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The CIA "inadvertently left" explosive material on a school bus after a training exercise with local law enforcement in Loudoun County, Va., the agency and the country sheriff's office say.

For all the talk in the last couple of years about reforming police, there are limits to what the government can do. But there may be another way, and it involves insurance companies.

John Rappaport, an assistant law professor at the University of Chicago, says he spent years studying police reform before it dawned on him to ask a basic question: What were the insurance companies doing?

"I just went on to Google and started searching and was just instantly amazed with the stuff I was finding," Rappaport says.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Bill Fickling sat on his front porch in the Ingleside neighborhood of Macon.

 

He pointed beyond the cherry blossom trees, well-known to those who live in the city. Through the woods is a house.

 

“The burglars were actually using that as a hide out, apparently that house is vacant,” said Fickling.

Georgia Department of Corrections

UPDATE:

The Supreme Court of Georgia denied Bishop's request for a stay of execution Thursday afternoon.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied death row inmate Joshua Bishop's plea for clemency. The 41-year-old's execution is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.

The FBI says it has gotten into the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters in California, so prosecutors have dropped their case trying to compel Apple to do it. But the controversy is far from over. Local prosecutors across the country have iPhones that they would like to unlock, and they want to know if the FBI will use its master key to help.

Last week's terrorist attacks in Brussels have police in the U.S. reviewing their own preparedness, especially for the threat of multiple, coordinated attacks.

One question that often comes up is radio communications. In America, unlike Europe, most police radio chatter is on open frequencies.

During the Dec. 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., for instance, the general public was able to follow the drama of the manhunt by listening to police radio communications that were being streamed online.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

    

 

The scene in the small courtroom inside the Bibb County Law Enforcement center was a familiar one.

 

On a day scheduled for first court appearance, there was one charge on the docket. A murder.

Crime Crackdown Gets Fugitives Off The Streets

Mar 24, 2016
Office of Public Affairs

 

More than 140 people are in custody after a multi-agency crackdown on violent crime in Savannah.

Savannah was among a dozen cities targeted.

The U.S. Marshals service along with Savannah police, and the Chatham County Sheriff's Office arrested 144 suspects including 14 wanted for murder.

 

Savannah was among the government's so-called 12 "focus cities." It had 53 murders last year, the highest since 1991.

 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

When it comes to guns, Marciarea Torney-Daramanu is sure of one thing.

“With my kids now? When they get of age to own a gun I will make sure they are trained to use a gun,” she said.

She didn’t always feel this way. On a rainy day she shows me into her kitchen in her home in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Macon. She points to a magnet on her refrigerator.

“This is my son right here,” Marciarea said.

The photo is Stacy K. Johnson, Jr., Marciarea’s son. He’s holding his children.

“He’s the one that got killed right there,” she said.

Grant Blankenship/GPB

 

 

All life is like this. All life is a trade off. This is just a field of gray, there's no black or white.

Michael Hayden wants college students, tomorrow’s leaders, to know just that. Hayden ran the NSA from 1999 to 2005 and the CIA from 2006 to 2009. Today he includes among his responsibilities teaching at George Mason University. Before a lecture at Mercer University in Macon, GA, Hayden shared the core of what he wants students to know.  His words follow.

Crime, Cops & Community: Residents Take Action

Mar 21, 2016
Gabrielle Ware / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Savannah has a lot to boast about. Georgia’s first city attracts millions of tourists each year.

But those who live in Savannah know it has a darker side. With 53 murders last year, the city saw its highest number of homicides since the early 1990s.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect the news that the federal judge has granted the government's request for a delay in the case, giving the FBI time to test a new method of cracking the iPhone without Apple's help.

Ketevan Kardava / AP

At least 26 people are dead and more than 100 wounded, after explosions struck Brussels during the Tuesday morning rush hour, Belgian officials say. Two blasts hit the international airport; another struck a metro station. Belgium has issued a Level 4 alert, denoting "serious and imminent attack."

Crime, Cops & Community: Battling Public Distrust

Mar 20, 2016
Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department

Savannah has one of the highest murder rates in Georgia. And last year that number went up by nearly 70 percent. But a spike in crime doesn't happen overnight. City leaders blame years of corruption in the police department. They say it’s bred public distrust. Now they’re working to get it back.

The number of pedestrian deaths has risen in Georgia.  

The state Office of Highway Safety confirms that last year the number of people hit and killed by cars increased by 21 percent from 2014. Office Director Harris Blackwood: 

'We had a terrible year last year,' said Harris Blackwood, the director of the Office of Highway Safety. 'There's no other way to describe it. We went back to levels we hadn't seen since 2008'

Chatham County Sheriff's Office

Chatham County voters this month will choose a sheriff to finish out the term of Al St. Lawrence, who died last year. Five candidates entered the March 1 special election. The top two vote-getters - Roy Harris and John Wilcher - will meet in a runoff March 29. GPB’s Emily Jones sat down with both candidates.

Roy Harris served as Chief Deputy under Sheriff St Lawrence, and has been interim sheriff since November.

For more than a century, mug shots have helped police catch criminals. Those photos of a person's face and profile trace their roots to Paris in the late 19th century.

Now, some of the earliest mug shots ever taken are on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The black-and-white photos were once on the cutting edge of how police identified suspects.

They were taken by a French criminologist named Alphonse Bertillon, and his techniques set the template that police use today.

Rise Of The Modern Mug Shot

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Anthony Ponder has been cutting hair for most of his life. He has also spent a lot of time in prison. Ponder lost his equipment the last time he was incarcerated. A pair of Macon churches have set him up with gear again. In return he is cutting hair on Sunday mornings for other men who like him are getting back on their feet.

"I was told that my father was a barber. My father got killed when I was seven years old but I often heard that he was a barber. Maybe that stuck in my head that I wanted to be like my father.”

One day after congressional lawmakers grilled the FBI chief and Apple's top lawyer about government's access to encrypted data, another smaller, less spotlighted panel convened on Capitol Hill — to tackle the question of the government's warrantless geolocation tracking.

Apple's legal battle with the FBI over iPhone encryption continues: A federal magistrate, at the FBI's request, has ordered the tech giant to write software to help investigators circumvent iPhone security features to access a phone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple is fighting the order, calling it dangerous, illegal and unconstitutional.

Today was the deadline for amicus briefs, or "friend of the court" filings in the case.

Dozens of bills in the Georgia State House and Senate made it over the Crossover Day hurdle, a hallmark of the annual General Assembly session, and a requirement for a piece of legislation to remain viable with a chance at becoming law.

A measure that would place restrictions on when and where fireworks can be set off in Georgia was one of them and is now heading to the Senate for review.

Rep. Paul Battles, (R-Cartersville), sponsored HB 727, which passed the House on a vote of 165 to 8.

The Suffolk County Police Department in New York, one of the largest and highest paid in the country, has been under federal scrutiny for years, and it got worse recently when its chief was arrested.

The Justice Department, under U.S. Attorney Robert Capers, arrested James Burke in December after he allegedly barged into the interrogation of a suspect, Christopher Loeb, in 2012. Burke "is to have alleged to have repeatedly slapped and punched Loeb about the face, head and body while Loeb was in custody and handcuffed," Capers said at a press conference after the arrest.

When he thinks about his future, Alfredo Trejo takes a deep breath.

"Many of the people who have been rounded up and will be deported, they already know their future," he says. "They'll die of hunger or they'll be killed by bullets."

It's increasingly likely that the next time you have an encounter with a police officer, he or she will be wearing a body camera. And depending on how things go, you may be left wondering: "Can I get a copy of that video?"

There's no single answer to that, or other pressing questions, such as whether you can tell an officer you don't want to be recorded. In the year and a half since the Ferguson, Mo., protests, police departments have been rushing to adopt the cameras.

But when it comes to body camera policies, departments are all over the map.

"Some things are hard and some things are right. And some things are both," Apple CEO Tim Cook said during a Wednesday night interview on ABC News' World News Tonight with David Muir. "This is one of those things," he said, doubling down on the company's refusal to create a way for the FBI to access data on the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

While the dispute over cracking into an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter is at the center of a legal case between Apple and the FBI, the company recently told a federal court that it has received — and resisted — similar orders to help unlock iPhones and an iPad in recent months.

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