September is National Preparedness Month
Don't Wait, Make Your Plan Today
September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM) which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit.
For more information visit www.ready.gov/september.
IRS Warns Taxpayers of Summer Surge in Automated Phone Scam Calls; Requests for Fake Tax Payments Using iTunes Gift Cards
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned taxpayers to stay vigilant against an increase of IRS impersonation scams in the form of automated calls and new tactics from scammers demanding tax payments on iTunes and other gift cards.
The IRS has seen an increase in “robo-calls” where scammers leave urgent callback requests through the phone telling taxpayers to call back to settle their “tax bill.” These fake calls generally claim to be the last warning before legal action is taken. Once the victim calls back, the scammers may threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the driver’s license of the victim if they don’t agree to pay.
“It used to be that most of these bogus calls would come from a live-person. Scammers are evolving and using more and more automated calls in an effort to reach the largest number of victims possible,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers should remain alert for this summer surge of phone scams, and watch for clear warning signs as these scammers change tactics.”
In the latest trend, IRS impersonators are demanding payments on iTunes and other gift cards. The IRS reminds taxpayers that any request to settle a tax bill by putting money on any form of gift card is a clear indication of a scam.
Some examples of the varied tactics seen this year are:
- Demanding payment for a “Federal Student Tax”
- Demanding immediate tax payment for taxes owed on an iTunes or other type of gift card
- Soliciting W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals
- “Verifying” tax return information over the phone
- Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry
Since these bogus calls can take many forms and scammers are constantly changing their strategies, knowing the telltale signs is the best way to avoid becoming a victim.
The IRS Will Never:
- Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money and you don’t owe taxes, here’s what you should do:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
- Contact TIGTA to report the call 800-366-4484.
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
- If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
REFER A FRIEND FOR MEMBERHSIP
Calling all members, the California Sheriffs need you! In an effort to promote our highly-regarded membership program, we are offering our Refer-A-Friend promotion. Every existing member who refers a new individual or business to join our organization receives a FREE LAPEL PIN, for themselves and the new member!
As an esteemed existing member, you may be aware that this membership was designed for individuals and businesses that want to take a proactive approach to supporting public safety. Every membership donation helps organize vital training for our sheriffs along with their staff. Our training events deliver crucial knowledge involving modern law enforcement practices, the latest developments in technology, financial practices, administrative processes, basic civil procedures, and much more.
Don’t forget to tell your friends that these donations are tax-deductible! California State Sheriffs’ Association Foundation is a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All money contributed, goes directly to our programs and operations and stays in local California communities.
Our sheriffs work hard to protect our communities, but they cannot do it alone! The more members we have, the stronger our voice will be and the broader our services can extend. Don’t wait, this offer is only good while supplies last! Refer your friend today!
Click here to download application.
CALIFORNIA STATE SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION
ON EFFORTS TO LEGALIZE RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA
The California State Sheriffs’ Association (CSSA) is concerned with the safety and welfare of all Californians and seeks to preserve the rights of all individuals to live and work in communities where drug abuse is not accepted nor subjected to its adverse effects. We believe the effort to legalize marijuana is contrary to the interests of the public health, safety, and welfare, and therefore are opposed to any attempt to decriminalize the use of this drug for recreational use.
Despite “legalization” efforts in other states, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act and is defined as having a high potential for abuse. The dangers of marijuana, and the threat to public safety caused by its use in terms of highway safety, criminal activity, and domestic violence, are well-documented.
Statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that marijuana reduces motor coordination and slows reaction time, a dangerous combination when operating a motor vehicle. In addition, nearly 4.2 million people over the age of 12 had a marijuana abuse or addiction problem in 2011.
Legalization of marijuana will likely increase drug use and health care costs due to abuse and overdoses of the drug. The black market for marijuana will likely remain strong as many drug cartels will not work within a regulatory system that will reveal the extent of their other illegal activities or subject their industry to tax levies and licensure.
One need only to look to Colorado, which recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, to see the tremendous societal impacts of this misguided effort. Since legalization, Colorado has experienced major increases in fatalities arising from driving under the influence of marijuana. The number of children being exposed to marijuana has grown significantly, as has the injury and damage caused by extraction of concentrated cannabis. Marijuana is being illegally diverted to other states and tax revenues are failing to meet expectations as users are flocking to medical marijuana dispensaries and the thriving black market.
California Sheriffs strongly reject the notion that marijuana is harmless. The marijuana being cultivated today is exponentially more concentrated than that of years ago. The potential for abuse and overdose is extremely great. Law enforcement is on the front lines of the damage, lost lives and broken communities that result from the careless use of this drug. Our message is clear: marijuana is a dangerous drug and California should not legitimize its use.
CSSA Participates in May 7, 2015 Press Conference in Support of “Stepping Up,” a National Initiative to Reduce the Number of Mentally Ill in Jails
Sacramento May 7, 2015 – Today, CSSA participated in a press conference hosted by the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) in support of a national initiative entitled, “Stepping Up” that is being launched this week. The goal of the initiative is to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. Stepping Up is co-sponsored by the Council on State Governments Justice Center, National Association of Counties, and American Psychiatric Association.
Speakers included Matt Cate, Executive Director – California State Association of Counties; Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens – CSSA Board Member and Major County Sheriffs’ Association 1st Vice President: Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins, San Diego County; Senator Robert Hertzberg, D-18th District; Darrell Steinberg, former California State Senate President Pro Tem; Dr. Renee Binder, President-Elect – American Psychiatric Association; Council Member Riki Hokama, Maui County – National Association of Counties President.
Stepping Up Initiative
The number of people with mental illnesses in U.S. jails has reached a crisis level. Those who deal with this problem every day agree that the current approach does little to improve public safety, stresses already strained budgets, and hurts people with mental illness and their loved ones.
Stepping Up seeks to bring local and state stakeholders together around a common goal: to reduce the number of people with mental illness in jails. A collaboration between the National Association of Counties, the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the American Psychiatric Foundation, Stepping Up calls for key actions, including collecting data to determine the extent of the problem within each jail, developing a plan that draws on proven research to combat the problem, and designing an approach to track progress going forward. And everyone – from a local policymaker to a family member of a person with mental illness – can play a critical role in the initiative in bringing this issue to national attention.
Click here for more detailed information on the Stepping Up Initiative and how you can participate. You can also visit https://stepuptogether.org/
IMPORTANT WARNING - PHONE SCAMS
The California State Sheriffs’ Association Foundation (CSSAF) has been recently advised that citizens have received suspicious phone calls that appear to be coming from either our main number 916.375.8000 or our fax number 916.375.8017. This scam involves callers posing as law enforcement and threatening legal action if you do not pay them. If you receive any suspicious calls, DO NOT give out any personal information, such as social security number, bank account numbers, etc., and report these calls to your local law enforcement agency immediately.
Please be advised that the California State Sheriffs’ Association Foundation does not solicit by phone.
LONG-TERM OFFENDERS IN COUNTY JAILS
CSSA SURVEY (as of 4/25/14)
AB 109 REALIGNMENT INFORMATION
AB 109 (Chapter 15, Statutes of 2011) became effective on October 1, 2011. Beginning on October 1 all qualifying low level offenders convicted of non-serious, non-violent, non-sex offenses will begin serving their sentence at the local level rather than in state prison.
Below we have gathered information that has been distributed to our membership regarding realignment. Additionally, we have provided links to other helpful websites related to realignment.
Video - Criminal Justice Realignment - What Counties Need To Know To Implement
Note: Viewers may need to download an add-on to PowerPoint to view. Instructions are on the video page.
Criminal Justice Realignment Implementing Legislation
- California Counties Practice Smart Justice by CSAC
- Voices from the Field: How California Stakeholders View Public Safety Realignment by Joan Petersilia. Stanford Criminal Justice Center, November 2013. This report summarizes the results of interviews conducted with California stakeholders responsible for implementing AB 109.
- Follow the Money: How California Counties Are Spending Their Public Safety Realignment Funds by Jeffrey Lin and Joan Petersilia. Stanford Criminal Justice Center, November 2013. This report examines how counties are spending their money, and the relationship between their discretionary spending choices and county-level differences in crime, political context, community attitudes, economic vitality, and other important demographic and social factors.
- Napa County Jail to Provide Video Visitation for Inmates, Families
By mid-March, friends and family of inmates at the Napa County Jail will visit using video and the Internet, thanks to a video visitation system. Similar to popular Internet applications such as FaceTime and Skype, the video visitation program provides the opportunity for family and friends to connect with inmates regardless of distance and with more flexibility in scheduling.
- Joint Venture Program URL
- CALREALIGNMENT.ORG -The CALrealignment.org website was developed as part of a state-wide conference on criminal justice realignment that was held on September 21 in Sacramento. The website will continue to present information on best practices, assist counties to access technical assistance providers, and make available county realignment plans as they are approved.