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News Briefs

Concealed carry reduces crime; command staff gets a support group; Canadian Hells Angels challenge mafia; and how to respond to residential alarms.

February 01, 1996  |  by Cole Morris and Randall Resch

Carry laws reduce crime, study shows

The 17 states with favorable right-to­-Carry gun laws had a 20.7 percent total lower violent crime rate than the other states and the District of Columbia in 1994, according to an NRA Institute for Legislative Action analysis of newly released FBI crime data. The FBI classi­fies murder, rape, robbery and aggravat­ed assault as violent crimes.

Total firearm violent crime was 26.5 percent lower for the states with favor­able carry laws, with firearm murder 33 percent lower and firearm robbery 35.3 percent lower, according to the analysis.

Florida saw its homicide rate dip 6.7 percent from 1993 to 1994. The state's homicide rate has declined 26.S percent since 1987, a period that saw the U.S. homicide rate increase 8.4 percent.

Also, 70 percent of 3,600 officers answering a Parade magazine poll answered "no" wIlen asked, "Should handguns (concealed or otherwise) be outlawed?" in a November '95 report.

Support group for supervisors formed

A new group has been formed to address the needs of police super­visors, from the rank of sergeant through chief.

The new Police Supervisors Group specifically addresses the needs of working pol ice sergeants, lieutenants and captains.

Members receive a quarterly news­letter that features news, legislative updates, supervision and leadership tips, as well as articles that address specific supervisory problems. One regular col­umn in the newsletter deals with sexual harassment in the workplace.

In addition to the newsletter, members also receive a copy of the 40-plus page Police Supervisors' Resource Manual.

Membership information and a free copy of the newsletter can be obtained by calling or faxing (804) 642-2343.

Outlaw bikers at war in Canada

Police officers north of the border have their hands full as the Hells Angels of Quebec engage in a bloody year-long struggle, which has claimed nearly 30 lives to date. Bomb blasts and shootouts have become almost daily occurrences in what has become the bloodiest narcotics war in Canada.

The violence is the result of the Hells Angels challenging Montreal's traditional crime families, including the Mafia, for lucrative drug profits.

"It is full-scale war now; not just the usual violent bickering between gangs," said Daniel Wolf, a professor of anthropology at the University of Prince Edward Island.

"The Hells Angels of Quebec are the heaviest, the meanest in Angeldom. The war in Montreal is nearly unprece­dented in North America for intensity and murderousness," Wolf recently told the Boston Globe.

Meanwhile, Canadian specialists in organized crime say the bloodshed in

Quebec is the latest, most aggressive push by the bikers to grab nationwide control of the marijuana, cocaine, hashish and PCP markets. The Angels are tightly organized and sophisticated. Established in Quebec since around 1977, there are only 74 full-fledged members. The small numbers, howev­er, disguise their criminal capabilities.

The "Hells" serve as commanders to lesser-known bike gangs. Perform­ing the role of shock troops, these affiliated gangs in Quebec include the Rockers, Evil Ones, Jokers, Death Riders, Blatnois and Satan's Guards.

Officer Survival Tip from Police

Taking a bite out of the beat.

Officers responding to residential alarms often breech Scruffy's domain without knowing it.  If the animal aggressively approaches you, never turn and run.  Hold your ground momentarily to see how the dog reacts.  Never cornel an animal or approach its doghouse (or the area where you see its food dish).  Chemical mace has little effect on most dogs-unless it's cayenne-pepper spray.  But there's no guarantee.

A passive dog that feels threatened may indicate this with its tail between its legs.  It may be more fearful than aggressive, and will bit.  If the dog approaches you, slowly crouch down to decrease your visual size and slowly extend your hand.  Keep your fingers curled under, allowing him to smell you.  Charging dogs have identified you as an intruder, and a bite is probably imminent.

Always carry your baton or metal clipboard while entering the yard, suggests animal control experts.

If the dog attacks, shove the baton or other hand-held item in its mouth.  If no other option exists, you'll have to shoot Scruff to avoid a very painful injury.

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