Posts Tagged ‘safety’
Thanks to the reader who noted this in the comments section of a previous post. I have railed on the Census Bureau for a while now about how easy it is for scammers or other individuals to find 2010 Census paraphernalia because the Census Bureau didn’t use proper identifying information for its employees:
BURRELL TWP., Pa. — State police have charged an Indiana County man with assault, saying he attacked two teenage census workers.
According to police reports, 18-year-old Austin Kwisnek and a female juvenile were collecting data for the U.S. Census when Timothy Cowan chased them from his property on Hebenthal Lane in Burrell Township.
Police said Cowan, 43, proceeded to follow the workers’ vehicle down the road after they left.
At one point, the workers’ vehicle went off the side of the road and Cowan went up to Kwisnek’s window and grabbed him by the shirt and neck, police said. According to the police report, Cowan then threatened to punch the girl in the face and used “vulgar” language toward her.
With 635,000 people on the job for the non-response follow-up (NRFU) operation, it’s not surprising that there are a few bad apples in the bunch. On the other hand, it’s tragic to learn that a Census Bureau employee in Connecticut became a carjacking victim. Here are the tidbits about these situations:
According to Connecticut’s NBC affiliate:
A Census Bureau worker was the victim of a carjacking in Hamden, and the suspect is just 14-years-old.
The 50-year-old Hamden resident was sitting in his car, clearly marked with a Census Bureau sign, on Hamden Park Drive Thursday around 6:00 p.m., according to police.
The victim told police the teen came up to him with a gun and ordered him out of the car, then stole money from him.
Jumping in the car, the teen sped away, but returned a short time later and ordered the victim to drive him to the First Street area, police said.
The teen jumped out of the car at First Street and fled on foot.
Working with several leads, police arrested the 14-year-old suspect around 9:00 p.m. Thursday night.
He is charged with carjacking, first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, first-degree robbery and larceny. Police did not release the teen’s identity because of his age.
And from the Fox affiliate in Indiana, a Census Bureau employee raped a woman whom he had previously enumerated…weird:
Census worker charged with rape
Posted: May 11, 2010 4:18 AM
A Southern Indiana Census worker sits in jail, charged with brutally raping a mentally handicapped woman.
Now deep concerns from within the neighborhood where police say it took place.
Connie Fry said she was asleep in one room and her daughter in another and had no idea someone was in her home attacking her daughter.
“At one time she told me he was putting his hand over her mouth and he was choking her,” Fry said as she was describing the attack on her daughter.
She said the attacker is 39-year-old Daniel Miller. Fry said he is not a complete stranger, but someone she had met before.
“Three days prior to the night he got here he came from the Census Bureau.” That day – Fry said Miller was dressed professionally and was polite only taking her information for the Census.
Officials with the U.S. Census Bureau confirm Daniel Miller is a numerator, someone employed to go door to door gathering information.
At around 4:30 Saturday morning, police said Miller broke into a home at 5602 South State Road 60 in Pekin, Indiana and brutally attacked and raped Fry’s 21-year-old daughter.
“She had blood shot eyes and bruises on her shoulders and her arms.”
Fry said her daughter is handicapped and could not have defended herself. “She’s got Cerebral Palsy and mild retardation.”
Fry said it was easy to figure out who attacked her daughter because he left behind plenty of evidence.
“He left all his clothes, his wallet and everything in the bedroom. He went out of here with her pajamas and her panties.”
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Miller at his apartment on North Eastern School Road in Pekin across the street from Eastern High School.
“Sometimes we’re here by ourselves because my husband works out of town,” said Evelyn Wisman Fry’s neighbor.
Even though police say they have arrested the right person, neighbors along Indiana 60 in Pekin are concerned that someone trusted by the government to go door to door is now charged with such a serious crime.
“That’s scary for him to know exactly who’s in the home,” Wisman said.
Miller is charged with rape and burglary and is in the Washington County Detention Center on a $150,000 full cash bond.
Census officials tell Fox 41 a background check is performed on all employees and anyone with a criminal history is not hired.
With more than 635,000 individuals working for the Census Bureau’s non-response follow-up operations (NRFU), there are statistically going to be some accidents that will occur in the field. However, it is tragic that one occurred on the first day of NRFU in Texas. To the Census Bureau employees who are reading this, please make sure that you wear your seatbelts, don’t become distracted while driving, and ensure that all drivers whom you ride with are competent, capable, and 100% drug/alcohol free when they are behind the wheel:
Area census workers killed in crash near MidlandBy Adam D. Young | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Saturday, May 01, 2010
Story last updated at 5/1/2010 – 5:36 pm
Two South Plains residents who worked for the 2010 Census died in a two-vehicle crash Friday in Midland County.
The census workers were en route to Lubbock after visiting the census regional office in Midland when the 2003 Dodge pickup they were in failed to stop at an intersection and collided with a tractor-trailer about 12:25 p.m. Friday, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety in Midland.
The pickup’s driver, 67-year-old Merlyn David Millsap of Levelland, died Friday at Midland Memorial Hospital. His passenger, 31-year-old Sara Elizabeth Pierce of Brownfield, was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the families,” Dallas-area Census spokeswoman Kimberly Murphy said in a statement Saturday. “This is a horrible tragedy for all of us.”
Millsap and Pierce had been in Midland to pick census materials to deliver to Lubbock, Murphy said in the statement. Census Bureau workers retrieved the census materials Friday from the accident scene.
Investigators said Millsap was about four miles north of Midland on State Highway 349, the newly opened Tom and Nadine Craddick Highway, when he failed to stop at a stop sign and his vehicle was hit in the side by the tractor-trailer that was traveling northwest on State Highway 158. The driver of the tractor-trailer, 40-year-old Heriberto Jaquez of Midland, Saturday was in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries at Midland Memorial Hospital.
All of the vehicles’ occupants were wearing seat belts.
Follow lubbockonline.com and read Sunday’s Avalanche-Journal for more on this story.
Let’s hope Eric Erickson’s dumb comments don’t inspire more people using shotguns near Census Bureau employees…Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
The following incident took place in March in Northern Idaho. MyTwoCensus.com believes that this incident should be considered more than a misdemeanor in the eye of the law, as it was directed at a federal employee who was working at the time. CNN commentator Eric Erickson’s heinous words mirror this incident in a strange yet shocking way.
H/t to the CDA Press for this:
A St. Maries man was cited for firing his shotgun near a U.S. Census worker who was trying to deliver the man his questionnaire in March.
Richard L. Powell, 54, faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for exhibition of a deadly weapon, a misdemeanor offense.
The census worker alleges he was trying to deliver Powell the population-counting questionnaire on the afternoon of March 3, when Powell told the worker to get off his property at 396 Powell Road near St. Maries, according to the Benewah County Prosecutor’s Office.
Powell then went into his residence and returned with a shotgun, and fired the gun in the air, the Benewah County Sheriff’s Office said.
The census worker waited a few days before reporting the alleged crime to the sheriff’s office, and Powell was cited a week after the alleged incident.
Powell did not return a message left by The Press seeking comment Friday.
His pretrial conference is 9 a.m. April 26 at the Benewah County Courthouse.
H/t to Media Matters for America:
Huffington Post: “Erickson Shotgun-Census Remark: Commerce Dept. Pushes Back”
April 05, 2010 6:10 pm ET by Media Matters Staff
From an April 5 article by Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein:
The Commerce Department is pushing back against census critics, subtly reminding conservative blogger and CNN contributor Erick Erickson that the workers whom he’s threatened to pull a shotgun on are simply doing required, temporary and important work.
In a statement provided to the Huffington Post, Nicholas Kimball, a spokesman for the Commerce Department — which oversees the 2010 census counting — said that precautions are being made to “protect the safety of both census workers and the public.”
Going through the logistics of the process, Kimball noted that the census workers dispatched to help collect raw data (in the form of a ten-point questionnaire) are usually fellow locals. Taking a small dig at Erickson, without naming names, he added:
So, that means someone knocking on a door in, for example, Macon, Georgia, is likely to be from that community or neighborhood. They’re just someone looking for a little extra work during these difficult economic times – and looking to help fulfill the mission of our Founding Fathers.
Frequently Asked Questions on Death of William E. Sparkman, Jr.
Statement from Census Bureau Director Bob Groves:
“We are all deeply saddened by the loss of our co-worker, William Sparkman. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Sparkman’s family and friends. We are monitoring the developments closely.
“The work of everyone in the Census Bureau depends on the success of our field representatives. They are the front line of the work we do. Mr. Sparkman was a shining example of the hard-working men and women the Census Bureau has in the field. The work they do on a daily basis is not easy but is a great and important service to our nation.”
Q: What can you tell us about the investigation or the circumstances of Mr. Sparkman’s death?
- A: The extent of information we have about the investigation is that the FBI is currently gathering evidence to determine whether this death was the result of foul play. Any other questions related to the investigation or the circumstances surrounding Mr. Sparkman’s death should be directed to:
- Kyle Edelen
- Kentucky U.S. Attorney’s Office
Q: When did the Census Bureau learn of Mr. Sparkman’s death?
- A: After the Census Bureau was informed of this tragedy by the FBI on September 12, Census Bureau Director Bob Groves and local regional director Wayne Hatcher flew to Kentucky to meet with law enforcement officials and the family of Mr. Sparkman to convey our condolences and to offer any assistance they could. They also met with other Census Bureau field representatives in the area to share our grief, to thank them for their service, and to advise them to seek any counseling that they might wish to have.
Q: Are you worried about the safety of other Census Bureau staff?
- A: We have no information that this tragedy was related Mr. Sparkman’s work with the Census Bureau. Over the past decade Census employees have maintained a high level of safety on the job.
- Employees learn that safety is of the utmost importance from their first day on the job, when they receive intensive training on steps they can take to protect themselves in a variety of settings. All employees receive ongoing reminders to take safety precautions when they are in the field. That practice will continue. Violence against Census Bureau employees is extremely rare.
Q: How many people are going door to door in the field?
A: We have an ongoing workforce of approximately 5,900 field representatives who conduct the American Community Survey and other surveys the Census Bureau conducts throughout the year and throughout the decade. In the spring of 2010 we will have nearly 700,000 temporary workers in the field conducting follow-up on the 2010 Census.