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A trio of armed security guards have been hit with felony assault charges after they allegedly burst into the Dorchester home of a Police Athletic League youth worker, pulled a gun on him and beat him in front of his terrified family, the Herald has learned.

The guards, employed by Alliance Detective Security Service, are expected to be arraigned in Roxbury District Court on charges that they assaulted 33-year-old Tariff Aziz Sept. 29 in the family's home at 9 Hutchings St.

The incident is one of many disturbing encounters between Grove Hall residents and security guards, community activists said. The guards have limited training and often abuse the scant law enforcement powers they have as "special police officers," said Lois Lee, president of the United Granite Tenants of Grove Hall.

"We have had some concerns about the security for some time," Lee said. "There have been incidents that we felt were inappropriate, but tenants were afraid to speak up because they did not want trouble with the landlord."

There are currently 237 armed special police officers licensed in Boston, according to BPD records. Of those officers, 122 are employed by the city and the other 115 work for private companies. The private guards are on the streets as BPD manpower has hit the lowest level in a decade.

Aziz, his wife, Rommie Cain-Aziz, and the couple's 12-year-old son, Joseph, all made hysterical 911 phone calls during the alleged attack by the guards who suspected Aziz of trespassing.

In one call Cain-Aziz is sobbing: "They are trying to kill my husband. Oh my God! There is security in my house."

As the calls were made, guard Juan Gomez allegedly "pulled out a silver revolver and demanded that (Tariff Aziz) put the phone down," according to a BPD report.

The security company was fired by the family's landlord Monday. An employee of the Everett-based agency refused comment.

Aziz's attorney, Matt Machera, said the guards broke several laws, including attempting to arrest a man for "trespassing" in his own home

"No Boston police officer would have acted like this," Machera said.
The guards, Gomez, David Wheaton and Michael Deluca, claimed in a BPD report that they had approached Aziz outside 9 Hutchings St. and asked him whether he lived there. Aziz pulled out his keys and opened the door to show that he did. But the officers said he then acted aggressively, making them "fear for their safety."

The report states the guards used a "minimal amount of force" to restrain Aziz before charging him with assault and battery on a police officer, disturbing the peace and resisting arrest.

But Aziz claimed the assault was brutal enough that when guards rammed his head into a kitchen wall, a chunk of plaster was knocked out.
The charges against Aziz were dropped. The guards will be arraigned on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon next month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
'Thugs with a badge' rile former prosecutor on the case
By Michele McPhee
Friday, November 4, 2005


Matt Machera, a former prosecutor in the Suffolk District Attorney's Office, worked closely with both cops and community members during his nine years as a prosecutor. That made the alleged Grove Hall assault all the more shocking a betrayal of what community policing has accomplished, Machera said.
"It's an insult to the BPD's great work when thugs with a badge commit a home invasion in a law-abiding family's house," said Machera, who represented Tariff Aziz after his alleged assault by private security guards.
Aziz says he and his wife have worked hard to ensure their children respect police officers, and that they have always believed in the community policing philosphy that has changed the face of their Grove Hall neighborhood.
Aziz teaches tae kwon do to at-risk children for a Police Athletic League program called Save Another Youth.
But after three armed security guards from Alliance Detective Security Service allegedly forced their way into his home on Sept. 29, pulled out a gun and beat him, his children are now fearful of police.
"The guy pulled out a gun and pointed it at my dad," 12-year-old Joseph remembered. "I was mad. I was crying."
The boy's younger sisters, Daneisha, 6, and Brianna, 3, also can be heard crying on 911 calls. It was that kind of trauma Aziz said he was trying to avoid when the guards attempted to arrest him for "trespassing."
"I was in the defenseless position. I did not want an altercation," he said. "My children were there."
"No question in my mind, if that situation had been handled by the BPD, this incident never would have taken place," Machera said.
 

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Private cops' gun licenses yanked
By Michele McPhee
Saturday, November 5, 2005

Three armed security guards accused of felony assault in connection with the alleged gunpoint beating of a Dorchester man in his home have had their gun licenses pulled and are no longer special police officers, Boston Police Department officials said.

The guards for Alliance Detective Security Service - Juan Gomez, Michael DeLuca and David Wheaton - will be arraigned on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. They are among 237 "special police officers" who are licensed to carry guns by the BPD.

"They are no longer licensed special police officers," said Sgt. Tom Sexton, a BPD spokesman.

Yesterday, the Herald reported the men allegedly attacked Tariff Aziz, 33, on Sept. 29 after trying to arrest him for trespassing in front of his own home at 9 Hutchings St. in Grove Hall. Aziz resisted and claims he was then beaten as his wife and three children watched.

The terrified family made several 911 calls begging the BPD to respond. During one call, Gomez allegedly "pulled out a silver revolver and demanded that (Aziz) put the phone down," according to a police report of the incident.

Aziz was arrested by the security company for assaulting a special police officer but those charges were dropped.

The security company was fired Monday by the owner of Aziz's building, Peabody Properties.

The incident raises questions about how the BPD is able to keep track of weapons carried by the special police officers, an attorney for the Juvenile Justice Center at Suffolk University said yesterday.

"If there are not the accountability and oversight mechanisms in place to monitor these special officers, maybe they should not be armed," said attorney Lisa Thurau-Gray, who has written several letters to the BPD asking why the security guards must be armed at all.

"They have a lot of police powers, and very often use those powers illegally. The BPD simply does not have the manpower to monitor them," she said.

HELL YEAH!!!!
If they was ever a case for immediate in-depth review of armed security, armed "specials" and other armed minimal or no training positions, it is this one.
 

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As a former Special/Reserve (town) PO, I don't believe that anyone should be carrying a badge without going thru the R/I Academy as a minimum!

When I worked as an Aux PO (unarmed, no powers) at BC I worked with some of these "security guards" from Boston properties. Big egos, little/no knowledge, always bragging about the arrests they made in the Haymarket area and loved to push their muscle around.

Typically these security companies pay poorly, don't train, get some very serious knuckle-draggers . . . give them a badge and some powers and watch out!
 

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It's amazing Len, that in this day and age they still permit these untrained nitwits to carry and arrest.
 

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If you didn't know, the reason why these companies are out there is because the City is cheap and would rather have a $15-hr special patrol their high crime neighborhoods instead of hiring more officers for the regular department or expanding the housing and municipal police "hmmm... I wonder where all that approved money the city recieves goes to". They do send us to an academy, but it's ironic that the requirement is an approved 160 (200 for armed) hour course of instruction and that a FT 800 hour SSPO or MCJTC is no longer accepted. Once they send you out on patrol, it's either on foot or in a funny looking patrol car that's all beat up (I had no A/C this summer). If you get shot, injured, or in trouble, there is no union to back you and in some cases "like mine" no benefits whatsoever making you helpless if you need to take some legit time off. A kid snuck up on me and blasted my partner with a 12 gauge and he never got medical leave pay and he's now suing. You usually dont get any inservice training as required and end up working with some egomaniac at times. You end up realizing later on that it's good experience but also a big joke where you hope someplace better picks you up so you wont have to deal with these frustrations that come with patrolling a city that doesn't want spend cash that they have to police their own neighborhoods, and getting caught up in BS like this because some cowboy special decided to bust some heads for fun.

Excuse me if previous posts on this subject were a little different. After actually working as a Boston SPO since April 05 I found out how much it sucks.
 

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While I agree that the Boston Police need to start accepting full-time academies, or even the R/I academy, I think they should add a psych eval too. (Company paid for of course). Len, as far as the licensing office of Boston Police is concerned, the R/I academy doesn't exist, only the 200 hour academies approved by the Police Commissioner.

What irks me, is that the SPOs haven't been convicted of anything, haven't even been to arraignment yet. They're being charged with serious offenses, yes, but it doesn't mean they're guilty. None of us were there, none of us know what happened for certain. How many times have we come across scum who'd exaggerate/fabricate stories to get anyone in uniform into trouble? But already, because they are Boston specials, we're calling them guards or nitwits. Now, I said earlier, none of us were there, that includes me; I wasn't there. These charges may all well be entirely true and the whole incident may have occurred exactly the way it was reported.

Someone emailed me a while back and said that Boston was the only City who appointed security as special police officers, that's not true. There are departments in ME, NV, IN, NY among others, and even other cities in MA who appoint security officers as special police.

The FT officers look down at the PT officers, the PT officers look down at the specials and auxiliaries, and everyone looks down at security and Boston SPOs.

Note: I am not now and never was a Boston Special Police Officer.
 

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I myself was not there either; however, I think its probably a good indication of what happened if the charges against the residents have already been dropped, and they are continuing with charges against the SPOs. I imagine this was not a snap decision (dropping the charges). I am sure this incident was investigated, or is still being investigated.
 

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I only worked in Boston (MHFA) just under two years (96 to 98) and I can see the aforementioned incident taking place. Not saying it did but with the lack of supervision and with some of the wing nuts that these companies hire it could have easily went down as reported. A psych eval for all applicants should be mandatory for all employees working HUD or MHFA not just the specials. There are plenty of guards patrolling HUD and MHFA property that are not rule 400 certified. Some of definitely certified just not rule 400 certified.
 

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Springfield Park Rangers are a government employees/volunteers. Boston Special Officer (Rule 400) are not. You're comparing apples and oranges here. With the rangers, you have government employees who have been granted police authority, and the higherups have decided not to arm them. You want to change that, contact your mayor's office. I think that anyone with powers of arrest should be armed, but thats my personal opinion. Boston Special Officer (Rule 400) are private individuals who are granted limited law enforcement authority by the City of Boston, and are NOT city employees. Whether or not to arm them is up to the licensing authority and the individual employer. I know I wouldn't want to arrest someone in Boston without being armed, that's for sure.

When you say Springfield has it right by not issuing LTCs to just anyone, what are you talking about? Boston is one of the hardest places in the Commonwealth to get an LTC. And wether or not you have an LTC is of no relevance to the discussion of arming SPOs or Rangers. If a Springfield Park Ranger has an LTC and attempts to carry on duty, he's going to be thrown off the job. If a Boston Special has an LTC and attempts to carry on duty, on an unarmed license, he's brought up on charges and loses his appointment.

Boston does not have 237 Rule 400 Special Officers running around; 115 are private security, and 122 of them are licensed under Rule 400A, and are dedicated full-time academy trained city employees, some of whom are armed, some of whom are not.

Bust any shoplifters lately at Circuit City? :beat:

HOOPCITYDETECTIVE said:
What gets me is that in my hometown of Springfield, we have the city park rangers that do have special police status and have the power of chapter 90(traffic violation stops) as well. But they have no weapons to defend themselves during the performance of their duties. They are responsible for law enforcement services in all 43 of the city parks during operating hours. For the powers they do have, they have received quality training. A narcotics arrest was recently made in the vicinity of a major park. Other crimes do occur in these parks as well. The issue was debated some 15 years ago, whether or not to arm the "Forest Park Rangers" as they were then known. Today, their jurisdiction has expanded to parks citywide. Back in 1990, I was not in support of armed rangers. However they are a different agency now. When you compare this to the idea that the city of Boston, is simply authorizing any john smith 9 bucks an hour security agency to carry arms, whats wrong with this picture? Well if its one reason I'm grateful to call Springfield home, is that despite its other $$$ problems, we do one thing right, and thats not giving LTC to just anyone. Currently, no special officers are armed in this city. That includes all college campus police as well. But I think the line should be drawn between agencies that perform true law enforcement duties beyond that of a doorman or watchman. If you're given the power of arrest, chapter 90 and have blue lights, then you should be armed. Not some idiots that circle a parking lot in a white satarn with yellow lights. Imagine boston has 237 of these guys running around?
 

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What gets me is that in my hometown of Springfield, we have the city park rangers that do have special police status and have the power of chapter 90(traffic violation stops) as well. But they have no weapons to defend themselves during the performance of their duties. They are responsible for law enforcement services in all 43 of the city parks during operating hours. For the powers they do have, they have received quality training. A narcotics arrest was recently made in the vicinity of a major park. Other crimes do occur in these parks as well. The issue was debated some 15 years ago, whether or not to arm the "Forest Park Rangers" as they were then known. Today, their jurisdiction has expanded to parks citywide. Back in 1990, I was not in support of armed rangers. However they are a different agency now. When you compare this to the idea that the city of Boston, is simply authorizing any john smith 9 bucks an hour security agency to carry arms, whats wrong with this picture? Well if its one reason I'm grateful to call Springfield home, is that despite its other $$$ problems, we do one thing right, and thats not giving LTC to just anyone. Currently, no special officers are armed in this city. That includes all college campus police as well. But I think the line should be drawn between agencies that perform true law enforcement duties beyond that of a doorman or watchman. If you're given the power of arrest, chapter 90 and have blue lights, then you should be armed. Not some idiots that circle a parking lot in a white satarn with yellow lights. Imagine boston has 237 of these guys running around?
 

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Oh, one more thing, I don't believe Springfield Park Rnagers have chapter 90 authority... they can stop vehicles for violation of Park Rules which include some rules regulating vehiclular operation, but I would bet a day's pay the Rangers don't have Chapter 90.
 

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I did work as a Boston "Special" a long time ago :crazy:. As has been said, the amount of experience I gained working in the projects was enormous, but some of my co-workers were more frightening than the public I dealt with. I don't know if this incident went down as alleged, but Boston absolutely needs to have more oversight of those whom they grant powers of arrest. Some of those security companies do have standards regarding those that they hire, but others just check you for a pulse first. The need exists for private security companies to be able to get some security officers licensed for arrest powers and to carry. It would overwhelm BPD to handle every little call that a private "special" can handle. But they need to greatly increase training and oversight.
 

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The Springfield Rangers DO NOT have Ch 90. unless something changed since this summer....

They are:

* Volunteers-They do not get paid (except possibly the top guy)

* Not 24/7.
In fact they told me the schedule is based upon when someone is free for the most part.

* Under the Authority of the Parks Dept

* Wearing TWO badges. Ranger badge and SPO on their belt. (I do not know if everyone is an SPO)

* Operating cruisers with blue lights.
They can issue "tickets" for Park rule violations. I have a copy of them and most are about $50. No Uniform Citation books.
 

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USMCTrooper said:
The Springfield Rangers DO NOT have Ch 90. unless something changed since this summer....
Thanks Trooper... I just knew they didn't have Chapter 90. Two badges? Doesn't that look a bit odd?
 

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Well somebody asked for me to chime in so here I am. "HousingCop to the rescue. Up, up and away......" There is more than 237 SPO's in Boston, there is literally a thousand or so. Only those 237 are armed.

All I can say is that it's night & day between the Municipal & Housing Police in this city and the private companies which abound here. While I have witnessed some bizarre behavior from some of these "Specials" a good percentage of them go on to productive LE careers in this and other states.

While many of these companies have property that border the BHA bricks and city owned properties, I do see some guys around doing actual police work. Bad guys are mobile & just because he's in the private bricks across the street from the public bricks, doesn't make these s#itbirds any less of a danger to society. I have helped private security before in situations and they likewise have assisted me several times. While you are wresteling around with somebody, you don't care what uniform or stripe they have on their pants. At that point, it's survival, ONLY.

The Muni's and Housing go through the MPTC full time academy and 40 hours of in-service annually. 32 classroom and 8 firearm. We also have to qualify anually in late February on Moon Island. Anybody who can pass that course firing a G19 in the freezing wind / snow / rain at 7AM can pass anytime, anywhere and especially in the streets. I know of BPD cops who have not had in-service classroom instruction in 11 years! Imagine that. They took specialized riot training in case of disaster during the DNC but have not had a C.90 / Crim Law / Con Law update in over a decade. I guess reading the roll call training bulletins do the job!!

At least some of these private companies hire decent people, but by and far, you'll find some damaged goods among them. While I was not there, I will not condemn the actions of those 3 guys in that gents apartment. All I read is the Herald with their biased article slanted towards the poor victim. Liberal media at it's finest. Must have been a slow newsday down on Herald & Albany that day.

I also love the fact that BPD can release data crucial to the Herald story in an instant about how many Special Officer's with LTC's in the city but when they are asked which hack or flack or patronage hire drives a take-home car, they start stuttering like Teddy Kennedy. Errrrr, arrr, ah, lemme get, er, back to you ahhhh, on those numbers. Hipocracy people. "Nuff said. HC
 

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"If there are not the accountability and oversight mechanisms in place to monitor these special officers, maybe they should not be armed," said attorney Lisa Thurau-Gray, who has written several letters to the BPD asking why the security guards must be armed at all.
I have an idea Lisa, why don't you patrol these neighborhoods without a gun. :shock: This Attorney is another arrogant and ignorant ass. There's a reason why these properties have ARMED "Special" police Officers.
 
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