The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "Public safety" ...

  • Who's Driving Your Cab?

    A WOOD-TV investigation reveals that "the city of Grand Rapids licenses taxi drivers who have significant criminal and bad driving records despite claims that public safety is the primary goal." The investigation started when a reporter saw drug dealing between a cab driver and another motorist at a gas station.
  • Road to Corruption

    The Citizen-Times investigates corruption among police officers at the Division of Motor Vehicles. According to the contest questionnaire: "Charges included bribe-taking to ignore truck-safety violations for politically connected companies, job and promotion buying within the agency, the coercion of officers to make donations to politicians, ticket-fixing and a loss of focus on the primary mission of enforcing trucking industry laws." Some of the conclusions were based on database analysis. The newspaper's investigation has been followed by a grand jury investigation.
  • 911 Dispatch

    A series of stories exploring what happened in the Anchorage suburb of Eagle River on August 3, 2002, after it took Anchorage police 48 minutes to locate the home of the recently retired state public safety commissioner when he was murdered and his wife shot four times. It was discovered that overworked and undertrained dispatchers, obsolete dispatch technology and poor data management were the key contributors.
  • City at risk: Traffic jam from hell

    Creative Loafing probes the feasibility of Mecklenburg County's evacuation plan. The story finds that if a terrorist attack or a nuclear accident at one of the county's two nuclear plants occurred, the evacuation plan would not prevent a "large-scale loss of life." There are potentially deadly flaws not only in Mecklenburg county's evacuation plan, Servatius writes, but "ultimately in federally approved evacuation plans across the country."
  • Slacker fire inspectors

    The Times-Union reports that Jacksonville fire inspectors have spent almost two-thirds of their time shopping, running errands and going home in the early afternoons. The findings are documented with photographs of inspectors goofing off in the middle of the day. The city fire prevention department has left some buildings and businesses not inspected for up to 10 years, making the excuse that there are not enough employees. Other findings include that the fire marshal's office did not try to correct hazards it knew about, that a downtown hotel burned three times because it did not comply with the minimum fire prevention standards, and that the department's records and work logs were false and grossly incomplete.
  • Emergency calls crowded out: Interference from cell phone towers is putting the lives of police and firefighters at risk as public safety authorities find their radio transmissions blocked

    An investigation by the Oregonian reveals that cell phone towers interfere with the radio transmissions of police and firefighters.
  • Railroaded

    The American Press sheds light on how railroads in Southwest Louisiana have become a threat to public safety, and have raised concerns about devaluation of local residents' properties. Union Pacific has planned on building a storage-in-transit station in spite of the objections of the homeowners in the vicinity. "Public officials on the state and local level ... have battled for years to toughen regulations governing the rail industry," the Press reports.
  • What Lies Beneath

    Riverfront Times chronicles "the history of corrosion problems with copper-inside-steel natural gas service lines as well as corroding direct-buried soft copper gas lines." The story depicts how a gas explosion in an old family upended the lives of Tom and Mary Hessel who were permanently disfigured as a result of their critical injuries. Laclede Gas, the faulty public utility, and the Missouri Public Service Commission, have known for years that the copper lines pose safety problems, but have failed to address the issue, the story reveals.
  • Metro Airport: The Price of Patronage

    In a two-day investigative series the Detroit News examines "cronyism and mismanagement at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport." The report reveals that the vast majority of the airport's contracts are negotiated with companies that contributed to the campaign of Wayne County Executive Edward McNamara. Not only did McNamara's donors win most of the airport's bidding procedures, but their contracts often received retroactive approval by the county commission. The almost total lack of competitive bidding hiked the airport's spending on contracts and put public safety at risk in at least one instance, the News reports.
  • Ex-cons On The Street

    U.S. News and World Report reports on issues related to recidivism in America. "Anyone who lives in a metropolitan area in the United Sates is going to be living within five minutes of tens of thousands of prisoners released from prisons," the article quotes a public safety official. Programs are being set up to "graduate" convicts back into society. One persistent problem is that ex-cons have a hard time finding jobs that pay enough to support themselves and their families above the poverty line and makes returning to crime that much more attractive.