrants, about a quarter of whom do not speak English fluently or at all, according to Census statistics. Newsroom.com

80 Oakland Police Officers Laid Off

Oakland city officials and police union leaders were unsuccessful Tuesday in their attempts to reach a last-minute agreement by a 5 p.m. deadline to prevent the layoffs of 80 of the city's 776 officers. The City Council voted June 25 to eliminate 80 police officer positions to help close the city's $32.5 million funding gap. CBS5

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500 Employees to be Laid off to Balance Dallas Budget

Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm said this morning that she expects to give layoff notices to some 500 civilian city employees to help balance the city's budget in October. Many of those employees will be part-time workers for the library and parks departments, among others.Suhm said that she does not expect more than a small number of those employees will find work in other city departments -- something that has been common in the past.  Dallas Morning News

Juvenile Offenders Sentenced to Shakespeare (Story and Video)

For most American teens, performing Shakespeare is an optional activity. For some teens in Berkshire County, Mass., the course is mandatory. "Some people are here for worse reasons than others. I'm here because of assault and battery," says Tim, 15. Tim is among 12 teens sentenced by a juvenile court judge to participate in the Shakespeare in the Courts program. "The judge sentenced me here, so my first thoughts were, 'Shakespeare is not my thing. I'd rather not.'" Voice of America

Sacramento DA Picked to Head National Organization

Sacramento District Attorney Jan Scully has been elected president of the National District Attorneys Association and will assume the presidency in July 2011. Scully will be the first female president of the NDAA. Sacramento Bee

Lawsuit to Limit Human-Smuggling Prosecutions

An appeals court has revived a lawsuit aimed at stopping the Maricopa County, Ariz., Attorney's Office from prosecuting undocumented immigrants as co-conspirators of the smugglers who bring them into the state. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the case --


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