Missouri Launches PPE Marketplace

On April 22 Governor Mike Parson announced the launch of a new tool developed by Google to help health care providers connect with Missouri manufacturers and suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE).

“It’s vital that we keep our health care workers as protected as possible in the fight against COVID-19,” Governor Parson said. “Manufacturers across the state have answered the call to help protect our health care workers, and we are committed to doing all we can to get this equipment into the hands of those that need it.”

​​The new tool is a joint effort between the state and the Missouri Hospital Association. It was built to help manufacturers that have shifted production to PPE enter the health care market and connect with buyers.

Over the past month, the Department of Economic Development (DED) has gathered interest from more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers of PPE and invited all of these companies to register in the system.

Likewise, state health care agencies and the Missouri Hospital Association are reaching out to health care providers across the state to ensure they have access and can connect directly with suppliers through the new tool.

Expanding reserves of PPE by opening public and private supply chains is one of the four essential pillars of the “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan introduced by Governor Parson on April 17.

Missouri businesses interested in selling or manufacturing PPE can contact DED at ded.mo.gov/howtohelp.

Christian County Promotes Two

Christian County Sheriff Brad Cole (center) promoted two members of his jail staff on Tuesday, April 22.

Jason Applegate was promoted to the position of jail lieutenant and Krystal Smith was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Jason Applegate began his career with the Christian County Sheriff’s Office in February 2015 as a corrections officer. He quickly moved up through the ranks to corporal over Transport then later to administration sergeant.

“Jason is a dedicated and hardworking employee. The hard work and dedication he demonstrated is why he was he was promoted to the position of lieutenant over the jail,” the sheriff said.  

Krystal Smith began her career with the Christian County Sheriff’s Office in March 2007, handling many roles during her 13 years of service with the sheriff’s Office.

“She has been a role model and a team player since day one. Her latest assignment was corporal over Transportation. The hard work and dedication of she demonstrated during her time here earned her rank of sergeant within the jail,” Sheriff Cole said.

Photo provided.

COVID-19 Derails Efforts to Put Recreational Marijuana on Fall Ballot

An effort to get a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in Missouri on the November ballot has collapsed amid the coronavirus outbreak.

A group called Missourians for a New Approach committee announced Wednesday that it “simply cannot succeed in gathering sufficient signatures” amid restrictions that closed business and forced people to stay home. The group had faced a deadline of May 3 to collect 170,000 signatures.

“We had hoped that it might be possible to persuade the state of Missouri to allow online signature gathering under the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in this spring,” the group said in a statement.

But state officials said no, and the group sai​​d “there does not appear to be any other path.” The statement said that the group hoped that the campaign would resume next year, with the goal of placing the issue of whether to legalize the use of marijuana for those 21 or older on the November 2022 ballot.

“It appears,” the group wrote, “that Missourians are ready to embrace legalization if given the opportunity to vote on it.”

The group has said the recreational marijuana effort is being supported by the same backers who helped pass the medical marijuana constitutional amendment in 2018.

 
​Associated Press | News Tribune​

Senators Propose up to $25K in Hazard Pay for ‘Essential Workers’

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would grant a pandemic premium pay increase of up to $25,000 to essential workers and institute a $15,000 essential worker recruitment incentive.

The COVID-19 “Heroes Fund” proposal aims to reward and retain essential workers as well as recruit more.

U.S. senators have proposed a COVID-19 “Heroes Fund” that would provide up to $25,000 in hazard pay for essential workers, including first responders and healthcare professional​​s. (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)

“Thousands of New Yorkers across the city, Long Island and upstate are leading this fight and reporting to the frontlines of our state and nation’s pandemic response each and every day, placing themselves squarely in harm’s way to serve the needs of others,” Schumer said in a statement.

He named doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, transit workers and more as those that fall into the essential category.

“Essential frontline workers sacrifice daily for our collective health and well-being, and I, along with my colleagues, are fully committed to supplying these heroes the financial support they deserve.”

EMPLOYERS WOULD APPLY

The pay increase would be the equivalent to an additional $13 per hour from when the COVID-19 public health emergency began Jan. 27 until Dec. 31, or until the maximum allowable premium pay increase is reached, according to a press release from Schumer’s office.

Those increases would be capped at $25,000 for essential frontline workers who make less than $200,000 per year and $5,000 for those who earn more than $200,000 annually.

People who sign on to be essential health and home care workers or first responders could receive a one-time $15,000 premium.

Employers in industries that engage in “essential work” would apply to the “Heroes Fund” to add pay to employees’ and independent contractors’ paychecks.

They would track these payments and return any unspent funds, the release said.

Per the proposal, the “Heroes Fund” would be fully federally-funded and essential frontline employees in the federal workforce would also be eligible.

“The definition of essential frontline workers for purposes of both the premium pay increase and the recruitment-retention incentive will be the subject of debate,” the press release said.

“Our goal is to make federal, state, tribal, local and private sector essential workers that are at risk eligible for this benefit.”

STEFANIK, GILLIBRAND SPEAK

Essential workers, particularly nurses, doctors and health care workers, are on the front lines of the crisis, North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) said in a statement.

“The North Country is forever indebted to them and grateful for their work during this difficult time.

I support hazard pay for our health care workers as well as other essential workers, and strongly believe Congress must work on a bipartisan basis to deliver crucial support for those on the front lines working to keep our communities and families healthy and safe.”

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said she strongly supported the proposed “Heroes Fund.”

“These brave men and women are putting themselves in harm’s way to save lives, support other essential workers and give food security to millions of Americans and New Yorkers.

They’ve earned our full support and then some.”

By Cara Chapman | Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y

Data Sharing Benefits Law Enforcement Investigations

In a large suburb in Maricopa County, Arizona, officers rushed to a multi-victim shooting where the victims were left dying in the front yard and sidewalk of a quiet, upscale community. Detectives were unable to find third party witnesses, video footage from residential security systems, or investigative leads. The crime scene, although bloody, was surprisingly clean from other evidence. Detectives had little to go on besides bullets retrieved from the victim’s body, a handful of spent shell casings left at the scene, and a few recorded dying declarations from one unidentified victim who recently moved to Arizona from out-of-state.

When detectives have little evidence to go on, they often resort back to “old school” low-tech investigative techniques like contacting informants, speaking with neighbors and scavenging data management programs in hopes of finding a needle-in-the-haystack.

There are over 18,000 police agencies in America, and most of them do a poor job communicating and sharing information. However, over the last decade, police departments realize they cannot solve many crimes using data collected only by their agency. As a result, many police departments are improving the way they collect, manage and share information with other agencies, including the use of records management systems (RMS), data collection systems and federal partnerships.

In this shooting case, detectives used various techniques and discovered this case was linked to nearly a dozen different violent crimes, including aggravated assaults, robberies and homicides. More importantly, they were able to connect this case to a string of other violent cases throughout the Southwestern United States and as far east as Kansas.

Criminals are not restricted by agency or state jurisdictions, officers should not be either. This article will explore how agencies can use technology software, as well as federal partnerships, to solve and prosecute inter-jurisdictional violent crimes.

RECORDS MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (RMS)

After tracking down few confidential reliable informants (CRIs) who had unsubstantiated information, detectives scoured their department’s RMS for any data that they could find to substantiate the CRI information in hopes of finding a potential suspect(s). Detectives found:

A civil traffic stop interview where an officer documented the driver and all passengers.
A call for service where an officer documented the driver and vehicle information.

Detectives were able to find a potential suspect, the rear passenger of contact #1. They also linked the suspect with the driver of contact #1. The driver of contact #1 was also the driver in contact #2, and the vehicle in contact #2 was the same vehicle seen by the CRI leaving the area of the shooting. Bingo. They now had reliable leads.

The key to any successful investigation is accurate, timely data collection and entry into the department’s RMS. Street officers collected and entered the information above the same day of the incident, which allowed detectives to find the information they needed when they needed it. Agencies should encourage officers to enter all officer contacts, including traffic stops and minor violations, into their agency’s RMS.

DATA COLLECTION SYSTEMS

Data collection systems are systems designed to compile information from individual agencies RMS, from across the country, into one easy to navigate, easy to use platform. These systems are also capable of gathering information from other programs like NIBIN, eTrace and ShotSpotter.

The purpose of data collection systems is to make finding inter-jurisdictional information quicker and easier.

Detectives dumped the information they found using their agency’s RMS into a different data collection system that was able to scour nearly a dozen agencies RMS programs. This is what they found:

The vehicle in contact #2 was linked to several armed robberies and one shooting in the Phoenix/Metro area.
(2) possible firearms
The driver of contact #2 was stopped and cited in the suspect car three times within 60 days
Two of the passengers from contact #1 were investigative leads in several arm robberies
The driver, passengers and suspect were linked to a violent gang
Valid phone numbers and addresses of suspects
Personal and next-of-kin information for the unidentified victim

From a simple search, detectives were finally able to see a clearer picture of what happened, why it happened, and who did it. But they still had a lot more work ahead.

FEDERAL PARTNERSHIP

Detectives, using the information collected using the data collection system, quickly realized that this case was connected to several out-of-state cases. These detectives were lucky to have federal agents from the DEA, FBI and ATF already assigned to their agency, which made information sharing and multi-agency collaboration easy. Federal agents, with guidance from state and local detectives, quickly assigned follow-up to non-Arizona field agents. Working together and as a team, detectives and agents were able to:

Definitively link the suspect as the shooter.
Positively ID the vehicle used in the shooting.
Positively ID the firearm used in the shooting.
Definitively link the firearm used in the shooting to several violent crimes in different states.
Classify the shooting as gang-related.

Active federal partnerships proved to be the key in this case, locking the suspect in as the shooter, documenting him as a violent gang member and closing the door on several unsolved violent crimes.

Detectives would not have been able to solve this case without accurate data collection and federal partnerships. Because this agency was diligent in training officers on how to collect and manage data, they were able to quickly find the information they needed to start the investigation. Agencies should focus on data collection for multi-agency use, and encourage officers to network with other local, state and federal agencies to form partnerships.

About the author

Joshua Lee is an active-duty police sergeant for the City of Mesa (Arizona) Police Department. Before promoting, Joshua served five years as a patrol officer and six years as a detective with the Organized Crime Section investigating civil asset forfeiture, white-​​collar financial crime and cryptocurrency crimes.

Joshua is a cryptocurrency, money laundering and dark web consultant for banks, financial institutions and accountants throughout Arizona. He also serves as one of Arizona’s subject matter experts on cryptocurrency crimes and money laundering.

Joshua holds a BA in Justice Studies, an MS in Legal Studies and an MA in Professional Writing. He has earned some of law enforcement’s top certifications, including the ACFE’s Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE) and the IAFC’s Certified Cyber Crimes Investigator (CCCI).

Joshua is also an adjunct professor at a large national university and smaller regional college teaching, law, criminal justice, government and English courses. He instructs police in-service training and teaches at the regional police academy.

Fulton Public Schools Offering Free Child Care for First Responders

The program will be held at Bush Elementary where bathrooms are close to the doors allowing students to wash their hands as soon as they walk in. This was a recommendation made by the state.
 

Fulton Public Schools will begin offering free childcare to children whose parents are first responders.

Fulton Public Schools superintendent Jacque Cowherd said the school district received a list from Governor Parson and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that included kids in the school district whose parents are first responders.

Fulton Public Schools’ list included 24 kids from 14 families. After identifying the families, Cowherd did a survey of the staff and found 14 to 16 individuals who were willing to be a part of the program. The individuals include teachers who Cowherd said will be able to help teach the students and a custodian who can keep the area clean.

Cowherd said the custodian’s husband is a firefighter and she has two kids in the medical field, so this program is close to her heart.

The volunteers will meet up on Monday and nursing staff will layout protocols to ensure the safety of those involved.

Cowherd said his biggest fear that too many people will get sick and they’ll have to shut down. In response to this fear, the program is working on gathering hand sanitizer and masks for people to wear.

Cowherd hopes they’ll be able to start as early as next Wednesday with six kids.

But, the program may end up assisting more kids as time goes on.

Cowherd said every w​​eek, the local school superintendents have a conversation and if the other districts have kids that fit the criteria for the free childcare the Fulton Public Schools will work to include them.

The program will be held at Bush Elementary where bathrooms are close to the doors allowing students to wash their hands as soon as they walk in. This was a recommendation made by the state. (Fulton Public Schools)

The program will run until May 21 and, as of now, the program will run from 6:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

By Megan Smaltz | KRCG TV

Inmate Labor Force Works to Better Themselves, County

Nearly a year after the construction of the evidence storage facility at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the Lincoln County Jail’s volunteer inmate labor force has been working on other projects designed to better the county – and themselves.

“Last year, She​​riff (John) Cottle built the Inmate Training Center, which is utilized by both inmates and disenfranchised citizens in Lincoln County to better their occupational skill set to land a great paying job,” said Lieutenant Andy Binder, public information officer. “Sheriff Cottle, employees and volunteer inmates started the second stage of construction on the Inmate Manufacturing Building. Inmates will take the skills they learned in the Inmate Training Center and apply to hands on construction of tiny homes.”

Yes, tiny homes.

Lincoln County’ inmate workforce has worked with different non-profit organizations and completed several projects. Several of those included renovating the Britton House, doing landscaping several churches and chopping wood for the Bridgeway Women’s Shelter.

“Look around Lincoln County. We are growing and in need of a qualified and trained workforce,” Binder said.

Binder also said the program has helped reduce the recidivism rate for inmates at the jail.

“(Cottle) has had a long standing vision of reducing recidivism in Lincoln County,” he said. “For many, recidivism is nothing more than lip service use by law enforcement to attempt to justify their policies and/or procedures and offers very little to a long-term strategy to reduce the number of inmates coming through the criminal justice system.

“Inmates with a future are far better off than inmates with none. Sheriff Cottle is showing the people of Lincoln County that (reversing) recidivism can be achieved, and is showing how a local work program can change the lives of families impacted with an incarcerated person.”

Inmates have to request training, or to work, and sign a volunteer form to be accepted into the workforce program. This training is open to all local and federal inmates. Federal inmates and/or inmates who transfer to prison can finish the training at their respective location. Lincoln County’s workforce training mirrors similar federal and state prisons.

Binder said when inmates volunteer for the workforce, they are enrolled in Telify (Missouri Jobs), MoJobs.gov and Connections for Success.

Connections for Success works and trains inmates in construction skills they will use in the Inmate Manufacturing Building. The program also includes curriculum to improve life skills, including balancing a budget, writing a resume and how to tackle personal programs in a more positive and meaningful way, according to Binder.

Once an inmate completes the program,  he earns his apprenticeship through the United States Department of Labor. If an inmate is released prior to completing the program he can still complete it on the civilian side of the training building.

Despite the fact the program is voluntary, or its success, critics might still consider the workforce labor program “cheap labor” or “modern-day slavery.” Binder would say it is giving Lincoln County’s inmates a chance at a better life once they’re released.

“We say, when citizens see (the inmates) working on beautification projects, working on buildings, doing non-for-profit projects, enhancing Lincoln County parks and cemeteries, stop and ask them if they consider themselves ‘modern-day slavery,’ which is a ridiculous statement to make,” Binder said. “ Ask the inmates if they feel like ‘cheap labor.’ Ask them.

“Inmates are giving back to their community in more ways than any of the naysayers. Doing something positive for once in their lives should be championed, not put down. We ignore the noise and keep moving forward because this is not about Sheriff John Cottle, it’s about changing broken lives and impacting Lincoln County in a positive way to enhance the quality of life for all the people.”

The ultimate goal of the program is to create the type of change the citizens of Lincoln County can see and believe.

“We want citizens to say, ‘that guy was nothing but trouble, but now he has completely changed his life and moving in a positive direction.’ Who does not like a success story?” Binder said. “Our goal is to ensure all people in Lincoln County can benefit from the programs Sheriff John Cottle has implemented. That has been the direction of the Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff John Cottle’s leadership. It’s taken a few years to get here but we are moving in the right direction for both inmates and for disenfranchised citizens in Lincoln County.”

By S​hawn Singleton | Lincoln News Now.com

Boone County Sheriff’s Office Implements Techniques Being Adopted by Hospital

Sheriff ​Dwayne ​Carey ​(center) ​​poses with ​ ​Jamie Callahan with Show-Me Ductless (left) and  ​Bill Wise with WCS Construction (rigt), ​the contractors who installed the disinfectant tent​, which will be used to disinfect staff and equipment  ​.(Boone County Sheriff’s Department)  

The Boone County Sheriff​’​s Department installed a disinfectant tent in the Sally Port at the Boone County Jail ​in early April in an effort to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into the jail.

The disinfectant tent, which was installed by local contractors, projects a mist of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution on people walking through the tent.

All persons entering the Jail will now pass through the tent and the hydrogen peroxide disinfe​​cting mist prior to being allowed to enter the Boone County Jail.

On Friday​, April 10​, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department announced the same disinfectant stations were installed at both University Hospital and the Woman’s and Children’s Hospital.

​A​ Facebook post​ stated​,​ “Dr. Beckett and numerous staff members are excited to have another tool at their disposal to assist with disinfecting staff and equipment. We appreciate Dr. Beckett and the local contractors including us with this innovative idea to add to the numerous other protocols and procedures we have implemented to try and prevent COVID-19 from entering our Jail.”

See how it works by visiting https://www.facebook.com/BooneCountySD/videos/1426806330839488/

 
By Megan Smaltz | KRCG TV

Missouri’s First Responders Now Eligible for Worker’s Comp for COVID-19

IAFF 2nd District Vice President Mark Woolbright speaks at a press briefing where Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced an emergency rule allowing first responders to receive workers’ compensation for time off related to COVID-19. (Photo/Mike Parson Facebook)
 


Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday said an emergency rule will allow firefighters, police and other first responders to receive workers’ compensation if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are quarantined because of it.

The rule creates the assumption that a first responder was exposed to the virus while on duty, Parson said.

The order will take effect in 10 days but apply retroactively to cover first responders who already have been diagnosed with the virus or are under quarantine, Parson and state labor Director Anna Hui said at a news conference announcing the emergency rule.

Missouri’s worker compensation laws normally require an employee to prove he or she got sick or injured on the job.

Jefferson City police officer Jeremy Bowman, who is with the Fraternal Order of Police, joined Parson and Hui at the news conference. Bowman said the virus has impacted first responders across the state, including eight officers in St. Louis who have it and 55 who are quarantined, 13 officers in Springfield who are quarantined and several awaiting results, and five in Kansas City with the virus and 25 quarantined.

“Many, many law enforcement agencies and fire departments around the state are having similar experiences,” Bowman said. “To be clear, nearly every first responder agency in the state will have a diminished workforce because of COVID-19 illness or quarantine protocols. As police officers, we never know if the next person we encounter might be exposing us to coronavirus.”

Knowing the virus will now be treated as a duty-related illness “will allow peace of mind” for officers and their families, Bowman added.

Mark Woolbright, with the International Association of Fire Fighters, said he knows of at least 10 firefighters who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the 70 fire districts, fire departments and ambulance districts he represents in St. Louis County and St. Charles County. Thirty-three first responders have been quarantined. Now, instead of the firefighters using their earned sick leave, they will be eligible for workers’ compensation because the illness is considered work-related, he said.

Parson, a former sheriff in Polk County, said Tuesday, “Our first responders risk themselves every day, especially right now.” He said the state continues to struggle to make sure first responders have the gear they need to protect themselves.

Woolbright, a fire captain with the Pattonville Fire Protection District, said it can be a scary time for firefighters, paramedics and EMTs. “This is a big deal, this is a really big deal to our members.”

He said it should bring some relief to first responders especially as they head into the next few weeks when the pandemic is expected to peak in Missouri. Woolbright is second district vice president for the International Association of Fire Fighters.

The St. Louis Police Officers Association, the union representing rank-and-file officers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, said the emergency rule was a “game changer.”

Jeff Roorda, business manager for the union, said that current workers’ compensation regulations put the burden on the employee to show that an injury or disease happened in the line of duty. Parson has done “a good thing for our cops today and we can’t thank him enough,” Roorda said in a statement.

Roorda said the numbers Bowman cited at the news conference, of eight officers with the virus and 55 quarantined, are about a week old. Roorda said Wednesday, “They could be as high as double that but we can’t confirm it because the department is being so secretive.” Roorda said the union is sending the Police Department a letter complaining about the lack of transparency on the numbers.

Meanwhile, the St. Louis Police Department declined Wednesday to tell the Post-Dispatch how many of its officers have tested positive for the virus and how many are quarantined. “We do not discuss the health status of employees,” police spokeswoman Evita Caldwell said in an email.

By Kim Bell | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

High School Student 3D Prints Face Shields for Law Enforcement, Others

Introducing Project Face Shield! The CSA, CPS, and local 16-year-old future engineer Konnar Jones is switching from respirators to making face shields. Hospitals and first responders are asking for these shields – 5,000 or more are needed. The group is also asking other local 3D print owners to join them in their efforts. The website with the shield files is attached. The group is also  working on protocol for getting the shields shipped to them for distribution. Information will be posted soon on the Columbia STEM Alliance website…
Http://www.columbiastemalliance.com

https://www.prusa3d.com/covid19/

 

Healthcare providers biggest challenge is still a shortage of personal protective equipment.

One Columbia high school student saw the need in the community and he printed a solution.

Konnar Jones is 3D printing face shields to donate to hospitals and first responders during the coronavirus pandemic.

He prints 30 face shields a day with 24/7 printing. Jones said he had to go through several design changes.

“It’s just hours and days worth of changes,” Jones said.

He’s working with Executive Director of the Columbia Stem Alliance Craig Adams. Their goal is to print 6,000 face shields.

Adams said the hard part is finding things like elastic, and the acetate material for the visor.

“It’s an awesome feeling to be able to help people. My family is a law enforcement family. So that’s just what we do. I’m finally being able to help people with the skills that I have. It’s just rewarding and I love it,” Jones said.

Adams said Jones has been 3D printing since the fifth grade.

“It’s impressive. He’s a really special individual. He was driven from an early age to do this. He’s got some great training from the career center and the classes he’s taken,” Adams said.

Adams said he doesn’t look at Jones as a 16 year old anymore. He said he views Jones as a colleague.

“Its phenomenal to see what somebody can do when they’ve got the skill and they’ve got the motivation and the curiosity that it takes to do that,” Adams said.

Jones said he would like more people to join the project.

If you’d like to donate money, materials or 3D print face shields reach out to Craig Adams craigadams1965@gmail.com.

For more information please visit Columbia Stem Alliance’s website and Facebook page.The grou