Monday, March 17, 2014

Blarney Blowback

APD Chief Livingstone (officers standing in background)

Amherst Police Chief Scott Livingstone defended his department's response to the Blarney Blowout this evening to a solidly supportive Select Board and Town Manager while dozens and dozens of Amherst police officers stood behind him in the Town Room.

Police Union lawyer Terence Coles:  Understaffing hurts response capability

Unlike the day of the Blarney Blowout, where police had do deal with unruly crowds numbering in the thousands, the Chief found plenty of support tonight from the board and audience members. 

Select Board Chair Stephanie O'Keeffe was particularly effusive with her praise for the professionalism of all the public safety departments involved, pointing out how she listened, spellbound, all day on a scanner.

Attorney Peter Vickery:  Shut off all alcohol sales next year for Blarney Blowout 


Anonymous said...

All Amherst cops Larry. No other dept (other than AFD) was there...

Anonymous said...

Anyone there under the age of 40?

The middle is ceasing to hold.

Enough said?

Anonymous said...

I thought it was awful Helen Berg, select board nominee, to trash talk the PD. What planet is she on?

Larry Kelley said...

Planet Bizarro.

Michael Hootstein said...

I honor Chief Livingstone and the Amherst Police Dept. for their dedicated service to our community as my wife Kathy honored the Asheville, NC Police Dept. a year after she survived a bullet shot through her head by an abused and devalued 13-year-old school child. Here is a brief excerpt of her key-note address:

"We are here to honor each and every one of YOU. On March 17 of last year (1998), I was shot in the head on Livingston Street while on my way to Memorial Mission Hospital from the ABCCM medical clinic where I worked as a PA.

From the moment I lay unconscious, cold and shaking in the Emergency Room, (my husband, Michael tells me) the Officers of the Asheville City Police Department never let us down. Without exception everyone stepped into position and did their job. Without ego, in less than three days, you worked cooperatively as a team to identify and apprehend the young men who ambushed me. Your compassionate concern for my family and me is inspirational. You always keep us appropriately informed, but never allow your compassion to compromise the integrity of the investigation.

To you all, we owe a debt of appreciation we can never repay.

There are, as you all know, special complexities in dealing with cases of juvenile crime and violence. In this, and all potentially criminal matters, the community has asked you to walk the point for the rest of us. You are placed in situations daily, many of which were probably never predicted at the Police Academy. You have been called upon to use skills and intuitive judgments to guide on the spot decisions and responses that may not always be covered in any police manual. Your actions nevertheless must measure up to the highest standards and withstand the scrutiny that comes from many directions.

We expect you to intervene; to save us from the violence perpetrated by our community’s own children. It is an unfair expectation. We expect superhuman responses from you, yet we are quick to criticize and second-guess you after the fact. Public opinion is often based only on fragments of information. Because of the higher principles governing necessary internal police protocols, the “other side” of a story may not always be released so that a media report may truly be fair. You have to live with that.

Although accountability has to be in place to protect everyone’s interest, I think the time has come that the community at large be accountable too. It’s becoming clear that unless our culture, and our community somehow stops producing outlaws, it’s only a matter of time before we will be unable to have enough police on the streets at any given time to keep those same streets safe for any of us.

I now look at myself and my community as part of the problem. When 25% of African American kids have dropped out of school before they are even counted on the High School rolls, I and my community looked the other way. When only 35% of African American boys and only 45% of African American girls have consistently passed the NC ABC’s Standard tests starting in the 3rd grade, I looked the other way. When, after noting the report issued by the North Carolina Police Chief’s Organization, “Fight Crime Invest in Kids”, that (surprise, surprise), “85% of juveniles in court and 82% of prison inmates are school dropouts,” I LOOKED THE OTHER WAY.

We can see that, in addition to environmental and social factors, this epidemic of juvenile crime and violence is partially driven by the devaluation and disenfranchisement of low performing students in public schools. This is where I and others are now holding the whole community responsible to rally and reinforce those already in the trenches. If we expect you to walk the point for all of us, it’s up to us to do a better job of backing you up, in fixing the problem we chose not to see coming."

Anonymous said...

Oh, I would have loved to see Helen Berg speak at this. I hope ACTV recorded it!

Helen "The Ice" Berg has my vote (for Town Wingnut).

Larry Kelley said...

Hard to miss, considering she spoke over and over and over again.

Walter Graff said...

I remember being down at the 9/11 site just after the destruction was done. A number of fire engines were crushed by the number one tower. You could clearly see some of the trucks mangled but identifiable. On two trucks, there were piles of clothes that must have been in the building (shopping area storage). They were embedded in the trucks carriage from the building pieces.

343 fireman died that day including seven friends of mine. Most were in the stairwells and never knew what hit them. Some were in the lobby and heard the rumble but by the time they figured out what was happening it was too late. All of them went above and beyond what was asked of them. That includes the 50 policemen killed too.

Someone took a picture of those trucks and the next thing that was being printed in the news was that firefighters where pillaging the Gap store. The "evidence" was the clothes that were revealed to have been "hidden" in the trucks and revealed during the collapse.

Whatever moron said that should be shot. And whatever moron thinks the Amherst PD didn't do their job right should be next in line.

Easy to sit in a chair with no knowledge, only a spiffy degree on the wall and make comments about stuff you know little about.

Anonymous said...

We can remember past Select Boards with memberships that would not have been so supportive of the APD.

Let's not go back there.

Anonymous said...

Someone took a picture of those trucks and the next thing that was being printed in the news was that firefighters where pillaging the Gap store.

Maybe they were. Walter, remember that classic picture of the US Flag being raised? Where do you think the flag came from? And good people often do bad things -- George Washington owned slaves.

Above and beyond that maybe they pillaged the Gap for a legitimate purpose -- if you are going to be cutting clothing off people to treat injuries (standard protocol) on the scale they thought they would be (and would have been had the buildings not collapsed) then you kinda are going to need lots of clothing for the victims.

Not to mention needing dry clothing to prevent people from going into shock -- and remember that this was an upscale office and what you know people would be wearing. Women in skirts & heels who are now barefoot & cold, men not wearing all that much more, particularly if shirts & pant legs were used for emergency bandages & slings.

Some of your "walking wounded" are also going to be soaking wet -- sprinklers and all -- and you gotta get them into dry clothing and footwear that sorta fits.

Every person you can do this for is someone who can help you with the more seriously injured or at the very least will be leaving the scene under his/her/its own power and hence one less victim for your overwhelmed EMS to deal with.

Under those circumstances, I don't have any problem with the NYFD stealing anything they could grab from the GAP -- I'd have done the same thing. And yes, the city and Gap Inc would have to figure it out later -- the same way the NYFD would have to figure out the payroll --but that's later.

It's exactly the same thing as "stealing" the BAA's Marathon gear after the bombing last spring. Folks did, and the general consensus is that most of it was either stuff for the victims and/or stuff to keep them warm so they could help the victims and not become one as well. (I.e. runners worried about hypothermia as they tried to help victims.)

Walter, I consider this perfectly justified -- and if those firefighters "stole" that stuff for such a purpose, I consider it prudent thinking -- and something for which they should be commended.

Just tell the truth about it...

And I see it a whole lot more likely than some boxes falling (from some height) and then just getting wedged in (and not blown away on the way down) by other debris.

Walter Graff said...

Ed you're a fucking moron.

One of the trucks I mentioned was Ladder 4. It arrived 30 minutes before the collapse of the south tower and all of it's members were killed rescuing people in elevators as was witnessed by survivors.

The truck had been parked virtually underneath two retail stores stocked with scores of pairs of jeans and all of the jeans found around the truck had come from the the collapse of the building.

No wonder why you hate UMASS so much. You never learned shit. Go back and get a fucking education you loser.

Anonymous said...

Then Ed & Walter, like matter and anti-matter, met in the same spot and imploded. See you in the next universe. Your nonsense can't be contained in this one.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, who the heck would vote for Berg after that rant? She has no clue about anything going on, her facts are all off, and! You really need to post a link for that train wreck.

Anonymous said...

Link to Berg's video pitch for SB.

Be sure to catch her suggestion to the APD about their bus riding technique (4:38 mark).

Among Berg's *big* ideas is to make tourism the town's biggest industry.