State Rep. Vern Tincher (D-Riley) has been tapped by Indiana General Assembly leaders to serve on a series of interim study committees that will take advantage of the lawmaker's extensive experience in public safety. Tincher has been selected to serve on the Interim Study Committee on Public Security and Regulatory Matters, the Interim Study Committee on Fire Safety Issues and the Indiana Emergency Management, Fire and Building Services, and Public Safety Training Foundation.
"These committees serve as the starting point for discussions on the major issues that we will be considering in the 2006 session of the Indiana General Assembly," Tincher said. "I am honored that legislative leadership has chosen me to work on committees that will address some of the more serious concerns expressed by Hoosiers across this state: homeland security, fire and building safety and reducing the risks caused by identity theft."
The committee examining public security and regulatory matters carries a wide array of charges, including the procedures used to issue licenses and permits, training officers to track people who are in the state illegally, and finding ways to reduce the risks that people can have their identities stolen.
"Throughout the country, there has been an increase in crimes where people have their names, Social Security cards and credit cards stolen by criminals who then assume their identities," Tincher said. "Victims find themselves paying for huge purchases they did not make, being denied loans and other assistance because of bad credit reports, and even accused of crimes they did not commit. The levels and sophistication of the crimes continue to change, and we must be vigilant in ways to combat them."
Among the fire safety issues to be discussed by that committee are proposals to upgrade services to schools and buildings that provide housing, meals and personal care services to senior citizens.
"Our goal will be to consider upgrading state building code requirements to cover such areas as installation of smoke and fire alarms, automatic sprinkler systems and the use of noncombustible building elements," Tincher said. "In addition, we will study the way that building, fire and equipment safety rules are enforced in Indiana."
Tincher's final assignment places him on a group that helps oversee the donations of property to local units of government, state emergency management operations and public safety departments.