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Brandywine Hundred Update

Jim Parks, editor

July 18, 2016

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TIME

NEWSFRONT

GOOD MORNING

ARCHIVE

WEATHER

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“Officer down!” an officer screamed frantically into his police radio Sunday morning in Baton Rouge, La. “Shots fired! Officer down!”

One of the most dreaded calls in policing triggered a surge of officers to the city’s Airline Highway, not far from Police Headquarters, an agonizing replay of the distress calls 10 days earlier that prompted the Dallas police to scramble to the aid of their fallen colleagues.

The twin attacks — three officers dead Sunday in Baton Rouge, five killed on July 7 in Dallas, along with at least 12 injured over all — have set off a period of fear, anguish and confusion among the nation’s 900,000 state and local law enforcement officers. Even the most hardened veterans call this one of the most charged moments of policing they have experienced.

Officers from Seattle to New Orleans are pairing up in squad cars for added safety and keeping their eyes open for snipers while walking posts. It is an anxious time: Officers must handle not only vocal denunciations from peaceful protesters who criticize abusive policing, but also physical attacks by a tiny few on the periphery.

Law enforcement officials said it had been generations since the nation endured two separate episodes in which so many police officers were killed.

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While the total number of officers killed by gunshots while on duty is lower than in recent decades, the nature of the attacks this month in Dallas and Baton Rouge, along with continuing protests around the nation spurred by videos showing fatal shootings of African-American men by the police, have led to considerable tensions.

Police officers including David O. Brown, the Dallas chief, say they are being threatened on social media, and other officers complain that protesters sometimes chant for them to be killed. “We’re all on edge,” Chief Brown said last week, “and we’re being very careful.”

Twenty-eight officers have died from gunshots this year, compared with 18 at the same point last year, a 56 percent increase, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which tracks law enforcement deaths.

What officers say concerns them most: 14 of the deaths this year have come in ambushes, six more than in all of 2015 and only one fewer than in 2014. The officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge were ambushed by gunmen, officials said.

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Still, the annual number of police deaths has decreased dramatically since the 1970s. In that decade, during one of the country’s worst surges of violent crime, an average of 127 officers were fatally shot each year. During the past 10 years, the average number of officers fatally shot was 52, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

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On Sunday, Chris Southwood, the president of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police, suggested that protesters had spurred violence against police officers.

“How many police funerals must occur before the American public finally says ‘enough is enough?’” he said in a statement. “Those involved in recent protests against the police should look at what happened today in Louisiana and immediately and vehemently condemn these coldblooded murders. A badge should not be a bull’s-eye.”

But Kareem Henton, a Black Lives Matter activist in Cleveland, said it was unfair to blame protesters focused on police reforms for the deaths of the police officers.

-- NEW YORK TIMES

 

 

 On the eve of the major party conventions, voters are grudgingly rallying around the nominees while expressing broad misgivings about the candidates, the campaign and the direction of the country, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

In a development not seen in any modern presidential contest, more than half of all voters hold unfavorable views of the two major party candidates and large majorities say neither is honest and trustworthy. Only half of voters say Mrs. Clinton is prepared to be president, while an astonishing two-thirds say that Mr. Trump is not ready for the job — including four in 10 Republicans.

-- NEW YORK TIMES

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC EVENTS --- 

¶  Monday, July 18  7 p.m.  Brandywine School Board business meeting  Mount Pleasant Elementary School, 600 Duncan Road, Brandywine Hundred  Agenda includes approval of a preliminary Fiscal 2017 budget and election of school board officers

¶  Tuesday, July 19  9 a.m.  New Castle County Planning Board business meeting  Government Center,  87 Reads Way, Corporate Commons  No agenda published

¶ Tuesday, July 19  3 p.m.  New Castle County Council Land Use Committee meeting  Louis L. Redding Building, 800 French Street, Wilmington

¶ Tuesday, July 19   5 p.m.  New Castle County Historic Review Board public hearing  Government Center,  87 Reads Way, Corporate Commons 

¶ Tuesday, July 26  1:30 p.m.  New Castle County Council Finance Committee meeting  Louis L. Redding Building, 800 French Street, Wilmington

¶ Tuesday, July 26  3 p.m.  New Castle County Council Community Services Committee meeting  Louis L. Redding Building, 800 French Street, Wilmington

¶ Tuesday, July 26  4 p.m.  New Castle County Council Executive Committee meeting  Louis L. Redding Building, 800 French Street, Wilmington

¶ Tuesday, July 26  6:30 p.m.  New Castle County Council meeting  Louis L. Redding Building, 800 French Street, Wilmington

¶  Thursday, July 28  6 p.m.  New Castle County Board of Adjustment public hearing, Government Center. 87 Reads Way, Corporate Commons  No agenda published

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