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Educating future officers

 February 9, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Thursday, February 9th.

How a South Bay college is creating a new way of policing…

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

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For the first time, the Mexican government is saying it won’t support the Remain in Mexico program.

The controversial Trump-era program forces asylum seekers to live in Mexico while their cases are decided.

However, the program only works if Mexico agrees to accept migrants from other countries.

Pedro Rios is an immigrant rights activist.

“Mexico does not necessarily have to accept someone who is not a Mexican national. So in many ways programs such as Remain in Mexico and Title 42 move forward under the authority of the Mexican government.”

Rios says this public opposition could make it easier for the Biden Administration to finally terminate Trump-era anti-immigration programs.

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County supervisors want 18 to 24 year olds to be able to ride public transit for free.

This week the board approved a resolution that directs county groups to work with transit agencies to find the money for the program.

Currently, the SANDAG Youth Opportunity Pass allows those 18 and under to ride public transit for free.

Chairwoman Nora Vargas said the free youth pass removes barriers in getting to school, work and recreational activities.

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San Diego businesses with outdoor dining and services, can apply for a grant to continue outdoor operations within the public right of way.

Each business could get up to 20-thousand-dollars under the program.

About 300 grand is available.

It comes from Senate Bill 11-86 fees that get collected through the sale of business licenses and renewals, and the Small Business Enhancement Program.

The grants will be awarded in phases, and are meant to help cover permitting, design and construction expenses for businesses.

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From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

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The ongoing case in the police beating death of Tyre Nichols… once again focuses on the use of deadly force by officers.

KPBS Education reporter M.G. Perez says police at one South Bay college are working to create a community for change.

Felix “...get the gun out…worse case scenario…(car engine starts)” Officer David Felix is talking about the department-issued AR-15 rifle he carries in his car on patrol across Southwestern College’s Chula Vista campus. He also carries a Taser, a baton, and a Glock-22 pistol. But his most effective tool is communication. Felix Community Policing “I get out, I say hi to people …approach a couple of students if they have questions…and they do have questions…ranging from how do I become a police officer to …I got involved in this situation, how can I help myself from getting into further trouble.” police radio nats Felix is one of the nine sworn officers on the Southwestern College police force. He has also served in the Los Angeles police department. He has seen the video of Memphis police beating Tyre Nichols…Felix “that was aggressive policing…and if you do that here, you better have a pretty good reason why you’re acting and saying things like they did in the video.” Bareno “It hurts me because I love my profession…I believe in the profession.”  Marco Bareño is Southwestern’s Chief Safety Officer…He’s felt the sting of brutality brought on by other police across the country…starting with the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Bareno “I have two sons…both in high school…they were ashamed to say their father was a police officer at the time…and not ashamed, because they are proud of me and what I do…it’s just from what was happening.” …and it kept on happening...that’s when Southwestern College police decided they needed help to change the public’s perception and earn trust. So, they partnered with the Urban League of San Diego County, which has organized focus groups between students, staff, police and other community members who want solutions. Al Abdallah is President and CEO of the local Urban League. Al “Every law enforcement officer across the country is now under a microscope…are you like Memphis or part of Memphis..or Minneapolis with George Floyd? Do you have murders on your payroll? These are questions that have to be asked.” …and the Urban League collaboration focus groups have answered those questions and built bridges to de-escalate police involved confrontations. It’s working according to Southwestern Student Trustee Jose Perez. Jose “If I were in a situation or a circumstance where there would be a threat, I would have that feeling of security knowing that they are going to be there, present, and they are going to do their job right.” Teacher Class “the bar to prove the guilt of the EMT or the paramedic is lower than the bar of reasonable doubt in a criminal case.” …the curriculum at the Southwestern Otay Mesa campus for the college’s police academy and other first responder programs… includes real time current events …with lessons in ethics and legal courses that go beyond text books. That has only inspired paramedic student Slater Lee even more…and he’s seen the video with Memphis police and EMTs who were also fired. Slater “it’s horrible that it ever happened, but to be someone that could potentially respond and make a difference in a positive light for someone in any of those horrible situations would be motivating.” Talia Raz is Slater’s classmate. She is committed to her mental health in responding to critical calls involving patients in worst case scenarios. Talia “I think it’s about understanding what just happened and emotionally processing it..that way you’re not left with traumatic thoughts and then you’re able to move on from it.” Back on the Chula Vista campus…officer Felix is moving on with his patrol…proud of the progress his department is making. As another day ends in the best case scenario….MGP KPBS News

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On Monday a 7 point 8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey and northern Syria.

KPBS reporter, Claire Strong, talked to local organizers who want to help those affected.

We are having the youth group kids come and help sort out donations and for the younger kids to make cards of encouragement and prayer for the people and the victims affected back in Turkey and Syria. That’s Sara Hassane, a volunteer at the Islamic Centre of San Diego in Kearny Mesa. Between now and Friday, they’re collecting essentials like blankets, winter clothes and first aid kits to send to survivors. The items will then be taken to a designated drop-off point in LA, before being flown via Turkish Airlines to those in the disaster zones. Claire Strong, KPBS News.

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TWO FORMERLY DEPORTED ARMY VETERANS ARE NOW U-S CITIZENS.

KPBS REPORTER JOHN CARROLL HAS THE STORY.

Not only are Leonel Contreras Tarango and Mauricio Hernandez Mata back in the U-S… as of Wednesday morning, they are citizens of this country.  They were administered the oath of citizenship in a ceremony in downtown San Diego, made possible by the Biden Administration’s Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative.  Afterward, both spoke about what the day means to them.  First, Contreras, then Hernandez. “I feel ecstatic, I feel very blessed, I feel very happy to be back on American soil.” “For all of you that weren’t there, we did all those things for you all as well, so you all wouldn’t have to.  That’s why many people couldn’t walk in my shoes, because a lot of people are self-serving.  We are not.  We are servants of the people.” Servants - and now citizens.  JC, KPBS News.

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Coming up.... What you can expect at the Black Comix Day mini convention happening this weekend. We’ll have that and more, just after the break.

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The I-R-S says some people need to wait to file their taxes this year.

KPBS reporter Jacob Aere explains that it's because of the middle class tax refund payments California sent out last year.

Many California taxpayers got Middle Class Tax Refunds last year, in amounts ranging from 200-dollars to 1,050 dollars. The franchise tax board says it’s sent out more than six million 10-99-MISC forms to people who got at least $600. Tax accountant Ricardo Alvarez says it's caused some issues with this year’s tax filings. “What has come up is the questions about is it taxable in the federal level. Because it's not taxable in the state level of California.” He says his firm and many others are taking the position that the refund, in any amount, is non-taxable at the federal level. The I-R-S says tax filers who got the state payment and the 10-99 should wait to file their federal tax returns. In a statement, they said they’re working with state tax officials to get more information and clarity to taxpayers this week. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.

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Black Comix Day returns to the World Beat Cultural Center this weekend for its fifth year.

The free mini-convention celebrates Black creators and artists from Marvel and D-C, as well as Black-owned independent companies.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando spoke with the event's founder, Keithan Jones, who is also the creator of The Power Knights comic.

That was Keithan Jones, speaking with KPBS’s Beth Accomando.

Black Comix Day is happening this Saturday and Sunday, at the World Beat Cultural Center in Balboa Park.

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That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Thursday.

The ongoing case in the police beating death of Tyre Nichols once again focuses on the use of deadly force by officers. Now, police at one South Bay college are working to create a community for change. In other news, the IRS says some people need to wait to file their taxes. Plus, what you can expect at the Black Comix Day mini convention happening this weekend.