[caption id="attachment_1060" align="alignright" width="225"] Detective from Brazil.[/caption]
This is becoming a very busy fall. I have been working on a Fraud Outreach for AARP which was designed by AARP in conjunction with the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office. The idea was to create a presentation that could be delivered by volunteers and then to develop a program throughout the state to expand the efforts of both AARP and the Attorney General. Nancy Anderson the Outreach Director for AARP Montana and Chuck Munson from Consumer Protection created the power point presentation and have trained volunteers to reach out throughout the state. It has been successful in the locations where we have volunteers, but as always we could use more volunteers.
I had the good fortune of attending the International CPTED Association Conference in Cancun in August. I have been attending this conference off and on since 1997 and have learned a great deal about crime prevention throughout the world. This year was no different. Attending the Conference in Mexico was different also as the conference was mostly in Spanish and I had to hear the presentations through interpreters - not an easy thing. It worked out well, however and there were many very interesting programs - presented often by friends that I have made over the years. I especially enjoyed programs taught by a lady from India and one of my old friends from Colorado that I first met when he provided training for Seattle Police three decades ago. CPTED has undergone some updates - now there is Level 1, Level 2 and now Level 3 CPTED which has added a great deal of focus on community involvement. When I attended the last round of Substance Abuse Connect meetings last month I met a man from the Chamber of Commerce in Billings who is attending the CPTED training put on by NCPI (National Crime Prevention Institute at the University of Louisville - where I got my initial training). He was taken aback when he learned he could have gotten training in Cancun - seemed like a much more interesting place to train.
The Substance Abuse Connect has continued on with two days that were devoted strictly to Prevention and treatment. I really think this organization has some real potential to be valuable to Billings and maybe make a dent in the Meth/Violence cycle that has been spiraling out of control in Billings in the past few years. I also attended a meeting on Cities in Crisis at the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch last month which had panels from Montana cities, Indian Country, Community programs and a keynote from the Superintendent of Billings School District. One of the panels discussed the MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women) and the Human Trafficking problems in Montana. I have heard that presentation now three times - there, at the Governor's Conference on Aging and last weekend at the MMIW Tribunal presented by the Blackfeet Nation and Blackfeet Community College in Browning, MT. It kind of reminds me of the years in the Seattle area when everyone was focused on Ted Bundy and then the Green River Killer. Had some of the same problems - law enforcement not working as a team and many thinking it wasn't important since the victims didn't count to them. I have trouble understanding that. Ann Rule wrote a great book called "Green River, Running Red" which I had to email her with the comment this is the best book on this subject as you were able to humanize each of the victims of which she did a marvelous job.
The FAST Team is having another meeting at the end of this month in Billings. I was invited to a presentation at the governor's conference where the governor is going to sign legislation that allows the members of law enforcement to share information with the other members of the team. I remember when I was in Bellevue one of my good friends was a federal agent in Seattle and we did training together on numerous occasions. I mentioned that we were most likely going to get into trouble at some time because we were meeting with the banks in Bellevue and often sharing information regarding suspects we had in common and his comment was "sometimes you have to step out of the box to get the job done properly". Again, one of the things I truly believe is that communities solve community problems - TOGETHER! Artificial silos create barriers to solving problems.
Alex E. Ward, CPP
Board Certified in Security Management (American Society for Industrial Security)
MCPA in conjunction with the Yellowstone County DUI Task Force and Q2 produced these DUI PSA's. They paint a sad picture of DUI in Montana and have been viewed on television as well as on you tube. This is one way we can educate folks as to things they need to know about crime.