July 28, 2009
Host: Ted Simons
- Roger Vanderpool, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, talks about efforts to deal with a backlog of felony arrest warrants.
- Roger Vanderpool - Director, Arizona Department of Public Safety
Ted Simons: IT'S CALLED OPERATION FALCON, AND IT LED TO THE CAPTURE OF OVER 35,000 FUGITIVES AROUND THE COUNTRY, WITH OVER 600 BEING ARRESTED HERE IN ARIZONA. OPERATION FALCON IS A NATIONWIDE EFFORT HEADED BY THE U.S. MARSHAL'S SERVICE, AND INCLUDES STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES. IN THE MOST RECENT FUGITIVE SWEEP, THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY'S VIOLENT CRIMINAL APPREHENSION TEAM TOOK PART. THE TEAM, ALSO KNOWN AS V-CAT TARGETS DANGEROUS FUGITIVES. HERE TO TALK ABOUT V-CAT AND OPERATION FALCON IS DPS DIRECTOR ROGER VANDERPOOL. Good to have you here. Thanks for joining us.
Roger Vanderpool: Thank you. It's good to be here.
Ted Simons: Who are we targeting? Is this the worse of the worst that operation falcon is or was looking for? We try to target the individuals who are warrants that have hurt people. So crimes against the person are the ones we try to go after the most.
>> And V-Cat, talk about how that played into operation.
Roger Vanderpool: V-Cat was formed in may of 2008 and it's the D.P.S. violent criminal apprehension team or fugitive squad. There's two squads, nine officers and two sergeants that make that up on a full-time basis but then we partner with agencies across the state, 85 different agencies across the state on an ad hoc basis of when there is known fugitives in their communities to help us find those individuals and bring them to justice.
Ted Simons: And the collaboration I'm sure involving finding the folks, picking them up and getting them in custody. There's a lot before that happens, isn't there?
Roger Vanderpool: That's where most of the work really takes place and that's the work of the endless to be the cyber detectives to put together packages for the detectives, the V-Cat detectives so they will be much more successful than just going out and trying to knock on doors and find an individual.
Ted Simons: Operation falcon obviously a big operation. After it's over, what kind of collaboration exists around the state specifically to catch these folks?
Roger Vanderpool: There's still collaboration going on. The V-Cat detectives along with the Marshals wanted the program which their officers and deputy U.S. Marshals are looking everyday for fugitives and working with our law enforcement community throughout Arizona and our law enforcement partners in Mexico to hunt down wanted felons.
Ted Simons: Talk about that cooperation with Mexican law enforcement, how much does that play into an operation falcon or what V-Cat does?
Roger Vanderpool: On an everyday basis, it plays into it a lot. We have a strong relationship especially with foreign state police and we have border liaison officers that work with them. You know, Mexican government and Mexican law enforcement has enough of their own bad guys. Mexico is not a safe haven for fugitives from the United States to go down there. We supply the Mexican law enforcement authorities with information. If they can find them, they return them.
Ted Simons: That information is reciprocal?
Roger Vanderpool: Yes, it is. We have arrested especially with the Marshal service and partnership with the Marshal service wanted felons from Mexico that are here in Arizona and have returned those to Mexico.
Ted Simons: As far as working with law enforcement agencies around the state and we hear a lot about outstanding fugitive warrants how many there are especially here in Maricopa county. How is that delineated? Who decides who goes after that bad guy in buckeye, for example?
Roger Vanderpool: I think everyone--when I say everyone, the entire law enforcement community in Arizona needs to be focused on it. I think you or any members of the public cares who arrests the bad guys as long as someone arrests them. It has to be a team effort. The criminal doesn't just stop at the city limits or the county line. It makes sense for a statewide effort combined with the Marshal's office to track these folks down.
Ted Simons: Are you happy so far with that collaboration?
Roger Vanderpool: Oh, it's great, yeah. The Arizona law enforcement community actually cooperates and plays better than anybody else in the United States.
Ted Simons: There's controversial about how much the sheriff's office should be going after these particular warrants and fugitives. Are you working with that office and how is the relationship?
Roger Vanderpool: The relationship has always been good with the sheriff's office. The sheriff's office was involved in operation falcon. They have I believe a deputy or maybe even more than a deputy assigned to the Marshals wanted task force. Then of course on a daily basis as deputies, officers, city officers go about their routine business, they are looking for fugitives. One of the things that operation falcon does is brings to the forefront the need for officers to on a contact or on a traffic stop to kind of look past the driver's license and maybe ask another question or run that individual to see if they are wanted.
Ted Simons: The V-Cat merger with the U.S. Marshal's service, relatively recently. I know some are suggesting it should have happened a long time ago. Why did it take so long for that particular relationship?
Roger Vanderpool: It didn't take a long time as far as we are concerned, you know, we formed V-Cat in may of '08. V-Cat kind of spun out from a task force started prior to the Super bowl when we were crunching the gang database against the wanted database to find out what gang members in Arizona had outstanding felony warrants so we could go after them. That was a spinoff into the standard of V-Cat. In comparing notes and the things we are going to account on the Marshals and what we are doing and what the marshals are doing it made sense to collaborate and join forces.
Ted Simons: Thank you for joining us.
Health Care Task Force
- Health care experts in Arizona are sharing their views on health care reform in meetings and conference calls organized by the White House Health Reform Task Force. One of the experts is from Arizona State University. She is Marjorie Baldwin, Director of the School of Health Management at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. She joins Ted Simons on Horizon.
- Marjorie Baldwin - Director, School of Health Management at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business
Ted Simons: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "HORIZON." I'M TED SIMONS. A NEW ARIZONA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE WAS NAMED TODAY BY GOVERNOR JAN BREWER. THE GOVERNOR NAMED JOHN PELANDER III OF TUCSON TO FILL A VACANCY ON THE COURT CREATED BY THE RETIREMENT OF JUSTICE RUTH McGREGOR. PELANDER, A REPUBLICAN, WAS CHOSEN FROM AMONG THREE NOMINEES. PELANDER HAS BEEN ON THE ARIZONA COURT OF APPEALS SINCE 1995. HEALTH CARE EXPERTS IN ARIZONA ARE SHARING THEIR VIEWS ON HEALTH CARE REFORM IN MEETINGS AND CONFERENCE CALLS ORGANIZED BY THE WHITE HOUSE HEALTH REFORM TASK FORCE. ONE OF THOSE EXPERTS IS A HEALTH ECONOMIST FROM ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY. MARJORIE BALDWIN, DIRECTOR OF THE SCHOOL OF HEALTH MANAGEMENT AT ASU'S W.P. CAREY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, IS HERE TO TELL US HOW THE ARIZONA GROUP IS REACTING TO THE PRESIDENT'S PLANS. Thanks for joining us tonight.
Marjorie Baldwin: Thanks for inviting me.
Ted Simons: Let's get reactions. What should healthcare reform include and what should it avoid?
Marjorie Baldwin: I think the consensus, the broad consensus throughout Washington and the country is health reform needs to address the problem of the uninsured. That we really need to find a way so that everyone has access to at least basic medical care services.
Ted Simons: I know that's part of what is being looked at right now in Washington. It seems as though the big concern is what is being looked at is being rushed. How do you respond to that?
Marjorie Baldwin: I agreed. There's a lot of issues surrounding healthcare reform and it seems that deadlines have been placed on us. We'll have a bill by August 1st. No, we'll have the bill by August 15th. I think it's more important to get it right and accomplish your goals rather than set arbitrary deadlines.
Ted Simons: Some would say there's a sense of urgency of getting it done. Not a sense of rushed but a sense of urgency.
Marjorie Baldwin: I understand where that's coming from because we have tried healthcare reform for decades. Perhaps they think quickly we can get something going through. I think the down side, healthcare is a huge industry. Look at what they have done in Massachusetts. Costs escalated way beyond what they anticipated. The system is almost bankrupt. I think the sense of urgency has to be tempered with caution.
Ted Simons: I think the sense of urgency I think this Massachusetts they are looking at that. Do you think that's happening in Washington?
Marjorie Baldwin: Probably not. For one thing it's difficult to think through. So that for example one of the pieces of healthcare reform is that insurers can't turn away anyone based on a preexisting condition. What that means is can you wait to get insurance until you get a health condition and say by the way, now I have cancer and I'll go to an insurer and have health insurance. You have to think about all the ramifications and does it put in place for the plan.
Ted Simons: Where you sit may be incremental to healthcare reform. With the idea that it is so big and massive thing. Can you push the elephant? Don't you need to shove it a little bit?
Marjorie Baldwin: I think you can do an incremental approach. You can address some of the issues. For example, many economists have spoken about the issue of inequitable tax treatments of health insurance. I work at ASU, my health insurance is pre-tax dollars and essentially subsidized by the government. If someone works for small a employer or is self-employed they have to pay for insurance with post-tax dollars. There's no subsidy. That's in equitable and we can address that through the tax codes and see what happens and then there's another issue.
Ted Simons: Then there's the option of single-payer and get rid of business and what would essentially be government-run healthcare. Again your thoughts.
Marjorie Baldwin: A lot of the pressure for a national insurance system, national program comes from people observing countries in western Europe and Canada who have these national plans and they spend a lot less money. They have quality care. If we could only do that in the United States. I think if you look at those programs, you see that they--that they impose things to control costs that I think Americans would not be happy with. There's rationing of care. There's long wait times to get in to see care. Some care is just not simply provided because they decided it's not cost effective. I can't imagine Americans would want the government making those choices for them.
Ted Simons: And yet some say for a lot of Americans that sounds wonderful because they don't have health insurance. And when they can get into a medical facility it's usually by the way of the emergency room and that sort of thing. Is it a question of if you have the means, you don't want to see much changed? But if you're lower on the scale, bring it on?
Marjorie Baldwin: That's very interesting because whatever health plan is being put through the congressman and staff are not going to be part of it. They are keeping their own insurance. Yes, I agree that people who aren't currently covered, can't get coverage because of chronic conditions, a-public plan might look like a good option. I think we can address the excess issue with market force rather than going to a government plan.
Ted Simons: Are you confident the market forces will be part of the plan. It kind of looks like the public option is off the table, doesn't it?
Marjorie Baldwin: I think it's effectively off the table. I don't think they can get the coalition that they need of the republicans and more conservative democrats to go along with the plan that includes a public option.
Ted Simons: Quickly, the ASU the masters of public health program. Talk about this. This deals mostly with urban issues?
Marjorie Baldwin: Yes, yes. To link it up with healthcare reform, I think one mistake we are making with health reform is we are focusing on the health system and think if we do that, then all our health problems will be resolved. That's not the case. Many of the problems come from environmental aspects and behavioral aspects and this will address exactly that at-risk communities and how we can promote healthy and safe communities in urban settings.
Ted Simons: This will be based in downtown Phoenix.
Marjorie Baldwin: It will be based--all the classes will be offered in downtown Phoenix and the students will be engaged in public health projects from the beginning throughout promoting public health in the urban center.
Ted Simons: Last question. This time next year will there be fundamental substantive change in healthcare in America?
Marjorie Baldwin: Yes. But I wouldn't predict whether it would come from the government or whether it would come from other forces that are pushing for change.
Ted Simons: All right. Fair enough. Thank you for joining us.
Marjorie Baldwin: You're welcome.
- Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon talks about how stimulus dollars will be used to build a new taxi way at Sky Harbor Airport.
- Phil Gordon - Mayor of Phoenix
Ted Simons: FEDERAL STIMULUS DOLLARS ARE LANDING AT SKY HARBOR AIRPORT. PART OF THE MONEY WILL BE USED TO CREATE A NEW TAXI WAY, WHICH THE AIRPORT EXPECTS TO HELP ON A NUMBER OF FRONTS. I RECENTLY SPOKE WITH PHOENIX MAYOR PHIL GORDON ABOUT THE STIMULUS DOLLARS MAKING THEIR WAY TO TOWN.
Ted Simons: Mayor Phil Gordon, thank you so much for joining us on horizon.
Phil Gordon: Thank you.
Ted Simons: The stimulus money how much in total is Phoenix getting?
Phil Gordon: Phoenix so far has been allocated since January not through the state but directly over $270 million. That translates to either saving or creating almost 3,000 direct jobs related to the projects because all of the money goes in the projects and probably another double that in terms of companies, jobs that support those jobs.
Ted Simons: That's how much the city is getting. How much has the city already received?
Phil Gordon: I think it's somewhere in the 50 to 75 million. It's starting to accelerate. Like yesterday not only did we announce the Grant that we got last Friday for a million dollars to convert heavy diesel trucks to cleaning burning which creates new jobs. But we were also under construction for the airway taxiway project that we got in March.
Ted Simons: The taxiway C project, talk to us more about that. Whoa project is that? How big of project is that?
Phil Gordon: Of the 285 families, the 285 jobs that created to support 285 families is very big and very important. $12 million project, 285 individuals were hired or jobs that were on the line of maintained. That will create the environment that will allow our commercial airlines to cross from the south runway to the north runway without taxiing all the way around the air fields but simply going across the fields on the taxiway that is currently asphalt and therefore wouldn't support the weight, only the small, private airplanes would. Now we will be able to do that. We'll save the environment by less carbon emissions and diesel and we'll save the airlines money by making time in taxiing and quicker on the ground for the passengers and most importantly we created jobs that are putting Arizonans and Phoenixes to work.
Ted Simons: Other projects getting stimulus money. What other projects are going on out there.
Phil Gordon: We have received Grant money to hire two city attorneys that will be U.S. attorneys prosecuting felony gun cases in federal court which has been a very successful program to put the bad guys away for a long time. We have received energy grants besides the one I mentioned but also to put in new weatherization in city buildings, doors and insulation that creates jobs with the small and large companies that puts that in and save money on solar energy saving packages on some of the garages. With transportation we received additional monies working on the light rail project. We haven't received it but that's one we are working on for additional monies. In commerce we received grants. In E.P.A. we received grants. We are working on every field you can think of from education to transportation.
Ted Simons: Is there a timeline for some of these projects and the money coming in? How does that dynamic work?
Phil Gordon: Well, the process basically you can divide the process into two. One is those monies that were awarded initially and quickly back in January to almost states exclusively, the cities across the nation got a small, small amount of the first package maybe less than 20% of the total stimulus. Most of that money went to states and most went to balance the budgets or will be. The rest of it is called competitive grants where the secretaries and different agencies are taking solicitation on projects that will create jobs immediately that will get done within 18 to 36 months depending on which departments and leverage the funds of sustainability. Those are the ones we are focused on receiving where I go to D.C. often working hard to get that money and we have been very successful. Money has been coming slowly and unfortunately it should have been coming faster. The book was never written on this. Now today that money is starting. When I say today, it's starting to accelerate the bill last month and we'll be accelerating a lot more particularly to the city of Phoenix where we get it out on the street and create jobs quicker.
Ted Simons: Senator Jon Kyl said on a national television news show that the stimulus plan is not working. That unspent stimulus money should be redirected by congress because as he says sees it--as he sees it the system is not working the way its supposed to. Why is he wrong?
Phil Gordon: First of all let me say I have significant and high respect for the senator and on a lot of issues he supported the city and me. And like all we disagree on other issues sometimes small amounts and other times large amounts. In this case I respectfully say the senator is wrong. He is right in one sense that the money is not flowing quickly enough. The president is right in congress. We are also in such economic straits in getting the money out so it's not misspent and requires guidelines. I believe the senator needs to focus on getting the money out quick and the jobs are ones that Arizonans need immediately and directly. When you say reallocate, again reallocate never gets done and we can't do that. Tell that not thousands of workers that were laid off last month and people like today James the operator that was laid off a couple of months ago and now hired back by aims construction to go to work on this taxi way project. He has two children and a wife and so putting this money to it's proper use is important and we don't have the ability to delay this anymore by "killing it and reallocating it."
Ted Simons: Yet, there's a line of thought if you reallocate this towards more business investment give market more to use and the market will use it better and for those workers. How again would you respond? Especially with the idea once the stimulus money is gone, it's gone. Secondary question here, are you prepared as what's happening ramping up the job market or is it just simply a stopgap for now?
Phil Gordon: First let's address the second one. We need a stimulus booster shot to get the economy going. Sitting and waiting and do nothing is what created the giant hole we are in. And there are lots of signs that things are towards the end, the bottom and hopefully climbing out of it. Getting people to work right away just like what happened in the great depression was the most important thing. Let's get to the point where two or three years from now, we are worried about whether the economy now has maintained itself on its own or we need additional help whatever that may be. So I think it's important we get the money out and use it and the city uses every dollar whether Phoenix or New York and create jobs not to balance the budget. This is about families in Arizona small and large benefiting businesses and help families. With respect to where that money should go, you know, I have heard different things again whether it's a senator or other people who voiced their opposition to the plan. Number one, it's the tack pair money that Arizonans paid for and we need fair share and create jobs otherwise it will go elsewhere. Number two the private industries agree should be benefited as well as education institutions and part of the stimulus package a good portion is research and job sector whether it's the banks or automobile industry or solar industry. It's also for the universities and schools. It's also for the governments not to balance their budget but for us to put out in the front end cost to create solar energy so our operating expenses go down so our taxpayer monies are saved and we can use that for more officers or to expand our services or to cutback on the budget but not to put it into energy that keeps literally going up through the meter.
Ted Simons: All right. Mayor, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
Phil Gordon: Thank you.