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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Understaffing hampers proactive police efforts in NM, nationwide

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Tuesday, May 21, 2024   

A new survey shows there's been an increase in the number of police officers on the streets since the COVID-19 exodus, but some Americans are still behaving badly when they think no one's looking.

A survey by the Police Executive Research Forum shows more sworn officers were hired in 2023 than any of the previous four years, and fewer officers overall resigned or retired.

Lance LoRusso, founder of the Blue Line Lawyer Institute, said bad behavior is still evident in communities where not enough officers were available to patrol parks or other public spaces.

"There is a segment of the population that if they don't believe there's consequences for their actions, they will not act in a lawful manner," LoRusso asserted. "They don't, because there's nobody making sure that they're taking care of their obligations and they're treating each other in a civil manner."

More than 200 law enforcement agencies responded to the survey. It showed that while small and medium departments had more sworn officers than they did in January 2020, large departments are still more than 5% below earlier staffing levels.

In March, New Mexico's Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department announced a crackdown on drivers traveling at excessive speeds, which LoRusso said became a problem during the pandemic coast to coast and has not subsided in some areas. He says citizens should not hesitate to report such incidents.

"People racing cars is dangerous. It's completely anti-social, unlawful, dangerous behavior that shows a complete disrespect for the other people in your community. And yet, it's tolerated," he said.

Car break-ins also increased during the pandemic, which LoRusso said might feel like an isolated incident, but is usually indicative of a larger problem.


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