iWATCH was started by the U.S. Army and is being touted as a community awareness (spying) program the U. S. army created, to allegedly educate the public about behaviors and activities that may have a connection to terrorism.
"This program is a community program to help your neighborhood stay safe from terrorist activities." http://mdwhome.mdw.army.mil/iwatch
The iWATCH community (spying) program has spread across the country from Boston to LA.
DHS's "If You See Something Say Something" spy program apparently isn't good enough, Big Brother claims we need a second one!
Florida - A program in Palm Beach County intended to encourage residents to report suspicious behavior is attracting resistance from around the state.
Under the proposed "Violence Prevention Program," anyone who sees a potentially dangerous situation — a schizophrenic person with weapons, a war veteran making threats to passersby — could call a 24-hour hotline. Legitimate-sounding calls would trigger a visit by specially trained deputies in plain clothes or by mental health professionals.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff says a violence prevention unit could thwart would-be killers like the recent mass shooters in Connecticut and Colorado. The program will cost $3.2 million in the first year. The Florida Legislature agreed to pay $1 million of it.
Despite Sheriff Ric Bradshaw's ostensibly good-willed intent, the plan has been compared to Big Brother, the KGB, Castro's Cuba and Nazi Germany.
"This proposed policy is reminiscent of the police state in George Orwell's 1984," one local resident, Milton Smith, wrote in an email to Scott. "Palm Beach County should not be allowed to turn into 1939 Nazi Germany."
Dmitry Levin, of Boca Raton, grew up in the Soviet Union, where he said the government encouraged neighbors to "snitch on everybody."
"It's a specific telephone line to report your neighbor who doesn't like the government," Levin said. "When I read that, my jaw dropped. That's KGB in its finest form. The next step would be, what, bonuses for reporting?"
Already there are call lines, including the 211 crisis line, which offers support over the phone and serves as a kind of dispatch center for two "mobile crisis teams." The South County Mental Health Center runs one of these teams of specialized therapists who make house calls on dangerously unstable people. They have agreements with all the local law enforcement agencies, a 211 spokeswoman said.
All of these receive state funding.
The iWATCH program is being used in 13 Florida counties:
Florida - Sheriffs in 13 Northeast Florida counties announced an online system Thursday for residents to report suspicious activity they think may be terrorism-related.
Individuals can make reports online to any one of the counties from Nassau to Alachua that are part of the iWATCH program.
The site provides examples of red flags to watch for, such as people with an unusual interest in building plans or who are purchasing materials useful in bomb making. Important places to watch include hobby stores and dive shops.
Those making reports must provide their name and contact information.
Reports entered in the iWATCH system are sent to the individual counties through a central clearing house. It is also passed to other counties, in case the information can be connected to something similar or related. The program was set up using a $150,000 state grant and piggybacks on an existing information-sharing system law enforcement uses now.
The sites combine iWATCH with the county name, or in Jacksonville’s case the city, to direct the report. The site for Jacksonville is www.iwatchjax.com.
Other counties in the program are: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Flagler, Gilchrist, Levy, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns and Union.
“The majority of citizens want to do what’s right,” Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell said at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement offices in Jacksonville where the program was announced.
Florida's crime rate lowest in 42 years:
Florida - Crime statewide reached its lowest rate in 42 years, with Broward and Palm Beach counties following the downward trend, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's "Uniform Crime Report" reported Thursday.''
Broward's overall crime rate dropped by nearly 4 percent in 2012 compared with 2011, and Palm Beach County's rate was down by more than 3 percent during the same period, according to the agency's annual statistics.
Both counties showed declines in the types of crimes that affect most people: burglaries, larcenies and auto thefts. Robberies and rapes also were down in Broward, while aggravated assaults dipped in Palm Beach County, the statistics showed.
"I'm happy," Broward Sheriff's Col. Al Pollock said. "Can we do better? Absolutely, and we want to drive it down even more."
The decreases mirror a national trend of declining violence and crime over the past two decades. Florida's rate in 2012 decreased by more than 6 percent compared with the previous year, with property crimes dropping by nearly 6 percent. Violent crimes — such as murder, sexual offenses, robbery, and aggravated assault — also dipped by more than 4 percent overall. (if crime is down nationally why is DHS & the U.S. army pushing its spy on citizens programs?)
For more read:
Gov. Rick Scott credited the work of police across the state for the lower crime rate.
"It's because of the hard work of Florida's law enforcement community that we can celebrate today's great news about Florida's crime rate," he said.
Burglaries dropped 7 percent in Broward, after several years of increases in that county, and 10 percent in Palm Beach County. Larceny was down 3 percent in Broward, 2 percent in Palm. Auto thefts were down 3 percent in Broward and 7 percent in Palm.
There were 404 people raped in Broward in 2012, compared with 473 in 2011. There were 381 rapes in Palm Beach County, up from 340 the prior year.
Fort Lauderdale saw a drop of more than 2 percent in its crime rate, but Police Chief Frank Adderley said he thinks the number doesn't tell the full story. Adderley called the FDLE statistics "favorable," but said they weren't an accurate reflection of crime in the city.
"The report is based on a population of 168,615. We provide service to non-city residents that work in and visit our city, causing a daily population increase of nearly 300,000," Adderley said in a statement. "If the report showed the true number, the results would show a higher decrease of crime."
In South Florida, agencies' combining investigative efforts has seemed to pay off, officials said.
The crime-rate decrease reached double digits in several Broward cities. Pembroke Pines showed a nearly 15 percent drop, Plantation had a more than 11 percent decrease and Margate was down more than 11 percent, records showed.
Statewide, crimes committed with firearms continued to drop in 2012, down 2 percent from the prior year with 489 fewer such crimes committed. Agencies have programs aimed at lowering gun-related attacks.
FDLE began tracking crime statistics in 1971. After a rise in crime in the 1980s, the state's crime rate improved in recent decades, and now is consistently lower than figures from the 1970s.
FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey pointed out that while Florida's population grew by 17,937 last year there were 43,536 fewer crimes. "This report is good news for Florida families, businesses and visitors," he said.