Increasingly, police departments and government offices like customs, NASA and even the FBI rely on state-of-the-art investigation support from the Target Corp., which owns Target department stores. According to a January Washington Post report, Target’s world-class forensics lab in Minneapolis is the first choice by many departments for examination of surveillance tapes and other evidence, and it was Target in the mid-1990’s that finally moved agencies to coordinate previously incompatible databases of criminals—treating the felon population as a nationwide “inventory control” problem.
GOVERNMENT IN ACTION
During President Bush’s recent trip to India, 17 Secret Service Labradors and German shepherds accompanying him (each with its own police rank like “lieutenant”) were housed in five-star hotels in Delhi, according to local press stories. Delhi police dogs, assisting in the same missions, went home to kennels. Faring less well was one of the three teams of search-and-rescue dogs assigned to find Hurricane Katrina victims, which had to be sent home in March because of a hotel-booking snafu, for which FEMA and Louisiana officials blamed each other.
HOW TO BE A POLICE DEPARTMENT
In California, a police department can be created if a local government gives a transportation contract to a private company, automatically empowering that company to hire its own cops, who, though not allowed to make arrests, can carry guns, access police databases, and receive government anti-terrorist grants. The law achieved notoriety in February when Internet millionaire Stefan Eriksson’s Ferrari crashed in Malibu, and he later made confusing statements, including that he’s been the “deputy commissioner” of the “San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority” police, since he started a modest bus service for the elderly.
The Wood Methodist Church was informed in March by the town council in Dudley, England, that it owed an “advertising fee” of the equivalent of about $130 to put up a cross. Town regulations specify that a “cross” is an ad for Christianity. And in March, Apache County, N.M., contracted to pay up to $100,000 to a former Arizona attorney general to investigate Apache’s sheriff, Brian Hounshell, who, after an exhaustive previous investigation was accused of misspending $8,000 of taxpayer money.
The publisher Powerhouse Books (and its imprint Rosen Editions) is preparing for the imminent release of photographer Ellen Jong’s “Pees on Earth,” a series of shots of Jong urinating in prominent public spots around the world. Jong is a mainstream professional whose non-urinary work has appeared in Vogue and other publications.
Former major league baseball all-star Darren Daulton, 44, told the Philadelphia Daily News in February that being retired, he now understands new dimensions of reality. He first experienced his extraordinary power after delivering a game-winning hit in the 1990’s and breaking into tears after the game, discovering that “I didn’t hit that ball. Something happened, but it wasn’t me.” Later, Daulton said, he was “awakened” to realms beyond those covered by the five senses. Things will become clearer on Dec. 12, 2012, at 11:11 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time, he said, because that’s when the world will end. MTW