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Archive for January 2nd, 2019

TSA Begins Using More Floppy-Ear Dogs for Airport Screenings to Avoid Scaring Children

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Pointy-ear dogs are sometimes scaring airline passengers, especially children, so the TSA is looking for more floppy-ear canines to engage with people in airports.

Turns out, dogs with droopy ears are less frightening to children, an internal TSA review found, The Washington Examiner reports.

“We find the passenger acceptance of floppy ear dogs is just better. It presents just a little bit less of a concern,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “Doesn’t scare children.”

The TSA uses about 1,200 dogs to screen passengers and luggage. About 80% have droopy ears, while the rest have cone-snapped ears, such as the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois..

The floppy-ear dogs tend to be  Labrador Retrievers, German Short-haired Pointers, Wirehaired Pointers, Vizslas, and Golden Retrievers.

Investigation Underway After Border Patrol Agents Used Tear Gas on Migrants

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

U.S. Customs and Border Protection its investigating agents who used tear gas and paper spray on more than 100 migrants who were illegally trying to enter the country.

The incident began Monday and continued into Tuesday morning as some migrants threw rocks and others helped lift children wrapped in jackets and blankets over razor-edged wire, CNN reports.

“Once again we have had a violent mob of migrants attempt to enter the United States illegally by attacking our agents with projectiles,” said Katie Waldman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security. “As has happened before — in this and previous administrations — our personnel used the minimum force necessary to defend themselves, defend our border, and restore order.”

No injuries were immediately reported.

Gun Rights Group Sues ATF Over Bump Stock Ban

Photo: WASR

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

You might recall on Oct. 1, 2017, gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd at a concert in Las Vegas, killing 58 and leaving 851 injured, more than 400 by gunfire. You might also recall that he used a bump stock, a device that converts a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic weapon.

Now, the ATF has announced an official ban on bump stocks.

But that isn’t sitting well with a gun right group, the “Gun Owners of America,” which has filed a lawsuit against the ATF, claiming the ban is illegal, reports WILX.

 

Fed Judge Tosses Statement of NSA Contractor Because FBI Failed to Mirandize Him

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s a big mistake that’s been made over the years by law enforcement.

This time it involves a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor.

Dell Cameron of Gizmodo reports:

In the case of a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor accused of stealing a huge cache of classified documents, a federal judge this month agreed to toss out statements made by the contractor, Harold “Hal” Martin, on the basis that FBI agents failed to Mirandize him properly during four-hour interrogation, even though the suspect was not under arrest at the time.

Charged with 20 counts of willful retention of national defense information and theft of government property, Martin, 54, was arrested following a search of his Glen Burnie, Maryland, residence on Aug. 27, 2016. There, FBI agents discovered both digital and physical copies of documents that, according to prosecutors, contain classified and top-secret information said to be critical to “a wide variety of national security issues.”

 

In Midst of Government Shutdown, FBI Agents Association Pushes For Better Pay and Tax Breaks For Agents

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the midst of the government shutdown, the FBI Agents Association issued a statement assuring the public agents will continue to do their job.

At the same time, the association in its statement is pushing for better pay and tax relief for agents who are transferred:

“Due to years of pay freezes, federal employee pay lags significantly behind the private sector, and this disparity makes it more difficult to recruit skilled professionals to government service.  At a minimum, the 1.9% pay increase for federal employees that the Senate passed with over 90 votes should become law and applied retroactively to 2019 wages when the shutdown ends.

Special Agents can be transferred to different offices around the country and the world to meet the needs of the FBI.  The 2017 tax law eliminated the moving expense deduction, which offset the relocation expense burden for Special Agents and their families.  As a result, moving reimbursements are now considered taxable income.  FBIAA urges Congress to enact legislation to provide tax relief to Special Agents similar to the bipartisan Relocation Expense Parity Act that was introduced during the last Congress.”

As for protecting the nation, the association stated:

“As the country celebrates the New Year, the American public can be assured that the FBIAA’s membership—which includes nearly 13,000 Special Agents of the FBI  are on the job 24-hours a day, seven days a week to protect our country from criminal and terrorist threats. These men and women are doing so while facing a confluence of policies and gridlock that are causing financial hardship for Agents and their families.

FBIAA members and others are currently working without pay or paid leave because of a fourth government shutdown in five years.  The FBIAA calls on elected officials to work together to end the shutdown and restore Agents’ pay.