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July 22, 2016

Governing magazine reports on a new book by veteran police officer and police chief Norm Stamper, who writes that current problems with policing are not about a few bad cops or a few bad police departments. The problems are systemic, and at some point we should no longer be shocked when a new revelation or disturbing video comes to light. A cop for 34 years, which included stints as chief of police in San Diego and Seattle, Norm Stamper has spent his career working to help police live up to ideals for policing in a democracy. In addition to dozens of op-eds and lectures, he has written two books, 2005’s Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing and To Protect and Serve: How to Fix America’s Police, which was published last month. Both books provide insight into the challenges faced by individual police officers and the organizations they work for. Stamper examines the larger social context in which the police operate -- the war on drugs, the proliferation of guns and the continued legacy of racism -- and offers ideas on each: Decriminalize most drugs, enact the strongest possible gun control laws, and train white male cops to recognize and manage their fear of black men. He also makes the case that we should hire far more women as police. He thinks women should make up half of our police forces, up from the current 12 percent.

Charles F. Carpenter, Illinois Secretary of State between 1953 and 1964, published a booklet, Origin and Evolution of Illinois Counties, which describes how each county in Illinois was created. Starting in 1784 and ending in 1905, the book includes each county’s boundaries and date of organization. A more recent reprint version is available as well.

One cow produces over 30 gallons of manure a day. Multiply that by 1,000, the number of cows on a typical Cow Power farm. That’s a lot of cow poop. Which, interestingly enough, means that’s also a lot of methane. And methane can be used to create electricity. And thus, GMP Cow Power in Vermont. Green Mountain Power customers who want to support renewable energy AND Vermont dairy farms can do both through GMP Cow Power. By opting into the program, consumers help Vermont dairy farmers purchase generators that run on methane from cow manure, increase renewable energy generated in the region, and provide incentives for farmers to get into the business of producing Cow Power.


August 15-18 - Midwest Community Development Institute, Moline, IL
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