Police in Seattle have asked people to call 9-1-1 if they witness racist harassment, citing a spate of verbal and physical attacks on Asian Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic. "A person who is actively being victimized is not going to be able oftentimes to be the one to call 9-1-1," says Detective Elizabeth Wareing of the police department's Bias Crimes Unit.
A bill under consideration in New York state would make it a hate crime to file a false police report alleging criminal activity by members of protected groups. The move comes after a white woman falsely claimed in a 9-1-1 call that a black man was threatening her in Central Park.
The global market for LTE/5G-ready infrastructure used in public safety will be worth $2 billion by the end of this year, according to research by SNS Telecom & IT. New buildouts and expanded existing commercial-private networks will be responsible for much of the growth.
Recreation and park departments in North Carolina and Ohio are following state and federal guidelines as they gradually reopen facilities and resume activities. "We want our kids to be able to participate and have fun, but we want to make sure that we take every precaution we can to provide a safe atmosphere for those activities," says Jason Weeks, director of parks and recreation in Currituck County, N.C.
Data from apps and other sources suggest more people are visiting parks to exercise, particularly by bicycling, as gyms and fitness centers remain closed by the coronavirus pandemic. Being outdoors "does have a sustained and positive impact on our physical and mental health," said National Recreation and Park Association President and CEO Kristine Stratton.
More parks, playgrounds and other facilities are reopening this week in Montana, Iowa, Kentucky and other states. Billings, Mont., has reopened playgrounds, sporting courts and summer camps, with many pools reopening Wednesday.
Binghamton, N.Y., police are investigating a fire that destroyed an accessible playground at the city's Recreation Park on Monday morning, hours after peaceful protests of the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. A fundraiser to replace the playground has begun.
Green infrastructure at parks should be prioritized as a public health and economic benefit, write Wende David and Jenny Cox of the National Recreation and Park Association. "Well-managed green infrastructure in public places can grow trust and satisfaction community members have with local government, which increases over time as the assets stay well-managed," they write.
Recreation and park professionals frequently perform public health duties, and that function will likely grow, writes Allison Colman, director of health at the National Recreation and Park Association. "By focusing efforts on equitably advancing community health and well-being through parks and recreation, we can ensure that all people -- no matter race, class, ability or identity -- have a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible," she writes.
Congress should pass the Great American Outdoors Act this month because "[t]his bipartisan legislation supports local economies, encourages tourism, and creates jobs" and will give urban parks much-needed help, writes Catherine Nagel, executive director of the City Parks Alliance. The National Recreation and Park Association has voiced support for the bill.