Stories

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

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Public safety" ...

  • Highway Hazard?

    Guardrails are easy to overlook when they’re doing their job, but when they don’t work, critics say the consequences can be deadly. Our piece looked at a guardrail system that critics call the worst offender, the ET PLUS made by Trinity Industries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6fQV1v3qVQ
  • Border surge began as crime fell

    Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other top state officials sold a massive border state police and Texas National Guard buildup on tales of violent transnational crime spilling across the Rio Grande River. In a void of federal border security, only Texas could stem the tide, the narrative went. But after a months-long open records battle with the Texas Department of Public Safety, a finalist for the 2015 IRE Golden Padlock Award, and an unprecedented data analysis, the Houston Chronicle proved violent crime rates had been declining for years before the surge and were not significantly affected by the extra manpower.
  • Shift in Supervision

    he Tennessee Department of Correction researched and created a new supervision policy for the state in 2014 that drastically reduced supervision for some and increased supervision for others. WJHL's investigation revealed that change left some criminals, even convicted murderers, with limited face-to-face contact with their probation and parole officers. Instead, some of those people now could report using an automated phone reporting system. A local district attorney and state representative said not only did they think the changes were a bad idea, they wished the state would have asked for their input or at the least, let them know the changes were on the way. TDOC maintained based on research and other state models this change would improve public safety. However, leaders from the state agency did acknowledge, when pressed, they could have done a better job of communicating the changes. In the days after the first story aired, as a direct result, TDOC's commissioner sent letters to the district attorney and state representative and told them he would be wanted to clear up their concerns directly.
  • Trains Plus Crude Oil Equals Trouble Down the Track

    The project represents a yearlong examination of the response to safety problems associated with a massive and sudden increase in crude oil transported by rail. It found that government and industry had failed to identify and correct safety gaps in the rail system, including the inspection and maintenance of track and bridges and the design of the tank cars carrying the oil. It also showed that government efforts to better inform local emergency response personnel still left them in the dark on some types of crude oil moved by rail and on smaller shipments. Additionally, the project detailed efforts by railroads and some states to keep even limited information about crude oil trains out of public view.
  • Rusted Cables, Cracked Welds - Trouble on the Iconic Bay Bridge

    This investigation uncovered gross construction lapses on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge that cost taxpayers billions of dollars and still jeopardize the safety of the multitudes that cross the iconic span every day.
  • City Savings Over Police Safety - How The Ford Crown Vic Still Haunts Fort Worth

    The call came in on police scanners as an accident - Two cars, one was on fire and a major highway may need to be shut down. Turns out, after witness and chopper video was secured, our station had confirmed the car on fire was a police patrol car; but not just any patrol car, a Ford Crown Victoria. Yes, THE Ford Crown Vic. The scene was, unfortunately, a familiar one for the City of Fort Worth. During the height of the Ford Crown Vic revolt, Fort Worth Police lost one of its own officers. He was responding to a late-night DWI call when he was hit from behind. He was trapped in his car and burned to death in his Ford Crown Vic. More than seven years later, it felt like history was repeating itself. But why? The city had promised they'd make things right by making sure no other officer was ever put in that position again. The CBS 11 I-Team dug through years of records to find that wasn't true. That in fact, the City of Fort Worth had chosen saving money or police safety.
  • TriMet Security Secrets

    KATU ‘s On Your Side Investigators face off against the Transportation Security Administration to protect the public’s right to know whether security cameras safeguarding our nation’s mass transit systems actually work. The three month battle – fought in court and on camera, from Portland to Washington, DC - challenged transit officials’ blanket claim that the TSA had classified all camera maintenance and inspection records as ‘SSI’ – Sensitive Security Information, and thus exempt from public record and FOI requests. KATU’s reporting also rewrote the rules for which documents can and can’t be classified as SSI – resulting in a win for public safety, accountability and government transparency – not just in Portland, but for the entire country.
  • Death Behind Bars

    A Global News investigation revealed that Canada's "psychiatric prisons," home to the penal system's sickest, most vulnerable and most volatile inmates, have the highest death and assault rates of any federal prisons. Designed, theoretically, to provide special care for Canada's growing population of inmates with severe mental illness, these prisons have become little more than warehouses for extremely ill offenders: They're kept in solitary confinement despite overwhelming evidence against it, and, Global News discovered, even so-called "intensive psychiatric care" is little more than segregation by any other name. After refusing to speak with us about this for months, Canada's Public Safety Minister announced a pilot project for two women inmates with mental illness in a groundbreaking facility specially designed for their care and rehabilitation. Global News also reported that, six months later, that pilot project had yet to materialize.
  • Hired Guns

    Across the United States, there is a group of men and women who are given weapons and the imprimatur of law enforcement but who face almost no scrutiny: armed security guards. Until a CNN/The Center for Investigative Reporting investigation into the burgeoning industry, little was known about how haphazard and weak America’s standards were for training and regulating armed security guards. The result has left people dead and paralyzed, and families devastated.
  • Death Behind Bars

    A Global News investigation revealed that Canada's "psychiatric prisons," home to the federal penal system's sickest, most vulnerable and most volatile inmates, have the highest death and assault rates of any federal correctional facility. Designed, theoretically, to provide special care for Canada's growing population of inmates with severe mental illness, these prisons have become little more than warehouses for extremely ill offenders: They're put in brutal restraints by prison guards ill-equipped to deal with their needs, and lack sufficient access to health-care practitioners; they're kept in solitary confinement despite overwhelming evidence against it, and, Global News discovered, even so-called "intensive psychiatric care" is little more than segregation by any other name. After refusing to speak with us about this for months, Canada's Public Safety Minister announced a pilot project for two women inmates with mental illness in a groundbreaking facility specially designed for their care and rehabilitation. As part of our extensive follow-up to our initial series, Global News also reported that, six months later, that pilot project had yet to materialize.