public safety

Ex-Cons Trapped in Paper Prison

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

When John Orlando was released from prison last year, he wanted to get his life back. He’d worked for decades as a funeral director, and he wanted to keep doing that. He loved the work, he needed the money, and he wanted the dignity of paying back the money he stole.

“I was guilty. I did it. I deserved to be punished,” Orlando said this past fall over breakfast in a Long Island diner. “If I could get my license back, I could make good.”

But he can’t. Orlando stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his sick cousin who entrusted him with his estate. And when Orlando’s business failed, he couldn’t pay back the people who’d prepaid for their funerals.

He was convicted of three felonies for those crimes, and so he can’t yet get that license back. In 2016, three years after his release, he’ll be eligible to apply for a Certificate of Good Conduct, and if he gets it he’ll be allowed to at least apply to get a new funeral directing license. Until then, Orlando remains barred from the work of dressing bodies, saying prayers and arranging flowers.


Runners Chart a Safer Course

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Winter’s dark mornings and early-afternoons have many of the city’s runners logging more and more hours in the dark.  For runners like Vivian Molina, 68, who run alone, winter means an increased awareness about personal safety.

“As a woman I’m very conscious about safety so when this came up, I didn’t even wait two seconds, I just signed us up,” said Molina.


Snow Big Deal

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Fighting Violence Like a Disease

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Mervin Moore is not a doctor. But he sees every shooting, stabbing and assault victim who comes through Jacobi Medical Center’s trauma ward in the Bronx.

“We deal with street violence,” Moore said. “It is a disease. And we are the cure.”

Moore works for Stand Up to Violence, an anti-violence program operated by Jacobi Medical Center.  Launched in August, the program’s staff mentors victims of violence in Jacobi’s trauma ward. The goal is to prevent retaliation attacks by treating violence like a disease that spreads from perpetrator to victim.


Gang Round-up Questioned

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

NYCHA’s Leaky OT Budget

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Community Combines on Wish List

Monday, November 17th, 2014


Friday, October 31st, 2014

Calming Local Ebola Fears

Saturday, October 25th, 2014