Saturday, March 3, 2018

Pssst... Snitchers Wanted...

Snitch or Not To Snitch?
by Nicholas Ashton, CEO/CIO, CommSmart Global Group

Snitch is to Inform...

I thought I knew what the word and expression, “snitch”, meant. I was right and oh so wrong!

It is a problem both socially within families, neighborhoods and in the workplace.  With so many with mental issues, families and friends must speak up on the problems, it will save lives!

Snitching -- and its sibling, witness intimidation -- is much in the top of the news these days, the result of a series of high-profile killings and shootings. But there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about it, not just among people in the community or the workplace, but also among law enforcement and government officials and the media.

Nobody wants to be a snitch -- not even in an environment that's supposed to define what exactly snitching is.

Business is a breeding ground of gossip and snitching. Mostly to get a leg up on the ladder of success. Tattle-tales, nosey narks, and other such labels that are applied to such people, really do not describe the issue. For a business to be a success, all information must be on the table and in full view. Hiding information or situation does nobody and good whatsoever. There is nothing wrong with laying the facts out in front of everyone and moving forward. Knowledge is power and known knowledge is even more powerful.

Snitching sees no color, except it seems in African/American communities. Everyone has snitched, told the truth, shared concerns and information at some time or another.

In speaking with community and business leaders, we must deal with realism: 

You are never going to get black people to agree to snitch, I was told emphatically. The reasons are rooted in history and culture, and the realities of so many inner cities, where human life is cheap.

On the dark (criminal) side, those on the other side of the law will say, that if you work at it, you can persuade witnesses to violent crime to come forward and tell all.

For those that live in high-crime areas, there's nothing new about witness intimidation, it is part of everyday life. Criminals threatening or even killing citizens who could testify against them. Several recent incidents have brought wider attention to this issue.

A gentleman I met to discuss the problem, told me, that explaining to young people about snitching, if they see someone killed, it's their obligation to help make sure that the killer is punished. “The government works for us, and together we can hold it to higher standards.”

He continued, “Words and connotations are powerful". And to many of us, the word "snitch" brings to mind a distant memory of a house slave telling the master when another slave tried to escape. We're a long way from the days of slavery, but the adversity that those of us trapped in communities with little money, education and police protection share has forced us to create our own codes and coping strategies.”

“So often, even law-abiding residents try to close ranks and deal with our problems on our own instead of working with law enforcement, which many of us consider the enemy. It's a code…”

As we spoke more, he went further, “This is the true definition of a snitch: someone who commits a crime but then blames an accomplice so that he can negotiate a lighter sentence or even go free. Often he tells lies and incriminates the innocent. People like that are the real snitches and they are cowardly. Snitching is a way for criminals to play the system.

But not everyone who talks to police is a snitch. If you're a victim of a crime and you or someone you trust cooperates with them, you are not a snitch. If you try to get rid of negativity in your community, you are not "hot" or a snitch.

I blame the hip-hop industry for spreading confusion about the definition of snitching. I also understand that the artists are just trying to sell records by glorifying a criminal and prison culture they often know nothing about.

Understanding snitching is not just a theoretical exercise. It is critical to the survival of our communities.

Just as we have a right to be safe from drive-by shootings, murder, intimidation, and disrespect, we have an obligation to uphold the laws that ensure public safety. When a citizen witnesses a crime and decides to be civically responsible, this doesn't constitute snitching; it's doing the right thing.

Police also need to be more sensitive to the culture of the streets. Showing up in uniform and knocking on someone's door could get an innocent person killed. If police are clumsy in their investigations and let the word out about who is cooperating, that can also lead to more bloodshed.

Among the responses: "Kill them." "Cooperate." "Retaliate." "Go tell the police." And something that I have seen all too often: "Already happened. I would go look for them and talk to them face to face and ask them why."

People in the community want peace, and they want justice. They just don't want to be anybody's snitch.”

It is not telling tales, it is about building safety barriers and stopping the violence in the streets, homes, and workplace. Bullies, killers, and overall rotten people feed on their actions and further their intimidation by the silence. This signals their success and feeds their want, to do more. No matter who it harms or kills.

I believe we have a problem, Houston!




telephone: (515) 200-7068 or (330) 366-6860


Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Road Map To A Safer City - Make This A Positive Step Forward From Today!

A Road Map to a Safer City

By Nicholas Ashton, CEO/CIO, CommSmart Global Group 

I like to go back and read the previously written material and this one caught my eye. Especially about the decline of our cities and how we must be proactive in 2018.

On re-reading this older article, it was a breath of fresh air, I already knew so much about the former Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia and had met him when working with Police Commissioner Ramsey.  It was the introduction of our Street Smart Program and Pied Piper Project.  I spent 10 days on the streets of Philly, seeing the real crimes and police work, offering new techniques and implementing new technologies.

I was impressed with his ideas and bringing the best cop in the nation to his city and unimpressed, as I believed he was just another politician.  
He has proved me wrong!
I believe this article tells the story so well and thanks to Ethan Epstein for this.

Ethan Epstein
One Tough Nutter
Philadelphia’s Democratic mayor has cracked down on crime, reformed the city’s finances, and spoken frankly about a black family breakdown.
Spring 2013
In the hot summer of 2011, Philadelphia was beset by “flash mobs.” Dozens of teenagers, mostly black, would gather suddenly and riot through popular tourist neighborhoods, assaulting pedestrians and robbing stores and people. Other cities experienced flash mobs in 2011, but they presented a particular problem for tourist-dependent Philadelphia, where millions of visitors come every year to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Franklin Court—not to mention the famous corner of Ninth Street and Passyunk Avenue, where Pat’s and Geno’s vie for cheesesteak supremacy.

Mayor Michael Nutter, a black Democrat who had governed the city since 2008, was not pleased. And so, one Sunday that August, he took to the pulpit at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia and launched into an impassioned, 25-minute speech, punctuated by cheers and applause from the pews. “This nonsense must stop,” he said, his voice rising. “If you want to act like a butthead, your butt is going to get locked up. And if you want to act like an idiot, move. Move out of this city. We don’t want you here anymore.” Nutter grew increasingly heated as he blasted the city’s absentee fathers—who, he implied, were responsible for the crimes that their children committed. And he wound up his speech by telling the flash mobbers: “You’ve damaged your own race.”

Leftist critics quickly lit into the mayor. Columbia University political scientist Frederick Harris even used the R-word: “If this discourse was led by Ronald Reagan, for instance, people would call him on his racism, but now that you have a black face to these explanations it gives it legitimacy.”

But Nutter didn’t stop at rhetoric; he threw the weight of the Philadelphia Police Department against the rioters. In mob-afflicted areas, he ramped up police patrols and imposed a weekend curfew of 9 PM for minors. Backing up his tough talk on absentee parents, he increased fines on the parents of kids repeatedly caught breaking curfew, from $300 to $500. Local judges pitched in, sentencing flash mobbers to hefty service terms instead of slapping them on the wrist. Ten first-time offenders who had raided a Macy’s, for example, had to work there for eight weeks, dressing mannequins and greeting shoppers.

It seems to have worked. In the summer of 2012, there were no flash mobs in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer applauded the city’s “amazing progress,” noting correctly that “sometimes news is what doesn’t happen.” But it isn’t the only news that Michael Nutter has made in Philadelphia. On many counts, he has racked up an impressive record governing America’s fifth-largest city, showing a way forward at a time when so many Democratic-run cities seem resigned to deterioration.
In 2005, Time dubbed Nutter’s predecessor, John Street, one of America’s “worst mayors.” Though Street himself was never charged with any crime, his administration, which lasted from 2000 to 2008, was infused with scandal. His city treasurer, Corey Kemp, was convicted of 27 counts of corruption, including accepting Super Bowl tickets and cash in exchange for city contracts and sentenced to ten years in prison. Leonard Ross, Street’s former law partner and the chairman of a committee responsible for developing some city property, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for, among other crimes, asking developers bidding for a lucrative contract to donate money to Street’s reelection campaign. Street’s friend and fund-raiser Ron White were also charged with corruption, accused of (again, among other things) obtaining a city printing contract for his girlfriend, who didn’t even own a printing company. (White died before he went to trial.) Ultimately, more than two dozen figures connected to Street’s administration were convicted on corruption-related charges. Street also presided over a spike in the crime rate, as murders hit a seven-year high.

Philadelphia mayors aren’t allowed to serve more than two consecutive terms, and the race to succeed Street was crowded. Candidates in the 2007 Democratic primary included Tom Knox, a self-funded businessman; Bob Brady, a U.S. congressman whose campaign was badly wounded when he failed to disclose his pension income on his nominating petition; Chaka Fattah, another congressman and an old-school urban Democrat who had angered the Philadelphia Police Department by repeatedly calling for a new trial for convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal; and Nutter, who ran on a tough-on-crime, pro-reform platform. Nutter was an appealing candidate. Raised in working-class West Philly, he had attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and worked briefly in investment banking before winning a seat on the city council in 1991.

Nutter was emblematic of black success in Philadelphia, where African-Americans make up 43 percent of the population (whites are 37 percent and Hispanics 12 percent). But his candidacy had widespread appeal. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported at the time, “Nutter did equally well in majority-white and majority-black wards” and “got the largest percentage of white votes ever cast for an African American in a Philadelphia mayoral primary.” Nutter won a plurality in the primary, virtually guaranteeing him a general-election victory in this heavily Democratic city. Four years later, he was reelected in landslides in both the primary and the election.

One of Nutter’s first moves as mayor-elect in late 2007 was to lure Charles Ramsey out of retirement and make him the city’s new police commissioner. As the police chief of Washington, D.C., from 1998 to 2006, Ramsey had overseen a stunning 40 percent reduction in crime by employing both communities policing and the data-based policing that New York City’s Compstat program had made famous.

Ramsey imported both approaches to Philadelphia. Central to his and Nutter’s policing strategy was getting more cops into dangerous neighborhoods, particularly on foot. When he took office, Nutter had high hopes of hiring an additional 500 patrol officers. But then the economy tanked and scuttled the plan, says Everett Gillison, Philadelphia’s deputy mayor for public safety and Nutter’s chief of staff. Instead, the administration shifted about 200 officers from other units into patrol work. It also began requiring all police rookies to work foot beats for their first two years. At approximately one officer per 450 citizens, Philadelphia is still less densely policed than Washington. But the personnel changes, combined with data-based policing techniques that direct officers to the communities that need them most, ensure a healthy police presence where it’s necessary.

Another important component of the city’s crime-fighting strategy is stop-and-frisk, the controversial practice of searching suspicious persons for weapons to forestall crime. The Philadelphia Police Department had already used stop-and-frisk prior to Nutter’s election, but he campaigned on ramping it up, and under his mayoralty, the practice has been greatly expanded. In 2005, there were about 100,000 stops; by 2009, there were more than 250,000.

Nutter’s administration has also implemented a program, coined PhillyRising, based on the Broken Windows theory of policing, which holds that maintaining basic order stems serious crime. The idea is to use data gathered by police officers in dangerous neighborhoods to improve the quality of life—say, by repairing broken streetlights or cleaning filthy alleys after residents complain to cops on the beat. In 2012, Nutter summed up his overall law enforcement strategy: “We combined a zero-tolerance attitude toward those who terrorize our neighborhoods with a community policing approach that built trust and a sense of partnership between citizens and the men and women whose job it is to protect us.”

That strategy has drawn predictable criticism from the Left. In 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania sued Nutter’s administration over its use of stop-and-frisk, pointing out that blacks constituted 72 percent of those stopped and frisked even though they were just 44 percent of Philadelphia’s population at the time. Nutter vehemently denied that stop-and-frisk was racially biased: “It’s based on geography and nothing else.” The ACLU had neglected to mention that, as Gillison notes, “80 percent of homicides are black-on-black” in Philadelphia. Indeed, that statistic implied that blacks were being stopped and frisked less frequently than they should have been.

Nutter, again, is black (as are Ramsey and Gillison), and he’s particularly passionate about black crime, disturbed not only that young black men commit a disproportionate amount of crime but that they’re disproportionately its victims. Last year, he teamed up with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to found Cities United, a program devoted to reducing violence among young black men. Philadelphia is the largest American city with a black mayor, Nutter points out, and he thinks that gives him a special responsibility to combat the scourge.

In 2011, the city and the ACLU reached an agreement in which the cops would collect and store more data about stop-and-frisk incidents. Nutter’s administration also agreed to allow more judicial oversight of the practice and to create a system letting citizens lodge complaints more easily. But stop-and-frisk remained, a major victory for Nutter’s vision of a safer Philadelphia.

One element of the mayor’s stance on crime has taken flak from the Right as well: his advocacy of gun control. But Nutter is hardly calling for an unconstitutional “gun grab”: he’s been most vocal about improving background checks to screen gun buyers for criminal histories, as well as increasing penalties for so-called straw buyers (who purchase guns on behalf of others) and those who own illegal weapons. Moreover, the mayor’s most intrusive form of gun control is, well, stop-and-frisk. As City Journal’s Heather Mac Donald has pointed out in the New York Times, “one purpose of stop and frisk is to deter criminals from carrying guns, in order to minimize spur-of-the-moment shootings.” Nutter has said expressly that he’s trying to keep lethal weapons out of criminals’ hands: “We must pursue actively, vigorously, aggressively, every illegal weapon out on the street. No one should walk around the city of Philadelphia thinking for a moment that a well-trained uniformed police officer is not going to take an illegal weapon away from them.”

Is Nutter’s strategy working? In 2007, the last year before he took office, there were 391 murders in Philadelphia. Last year, there were 331. But the figures aren’t as simple as they look: in 2009, murders plummeted to 302, and they’ve been ticking up slowly ever since, to 306 in 2010, 324 in 2011, and (again) 331 in 2012. That’s doubtless one reason that Gillison and others in the administration prefer to cite another statistic: in 2012, Philadelphia had its lowest number of shootings since 2000, the first year the city started tracking that crime. 

Since Nutter took office in 2008, shootings have declined by about 20 percent. Over the same period, total violent crime has fallen 15.8 percent and property crime 7.2 percent.

Straight Talk
I want to apologize to all the good, hardworking, caring people here in this city, and especially our good young people, here in Philadelphia. But I have to tell you this morning that I am forced by the stupid, ignorant, dumb actions of a few [to] announce tomorrow actions that we will take that, unfortunately, will affect many here in our city.

Parents, get your act together. Get it together. Get it together right now. You need to get hold of your kids before we have to. Parents who neglect their children, who don’t know where they are, who don’t know what they’re doing, who don’t know who they’re hanging out with: You’re gonna find yourselves spending some quality time with your kids, in jail, together. . . .

Fathers have a particularly important role to play. Not more important than mothers, but just as important. You know, you’re not a father just because you have a kid, or two, or three. That doesn’t make you a father. A father is a person who’s around, participating in a child’s life. He’s a teacher who helps to guide and shape and mold that young person, someone for that young person to talk to, to share with, their ups and their downs, their fears and their concerns. A father has to provide instruction to a young boy on how to become a good man. A good man. A father also has to be a good role model and help a young girl be a strong woman.

Now let me just say this: if you’re not doing those things—if you’re just hanging out there, maybe you’re sending a check or bringing some cash by—that’s not being a father. You’re just a human ATM. You’re just an ATM. And if you’re not providing the guidance and you’re not sending any money, you’re just a sperm donor. You’re just a sperm donor. You’re what the girls call out in the street: “That’s my baby-daddy. That’s my baby-daddy.” That’s not good enough. Don’t be that. Don’t be that. You can do better than that.

And you know something? That’s part of the problem in our community. Let me speak plainly: that’s part of the problem in the black community. And many other communities, but a particular problem in the black communities: we have too many men making too many babies that they don’t want to take care of and then we end up dealing with your children. We’re not running a big babysitting service. We’re running a big government and a great city. Take care of your children.
All of them. All of them.

Mayor Michael Nutter
Mount Carmel Baptist Church, Philadelphia
August 7, 2011

Crime may seem like Philadelphia’s toughest challenge, but you could make the case that its budget woes are even worse. Nutter took office just as the economy was bottoming out, hammering tax revenues. The city’s $4 billion budget had a $100 million deficit, which the new mayor attributed to “a dramatic decline in tax receipts and increased pension costs.” The future looked even grimmer: over five years, the city faced a cumulative budget gap of more than $1 billion.

Nutter took swift action, announcing furlough days for city workers, canceling bonuses for nonunion workers, laying off several hundred employees, and eliminating hundreds more through attrition. He also cut his own salary and those of his cabinet members. And he announced plans to shutter 11 public libraries, though he was forced to abandon that proposal after a public outcry and objections from the city council. To get the budget under control, Nutter didn’t just cut spending; he hiked the local sales tax by 1 percentage point (though the increase is scheduled to expire in 2015).

That move galled many who had listened to Nutter’s calls for tax relief during the mayoral campaign. Back when he was a city councilman, one of his signature issues had been tax cuts; several cuts that he authored had been vetoed by Street. This year, moreover, a rejiggering of the city’s property-tax system will probably raise taxes further for many Philadelphians. But Nutter has managed to close the deficit. During the fiscal year that ended last June, the city ran a $147 million surplus. This year, it expects another surplus, though a smaller one.

Philadelphia’s fiscal problems go deeper than its budget, however. Even in a country where scores of cities face unaffordable retirement costs for their workers, Philly stands out: its pension fund is more than 50 percent unfunded, and there are more retirees drawing paychecks than current workers paying into the system. Earlier this year, a Pew Charitable Trusts study ranked Philadelphia among the country’s nine worst-performing cities in terms of pension funding between 2007 and 2009.

To get out of the morass, Nutter has proposed a new contract with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which represents about 6,800 of Philadelphia’s 20,000 public employees. AFSCME’s last contract expired in 2009, and years of negotiation with Nutter have failed to produce a new one. Under the mayor’s latest proposal, current workers would remain on the defined-benefit retirement plan that they have today, though their pension contributions would grow from 1.93 percent of their salaries to 3 percent. New hires, however, would get a hybrid pension plan. The defined benefits that they’d receive during retirement would equal no more than 25 percent of their final salaries; the rest of their pension contributions (and the cities) would pay for a 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan, with individual investment accounts for each worker. The mayor would also receive the authority to furlough employees for up to three weeks a year, and certain perks, such as double-time pay, would be phased out. In exchange for these concessions, workers would get pay increases, which they’ve done without over the three and a half years that they’ve been working without a contract.

AFSCME’s leadership refused the contract proposal. Saying that the pay increases were canceled out by the threat of furloughs and the loss of overtime pay, the union objected that Nutter’s plan amounted to “patting workers on the back with one hand . . . while picking their pockets with the other hand.” Dubbing him a “mayor for the 1 percent,” the union staged a protest outside a Washington meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (which Nutter leads) earlier this year. In February, AFSCME’s national president labeled Nutter a “turncoat” and likened him to Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, even though Nutter, unlike Walker, hasn’t tried to limit collective bargaining for public workers.

Fed up with the years of endless negotiating, Nutter took matters into his own hands this February, filing suit at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and seeking permission simply to impose the new contract’s terms on the union. Shrewdly, the mayor cast the suit as pro-union member but anti-union boss. The bosses reacted predictably, blasting Nutter’s decision to appeal to a “Republican-controlled” court. The court has yet to hear the case.

Nutter’s administration has also been duking it out with the city’s 2,100-strong firefighters’ union. The city and the union entered arbitration in both 2010 and 2012, with the latest round awarding the firefighters annual raises of 3 percent for three years (retroactive to 2010). The arbitration also banned unpaid furloughs and required the city to make larger payments for the firefighters’ health care. All in all, the results of the arbitration are expected to cost more than $200 million over the next five years—money that the city simply doesn’t have, Nutter says. His administration is appealing the latest ruling, hoping to get more authority to furlough firefighters and reduce the health-care payments. In Nutter’s first term, arbitration with the police and prison guards’ unions ended much more favorably, significantly reducing pension and health-care costs for the city.

It’s not only on union issues that Nutter’s economic policies have impressed. He’s also worked to make Philadelphia more hospitable for entrepreneurs, cutting several taxes on businesses and vetoing a bill, beloved by the Left, that would have required private enterprises to provide paid sick days to their workers. “I care a great deal about paid sick leave, but I care even more about people getting paid,” Nutter explained. “People need jobs, and that’s our Number One priority.” The city’s unemployment rate is still high, at 10.1 percent, though it’s down from 11.5 percent in 2010.
At an address, this February to black male students at the Community College of Philadelphia, Nutter’s retro-style cultural outlook was on full display. He acknowledged the toll that Jim Crow and generations of discrimination had taken on the black community; he took a few shots at Ronald Reagan for cutting financial aid to college students. But he took pains to note that today, “the only folks who kill black folks any more are black folks.” In fact, he said, “black folks kill more black folks than the KKK ever did.” Regarding black unemployment, he was equally stern: if you want to get a job, make sure you’re speaking “an understandable form of the English language.”

This is a speech delivered at a Black History Month event! In a culture that often attributes crime to material conditions, Nutter speaks with a refreshing moralism. Granted, that moralism can go much too far and veer into authoritarianism; in March, Nutter wrote to the Philadelphia Human Rights Commission to criticize a magazine article about “being white in Philadelphia,” calling it “disgusting” and suggesting that the magazine might be due for a “rebuke.” But Nutter was right, after a horrific triple shooting last year left three teenagers dead in Philadelphia’s Juniata neighborhood, to declare, “If you want to be an idiot, if you want to be an asshole, if you want to be a lowlife in this town, we will track you down like the dog that you are.” There’s something bracing about seeing someone in a position of authority in the city speak with such moral clarity.

Indeed, in many ways, Nutter is a conservative. Of course, he doesn’t identify himself that way, and it’s not hard to deduce why: in 59 Philadelphia precincts last November, Mitt Romney won precisely zero votes. And Nutter isn’t a Republican-in-hiding, having spent much of the 2012 election season appearing on TV as a campaign surrogate for President Obama. But don’t forget that in the bitter Democratic presidential primary in 2008, Nutter endorsed Hillary Clinton, then viewed as the centrist alternative to Obama.

And what would you call a mayor with priorities like Nutter’s—law and order, fiscal prudence, and personal responsibility—if not conservative?

Ethan Epstein is an editorial assistant at The Weekly Standard. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal and Slate, among other publications.

We Thank Ethan for this information and would like more cities to take action on behalf of their citizens.  Bringing back Trust, Respect, and Pride.

We are in the NOW and
KEEP YOU; in the KNOW…

For more information on the Pied Piper Project contact us:

Call: +1 (515) 200.7068

Copyright 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

Where Are the Smoke Signals? Information Is King, Street Level Knowledge Is Power...

Where Are the Smoke Signals?
Information Is King, Street Level Knowledge Is Power...
By Nicholas Ashton, CEO/CIO, CommSmart Global Group

Man has been communicating since time began.  The sounds of drums from within the jungle, the Native American Indian sending smoke signals from one valley to the next, the Town Crier, ringing his bell and posting a notice in the town square, Pony Express riding through the valleys of Utah and beyond, the Telegraph sending short concise snippets of information, the local rag (Newspaper) being sold on street corners, and televisions at tea time bringing us the local, national and globe news.  All means of disseminating information, old information, that is far from up to the minute.

Along comes the Internet, which changed how information was accessed.  The San Jose Mercury was one of the first newspapers on the web, via AOL in the early 90’s, still old news, as it was the gathered information by reporters that had been published in their newspaper that day.  It was a start to the old fashion and stable news business.

Cable News Network (CNN) was founded in 1980 by Ted Turner and 25 other original members, who invested $20 million into the network. Upon its launch, CNN was the first station to provide 24-hour television news coverage and the first all-news television network in the United States. While the news network had numerous affiliates, CNN primarily broadcasts from its headquarters at the CNN Center in Atlanta.

Turner could not have succeeded without Walter Sneed III, who owned a satellite farm in the heart of Atlanta, where signals from the world were collected and beamed everywhere.  I know Walt and understand this man’s mind, a down to earth guy that changed the whole vista of newsgathering.  It is the likes of Walt, that make the difference in so much as, they understand at a different level of what is required, the street level, where it all begins.
It is about cohesive teamwork, not one man or entity has all the answers and never will.  Some might have brilliant foresight, but lack, all the answers. 

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was one, an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. Only a few have happened in this extremely young world.

So what has changed?

CommSmart Global Group, a LexisNexis Risk Solutions Partner and its division, Red Tagged Atmospherics have combined to bring you an innovative information gathering solution.

The world still has wars and disagreements, people are killing people, con-artists are still plying their trade and politicians are continuing to argue who is right and who has the better political platform for the people.  Even constitutions are being compromised by so-called self-righteous leaders who alter people’s rights for so-called protective actions, in the name of the country.

The reason for my pre-amble is to allow you to understand that information is not as fresh as you might think.  It is as old as the fresh vegetables in the supermarket, which travel hundreds, if not thousands of miles to be cooked in the kitchens of the world.  Not fresh at all!

The loaf of bread, left on the shelf and not eaten, goes stale, grows green stuff and is discarded and was no good to anyone.  That is what news is when it is not actioned.  A total waste that could have done so much good.

The sell-by date is on milk is for a reason, if do not refrigerate and use by the date on the plastic or cardboard container, it is no good to anyone.  That is true of information also.

A perfect example of old news is the doctor’s office, the magazines, never a new one, always old and never current.  While we step through life, information surrounds us, although we might be tuned in, it is being collected for us to listened or watched at a later date.  We are all so behind the times.

That has all changed!  

The collection of information by the American government has highlighted to some, the methods that government will go to, in snooping on its own citizens.  When politicians wish to be elected, they banter words around, make speeches and use the word TRUST so many times or it is in your best interest.  No, it is not, as it is old information, old news and about as useful as the newspaper that the British wrap their Fish and Chips in.

It is now because of the spotlight on information gathering that we inform you of a whole different and up to the minute means to have the information from the streets at your fingertips, actionable in real time, with real results.  In fact, information so fresh, Benghazi would not have happened, the Arab Spring would not have hold of the Middle East as it does today.  Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran would be settled and stable, instead of rocking all our worlds.

The latest global ISIS attacks show how we must improve Street Level Information Gathering, Atmospherics.  These radicals have to monitored, stopped and removed.  This why our Social Media Interaction tools are so effective.

Our Global team has been at the forefront of analytics, tracking, Social Media Monitoring and Next Event Predictability and the means to bring street-level information to all.  Collecting the information is the easy part, Digital Pen/Paper, Laptop, Tablet, Smart Mobile Phone, all within reach of all. 

It is all to do with a combined solution through our proven analytics, street information-gathering abilities of the last twenty plus years, we bring you:

Combining our proven technologies of real-time data collection, even as simple as a digital pen and paper, directly into the secure database for analytical real-time manipulation. 

Now, this information is sent securely via encrypted mobile solutions from anywhere in the world anonymously and without a trace.  This has far-reaching ramifications for security situations for events, public safety street level information flow and intelligence gathering.

From the base Atmospherics, Red Tagged provides insight into local perspectives, indicates opinion trends, identifies emerging community influencers, measures messaging effectiveness and puts disparate intelligence reports in context.

Red Tagged would have easily and accurately predicted the majority of the Middle Eastern countries’ populaces’ unstoppable move to revolution. In the case of Iran, Syria, and Bahrain, the government was able to react with a mixture of messaging and direct action to marginalize the atmospheric “noise” that existed at the outset. In the other examples, the government simply failed to understand the power of the population, and the messaging that did resonate globally. Direct action was met with international criticism, and the results speak for themselves.

The need for comprehensive atmospherics and information transmission in today’s rapidly changing world has never been more profound. 

Events in the Middle East and Africa, for example, were misread and mishandled as there was no real understanding of the peoples’ perception and the effect of a population’s inertia. Traditional government suppression methods simply do not work in the 21st century. A world economy requires worldwide acceptance of a government’s actions and reactions to its people. The proliferation of communication tools, cameras, cell phones, social media and emerging roles of new media (e.g., Al Jazeera) ensure that the world hears and sees what used to be kept quietly confined to a region. The immediacy with which the international community reacts to events has also increased. A simple event, coupled with a population’s simmering opinions, can lead to revolution overnight – and we have all seen this occur in the past 18 months with the above countries as examples.

When a protest occurs in a given country, what is the potential for revolution or regime change? Is the protest an anomaly or is there popular support for the cause, and how committed is the population toward the cause? What is the word on the street? What about religious messaging? What is the real effect of the religious messaging on the average person? These are very common questions to interested parties, commercial and government, and atmospherics can answer those questions very quickly and accurately.

Atmospherics has been demonstrated to have significant value-add in military engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq; providing contextual backgrounds for intelligence and combat operations; both with unconventional elements and conventional Army units. As new areas of interests emerged into the US policy landscape, early deployment of atmospheric teams illuminated otherwise unknown issues affecting a population, identified key emerging leaders, and provided the foundation of the “picture on the ground” that ultimately giving policymakers and battle space owners a more complete, rich picture upon which to base planning and decision making. There were profound discoveries within the atmospheric community during its infancy in the context of a wartime application that alluded to its value outside a military application.

The value proposition of RED TAGGED Atmospherics is twofold; first, the reporting methodology provides new data sets on a daily basis. For trending purposes, there is no substitute whatsoever for fresh, real-time data, and atmospherics provides that. Messaging feedback is received instantly, and messaging/perception management teams can execute to address specific local needs.

Secondly, specific needs can be addressed and answered in a very timely manner. For example, if a national leader were to meet with local community influencers, the current public opinion needs to be measured to ensure he meets with the “real” versus traditional players. Feedback on specific topics can be obtained from a wide range of socio-economic, political, religious and other demographics as needed.

CommSmart Global Group, with the Atmospheric solution, is committed to providing very high-quality operators, extensively trained, with the best tools for supporting atmospheric operations. 

Our typical Atmospherics Manager is a former Special Forces or SAS operator with extensive experience operating with indigenous troops in a foreign area.

Specific industry experts that are cross-trained in atmospherics can target specific industries; health care and legal are two such examples.
Thorough pre-planning and immersion training prior to deployment is a standard part of our methodology, in conjunction with cultural studies, local and national history, economics, religion and language training.

The key to success and client value is careful selection of the right people to respond to a client’s need.

The low-profile nature of this program and the fact that locals are greatly utilized to collect and aggregate the reports ensure that we analyze data that is robust and confirmed. Our teams are carefully built and managed to ensure that the program builds on strength and capabilities over time, not burn out or produce “same old” reporting.

Our management overhead is very small, ensuring that the customer receives full value for his expense. We spend our budgets on collection assets, and the proof is in the expansive and constantly refreshing data sets.

There are additional services that CommSmart Global Group with the Red Tagged Atmospheric solutions can provide in addition to Atmospheric Collection; our experience and networks within the Human Intelligence community have led us to identify emerging leaders in perception management systems, social media monitoring reach-back centers, messaging experts and other best-of-breed operations that if needed, would be able to greatly leverage the existing datasets into new products. Most of our operators are experienced platform instructors and can staff and train up a customers’ atmospheric program, tailored to meet the client’s specific needs. 

The strength of the CommSmart Global Group ensures that our Atmospheric Managers can insert quickly and leverage existing networks to build out atmospherics team very quickly.

Stacking atmospherics and additional services or programs is part of our operational requirement on every engagement; we specialize and work with other specialty organizations to fulfill our clients’ needs.

Human Terrain Systems and other population monitoring programs are not designed to provide neither daily reporting nor daily analysis. These programs have value, but they should not be confused nor utilized in place of a dynamic atmospherics program. Joined, these two programs were found to be highly effective when the data was joined at fusion cells. Atmospherics is being used today to assess the population’s perception of the Rule of Law in an area where considerable investment is being considered. The atmospherics data is being combined with a threat assessment. Stacking atmospherics with other value-add programs increases the client’s understanding of the risk and opportunity at a relatively small project cost.

CommSmart Global Group has created the solution that has been searched for, for decades.  It is the NOW Factor and our appetite for information in real time that has driven us to develop this ability, using proven in-house technology.

RED TAGGED ATMOSPHERICS is so cutting edge it breaks the mold of Breaking News!

It brings our Physical & Cyber Analytics, Next Event Predictability capabilities, to the next level of information usage.  It is something we have only dreamed of, now, we have the reality and shows how data collection can be utilized for productive secure capabilities.

We are in the NOW and
KEEP YOU; in the KNOW…

Call: +1 (515) 200.7068

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