September 23, 2017

Del. trooper fatally shot ID’ed, suspect killed

Posted on April 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Randall Chase Associated Press

MIDDLETOWN, Del. — Officers came under fire again early Thursday outside a home where the suspect in the fatal shooting of a Delaware state trooper remained holed up.

Delaware State Police said in a statement that officers were fired at about 4 a.m. at the home in Middleton. Police say officers used explosives to blow off windows but did not enter the home. They blew the front door off its hinges Wednesday night.

Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard, 32, was shot several times about 12:10 p.m. Wednesday after he approached a vehicle in the parking lot of a Wawa convenience store near Bear.

State police superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen said the vehicle had two suspicious people inside.

One man got out of the car and shot Ballard several times before running away, McQueen said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference. The other man was arrested at the scene.

"This is a sad day for our state and for the Delaware State Police family," McQueen said as Gov. John Carney stood at his side.

Carney ordered both U.S. and state flags to be flown at half-staff in memory of Ballard, whose body was taken to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

Police tracked the suspected gunman to his home in a subdivision of two-story houses near Middletown, about 15 miles south of where Ballard was shot. The gunman, alone in the house, refused to leave and fired several shots at officers surrounding the home, state police spokesman Master Cpl. Gary Fournier said. No other officers were injured.

"There have been multiple gunshots that have come from the house at police officers," Fournier said.

Hostage negotiators were on the scene and established contact with the man in an effort to get him to surrender peacefully, Fournier said. But there was no quick resolution as the standoff stretched into the evening.

Around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, several loud pops echoed through the neighborhood, as police repeatedly ordered the suspect to come out of the house with his hands up.

Shortly after 8 p.m., police used an explosive device to blow the door of the house off its hinges, but officers did not immediately enter the home, Fournier said.

Sarah Adkins, 18, who lives with her parents on the same street where the suspect was barricaded, said that shortly after arriving home early Thursday afternoon, she started hearing sporadic gunfire that lasted for about an hour and resumed at other intervals.

"It's been scary," said Adkins, who was told by police to go to her basement and stay there.

"Just me and my dog," said Adkins, who spent the day talking on the phone with her friends and family.

"I'm doing OK. My mom is a nervous wreck," said Adkins, whose parents, along with other residents, have been unable to return to their homes. A local fire company opened its facility to temporarily house evacuated residents while police continued to negotiate with the suspect.

Adkins said the man believed to be the suspect went to school with her brothers, and has always seemed friendly, smiling and waving at her when she last saw him a couple of weeks ago.

Police used a robo-calling system to tell residents in the areas to stay inside and lock their doors. The Appoquinimink School District went on lockdown, keeping all students and staff inside school buildings. They were later allowed to leave as police secured the area.

Police have identified the man, Fournier said, but have yet to release his name.

Ballard had been on the force for more than eight years, according to state police spokesman Sgt. Richard Bratz.

"My heart is with the officer's family and the officers who have served beside him," Carney said in a statement.


Texas poised to pass ‘sanctuary city’ ban with jail penalty

Posted on April 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jim Vertuno Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Republicans were poised Wednesday to take a big step toward banning "sanctuary cities" in their state, debating a bill through which police chiefs and sheriffs could even be jailed for not cooperating fully with federal immigration authorities.

Although Democrats don't have the votes in the Republican-controlled Legislature to stop the bill from going to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who made such a ban a priority, they vowed to fight it at every step, promising hours of emotionally charged debate on Wednesday before the Texas House votes.

Under the bill, the state could withhold funding from local governments for acting as sanctuary cities, even as the Trump administration's efforts to do so nationally have hit roadblocks. Other Republican-controlled states have pushed for similar polices in recent years, just as more liberal ones have done the opposite. But Texas would be the first in which police chiefs and sheriffs could be jailed for not helping enforce immigration law. They could also lose their jobs.

The bill is needed to "keep the public safe and remove bad people from the street," said Rep. Charlie Geren of Fort Worth.

"The bill does not target or discriminate against illegal immigrants. This bill specifically targets criminals who happen to be here illegally," Geren said.

The term "sanctuary cities" has no legal definition, but Republicans want local police to help federal authorities as part of a larger effort to crack down on criminal suspects who are in the U.S. illegally. The Texas House bill would allow local law enforcement officers to inquire about federal immigration status if someone is arrested. A version passed by the state Senate in March would allow immigration inquires of anyone who is detained, including during traffic stops.

President Donald Trump is trying to withhold federal funding for sanctuary cities, but on Tuesday, a federal judge in California issued a preliminary injunction preventing him from doing so.

Texas doesn't currently have any sanctuary cities, but that hasn't stopped Abbott and Republican legislative leaders from pushing aggressively for one.

Sally Hernandez, the sheriff of Travis County, which includes liberal Austin, enraged conservatives by refusing to honor federal requests to hold suspects for possible deportation if the suspects weren't arrested for immigration offenses or serious crimes such as murder. But Hernandez softened her policy after Abbott cut funding to the county, saying decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis, and she's said she will conform to the state's ban if it becomes law.

Fierce resistance has come from Texas Democrats and immigrants' rights organizations, as well as from some in law enforcement and top business lobbies. Opponents say it opens the door to discrimination and intimidation. Many sheriffs and police chiefs in heavily Democratic areas warn that it would make their jobs harder if immigrant communities — including crime victims and witnesses — become afraid of the police.

"This is a show me your papers law. This is what everybody's afraid of," said Rep. Cesar Blanco, a Democrat from the border city of El Paso.

Though House Democrats don't have the votes to block the bill, they planned to file enough challenges to force hours of debate.

"I have seen the fear of children who worry their parents are going to be deported," said state Rep. Victoria Neave, of Dallas, who has staged a four-day fast to protest the bill.

Abbott has made the issue one of his "emergency" items of the Texas legislative session, and Republicans have it on course to become state law regardless of what happens to Trump's federal order.

House passage Wednesday wouldn't get it there yet. The state Senate previously passed a similar but different version and the two sides must compromise before sending a bill to Abbott. Similar efforts have collapsed in recent years.


Texas House OKs ‘sanctuary city’ ban with tough jail penalty

Posted on April 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Will Weissert Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — The Republican-controlled Texas House approved a strict ban on "sanctuary cities" early Thursday, empowering local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law against anyone they detain and threatening police chiefs and sheriffs who refuse to do so with jail.

The vote came just before 3 a.m. and followed 15-plus hours of heated, sometimes tearful debate, much of it from outnumbered Democrats.

The bill would allow Texas to withhold funding from county and local governments for acting as sanctuary cities — even as President Donald Trump's efforts to do that nationally have hit roadblocks. Other Republican-led states have pushed for similar polices, but Texas would be the first in which police chiefs and other officials could face a misdemeanor criminal charge of official misconduct and be removed from office for not helping enforce immigration law.

An entity that fails to follow the law could be subjected to a civil penalty of $1,500 for a first offense and $25,500 for any subsequent violation.

The proposal is needed to "keep the public safe and remove bad people from the street," said Republican Rep. Charlie Geren of Fort Worth, its House sponsor.

The term "sanctuary cities" has no legal definition, but Republicans want local police to help federal authorities as part of a larger effort to crack down on criminal suspects in the U.S. illegally.

The Texas House bill originally allowed local law enforcement officers to inquire about federal immigration status only if someone is arrested. A version passed in March by the state Senate went further, permitting immigration inquires of anyone who is detained, including during traffic stops.

But a floor amendment backed by the tea party movement extending the House version to apply to those detained as well as those arrested passed on an 81-64 vote — bringing the full bill closer to what the Senate previously approved.

Democrats, and even some veteran Republicans, opposed the change to no avail. It drew rebuke from the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, who tweeted: "We're disappointed House voted to allow police to inquire into legal status during detention rather than arrest."

Trump is trying to withhold federal funding for sanctuary cities, but a federal judge in California on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction preventing him from doing so. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared the issue an "emergency" item, saying the state is poised to pass an anti-sanctuary cities law, regardless of what happens nationally.

Sally Hernandez, the sheriff of Travis County, which includes liberal Austin, enraged conservatives by refusing to honor federal requests to hold suspects for possible deportation if they weren't arrested for immigration offenses or serious crimes such as murder. But Hernandez softened her policy after Abbott cut grant funding to the county and she has said she'll conform to the state's ban if it becomes law.

Other sheriffs warn the bill could make their jobs harder if immigrants — including crime victims and witnesses — fear the police.

"Today we've made real that fear," said Roland Gutierrez, a San Antonio Democrat. Many of his colleagues decried what they called a "show me your papers law."

Wednesday night, dozens of protesters, many waving signs and banners skewering the bill and its supporters, gathered inside the Texas Capitol to chant pro-immigrant slogans in English and Spanish. Some later filed into the House visitors' gallery to applaud bill opponents on the floor. "God is watching what you're doing," one woman yelled at Republican lawmakers before being escorted out.

Things had quieted hours later, when the bill was approved. Still, Democratic Rep. Mary Gonzalez of El Paso, on Texas' border with Mexico, wept openly as she recalled being sexually assaulted, saying the bill will empower criminals. Rep. Victoria Neave, a Dallas Democrat, staged a four-day fast in opposition.

"I have seen the fear of children who worry their parents are going to be deported," Neave said.

The state Senate's version is different enough from what the House passed that the two chambers must compromise before sending a bill to the governor. Similar efforts have collapsed in the past, though, meaning the issue isn't yet fully settled.


Del. trooper killed, suspect barricaded in house

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By Randall Chase Associated Press

MIDDLETOWN, Del. — A man shot and killed a Delaware state trooper outside a convenience store on Wednesday and later barricaded himself inside his house, where he continued to fire shots at officers, police said.

The trooper was shot multiple times and died at a hospital, Col. Nathaniel McQueen, the state police superintendent, said at a news conference.

"This is a sad day for our state and for the Delaware State Police family," McQueen said, with Gov. John Carney at his side.

The trooper, whose name was not released pending notification of relatives, was shot around 12:10 p.m. after he approached a vehicle in the parking lot of a convenience store. McQueen said the vehicle had two suspicious people inside.

One man got out of the car and shot the trooper several times before running away, McQueen said. The other man was arrested at the scene, he said.

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DE STATE POLICE UPDATE FROM CPL GARY FOURNIER RE: SUSPECT BARRICADED IN MIDDLETOWN NEIGHBORHOOD.

Posted by Annie McCormick on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Police tracked the gunman to his home in a subdivision of two-story homes in Middletown, about 15 miles (25 kms) south of where the trooper was shot. The gunman, alone in the house, refused to leave and fired several shots at officers surrounding the home, said Master Cpl. Gary Fournier, a state police spokesman. No other officers were injured.

"There have been multiple gunshots that have come from the house at police officers," Fournier said.

Hostage negotiators were on the scene and established contact with the man in an effort to get him to surrender peacefully, Fournier said. But there was no quick resolution as the standoff stretched into the late afternoon.

Police used a robo-calling system to tell residents in the areas to stay inside and lock their doors. The Appoquinimink School District went on lockdown, keeping all students and staff inside school buildings. Parents were told not to go to school to pick up their kids.

DE State Trooper shot by suspect and sent to hospital. Awaiting briefing. Trooper in grave condition at last check. Suspect at large. pic.twitter.com/CBKjc6Idba

— Chad Pradelli (@chadpradelli) April 26, 2017

Police have identified the man, Fournier said, but have yet to release his name.

One witness, Clarence Travers, told The News Journal of Wilmington that he heard gunfire while sitting at a red light and saw a police officer fall to the ground. After the initial gunfire, Travers said he saw a man get out of a car and shoot the officer on the ground multiple times before getting away.

Police have not corroborated Travers' version of events.

A caravan of law enforcement vehicles was preparing to accompany the slain officer's body to the state Division of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy.

JUST IN: Details emerge after trooper is shot in Del. @Wawa parking lot: https://t.co/oAh3OzSMLX pic.twitter.com/OWx3rNti0W

— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) April 26, 2017


Del. trooper shot, suspect barricaded in house

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

UPDATE 3:34 p.m. (CST):

BEAR, Del. — Delaware state police say a man believed to have shot a state trooper outside a convenience store is now barricaded inside his own house.

Master Cpl. Gary Fournier, a state police spokesman, says investigators tracked the gunman to his home in Middletown, about 15 miles south of where the trooper was shot earlier Wednesday afternoon.

Fournier says the man has fired multiple shots at officers from inside the house. No other officers have been hurt. Police have yet to provide an update on the condition of the officer who was shot earlier.

Fournier says hostage negotiators are on the scene and have established contact with the gunman in an effort to persuade him to surrender peacefully.

People who live nearby are being told to stay in their homes with the doors locked.

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DE STATE POLICE UPDATE FROM CPL GARY FOURNIER RE: SUSPECT BARRICADED IN MIDDLETOWN NEIGHBORHOOD.

Posted by Annie McCormick on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

EARLIER:

By Randall Chase Associated Press

MIDDLETOWN, Del. — A man shot a Delaware state trooper outside a convenience store on Wednesday and later barricaded himself inside his house, where he continued to fire shots at officers, police said.

The trooper was shot shortly after noon outside a Wawa convenience store, and police said they had not determined the motive for the attack. The trooper was rushed to a hospital, and police did not immediately provide any updates on his condition.

Officers tracked the gunman to his house in a subdivision of two-story homes in Middletown, about 15 miles south of where the trooper was shot.

The gunman refused to leave the house and fired multiple times at officers surrounding the home, said Master Cpl. Gary Fournier, a state police spokesman. No other officers were injured.

DE State Trooper shot by suspect and sent to hospital. Awaiting briefing. Trooper in grave condition at last check. Suspect at large. pic.twitter.com/CBKjc6Idba

— Chad Pradelli (@chadpradelli) April 26, 2017

"There have been multiple gunshots that have come from the house at police officers," Fournier said.

Hostage negotiators were on the scene and established contact with the man in an effort to get him to surrender peacefully, Fournier said.

Residents in the area were called using "reverse 911" and told to stay inside and lock their doors, and the Appoquinimink School District went on lockdown, keeping all students and staff inside school buildings. Parents were told not to go to school to pick up their kids.

"We're negotiating with him," Fournier said. "There has been some establishment of communication between the suspect and police agencies."

Police have identified the man, Fournier said, but have yet to release his name.

One witness, Clarence Travers, told The News Journal of Wilmington that he heard gunfire while sitting at a red light and saw a police officer fall to the ground. After the initial gunfire, Travers said he saw a man get out of a car and shoot the officer on the ground multiple times before getting away.

Police have not corroborated Travers' version of events.

JUST IN: Details emerge after trooper is shot in Del. @Wawa parking lot: https://t.co/oAh3OzSMLX pic.twitter.com/OWx3rNti0W

— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) April 26, 2017


Photos: Cops give homeless man new lease on life with shower, makeover

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ROME, N.Y. — After a brief interaction, Officer Aaron Page decided he wanted to help a homeless man who was “down on his luck.”

Officer Jeff Buckley told WTSM that Page noticed Bobby was in need of simple things and only had “just the clothes he was wearing.”

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Rome PD giving back and providing a helping hand. After some interaction with a man down on his luck, Bobby, said he'd...

Posted by City of Rome, NY Police Department on Tuesday, April 25, 2017

At the request of Page, Bobby came to the station Tuesday and was welcomed with a shower, haircut and shave. Page, Buckley and fellow officers George Gebo and Frank Fragapane, gathered donated clothing to give Bobby as well, the news station reported.

"We are always trying to come up with new ideas of how to help and give back to our community," Buckley said. "Officer Page spearheaded the idea on this one and it was a great way to help someone who simply needed a hand."


New US office seeks to aid victims of crimes by immigrants

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Alicia A. Caldwell Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Wednesday opened an office dedicated to helping victims of crimes committed by immigrants — an initiative criticized as misguided because studies have shown immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens.

The Victims of Immigrant Crime Engagement, or VOICE, will keep victims informed of the immigration proceedings of suspects and generally walk them through the complicated and often drawn-out immigration court process. It will be staffed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees.

"The name fits; we are giving ... for the first time a voice of their own to these victims," Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said as he briefly described the office to reporters and some relatives of victims. He said victims of immigrant crimes have historically been ignored by the federal government and left without answers about a suspect's immigration proceedings.

The rollout comes as Trump approaches the 100-day marker of his presidency and has faced setbacks on his top immigration proposals, which were the core of his campaign. Courts have blocked orders temporarily barring the admission of refugees and visitors from six Muslim-majority nations. Preliminary efforts to fund a border wall have encountered obstacles in Congress.

Trump announced the office in a speech to Congress in February and included it in an executive order aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.

Immigration advocates in California, including the American Civil Liberties Union, described the effort as "fear-mongering." While a number of violent crimes by immigrants in the U.S. illegally have received widespread attention, they occur less frequently than crimes committed by U.S. citizens.

It's unclear how much information ICE will be able to provide to crime victims given privacy protections afforded to immigrants depending on the nature of their immigration status and the details of their case.


Police: Armless security robot loses fight to drunk man

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — A security robot was attacked by a drunk man during a parking lot patrol last week.

Jason Sylvain, 41, allegedly approached and pushed over the 300-pound armless Knightscope robot, ABC7 reported.

"I think this is a pretty pathetic incident because it shows how spineless the drunk guys in Silicon Valley really are because they attack a victim who doesn't even have any arms," citizen Eamonn Callon said.

The robot, named K5, suffered minor scratches and is back on patrol.

Meet K-5 ---the droid taken down by an alleged drunk man last week. Don't worry, he's back on patrol :) details @abc7newsbayarea at 11 pic.twitter.com/0qthDHONQq

— Tiffany Wilson (@TWilsonTV) April 25, 2017

Knightscope’s co-founder told ABC7 that this event proves the technology is useful because police caught and booked the suspect.

Sylvain is facing prowling and public intoxication charges.


France honors police officer killed in Champs-Elysees attack

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By Sylvie Corbet Associated Press

PARIS — France's top officials and presidential candidates attended a national ceremony Tuesday to honor the police officer killed by an Islamic extremist on the Champs-Elysees.

Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron, who are facing off in the May 7 presidential runoff, were present at the ceremony at the Paris police headquarters. Others present were Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

President Francois Hollande paid tribute to 37-year-old Xavier Jugele, who was killed last week when an assailant opened fire with an assault rifle on a police van parked on the most famous avenue in the French capital. Two other officers were wounded.

The attacker was shot and killed by officers. The Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hollande said the French people must "support the police. They deserve our esteem, our solidarity, our admiration."

In a message to the presidential candidates, Hollande also asked France's future government to "provide the necessary budget resources to recruit the indispensable people to protect our citizens and give them means to act even more efficiently."

Hollande recalled that France's police and military forces are deployed on French territory and abroad to fight terrorism in Iraq, Syria and in Africa's Sahel region.

This is "a combat that will last, a combat that will be fought until the threat is definitively over. That combat will be long, demanding, difficult but, I am certain, victorious," he said.

Jugele was one of the officers who raced to the Bataclan concert hall the night three armed men with suicide bombs stormed a show and slaughtered 90 people on Nov. 13, 2015.

He returned to the concert venue a year later as a spectator when it reopened with a concert by Sting. Jugele told People magazine at the time how happy he was to be here "to celebrate life. To say no to terrorists."

Jugele also was a member of a French association of LGBT police officers. He was in a civil union. In a speech during the ceremony, his partner, Etienne Cardiles, said: "Let's stay dignified, let's take care of peace and preserve peace."

Jugele had worked in the Paris area as a police officer since 2011. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Paris police department's public order and traffic division.

He had received praise from bosses earlier this year for his courage during the evacuation of a building after an accidental blast in the western suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt.

Jugele has been promoted to police captain and awarded Chevalier of the Legion of Honor posthumously.


States alarmed by laser strikes on aircraft are passing laws

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By David Eggert Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State Police pilot Jerry King was flying his state plane back to the Lansing airport after a mission when he saw a green pulsing light in the night sky.

Suddenly, he was blinded by a bright flash, much like staring into a camera flashbulb as it goes off, and he was unable to see for several seconds.

"It'll seem like 10," King said. "If you lose control of the aircraft, that's it. It's not like a co-pilot's going to take over."

The cockpit of the single-engine plane was hit by a laser beam directed by someone on the ground. Such incidents once happened occasionally to pilots, as laser devices became commonly available to amateur astronomers, construction engineers and others, but now are reported at least 7,000 times a year.

Michigan is poised to join a growing list of states enacting new laws to combat increasingly frequent laser attacks and put those responsible in prison. Twenty-two states now have passed such laws, most in the last few years.

The Michigan legislation was approved unanimously by the Senate Tuesday and could be referred to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature as early as next week. It would make "lasing" an aircraft or train a felony punishable by five years in prison.

Though there have been no known air crashes caused by laser strikes, some pilots have been injured, and authorities are alarmed by the danger of pilots temporarily blinded as they are landing or taking off at airports. King sustained a flash burn in his left eye, requiring a trip to an ophthalmologist and a course of eye drops.

Pointing a laser at an aircraft is currently a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but enforcement has been difficult in part because of the complicated coordination necessary between federal and local officials. Only 70 people have been charged between 2012 and 2016.

Authorities believe the state laws will make it easier to quickly deploy police to the site of a laser attack.

State police helicopter pilots in some cases can swiftly head to where the beam is originating and alert patrol cars for assistance. Police armed with high-tech cameras and GPS trackers can be used in places where attacks are most frequent, such as around airports.

"We could prosecute them at the state level right then. We don't have to contact the FBI and wait for agents to be able to have time to do that and a U.S. attorney who is involved with high-level matters to worry about this," said Sgt. Timothy Fitzgerald, legislative liaison for the state police. "Once we start enforcing this, I think we're going to see these incidents go way down."

Lasers have become more powerful and cheaper in recent years. Popular green lasers cost as little as $10, and are more visible than red ones.

Hobbyists use them to point at stars and construction crews use them for leveling. Some of the people who point them at aircraft are pranksters, but others deliberately target law enforcement aircraft involved in police chases and surveillance. Three of the four full-time pilots in Michigan's aviation unit have been struck by lasers.

In February, state police arrested a man suspected of repeatedly shining a laser at one of its helicopters and three passenger jets on approach to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

"That's actually how they honed in on him. As he keeps shooting it, they keep narrowing his location," Fitzgerald said.

He is facing federal charges. A week later, a Delta airliner was lasered while approaching the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.

The FBI urges those with information about someone pointing a laser at an aircraft to call the local FBI office or 911.

"The FBI takes these actions very seriously and is committed to identifying and prosecuting individuals who violate this federal law," said spokesman Timothy Wiley.

Recently, Michigan extended the authority of airport police to respond to laser attacks beyond airport boundaries.

"When you have pilots testifying that it's very hazardous," more has to be done to stop the attacks, said Rep. Laura Cox, a sponsor of the new legislation. "We don't want any crashes."


Man accused of impersonating cop, giving kids jail tours

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

AKRON, Ohio — A man has been accused of taking children in handcuffs to tour an Ohio county jail and courthouse while wearing a police uniform.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports Christopher S. Hendon claimed he was part of a police program that gives kids prison tours to scare them off from committing crimes.

Police say Hendon tried to enter the courthouse and jail four times and left each time after being denied access. Authorities arraigned Hendon on Tuesday on charges of impersonating an officer, criminal trespass and taking a gun into a courthouse.

A councilwoman says Hendon wanted to be an officer and mentor young people. Hendon attended a police academy but didn't graduate.

Hendon is jailed. Attorney Don Hicks says he'll represent Hendon but hasn't met with him.

Authorities are trying to identify the children involved in the tours.


Spotlight: Steiner Optics products meet the demands of first responders in all types of environments

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

PoliceOne Sponsors
Author: PoliceOne Sponsors

Company: Steiner Optics Headquarters: Colorado Signature Product: Steiner Poro Prism Binoculars Website: http://www.steiner-optics.com/

Q&A Questions:

1. Where did your company name originate from?

Karl Steiner started the company in 1947 in post-war Germany.

2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?

Karl Steiner started a one-man workshop in Bayreuth, Germany, obsessed with a single goal: creating optical products so functional, sturdy and uniformly flawless that nothing in the chaotic, mass-production post-war world could compare. His passion for unmatched optical perfection pushed Steiner-Optik from a hardscrabble startup to a 50-man factory within six years, and on to become a worldwide optical icon with binoculars and rifle scopes for every purpose, a history of innovation, and legions of diehard enthusiasts in every category.

3. What is your signature product and how does it work?

Steiner Poro Prism binoculars were designed for use by the military. The binoculars are extremely rugged with no internal moving parts, a Makrolon chassis that will withstand hundreds of pounds of G force, and a Sports-Auto-Focus system that brings all objects from 20 yards to infinity into sharp focus.

4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the police community?

They have been proven to be rugged and reliable on battlefields around the world and are designed to meet the demands of first responders who work in all kinds of conditions.

5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?

The biggest challenge is continued improvement in optical systems, better lens coating for greater light transmission and competition from lower priced competitors.

6. What makes your company unique?

We offer a wide range of optics from binoculars to riflescopes. In addition, Steiner recently entered the eOptics category. We now have laser rangefinders, laser aiming systems and night vision equipment.

7. What do your customers like best about you and your products?

Bright, clear optics that perform as well as those costing hundreds of dollars more. Steiner stands behind its products with industry leading customer service. We can still repair most binoculars.

8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?

The most rewarding part is hearing from those who use and rely on our products and how they help them perform better in the field.

9. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you’d like to share with our users about you or your company?

In the first Gulf War, an armored vehicle was hit with an IED that blasted and burned everything but the men inside. They all got out safely but much of their gear was destroyed, except for pair of Steiner military binoculars. Although they were charred and misshapen, they still worked – the lenses and prisms were intact.

10. What's next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?

Development of optics for LE that are more affordable for those who have to buy their own gear.


Texas day of remembrance would mark Dallas police shooting

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — The anniversary of five Dallas police officers killed during a downtown shooting would be commemorated as "Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Day" under a bill tentatively approved by the House.

The measure approved Tuesday would designate July 7 as a day to honor officers in Texas killed in the line of duty. Law enforcement groups say nearly 1,900 officers in Texas history have died on the job.

An Army veteran opened fire on Dallas police during a protest march last summer. It marked the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In all, 12 officers were shot.

The Senate approved a similar measure in March.


Chicago passes 1K gunshot victims for the year

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Heather Schroering, Rosemary Regina Sobol and Elvia Malagon Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Two people were killed and five others were wounded over a single hour in Chicago on Monday as the number of gunshot victims this year passed the 1,000 mark.

The city reached the grim milestone four days later than last year, which saw the worst gun violence in two decades, according to data kept by the Tribune.

As of Tuesday morning, at least 1,008 had been shot in Chicago this year. Last year, the city passed the 1,000 mark on April 20.

There have been at least 182 homicides this year, just two fewer than this time last year, according to Tribune data.

Propelling the numbers was a burst of violence over the weekend that continued into the beginning of the week.

Seven people were killed and 31 others were wounded over the weekend. Ten of the shootings occurred over seven hours Sunday, according to police.

From Monday morning through early Tuesday, three people were fatally shot and 13 others were wounded. That includes five double shootings on the South Side.

One of the double shootings took place in the Englewood neighborhood and left a 19-year-old man dead.

The man and a 17-year-old boy were shot while they were walking in the 6900 block of South Honore Street about 7:30 p.m., police said.

The shooter got out of a black car and opened fire at them, police said. The 19-year-old man was hit in the chest and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead.

The 17-year-old was shot in the buttocks and leg. His condition was stabilized at the same hospital, police said.

On the West Side a minute after the shooting on Honore, a 31-year-old man was shot in the head while driving an SUV, in the 2900 block of West Washington Boulevard in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, police said.

He crashed into a parked Hyundai Sonata, then hit a Chevrolet Malibu that had been traveling west, police said.

The man suffered gunshot wounds to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 31-year-old man who was a passenger in the Malibu was taken to Norwegian American Hospital for minor injuries.

Around 2:25 p.m. on the South Side, a 55-year-old man was shot in the face and chest in the 6900 block of South Dorchester Avenue in the Grand Crossing neighborhood. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he died, police said.

Officers responding to a call of a person shot found the man unresponsive in the stairwell of a building.

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©2017 the Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com


Courthouse annex named for slain Texas lawman

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mihir Zaveri Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON — Within weeks, new signs on a courthouse annex in Baytown will bear the name of the Harris County lawman whose ambush and murder there earlier this month sparked a massive manhunt that sent law enforcement in Houston reeling.

At an emotional meeting Tuesday with dozens packed into the Harris County Commissioners Court chambers, the commissioners voted to name the courthouse annex at 701 W. Baker Road after Chief Deputy Constable Clint Greenwood, who was killed there on April 3.

"We're renaming this courthouse not because of the tragedy that took place there, but because of the incredible life that Chief Greenwood led and the inspiration that he provided to so many people," said Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman, whose precinct encompasses Baytown.

Widow thankful

Greenwood's widow, Leatha Greenwood, fought back tears as she thanked commissioners, and described the cards, texts, emails and fundraisers from friends and strangers alike that have poured in after Greenwood's killing.

"We're still reading the cards and letters," she said. "It's our intention to thank everyone, one by one, to thank the investigators, some who worked 24-hour-plus shifts to Harris County officials who vowed to seek justice, to the officers that guarded our home and Clint's body around-the-clock and to the Commissioners Court. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for honoring Clinton Francis Greenwood."

He was shot to death, moments after pulling into the parking lot of the annex where he worked for the Precinct 3 constable's office.

His ambush sparked a massive, week-long manhunt for Greenwood's killer. The investigation eventually found that the man identified as his killer, William Kenny, 64, fatally shot himself in the head about 8 a.m. April 4 near Ben Taub General Hospital with a gun just like the one he used to kill the lawman.

Help offered

The constable's work gave investigators a long list of people with possible grudges against him, and Greenwood had reported to a county official just days before he was killed that he felt threatened by a man he had once prosecuted. Kenny was none of those.

Greenwood, 57, spent decades working as a defense attorney, prosecutor and peace officer in Harris County, earning the respect of a wide swath of the local criminal justice community. Before joining the constable's office, he worked as a major in the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

He also worked as a prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney's Office overseeing the Police Integrity Unit and as a reserve deputy for 20 years.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said the county was indebted to Greenwood for his long service to local government.

"Rest assured that all of Harris County will consider the Greenwood family as ours for years to come," Emmett said to Leatha Grenwood at the meeting Tuesday. "Do not hesitate to call upon any part of this county at any time in the future, even if it's 20, 30, 40 years from now."

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©2017 the Houston Chronicle


Judge cites Trump’s comment in ‘sanctuary city’ ruling

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — For the third time in two months, a federal judge has knocked down an immigration order by President Donald Trump and used Trump's own language against him.

In a ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick quoted Trump to support his decision to block the president's order to withhold funding from "sanctuary cities" that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration officials.

Trump called the sanctuary cities order a "weapon" against communities that disagree with his preferred immigration policy, Orrick said. The judge also cited a February interview in which he said the president threatened to cut off funding to California, saying the state "in many ways is out of control."

The first comment was evidence that the administration intended the executive order to apply broadly to all sorts of federal funding, and not a relatively small pot of grant money as the Department of Justice had argued, the judge said.

The second statement showed the two California governments that sued to block the order — San Francisco and Santa Clara County — had good reason to believe they would be targeted, Orrick said.

Orrick's ruling was another immigration policy setback for the administration as it approaches its 100th day in office later this month. The sanctuary city order was among a flurry of immigration measures Trump signed in January, including a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and a directive calling for a wall on the Mexican border.

Trump reacted to the decision on Twitter on Wednesday morning, calling the decision "ridiculous" and saying he would take his fight to the highest court, tweeting: "See you in the Supreme Court."

Trump tweeted: "First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities-both ridiculous rulings."

Trump tweeted that the 9th circuit has "a terrible record of being overturned (close to 80 percent)."

He said, "They used to call this 'judge shopping!' Messy system." That was apparently a reference to the 9th circuit's liberal reputation and rulings that have often irked conservatives."

Trump's words were also cited by federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii, who last month blocked his revised ban on new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii and U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland said comments by Trump supported the allegation that the ban was aimed at Muslims.

Orrick's preliminary injunction against the sanctuary cities order will stay in place while the lawsuits by San Francisco and Santa Clara work their way through court.

The government hasn't cut off any money yet or declared any communities sanctuary cities. But the Justice Department sent letters last week advising communities to prove they are in compliance. California was informed it could lose $18.2 million.

Orrick said Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.

Even if the president could do so, those conditions would have to be clearly related to the funds at issue and not coercive, as the executive order appeared to be, Orrick said.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus described the ruling as another example of the "9th Circuit going bananas."

The administration has often criticized the 9th circuit. Orrick does not sit on that court but his district is in the territory of the appeals court, which has ruled against one version of Trump's travel ban.

"The idea that an agency can't put in some reasonable restriction on how some of these moneys are spent is something that will be overturned eventually, and we will win at the Supreme Court level at some point," Priebus said.

The Trump administration says sanctuary cities allow dangerous criminals back on the street and that the order is needed to keep the country safe. San Francisco and other sanctuary cities say turning local police into immigration officers erodes the trust that is needed to get people to report crime.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera praised the ruling and said the president was "forced to back down."

"This is why we have courts — to halt the overreach of a president and an attorney general who either don't understand the Constitution or chose to ignore it," Herrera said in a statement.


Number of Dallas officers at lowest level in a decade

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

DALLAS — The number of police officers serving Dallas has fallen to its lowest level in about a decade while the department also is falling short of its goal for new hires, the interim police chief told a city council committee.

Chief David Pughes said Monday that the number of officers on the force is 3,077. That's down from nearly 3,700 officers some six years ago.

He said the department will be short-staffed as the summer approaches and crime generally increases.

Concerns over the failing Dallas Police and Fire Pension System have led many officers to retire at a rate faster than the department can hire and train new ones, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Dallas so far this year has lost 244 officers, many of whom had more than 20 years of experience. Officials believe another 120 will leave by the end of September.

Pughes said he's considering hiring many of those retired officers to temporarily bolster patrol numbers.

"I'm actually excited about the possibility of bringing retirees back in whatever capacity they can work," Pughes said.

The move could be a short-term remedy in the face of fewer new hires than hoped. The department so far this year has hired just 80 officers and expects to add about 200 by year's end, far below a target of around 450, the newspaper reported.

The hiring rate is surprising in light of a surfeit of applications in the wake of the July sniper shootings during a downtown protest where five officers were killed and nine others wounded. The department said job applications more than quadrupled in the two weeks following the shootings.

David Brown, who was police chief before retiring in October, at the time had urged those protesting police actions to help change law enforcement from within by applying to become a cop.

Despite the rise in applications, a rigorous hiring and training process results in many applicants being dropped from consideration.


For the second time, Minn. trooper rescues injured bald eagle

Posted on April 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By Paul Walsh Star Tribune

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A state trooper's effort to rescue a second injured eagle from the side of a Twin Cities highway did not have the same happy ending as the first rescue mission.

For the second time in about 13 months, Paul Kingery removed an ailing bald eagle from the edge of a busy interstate in Eagan.

Kingery helped the eagle April 16 along Interstate 35E near Pilot Knob Road in Eagan, where the nation's symbol was down on the shoulder, the patrol said in a statement posted Sunday on Facebook.

And just like the first aviary encounter, Kingery bundled up the eagle in a jacket and drove the bird to the University of Minnesota Raptor Center in St. Paul. But while Kingery's first effort led to a full recovery, this eagle succumbed to its injuries.

"The eagle was euthanized," said Paige Calhoun, a public relations coordinator for the university's Academic Health Center, which oversees the Raptor Center.

Calhoun said the eagle had "severe internal trauma and fractures in its right leg."

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UPDATE: Sad news from the Raptor Center. Despite Trooper Kingery's best efforts, the eagle had to be euthanized....

Posted by Minnesota State Patrol on Sunday, April 23, 2017

On March 20, 2016, again on a Sunday and in Eagan, Kingery rescued a full-grown eagle on the side of Interstate 494 near Pilot Knob Road. That was about 2¾ miles to the north, as the eagle flies, of Kingery's most recent encounter and just to the east of the Minnesota River.

But no, Patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielson said, it was not the same eagle.

After that bird's recovery time at the Raptor Center, Kingery was given the honor about six weeks later near Hastings of releasing it at the St. Croix River near the Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center.

Kingery is not alone in tending to ailing eagles while on duty. A trooper scooped up an injured eagle in Hanover in Wright County last December, and another trooper did the same in March 2016 near Shields Lake in Rice County.

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©2017 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)


Judge blocks Trump order on sanctuary city funding

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Tuesday blocked any attempt by the Trump administration to withhold funding from "sanctuary cities" that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration authorities, saying the president has no authority to attach new conditions to federal spending.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued the preliminary injunction in two lawsuits — one brought by the city of San Francisco, the other by Santa Clara County — against an executive order targeting communities that protect immigrants from deportation.

The injunction will stay in place while the lawsuits work their way through court.

The judge said that President Donald Trump cannot set new conditions for the federal grants at stake. And even if he could, the conditions would have to be clearly related to the funds at issue and not coercive, Orrick said.

"Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves," the judge said.

A Justice Department attorney, Chad Readler, had defended the president's executive order as an attempt to use his "bully pulpit' to "encourage communities and states to comply with the law."

The Trump administration had further argued the lawsuits were premature because the government hasn't cut off any money yet or declared any communities to be sanctuary cities.

Meanwhile, mayors from several U.S. cities threatened with the loss of federal grants emerged from a meeting Tuesday with Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying they remain confused about how to prove their police are in compliance with immigration policies — a necessary step for them to receive grant money.

During a recent court hearing, the Trump administration and the two California governments disagreed over the order's scope.

San Francisco and Santa Clara County argued that the order threatened billions of dollars in federal funding for each of them, making it difficult to plan their budgets.

But Readler, acting assistant attorney general, said the threatened cutoff applies to three Justice Department and Homeland Security grants and would affect less than $1 million for Santa Clara County and possibly no money for San Francisco.

In his ruling, Orrick sided with San Francisco and Santa Clara, saying the order "by its plain language, attempts to reach all federal grants, not merely the three mentioned at the hearing."

"And if there was doubt about the scope of the order, the president and attorney general have erased it with their public comments," the judge said.

The Trump administration says that sanctuary cities allow dangerous criminals back on the street and that the order is needed to keep the country safe. San Francisco and other sanctuary cities say turning local police into immigration officers erodes trust that is needed to get people to report crime.

The order also has led to lawsuits by Seattle; two Massachusetts cities, Lawrence and Chelsea; and a third San Francisco Bay Area government, the city of Richmond. The San Francisco and Santa Clara County lawsuits were the first to get a hearing before a judge.

San Francisco and the county argued that the president did not have the authority to set conditions on the allocation of federal funds and could not compel local officials to enforce federal immigration law.

The sanctuary city order was among a flurry of immigration measures Trump has signed since taking office in January, including a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and a directive calling for a wall on the Mexican border.

A federal appeals court blocked the travel ban. The administration then revised it, but the new version also is stalled in court.


Police: Wife’s Fitbit logs steps after husband says she died

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

ELLINGTON, Conn. — Police in Connecticut have cited Fitbit records in an arrest warrant for a 40-year-old man charged with killing his wife in 2015.

Richard Dabate faces murder, tampering with evidence and making a false statement charges in the fatal shooting of 39-year-old Connie Dabate on Dec. 23, 2015.

Authorities say the 40-year-old Dabate told them a masked man had entered their home, shot his wife and tied him up before he burned the intruder with a torch. But the New York Daily News reports Connecticut State Police wrote in an arrest warrant that Connie Dabate's Fitbit was logging steps after the time Richard Dabate told them she was killed.

Dabate's bail was set at $1 million last week. His lawyer told the Hartford Courant that his client maintains his innocence.


Magician’s rare cockatoo rescued by cop

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — A rare bird was returned to his owner after going on an adventure with a Fairfax County officer.

Sol, a 17-year-old sulfur-crested cockatoo, was left by mistake in a tree Friday while his owner Edgar Vidaurre was at a soccer game, WUSA9 reported.

Officer Mike Thompson responded to a call of an animal in a tree, found Sol and took him under his wing.

Thompson told WUSA9 that Sol received a ride in the patrol car, after he bit the officer, and was then released to animal control. On Saturday, Sol and Vidaurre, a magician, were reunited.

“I appreciate what you did,” Viduarre told Thompson. “Sorry if he bit you.”

“Not a problem. Wasn’t that bad,” Thompson responded.

This little cockatoo got a tour of our police car when she found herself lost away from home. Officers safely reunited her with her owners. pic.twitter.com/OATX9mw2dw

— Fairfax Co. Police (@fairfaxpolice) April 23, 2017


‘Quit yelling like a little kid’: New video shows tense ‘Pacman’ Jones arrest

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CINCINNATI — Newly-released video from the January arrest of Adam “Pacman” Jones shows the Bengals football player yelling and arguing with police.

The video, obtained by TMZ, shows Jones and officers outside the Cincinnati hotel where Jones allegedly assaulted a security guard.

Jones can be heard arguing with the arresting officer before the cop tells him, “You want to have a conversation? Have a conversation. Quit yelling like a little kid.”

A friend of Jones attempted to ask for his release, fearing the arrest would hurt Jones’ reputation. The cop refused and detained Jones.

According to the Associated Press, Jones was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and obstructing officers. He pleaded not guilty and is due back in court on May 16.


Young daughter of slain cop secretly buys officer’s meal

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

JAMESBURG, N.J. — The daughter of a fallen cop anonymously paid for an officer’s meal after a brief conversation with him at a restaurant.

Mikayla Raji, 8, and her mom Mimi were eating Friday when Officer Joseph Quinn walked in to grab a bite to eat, the department wrote on Facebook. After a brief conversation, Mikayla told her mom she wanted to pay for Quinn’s food, and Mimi went up to pay the tab.

According to the Facebook post, the waiter would not tell Quinn who paid the bill, but through “diligent police work,” he discovered it was Mikayla.

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We would like to share a story with you all. Friday night, Ptl. Quinn stopped by Villa Borgese in Helmetta to pick up...

Posted by Jamesburg Police Department on Monday, April 24, 2017

Mikayla lost her dad, Thomas, in 2008 when a drunk driver struck his police cruiser. Her mother, a retired police officer, was pregnant with Mikayla at the time. She was born seven months after Thomas died, according to the department.

When Quinn returned to the station, the agency decided to return the favor and created a GoFundMe page to help support Mikayla’s education. She was invited to become an honorary member of the department and lead the town’s Memorial Day parade, Inside Edition reported.

“She’s real excited about that,” Police Chief James Craparotta said. “She has a great deal of pride that her dad and her mom were both police officers. She supports the police and she’s just feels like we’re a part of her life – it’s part of her family.”


Police capture cat, rattlesnake showdown in viral photo

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LAGUNA VISTA, Texas — Police captured an unlikely showdown between a massive rattlesnake and a cat in a photo that’s gone viral on social media.

Laguna Vista police were called to a trail Thursday after the Bay Area Birders spotted the snake, the department wrote on Facebook. When they arrived, the rattlesnake was in the strike position while a cat sat unbothered a couple feet away.

“We ask that you all use caution and are aware of your surroundings when walking on the walking trail or any other locations,” the department wrote. “Snakes may be active most of the day during the spring, and during the early mornings and late afternoons throughout the summer. Please be careful!”

After snapping a photo, officers detained the snake. The cat fled. There’s no word if the reptile was released.


SCOTUS judge: ‘Disturbing trend’ of siding with police in UOF cases

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — In an opinion published Monday, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said there’s a “disturbing trend” in the courts of siding with police officers in use of force cases.

Sotomayor, along with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, argued the court should have accepted Richardo Salazar-Limon’s case rather than taking the dismissal of a federal district judge. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld the decision.

Salazar-Limon was shot in the back by Officer Chris Thompson in 2010, the Washington Post reported. Thompson stopped Salazar-Limon on a drunken driving suspicion and a struggle ensued when Thompson attempted to handcuff Salazar-Limon. Thompson told the suspect to stop walking back to his car and drew his gun.

Salazar-Limon said Thompson shot him in the back almost immediately after drawing his weapon According to the Washington Post, Thompson said Salazar-Limon went for his waistband and Thompson thought he had a weapon, so he fired. No weapon was found on Salazar-Limon.

Sotomayor said the decision to not take the case “continues a disturbing trend regarding the use of this court’s resources.”

“We have not hesitated to summarily reverse courts for wrongly denying officers the protection of qualified immunity in cases involving the use of force,” Sotomayor said. “But we rarely intervene where courts wrongly afford officers the benefit of qualified immunity in these same cases.”

She said it was clear that “our legal system does not entrust the resolution of this dispute to a judge faced with competing affidavits. The evenhanded administration of justice does not permit such a shortcut.”

Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Clarence Thomas said in a rebuttal that while Sotomayor cited five cases, there was no published dissent in all but one case.

She “has not identified a single case in which we failed to grant a similar petition filed by an alleged victim of unconstitutional police conduct,” Alito Jr. wrote.


Toy given to cop as safety talisman travels around the country

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Police in Ohio have received a stuffed toy given by a child to a Pennsylvania police officer to help keep him safe.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports a stuffed moose called Mr. Moosey has become a traveling protection talisman sent to police and other first responder agencies around the country.

The toy was first given to Towamencin, Pennsylvania, police officer James Gibbas by 5-year-old Mackenzie Brown last year during a traffic stop. The child said she wanted the officer to have it to help keep him safe.

Gibbas kept it for a while before deciding it should be shared with other law enforcement agencies and fire departments around the country.

The toy has made its way to states including Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

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Mr Moosey had another busy day today! He visited a local news channel and gave his own interview. Then he made his way...

Posted by Mr Moosey's World Tour on Friday, April 21, 2017


Sheriffs: Raise pot tax, use money for addiction treatment

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By Bob Salsberg Associated Press

BOSTON — Sheriffs urged state lawmakers Monday to boost the tax consumers will pay on recreational marijuana and earmark the additional revenue for substance abuse prevention and treatment.

The proposal was discussed at the final hearing of a special legislative committee that was set up to review the marijuana law voters approved in November. The panel is expected to issue recommendations by June.

"Not everyone will smoke responsibly, much in the same way many people don't drink responsibly," said Hampshire County Sheriff Patrick Cahillane, who predicted an uptick in addiction and more arrests from driving under the influence of marijuana.

The law currently calls for a 3.75 percent excise tax on retail marijuana sales, expected to begin in mid-2018. The excise would be imposed on top of the state's regular 6.25 percent sales tax, and local communities would have the option of tacking on an additional 2 percent tax.

The Massachusetts tax would be lower than those imposed in several Western states, including Colorado, Oregon and Washington, that previously legalized recreational marijuana.

Sen. Patricia Jehlen, co-chairwoman of the Legislature's Marijuana Policy Committee, said she believed many lawmakers were receptive to the idea of earmarking some revenue from pot taxes to addiction prevention and treatment. But Jehlen has been skeptical of boosting taxes, arguing they should be low enough to entice consumers to purchase the drug legally and not continue relying on the underground market.

Cahillane and Hampden County Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi said nine of the state's 14 sheriffs are sponsoring a proposal that would boost the pot excise tax by 5 percent.

Advocates of legal marijuana have disputed claims that marijuana can be addictive or serve as a gateway drug to opioids and other more dangerous substances.

Jehlen said she's seen no evidence of a surge in addiction in other states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

Cocchi clarified: "I'm not saying everyone who smokes a joint is going to become an addict." But he pointed to his own experience of trying to cope with substance abuse through the county correctional system and the lack of financial resources available from the state to deal with the crisis.

"Let's earmark that money ... and start to make a dent in the substantial lack of services around the commonwealth," he said.


Ind. court rules officer wounded in shootout can’t sue gun seller

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that a wounded police officer can't sue a sporting goods store that sold a handgun that was later used to wound him.

The Indianapolis Star reports the court on Monday dismissed Indianapolis Officer Dwayne Runnels' lawsuit claiming damages against Indianapolis-based KS&E Sports and the store's owner. Indiana law gives gun sellers significant immunity.

The lawsuit was filed after Runnels was wounded in a 2011 shootout during which Demetrious Martin was killed. The lawsuit argues KS&E Sports improperly sold the gun to a man who then illegally sold it to Martin, who as a convicted felon is barred from possessing firearms.

The state appeals court had sided last year with Runnels' argument that the store didn't exercise reasonable care in selling the gun.


Facing massive officer shortage, Ariz. agencies looking to hire hundreds

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PHOENIX — Citing “trying times” and public perceptions, agencies in Arizona are seeking to hire hundreds of officers and state troopers.

The Maricopa County Sheriffs Office, Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Phoenix Police Department are reaching out to their communities, military bases and other states to fill more than 800 vacancies, ABC15 reported.

Col. Frank Milstead said hiring freezes and budget cuts have added to the shortage. Officers were hired in large numbers in the 80s, but they’re now retiring, leaving vacancies that are hard to fill.

“We are facing trying times, we are depleted of resources,” Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said. “Right now it's been harder for us to recruit. In a sense, because there's been a lot of negativity around law enforcement.”

Penzone said changes in public perceptions of law enforcement have altered the way agencies recruit. Newly-hired officers will be trained more in community policing in order to strengthen trust in their communities, according to the news station.

The Phoenix Police Department said they’re hoping to fill 400 spots by next year, while the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said they have 277 vacancies for corrections officers and 89 open positions for officers and deputies. Milstead told ABC15 that the Arizona Department of Public Safety has “somewhere around 165 to 185 open trooper positions, and about the same number of professional staff we're hiring.”

The extreme shortage has led to the restructuring of agencies. Phoenix police have pulled officers from “specialty” assignments and assigned them to patrol.

Recruiters said they are willing to pay for applicants’ higher education and training, and there’s no age cut off. Recruits need to pass the physical fitness test.


Sheriff: Suspect opened fire on Texas deputy’s children, home in ‘attack’

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

GILMER, Texas — A sheriff is asking for the public’s help in finding the suspect who opened fire on an Upshur County sheriff deputy’s home, patrol car and personal car.

Sheriff Larry Webb said the deputy was off-duty at home with her two children Saturday when someone fire multiple rounds at her home and cars, the Longview News-Journal reported.

One round came into the home and got caught in the clothing of one of her children. Another hit a chair the child was sitting in near the window. Both children were uninjured.

Upshur Co. Deputy's vehicle was shot at, Saturday. Sheriff Webb says they won't stop investigating till the person[s] is found @kytxcbs19 pic.twitter.com/Cg3SZyX2O8

— Tristan Hardy (@TristanOnCamera) April 24, 2017

“Due to the amount of damage done to the patrol car, investigators are looking into the likelihood of a retaliation motive on the part of the persons having recent interaction with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office or one of its deputies,” Webb told the publication.

While he declined to identify the deputy, a two-year veteran, and the names of persons of interest, Webb said the suspects were in a brown or tan car.

He said the department has a witness who saw the entire incident. A deputy has been stationed at the officer’s house for added protection. Webb told KLTV this was an attack on law enforcement.

“It was an attack on the county as a whole, and the state of Texas,”Webb said. “This is not going to be tolerated, and we are going to prosecute these folks to the extent of the law.”


Cops involved in Tamir Rice shooting tell their stories in newly-released videos

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Leila Atassi Advance Ohio Media

CLEVELAND — Two and a half years after 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer, cleveland.com has obtained the videos - never before seen publicly -- of investigative interviews with the officers involved, Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback.

The interviews, conducted within days of the Nov. 22, 2014 shooting outside Cudell Recreation Center, include details not previously reported of the events and offer new insight into the mindsets of the officers.

The videos also reveal some inconsistencies with the story Loehmann later told a grand jury in his written statement. Until now, that statement and Garmback's offered the only public accounting from the officers' perspectives. The grand jury eventually declined to indict the officers. But the city has introduced administrative charges, unrelated to the shooting itself, that could cost Loehmann and Garmback their jobs.

In agreeing to be interviewed on camera by homicide detectives and internal affairs officers, Garmback and Loehmann invoked their so-called Garrity rights, which protect public employees from incriminating themselves in statements to their employer.

The videos, posted here in their entirety, depict the officers - one emotional, one stoic -- in the aftermath of the shooting.

Here are some key moments.

Garmback's interview:

Garmback told investigators that on the day of the shooting, he and Loehmann volunteered to help field the 911 call about a guy brandishing a gun in a park outside the recreation center.

As they hurried to the location, Garmback drilled his rookie trainee on how to handle a "gun run."

"[Loehmann] said, 'I would get out of the car. I'd get in a certain stance,'" Garmback later recalled for investigators. "I stopped him at that point and said, 'This is a gun run. Be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Have your gun unholstered already on your lap.'"

Garmback went on to explain to Loehmann that they would drive their vehicle "the back way" through the grassy park, which would put the cruiser near the swings - the spot where the gunman was reported to be - to limit the suspect's possibilities for escape.

Garmback faces administrative charges for driving too close to Tamir while responding to what the officer believed to be an armed suspect.

Garmback wept several times during his interview - recalling his realization that Tamir was a boy, the way Tamir looked as he lost consciousness and how long it took rescuers to arrive.

"He's barely breathing, and there's no rescue squad here," Garmback said. "Finally, I'm holding [pressure on the wound]. ... Then [firefighters] come up. And they're walking so slow. Other units are telling them to hurry up, get over there. They still walk slow."

Loehmann's interview:

Loehmann said that he opened his car door slightly when the cruiser was about 30 yards from Tamir, presented his weapon and started yelling: "Put your hands in the air! Let me see your weapon! Freeze!"

This account is inconsistent with his written statement to the grand jury, in which he said he hadn't opened the door and begun yelling until the car was rolling to a stop. (Read the officers' written statements in the document viewers below.)

An internal affairs investigator questioned Loehmann about the mechanics of holding open the passenger-side door of a moving vehicle, while also holding a gun in his dominant right hand.

Loehmann described the crouching posture he had to assume on the door's threshold to be "prepared for anything."

"The threat just became incredible," Loehmann said. "I had to make the decision fast because Frank and I were in immediate danger. If the subject did pull out the gun and point it towards us, I would have been shot and possibly my partner. ... Plus, I was stuck in the doorway and my partner was still seated in the driver's seat. So we were basically sitting ducks."

Loehmann's use of deadly force was found to have been justified under the circumstances. But he faces discipline for failing to note on his Cleveland police application that his short stint at the Independence Police Department had ended with a series of incidents that Loehmann's superiors believed demonstrated his emotional instability.

Attorney Subodh Chandra, who represents the family of Tamir Rice, said in an email Friday that the videos "raise the stakes" for the pending charges against the officers.

"As public anguish regarding young Tamir's slaying continues, the physically impossible accounts and inconsistencies the officers offer in their video-recorded interviews raise the stakes for this last chance at public accountability through the absurdly delayed discipline process," Chandra said.

In an interview Monday, Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, blamed politics for the delay and the administrative charges brought against the officers, who, Loomis maintained, did nothing wrong.

"There is such a thirst for blood on this, and they are looking for every possible reason to fire them," Loomis said. "And it's because politics demand it. It's an election year -- damn the facts. We're not saying [Tamir's death] wasn't an absolute tragedy. But it was justified use of deadly force. Unfortunate, but justified."

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©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland


Officers attacked at Calif. college event

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Cathy Locke The Sacramento Bee

DAVIS, Calif. — Three men were arrested following an attack on Davis police officers who encountered a group of people blocking traffic on a busy roadway during Saturday's Picnic Day at UC Davis.

The annual campus open house has become known in recent years for violence and drunken mayhem, mainly on the streets of the normally quiet college town.

The latest incident occurred abut 3:30 p.m. Saturday, when three Davis police officers traveling on Russell Boulevard in an unmarked police vehicle encountered a large group of people in the roadway, blocking traffic, according to a Police Department news release.

One officer was in uniform with a visible badge. The other two were in plain clothes, but with badges clearly displayed on their chests and with police weapons visible, the news release said.

Traffic on Russell Boulevard was nearly gridlocked at the time because of Picnic Day activities and several large parties in the area. Because the group presented safety hazards, the officers pulled near the group to take action, according to police.

A hostile group quickly surrounded the vehicle. Several people began yelling threats at the officers in the car, and one person pretended he was pulling a gun on the officers, the news release said.

As the officers got out of the car and began to identify themselves as police, two officers were attacked by several people and beaten on the ground. Police reported that the officers were kicked and punched in the head, and one officer was struck on the side of the head with a bottle.

As they were being assaulted, the officers could see people in the crowd taking video of the attack on their cell phones, according to the news release.

The officers fought back and called for help. Two of the officers were taken to the Sutter Davis Hospital emergency room for treatment. One suffered injuries to his eye and face, and the other was treated for a bleeding head wound caused by a bottle, the news release said.

Arrested were Alexander Reide Craver, 22, and Elijah James Williams, 19, both of West Sacramento, and Antwoine Rashadek Perry, 21, of Elk Grove. All were booked into Yolo County Jail.

Craver was arrested on suspicion of aggravated battery, assaulting a peace officer, felony obstruction of a peace officer and assault with a deadly weapon. Perry was arrested on suspicion of aggravated battery and felony obstruction of a peace officer, and Williams, on suspicion of assault on a peace officer, aggravated battery, assault with a deadly weapon, and felony obstruction of a peace officer.

Police ask anyone with cell phone video or information regarding the incident to call the Davis Police Department’s investigations unit at 530-747-5400.

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©2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)


3 arrested after mob attacks officers at Calif. college event

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Cathy Locke The Sacramento Bee

DAVIS, Calif. — Three men were arrested following an attack on Davis police officers who encountered a group of people blocking traffic on a busy roadway during Saturday's Picnic Day at UC Davis.

The annual campus open house has become known in recent years for violence and drunken mayhem, mainly on the streets of the normally quiet college town.

The latest incident occurred abut 3:30 p.m. Saturday, when three Davis police officers traveling on Russell Boulevard in an unmarked police vehicle encountered a large group of people in the roadway, blocking traffic, according to a Police Department news release.

One officer was in uniform with a visible badge. The other two were in plain clothes, but with badges clearly displayed on their chests and with police weapons visible, the news release said.

Traffic on Russell Boulevard was nearly gridlocked at the time because of Picnic Day activities and several large parties in the area. Because the group presented safety hazards, the officers pulled near the group to take action, according to police.

A hostile group quickly surrounded the vehicle. Several people began yelling threats at the officers in the car, and one person pretended he was pulling a gun on the officers, the news release said.

As the officers got out of the car and began to identify themselves as police, two officers were attacked by several people and beaten on the ground. Police reported that the officers were kicked and punched in the head, and one officer was struck on the side of the head with a bottle.

As they were being assaulted, the officers could see people in the crowd taking video of the attack on their cell phones, according to the news release.

The officers fought back and called for help. Two of the officers were taken to the Sutter Davis Hospital emergency room for treatment. One suffered injuries to his eye and face, and the other was treated for a bleeding head wound caused by a bottle, the news release said.

Arrested were Alexander Reide Craver, 22, and Elijah James Williams, 19, both of West Sacramento, and Antwoine Rashadek Perry, 21, of Elk Grove. All were booked into Yolo County Jail.

Craver was arrested on suspicion of aggravated battery, assaulting a peace officer, felony obstruction of a peace officer and assault with a deadly weapon. Perry was arrested on suspicion of aggravated battery and felony obstruction of a peace officer, and Williams, on suspicion of assault on a peace officer, aggravated battery, assault with a deadly weapon, and felony obstruction of a peace officer.

Police ask anyone with cell phone video or information regarding the incident to call the Davis Police Department’s investigations unit at 530-747-5400.

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©2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)


Houston PD’s oldest ‘rookie’ works her way back on force

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mike Glenn Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON — It was a bit of a deja vu for Wendy Caldwell when Police Chief Art Acevedo pinned on the badge at her graduation ceremony last month from the Houston Police Academy.

Almost 25 years ago, former Houston police chief Sam Nuchia welcomed her to the force after her first graduation. She worked five years as a police officer before deciding to stay home with her children.

Now, at 53, Caldwell's returns makes her the oldest person ever to graduate from the physically taxing six-month Houston Police Academy.

"Coming back after 18 years, it was, 'This is do or die. I've got one shot at this," the mother of two teenagers said. "It's not easy but I had to do this."

Houston police officials said they are glad Caldwell returned to the force. Caldwell, who originally graduated in July 1993, first served as a night shift patrol officer at the department's Central Division and later with HPD's mounted patrol.

"Her previous experience, knowledge and skill that she brings back to the department are a valuable asset and we're happy that she has chosen to once again join HPD," said Assistant Chief Wendy Baimbridge.

Caldwell was more determined this time around. She said she was also better prepared mentally for the academy.

"But physically, it was much harder. Not because of my age but because HPD has ramped up its (physical training) program tremendously," she said. "When you're 53 and competing with kids that are 20 and 30 years younger than you, it was pretty challenging."

When you're in your 50s, Caldwell said, it just isn't as easy to recover from an intense police academy workout session. In fact, Caldwell broke a femur bone toward the end of her training during an intense exercise called Red Man where cadets simulate a foot chase followed by a full-on fight with an instructor covered in red protective pads.

"I lived with Ben Gay and ice bags and ibuprofen," she said with a laugh. "Sometimes it was a 'Two Aleve and four Tylenol' day."

Several of her fellow cadets called Caldwell 'mom' during the training. They were protective and encouraging of their more senior counterpart, and could tell she struggled with physical ailments the entire time.

"They saw that I wasn't going to slack off and just skate through the academy," she said.

No regrets

Although learning the department's computer system was a challenge - in "her day," every report was written by hand - Caldwell said she had no problems in the academy classrooms or on the driving and shooting ranges.

She hung up her Houston police uniform to stay home with daughter Reagan, now 18, and son Dillon, 17. Her former husband also was a Houston police officer and Caldwell said she didn't want their children to spend so much time in day care.

"It was on my accord and I chose to leave," Caldwell said. "I don't regret it at all."

Caldwell ran a busy household when she left the department with children born a mere 15 months apart. She home schooled them for their first eight years until they moved into the public school system.

"I told people it was harder to be a stay-at-home mom than to be a cop," Caldwell said. "I honestly thought I'd never come back."

She still kept fit in her civilian life. Once her children were in public school, Caldwell developed what she called a "really serious tennis habit," and also played in a softball league with several law enforcement officers as teammates.

'Kind of a catalyst'

After 18 years away, she had made her peace with being a former Houston police officer. Then her marriage fell apart.

"It was a kind of a catalyst," Caldwell said. "What are you going to do that's going to provide you with enough income to support your kids?"

What she went through is not that unusual, said Jill Hickman, who runs a company that, among other things, coaches women returning to the workforce.

"What took her out of the work place is very similar to what is bringing her back," Hickman said of family obligations.

Some women go back to work by choice while others do not have any other option and must earn a paycheck, she said. Women with younger children often decide to stay home because of the high costs of day care.

"They'd have to take three jobs instead of one," Hickman said.

Hickman applauded Caldwell's regular physical activity over the years. She encouraged women in her position to take every opportunity for self-improvement, such as enrolling in online courses if they struggle to leave the house because of small children. It will eventually pay off, she said.

"Where I am today may not be where I am tomorrow," Hickman said.

After her divorce last year, Caldwell began asking some of her law enforcement softball teammates about possibly returning to the Houston Police Department. The cut-off age to enter is 44, but because she had already served, that wasn't an obstacle. A break in service of more than five years, however, means officers have to complete the academy again.

"They were skeptical about whether I could do it. But I was still there week after week, giving it my 100 percent," she said.

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Chief Art Acevedo addresses Cadet Class 232 on the first day

Posted by Houston Police Department on Monday, April 3, 2017 Same badge number

Caldwell said her fellow cadets were far more mature than those from 1993. Several were combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and one had joined HPD after a full 20-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps. Still another was a former Army captain who had graduated from West Point.

"The hardest part was mentally getting over the fact that I had to do the academy again," Caldwell said. "But if these guys can do this, certainly I can."

Caldwell thought the leg break during the grueling Red Man exercise would have ended her plans to restart a law enforcement career, but luckily, the HPD brass allowed her to graduate with her peers.

She's on desk duty as her leg recovers, but looks forward to returning to the streets. When she left the force the first time, Caldwell asked the department not to assign her old badge number to anyone else.

"When I came back, I got my original badge number back - 5645," she said.

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©2017 the Houston Chronicle


Milwaukee aldermen call for police pursuit overhaul

Posted on April 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By Ashley Luthern and Mary Spicuzza Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE — Thirteen members of the Common Council are calling for an overhaul of the Milwaukee Police Department's pursuit policy.

The group wrote a letter Thursday to the city's Fire and Police Commission calling on board members to order Chief Edward Flynn to "re-prioritize traffic enforcement activity and to redraw his pursuit policy."

Only two of the 15 council members — Alds. Milele Coggs and Terry Witkowski — didn't sign the letter.

The group noted that three more Milwaukee residents were killed by hit-and-run drivers in recent weeks, bringing the 2017 total to eight.

"This is becoming unacceptably routine," they wrote.

The aldermen also warned that speeding, red light-running and reckless driving have been occurring at record levels.

"The public, particularly those less inclined to obey traffic laws, now knows that there are certain offenses for which there is little or no likelihood of ever being caught," they wrote. "They have learned dangerous habits in this period of neglect and these have cost the lives of innocent citizens who ought to have been protected.".

Police spokesman Sgt. Tim Gauerke declined to comment.

Supporters say the department's pursuit policy is saving lives, while critics argue it allows criminals to get away. In the past, Flynn has said the No. 1 priority of the policy is the "protection of innocent lives.”

Flynn changed the policy after four people were killed by drivers fleeing police between Dec. 31, 2009, and March 1, 2010, making it so officers were not permitted to chase vehicles solely for traffic infractions or because a driver refused to stop.

The policy required officers to have probable cause that someone in the car was committing a violent felony or was "a clear and immediate threat to the safety of others" before pursuing the person.

In June 2015, the policy was changed to include pursuit of vehicles used or taken in the commission of a violent felony, such as a carjacking, regardless if officers believe the occupants were involved in the violent crime.

Because of the changes in policy and reporting mechanisms — the department began to track non-pursuits consistently in 2014 — the department has warned against comparing full years of data. "Non-pursuits" are when an officer does not attempt to chase a fleeing vehicle in accordance with the policy.

The number of pursuits and non-pursuits has risen every year since 2012. In 2016, the department logged 305 pursuits and 4,317 non-pursuits.

In the first quarter of 2017, the department recorded 27 pursuits, a 62% decline from the first quarter of last year, and 1,675 non-pursuits, an eye-popping 94% increase from the same time last year.

Ald. Michael Murphy requested the data from Milwaukee police and referenced it in an April 7 letter to the city’s Fire and Police Commission in which he asked the civilian board to review the pursuit policy.

The commission’s executive director, MaryNell Regan, said earlier this week she had received Murphy’s letter and was preparing a written response.

A commission report on the policy and its effects was already underway before Murphy’s letter and is expected to be released soon, Regan said.

Murphy said he hoped after reviewing the data, the commission would agree with his conclusion that the current pursuit policy is leading to injuries and deaths of innocent civilians.

"There's a segment of society that feels that laws don't apply to them, and as a result you see this type of reckless driving only increasing," Murphy said.

Mayor Tom Barrett's chief of staff, Patrick Curley, said, "Mayor Barrett is very concerned about drivers who have little or no regard for public safety and the law. Some of this behavior is related to car theft and carjacking and the breakdown in the juvenile justice system. Some of it is just plain recklessness. Chief Flynn, his command staff and district captains are concerned as well. As traffic laws and enforcement are being discussed, police deployment strategies are one piece and Mayor Barrett wants to make sure that the role of the courts and prosecutors are included as well.”

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©2017 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Recovering from Orlando: The role of a Critical Incident Stress Team

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Leischen Stelter, editor of In Public Safety

The June 12 massacre inside an Orlando nightclub left 49 people dead and 53 wounded. After police killed the gunman, officers, firefighters and medical professionals entered the building to provide aid to the wounded. According to news reports, the scene inside was absolute carnage with bodies scattered across the dance floor and in the restrooms. The trauma of the event affected not only those who were in the nightclub that night, but also those who responded.

The Role of a Critical Incident Stress Team

American Military University’s criminal justice program director, Dr. Chuck Russo, lives in Central Florida and was a founding member of his agency’s Critical Incident Stress Team (CIST). He is also the team leader for Florida’s Regional Disaster Behavioral Health Assessment Team. In that role, he oversees psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers, as well as specially trained volunteers, who provide services to first responders following a traumatic incident. Russo was on call for several days following the Orlando incident, ready to provide support to the police officers, firefighters, medical personnel and other first responders who assisted with the gruesome scene.

While Russo’s team was not deployed to assist in Orlando, he has spoken with several colleagues who were involved. “Most people hadn’t seen anything like it before – the only ones who had seen anything similar had been in war,” he said. There’s no level of training as intense as actually responding to a mass casualty incident. “If you’re a police officer long enough, you’re going to come across bodies and the results of violence. Most officers can deal with a certain level of blood and gore, but this exceeded everyone’s normal,” he said.

CIST Members Help Officers Return to “Normal”

Immediately after responding to an incident, Critical Incident Stress Team members start discussions with first responders about what to expect, both physically and mentally. Reactions can vary widely. For example, many people will have physical reactions like nightmares, difficulty sleeping, flashbacks, mood swings, sexual dysfunction, extreme changes in appetite, and visual or auditory distortions.

There is often a psychological reaction as well. Some individuals may become emotionally numb while others exhibit extreme aggressiveness. Often officers have a hard time remembering certain aspects of the incident. Others fixate on the event, playing it through their mind repeatedly. “Many officers end up playing the ‘what if’ game and questioning their actions,” said Russo. Some feel guilty about not being able to help more people or convincing themselves they could’ve done more to try to change the outcome. All of these responses can add to the stress a responder is feeling, so it’s important for them to be prepared to experience an array of emotions. “CIST members help responders understand that they are having a normal reaction to an abnormal event,” said Russo.

As a general rule, Russo said about 80 percent of first responders will return to normal without external assistance. However, as many as 20 percent of responders may have a difficult time returning to normal because of what they did, saw, heard and smelled. For those, Critical Incident Stress Team members do a preliminary assessment and refer responders to appropriate professionals, whether they are psychologists, licensed mental health practitioners or licensed clinical social workers.

In addition to educating responders, it’s also important to offer support to families. Spouses need to know what to expect when their loved one experiences trauma. “Spouses are the ones who will pick up on changes in a person’s personality and change in sleeping, eating or mood,” said Russo. “They need to know what is a normal reaction and what is beyond normal or what is self-destructive so they know when to seek help for that person.”

Some people will have reactions immediately after an incident, while others may not respond until days, weeks, or even months later. Regardless of the timing, it’s important for the person — and their family members — to continually assess a person’s behavior to ensure that it’s not impeding their ability to function and seek help when needed.


Photo: Officer helps ’embarrassed’ teen fix tie

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

INDIANAPOLIS — A photo of an officer coming to the rescue for a teenager is going viral.

A 13-year-old was at the state capitol to receive an award for Youth of the Year from the Boys & Girls Club when his aunt and mom realized his tie wasn’t tied, Victoria Mada wrote on Indiana Going Blue’s Facebook.

Mada said she and her sister don’t know how to tie ties and her nephew was “too embarrassed” to ask anyone else. Mada stopped the officer and asked him if he would help her nephew.

“[He] showed my nephew how to tie it correctly, congratulated him and shook his hand,” she wrote. “As a former 911 dispatcher, it meant a lot to me to show my nephew that cops are not bad people and that he can trust them and count on them to help him in any situation, even something as small as tying a tie."

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PRICELESS! From the inbox... "I did not get this officers name but he works in the state building in Indianapolis. We...

‎Posted by Indiana Going Blue on‎ ????? 13 ????? 2017


Calif. sheriff wants 24-hour, affordable child care for deputies

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SAN JOSE, Calif. — In an effort to recruit more deputies, one sheriff is seeking to provide 24-hour, affordable childcare.

Sheriff Laurie Smith told KPIX 5 that agencies lose out on qualified applicants because deputies can’t find or afford the childcare they need.

“Many deputies, women and men, have this as an issue,” Smith said. “But it’s particularly an issue for single parents, and it’s a job you don’t go into because childcare is just not available.”

Sgt. Kattia Zavaleta, a mother of four with an LEO fiancee, told KPIX that she had the help of relatives who would watch her children overnight. But many officers don’t have the resources to help them out. She said childcare would be a strong recruiting tool for those looking to join the ranks or move up in the force.

“They will be able to go to different specialized positions, get promoted more,” Zavaleta said. “They’d be able to drop their kids off at the early hours because your regular childcare is usually 7 to 5, but we have to be there early.”

The budget committee is set to vote on the plan in June.

If the plan is successful, the county may expand it to other job occupations as well.


After HOA demands pro-cop flag taken down, family shows support for LE in a different way

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After a homeowner’s association told a family their “Blue Lives Matter” flag was “racist and offensive” and it needed to be taken down, they found a new way to show their support of LE.

ActionNewsJax reported that former police officer Jeff Gaddie’s daughter flew the “Blue Lives Matter” flag outside her home for years, but a neighbor recently complained it was racist and they were asked to take it down.

In response, Gaddie rigged up a projector to display the flag on the garage door of his daughter’s home.

“It doesn’t seem to quite be covered that a projector from a vehicle projecting on your garage door is a violation of the HOA,” Gaddie told the news station.

Neighborhood's HOA guidelines allow for images projected on homes. Family is displaying flag on their garage every night. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/BlucZEZYhC

— Beth Rousseau (@BethANJax) April 19, 2017

The rules state that American and military flags are the only flags allowed.

According to ActionNewsJax, the board has not responded to Gaddie or commented to the news station.

Homeowner who was forced to remove 'Blue Lives Matter' flag has found a new way to show support for law enforcement. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/dHzKSzD3u7

— Beth Rousseau (@BethANJax) April 19, 2017


50 to 60 teens swarm Calif. train, rob weekend riders

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Demian Bulwa San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — A recent string of robberies on BART trains took a frightening turn when dozens of juveniles swarmed an Oakland station over the weekend and commandeered a train car, forcing passengers to hand over bags and cell phones and leaving at least two with head injuries, witnesses told the transit agency.

BART did not immediately publicize the incident — the first of its kind in recent memory — after it occurred around 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Coliseum Station.

But according to a police summary reviewed by The Chronicle, witnesses said 50 to 60 juveniles flooded the station, jumped the fare gates and rushed to the second-story train platform. Some of the robbers apparently held open the doors of a Dublin-bound train car while others streamed inside, confronting and robbing and in some cases beating riders.

The juveniles “committed multiple strong-arm robberies of bags and cell phones,” said the summary. “At least two victims suffered head/facial injuries requiring medical attention.” Police did not say if any of the suspects were armed, or describe exactly how the passengers were wounded.

The attack was quick, police reported, and the teenagers were able to retreat from the station and vanish into the surrounding East Oakland neighborhood before BART officers could respond. The train that was hit was held for about 15 minutes as authorities investigated the crime and tended to the injured.

BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost acknowledged Monday morning that the robbery took place, but said she wanted to get more information from police before commenting in more detail.

A series of robberies on BART trains in recent week has prompted the agency to increase patrols — though this was apparently the first takeover-style heist.

The incident is likely to present a challenge for BART, which hired a new police chief last week. The agency has struggled to contain fare evaders, and is in the midst of installing surveillance cameras in train cars after The Chronicle reported that most of the existing cameras were decoys.

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©2017 the San Francisco Chronicle


Jail under fire for turning away arrestees with medical issues

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By Judy Walton Chattanooga Times/Free Press

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The ongoing booking brouhaha between the Bradley County Sheriff's Office and Cleveland Police Department became urgent when somebody died.

Thomas Creek Jr. was briefly in the news in March when his body was found dumped in a remote area of Polk County. Cleveland police said at the time his family had reported him missing March 23, and he hadn't been seen since March 14.

What wasn't made public was that Creek, 34, had been arrested that night on warrants for theft, shoplifting and drug possession. A police incident report says he was turned away at the Bradley County Jail for medical reasons and taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

He didn't stay in the hospital for long. He made a few calls — including to his mother — walked out under his own power and was never seen alive again.

It wasn't the first time Bradley County Jail officials refused entry on medical grounds to someone under arrest. On March 1, the jail refused to take two heavily intoxicated men. In that case, city officers dropped the two off at the hospital.

On March 28, jailers turned away a man with a cut on his arm brought in on a felony warrant. Bodycam video shows officers made several futile attempts to turn the man over for booking before uncuffing him and setting him free right in the jail's sally port.

Sources in the sheriff's office and Cleveland police department, who asked for anonymity because they're not authorized to speak on the issue, have told the Times Free Press it's at least partly an interdepartmental feud about which agency has to pay the hospital bills for sick or injured prisoners.

But Cleveland Police Chief Mark Gibson said prisoners' medical bills aren't his department's problem.

According to state law, jailers must accept anyone who has been arrested and are responsible for providing medical care, either by the jail's medical staff or at a hospital.

"This is not our agency making up the rules," Gibson said in a telephone interview Friday. "We have an obligation, we fulfill that obligation and deliver [prisoners] to the jail. If they don't accept them at the jail that puts us in a spot: What do you do now?"

Gibson said if someone is injured or has a medical emergency during an arrest by a city officer, his people are going to call an ambulance.

"We're not delivering people to the jail that have a serious medical condition or emergency and expecting the jail to deal with it," he said.

In Creek's case, Officer Don Nation's incident report said he didn't mention any medical issues during the arrest at the Crown Inn. At the jail, Nation wrote, Creek "changed attitude and began to complain of cellulitis in both legs." His blood pressure was slightly elevated, Nation wrote. Jailers refused him and he was taken to the hospital by ambulance, the report states.

It's not clear how long Creek stayed at the hospital before walking out.

Creek's mother, Kitty Creek, said he called her that night and asked her to pick him up, but she didn't have a working car.

"It's a horrible feeling thinking that I might have stopped this if my car was not broke down," Kitty Creek said via Facebook.

Thomas Creek's body was found March 28 in a remote area of Polk County. On March 30, Sean Scott Hale was arrested in DeKalb County, Ala., and a car believed to have been used was found burned in Fort Payne, Cleveland police have said.

Kitty Creek says if her son had gone to jail, he might still be alive.

"What I don't understand is this was the second or third time the jail refused him," she said. "They knew he would leave the hospital, he left the last time. Why didn't they leave an officer with him?"

She was referring to his March 3 arrest during a traffic stop on a warrant and for drug possession. The police report by officer Taylor Thompson said Creek complained of pain in his ankles and was taken by ambulance to the hospital without stopping by the jail.

"That night he told me they released him so I picked him up," Kitty Creek said.

Jadarius Huggins was the man with the cut arm who was set free March 28. He'd been arrested for violating probation on a felony burglary conviction.

Bodycam video shows Officer Bradley Colbaugh tried to give a copy of an attorney general's opinion stating that the jail must accept all prisoners to corrections personnel. Lt. Carol Edwards refused it and ordered jailers not to accept any papers or open the jail door.

Colbaugh called his supervisor, Sgt. Buddy Mitchell, who came to the jail and asked Edwards, "Do you know this is possibly criminal?"

She responded that she was just following departmental policies.

Gibson said the officers had no choice but to uncuff Hudgins and turn him loose.

"We followed the law. They did not accept him and we released him in the sally port. That's the only option we have; we can't drive him around all night."

Then, though, Gibson called Sheriff Eric Watson and got him to agree to take Hudgins, so Colbaugh and Mitchell had to track him down and arrest him all over again.

Colbaugh's bodycam video shows the handcuffed Hudgins sitting in the car inside the sally port for the second time that night.

"This is f—— up," Hudgins said.

"It is," Colbaugh agreed.

It's that incident that led to summit talks between the two departments.

Gibson said he met with Watson and some of his officers, along with County Attorney Crystal Freiberg, on April 5 and gave them copies of the state law, the attorney general's opinion and a confirmatory opinion from the University of Tennessee's County Technical Advisory Service saying the jail must accept prisoners and provide medical care.

"We all agreed it was a situation that needed to be case by case, but we agreed on a process where we bring them over there and they will be booked in from now on," he said.

The police department will be responsible if someone is injured during an arrest, he said, but otherwise the jail will have to provide care through its contract medical staff or at the hospital.

"It's something we need to fix and I think we've made great progress in fixing it," Gibson said.

Asked why he hadn't mentioned the arrest in his statement when Creek's body was found, Gibson said they didn't have much information at that point and that a suspect was at large.

Watson did not respond directly to a request for comment, but Freiberg provided a statement Friday afternoon.

"The Bradley County Sheriff's Office is aware that the Bradley County jail must accept all persons arrested pursuant to law by the Sheriff's Office or any City Police Officers," she wrote.

"Bradley County does not 'refuse' inmates," Freiberg added. She said the jail's contract medical staff decides whether any prisoner needs emergency medical care.

To a Times Free Press question about whether Creek could have worked the "refuse-and-refer" policy to avoid imprisonment, Freiberg said the "specifics of any particular person's medical conditions cannot be disclosed."

She added, "Discussions between the Sheriff's Office and the City of Cleveland have resulted in better communication between the Departments to ensure that all persons arrested by both agencies receive appropriate and timely emergency medical care."

Kitty Creek said her son messaged her from the ambulance and called her from the hospital that night.

"I told him on [Facebook] Messenger that he needed to get the medical help he needed and to stay at the hospital."

———

©2017 the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.)


Dallas police responding to possible active shooter

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

DALLAS — Dallas police said officers are responding Monday to reports of a person with a gun at an office building in the north of the city.

Police provided no other details, including whether any shots were fired or any injuries reported in 911 calls Monday morning.

Television footage showed a heavy police response, including a SWAT team, at the multi-story office building along an interstate. A broken window can be seen on one of the upper floors of the mirrored tower.

Ambulance heading to Dallas office building. Reports of 2 people shot. @DallasPD diverting traffic on LBJ service road at Central. @CBSDFW pic.twitter.com/ENWP9ccACJ

— Jennifer Lindgren (@JLindgrenCBS11) April 24, 2017

Dallas Fire-Rescue said they dispatched three rescue units to the scene. A Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman could not confirm whether there were any fatalities.

Hannah Greenhaw was among the workers evacuated safely from the offices near a multi-level highway interchange known as the High Five.

Greenhaw told KXAS-TV that people from an office across the hall came over to warn them to lock the doors because there had been reports of an active shooter. Everyone in her office hurried to a corner in the back and turned out the lights, she said.

Armed tactical police officers then arrived, entered her office and told the workers to put their hands up, according to Greenhaw. Officers helped evacuate everyone from the building, she said, with some people allowed to use elevators.

"There was a few of us who couldn't actually walk down 10 flights of stairs," Greenhaw said.


Police: Texas man kills boss, then self

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

UPDATE 2:25 p.m. (CST):

DALLAS — Dallas police say a man fatally shot his female supervisor and then killed himself in an office building.

Assistant Police Chief Randy Blankenbaker said that they won't release the identities of those who died until relatives are notified. He said they also are not yet saying what kind of office they worked in.

The office was in a multi-story building near a highway interchange in the northern part of the city.

Blankenbaker said that the man was a current worker in the office. He says that there were witnesses to the shooting who were not injured.

He says that an officer had to shoot a glass entry door to access the office where the shooting happened. He said that's the only known shot fired by an officer.

One of the officers suffered minor injuries from broken glass during the entry.

EARLIER:

Associated Press

DALLAS — Dallas police said officers are responding Monday to reports of a person with a gun at an office building in the north of the city.

Police provided no other details, including whether any shots were fired or any injuries reported in 911 calls Monday morning.

Television footage showed a heavy police response, including a SWAT team, at the multi-story office building along an interstate. A broken window can be seen on one of the upper floors of the mirrored tower.

Ambulance heading to Dallas office building. Reports of 2 people shot. @DallasPD diverting traffic on LBJ service road at Central. @CBSDFW pic.twitter.com/ENWP9ccACJ

— Jennifer Lindgren (@JLindgrenCBS11) April 24, 2017

Dallas Fire-Rescue said they dispatched three rescue units to the scene. A Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman could not confirm whether there were any fatalities.

Hannah Greenhaw was among the workers evacuated safely from the offices near a multi-level highway interchange known as the High Five.

Greenhaw told KXAS-TV that people from an office across the hall came over to warn them to lock the doors because there had been reports of an active shooter. Everyone in her office hurried to a corner in the back and turned out the lights, she said.

Armed tactical police officers then arrived, entered her office and told the workers to put their hands up, according to Greenhaw. Officers helped evacuate everyone from the building, she said, with some people allowed to use elevators.

"There was a few of us who couldn't actually walk down 10 flights of stairs," Greenhaw said.


Dallas police: Man fatally shots boss, kills self at office

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Diana Heidgerd and Jamie Stengle Associated Press

DALLAS — A man fatally shot his female supervisor and then killed himself, leading to an evacuation of a multi-story building in the northern part of Dallas on Monday morning, police said.

Randy Blankenbaker, Dallas police assistant chief of investigations, said that they won't release the identities of those who died until relatives are notified. He said they also are not yet saying what kind of office they worked in.

Blankenbaker said that the man was a current worker in the office. "We don't know if today was a regular workday for him or not," Blankenbaker said.

He says that there were witnesses to the shooting in a meeting room who were not injured.

Police were alerted to the shooting at about 10:45 a.m. and responded to the office where the shooting was taking place. He said that an officer had to shoot a glass entry door to access the office where the shooting happened. He said that's the only known shot fired by an officer. One of the officers suffered minor injuries from broken glass during the entry.

Officials found the two dead in the meeting room.

Officers then conducted a floor-by-floor search of the building, searching for suspects and also ensuring that all tenants who took shelter were safely escorted from the building. That was completed by 12:49 p.m.

Television footage showed a heavy police response, including a SWAT team, at the office tower near a multi-level highway interchange known as the High Five. A broken window could be seen on one of the upper floors of the mirrored building.

Bailee Christian told KXAS-TV that she heard two gunshots — one when she was still inside and another after she and her co-workers had been evacuated from the building. She said that when she heard the second shot she also heard screaming.

"It was very intense in the moment, very scary," Christian said.

Christian, who works in a call center on the 10th floor, said her boss told everyone to hide in the back corner of the office.

"Probably about 6 minutes goes by and a police officer, a couple actually, came up to grab us," Christian said.

Mary Jo Nsuk, who works on the 10th floor, heard a commotion coming from below and heard police say, "Come out with your hands up." About five minutes later, police came to the door to escort her downstairs. She left her belongings behind, including her cellphone and shoes.

"Police were doing their best to make sure all floors were clear," Nsuk told The Dallas Morning News. "They protected people with shields and a cop was facing backwards when they were trying to get us downstairs."


Wash. cop blinded after being shot in head completes 5K race

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — An officer who was shot while responding to a shooting in December finished a 5K race with the help of a friend.

Officer Mike McClaughry completed the Fun with the Fuzz 5K race with the help of a friend Saturday, Bellingham police said in a tweet.

McClaughry, 60, was blinded after he was shot in the back of the head and is continuing treatment, KING5 reported.

According to the Associated Press, Ernesto Lee Rivas, an alleged gang member, and two teens, ages 15 and 16, who were in the home during the standoff have been arrested and charged.

Fun with Fuzz 5K big turn out. Mt. Vernon Officer McClaughry who was shot in line of duty. Finishing the race. Bp117 pic.twitter.com/ft0ZCZADC5

— Bellingham Police (@BellinghamPD) April 22, 2017


Police stop 12-year-old boy from driving across Australia

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SYDNEY — Outback police have arrested a 12-year-old boy who was almost a third of his way toward driving solo across Australia.

The unlicensed boy had driven more than 1,300 kilometers from his home in Kendall on the east coast when he was stopped by traffic police on Saturday on the Barrier Highway near the remote mining town of Broken Hill.

He was pulled over because a bumper bar was dragging on the road, a police statement said Sunday.

Police said he was driving to the west coast city of Perth, more than 4,100 kilometers from Kendall.

Police have released no details on why the boy wanted to drive the Perth, whether he would be charged or whether he had refueled during his journey.


Puerto Rican police officer dies from gunshot wounds

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Puerto Rican police officer died Wednesday from a gunshot wound he sustained during a suspect pursuit.

According to ODMP, Agent Benjamin De los Santos-Barbosa and three other officers attempted to pull over a vehicle April 16 with an illegal window tint when the driver, who was on parole for narcotics charges, fled.

The driver backed into a patrol car when he couldn’t get around a car blocking the roadway and opened fire as he exited the car, hitting De los Santos-Barbosa in the head. ODMP reported that the other officers and a bystander returned fire and wounded the suspect. He was treated and released to police custody.

De los Santos-Barbosa, an almost six-year veteran of the department, was transported to a hospital where he died from his injuries four days after he was shot.

De los Santos-Barbosa’s sister was also an officer with the department and was slain off-duty in 2010. De los Santos-Barbosa is survived by his nephew.

The suspect is facing 15 charges, including murder, narcotics violations and weapons violations.


Puerto Rico police officer dies from gunshot wounds

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By PoliceOne Staff

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Puerto Rican police officer died Wednesday from a gunshot wound he sustained during a suspect pursuit.

According to ODMP, Agent Benjamin De los Santos-Barbosa and three other officers attempted to pull over a vehicle April 16 with an illegal window tint when the driver, who was on parole for narcotics charges, fled.

The driver backed into a patrol car when he couldn’t get around a car blocking the roadway and opened fire as he exited the car, hitting De los Santos-Barbosa in the head. ODMP reported that the other officers and a bystander returned fire and wounded the suspect. He was treated and released to police custody.

De los Santos-Barbosa, an almost six-year veteran of the department, was transported to a hospital where he died from his injuries four days after he was shot.

De los Santos-Barbosa’s sister was also an officer with the department and was slain off-duty in 2010. De los Santos-Barbosa is survived by his nephew.

The suspect is facing 15 charges, including murder, narcotics violations and weapons violations.


Federal judge denies request to halt NYPD bodycam program

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mark Morales Newsday

NEW YORK — A federal judge denied a request by a coalition of police-reform groups that the NYPD’s body camera pilot program, set to begin next week, should be stopped and reviewed, claiming the plan has numerous problems that need to be fixed.

The decision, made by Manhattan U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres on Friday, clears a path to begin the program that aims to outfit about 1,200 NYPD officers with cameras.

Advocates have said the program is flawed because it doesn’t require cops to record enough encounters with the public. The advocates also objected, among other things, to officers having the right to view their recordings before making statements or writing reports.

“Structurally, it provides mechanisms to protect abusive police officers and not the public,” said Joo-Hyun Kang, director for Communities United for Police Reform.

A 2013 federal court decision in a class action suit brought against New York City over stop-and-frisk, which found that the police unconstitutionally targeted minorities, required the NYPD to create the camera plan.

The plan was approved by special monitor Peter Zimroth, who said in court filings that no further proceedings were necessary to start the program.

But attorneys for plaintiffs in the stop-and-frisk lawsuit filed legal papers late Wednesday asking Torres to overrule Zimroth’s approval of the camera program and delay the NYPD’s implementation of it. Advocates with Communities United For Police Reform said they also were filing briefs.

Torres said in her decision that certain aspects of the pilot program were not final recommendations and the reform groups’ claims were premature.

The cameras are expected to reach officers in the 34th Precinct, which covers Washington Heights, officials said.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision and we will move forward with deploying body cameras later next week,” said NYPD spokesman J. Peter Donald.

———

©2017 Newsday


Police pick up adorable intruders: A pair of pygmy goats

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BELFAST, Maine — Police in Maine have picked up some adorable intruders after two miniature goats escaped from their home and wandered the streets.

A Belfast police officer responded Sunday morning to find the pygmy goats in a woman's garage. They had been snacking on cat food. Officer Daniel Fitzpatrick used a cat leash to lead them into his squad car.

The trio drove around looking for the goats' owner as Fitzpatrick fed them carrots and celery. Belfast is a seaport town about 45 miles east of Augusta.

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***UPDATE*** The goats have been returned home. Louis and Mowgli enjoyed their day trip with Sgt. Fitzpatrick but alas,...

Posted by BELFAST (MAINE) POLICE DEPARTMENT on Sunday, April 23, 2017

The daughter of the goats' owner saw Fitzpatrick's Facebook post and picked up the pair, named Louis and Mowgli — but not before Fitzpatrick snapped a selfie with the duo.

Fitzpatrick called the runaways "good company" and joked about adding patrol goats to the next police budget.


Inspectors: Problems at ICE will slow deportations

Posted on April 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Joseph Tanfani Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, hampered by poor organization and an overworked staff, will have trouble keeping up with the Trump administration’s plans to ramp up deportations of people in the country illegally, government inspectors have concluded.

ICE has “overwhelming caseloads,” its records are “likely inaccurate” and its deportation policies and procedures “are outdated and unclear,” said a report released Thursday by the inspector general of the Homeland Security Department.

“ICE is almost certainly not deporting all the aliens who could be deported and will likely not be able to keep up with the growing number of deportable aliens,” the 19-page report concludes.

The harsh assessment is the latest dash of cold reality for Trump, who was swept into Washington promising vastly tougher enforcement of immigration laws, including more removals, thousands more Border Patrol agents and deportation officers, and construction of a formidable wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Congress faces a looming deadline to fund the federal government after members return next week, and the proposed wall and other new border security measures probably won’t get anything extra in this round of spending. Trump had asked Congress to provide an additional $5 billion this year.

A vast surge of new hiring is also problematic. Although Trump has signed an executive order directing the Border Patrol and ICE to hire 15,000 more agents and officers to boost enforcement, that goal will be nearly impossible to achieve anytime soon.

An internal memo in February from Kevin McAleenan, acting director of Customs and Border Protection, revealed that Border Patrol was able to vet and hire only about 40 agents a month last year despite aggressive efforts to streamline the hiring process.

Reports this year that Customs and Border Patrol might stop using polygraph tests, intended to ferret out unqualified agents, drew a storm of criticism. So did the reason: Two out of three new applicants had failed the lie detector.

The agency first required polygraph tests for prospective employees in 2012 after an Obama-era hiring surge led to a sharp increase in agents getting charged or arrested for bribery, drug smuggling and other crimes on or near the border.

Moreover, the Border Patrol — the nation’s largest federal law enforcement agency — has more than 2,000 jobs empty even before a Trump-led hiring surge. The force fell below 20,000 agents this year for the first time since 2009, when President Barack Obama came to office.

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly said Sunday that Customs and Border Protection would continue to use the polygraph as a hiring tool, although he added that the agency was considering changes to make the process less “arduous.”

Kelly, a retired Marine general, took the offensive in a speech at George Washington University on Tuesday, blaming poor morale in his department on what he called “pointless bureaucracy” and “disrespect and contempt” from political leaders.

“If lawmakers do not like the laws that we enforce … then they should have the courage and the skill to change those laws,” he said. “Otherwise, they should shut up and support the men and women on the front lines.”

Under the Trump administration, the Border Patrol and ICE have ramped up arrests of people in the country illegally — 21,362 from mid-January to mid-March, compared with about 16,100 for the same period last year.

Removals by ICE reached a peak of 409,000 a year under Obama before plummeting to 235,000 in 2015 and 240,000 last year.

In the first three months of this year, ICE has deported 54,936 people, a rate that appears to put the Trump administration on track to remove fewer people than the Obama administration.

On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions boasted during a visit to El Paso, Texas, of making progress, saying the number of people trying to cross the border illegally had fallen to the lowest in 17 years.

“For those that still seek to violate our laws and enter the country illegally, let me be very clear: Don’t come. When you are caught, you will be detained, adjudicated and deported,” he said.

Sessions said he had ordered each of the 94 U.S. attorneys offices to make criminal immigration enforcement a priority, and said each now has a “border security coordinator” who is personally responsible for overseeing immigration enforcement.

After taking office, Sessions ordered nearly every U.S. attorney in the country to resign. He has yet to nominate any replacements to the Senate, which must confirm each one, so it’s unclear when federal prosecutors will start to change their focus.

Sessions also said he had streamlined the hiring of immigration judges, and that the Justice Department would add 50 such judges this year and 75 next year to help adjudicate asylum claims, deportation orders and other disputes.

That will help but hardly solve the problem. There are now 250 immigration judges, and a backlog of 542,000 cases in immigration courts.

Moreover, the latest report from the inspector general’s office at Homeland Security said ICE agents, who are supposed to identify, detain and deport people in the country illegally, are ill-equipped to monitor those on their caseloads.

ICE tries to keep track of about 2.2 million foreigners who are not in jail, including more than 368,000 convicted criminals, the report said. Some officers have more than 10,000 cases, the report said, criticizing agency officials for not managing the problem.

“Although many ICE deportation officers … reported overwhelming caseloads and difficulty fulfilling their responsibilities, ICE does not collect and analyze data” that could be used to ease the pressure.

In one office, according to the report, officers complained that they had to manage so many thousands of cases that they couldn’t keep track of some migrants who had been flagged as risks to national security.

The report faulted ICE for insufficient training and failing to issue “up-to-date, comprehensive and accessible” guidelines on deportation. Resolving the failures, it said, “may require significant time and resources.”

“These management deficiencies and unresolved obstacles make it difficult for ICE to deport aliens expeditiously,” it said.

The inspector general’s office launched the review last year after Jean Jacques, a Haitian national, was released from ICE custody in 2015 even though he had been convicted of attempted murder and given a final order of deportation. While on the street, he killed another man.

———

©2017 Tribune Co.


2 groups arrested in Coachella cellphone thefts

Posted on April 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

INDIO, Calif. — Police have arrested five people in the theft of more than 40 cellphones, cash and credit cards at the Coachella music festival in the Southern California desert.

Indio police say multiple festival-goers reported the thefts, and investigators identified two separate groups of suspects who had multiple phones on them Saturday.

The Desert Sun reports that five people were booked into Riverside County jail on theft and conspiracy charges.

Police believe two women, 35-year-old Angela Trivino of New York City and 38-year-old Viviana Hernandez of Los Angeles, were working together. They identified the other group as 29-year-old Brenda Cansino of Miami, 27-year-old Marco Leon of Los Angeles and 25-year-old Sharon Ruiz of Van Nuys.

It's unclear whether they have attorneys.

One man was arrested at Coachella with more than 100 cellphones in his backpack on April 14.


2 groups arrested in Coachella cellphone thefts

Posted on April 23, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

INDIO, Calif. — Police have arrested five people in the theft of more than 40 cellphones, cash and credit cards at the Coachella music festival in the Southern California desert.

Indio police say multiple festival-goers reported the thefts, and investigators identified two separate groups of suspects who had multiple phones on them Saturday.

The Desert Sun reports that five people were booked into Riverside County jail on theft and conspiracy charges.

Police believe two women, 35-year-old Angela Trivino of New York City and 38-year-old Viviana Hernandez of Los Angeles, were working together. They identified the other group as 29-year-old Brenda Cansino of Miami, 27-year-old Marco Leon of Los Angeles and 25-year-old Sharon Ruiz of Van Nuys.

It's unclear whether they have attorneys.

One man was arrested at Coachella with more than 100 cellphones in his backpack on April 14.


Ala. officer given Legislative Medal of Honor

Posted on April 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A Lincoln police officer has been awarded the Legislative Medal of Honor for putting himself in danger to shoot and kill a man threatening people in a convenience store with a shotgun.

The Alabama Legislature recently gave the commendation to Lincoln Police Officer Zach Tutten.

Lawmakers said Tutten put himself in danger to prevent the man from killing people inside the store. The incident last spring began as a domestic violence call at the Discount Food Mart in Lincoln.

The commendation said the suspect in the assault returned to the store and Tutten followed him as he pulled his car to the store entrance and pointed a shotgun at the people inside the locked store.

Tutten fatally shot the man after he refused to drop the weapon.

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Officer Zack Tutten receiving the Medal of Honor from the Governor of Alabama at the State House on Thursday. Officer Tutten is the top cop of 2016 for the State of Alabama. Congratulations again Zack!

Posted by Lincoln Police Department on Friday, April 21, 2017


Pa. police ambush killer’s strategy to avoid death: Blame Dad

Posted on April 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Rubinkam Associated Press

MILFORD, Pa. — As Eric Frein tries to avoid death row for ambushing two Pennsylvania State Police troopers at their barracks, defense lawyers are suggesting they intend to raise questions about his father's influence on the gunman, a college dropout and ne'er-do-well who lived with his parents into his 30s.

Frein was convicted last week of all 12 counts against him in the 2014 attack that killed 38-year-old Cpl. Bryon Dickson, a married father of two and trooper-of-the-year nominee, and left Trooper Alex Douglass with debilitating injuries.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Frein, 33, who they say targeted state police because he was trying to foment an uprising against the government. Frein's lawyers want the jury to sentence him to life without parole.

The penalty phase opened with Dickson's widow giving emotional testimony about her family's loss, and Douglass telling jurors he might lose his lower leg to amputation. The jury learned about Dickson's passion for getting drunken drivers off the road.

The defense has comparatively little to work with as they try to persuade jurors to spare Frein's life.

Their case, which begins in earnest on Monday, will partly focus on the killer's relationship with his father, Eugene Michael Frein, a retired Army major.

Defense lawyer William Ruzzo said Eric Frein tried to emulate his dad but didn't measure up. His father was a decent football player; Eric got hurt. His father was a career military man; Eric enjoyed military re-enacting. His father got a doctorate in microbiology; Eric majored in science but "either failed out or drifted away," Ruzzo told jurors.

"He was a geeky guy who played video games excessively," the lawyer said.

His father, meanwhile, held some out-of-the-mainstream views about law enforcement. He thought police wielded too much power, insisting sheriff's departments should be the primary enforcer of laws because at least sheriffs are elected and thus can be held accountable, according to Ruzzo.

Eric's few friends "tried to avoid Mike Frein because they didn't want to listen to his ranting and raving," he said.

Not Eric. He'd descend from his bedroom for late-night bull sessions with his father.

Michael Frein exaggerated his military exploits, telling his son he'd been a sniper who had seen combat, Ruzzo said.

It turned out Eric was a better shot than his father, excelling at marksmanship in high school. He put those skills to deadly use on Sept. 12, 2014, when he shot Dickson and Douglass from a distance of 87 yards, then disappeared into the woods until his capture 48 days later.

While eluding police, he wrote to his parents that only revolution "can get us back the liberties we once had."

Ruzzo made clear that Frein's father did not incite his son to violence against police. What Eric Frein really needed was discipline and a good talking-to about how he was wasting his life, the lawyer said.

"Someone, somewhere should've had that talk with him," he said. "Does that diminish Eric's responsibility? No, absolutely not."

Michael Frein, who attended some of the trial, is scheduled to testify on his son's behalf.

Any mitigation offered by the defense would have to outweigh the aggravating factors that jurors will take into consideration as they weigh Frein's fate: The gunman killed a law enforcement officer, and he did it while committing other felonies. Frein was convicted of first-degree murder, attempted murder, terrorism and other felony counts.

"There's but one decision to make when it comes to full justice, and that is to sentence this defendant to death," Pike County First Assistant District Attorney Bruce DeSarro told the jury.


Va. officer shoots knife-wielding man

Posted on April 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — Police say an officer in Virginia shot a knife-wielding man who had earlier told dispatchers that he strangled his wife.

The Richmond Police Department says officers were called to an apartment complex early Sunday after a man told a dispatcher that he strangled his wife and was holding a gun to his head.

Police say officers found the man at the front door of the residence and an officer used a stun gun, which police say "proved ineffective." Police say the man then threatened the officers with a knife and an officer shot the man once.

Police say the man was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police say officers found a woman's body in the residence.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave, per department policy.


Sessions praises NYPD after ‘soft on crime’ controversy

Posted on April 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the New York Police Department has developed "some of the best" policing techniques ever and should be studied, just days after the Justice Department chastised New York City for a "soft on crime" stance.

The Republican Sessions said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that the Justice Department statement was in reference to the city's so-called sanctuary city policy that limits cooperation with federal immigration authorities, but praised the city's law enforcement for efforts to make the city safer.

City officials had strongly criticized the statement, with NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill saying that it was "absolutely ludicrous" and noting that violent crime is continuing to fall and the number of shootings last year was the lowest since records began being kept.


Police arrest man with knife at Paris’ Gare du Nord station

Posted on April 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Raphael Satter Associated Press

PARIS — A man with a knife has been arrested by police at Paris' Gare du Nord station, sending a brief ripple of concern over social media a day before the French presidential vote. No one was injured.

A French police official told The Associated Press that a man carrying a knife walked into the station and was flagged to police, who arrested him immediately. Video online shows heavily armed police surrounding a prone man as travelers hurried past.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak publicly.

The Gare de Nord is one of the French capital's top transit hubs, serving the city's metro, suburban trains as well as intercity and high-speed trains like the Eurostar from London.

Passengers flee Gare du Nord in Paris as police arrest man #Paris pic.twitter.com/twiejWOAYc

— Hannah Bayman (@hannahbayman) April 22, 2017

Fransa #Paris gene hareketli. Gare Du Nord metrosunda b?çakl? bir adam yakaland?. Frans?z Polisi su an bagajlar? kontrol ediyor. pic.twitter.com/jVVXYvA586

— Ali jean çorakç? (@alijeancorakci) April 22, 2017

Passengers held on Eurostar platform at Gare du Nord after police arrest a man #Paris pic.twitter.com/kfLaK9fNmB

— Hannah Bayman (@hannahbayman) April 22, 2017


Family of slain Mass. officer thanks Tom Brady for support

Posted on April 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jeff Howe The Boston Herald

AUBURN, Mass. — Through unimaginable tragedy, quarterback Tom Brady and his Patriots teammates rallied to help the family of a slain Massachusetts police officer pull itself back together.

Tricia Tarentino's husband, Ronald, was shot and killed in the line of duty last May 22 while on patrol in Auburn, leaving her with their three boys to raise alone.

That's when Brady stepped in.

Brady and his Patriots pals rallied to help a cause that raised $86,000 for the fallen officer's family. Brady donated a signed home-game jersey that sold for $6,000 at a fundraiser, with Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski also pitching in gear.

But it was Brady who started the goodwill flowing.

"That immediate response shows where his heart is at, and that Ron's death has made an impact on him as well," Tricia Tarentino told the Herald yesterday. "Ron was just that kind of person. He had an amazing personality and wanted to reach out to help others. I think that's why so many people have responded to this tragedy. It's just a great loss."

Tarentino said Brady's generosity also lifted her boys' spirits when they needed it most.

"They've grown up watching Tom Brady and looking up to him," Tarentino said of her sons, Ronald III, 21; Spenser, 18; and Kyle, 15. "I can't even tell you how great their response was. They were blown away. They were so excited. He is a role model that my boys will now, because they have that personal connection, will always look up to more than they already did."

It's a reminder of how Brady's commitment to the region goes beyond Sundays on the football field.

"We have the deepest gratitude for his kindness and generosity. Just reaching out to our family in our time of need is unbelievable," she said. "We're so fortunate that he is part of the greater New England family and was kind enough to donate his time to do this. To be there for us, it means a lot to us."

So here's how it all unfolded.

Ronald Tarentino Jr. and childhood friend Rob Bjorkgren grew up together in Tewksbury, where Bjorkgren is currently a police officer.

Tarentino worked for the Leicester Police Department before joining the Auburn force. A few days after Tarentino was killed during a routine traffic stop and his suspected shooter was gunned down, Bjorkgren's wife, Nicole, mustered up the courage to approach Brady at his annual Best Buddies bike ride.

Nicole asked Brady for 10 seconds of his time. He stopped and looked intently in her eyes as she explained the Tarentino tragedy.

"I really want to help," Brady told Nicole.

"I couldn't even believe it was coming out of my mouth," Nicole recalled. "I can't say enough about him as an individual."

A mutual friend -- Marc Ginsburg, owner of the Tewksbury Country Club -- then helped out and Brady's jersey was soon on the way.

"Nicole is such an amazing woman," Tarentino said. "She's got the biggest heart, and she was just trying to help us in any way that she could."

Three weeks later, Brady mailed them the home-game Patriots jersey, which he autographed on the back, to use for the auction. Edelman then found out and shipped over a signed football. Gronkowski caught wind of it and asked Rob Bjorkgren to come to his house to pick up his own signed jersey.

Brady's jersey was the most coveted item of the Aug. 11 event. Due to the overwhelming support, Tricia Tarentino has since reached out to the families of fallen first responders to assist.

She understands too well the pain of such a loss as well as the elation of a community that works selflessly to pick up a family in need.

Tarentino's emotions are wide-ranging 11 months after her husband's death, but the family simply wants to say thank you to Brady and the Patriots who came to their aid.

"It meant the world to my family and myself," she said. "I know they don't know us, but the fact that they did that to show support for another family in Massachusetts clearly shows they value family."

___ (c)2017 the Boston Herald


LA Police Commission: Police must ‘defuse tense counters before firing guns’

Posted on April 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kate Mather Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Commission voted Tuesday to require officers to try, whenever possible, to defuse tense encounters before firing their guns — a policy shift that marks a significant milestone in the board’s attempts to curb shootings by police.

The new rules formally incorporate a decades-old concept called “de-escalation” into the Los Angeles Police Department’s policy outlining how and when officers can use deadly force. As a result, officers can now be judged specifically on whether they did all they could to reduce tensions before resorting to their firearms.

Tuesday’s unanimous vote caps a 13-month effort by the Police Commission to revise the policy. Two sentences will be added to the department’s manual, the first of which tells officers they must try to de-escalate a situation — “whenever it is safe and reasonable to do so” — by taking more time to let it unfold, moving away from the person and trying to talk to him or her, and calling in other resources.

Not everyone supported the new policy, however. The American Civil Liberties Union sent the commission a letter before Tuesday’s meeting expressing concern the revisions did not go far enough to explicitly state that de-escalation would be considered when determining whether an officer’s use of force was reasonable.

Without such language, the letter said, the ACLU urged commissioners to “refuse to accept the proposed revisions as complete.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, the commission’s inspector general said because commissioners can consider whether an officer’s actions before a shooting contributed to that shooting, the revisions do allow the panel to consider an officer’s de-escalation efforts — or lack of them — when deciding if a shooting was justified or not.

New training and directives from the LAPD reinforce the importance of de-escalation and the policy change, the inspector general, Alex Bustamante, added.

The revamped policy is the latest in a series of changes the five-person Police Commission has made in hopes of reducing shootings by officers. For almost two years, the civilian panel has pushed LAPD brass for more training and to provide officers with less-lethal devices, as well as a stronger emphasis on avoiding deadly force whenever possible.

Other law enforcement agencies have done the same. As criticism of policing flared across the country, particularly after deadly shootings by officers, officials looked to de-escalation as a way to help restore public trust. Like the LAPD, agencies have emphasized the approach in training and policies.

In Seattle, the Police Department’s manual requires that officers attempt de-escalation strategies and lists some examples, such as trying to calm someone down verbally, calling a mental health unit to the scene or asking for help from officers with less-lethal devices. Santa Monica, Calif., police have similar rules in place, telling officers to try to “slow down, reduce the intensity or stabilize the situation” to minimize the need to use force.

The focus on de-escalation represents a broader shift in law enforcement, said Samuel Walker, a retired criminal justice professor and expert in police accountability. Now, he said, there’s an understanding that officers can shape how an encounter plays out. Just as some approaches increase the likelihood that force will be used, others will reduce those chances. The LAPD’s new policy reflects that, Walker said.

“This is absolutely the right thing to do,” he added.

The move comes after a year in which the Police Commission ruled eight shootings by LAPD officers were unjustified — the highest number in at least a decade, according to a Los Angeles Times review of nearly 440 shootings reviewed since 2007.

At the same time, the Times found, commissioners more often faulted the tactics officers used before a shooting, such as forgetting to carry a Taser or splitting from a partner during a foot chase. Last year, the panel decided there were tactical errors in 50 percent of the 46 shootings it reviewed, up from 32 percent the year before and 16 percent a decade ago.

Also on Tuesday, the LAPD released a 400-plus page report detailing how and when officers used force in 2016. It was the second year in a row that the department published such an analysis, another effort designed to help identify ways to reduce the amount of force officers use.

The number of shootings fell last year, down to 40 from 48 in 2015. Nineteen people were killed by police gunfire, a slight decrease from the 21 killed in 2015.

In more than half of the shootings last year, police shot at someone who had a gun, according to the LAPD’s report. Four more involved someone with a replica or pellet gun. Five others involved knives or some other type of edged weapon.

The number of incidents involving less-serious forms of force — such as when an officer grabs someone or uses a less-lethal device — rose by 100 last year, to 1,925. Officers used Tasers in 573 of those encounters — about 50 more times than last year.

The report outlined the efforts the LAPD has made in recent months to reduce shootings by officers: More Tasers have been deployed across the department, and more officers have been assigned to mental health units. Only four of the people shot at last year showed signs of mental illness, a significant drop from 2015, when nearly a third of the 48 people fired upon showed such signs.

In addition, the report said, LAPD brass issued a department-wide directive last fall outlining how officers should try to de-escalate confrontations. There is also a new policy in place requiring a supervisor and officers with a bean-bag shotgun or another less-lethal device that shoots foam rounds to respond to calls reporting people armed with edged weapons. Supervisors must also respond to calls involving people showing signs of mental illness.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Justice Dept threatens sanctuary cities in immigration fight

Posted on April 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sadie Gurman Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration intensified its threats to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to comply with federal immigration authorities, warning nine jurisdictions Friday that they may lose coveted law enforcement grant money unless they document cooperation.

It sent letters to officials in California and major cities including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans, all places the Justice Department's inspector general has identified as limiting the information local law enforcement can provide to federal immigration authorities about those in their custody.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has warned that the administration will punish communities that refuse to cooperate with efforts to find and deport immigrants in the country illegally. But some of the localities remained defiant, despite risking the loss of funds that police agencies use to pay for everything from body cameras to bulletproof vests.

"We're not going to cave to these threats," Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic said, promising a legal fight if the money is pulled.

Playing off Sessions' recent comments that sanctuary cities undermine the fight against gangs, the Justice Department said the communities under financial threat are "crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime."

After a raid led to the arrests of 11 MS-13 gang members in California's Bay Area "city officials seemed more concerned with reassuring illegal immigrants that the raid was unrelated to immigration than with warning other MS-13 members that they were next," the department said in a statement.

The federal law in question says state and local governments may not prohibit police or sheriffs from sharing information about a person's immigration status with federal authorities.

The money could be withheld in the future, or terminated, if local officials fail to prove they are following the law, wrote Alan R. Hanson, acting head of the Office of Justice Programs. The grant program is the leading source of federal justice funding to states and local communities.

Kevin de Leon, leader of California's state Senate, rejected the administration's demand, saying its policies are based on "principles of white supremacy" and not American values.

"Their constant and systematic targeting of diverse cities and states goes beyond constitutional norms and will be challenged at every level," he said.

Leaders in Chicago and Cook County, which shared a grant of more than $2.3 million in 2016, dismissed the threat. So did the mayor's office in New York City, which received $4.3 million. The Justice Department singled out Chicago's rise in homicides and said New York's gang killings were the "predictable consequence of the city's soft-on-crime stance."

"This grandstanding shows how out of touch the Trump administration is with reality," said Seith Stein, a spokesman for the New York City mayor's office, calling the comments "alternative facts." Crime is low thanks to policies that encourage police cooperation with immigrant communities, he said.

The jurisdictions also include Clark County, Nevada; Miami-Dade County, Florida; and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

They were singled out in a May 2016 report by the Justice Department's inspector general that found local policies or rules could interfere with providing information to immigration agents. Following the report, the Obama administration warned cities that they could miss out on grant money if they did not comply with the law, but it never actually withheld funds.

The report pointed to a Milwaukee County rule that immigration detention requests be honored only if the person has been convicted of one felony or two misdemeanors, has been charged with domestic violence or drunken driving, is a gang member, or is on a terrorist watch list, among other constraints.

It also took issue with a New Orleans Police Department policy that it said might hinder communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That city received nearly $266,000 in grant money through the program in fiscal year 2016. New Orleans has used Justice Department funding to pay for testing DNA kits, police body cameras, attorneys for domestic violence victims and other expenses.

Zach Butterworth, Mayor Mitch Landrieu's executive counsel and director of federal relations, said the city drafted its policies in consultation with federal immigration and Homeland Security officials. It was reviewing the Justice Department's letter.

"We don't think there's a problem," he said.

Butterworth said the New Orleans Police Department has seen a 28 percent drop in calls for service from people with limited English since November.

"People are scared, and because of that, they're less willing to report crime," Butterworth added.

Other places also insisted they were in compliance. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, the elected head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, said the city and county were wrongly labeled sanctuary cities.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said that community is hardly succumbing to violence.

"Milwaukee County has its challenges but they are not caused by illegal immigration," he said in a statement. "My far greater concern is the proactive dissemination of misinformation, fear, and intolerance."


First responders pay last respects to Okla. K-9

Posted on April 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Wendy Burton Muskogee Phoenix

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — K-9 Officer Bosco rode for the last time in the back of the Special Operations Unit truck he had served in during his service to the Muskogee Police Department on Friday. He rode side-by-side with his long-time partner, Lt. William Peters.

They were escorted by a multitude of law enforcement officers and first responders as the 11-year-old German shepherd was taken to be euthanized at the Eastside Veterinary Clinic.

Bosco looked around slowly, and barely stayed upright as he was gently laid on a Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service stretcher outside the clinic. Law enforcement officers from the police department, Special Investigations Unit, sheriff’s office, and MCEMS lined up outside, silently awaiting the news Bosco was gone.

“577. 577. 577. K-9 Officer Bosco served the Muskogee Police Department with honor, distinction and bravery from 2008 to 2014. End of watch April 20, 2017. Thank you for your service. You will be missed,” said a Muskogee E-911 dispatcher over the police radio a short time after Bosco was wheeled inside.

Bosco was a partner to Muskogee Police Department Lt. William Peters. The award-winning K-9 worked primarily with the Special Operations Unit, and the duo were named Oklahoma State Canine Team of the Year by the Association of Oklahoma Narcotic Enforcers in 2013.

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K9 Bosco, though you may be gone, you are not forgotten. Your dedication, drive, courage, and friendship is what made you great. Thank you. You will be greatly missed. EOW- 4-20-2017.

Posted by Muskogee Officer on Thursday, April 20, 2017

Peters said Bosco has been living with his family since the K-9 retired from service in 2014. The dog had difficulty standing, and was suffering from hip dysplasia and a myriad of other health problems, he said.

“Obviously, I didn’t want to,” Peters said. “But he spent so much time taking care of us, I felt like we had to care of him so he’s not hurting anymore.”

Bosco’s last days were happy, though, Peters said, and after he is cremated, his remains will go back home with Peters.

“Living with me, that was the cool thing since he retired,” Peters said. “I have a 4-year-old daughter, and they played quite a bit.”

After the dispatcher announced Bosco had died to the assembled officers and emergency responders, Peters came outside and hugged each and every one.

Then, he brought out a folded American flag, badge and vest and laid it gently in the back of the special operations truck.

———

©2017 the Muskogee Phoenix (Muskogee, Okla.)


LA Police Commission: Police must ‘defuse tense encounters before firing guns’

Posted on April 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kate Mather Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Commission voted Tuesday to require officers to try, whenever possible, to defuse tense encounters before firing their guns — a policy shift that marks a significant milestone in the board’s attempts to curb shootings by police.

The new rules formally incorporate a decades-old concept called “de-escalation” into the Los Angeles Police Department’s policy outlining how and when officers can use deadly force. As a result, officers can now be judged specifically on whether they did all they could to reduce tensions before resorting to their firearms.

Tuesday’s unanimous vote caps a 13-month effort by the Police Commission to revise the policy. Two sentences will be added to the department’s manual, the first of which tells officers they must try to de-escalate a situation — “whenever it is safe and reasonable to do so” — by taking more time to let it unfold, moving away from the person and trying to talk to him or her, and calling in other resources.

Not everyone supported the new policy, however. The American Civil Liberties Union sent the commission a letter before Tuesday’s meeting expressing concern the revisions did not go far enough to explicitly state that de-escalation would be considered when determining whether an officer’s use of force was reasonable.

Without such language, the letter said, the ACLU urged commissioners to “refuse to accept the proposed revisions as complete.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, the commission’s inspector general said because commissioners can consider whether an officer’s actions before a shooting contributed to that shooting, the revisions do allow the panel to consider an officer’s de-escalation efforts — or lack of them — when deciding if a shooting was justified or not.

New training and directives from the LAPD reinforce the importance of de-escalation and the policy change, the inspector general, Alex Bustamante, added.

The revamped policy is the latest in a series of changes the five-person Police Commission has made in hopes of reducing shootings by officers. For almost two years, the civilian panel has pushed LAPD brass for more training and to provide officers with less-lethal devices, as well as a stronger emphasis on avoiding deadly force whenever possible.

Other law enforcement agencies have done the same. As criticism of policing flared across the country, particularly after deadly shootings by officers, officials looked to de-escalation as a way to help restore public trust. Like the LAPD, agencies have emphasized the approach in training and policies.

In Seattle, the Police Department’s manual requires that officers attempt de-escalation strategies and lists some examples, such as trying to calm someone down verbally, calling a mental health unit to the scene or asking for help from officers with less-lethal devices. Santa Monica, Calif., police have similar rules in place, telling officers to try to “slow down, reduce the intensity or stabilize the situation” to minimize the need to use force.

The focus on de-escalation represents a broader shift in law enforcement, said Samuel Walker, a retired criminal justice professor and expert in police accountability. Now, he said, there’s an understanding that officers can shape how an encounter plays out. Just as some approaches increase the likelihood that force will be used, others will reduce those chances. The LAPD’s new policy reflects that, Walker said.

“This is absolutely the right thing to do,” he added.

The move comes after a year in which the Police Commission ruled eight shootings by LAPD officers were unjustified — the highest number in at least a decade, according to a Los Angeles Times review of nearly 440 shootings reviewed since 2007.

At the same time, the Times found, commissioners more often faulted the tactics officers used before a shooting, such as forgetting to carry a Taser or splitting from a partner during a foot chase. Last year, the panel decided there were tactical errors in 50 percent of the 46 shootings it reviewed, up from 32 percent the year before and 16 percent a decade ago.

Also on Tuesday, the LAPD released a 400-plus page report detailing how and when officers used force in 2016. It was the second year in a row that the department published such an analysis, another effort designed to help identify ways to reduce the amount of force officers use.

The number of shootings fell last year, down to 40 from 48 in 2015. Nineteen people were killed by police gunfire, a slight decrease from the 21 killed in 2015.

In more than half of the shootings last year, police shot at someone who had a gun, according to the LAPD’s report. Four more involved someone with a replica or pellet gun. Five others involved knives or some other type of edged weapon.

The number of incidents involving less-serious forms of force — such as when an officer grabs someone or uses a less-lethal device — rose by 100 last year, to 1,925. Officers used Tasers in 573 of those encounters — about 50 more times than last year.

The report outlined the efforts the LAPD has made in recent months to reduce shootings by officers: More Tasers have been deployed across the department, and more officers have been assigned to mental health units. Only four of the people shot at last year showed signs of mental illness, a significant drop from 2015, when nearly a third of the 48 people fired upon showed such signs.

In addition, the report said, LAPD brass issued a department-wide directive last fall outlining how officers should try to de-escalate confrontations. There is also a new policy in place requiring a supervisor and officers with a bean-bag shotgun or another less-lethal device that shoots foam rounds to respond to calls reporting people armed with edged weapons. Supervisors must also respond to calls involving people showing signs of mental illness.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


NC police board clears officer in fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott

Posted on April 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina police department review board has cleared an officer in a fatal shooting that sparked several days of protests and riots last year.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Shooting Review Board determined that Officer Brentley Vinson followed proper procedure in last September's shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott. The board met Monday.

The board's report said Vinson's use of deadly force was justified and his actions were consistent with North Carolina law.

In announcing in November that no charges would be filed against Vinson, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray said Scott was armed with a handgun and Vinson feared Scott would shoot.

The Charlotte Observer reported an attorney for Scott's family criticized the police department, saying the decision shows, "it's darn near impossible to investigate yourself."


Textalyzer: NY distracted driving law advances

Posted on April 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Andrea Fox, P1 Contributor

NEW YORK — Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz, who introduced a proposed New York state law in 2016 that would enable law enforcement officers at the scene of an auto accident to use a device to determine when a driver's smartphone was last used, said authorizing police use of textalyzer technology is as important as the breathalyzer has been to reducing drunk driving deaths.

Proponents of the legislation, dubbed Evan's Law, are emboldened by new data and studies that show increased smartphone use while driving has a direct correlation to 2016 being the deadliest year for motor vehicle accidents in nine years. Last year more than 40,000 Americans died in automobile accidents -- an increase of 6 percent over 2015 and a 14 percent increase over 2014, according to the National Safety Council.

The New York Senate version of the bill has advanced out of its transportation committee and moved forward to the finance committee on March 21st, while the New York Assembly legislation is in the transportation committee.

A recent University of Pennsylvania study found that in-car breathalyzers for previous drunk-driving offenders have curbed drunk-driving deaths by 15 percent. Proponents say the textalyzer technology could do the same thing for deaths caused by distracted driving -- while the proposed law ensures privacy.

Supportive Studies

According to data reviewed by the Alliance Combating Distracted Driving (ACDD), the increased 2016 fatalities happened despite continued reductions in drunk driving and increased use of seat belts. ACDD said that despite a 3.3 percent increase of the number of drivers on the road, an 18-year declining trend in crashes per vehicle miles traveled (VMT) should have continued.

This study looked at the relationship between yearly crashes and VMT since 1994, and found that new crash causes emerged in 2012, which they attribute to an increase in cellphone ownership:

"The introduction and dependence of smartphones trend is more in aligned with this spike than any other factor. Distracted driving information at crashes remains almost nonexistent so its impossible to pinpoint the exact cause. We can determine that the rate increase is more profound than can be explained by a more populated roadway," according to ACDD.

A new 90-day study by Zendrive, whose technology supports a General Motors and Life360 Driver Protect application that accesses smartphones to detect and illicit faster response to auto accidents and is racking up data on millions of miles driven for future use by insurance carriers, supports the claim that drivers distracted by smartphones are causing more accidents.

Zendrive calculated that drivers are handling their cell phones 88 percent of the time.

For its study, Zendrive tracked anonymized data from 3.1 million of its 5 million users, according to the executive summary. The company calculated the ratio between the average daily trip time and the average amount of time drivers used their phones. The rate is based on results showing cellphone use in 88 out of every 100 trips, which totaled 600 million trips with phone use in the United States during the study.

"By comparing duration to duration, i.e. apples to apples, Zendrive came up with the most direct and accurate measurement of driver distraction," according to the summary, which also noted that Vermont had the highest level of driver phone use, and Oregon had the lowest.

A 2015 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that potentially unsafe levels of mental distraction occur even if drivers eyes are on the road and hands are on the wheel. Distracted driving could last as long as 15 to 27 seconds after completing a voice-activated, hands-free task, which analyzed a range of the easiest to the most complex tasks in commercially available, voice-activated systems.

Textalyzer Technology

Ben Lieberman co-founder of Distracted Operators Risk Casualties, whose son died as a result of terminal injuries sustained in an automobile accident where the driver's cellphone logs his family subpoenaed revealed texting throughout the trip, said police could not investigate the driver's phone in the 2011 crash due to privacy.

The result is a "nameless and faceless crime," Lieberman said.

James Grady, chief executive officer of Cellebrite, told EfficientGov in a recent press call that the textalyzer technology could be brought to market within six to nine months of a distracted driver law passing.

The Israeli company already works with law enforcement throughout the United States on mobile data forensics. In a proof of concept, Grady said Cellebrite demonstrated that the company's existing mobile data forensics technology could be modified. While ensuring privacy, a textalyzer device would give officers the ability to determine -- within 90 seconds -- if a smartphone's applications had been used -- but without revealing or reporting on any of the material content.

Privacy Exchange

"We have to fight through some bad information," Lieberman said, noting that publications like the Washington Post and others frequently use the same erroneous quotes, such as:

"The technology may in fact be scanning through the content of people’s phones and collecting data, even if that is not apparent," which is a statement by the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Lieberman said statements like these about the textalyzer prototype developed are absolutely not accurate.

Additional Resources

Access a National Safety Council Cell Phone Policy Kit for Employers.


Cops: 10 pounds of pot wrongly sent to Pa. pastor

Posted on April 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

YEADON, Pa. — Police are trying to determine who shipped 10 pounds of marijuana from California to a pastor in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Yeadon police tell WTXF-TV the drugs arrived Thursday, in bundles stuffed into a plastic bucket inside a cardboard box that was delivered by United Parcel Service.

The package was sent from Sacramento.

But the woman who received it is a church pastor who tells authorities it wasn't meant for her. Police believe someone else might have been instructed to watch for the package, but failed to pick it up.

Police Chief Donald Molineux says the pastor is "very upset and traumatized" and afraid someone might come to her home looking for the drugs.

Police are hoping surveillance video from a drop-off location will identify who shipped the package.


Audit: Conn. police underreporting required racial profiling data

Posted on April 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Dave Collins Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — Police in Connecticut's capital city have failed to report thousands of traffic stops as required by a state law aimed to prevent racial profiling, data analysts said Friday.

Hartford police submitted records for about 2,000 traffic stops between Oct. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2016, but dispatch logs show there were about 6,500 stops during the same period, according to an audit by analysts at Central Connecticut State University.

Police brass said they are confident officers collected the required data and they're looking into why data from several thousand paper forms filled out by officers weren't submitted. They said there might have been a computer problem or a data-entry problem.

There also may be similar underreporting problems in Bridgeport and New London, but officials in those cities have not responded to requests to see their dispatch logs, said Ken Barone, an analyst with the university's Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy. The institute compiles the statewide traffic stop data, which officials say is the most comprehensive examination of police stops in any U.S. state.

The Hartford audit was discussed Friday at a meeting of the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project Advisory Board, which oversees the data collection and expressed concern that underreporting problems would damage public confidence.

Members said they were considering whether to warn Hartford and other cities that they could lose state funding for failing to submit accurate data. They also noted that the vast majority of the more than 100 police agencies in the state are complying with the reporting requirements.

"I think at the very least we need to put these departments on notice," said board member David McGuire, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut. "This is really troublesome."

Board Chairman William Dyson, a former state lawmaker, added, "The intent is not to smear any department. The intent is to have credible data."

Analysts also said there were a variety of errors on the Hartford forms they did receive.

Hartford is one of only a few departments in the state that has officers fill out paper forms after each traffic stop. Officers in nearly every other department enter information on their in-vehicle computers.

Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said there appeared to be problems with entering data from the paper forms into a computer system, or in sending the data to the institute.

Foley said police officials are investigating, and similar problems in the future should be avoided because officers will be entering the data into computers in their vehicles.

Police officials in Bridgeport and New London did not immediately return messages Friday.

The Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy has been compiling the data since October 2013 for reports analyzing the race and ethnicity of drivers stopped by police and why they were stopped.

The reports have said Connecticut police stop black and Hispanic drivers at disproportionately high rates.

The most recent data showed police statewide reported making about 586,000 traffic stops between Oct. 1, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2015.

About 14 percent of the stops involved black drivers, while black people of driving age comprise 9 percent of the state's population. Nearly 13 percent of traffic stops involved Hispanic drivers, while Hispanics of driving age comprise 12 percent of Connecticut residents.


Police officer killed in Paris was on duty at Bataclan

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Samuel Petrequin Associated Press

PARIS — The Paris police officer who was shot to death while at work on the French capital's most famous boulevard had seen firsthand the horror that could be carried out in the name of the Islamic State group.

Xavier Jugele was one of the officers who raced to the Bataclan concert hall the night three armed men in suicide bombs stormed a show and slaughtered 90 people on Nov. 13, 2015.

In the latest attack, Jugele was the only person killed when an assailant opened fire with an assault rifle on a police van parked on the Champs-Elysees. The Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility, and authorities say the gunman had a note defending IS with him.

Paris police declined to give details about Jugele's career and life, saying his family had asked for privacy. Mickael Bucheron, president of a French association of LGBT police officers, told The Associated Press Jugele would have celebrated his 38th birthday at the beginning of May.

"He was a very simple man, with a big heart. A real nice guy," Flag! Vice President Alain Parmentier told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "And he really loved his job."

Jugele was in the van's driver's seat when he was shot dead. Two other officers were wounded. The attacker was shot and killed by officers at the scene.

Laurent, a police colleague and friend of Jugele's who also was deployed to the Bataclan attack, said Jugele was in a civil union and that his partner has a child. Laurent asked not to be identified by his last name because he does not represent the Paris police officially.

Both officers returned to the concert venue a year later when it reopened with a concert by Sting. Jugele told People magazine at the time how happy he was to be "here to defend our civic values."

"It's symbolic. We're here tonight as witnesses. This concert's to celebrate life. To say no to terrorists," he said.

Jugele had worked in the Paris area as a police officer since 2011. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Paris police department's public order and traffic division.

"It was one of his final missions, he was about to join another service," Parmentier said.

Jugele had received praised from his bosses earlier this year for his courage during the evacuation of a building ravaged by an accidental blast in the western Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt.

Laurent said Jugele had also served in Greece for Frontex, the agency in charge of border control of Europe's 26-nation Schengen Area.

French president Francois Hollande said a national tribute will be paid to Jugele, "who was cowardly assassinated."


Local Texas police deploy ‘dirt bike’ unit

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

FORT WORTH, Texas — Fort Worth police have a new tool for search and rescue efforts: dirt bikes.

The bikes will be used to help officers access hard-to-reach areas, NBC DFW reported.

“These bikes will go places nobody else can go,” Officer Walter May said. “We can cover the ground so much faster than officers walking.”

The eight dual-sport motorcycles were donated to the department by the Tarrant Regional Water District to help boost local search and rescue efforts, the news station reported.

“Just recently we had someone on the trail, they had a phone, they got hurt and they didn’t know where they were and there was a lot of manpower used most of it on foot,” May said. “We could cover that ground a whole lot quicker and find them quicker.”

The motor unit officers have been training on local trails, motocross tracks and Texas Motor Speedway. Each bike comes equipped with lights and sirens.

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Don’t be surprised if you see Fort Worth officers on dirt bikes. Read more --> http://on.nbcdfw.com/zkujWJq

Posted by NBC DFW on Friday, April 21, 2017


Dash cam released of ex-felon opening fire on Mo. cop

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By Glenn E. Rice The Kansas City Star

LIBERTY, Mo. — Moments after Pleasant Valley police officer Jacob Baldwin was shot in the face, blood gushing from his nose, he knew he was gravely injured. All he could think about was living to see his 7-year-old daughter again.

“I was just thinking about the power, the desire to live,” Baldwin said Wednesday after his assailant was sentenced in Clay County Circuit Court to 100 years in prison.

“The willpower is very strong,” Baldwin said. “I was lucky, at the same time, pretty hard-headed. That’s all I was thinking about: getting back to my daughter.”

Omar Maria, 33, of Kansas City was charged in December 2014 with assault on a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action for the incident that happened during a traffic stop on Interstate 35 just north of Interstate 435.

Baldwin pulled over a green Honda Accord driven by Maria for a vehicle registration violation. Maria jumped out of the vehicle and fired several shots from a semiautomatic handgun toward the windshield of Baldwin’s police car before Baldwin could get out, prosecutors said.

Baldwin, who was 37 at the time, was struck in the face. He radioed for help as the gunman got back in his vehicle and sped away.

After searching overnight, authorities received a tip about Maria’s location. He was arrested after a brief standoff at a residence in the 1900 block of Parallel Avenue in Kansas City, Kan.

A Clay County jury convicted Maria following a criminal trial in March.

During the sentencing on Wednesday, Baldwin said the bullet that struck him remains lodged below his right eye and glass fragments also remain embedded on the side of his face. Occasionally, Baldwin said he experiences double vision and headaches. He has nerve damage and issues with his sinuses.

Baldwin displayed no emotion as prosecutors played the six-minute video of the Dec. 13, 2014 traffic stop. The video showed Maria pulling over and immediately fire eight gunshots at Baldwin as he stepped out of his sedan. Baldwin returned fire as Maria sped away.

“It wasn’t anything that I could do to prevent it,” Baldwin testified. “Every time I look in the mirror, I can see that scar.”

Prosecutors asked Circuit Judge David Chamberlain to sentence Maria, who has three felony convictions, to life in prison for shooting Baldwin and 1,000 years in prison on the weapons conviction.

Maria, who was born in California, has prior criminal convictions in Jackson County from 2008. Two involved vehicle thefts and one involved a drug possession charge. He served 120 days in prison before being released on probation, which he later violated.

Those felony convictions meant Maria could not legally possess a firearm or ammunition.

His mother, Joyce Wagner said she was shaken and fell to her knees after receiving a phone call from her husband that Baldwin had been shot.

“I just prayed that God wouldn’t let him die and he saved him,” Wagner said after the sentencing. “Not only for us but for his daughter.”

———

©2017 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

Officer Jacob Baldwin talks after the sentencing about his fight to stay alive after being shot by Omar Maria pic.twitter.com/3GvywpQ2NB

— Glenn E. Rice (@GRicekcstar) April 19, 2017

Survey: Majority of first responders face workplace mental health challenges

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

A recent survey published by the University of Phoenix found that 85 percent of first responders have experienced issues related to their mental health.

The survey was sent out to 2,000 United States police officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics and nurses over the age of 18. The report states that among the 27 percent who have been diagnosed with depression, close to half cited workplace incidents as the contributing cause.

While 84 percent of first responders report that they have experienced a traumatic event on the job, the stigma that comes with mental health treatment holds them back from seeking help even though the resources are available.

39 percent said there are negative repercussions for seeking mental health help at work, and 55 percent of first responders believe their supervisor will treat them differently if they bring up their mental health concerns.

Overall, half of the first responders surveyed have participated in pre-exposure mental health training, but 69 percent said mental health services are seldom or never utilized.

For more findings from the study, visit this page.


Toronto officers who die by suicide eligible for inclusion on police memorial

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

TORONTO — Under certain conditions, Toronto officers who die by suicide can be included on the on-duty death police memorial wall.

The Record reported that the change is the result of a settlement with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. The commission filed a case stating that excluding names of those who died as a result of mental health issues experienced on duty was discriminatory.

The case was made on behalf Sgt. Eddie Adamson who took his own life in 2005. Four years after his suicide, the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board ruled Adamson’s death a result of post-traumatic stress disorder, classifying it as an on-duty death, CP24 reported.

"We hope this signals to officers that if they are suffering, they can and should get help and that doesn't mean they wouldn't be worthy of honour and respect as an officer," Renu Mandhane, chief commissioner with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, told The Record.

The Toronto Police Service said it’s in the final stages of putting criteria in place for applications.

“Today’s agreement creates an opportunity for the service to respectfully recognize those who have died, regardless of cause of death, by appropriately commemorating those who, through their actions, demonstrated the noble qualities of policing and inspired those who continue to serve,” the Toronto Police Service said in a press release.


6 keys to coming home safely after every shift

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

Chrystal Fletcher
Author: Chrystal Fletcher

Before leaving for every shift, whether it’s at 0400 or 1400 hours, my husband has always made a point of kissing me goodbye and saying “I love you.” Somewhere along the way I started saying, “Go get ‘em bad guys.” From then on, it kind of became our thing. What always went unsaid, but understood was, “then come home to me.” I was fortunate that I went into a law enforcement marriage with my eyes wide open. I understood the lifestyle and what to expect being the spouse of a cop. Not every spouse is in that situation.

So, as the cop, always remember that you chose your career, and your spouse did not choose the career; your spouse chose you. You owe it to them to do everything in your power to ensure you return home safe after every shift. The concepts of Below 100 are familiar to most police officers, but here is a firearms instructor and spouse’s perspective on what these concepts mean to those of us left at home.

Effective law enforcement officers are hunters. You seek out the parts of society that the rest of us try to avoid. What makes a hunter great is a strong prey drive. But it is important to keep a check on that prey drive. It is all too easy to let that primal instinct take over, and in a rush of adrenaline, your better judgement goes out the window. You are not really involved in a game of cat and mouse. Instead, it’s more like catch and release, and no matter how many bad guys you catch, there will always be another. You cannot always expect to get a sense of accomplishment because there is always another bad guy waiting in the wings. You must remember that unstated promise to return home after every shift.

1. Wear Your Seatbelt

Most of you will spend a great deal of your time in a vehicle, and you must always wear your seatbelt. This is non-negotiable. No matter how rushed you are, take that extra split second to buckle up. No excuses, no exceptions. Just the shear amount of time a patrol officer spends in a moving vehicle increases the likelihood of an accident. The best way to prevent an accident from becoming a tragedy is to wear your seatbelt.

2. Watch Your Speed

Watch your speed and obey all applicable traffic laws. You will not be able to help anyone if you are unable to make it to them. Even in the direst sounding circumstances, slow down and arrive alive. And when driving Code 3, drive or talk. It has been proven time and again that no matter what we think of our own abilities, no one is truly able to multi-task. As soon as your take your focus off of the road, especially at high speeds, the likelihood of an accident is increased. Do what you can to mitigate the necessity of multi-tasking. Just like cellphone use has caused an uptick in distracted driving accidents, your equipment is no different – it’s worse.

3. Wear Your Vest

It may sound over simplified, but make good decisions. This starts with wearing your vest. If you are armed and identifiable as a law enforcement officer, then you are a potential target. I know vests are hot, heavy and uncomfortable, but they are the best insurance against the unthinkable. New technology is being developed regularly that is helping to make body armor more functional and more comfortable. If your department is still issuing an older model, look into getting some new equipment to test and evaluate. You may be able to bring some better equipment to your agency.

4. What’s Important Now? – WIN

Perform regular maintenance on your equipment. You spark test your TASER and check your lights and siren before every shift, but when was the last time you had a qualified armorer go through your handgun and rifle? Springs and other wear parts should be changed on a regular basis. The loudest sound you never want to hear is silence from your firearm when you really need it to go bang.

Those good decisions need to go beyond your physical wellbeing. You also owe it to your family to protect their financial wellbeing. This means that you need to do your homework. You are in the law enforcement business, so you should probably know a lot about the law. You need to know more than just the statutes you are there to enforce. Every officer needs to be fluent in use-of-force case law as well as the use-of-force policies under which they work (regrettably, they may differ). Unfortunately, you can easily lose a career, or worse, due to a lack of information or understanding of the law.

Take responsibility for your own training. With increasingly tight budgets, training is often the first and deepest cut. This means you now may bear the responsibility to seek and fund the training that you require. Don’t settle for the minimum amount of training required by your state. You are the one on the street, so you are the one responsible for your own preparedness. Don’t be the one they’re talking about at the funeral when someone says, “The department should have provided more training.” It’s your life, your training and your responsibility. Think of it as an investment in your career, your wellbeing and your loved one’s piece of mind.

5. Complacency Kills

Don’t become complacent. Never think of it as a “routine” traffic stop or a “routine” contact. We all base our actions and reactions on our past experiences, and it is human nature to be lazy and take that short cut. Resist that urge with everything you have. That “routine” traffic stop can turn tragic in a heartbeat. And just because one of your regular contacts has always been cooperative doesn’t mean he will be this time. You need to treat every traffic stop and every contact like it is the most important thing. The bottom line is that at that time, it is.

6. Build a team dynamic

Finally, build a team dynamic. We like to say that those in law enforcement are like family. But, you are employed by a government agency. Don’t waste your love on a government agency because it is unable to reciprocate your love. However, the love and loyalty you feel for the people with which you work is not misplaced. Those are the folks that rely on you and you rely on to make sure you all make it home safe at the end of every shift. Building a team dynamic not only makes you safer, it will make you more productive and more satisfied with your job. Step up and be a leader. Build a cohesive work environment. It may even help extend your career. But you should never lose sight of the fact that the ones that truly love you are waiting at home.


Policing Matters Podcast: Was LE response to the Berkeley riots the right approach?

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

On April 15 (tax day) pro-Trump individuals wearing American Flags and “Make America Great Again” baseball hats held a rally in Berkeley, California. They had notified Berkeley Police in advance of their intention to rally. However, when anarchists clad in black masks and wielding various weapons showed up, officers from the Berkeley PD stood back and allowed the two sides to get involved in a prolonged violent confrontation. This is not what most police agencies would call crowd control. Jim and Doug talk about what should have happened but didn't.


3 Seattle officers shot; 1 suspect dead, 2 in custody

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Lisa Baumann and Gene Johnson Associated Press

SEATTLE — Three Seattle police officers were shot and injured during an exchange of gunfire with a suspect, who later died, after a robbery at a downtown convenience store.

Three people are suspected in the Thursday robbery at a 7-Eleven store near Pioneer Square, the city's oldest neighborhood, said Deputy Police Chief Carmen Best.

Officers chased two suspects, a 19-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl, who ran from the store, police said.

While one officer struggled with the male suspect on the ground, the girl struck the officer over the head with a bottle, police said. The 19-year-old then ran to the entryway of an office building where he shot at police, who returned fire, Best said.

Authorities closed off several downtown blocks throughout the afternoon as police cruisers flooded the area and SWAT officers searched a nearby federal building where the suspect had barricaded himself inside. The girl was arrested nearby.

Police said Thursday night that officers found the male suspect deceased.

It wasn't immediately clear if the man died from police gunfire. Police said his cause of death would be determined by the King County Medical Examiner.

A third suspect, another 19-year-old man was later identified and taken into custody.

One of the wounded officers, a 30-year-old man, was initially listed as critical with life-threatening injuries after being shot in the chin and ribcage. Harborview Medical Center officials upgraded his condition within a few hours to serious but stable. Deputy Police Chief Carmen Best said the wounded officer was talking.

A 42-year-old female officer was listed in satisfactory condition at the same hospital. She was released Thursday night, after her ballistics vest stopped a bullet headed for her chest.

Their names haven't been released but police said the female officer has worked for the department for three years while the male officer has worked there for two years.

A second male officer, a 27-year veteran, sustained a hand injury in the shooting and was also treated and released from the hospital. The male officer struck with a bottle was treated at the scene.

"Our hearts and our thoughts are with those officers and with their families," said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

Authorities are investigating and police said the officers who fired their guns would be placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard practice.

Cindi Raykovich, the co-owner of a running store in the area, described the scene from her business as it unfolded Thursday.

"We've got the doors locked, and the cops are all around us," she said. "They want us to stay in the back room. When we walk out front, there's a guy standing out front who points at us and tells us to go back."

The department disclosed the shooting on Twitter, saying the robbery had been reported near the waterfront, several blocks south of Pike Place Market.

Brad Clough, who works at a bicycle repair shop in the area, said he heard sirens and saw at least several dozen police officers converge on the scene.

"Wow. This is real," he said, describing SWAT officers racing down the street.


2 SC officers wounded in shootout, suspect killed

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By Ashley Jean Reese The Island Packet HARDEEVILLE, S.C. — Two officers were shot after responding to a domestic dispute at the Sanders subdivision in Hardeeville.

A Hardeeville Police officer and Jasper County deputy have been shot by a suspect, according to Jasper County Sheriff Chris Malphrus.

The two officers are in “critical, but stable condition,” Malphrus said. The suspect, whose identity was not immediately available, was killed in the incident, Malphrus said.

The incident began when law enforcement officers responded to a domestic complaint after 6 p.m. Thursday, where a man was reported to be shooting at a woman, Malphrus said.

UPDATE: Police have identified Justin Smith from Jasper County & Celvin Grant from Hardeeville as the officers who were shot pic.twitter.com/iixmdvO0fL

— Shelbey S. Roberts (@ShelbeyRoberts) April 21, 2017

The deputy was identified by Malphrus as Justin Smith, who has been with the office about two years.

He identified the Hardeeville officer as Sgt. Kelvin Grant, with the department since 2010.

Family members of both men are with them at the hospital in Savannah, and deputy Smith is up and talking.

Both officers have multiple gunshot wounds, but the exact number had not been confirmed Thursday night, Malphrus said.

Hardeeville Police Chief Sam Woodward says it appeared both officers were going to survive their injuries.

Also the departments have received an outpouring of support and food donations from citizens, he said.

The S.C. State Law Enforcement Division will take over the investigation, as it routinely does for shootings when officers are involved.

———

©2017 The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.)


Sheriff: Man killed after ambushing SC officers, firing at mom

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Associated Press

HARDEEVILLE, S.C. — A man killed by police in South Carolina had ambushed the officers, waiting to open fire until they approached a bedroom to investigate whether he shot at his mother, authorities said.

The two officers were wounded, but are expected to survive, Jasper County Sherriff Chris Malphrus said Friday.

"We're not clear on why this happened — what his intent was," Malphrus said at a news conference.

Jasper County deputy Justin Smith and Hardeeville police Sgt. Kelvin Grant rushed to the home around 6 p.m. Thursday after a 911 caller said Jose Trejo was shooting at a woman, Malphrus said.

Trejo, 26, was killed in the ensuing gunbattle with police. Smith was shot in the shoulder and hand and will have surgery Friday. Hardeeville police Sgt. Kelvin Grant was wounded in the armpit and may need surgery, Malphrus said.

Both men remain in a hospital in Savannah, Georgia.

UPDATE: Police have identified Justin Smith from Jasper County & Celvin Grant from Hardeeville as the officers who were shot pic.twitter.com/iixmdvO0fL

— Shelbey S. Roberts (@ShelbeyRoberts) April 21, 2017

Trejo was known to police, facing domestic violence and drug charges in the past, the sheriff said.

This was the third shooting involving an officer in Hardeeville, a town of 4,200 about 15 miles north of Savannah, in the past three years. Jasper County deputies have been involved in two police shootings in the county of 27,000 people this year.

There is body camera footage of the shooting, but the State Law Enforcement Division has not released it. The agency investigates most police shootings in South Carolina.

Trejo is Hispanic, Smith is white and Grant is black, agency spokesman Thom Berry said.

Hardeeville Police Chief Sam Woodward said the officers had to go into the home and not wait for backup because they were told someone was shooting a gun and had no idea how many people were at risk.

"If we think somebody is hurt or injured inside the house, we're going to enter it," Woodward said. "We can't wait on SWAT."


Officials: Police had Paris attacker in their grasp

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Lori Hinnant and John Leicester Associated Press

PARIS — The Champs-Elysees gunman who shot and killed a police officer just days before France's presidential election was detained in February for threatening police but then freed, two officials told The Associated Press on Friday. He was also convicted in 2003 of attempted homicide in the shootings of two police officers.

The French government pulled out all the stops to protect Sunday's vote as the attack deepened France's political divide.

"Nothing must hamper this democratic moment, essential for our country," Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said after a high-level meeting Friday that reviewed the government's already heightened security plans for the two-round vote that begins Sunday.

"Barbarity and cowardice struck Paris last night," the prime minister said, appealing for national unity and for people "not to succumb to fear."

Investigators believe at this stage that the gunman, 39-year-old Frenchman Karim Cheurfi, was alone in killing a police officer and wounding two others and a German tourist on Thursday night, less than 72 hours before polls open, a French official who discussed details of the investigation with the AP said on condition of anonymity.

The official and another, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Cheurfi was detained toward the end of February after speaking threateningly about police but was then released for lack of evidence.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack unusually quickly in a statement that sowed confusion by apparently misidentifying the gunman.

Police shot and killed Cheurfi after he opened fire on a police van on Paris' most famous boulevard. Investigators found a pump-action shotgun and knives in his car. Cheurfi's identity was confirmed from his fingerprints.

A key question was how the attack might impact French voters. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that it "will have a big effect" on the election and that "the people of France will not take much more of this."

The risk for the main presidential candidates is misjudging the public mood by making an ill-perceived gesture or comment. With polling so close, and campaigning banned from Friday midnight, they would have no time to recover before voters cast ballots.

The two top finishers Sunday advance to a winner-takes-all presidential runoff on May 7. Two of the main candidates, conservative Francois Fillon and centrist Emmanuel Macron, canceled planned campaign stops Friday.

The attack brought back the recurrent campaign theme of France's fight against Islamic extremism, one of the mainstays of the anti-immigration platform of far-right leader Marine Le Pen and also, to a lesser extent, of Fillon, a former prime minister. In the wake of the assault, they redoubled appeals for a firmer hand against Islamic extremism and promised get-tough measures if elected.

Le Pen, speaking at her campaign headquarters, urged the outgoing Socialist government to immediately re-establish border controls. Cazeneuve, the Socialist prime minister, accused the National Front leader of seeking to make political hay from the assault.

After Le Pen spoke scathingly Friday of the government's fight against extremism, Cazeneuve said Le Pen's party in 2014 voted against an anti-terrorism law and, in 2015, against a law that beefed up resources for French intelligence services.

He said: "She seems to be deliberately forgetting everything that has been done over five years to make people forget that she opposed everything, without ever proposing anything serious or credible."

Fillon separately pledged to maintain the state of emergency that has been in place since IS-claimed gun and bomb attacks killed 130 people in Paris in November 2015.

"The fight for the French people's freedom and security will be mine. This must be the priority," he said.

As Paris got back to business, municipal workers in white hygiene suits were out before dawn to wash down the sidewalk where the assault took place — a scene now depressingly familiar after multiple attacks that have killed more than 230 people in France over two years. Delivery trucks did their early morning rounds. Everything would have seemed normal if not for a row of TV trucks parked along the boulevard that is a must-visit for tourists.

Asked if the assault would impact voting, the centrist Macron said: "No one knows."

With some voters doubtful whether the 39-year-old former banker is experienced enough to be head of state, Macron appealed for cool heads.

"What our attackers want is death, symbolism, to sow panic (and) to disturb a democratic process," he said.

Macron said he canceled campaign stops out of a sense of "decency" and to allow police to concentrate their resources on the investigation.

Said by polls to be running neck-and-neck with Le Pen, he tore into her claims that previous attacks wouldn't have happened under her watch.

"She won't be able to protect our citizens," Macron said of Le Pen.

The two police officers injured in the attack are out of danger, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said. National police spokesman Jerome Bonet, also speaking on BFM television, said there were thousands of people on Paris' iconic boulevard when the gunman opened fire and that the rapid response of officers who shot and killed him avoided possible "carnage."

Voters also wondered how the latest attack might impact the election.

Elena Worms, walking her dog near the Champs-Elysees, called the attack "destabilizing" and said she fears it will "push people to the extremes." She said her plans to vote Fillon remain unchanged.

"He wants to lead Muslims away from fundamentalism to security," she said.

In a statement from its Amaq news agency, the IS group gave a pseudonym for the shooter, Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki, indicating he was Belgian or had lived in Belgium. But Belgium's interior minister said the pseudonym did not belong to the attacker.

Investigators searched a home early Friday in an eastern suburb of Paris believed linked to the attack and police detained for questioning three of the gunman's family members — routine in such cases.

The attack appeared to fit a spreading pattern of European extremists targeting security forces and symbols of state to discredit, take vengeance on or destabilize society. It recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris: one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport last month.

For Sunday's vote, the government is mobilizing more than 50,000 police and gendarmes to protect the 70,000 polling stations, with an additional 7,000 soldiers also on patrol.


Man charged with murder in fatal shooting of Okla. deputy

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Justin Juozapavicius Associated Press

MULHALL, Okla. — A man suspected of fatally shooting an Oklahoma deputy was charged Thursday with murder, and the district attorney later vowed she'll seek the death penalty against him because of the "particularly heinous, atrocious and cruel" nature of the crime.

Nathan LeForce, 45, was charged Thursday in Logan County with first-degree murder, larceny of a vehicle and armed robbery, court records show. Those records don't list an attorney for him, and he remains jailed.

Logan County Deputy David Wade, 40, died Tuesday after he was shot while serving an eviction notice at a home near Mulhall, about 50 miles north of Oklahoma City. Wade was shot several times, including in the face, and returned fire before radioing in for help.

Video from Wade's body-worn camera captured LeForce approaching Wade with a raised handgun and firing at the deputy, according to charging documents filed in court Thursday. After the first shot, as "Wade goes down and is obviously suffering from a gunshot wound," several more gunshots could be heard in rapid succession, the documents said.

Authorities said LeForce then took Wade's patrol vehicle and drove at a high speed to a convenience store, where he stole another car at gunpoint, according to the affidavit. That car was found abandoned near Guthrie, where LeForce was later found hiding in an outbuilding and surrendered to police.

After LeForce appeared before a judge, Logan County District Attorney Laura Thomas said in a statement to The Associated Press that she'll prepare a death penalty case because of the brutality of the crime.

"Not all first degree murder cases qualify for the death penalty in Oklahoma. This is one that does," Thomas said in a statement. "I'm angry our deputy was murdered. I'm angered at that portion of society that is already looking for a way to justify the unjustifiable and finding excuses for the inexcusable."

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said earlier Thursday that the gun used in the shooting has not been found. Agency spokeswoman Jessica Brown said law enforcement agencies are still searching for the gun to find out if it had been used in other crimes and to prevent a child from finding it first.


P1 Photo of the Week: Fire in the Everglades

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Officer Joey Cabrera captured this photo on April 7 while assisting a fire in the Everglades.

Calling all police photographers! PoliceOne needs pictures of you in action or training. Submit a photo — it could be selected as our Photo of the Week! Be sure to include your name, department information and address (including city, state and ZIP code) where we can reach you — Photo of the Week winners have a chance to win a PoliceOne.com T-shirt!


Baltimore setting up oversight of police under Obama decree

Posted on April 21, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Baltimore is moving ahead with police reforms mandated by an agreement with the Justice Department under President Barack Obama.

Mayor Catherine Pugh announced Thursday's launch of a website that outlines the process. The next step is to choose residents of the city for a new police oversight committee.

A federal judge recently approved the agreement, despite objections from President Donald Trump's Justice Department.

Online applications are being taken through May 22, and by July, the panel should begin reviewing the city's current civilian oversight process.

The city also is looking for an independent monitor who would be approved by the court to assess whether the consent decree is being implemented and publish regular reports on the city's progress.


Never doubt yourself: A SWAT cop’s lesson learned from Columbine

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Eighteen years ago today – on April 20, 1999 – two deranged teenage boys entered their high school armed with two 9mm small arms (a carbine and a pistol), two 12-gauge shotguns and nearly a hundred improvised explosive devices, including bombs made out of 20-pound propane tanks.

The two killers murdered 12 students and one teacher. They injured at least 24 additional people. As awful as the Columbine High School massacre was, it could easily have been far more deadly. Due to good fortune – and, perhaps, poor bomb-making skills – none of the explosive devices detonated.

Anyone who has been involved in law enforcement for more than 15 minutes knows the murderers’ names – they do not merit mention in this space. This column is dedicated to other names, but especially the deceased:

Cassie Bernall Steven Curnow Corey Depooter Kelly Fleming Matthew Kechter Daniel Mauser Daniel Rohrbough Dave Sanders Rachel Scott Isaiah Shoels John Tomlin Lauren Townsend Kyle Velasquez

Indeed, the killers left in their bloody wake hundreds of people whose memories of that day will live with them forever. Those survivors have spent the better part of two decades recovering from their trauma. One of those people is Sgt. James Smith of the Denver Police Department. This is his story.

“I could tell something wasn’t right”

A member of the Denver Police Department SWAT team, Smith was not typically at home in the late morning on a Tuesday, but because there was an upcoming event, he was off that day, doing various chores around the house.

“I was out mowing the lawn and my wife opened the back door and I could tell something wasn’t right,” Smith told PoliceOne. “She said one of the neighbors had just called and said ‘Don’t take the kids to the park.’”

The caller was another police officer who knew that Smith was going to take the kids to the park at some point that day – he was calling to tell Smith to avoid Clement Park, which is immediately adjacent to Columbine High School.

Smith was immediately curious.

“I thought, ‘I should dig a little bit deeper into this,’ so I went and grabbed my police radio,” Smith said. “They were calling cops everywhere there. They were starting to develop a command post.”

Early reports are almost always inaccurate

Smith said that there were reports of as many as six to eight gunmen at Columbine High. This was due to the fact that the killers were moving so quickly through the school. People were calling in and reporting two shooters at the West entrance, the North hallway, the South hallway, and the cafeteria. The early thinking was that there was a sniper on the roof of the school. Commanders on the scene were treating it like a terrorist attack.

Smith, like so many Denver PD officers who live in the area, grabbed his gear, got in his car, and drove to the scene. He presented himself at the CP and soon saw a familiar face – his DPD SWAT Commander.

“He looked at me and said, ‘Hey, get anybody you can and get ready to go TNT’,” Smith said.

TNT stands for Tactical Neutralization Team, a tactic Denver SWAT had been working on for years in which small fire teams quickly move toward the sounds of gunfire and to stop it – in essence, what we would today call Active Shooter Response.

“We were five Denver SWAT guys and two guys, I believe, from Littleton PD. With the sniper on the roof, the command got us a fire truck to walk behind as we approached the front. Some of the guys on one side of the fire truck saw some movement at the front windows and we kind of stalled out. Some information was coming across the radio. I just happened to look over to the left and there was a door that I thought we might be able to access. So I went over there to look at it and it was in fact open but with the sunlight, you couldn’t see in it.”

An unexpected feeling at the door

One of the guys ran back to the fire truck to get a pipe pole to shatter the glass. This is when Smith began to feel something unexpected.

“We poled the door and as we were staging to go in the door, I felt myself really kind of falling out of my game,” Smith said. “I could tell I was nervous. My knees were shaking. I hoped I wasn’t showing those visible signs of weakness to my other teammates. But I will tell you, I was scared.”

Smith wasn’t alone in that feeling.

“Once we got in, I kind of was looking at the other operators and I think we were all kind of nervous,” Smith said. “I kind of started doing the deep breathing and composed myself much better and then got into the routine of what I know and how to work and operate – the training kicked in.”

The search took a long time – the building is around 10,000 square feet with a capacity for more than 1,600 students.

“We broke a lot of what I’d call training fundamentals, where you try to send two in a room but the team got stretched out pretty quick. If we could get in a classroom, we went in by ourselves and kind of ran the walls and checked under the desks. Again, at this point, we couldn’t hear any gunfire. Later the investigation showed us that two minutes after us making entry, they went back to the library and killed themselves.”

To keep everything in perspective, the team was still thinking that this was the act of terrorists. They were thinking that there were multiple fire teams spread out around the building trying to hold off the police. Movement had to be swift, but appropriately cautious.

The search continued, and the team saw evidence of the pipe bombs and homemade bombs. As the team located people, they directed them to the door from which they had made entry and cleared the rooms in between.

One of Smith’s most vivid memories – and one that provided a moment of clarity and his biggest lesson learned – occurred while standing over the bodies of the killers in the library and looking down at them.

“They were young kids. Their weapons weren’t as high quality as ours; sawed off shotgun and a Tech 9. And I looked down at them and I thought to myself, ‘How could you two have me so scared? How could you take me out of my game for just even a minute?’ And whether it’s a SWAT operation or an officer responding to a violent call – that can happen to any of us.”

There are many ways to learn from tragedy

Numerous lessons were learned that day at Columbine High School. Tactics for active shooter response changed. No more setting up perimeters and waiting for SWAT. After Columbine, it became all about running to sound of the guns. Single officer response to active killers even.

For Smith, the lesson was perhaps more subtle, but also probably more important. He said that he wants officers to know that they should be confident that they will prevail and that they should believe in their skills and abilities to get the job done.

“I want officers to keep in their mind: We have better training. We have better weaponry. We have better backup and people around us, and obviously we’ve got a better head on our shoulders,” Smith said.

“You just got to stay in your game. Never doubt yourself. Rely on your training. Keep doing that in your profession and never let it stop. Over time we’ve been afraid to call it what it is, but I was scared. I said a little prayer to my God and I said, ‘Get me out of this and I’m taking the kids to Disneyland,’ because the kids had been bugging me to go to Disneyland ... We were at Disneyland within a couple of weeks.”


Photo: Minn. cops win 4/20 with pothead trap

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WYOMING, Minn. — A Minnesota police department’s photo of “undercover 4/20 operations” is going viral.

The Wyoming PD posted a photo to Twitter of an officer setting a “trap” for unsuspecting potheads – a pile of items including Cheetos, video games, and White Castle burgers.

According to Fox 5, this isn’t the first time the department has had a bit of fun with the holiday. Last year, they posted a photo of a cardboard box trap with bags of Doritos and Cheetos as bait.

Undercover #420 operations are in place. Discreet traps have been set up throughout the city today. #Happy420 pic.twitter.com/Jo8mh0Z5lQ

— Wyoming, MN Police (@wyomingpd) April 20, 2017 (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Undercover 4/20 stings are underway in Wyoming, Minnesota.

Posted by Fox 9 on Wednesday, April 20, 2016


2 officers shot in Seattle

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SEATTLE — Seattle police say two police officers have been shot responding to a downtown robbery.

Chief Kathleen O'Toole tells reporters the injuries appear minor.

The department reported the shooting on its Twitter feed at about 1:40 p.m. Thursday, saying the robbery had been reported near the waterfront, several blocks south of Pike Place Market.

Huge Seattle Police response to downtown shooting. @seattlepd #shooting #seattle pic.twitter.com/FxVNXuSIrf

— Bob Bergeron (@rbergeron3) April 20, 2017


2 Seattle officers shot, 1 critically; a suspect on the run

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

null
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By Martha Bellisle, Gene Johnson, and Phuong Le Associated Press

SEATTLE — Two Seattle police officers responding to a robbery at a convenience store were shot, one critically, and authorities were still searching for a suspect Thursday.

Another suspect was taken into custody, while a third was found with significant injuries, authorities said. It wasn't immediately clear how the injuries occurred.

A 42-year-old female officer was in satisfactory condition, and a 30-year-old male officer was in critical condition, with life-threatening injuries, according to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

One was shot in the chest but saved by a bulletproof vest, and the other was shot in the chin and ribcage, Mayor Ed Murray said a news conference near the scene. It wasn't clear which officer had which injuries.

"Our hearts and our thoughts are with those officers and with their families," Murray said.

The robbery took place at a 7-11 convenience store near the city's oldest neighborhood, Pioneer Square, Deputy Police Chief Carmen Best said. The three robbery suspects fled, but when police tried to stop them a block away, the officers and suspects began fighting.

While one officer fought with a suspect on the ground, a female suspect struck that officer over the head with a bottle, Best said. The suspects fled, and one shot at police, who returned fire, she said.

The suspect who opened fire barricaded himself inside a nearby building, Best said. It's not clear if that was the wounded suspect.

Investigators have closed off several blocks as they seek the third suspect, described as a 5-foot-11 black male, with a dark complexion, weighing 250 pounds and wearing a black jacket, glasses and a Seattle Seahawks ski cap.

Police cruisers flooded the area, closing streets, and officers warned people to stay away.

"We've got the doors locked, and the cops are all around us," said Cindi Raykovich, co-owner of a nearby running shoe store. "They want us to stay in the back room. When we walk out front, there's a guy standing out front who points at us and tells us to go back."

The department disclosed the shooting on Twitter, saying the robbery had been reported near the waterfront, several blocks south of Pike Place Market.

Brad Clough, who works at a bicycle repair shop in the area, said he heard sirens and saw at least several dozen police officers converge on the scene.

"Wow. This is real," he said, describing SWAT officers racing down the street.

Huge Seattle Police response to downtown shooting. @seattlepd #shooting #seattle pic.twitter.com/FxVNXuSIrf

— Bob Bergeron (@rbergeron3) April 20, 2017


2 police officers shot, one fatally, in Paris

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PARIS — Paris police say a gunman has killed a police officer and wounded another before being killed himself in an attack on the Champs-Elysees shopping district.

Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker targeted police guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station Thursday night at the center of the avenue popular with tourists.

The attack came three days before the first round of balloting in France's tense presidential election. Security is high preceding the vote after police said they arrested two men Tuesday in what they described as a thwarted terror attack.

The incident recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris, one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport last month.

A witness identified only as Ines told French television station BFM that she heard a shooting and saw a man's body on the ground before police quickly evacuated the area where she works in a shop.

A French television station hosting a televised event with the 11 candidates running for president briefly interrupted its broadcast to report the shootings.

None of the candidates immediately commented.

DEVELOPING: One police officer killed, another wounded in Paris shooting https://t.co/Okz2bwUl4f pic.twitter.com/efKb3Mcobj

— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 20, 2017

#ChampsElysees closed. Riot police on ground in #paris pic.twitter.com/JCWovTqpb9

— Melissa Bell (@MelissaBellCNN) April 20, 2017

Still on Champs-Elysess. It's getting pretty scary #paris pic.twitter.com/GbPeZuaryV

— Allie Fowler (@historynerd94) April 20, 2017

#BreakingNews #Terrorist #Attack in #Paris #France 1 police officer killed 1 injured pic.twitter.com/JWs5PtssTj

— Eddie Blanco (@EddieBlanco) April 20, 2017

BREAKING: Trump says Paris shooting "looks like another terrorist attack", says U.S. sends condolences to France https://t.co/m5oRWSg2Ns pic.twitter.com/GOsBUT9s9C

— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) April 20, 2017


3 Paris police officers shot, one fatally, in targeted attack

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Angela Charlton and Sylvie Corbet Associated Press

PARIS — An attacker with an automatic weapon opened fire on police in Paris' iconic Champs-Elysees shopping district Thursday night, killing one officer and seriously wounding two others before police shot and killed him.

Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker targeted officers guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station at the center of the avenue popular with tourists. She said he appeared to be acting alone.

Police and soldiers sealed off the area, ordering tourists back into their hotels and blocking people from approaching the scene. The Paris prosecutor's office said counterterrorism investigators are involved in the probe.

The attack came three days before the first round of balloting in France's tense presidential election. Security is high preceding the vote after police said they arrested two men Tuesday in what they described as a thwarted terror attack.

In Thursday's attack, French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television that a man came out of a car and opened fire on a police vehicle. He said officers were "deliberately" targeted.

Speaking in Washington during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, U.S. President Donald Trump said the shooting in Paris "looks like another terrorist attack" and sent condolences to France.

Emergency vehicles blocked the wide avenue that cuts across central Paris between the Arc de Triomphe and the Tuileries Gardens, normally packed with cars and tourists. Subway stations were closed off.

BREAKING: Officials say the suspect in the attack on Paris police officers previously was flagged as an extremist.

— The Associated Press (@AP) April 20, 2017

Security forces are more widespread in Paris since deadly Islamic extremist attacks in recent years, and France remains under a state of emergency.

French President Francois Hollande scheduled an emergency meeting Thursday night.

The incident recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris, one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport last month.

A witness identified only as Ines told French television station BFM that she heard a shooting and saw a man's body on the ground before police quickly evacuated the area where she works in a shop.

A French television station hosting a televised event with the 11 candidates running for president briefly interrupted its broadcast to report the shootings.

None of the candidates immediately commented.

DEVELOPING: One police officer killed, another wounded in Paris shooting https://t.co/Okz2bwUl4f pic.twitter.com/efKb3Mcobj

— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 20, 2017

#ChampsElysees closed. Riot police on ground in #paris pic.twitter.com/JCWovTqpb9

— Melissa Bell (@MelissaBellCNN) April 20, 2017

Still on Champs-Elysess. It's getting pretty scary #paris pic.twitter.com/GbPeZuaryV

— Allie Fowler (@historynerd94) April 20, 2017

#BreakingNews #Terrorist #Attack in #Paris #France 1 police officer killed 1 injured pic.twitter.com/JWs5PtssTj

— Eddie Blanco (@EddieBlanco) April 20, 2017

BREAKING: Trump says Paris shooting "looks like another terrorist attack", says U.S. sends condolences to France https://t.co/m5oRWSg2Ns pic.twitter.com/GOsBUT9s9C

— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) April 20, 2017


3 Paris police officers shot, one fatally, in targeted ISIS attack

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

null
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By Angela Charlton and Sylvie Corbet Associated Press

UPDATE 2:58 p.m. (PST):

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the shooting on Paris' Champs Elysees that killed a police officer and left two others gravely wounded.

In a statement from its Amaq news agency, the group gave a pseudonym for the shooter indicating he was Belgian.

The attacker opened fire on a police van on the avenue before being killed.

The claim of responsibility came unusually swiftly for the group, which has been losing territory in Iraq and Syria.

And the pseudonym, Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki, indicated that the attacker already had ties of some sort to Islamic State extremists.

Original story below.

PARIS — An attacker with an automatic weapon opened fire on police in Paris' iconic Champs-Elysees shopping district Thursday night, killing one officer and seriously wounding two others before police shot and killed him.

Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker targeted officers guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station at the center of the avenue popular with tourists. She said he appeared to be acting alone.

Police and soldiers sealed off the area, ordering tourists back into their hotels and blocking people from approaching the scene. The Paris prosecutor's office said counterterrorism investigators are involved in the probe.

The attack came three days before the first round of balloting in France's tense presidential election. Security is high preceding the vote after police said they arrested two men Tuesday in what they described as a thwarted terror attack.

In Thursday's attack, French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television that a man came out of a car and opened fire on a police vehicle. He said officers were "deliberately" targeted.

Speaking in Washington during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, U.S. President Donald Trump said the shooting in Paris "looks like another terrorist attack" and sent condolences to France.

Emergency vehicles blocked the wide avenue that cuts across central Paris between the Arc de Triomphe and the Tuileries Gardens, normally packed with cars and tourists. Subway stations were closed off.

Security forces are more widespread in Paris since deadly Islamic extremist attacks in recent years, and France remains under a state of emergency.

French President Francois Hollande scheduled an emergency meeting Thursday night.

The incident recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris, one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport last month.

A witness identified only as Ines told French television station BFM that she heard a shooting and saw a man's body on the ground before police quickly evacuated the area where she works in a shop.

A French television station hosting a televised event with the 11 candidates running for president briefly interrupted its broadcast to report the shootings.

None of the candidates immediately commented.

DEVELOPING: One police officer killed, another wounded in Paris shooting https://t.co/Okz2bwUl4f pic.twitter.com/efKb3Mcobj

— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 20, 2017

#ChampsElysees closed. Riot police on ground in #paris pic.twitter.com/JCWovTqpb9

— Melissa Bell (@MelissaBellCNN) April 20, 2017

Still on Champs-Elysess. It's getting pretty scary #paris pic.twitter.com/GbPeZuaryV

— Allie Fowler (@historynerd94) April 20, 2017

#BreakingNews #Terrorist #Attack in #Paris #France 1 police officer killed 1 injured pic.twitter.com/JWs5PtssTj

— Eddie Blanco (@EddieBlanco) April 20, 2017

BREAKING: Trump says Paris shooting "looks like another terrorist attack", says U.S. sends condolences to France https://t.co/m5oRWSg2Ns pic.twitter.com/GOsBUT9s9C

— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) April 20, 2017


Philly officer creates portrait of man killed on Facebook

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By Emily Bamforth Advance Ohio Media

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Jonny Castro, a forensic artist for the Philadelphia Police Department, creates digital portraits for the families of police officers killed in the line of duty.

This week, Castro painted Robert Godwin Sr., who was shot Sunday by Steve Stephens in Cleveland. Castro said a group of police officers in Philadelphia's 18th district asked him to put together the portrait after following the story of Godwin's murder.

The 15 officers each contributed funds to make sure that prints could be provided to Godwin's many children and grandchildren. In other cases, Castro does the portraits for free, covering the cost of printing and shipping himself.

Castro, an Army veteran, has worked for the Philadelphia Police Department for 11 years, but became a composite artist about a year and a half ago.

Castro said he began the portraits when a fellow police officer was killed in the line of duty. Robert Wilson, killed during a robbery, was promoted to sergeant after his death. Castro created a digital portrait of Wilson in uniform with the honors he received posthumously, using a tablet and his laptop.

"I try my best to come up with something for the family that they might not have have," he said.

Since then, he's done portraits of about 80 fallen officers.

With Godwin's portrait, Castro tried to portray his upbeat attitude, he said, and drew him with a hat because that's what he often saw him wearing in pictures.

He hopes to have prints made and sent to family members by next week, he said.

———

©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland

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Good evening This beautiful work of art was recently completed by PPD Forensic Graphic Artist, Officer Jonny...

Posted by Philadelphia Police Department on Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Reports: Ohio police officer lied about shooting that sparked manhunt

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By Cliff Pinckard Advance Ohio Media

NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio -- A police officer who last week said he was shot in the arm during a traffic stop, leading to a statewide manhunt for two suspects, made up the story, investigators say.

Now Bryan J. Eubanks, 37, has lost his job with the Newcomerstown Police Department and could face charges, the Canton Repository reports.

Eubanks, who had been working with the department for 14 years, admitted to investigators that the shooting was a result of a failed suicide attempt, Tuscarawas County Sheriff Orvis Campbell tells the Repository.

"At the end of the day we had to do our job and he'll be held accountable just like anybody else will," Campbell said.

Eubanks had said he pulled over two men in a black Geo Tracker on April 11. He said the men were armed with a shotgun and handguns and opened fire, wounding him.

The search for the suspects resulted in one man being taken into custody before being cleared.

Witnesses later said they did not see a Geo Tracker at the spot where Eubanks claimed he had pulled the vehicle over, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Campbell said Eubanks has been "struggling emotionally" since working last year on the murder case of Jane Plants of Newcomerstown, and that he has been cooperating with investigators.

Eubanks was released into his family's custody and will seek mental health treatment, reports say.

———

©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland


Internet goes nuts after Chicago PD posts photo of old-timey gun

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — Chicago police discovered marijuana and weapons while carrying out a search warrant, and they announced the seizure with a photo on Twitter Wednesday. But what’s garnering attention on social media is not the amount of drugs or guns, but the type of one of the weapons pictured.

Great intel lead to a positive search warrant for the 1063 team in the 10th District. Weapons and drugs recovered. pic.twitter.com/Kq38HxPOap

— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) April 19, 2017

The photo shows a long barrelled gun that looks like a weapon out of an old Western movie. And Twitter took notice.

“Damn they booked my guy who came all the way from Jumanji,” one user wrote.

Another user asked if they were able to free the “damsel he had tied to the tracks before the train got there.” “Can’t wait to hear the Joker has been convicted!”

@mirriam71 @SarcasticPoet33 @FeministaJones @Chicago_Police @ChicagoCAPS10 Can't wait to hear the Joker has been convicted! pic.twitter.com/8gT9n0XDqx

— Michael Stribling (@voltattoo) April 20, 2017

While it’s unclear whether Chicago police caught Billy the Kid or not, it seems everyone had a laugh with this tweet.


Regulators ease restrictions on past marijuana use by prospective Md. officers

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kevin Davis The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Regulators in Maryland have eased restrictions on the amount of marijuana prospective police officers may have smoked before being hired in the state — a move Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis championed to boost his department’s hiring efforts.

The new rule, which received final approval from the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission on Wednesday, bars the hiring of any prospective officers who have smoked marijuana in the past three years. It replaces a state policy dating to the 1970s that had disqualified police applicants who had used marijuana more than 20 times in their lives, or five times since turning 21 years old.

The rule was reviewed by the Office of Attorney General Brian E. Frosh. It takes effect June 1.

“It’s a long time coming,” said Davis, who is vice chairman of the state commission. “It gives us a greater pool of police applicants to consider as we are at a very critical time in our profession’s history and we want to identify the right people.”

The department is still trying to recover from a surge in departures after the unrest of 2015. Davis said past marijuana use has been the “No. 1 disqualifier” of new applicants.

Already in 2017, he said, 30 applicants have been denied employment solely because they ran afoul of the state policy.

The training and standards commission, part of the state corrections department, regulates police hiring in the state. The panel voted 16-1 to approve the change, spokesman Gerard Shields said.

The commission had recommended the change at its inaugural meeting in October. A legal review and a public comment period followed. Officials said they received no comments.

The new rule allows individual police chiefs to hold applicants to their agencies to a stricter marijuana standard if they choose, officials said.

Vince Canales, president of the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police and a member of the commission, cast the lone vote against the change.

In an interview after the vote, he noted that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, and said there “is still no real clarity” on how states — including Maryland — will treat the drug in coming years.

Maryland has decriminalized the drug and has approved the use of medical marijuana. Other states have legalized the drug for recreational use.

“Until this thing settles, shakes itself out and it’s determined how it’s going to be handled around the country, we think the standard should be maintained as far as police officers are concerned,” Canales said.

“I don’t know that it necessarily takes away from the quality of the applicants that we have,” Canales said. “I just think at this time, changing the standard without a wholesale look at the way marijuana is viewed in the state and around the country … is premature.”

Davis noted that several federal law enforcement agencies maintain the standard the commission accepted Wednesday. As the state has relaxed its laws on marijuana, he said, it makes sense to ease restrictions on prospective officers.

He said that the previous rule set an arbitrary cap on past pot use that stripped discretion from police leaders to hire otherwise qualified candidates — including military veterans, and those with advanced degrees.

Under the new rule, he said, “we’re still going to ask if you smoked marijuana, we’re still going to ask how many times, what the circumstances were, how old you were. … But now we’re going to take the totality of your answer and use discretion.”

Davis said disqualifications based on past pot use have been particularly prevalent among applicants from Baltimore — a population from which the department is trying to recruit as it looks to repair its relationship with the local community as part of a broad reform effort.

The U.S. Department of Justice reported last year that the department routinely engaged in discriminatory and unconstitutional policing, particularly in poor and African-American neighborhoods.

The police department and the city have signed a consent decree with the Justice Department mandating reforms.

The police department currently has about 120 vacancies to fill. Davis said the pot rule change will help it meet its goal of filling those positions and keeping up with future attrition by bringing on a new class of between 50 and 60 recruits every 11 weeks.

He said it was “a big piece to the puzzle” to improving recruitment. He said the effort has also been helped by holding more recruiting events and easing other restrictions — such as one that bars officers from showing tattoos on their arms.

“I would never want someone who would want to consider police work as a career to be discouraged from our profession because of tattoos on her arm or marijuana use in his past,” Davis said. “I just want to be able to consider everyone who is willing to throw his hat in the ring, and pick the best ones.”

———

©2017 The Baltimore Sun


Officers discover police headstones, firearms during home search

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By PoliceOne Staff

COHASSET, Mass. — Police discovered a collection of stolen police, fire and military headstones and 98 firearms during a home search Friday.

According to the Patriot Ledger, police searched Robert Stoddard’s home after receiving a tip of multiple improperly secured firearms. When they entered the home, they found shotguns, rifles, pistols, military-grade ordnance shells and cases of ammunition spread across the home.

Police Chief William Quigley told the publication Stoddard did not serve in the military, but lives near a former military ammunition depot.

Along with the firearms and ammunition, officials found multiple police, fire and military headstones allegedly stolen from the cemetery across from Stoddard’s home. Authorities are working to identify the families.


‘Drug-hunting lizard’ joins Ariz. police

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

AVONDALE, Ariz. — A new animal has joined the Avondale Police Department: a bearded dragon lizard.

Officer Iroh was given a badge and officially sworn in April 13 as a continuation of a running joke the department posts to their Facebook.

“Research has shown that reptiles possess a strong sense of smell making their ability to detect certain illicit drugs possibly more accurate than K-9s,” the department wrote in the original April Fools post from last year. “Our pilot program drug sniffing bearded dragon will be assisting officers in the city. Please help us welcome Iroh!”

Although he won’t be sniffing out drugs anytime soon, Iroh is still “helping” officers with tasks and providing support.

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Time for an update on Iroh's Adventures. Iroh got sworn in today by Chief Nannenga, Iroh is official! #IrohAdventures

Posted by Avondale AZ Police Department on Thursday, April 13, 2017


5 things to know about crime broadcast on social media

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Cole Zercoe
Author: Cole Zercoe

The killing of a 74-year-old Cleveland man that was broadcast over Facebook is just the latest in a disturbing trend of crimes committed in front of a digital audience. Over the past several years, there has been an uptick in the use of social media to document heinous acts in progress. Here are five things to know about the darker side of platforms like Facebook Live.

1. From standoffs to police pursuits, criminals are documenting their acts online.

Among the usual, innocuous content like selfies and food photography, crime has become a troubling presence on social media.

In 2015, the brutal killing of a television reporter and cameraman during a live news broadcast was filmed by the perpetrator and posted on Twitter and Facebook after the gunman fled the scene.

In 2016, 23-year-old Korryn Gaines posted videos on Facebook and Instagram in the midst of a police standoff in which she barricaded herself inside her apartment while armed with a shotgun.

Earlier this year, the beating of a mentally disabled man in Chicago by four suspects was streamed live on Facebook.

There have also been multiple cases of drivers filming themselves as they evade police during high-speed pursuits.

This troubling trend is the reality of an increasingly connected world, where all it takes is the simple push of a button to share photos or video with the masses.

2. Does the existence of these tools influence criminal behavior?

The great debate over whether access to an audience influences criminal behavior has gone on for as long as news organizations have existed, but the rise of social media has created a relatively new angle to the theory.

In a paper presented at the American Psychological Association last year, researchers found that a high volume of discussion on Twitter about a mass shooting increased the probability of another mass shooting occurring shortly thereafter. While motive in these incidents can be hard to pin down, this research does add credibility to the idea that those seeking notoriety and fame are more likely to commit heinous acts in an era where sharing is only a click away.

Raymond Surette, a criminal justice professor at the University of Central Florida, calls this phenomenon “performance crime.”

“The over-sharing that lies at the core of self-incriminating performances is an extension of the significance that social media have come to play culturally,” Surette wrote. “It is better to get your performance out there and be known than to be unknown in a celebrity culture, even if criminality is required.”

UC Davis law professor Elizabeth Joh told the New York Times:

“Any of these platforms — especially live ones — encourages users to perform. Should Facebook have a duty to rescue a crime victim? Should we, or is it O.K. for thousands or millions of people to watch a crime unfold without doing anything except sharing it?”

3. What are social media companies doing about the issue?

Thus far, the policing of content on these platforms can best be described as a work in progress. In all fairness, policing content on a website such as Facebook – where 510,000 comments are posted and 136,000 photos are uploaded every 60 seconds – is no small task. It took the company about two hours to take down footage of Robert Godwin’s murder.

Earlier this week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg briefly mentioned the incident during the company’s annual developer conference:

"We have a lot of work, and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening," Zuckerberg said.

Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s VP of global operations, also issued a statement on the incident, saying the company would improve its procedures in order to stamp out similar content in the future.

“In addition to improving our reporting flows, we are constantly exploring ways that new technologies can help us make sure Facebook is a safe environment. Artificial intelligence, for example, plays an important part in this work, helping us prevent the videos from being reshared in their entirety,” Osofsky wrote. “We are also working on improving our review processes. Currently, thousands of people around the world review the millions of items that are reported to us every week in more than 40 languages. We prioritize reports with serious safety implications for our community, and are working on making that review process go even faster.”

Other services are also taking steps to combat violent or otherwise objectionable content on their services. Google and Twitter, for example, are now using artificial intelligence to wade through the massive volume of content uploaded to their websites.

4. Social media has been an investigative aid for police departments.

It probably goes without saying that the rise of documented crimes on social media is an investigative asset for police departments.

In 2015, an officer managed to track down a DUI suspect based on landmarks he picked out in a livesteamed video the offender posted on Periscope. In the same year, a teen was charged with murder after posting a selfie with the body of another teen to Snapchat.

5. It has also created investigative challenges.

But it hasn’t all been gravy. As much as they’ve worked together, police agencies and social media companies have also butt heads in the past.

Late last year, Twitter halted access to its user data for a law enforcement tool that allowed departments to monitor social media and detect potential crime.

In March, Facebook updated its instructions for developers, barring them from using its data for law enforcement surveillance purposes.

And earlier this month, Customs and Border Protection dropped a summons to unmask a Twitter account after the company filed a lawsuit.

Generally, Facebook has been cooperative with investigative requests. In the first six months of 2016, the company handed over data for 80 percent of the 23,854 requests they received from police agencies. And in the aforementioned Korryn Gaines case, police worked with Facebook and Instagram to temporarily deactivate her accounts, believing that her posts were distracting her from negotiations.

But there is still more work to be done, and both police agencies and social media companies need to collaborate in the road ahead. As social media continues to dominate our everyday lives, the rise of crime shared on these sites and how best to combat it is a thorny issue with no easy solutions.


5 things to know about crime broadcast on social media

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Cole Zercoe
Author: Cole Zercoe

The killing of a 74-year-old Cleveland man that was broadcast over Facebook is just the latest in a disturbing trend of crimes committed in front of a digital audience. Over the past several years, there has been an uptick in the use of social media to document heinous acts in progress. Here are five things to know about the darker side of services like Facebook Live.

1. From standoffs to police pursuits, criminals are documenting their acts online.

Among the usual, innocuous content like selfies and food photography, crime has become a troubling presence on social media.

In 2015, the brutal killing of a television reporter and cameraman during a live news broadcast was filmed by the perpetrator and posted on Twitter and Facebook after the gunman fled the scene.

In 2016, 23-year-old Korryn Gaines posted videos on Facebook and Instagram in the midst of a police standoff in which she barricaded herself inside her apartment while armed with a shotgun.

Earlier this year, the beating of a mentally disabled man in Chicago by four suspects was streamed live on Facebook.

There have also been multiple cases of drivers filming themselves as they evade police during high-speed pursuits.

This troubling trend is the reality of an increasingly connected world, where all it takes is the simple push of a button to share photos or video with the masses.

2. Does the existence of these tools influence criminal behavior?

The great debate over whether access to an audience influences criminal behavior has gone on for as long as news organizations have existed, but the rise of social media has created a relatively new angle to the theory.

In a paper presented at the American Psychological Association last year, researchers found that a high volume of discussion on Twitter about a mass shooting increased the probability of another mass shooting occurring shortly thereafter. While motive in these incidents can be hard to pin down, this research does add credibility to the idea that those seeking notoriety and fame are more likely to commit heinous acts in an era where sharing is only a click away.

Raymond Surette, a criminal justice professor at the University of Central Florida, calls this phenomenon “performance crime.”

“The over-sharing that lies at the core of self-incriminating performances is an extension of the significance that social media have come to play culturally,” Surette wrote. “It is better to get your performance out there and be known than to be unknown in a celebrity culture, even if criminality is required.”

UC Davis law professor Elizabeth Joh told the New York Times:

“Any of these platforms — especially live ones — encourages users to perform. Should Facebook have a duty to rescue a crime victim? Should we, or is it O.K. for thousands or millions of people to watch a crime unfold without doing anything except sharing it?”

3. What are social media companies doing about the issue?

Thus far, the policing of content on these platforms can best be described as a work in progress. In all fairness, policing content on a website such as Facebook – where 510,000 comments are posted and 136,000 photos are uploaded every 60 seconds – is no small task. It took the company about two hours to take down footage of Robert Godwin’s murder.

Earlier this week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg briefly mentioned the incident during the company’s annual developer conference:

"We have a lot of work, and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening," Zuckerberg said.

Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s VP of global operations, also issued a statement on the incident, saying the company would improve its procedures in order to stamp out similar content in the future.

“In addition to improving our reporting flows, we are constantly exploring ways that new technologies can help us make sure Facebook is a safe environment. Artificial intelligence, for example, plays an important part in this work, helping us prevent the videos from being reshared in their entirety,” Osofsky wrote. “We are also working on improving our review processes. Currently, thousands of people around the world review the millions of items that are reported to us every week in more than 40 languages. We prioritize reports with serious safety implications for our community, and are working on making that review process go even faster.”

Other services are also taking steps to combat violent or otherwise objectionable content on their services. Google and Twitter, for example, are now using artificial intelligence to wade through the massive volume of content uploaded to their websites.

4. Social media has been an investigative aid for police departments.

It probably goes without saying that the rise of documented crimes on social media is an investigative asset for police departments.

In 2015, an officer managed to track down a DUI suspect based on landmarks he picked out in a livesteamed video the offender posted on Periscope. In the same year, a teen was charged with murder after posting a selfie with the body of another teen to Snapchat.

5. It has also created investigative challenges.

But it hasn’t all been gravy. As much as they’ve worked together, police agencies and social media companies have also butt heads in the past.

Late last year, Twitter halted access to its user data for a law enforcement tool that allowed departments to monitor social media and detect potential crime.

In March, Facebook updated its instructions for developers, barring them from using its data for law enforcement surveillance purposes.

And earlier this month, Customs and Border Protection dropped a summons to unmask a Twitter account after the company filed a lawsuit.

Generally, Facebook has been cooperative with investigative requests. In the first six months of 2016, the company handed over data for 80 percent of the 23,854 requests they received from police agencies. And in the aforementioned Korryn Gaines case, police worked with Facebook and Instagram to temporarily deactivate her accounts, believing that her posts were distracting her from negotiations.

But there is still more work to be done, and both police agencies and social media companies need to collaborate in the road ahead. As social media continues to dominate our everyday lives, the rise of crime shared on these sites and how best to combat it is a thorny issue with no easy solutions.


Video shows events leading up to fatal shooting of Okla. deputy

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

The Oklahoman

LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. — The Logan County sheriff's office has released the body cam video of Deputy David Wade and his conversations with Nathan LeForce before Tuesday's shooting.

Wade, 40, was taken by helicopter to OU Medical Center. He went into cardiac arrest, but doctors were able to revive him long enough to get him into surgery. Wade died at 11:51 a.m. on the operating table.

At a news conference about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Devereaux said the Oklahoma Highway Patrol had taken Leforce, who has a long criminal history in Noble County, into custody.

___ (c)2017 The Oklahoman


Pa. ambush suspect seeks to avoid death penalty

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Rubinkam Associated Press

MILFORD, Pa. — A survivalist who shot and killed a Pennsylvania State Police trooper and injured another in an ambush at their barracks will now fight for his own life following his conviction on capital murder charges.

Eric Frein, 33, was convicted Wednesday of all 12 charges he faced more than two years after targeting the state police in a late-night sniper attack.

The focus now shifts to the impact of Frein's crimes. He killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson, a 38-year-old Marine veteran who left behind a wife and two young sons, and critically wounded Trooper Alex Douglass, who was shot through both hips as he came to the aid of his mortally wounded comrade and suffers from a range of health problems.

Prosecutors will ask the same jury that convicted Frein to send him to death row, while defense lawyers will argue for a sentence of life without parole. The penalty phase begins Thursday afternoon and is expected to wrap up early next week.

Frein melted into the woods after taking four shots with a high-powered rifle, eluding capture for nearly seven weeks. Prosecutors say he opened fire on random troopers at the Blooming Grove barracks in the Pocono Mountains because he was trying to spark a revolution.

Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin called Frein a terrorist and told reporters after the guilty verdict that he intends to seek "full justice" for the victims and their families.

"This case is not yet over. We have a very serious and somber proceeding to go through," he said.

Frein was convicted of first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, attempted murder, terrorism and two weapons of mass destruction counts related to the small bombs he left in the woods during the manhunt.

The verdict was expected after prosecutors presented more than 500 pieces of evidence tying Frein to the ambush. His DNA was found on the trigger of the murder weapon, and police recovered several handwritten notebook pages at Frein's campsite in which he described the attack and his subsequent escape into the woods in chilling detail.

He also wrote a letter to his parents in which he advocated revolution as a way to "get us back the liberties we once had."

The defense said Frein deserved to live despite his "dastardly acts," as his lawyer put it.

"We would like to present Eric in the most sympathetic light that we can," said lawyer William Ruzzo. "The way they villainized him, we can't make him a holy man, but we're trying to make him a man."

He insisted Frein has an "inner core of goodness."

A death sentence would send Frein to death row, but the state has a moratorium on executions under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. The state's last execution was in 1999, and it has executed only three people since the U.S. Supreme Court restored the death penalty in 1976.

Wolf applauded the verdict but didn't address Frein's sentence.

"Today justice was served and a brutal murderer will be held accountable for his heinous and cowardly acts against members of the Pennsylvania State Police," he said in a statement.

Police linked Frein to the ambush after a man walking his dog discovered his partly submerged SUV three days later in a swamp a few miles from the shooting scene. Inside, investigators found shell casings matching those found at the barracks and Frein's driver's license.

The discovery sparked a manhunt that involved 1,000 law enforcement officials and spanned more than 300 square miles. The dragnet shut down schools and roads and hurt businesses in the mountainous region, which leans heavily on tourism. At times, police ordered residents to stay inside or prevented them from returning home as they pursued tips and supposed sightings, while trick-or-treating was canceled.


Police grants and sanctuary cities: It’s complicated

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Linda Gilbertson

The very confusing issue of sanctuary cities just got a little more confusing. Just a couple of weeks after Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech on the Department of Justice’s resolve to continue to enforce laws requiring local law enforcement to honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests for illegal aliens or face the loss of federal grant funds, a website that was started earlier this year to report on so-called sanctuary cities that were not following the laws was taken down because of inaccuracies in the information provided.

What hasn’t changed in the past couple of months is that the federal government is still on the path of requiring all grant applicants to comply with the ICE detainer requests or be denied these important federal funds. However, full enforcement of the funding restriction on sanctuary cities may be held up when the new federal budget is discussed because Congress appears to be divided on the issue.

As with most things, there are two sides to the argument. Many law enforcement agencies say their job will be made even more difficult if they follow the regulations, as it will mean less cooperation from immigrant communities as they attempt to investigate and prosecute crimes. Victims and witnesses won’t come forward with information or show up in court due to the fear of deportation. Trust that has been built up between law enforcement and the community will be damaged. But others agree with the federal government’s position that not complying with the laws decreases the safety of everyone in the community.

FUNDING AT STAKE

Some states and cities are doing what they can to comply, while others have filed lawsuits to fight it. Billions of dollars nationwide are hanging in the balance.

What does that mean for you, as you attempt to secure future grant funding for your agency’s needs? Will you be able to apply for COPS Hiring funds this year? Will you get your second-year funding for a project you have already started?

To be honest, I’m not sure anyone really knows at this point. The new COPS grant opportunities haven’t been released yet, although there is no indication that they won’t be available this year. Once they are, it will be interesting to see what the requirements for eligibility are.

Of course, federal grants include much more than just the COPS Hiring Program that directly impacts a law enforcement agency. Others have impact throughout the community.

For instance, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program – SCAAP – provides reimbursement funding to local law enforcement agencies, including corrections departments, for housing illegal aliens who have been arrested in their jails. This includes anyone who is not an American citizen, not just those from countries that are being addressed by the federal government’s new immigration policies. For those departments that utilize this program to help with the cost of incarceration, the amount of funding that could potentially be lost with the sanctuary cities policies is substantial.

Other federal programs that provide funding to law enforcement include those that address complex issues such as mental illness, drug addiction, juvenile crime, and domestic violence. Often these grant opportunities are collaborative efforts between police and local social service agencies, many of which are nonprofits that rely on such funding to serve their clients. The loss of this funding can have large-scale impacts on a community.

It appears there will be further discussion about the issue of sanctuary cities and federal funding, but the decision to comply with the detainer laws or not is highly controversial. Keep yourself informed as things progress so that you don’t lose out on this important funding.


7 years after off-duty wreck took Miss. trooper’s leg, jury awards him $1.25M

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By Karen Nelson The Sun Herald

JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. — A jury has returned a whopping $1.25 million civil award in Jackson County Circuit Court.

It’s one of the largest in recent memory for the conservative county, and it was awarded to a Mississippi Highway Patrol trooper who lost his lower-left leg in an off-duty motorcycle accident in 2010.

The verdict went against two construction companies that had left a low ramp across a Pascagoula road the night of the accident.

Marvin Henderson was on his motorcycle on Shortcut Road in Pascagoula when he hit the obstruction, according to the original complaint. The ramp covered a conduit the companies were using to move water and sewage across the road.

Attorneys said the drainage system had been built that day and left overnight. It was dark, and the obstruction was poorly marked.

It was a type of ramp, but when Henderson hit it late at night, coming home from classes and the gym, it sent him flying off his motorcycle. The blow crushed his foot and lower leg.

That was September 2010. He fought for almost a year with pain and rehabilitation, but finally lost his leg the following August.

After 25 surgeries, doctors thought he would have more mobility with a prosthetic leg.

Attorneys tried the case in Circuit Judge Robert Krebs’ courtroom last week. Originally, the jury calculated the award at more than $3 million — delivered late Thursday — but then came back to assign responsibility to each party. Jurors found Henderson was 60 percent responsible for his part in the accident, so they reduced the award.

Still, the $1.25 million stands out in this county. Judges recalled a $15 million award in a drilling case and $2 million in a 1996 construction case, both involving death, but those were overturned.

“We’re not accustomed to those (large) awards,” said Court Administrator Pat Smith, a 26-year veteran. “Jurors are generally pretty perceptive. They can see through all the grandstanding and get to the truth. So if you have a legitimate complaint, I think, by and large, the jurors can see that.”

Cost of losing a leg

Attorneys argued the companies had used barricades to direct traffic around the obstruction during the day, but not at night. The next day, after the accident, the companies removed it, they said.

Henderson was 30 then. When the case went to trial, he was 37 and had been through excruciating pain, the loss of his leg and all the rehabilitation and training for the prosthesis.

At the trial, his attorneys and witnesses were able to fully to explain to the jury what his expenses and medical costs would be for the rest of his life.

He is still with the MHP, however, and thriving. His attorney, Morgan Holder with Smith and Holder of Gulfport, said he is an investigator with salvage at MHP and still has trooper status.

“He’s a great guy, very resilient,” Holder said.

In 2012, two years after the accident, there was a report of him stopping an armed robbery in Jackson. He was doing a driver’s license road test at Metrocenter Mall, when he heard a woman cry for help. He exchanged gunfire with one man who was fleeing, and even with his prosthetic leg, was able to chase down a woman who was responsible for the getaway car.

At that time, he had four years on the force, and told reporters what he did in the parking lot was simply part of his commitment to protecting others.

Not a complainer

Henderson was in the Marine Corps for four years, did a tour for Operation Enduring Freedom with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Force, and performed humanitarian assistance in Africa. After the Marines, he earned an associate degree and joined the highway patrol.

When he hit that obstruction on Shortcut Road, he was a semester away from a bachelor’s degree, anticipating the birth of his second son and could run 2 miles in under 16 minutes. He was described as the strong, silent type, not a complainer.

Since the wreck, he has managed to stay strong and focused, observers say. He works out, he runs and he’s a bodybuilder.

In a YouTube video created by manufacturer Buckner Prosthetics, which developed prostheses for him and helped train him, Marvin “The Cyborg” Henderson says he thought his life was over when the doctors told him he would never run again.

“I thought it would be the end of me being athletic,” he said. “That was a gut-wrenching moment.”

But now, his work ethic is more intense than ever, because he said he has to be better than the guys with two legs.

He and his trainers with Buckner looked up the fastest an amputee has ever run the 40, and he believes he can beat that.

Despite his physical and emotional setbacks, he graduated in 2011 with a bachelor of arts degree in homeland security studies.

Perseverance

The trial lasted four days and went into the evening most days.

There was testimony from seven to eight experts, including engineers who testified to the loss of Henderson’s wage-earning capacity.

But with an award that high, an appeal is highly possible, attorneys say.

The construction companies named as defendants in the case are WT Construction and Jay Bearden Construction, both from upstate. The judge let Compton Engineering, a Pascagoula firm named in the original complaint, out of the case as not having responsibility.

According to a story in the Sun Herald in 2012 about Henderson’s gumption, his fellow troopers weren’t surprised at his perseverance.

His goal at the time was to become a federal agent. He still may have that in his sights.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “When I was in (the tunnel), I couldn’t see no daylight. But I kept going. I won’t let nothing stop me.”

———

©2017 The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.)


After warning to drug dealers went viral, Fla. sheriff says more videos to come

Posted on April 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jason Ruiter Orlando Sentinel

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell, who became an internet sensation last week with an ominous warning to heroin dealers, isn’t done making videos.

Grinnell was flanked by masked undercover deputies in a video in which he warned heroin dealers that “we are coming for you.”

Sitting at his desk, adorned with an American flag coffee mug and Bible, Grinnell said Friday that there will be more.

“I’m going to have … weekly segments of things that are not in the news, predominantly positive things that are going on in this county regarding law enforcement,” Grinnell said.

He is considering other topics — fraud, cyber crime and general public announcements — as a follow up to the controversial video. It sparked criticism and praise on social media from some who said the law-enforcement lineup looked like an ISIS beheading video and others who labeled Grinnell a hero for taking on the bad guys.

His first national media foray included an interview on Fox & Friends and a story in the New York Times. Grinnell, who was elected in November after a decade as the agency’s chief deputy, also fielded a congratulatory call from Gov. Rick Scott.

“He just wanted me to know that he appreciated my tough stance against this heroin epidemic and that he stands with me and that he was going to make this a priority of the great state of Florida,” Grinnell said. “I think those were his exact words: ‘great state of Florida.’”

Grinnell, who heads the department, said his public-service announcements aren’t meant to be controversial but only to build the Sheriff’s Office presence and serve Lake residents. When he made the video in early April, he said undercover deputies who are passionate about their work requested to be a part of it.

Earlier this week, the Sheriff’s Office made five arrests in Groveland through undercover work and anonymous tips, seizing more than 6 ounces of cocaine, two AR-15 rifles, 500 ecstasy pills and two pounds of marijuana. Since October, Lake had 24 opioid-related overdoses resulting in four fatalities. Grinnell said he wants to train his officers to use Narcan, a fast-acting treatment for opioid overdose victims.

Grinnell said he doesn’t expect every video to spark the same outrage.

“Time changes, technology changes,” he said. “We need our public’s help.”

On the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page alone, the video garnered 1.3 million views by Friday and 3,500 comments.

Corey Pendergraft, the agency’s digital media manager, said of the roughly 40,000 likes the post fostered, only 636 were negative with Facebook’s “angry face.” About 24 percent of the views in the video came from Florida residents.

“I read every single comment,” Pendergraft said. “Positive feedback tended to be from this area.”

“Way to go!” wrote one Facebook commenter on the video post. “Thank you for protecting the citizens of Lake County.”

But to others, the video's ski masks and eerie music score was bizarre. Many mistook the video for a joke or the echo of a militarized police force.

“Is this an SNL skit?” one commenter wrote. “That was ridiculous.”

“You look either like little boys playing soldier or masked thugs,” wrote another.

“This really smacks of police state,” wrote one.

Grinnell, who was born in the area, said, “I’ll be straight up with you — I only care what people in Lake County think.”

The sheriff was elected by two-thirds of the vote last November. The former Marine — who served in the Persian Gulf War — was also a participant and winner of a local “Dancing With the Stars” competition that is a fundraiser for the Educational Foundation of Lake County.

Since being elected, Grinnell said he has pushed for a stronger social-media presence, more policing against DUI and aggressive drivers and bringing back the Drug Abuse Resistance Education to elementary schools.

Ralph Smith, owner of Lake Tire & Auto in Tavares and a Republican state committeeman, said he liked the risk Grinnell took with the video.

“I understand a few people … to be a little bit offended,” he said. “The simple reality of it is I like out-of-the-box thinking.”

Smith said he doesn’t think the issue is liberal or conservative, but in knowing — or not knowing — the role heroin has in the county.

“Maybe in hindsight it’ll be a misstep,” he said. “But by golly I like guys who take chances."

———

©2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

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A message from the Lake County Sheriff's Office Community Engagement Unit.

Posted by Lake County Sheriff's Office on Friday, April 7, 2017


Critical incident stress management interventions help heal first responders

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Dr. Chuck Russo, Program Director, Criminal Justice at American Military University, and Carrie Kahn Courtney

First responders are trained to utilize tactical strategies in crisis situations, so they can quickly protect lives and property. However, high-crisis incidents can overwhelm normal coping mechanisms and trigger traumatic-stress disorders for first responders.

Officer-involved shootings, line-of-duty deaths and injuries, child victims, employee suicide, and mass-casualty incidents are all events that can trigger traumatic-stress disorders for first responders. Common effects of traumatic stress include:

Concentration impairment Eating and sleeping disturbances Psychosomatic symptomology Addictions Depression Irritability Avoidant behaviors Changes in libido Increased personal and professional conflict

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the many mental health disorders associated with traumatic stress. Such disorders often hinder a first responder’s ability to return to a pre-event “normal” status. If post-traumatic stress is not addressed, it can often lead to faulty decision making, increased disciplinary problems, tardiness, on-the-job accidents, citizen complaints, and officer turnover.

While post-traumatic stress is the normal reaction to an abnormal event, PTSD does not have to occur. If post-traumatic stress is left unchecked, unaddressed, and untreated, the results can often lead to PTSD.

Help First Responders with CISM Interventions

Critical incident stress management (CISM) is a short-term, psychological first-aid intervention strategy that can help mitigate long-term mental health issues for first responders.

CISM interventions encourage individuals to emote the impact of the cognitive, emotional, and psychological symptoms that manifest as a direct result of exposure to traumatic stress, especially repetitive traumatic stress. CISM aims to return those involved to a pre-event “normal” status quicker than if left to their own devices and deter PTSD.

Impacts of Traumatic Stress on an Agency

Besides taking a toll on the individual, traumatic stress has an impact on the agency. The effects of traumatic stress on organizations often include:

Communication breakdowns. Decreased morale. Deteriorating group cohesiveness. Increased absenteeism. Increased healthcare costs including increased worker’s compensation and disability claims. Decreased ability to retain effective personnel. Decreased employee efficiency and productivity.

These financial and morale costs can cause long-term damage to an agency’s community support, resource budget, and recruiting opportunities.

It is important that agencies address the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral symptoms associated with traumatic stress by implementing CISM interventions. Such implementation often includes one-on-one sessions, debriefings, and defusing sessions that are co-facilitated by mental health professionals and peers to combat traumatic stress. Agencies need to take proactive steps to help officers heal and recover from traumatic-stress incidents.

About the Authors

Dr. Chuck Russo is the Program Director of Criminal Justice at American Military University (AMU). He began his career in law enforcement in 1987 in central Florida and was involved in all areas of patrol, training, special operations and investigations before retiring from law enforcement in 2013. Dr. Russo continues to design and instruct courses, as well as act as a consultant for education, government, and industry throughout the United States and the Middle East. His recent research and presentations focus on emerging technology and law enforcement applications, in addition to post-traumatic stress and online learning.

Carrie Kahn Courtney, RCSWI, wears many hats as a grant writer, social worker, disaster behavioral health specialist for adults and children, addictions professional, cadre trainer for the Disaster Technical Assistance Center, Vice President of Volusia Interfaith Networking in Disaster, Outgoing Chair for the Mental Health Association of East Central Florida, and Advanced Responder for the Florida Crisis Consortium.


Facebook developing internet-equipped helicopter for emergencies

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

Facebook is currently developing a helicopter that could provide “instant infrastructure” during a crisis.

According to the Verge, the company said the small aircraft, named “Tether-tenna,” would be deployed during an emergency, tether to fiber and electricity lines and provide an internet signal to a wide area.

“When completed, this technology will be able to be deployed immediately and operate for months at a time to bring back connectivity in case of an emergency,” manager of Facebook’s Connectivity Lab Yael Maguire wrote in a blog post.

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Posted by Facebook Engineering on Wednesday, April 19, 2017

In the past year, Facebook has attempted to make internet accessible for all. The Verge reported that in 2016, Facebook launched Terragraph, a "multi-node wireless system focused on bringing high-speed internet connectivity to dense urban areas,” and Aquila, a drone that beams an internet signal from the air.

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Facebook’s new drone can beam internet from the sky — and it just completed its first test flight.

Posted by The Verge on Thursday, July 21, 2016

“Developing next-generation technology takes a lot of testing and iteration — we know these projects will take a decade to develop,” Maguire wrote. “But if we're going to build communities that work for everyone, that starts with building connectivity that works for everyone.”


Dozens of cases dismissed, reviewed after Ga. cops fired over UOF incident

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Eighty-nine cases were dismissed and more are under review following the termination of two officers who were seen on video kicking and punching a driver in the head during an April 12 traffic stop.

On Friday, Gwinnett County Solicitor General Rosanna Szabo dismissed cases where Officers Robert McDonald and Michael Bongiovanni were either a principal officer or a main witness, the New York Times reported.

Gwinnett County DA Danny Porter said in an email to the Times that nearly 40 felony cases where the officers were involved in some way are being reviewed as well.

Prosecutors began reviewing the cases shortly after video of McDonald and Bongiovanni using force on Demetrius B. Hollins, 21, during the traffic stop went viral.

When “officers betray the public’s trust and confidence, justice demands that all those cases that depend on their credibility be dismissed without delay,” she said in a statement.

The Gwinnett County Police Department said McDonald, 25, displayed “unnecessary and excessive” force and Bongiovanni, 41, lied.

Bongiovanni’s lawyer Mike Puglise told the New York Times the officer “followed protocol to de-escalate the situation.” He is currently deciding if they will appeal the termination.

A criminal investigation has been launched into both officers’ actions by the department.


How eCitation systems improve officer safety, reduce costs

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Melissa Mann
Author: Melissa Mann

The notion of using electronic citations is not a new concept to law enforcement because it has been available for nearly a decade. However, with advancements in technology, the newer eCitation software and mobile system capabilities provide a renewed look.

Officers are continually being instructed to do more with less. Keeping officers on the street and free to patrol is important to officer and community safety. Reducing an officer’s time spent completing monotonous administrative tasks is a direction all agencies need to figure out how to take.

eCitation benefits

Officers have used a pen and citation pad in the field for years. With all of the other tools an officer must carry in their duty bag and patrol vehicle, carrying multiple citation books is inefficient and just more cumbersome items to shove into their overloaded duty bag.

No matter the size of the agency, an eCitation system can be the answer to the time consuming and tedious issues that arise from a pen and paper system. An eCitation system will dramatically reduce wasted time and errors while issuing citations – improving the quality and accuracy of information captured while eliminating additional paperwork.

In fact, any time an officer must write anything, there will undoubtedly be issues with legibility and accuracy. Estimations reflect about 35 to 40 percent of citations are lost due to such errors. Unfortunately, once a citation is issued, both the officer and staff are required to correct any errors in their computer system which wastes time for the officer and clerks and ultimately leads to a financial loss for the department

Officer safety

Traffic stops are incredibly dangerous. It generally takes an officer 10-15 minutes to issue a moving violation, multi-part ticket. Danger increases the longer an officer is on the side of the road issuing a citation. And, the more time that passes, the higher the chances of a distracted or unaware motorist causing an accident involving injury or death to the officer.

Then there is the risk of creating a hostile situation. The longer an officer takes to issue a citation, the more the violator may become agitated as he or she waits. The increased frustration can lead to a hostile situation.

The average time it takes to issue an eCitation is a few minutes. Electronic ticketing offers the officer the opportunity to clear that traffic stop three to five times faster which dramatically increases officer safety.

Time efficiency

With the increase in reporting demands, the eCitation systems allow law enforcement agencies to efficiently meet the growing data collection and reporting workload without risking officer safety. When agencies use an eCitation system, all data from the citations can be automatically electronically transferred into the agency and court record management systems. This simple feature can eliminate paid clerk hours, which in itself can easily justify the purchase of an e-citation system. Increased efficiency has a ripple effect within the agency. With benefits including reduced administrative payroll costs and increased revenue and satisfaction among the officers with their increased work performance, it is difficult to find a downside to implementing an electronic citation system.

Revenue increase

The eCitation systems also eliminate errors associated with hand written tickets. The average number of ticketing errors runs approximately 10 percent for every 20,000 citations issued. The majority of ticket errors require the citation to be thrown out of court and a loss of about $50 each. This loss of about $100,000 can be recouped with the use of an eCitation system.

Ease of use

Some eCitation programs offer the ability for the officer to issue multiple citations in a matter of seconds. The system is seamlessly connected with a database that includes hundred to thousands of offenses for the officer’s reference. The software can be designed with the capability of capturing all information on a driver's license by scanning the barcode on the back of the license. This data is then populated into the appropriate fields on the citation form.

The eCitation systems also come with a portable printer which issues the completed citation. These printers allow citations to be printed in multiple forms including full page or small format. The formats generally include traffic offenses, parking or code enforcement citation.

Further, the eCitation systems can be simply built into several devices including tablets, PCs or handheld smart devices for optimal benefit and officer flexibility. With all of these new features, there is little reason to not take another look at today’s eCitation systems.


NY officer dies in off-duty motorcycle crash

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Heather Yakin The Times Herald-Record

GARDINER, N.Y. — An off-duty Walden police officer died Tuesday in a crash on Route 44-55 in Gardiner, police said.

Ulster County sheriff's Capt. Vincent Altieri said Dustin James, 31, was riding his 2013 Harley-Davidson motorcycle eastbound on Route 44-55 when his motorcycle and a 2011 Toyota Camry heading northbound out of Bruynswick Road collided about 10:48 a.m.

James was pronounced dead at Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie.

The Camry was being driven by Alejandra Rodas-Perez, 19, of Bloomingburg, the sheriff's office said.

James is survived by his wife, Maryellen James, according to a news release from the Village of Walden Police Department.

The state police crash reconstruction team is assisting the Ulster County Sheriff's Office with the investigation. The outcome will determine what charges, if any, will be filed in the case.

According to a news release from Walden police, James started with the village department on Jan. 1, 2007 as a part-time dispatcher, and became a part-time officer on Aug. 12, 2007. He went to full-time status in October 2009. He also began working as a part-time officer with the Montgomery village police in December 2015.

Walden Police Chief Jeff Holmes and Montgomery village Police Chief Steven Walsh offered this statement: "Officer James was an exceptional Police Officer that excelled at his job. His many contributions to both departments are too numerous to list. He had compassion for others, a sense of humor and an attention to detail.

"Officer James was loved by all who had the pleasure to know him and work with him over the years. There was nothing that Officer James would not do for his fellow brother or sister. Officer James will be deeply missed by his family and friends here at the Village of Walden and Village of Montgomery Police Departments."

Walden posthumously promoted James to the rank of investigator.

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©2017 The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y.


After job frustrations, union files to represent Mounties

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

OTTAWA, Ontario — After weeks of frustration about low wages and working conditions, the Mounties are close to forming their first union.

According to CBC News,The National Police Federation filed an application for certification to represent the 17,945 members of the RCMP.

Over the last two weeks, various Mounties have removed their yellow pant stripe in protest of their working conditions and lack of staffing.

"Human resource levels are continually at sub-par standards putting our members' safety, their families' as well as the public at risk. And what is growing more and more apparent is the government's intention to treat us as public servants and not a police force," NPF co-chair Brian Suave told the publication.

Sgt. Scott Fefchak said it’s not uncommon for members to have 300 or 400 hours on call per month.

"It's cumulative stress that comes from always being on and not having the work-life balance that we're being told we have to try and achieve, but under the circumstances it's really difficult to achieve due to the lack of manpower,” he told CBC.

The RCMP is the only non-unionized police force in Canada. The Canadian Supreme Court allowed the government a year to propose legislation for a RCMP union. If the application is approved, the labor board will hold a secret ballot vote for the Mounties, the publication reported.


Cops, EMT rescue pregnant woman from frigid river

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Robert Allen Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — Desperately hanging onto a coat with her teeth to stay afloat in the frigid Detroit River, a pregnant woman struggled to keep the current from sweeping her away Monday night after having second thoughts about ending her life.

The coat was extended to her from atop a seawall in a frenzied attempt to save her. Fast-acting police, an emergency medic and a mail boat crew managed to rescue the woman, about 20 years old, who later received an emergency C-section at a nearby hospital, according to Detroit Police Department.

Officers Brian Gadwell and Steven Rauser arrived shortly before 11 p.m. to the scene at Riverside Park near the Ambassador Bridge. They found a man lying on the wall, about 5-7 feet above the water's surface, reaching out with the coat and a tree branch to help keep the woman from being pulled under.

"I jumped in," Gadwell said at a news conference Tuesday. "I wrapped my legs around her, and I was able to grab, like a rebar or rod, that was sticking out the wall."

Soon, his hands started losing their grip. The National Weather Service reports the river's temperature was about 49 degrees, plenty cold to give everyone hypothermia. The woman told the rescuer she loved him, and he said the same to her.

"I thought I was going to die," Gadwell said. "I told them, 'You better do something. I can't hang on.'"

Rauser jumped in to help. Rauser said he wanted to pull them out of the water, but the wall was too high. So he went into the water, grabbing onto a steel hook in the wall, and held the woman until more help arrived.

"She was definitely fighting for her life, she was scared," Rauser said, adding that he "had no idea" the woman was pregnant.

Ryan Gazdecki, senior captain of the J.W. Wescott mail boat docked next to the park, had just been finishing work that night when he and partner Joseph Buchanan saw the fire trucks and police cars

"We just kind of ran down there to see what was going on," Gazdecki said, adding that they soon learned the situation. "My partner and I sprinted back up to the dock where the boat was."

A Hart EMS emergency medical technician, who's a certified dive rescuer, had jumped into the water to help. The captain untied the boat and approached from downstream as the woman and EMT held onto a chain, against the current, Gazdecki said. They helped both of them into the boat and were back on shore within 15 minutes.

"It was pretty difficult to get the boat situated — the current is extra strong with all the rain we've had," he said.

Chris Ward, the EMT, gave this account of the scene: "A crew member from Detroit Fire had hold of the victim's arm and I had her leg. We knew we had to get the buoy that we got from the mail boat around her somehow and the only way that seemed possible was from the water — physically putting it on her as she was panicking.

"I jumped in with a lifeline tied around me and was able to get her head and her arm through the buoy. At that time the boat crew pulled us over to the boat and they were able lift us both out of the water."

Ward, Gadwell, Rauser and the woman all were taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital and treated for hypothermia. The officers said that as far as they know, the baby is OK.

Police later determined that the woman was attempting suicide. Police Chief James Craig said he's asking the officers' commander to nominate Gadwell and Rauser for lifesaving medals.

After the intense rescue, a moment of levity: "I get in the EMS rig and I'm shaking, they're like ripping all my clothes off," Gadwell said, and they saw the nail polish his daughters, 7 and 10, painted on his toenails.

"I'm like, this is what happens when you have daughters at home. I get to the hospital, everybody's making fun of me. ... They're laughing at me, they go, 'Hey, just so you know, your partner's toenails are done, too.'"

Rauser, who has an 8-year-old daughter, admitted his toenails also had been painted.

Adam Gottlieb, owner of Hart EMS, said he's "very proud" of his crew's involvement with the rescue and medical transport.

"It's very, very unusual for us to do a water rescue like that," Gottlieb said. "It was a big collaborative effort for everybody that was there."

Copyright 2017 Detroit Free Press


EMT recounts moments after driver hit first responders

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. — An EMT recalled the moment a driver hit first responders on the scene of a crash over the weekend.

FOX17.com reported that Sumner County EMT Ricky Slack was aiding the victim of a motorcycle crash at an intersection when he became a victim himself.

"I was standing here looking out, and I came out and went to this side over here and landed in the gravel on the side of the road," Slack said.

Slack was one of three responders injured by the driver, who backed into another car and began driving around traffic before slamming into the back of an ambulance.

Chief Martin Bowers, with New Shackle Island Fire and Rescue, said the driver had a diabetic incident.

"His blood sugar was 26 or 29," Chief Bowers said. "When you get that low, you can't think right. That's what caused it actually."

“The next thing, he hit the ambulance and I closed my eyes and lost sight of the officer, and didn't see her," Slack said. "Well, of course, I thought he had crushed her under the ambulance. I looked up, and I kept looking for the officer. I looked down and she was laying down the hill. She wasn't moving, and I could see her blinking her eyes."

Deputy Michelle Scott has been released from the hospital and is expected to be OK. A firefighter was also injured after the driver ran over his foot.


Calif. police: Gunman targeting whites chose 3 men at random

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Scott Smith Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. — Three men were having a seemingly ordinary day in downtown Fresno, California, before they were singled out at random and killed by a black gunman targeting white victims, police said.

The men happened to be on the same block, but had no known connection to each other or to the shooter, Kori Ali Muhammad, who told police he wanted to kill as many white people as he could before he was captured.

One victim, a 34-year-old father of two preschoolers, was on the job when he was shot Tuesday in the passenger seat of a Pacific Gas & Electric utility truck. The driver wasn't hit and sped toward the police department, but his partner couldn't be saved.

Another victim, a 37-year-old man, had just picked up a bag of groceries Tuesday at a Catholic Charities building when he was gunned down.

Stephen Hughes, 66, said he and his wife rushed home Tuesday after receiving a frantic call from a neighbor to find a body draped in a blanket on the sidewalk leading to his front door.

"It looks like a guy carrying his groceries home from the store," Hughes said.

The third victim, a 59-year-old man, was gunned down in the parking of the Catholic Charities building.

"These were unprovoked attacks," Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

Two Latina women and a child crossed paths with Muhammad but were luckier. Muhammad pointed the gun at them as they sat in their car trying to flee, but didn't shoot.

Muhammad, 39, is in custody and is expected to be charged with four counts of murder — for Tuesday's three victims and 25-year-old Motel 6 security guard, Carl Williams, another white man who Muhammad shot last week. He also faces at least two additional charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

Police had been looking for Muhammad in the Williams killing, and Muhammad said seeing his own name and picture in a press release Tuesday morning helped spur the rampage.

Muhammad had shorn off the braids featured in his wanted pictures and YouTube videos, fired 16 rounds in less than two minutes at four places within a block.

"I did it. I shot them," Muhammad told officers as they arrested him, according to the chief.

During the arrest, Muhammad shouted "Allahu Akbar," but Dyer said the shootings had "nothing to do with terrorism in spite of the statement he made."

"This is solely based on race," Dyer said.

Police are searching for the revolver Muhammad said he tossed into a pile of clothing. The gun may have been picked up by someone else, Dyer said.

On what appeared to be Muhammad's Facebook page, he repeatedly posted "#LetBlackPeopleGo" and encouraged "black warriors" to "mount up." A flurry of posts emerged in the past day.

He wrote that his "kill rate increases tremendously on the other side" and also posted about "white devils," themes he dwelled on in hip-hop videos that he posted on YouTube.

Muhammad has a criminal history that includes arrests on weapons, drugs and false imprisonment charges and making terrorist threats. He had been associated with gangs but he was not a confirmed member, police say.

Muhammad was charged in 2005 with possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, court records show. Federal prosecutors said at the time that he was also in possession of a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and two rifles after being convicted of a felony.

He claimed insanity, and his attorney requested a psychiatric examination for his client, saying Muhammad "appeared eccentric with some bizarre beliefs."

He also "suffered auditory hallucinations and had at least two prior mental health hospitalizations," according to court documents. His attorney said that Muhammad had "paranoia" and thought the justice system and his defense attorney were conspiring against him, court papers said.

The attorney who represented Muhammad in that case did not return a call for comment Tuesday.

Public records list Muhammad as Cory Taylor and other aliases with addresses in Fresno and Sacramento. Fresno's police chief said his former name was Cory McDonald. A woman who identified herself as Taylor's grandmother said Tuesday that the family last saw him on Easter Sunday. She hung up the phone before giving her name.

"I never would have thought he would do anything like this," sad Muhammad's brother, who asked not to be identified by name. "I'm just kind of shocked."


Sessions vows tougher approach on drug cartels

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sadie Gurman Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration vowed Tuesday to crack down on MS-13, a notoriously brutal Central American street gang blamed for a recent series of killings in suburban New York, and accused Obama-era border policies of allowing its ranks to flourish.

The gang is known for hacking and stabbing victims with machetes, drug dealing, prostitution and other rackets. Their recruits are middle- and high-school students predominantly in immigrant communities and those who try to leave risk violent retribution, according to officials.

"These organizations enrich themselves by pedaling poison in our communities, trafficking children for sexual exploitation and inflicting horrific violence in the communities where they operate," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in remarks before meeting with top federal law enforcement officials on ways to dismantle ultraviolent transnational gangs.

His warnings were echoed in a separate address by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and came just hours after President Donald Trump tweeted that "The weak illegal immigration policies of the Obama Admin. allowed bad MS 13 gangs to form in cities across U.S. We are removing them fast!"

MS-13 — or the Mara Salvatrucha — traces its origins to Los Angeles, where thousands fleeing El Salvador's bloody civil war in the 1980s arrived, to protect the immigrants from Mexican and African-American gangs. As Central American communities have grown, so has the gang, which is now estimated at 30,000 members operating in semi-autonomous cliques mostly in Central and North America. More than 10,000 MS-13 are in the U.S., according to federal law enforcement officials. However, the FBI doesn't break down its national crime statistics by gang affiliation, and the bureau doesn't collect MS-13-specific data, a spokeswoman said.

The Justice Department suspects major gang leaders are using cellphones from Salvadoran prisons to instruct members who have crossed into the U.S. illegally to kill rivals and extort legal and illegal businesses owned by immigrants. Authorities suspect members of the gang are behind last week's slayings in central Long Island of four young people, which are among 11 killings that have rattled the working-class immigrants of Central Islip, New York, since September.

Sessions has called for more aggressive prosecution of crimes such as illegal border crossing and smuggling others into the U.S. as a way to deter violence.

"We cannot allow this to continue. We will secure our border, expand immigration enforcement, and choke-off supply lines. If you are a gang member: We will find you," said Sessions, who also alleged that so-called sanctuary cities, which limit local cooperation with immigration authorities, undermine law enforcement efforts to stop such gangs.

The president later tweeted that "Sessions is doing a fantastic job: announced today new steps to dismantle violent gangs like MS-13. I promised to get tough and we are!"

Kelly, during a separate speech at George Washington University, said transnational criminal groups, such as the drug cartels and MS-13, are engaged in kidnapping, torture and human trafficking and pose one of the greatest threats to the U.S. "They are utterly without laws, conscience or respect for human life," he said.

During the Obama administration, the government focused on immigrants in the country illegally who posed a threat to national security or public safety and recent border crossers. More than 2.5 million people were deported under Obama's policies, many of them characterized as suspected or confirmed gang members.

The Obama administration made unprecedented efforts to fight MS-13, targeting the gang's finances by declaring it an international criminal group subject to sanctions by the Treasury Department. The goal of that 2012 maneuver was to stymie the gang's ability to funnel money back to leaders in El Salvador or launder criminal proceeds through otherwise legitimate businesses.

Federal prosecutors have targeted MS-13 before, pursuing racketeering cases throughout the 2000s in places such as San Francisco, Maryland, northern Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and elsewhere. The Justice Department said it made progress in 2009 and 2010. The FBI last week added an MS-13 member to its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for his suspected role in the 2011 killing of a man with a baseball bat and a screwdriver.

But James Trusty, who headed the department's organized crime and gang section before he left in January, said the group appeared to be experiencing a recent revival in some of those same places.

Stricter vetting at the border is necessary to stop MS-13 members from coming into the U.S., Trusty said, noting some are coached to tell immigration officials they're escaping violence in their home country in order to stay.

"My own view is there has to be some correlation between lax immigration policies and replenishment of the gangs in places where they already existed," he said.


More details emerge in fatal shooting of Okla. deputy

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Silas Allen The Oklahoman

MULHALL, Okla. — Not long ago, Logan County Sheriff Damon Devereaux told his wife there was one thing he feared more than anything else in the job: losing one of his own deputies in the line of duty.

On Tuesday, it happened.

A man shot a Logan County sheriff's deputy helping serve an eviction notice Tuesday morning before speeding away in the deputy's patrol pickup as officers returned fire, authorities said.

Minutes later, the gunman stopped at a convenience store just west of Langston, where he stole a car at gunpoint and drove southwest on State Highway 33, toward Guthrie. Law officers would comb the area for hours before taking the suspect — Nathan Aaron Leforce, 45, of Perry — into custody shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Deputy David Wade, 40, was taken by helicopter to OU Medical Center with gunshot wounds to his face and body. Wade went into cardiac arrest, but doctors were able to revive him long enough to get him into surgery. Wade died at 11:51 a.m. on the operating table, Devereaux said.

"This is my first experience with this, and it's hard on all of us," Devereaux said.

The shooting occurred about 9 a.m. Tuesday. Hours later, officers from the sheriff's department, as well as the Oklahoma County sheriff's office, Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation swarmed an area about five miles west of Langston between Midwest Boulevard and Post Road between east-west county roads 77 and 76 as police helicopters buzzed overhead.

At a news conference about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Devereaux said the Oklahoma Highway Patrol had taken Leforce, who has a long criminal history in Noble County, into custody.

Sgt. Greg Valencia, a spokesman for the Logan County sheriff's office, said officers found Leforce hiding in an outbuilding at 4250 Jaxton Road, about seven miles southwest of Langston. Officers threw four gas grenades inside before storming the building, Valencia said.

Officers located Leforce by tracking the use of a cellphone, said Lt. John Vincent, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokesman. Leforce surrendered without resistance, Vincent said.

Devereaux said it was unclear what precipitated the shooting. Wade, a three-year veteran with the sheriff's department, had gone to the home in a rural area between Interstate 35 and Mulhall, to serve an eviction notice. But Devereaux said Leforce wasn't the person being evicted.

After shooting Wade, authorities say Leforce drove the deputy's patrol pickup to Smitty's One Stop, a convenience store at State Highway 33 and Henney Road, just west of Langston.

A worker at the convenience store said video surveillance showed Leforce trying to break into a car in the store's parking lot before he stole a woman's car at gunpoint. Worker Bashir Ahmed was inside when the woman's car was stolen.

"I was so busy with customers until she came in I didn't know what happened," Ahmed said.

Langston University and the Coyle and Mulhall-Orlando school districts went on lockdown during the manhunt. Mautra Jones, Langston's vice president of institutional advancement and external affairs, said university officials locked the campus down as a precaution because the incident took place relatively close by. Smitty's One Stop is about a mile and a half west of the university's north entrance.

Leforce's criminal past

In 2001, Leforce pleaded no contest to use of a firearm during the commission of a felony and eluding an officer, records show. At the time, officers said they suspected the incident was an attempted "suicide-by-cop." He was ordered to four years probation.

In that incident, police said Leforce drove at speeds greater than 90 mph, looking for an officer to provoke into a pursuit. When an officer gave chase, Leforce led the officer to the cemetery where his father was buried, where he climbed out of the car and pointed an AR-15 rifle at the officer.

The officer ordered Leforce to drop his gun. When he refused, the officer fired at the car, blowing out a tire. Leforce sped away, and the officer lost him in a cloud of dust. Stillwater police later found the car abandoned at a farm house and LeForce was taken into custody several hours later as he walked along a road. Police found the rifle about a quarter-mile from the farmhouse.

He also pleaded no contest in 2007 to obstructing an officer. He was ordered to a year in the Noble County jail, records show.

In 2010, Leforce was charged in a bogus check case. That case was later dismissed after he paid restitution.

In 2015, he was charged with kidnapping, child endangerment and domestic abuse. That case was dismissed in 2016. The victim told police Leforce had bragged about his associations with the Irish Mob and the Universal Aryan Brotherhood, two gangs active in the Oklahoma state prison system.

In August, authorities charged him with harboring a runaway child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. That case also was dismissed “in the interest of justice,” records show.

'A blow for the county'

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Devereaux, the Logan County sheriff, said Wade's death is a blow for the county. Wade leaves a wife and three children, one of whom is in the U.S. Marine Corps. Devereaux said he'd already received a deluge of texts and Facebook messages from residents upset about the deputy's death.

A visibly emotional Devereaux recalled a recent conversation he'd had with his wife about the dangers that professional law enforcement officers face. Devereaux told his wife that his worst fear was having to bury one of his own deputies.

"It looks like it came to fruition, sadly enough," Devereaux said.

Devereaux praised Wade for his bravery, noting that the deputy, a U.S. Army veteran, was able to return fire even after being shot several times.

"Deputy Wade lived like a warrior and died like one," Devereaux said. "He gave his life serving his community, and I don't think you can have a bigger honor than that."

Contributing: Staff Writers Robert Medley, Kyle Schwab, Matt Dinger, Juliana Keeping and Josh Dulaney

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©2017 The Oklahoman


Critically wounded Mo. cop’s recovery “a miracle in the making”

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mike Genet The Examiner

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Centerpoint Medical Center said Friday afternoon that Independence police officer Tom Wagstaff, who was critically wounded after responding to a burglary and home invasion call March 29, has been released to a long-term rehabilitation facility for continued recovery.

The neurosurgeon who treated Wagstaff, who was shot in the head, said his case has been one of a kind.

"In my 30-plus years as a physician, I've yet to see such a remarkable recovery – truly a miracle in the making," Dr. Roger Ray said in a hospital news release. "While Officer Wagstaff has a long road to recovery, we are confident that he will continue to make improvements, and we will be by his side throughout his journey.

"We thank the community, the Independence Police Department and the support from around the nation that has helped support this family and our first responders."

On April 4, Independence Chief of Police Brad Halsey had posted a social media message saying that Wagstaff showed "optimistic signs" but also that his condition remained critical and his recovery would be long.

Four suspects have been arrested and charged in the case – two who allegedly forced their way into the house where officers responded, then fled in a stolen vehicle, breaking through a closed garage door, during which the shooting happened – and two who allegedly drove the suspects to the western Independence neighborhood.

Court documents do not mention the shooting in which Wagstaff was injured. However, Independence police said during a briefing the day of the shooting that the suspects had fired while fleeing and officers returned fire. Kansas City police have been investigating the shooting.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has acknowledged the slight possibility of friendly fire causing Wagstaff's injuries but said such a scenario would be a "freakish event" and "one-in-a-million" that couldn't be replicated. She said she holds the suspects "accountable in every possible way" for Wagstaff's injuries.

Numerous fundraisers have taken place, are ongoing or have been scheduled in to raise funds for Wagstaff's recovery and his family.


Critically wounded Mo. cop’s recovery “a miracle in the making”

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mike Genet The Examiner

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Centerpoint Medical Center said Friday afternoon that Independence police officer Tom Wagstaff, who was critically wounded after responding to a burglary and home invasion call March 29, has been released to a long-term rehabilitation facility for continued recovery.

The neurosurgeon who treated Wagstaff, who was shot in the head, said his case has been one of a kind.

"In my 30-plus years as a physician, I've yet to see such a remarkable recovery – truly a miracle in the making," Dr. Roger Ray said in a hospital news release. "While Officer Wagstaff has a long road to recovery, we are confident that he will continue to make improvements, and we will be by his side throughout his journey.

"We thank the community, the Independence Police Department and the support from around the nation that has helped support this family and our first responders."

On April 4, Independence Chief of Police Brad Halsey had posted a social media message saying that Wagstaff showed "optimistic signs" but also that his condition remained critical and his recovery would be long.

Four suspects have been arrested and charged in the case – two who allegedly forced their way into the house where officers responded, then fled in a stolen vehicle, breaking through a closed garage door, during which the shooting happened – and two who allegedly drove the suspects to the western Independence neighborhood.

Court documents do not mention the shooting in which Wagstaff was injured. However, Independence police said during a briefing the day of the shooting that the suspects had fired while fleeing and officers returned fire. Kansas City police have been investigating the shooting.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has acknowledged the slight possibility of friendly fire causing Wagstaff's injuries but said such a scenario would be a "freakish event" and "one-in-a-million" that couldn't be replicated. She said she holds the suspects "accountable in every possible way" for Wagstaff's injuries.

Numerous fundraisers have taken place, are ongoing or have been scheduled in to raise funds for Wagstaff's recovery and his family.


Baltimore police create homicide review panel

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Justin Fenton The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Baltimore police have ended an agreement with city prosecutors and taken back the authority to charge homicide suspects without first getting approval from the state's attorney's office.

The agreement, in place for about six years, was an effort by previous administrations to reduce the number of cases charged by police but dropped by prosecutors due to concerns about proving a suspect's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

But the Police Department has formed a committee of four commanders who review homicide cases in which detectives and prosecutors disagree on whether evidence is strong enough to proceed. Prosecutors are not part of the panel, and the committee can authorize police to charge over their objections.

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis signaled the change at a January news conference during which he bemoaned the criminal justice system's revolving door.

"It's in existence nowhere else in Maryland," Davis said of the previous agreement on charging homicides. "That protocol that's been in place for several years in Baltimore quite frankly is leaving people we believe we have probable cause to charge with murder still out on our streets."

Baltimore Assistant State's Attorney Lisa Goldberg, a supervisor in the homicide unit, said when differences have arisen in the past, police and prosecutors would convene intensive case review meetings to iron out problems. Such meetings were convened only 11 times over the past two years, leaving prosecutors puzzled as to why police sought a change.

"At the end of the day, it's your prosecutor who is charged with trying the case," Goldberg said in an interview. "While you might have probable cause to charge, there's so much more that needs to be done and we need to have it done before charging."

"We have the same goal: We want murderers off the street," she said. "We want the right people charged, with accurate evidence."

Police and prosecutors say the change affects a small number of cases. Since the police committee was created in February, four cases have been reviewed. The panel approved filing charges in two of them, over the disagreement of prosecutors.

The other two cases brought by detectives were rejected by the commanders, who said more work needed to be done. But prosecutors eventually brought charges in those cases after detectives did additional work.

The panel has to be unanimous in its decision to go forward with charging a homicide suspect.

Police declined to discuss the individual cases.

Police spokesman T.J. Smith said the new panel "is not a way to circumvent" prosecutors. "They're still in the conversation," he said.

Police have been trying to improve their diminishing rate for solving homicide cases, called a clearance rate. It for years was regularly above 50 percent but dropped below that threshold the same year prosecutors asserted more control.

When killings increased sharply two years ago, the homicide clearance rate fell to 30 percent. The year-end closure rate last year was 38.5 percent.

As of April 10, the rate of closed cases was more than 53 percent, the same figure as this time last year.

When police file charges in a homicide, they fill out a statement of "probable cause," a standard that is lower than "beyond a reasonable doubt," which prosecutors must meet to win a conviction in court.

Charles Wellford, a University of Maryland criminologist who has studied homicide units in Baltimore and elsewhere, says the different charging standards for police and prosecutors can lead to conflict.

"It's not unusual to have the issue come up, but in my experience, in most cases the police and prosecutors reach some kind of accommodation that works for both of them," Wellford said. "That appears not to be the case in Baltimore."

Joe McCann, a former Prince George's County police commander, was hired last year by Baltimore police to the newly created position of director of quality control. McCann said he created the new charging review committee.

In an interview, he and Maj. Donald Bauer, the commander of the homicide unit, said police want to move more quickly to charge in cases but still have proper oversight.

"Unfortunately with the increased amount of violence we had in 2015 and 2016, we don't have time to slow down on these cases," Bauer said.

McCann said police did not have to defer to prosecutors in Prince George's County. In Baltimore County, State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said police don't have to consult with his office, but with only 25 to 30 homicide cases a year the agencies are typically in close communication.

Goldberg, the homicide prosecutor, said Baltimore police have long deferred to prosecutors on charging of homicides even before the formal policy in 2011. But the approach to developing cases has changed over time.

"There was a time when cases could be charged, and there was a hope that we could" continue investigating and uncovering new evidence, Goldberg said. "As the criminal justice system has evolved, we're not charging people without having every duck in a row."

Goldberg noted that prosecutors can lose the power to use the grand jury to conduct investigations if a case has already been charged and indicted. When the grand jury is involved, prosecutors can subpoena witnesses in an effort to elicit more evidence. "If we charge a case prematurely, we may have roadblocks," Goldberg said.

But Davis, in January, said taking a suspect off the street by charging him may open up new investigative avenues. "That's when people feel comfortable coming forward and cooperating more with police," he said. "Sometimes, a really great prosecution begins with a really good arrest, and the case gets enhanced before the trial date."

When Gregg Bernstein was a candidate for state's attorney, he criticized his predecessor, Patricia C. Jessamy, for cases in which police would file charges in a homicide that prosecutors would drop before taking it to a grand jury. So after Bernstein took office in 2011, then-Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III agreed to change the process.

After the change, detectives stewed that they were being blocked from making arrests. But officials say tension between the agencies was overstated. Bauer, the homicide commander, said "not every case they [detectives] want charged is chargeable."

Melba Saunders, the spokeswoman for the Baltimore state's attorney's office, said prosecutors were "open and willing to explore new ways to support BPD's pursuit to increase homicide closure rates."

"The overall impact to active cases appears to be minimal; however, we will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach unless and until it proves to be detrimental to the overall pursuit of justice," Saunders said.

———

©2017 The Baltimore Sun


Baltimore police create homicide review panel

Posted on April 19, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Justin Fenton The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Baltimore police have ended an agreement with city prosecutors and taken back the authority to charge homicide suspects without first getting approval from the state's attorney's office.

The agreement, in place for about six years, was an effort by previous administrations to reduce the number of cases charged by police but dropped by prosecutors due to concerns about proving a suspect's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

But the Police Department has formed a committee of four commanders who review homicide cases in which detectives and prosecutors disagree on whether evidence is strong enough to proceed. Prosecutors are not part of the panel, and the committee can authorize police to charge over their objections.

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis signaled the change at a January news conference during which he bemoaned the criminal justice system's revolving door.

"It's in existence nowhere else in Maryland," Davis said of the previous agreement on charging homicides. "That protocol that's been in place for several years in Baltimore quite frankly is leaving people we believe we have probable cause to charge with murder still out on our streets."

Baltimore Assistant State's Attorney Lisa Goldberg, a supervisor in the homicide unit, said when differences have arisen in the past, police and prosecutors would convene intensive case review meetings to iron out problems. Such meetings were convened only 11 times over the past two years, leaving prosecutors puzzled as to why police sought a change.

"At the end of the day, it's your prosecutor who is charged with trying the case," Goldberg said in an interview. "While you might have probable cause to charge, there's so much more that needs to be done and we need to have it done before charging."

"We have the same goal: We want murderers off the street," she said. "We want the right people charged, with accurate evidence."

Police and prosecutors say the change affects a small number of cases. Since the police committee was created in February, four cases have been reviewed. The panel approved filing charges in two of them, over the disagreement of prosecutors.

The other two cases brought by detectives were rejected by the commanders, who said more work needed to be done. But prosecutors eventually brought charges in those cases after detectives did additional work.

The panel has to be unanimous in its decision to go forward with charging a homicide suspect.

Police declined to discuss the individual cases.

Police spokesman T.J. Smith said the new panel "is not a way to circumvent" prosecutors. "They're still in the conversation," he said.

Police have been trying to improve their diminishing rate for solving homicide cases, called a clearance rate. It for years was regularly above 50 percent but dropped below that threshold the same year prosecutors asserted more control.

When killings increased sharply two years ago, the homicide clearance rate fell to 30 percent. The year-end closure rate last year was 38.5 percent.

As of April 10, the rate of closed cases was more than 53 percent, the same figure as this time last year.

When police file charges in a homicide, they fill out a statement of "probable cause," a standard that is lower than "beyond a reasonable doubt," which prosecutors must meet to win a conviction in court.

Charles Wellford, a University of Maryland criminologist who has studied homicide units in Baltimore and elsewhere, says the different charging standards for police and prosecutors can lead to conflict.

"It's not unusual to have the issue come up, but in my experience, in most cases the police and prosecutors reach some kind of accommodation that works for both of them," Wellford said. "That appears not to be the case in Baltimore."

Joe McCann, a former Prince George's County police commander, was hired last year by Baltimore police to the newly created position of director of quality control. McCann said he created the new charging review committee.

In an interview, he and Maj. Donald Bauer, the commander of the homicide unit, said police want to move more quickly to charge in cases but still have proper oversight.

"Unfortunately with the increased amount of violence we had in 2015 and 2016, we don't have time to slow down on these cases," Bauer said.

McCann said police did not have to defer to prosecutors in Prince George's County. In Baltimore County, State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said police don't have to consult with his office, but with only 25 to 30 homicide cases a year the agencies are typically in close communication.

Goldberg, the homicide prosecutor, said Baltimore police have long deferred to prosecutors on charging of homicides even before the formal policy in 2011. But the approach to developing cases has changed over time.

"There was a time when cases could be charged, and there was a hope that we could" continue investigating and uncovering new evidence, Goldberg said. "As the criminal justice system has evolved, we're not charging people without having every duck in a row."

Goldberg noted that prosecutors can lose the power to use the grand jury to conduct investigations if a case has already been charged and indicted. When the grand jury is involved, prosecutors can subpoena witnesses in an effort to elicit more evidence. "If we charge a case prematurely, we may have roadblocks," Goldberg said.

But Davis, in January, said taking a suspect off the street by charging him may open up new investigative avenues. "That's when people feel comfortable coming forward and cooperating more with police," he said. "Sometimes, a really great prosecution begins with a really good arrest, and the case gets enhanced before the trial date."

When Gregg Bernstein was a candidate for state's attorney, he criticized his predecessor, Patricia C. Jessamy, for cases in which police would file charges in a homicide that prosecutors would drop before taking it to a grand jury. So after Bernstein took office in 2011, then-Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III agreed to change the process.

After the change, detectives stewed that they were being blocked from making arrests. But officials say tension between the agencies was overstated. Bauer, the homicide commander, said "not every case they [detectives] want charged is chargeable."

Melba Saunders, the spokeswoman for the Baltimore state's attorney's office, said prosecutors were "open and willing to explore new ways to support BPD's pursuit to increase homicide closure rates."

"The overall impact to active cases appears to be minimal; however, we will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach unless and until it proves to be detrimental to the overall pursuit of justice," Saunders said.

———

©2017 The Baltimore Sun


Why the Sacramento cop’s UOF was justifiable

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

There has been an uproar on social media over the release of a video that shows an officer throw a subject to the ground and repeatedly strike him in the face.

A pedestrian named Nandi Cain Jr. was stopped by an unknown officer from the Sacramento Police Department. The stop appears to have been initiated as a result of an observed jaywalking offense.

The officer exited his vehicle and repeatedly ordered the man to stop and talk with him, saying, “Hey can I talk with you real quick bud?” and “Come here buddy.”

Despite clearly hearing those commands, the subject refused to stop, continuing on his way down the sidewalk and then eventually into the street. The officer then said, “Stop right now before I to take you to the ground. If you do not stop right now I will take you to the ground.”

The man, clearly agitated, then threw off his coat and got into an aggressive fighting stance and said, “If you’re a real man, you can take your gun away and fight me like a man.”

It’s not clear from the video whether the officer observed other pre-attack indicators (target glances, gritted teeth, etc.), but the subject throwing off his coat, squaring up to fight, and uttering that sentence certainly changed the dynamic of the contact.

A simple solution: Comply and complain

Critics have said that the officer took Cain to the ground for merely jaywalking. No so. The officer took Cain to the ground because of his failure to comply with lawful commands. We can argue until we’re all blue in the face about the necessity of enforcing jaywalking laws, but the fact is those laws are on the books because someone illegally walking in the street is a danger to themselves, other pedestrians, as well as motorists.

Had Cain complied with the officer and not taken an aggressive stance in preparing for a fight, he would not have gotten taken down and forcibly handcuffed. In fact, he probably would have been sent along on his way without so much as a summons for the jaywalking infraction. As can be clearly heard toward the end of the video, the officer told his sergeant, “I just wanted to talk with him.”

Had Cain complied with lawful commands and felt that any of his Constitutional rights had been violated during the encounter, he could have filed a complaint with the department.

Police use of force never looks nice

Does the video look ugly? Sure it does. Is police use of force unpleasant to watch? Most definitely.

I’m reminded of the famous quote by Chief William Bratton. Paraphrasing him: Police use of force is never nice to look at. It’s even worse to view from the perspective of the combatants at the time of the event. Neither the subject nor the officer is enjoying the experience — it is scary and the outcome is uncertain.

Applying the Graham standard

Was the officer’s use of force lawful? It would appear to me (and countless other officers who have viewed the video) that the cop’s actions were reasonable. In other words, this officer’s use of force met the Graham v. Connor standard.

However, the department didn’t see it that way, placing the officer on paid administrative leave pending an IA investigation. They even went so far as to condemn him in written statements.

“The videos of this incident portray actions and behavior that we would consider unacceptable conduct by a Sacramento Police Officer,” the department said.

This raises the question: How would the department like to have seen this contact resolved?

The officer was in a no-win situation. Sure, he could have let the subject continue to refuse to comply with lawful orders — even going so far as to posture for a physical confrontation — but that could have led to the incident escalating beyond the officer’s control. The longer he allowed the subject to defy lawful orders, the more likely it was that something really bad happens.

The fact is, the subject determined the level of force necessary to bring the incident to an end.

One final point of order: One is left to wonder why Cain didn’t comply with commands to stop. Well, perhaps he didn’t want to go to jail. He had an open arrest warrant related to an incident in Fresno in which he “resisted arrest and threatened to headbutt officers,” according to the Fresno Bee.

It was a simple “failure to appear” warrant, but still, maybe that was on his mind.

The aftermath: De-policing and deadly hesitation

Cain was initially charged with resisting arrest, but the charges were dropped and he was released. It is unclear whether or not the five-year-old warrant out of Fresno will be acted upon.

This officer’s firing is almost inevitable — leadership has telegraphed the move as plain as day with its statements about the officer and the incident. This is sad not only for this individual officer, but for everyone else on the force. This increases the possibility that those at the Sacramento PD will be more hesitant to use force even if they know they force is justified. This could lead to tragedy.

I’ve written repeatedly on the conjoined trends of de-policing and deadly hesitation (see here and here and here). This is just one more example. We at PoliceOne even just released the results of an extensive survey conducted by LSU that those trends are real and they are happening.

Unless and until law enforcement professionals find a way to convince people that their compliance is the key to the level of force an officer uses, we will still see videos like this lead to the demise of good officers.

That, too, is a tragedy.


UK anti-drone squad created to combat contraband

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LONDON — In an effort to combat contraband, police and prison officials in England and Wales have created a new team to research drones and smuggling methods.

According to the BBC, the team will be compiled of police and corrections officers who will forensically examine drones to find out who was flying them, as well as share information about the different models and methods used for aerial smuggling with law enforcement across the country.

"The threat posed by drones is clear but our dedicated staff are committed to winning the fight against those who are attempting to thwart progress by wreaking havoc in establishments all over the country,” Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah said.

Last year, the county sentenced Daniel Kelly to 14 months in prison for using a quadcopter to smuggle in contraband to three different prisons, the Verge reported. He was the first ever UK citizen to be jailed for the offense. The government has seen an increase in mobile phones, tobacco and synthetic drugs being smuggled into prisons via UAVs.

Although it is not clear how many officers will make up the team, reports said nearly £3 million ($3.85 million) will be spent to build the squad.


Photos: Ark. police honor K-9 suffering from cancer with hero’s send-off

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Little Rock Police Department gave a K-9 a hero’s send-off before he was put down after a battle with cancer.

Ten-year-old K-9 Arco joined the force in 2013 after serving as a military K-9 in Afghanistan for half a year with the Marine Special Operations Command, WFLA reported.

Arco and K-9 Handler Pat Hall worked with the SWAT team and visited schools to show students how K-9s work with police.

According to the news station, Arco’s family discovered he had a progressive form of terminal cancer. They decided to put him down Friday.

Arco received a final ride in a patrol car and was saluted as he walked into the veterinarian's office.

The department wrote in a tweet that K-9 Arco will “be missed by lots of people.”

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Thank you to everyone that called, sent texts, and showed up to pay respects. Arco was a loyal, devoted, superior...

Posted by Tina Hall on Friday, April 14, 2017


3 fatally shot in Calif.; suspect in custody

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Scott Smith Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. — A man shot and killed three people on the streets of downtown Fresno on Tuesday, shouting "God is great" in Arabic during at least one of the slayings and later telling police that he hates white people, authorities said.

Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, was arrested shortly after the rampage, whose victims were all white, police said. He also was wanted in connection with another killing days earlier, in which a security guard was gunned down at a Fresno motel after responding to a disturbance.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the victims were shot minutes apart in close proximity in areas around downtown. He said Muhammad made other statements to police but he did not disclose them.

The shooting happened outside a Catholic Charities building, but spokeswoman Teresa Dominguez said the charity doesn't believe the suspect was tied to the nonprofit organization.

Sayed Ali Ghazvini, imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, said Muhammad was not a member of his congregation and he did not recognize him. The imam said he is consulting with other faith leaders.

"We're kind of shocked and surprised for what happened," Ghazvini said. "We are very sorry for this to happen. We offer condolences for the victims, we pray for the victims and their families."

Following the shooting, Fresno city spokesman Mark Standriff said county offices were placed on lockdown, and people were urged to shelter in place.


Okla. deputy fatally shot, suspect arrested after fleeing in police car

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. — A suspect is in custody after fatally shooting a deputy Tuesday morning.

According to KOCO, Deputy David Wade, 40, was serving an eviction notice when Nathan Aaron LeForce, 45, opened fire. Officials told News9Okla.com that Wade was able to return fire, but didn’t clarify if LeForce was hit.

Wade was transported to a local hospital with three gunshot wounds, including one to the face. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

LeForce fled in the deputy’s vehicle and officials told KOCO he allegedly carjacked two vehicles after that. Local schools were placed on lockdown while authorities searched for LeForce. He was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon, FBI Oklahoma City confirmed in a tweet.

Sheriff Damon Devereaux told NewsOK.com that Wade was an Army veteran. He is survived by his wife and three children.

According to News9.com, LeForce has a criminal background. He pleaded guilty in 2001 to pointing a firearm and eluding police. In 2012, he pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle. He was charged in 2015 with kidnapping, child endangerment and domestic abuse.

We offer our deepest condolences to the Logan Co Sheriff's Office & to the family of Deputy Wade. His sacrifice will not be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/ksepDnhWb2

— Oklahoma City Police (@OKCPD) April 18, 2017


Cops discover TASER after driver repeatedly asks to smoke during traffic stop

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

KENNESAW, Ga. — A police officer in Georgia found a stun gun disguised as a package of cigarettes during a traffic stop.

News outlets report that the driver repeatedly requested to smoke while the officer was speaking to him, but he was not allowed to get his cigarettes during the stop. The Kennesaw Police Department posted a video to Facebook on Monday showing the recovered stun gun and reminding the public that requests to retrieve items during a traffic stop will be denied.

The department has not released further details, including the identity of the driver or if any charges were filed.

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This item was found in a vehicle during a traffic stop. While the officer was speaking to the driver outside of the car, the driver repeatedly asked to have a smoke which was located inside the vehicle. The answer was no. In the end, the only “smokes” found was the item in the video. You would be surprised at the type of weapons that have been made to look like “normal items”. So, forgive us when we seem to act “too rigid” and “mean” when we say no to your request to “smoke” or “make a phone call” with your phone, etc... We’re just trying to make it home at the end of our shifts like everyone else out here. Stay safe, everyone- its another beautiful day in Kennesaw!

Posted by Kennesaw Police Department on Monday, April 17, 2017


Cops discover ECD disguised as cigarette pack after driver repeatedly asks to smoke during stop

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

null
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Associated Press

KENNESAW, Ga. — A police officer in Georgia found a stun gun disguised as a package of cigarettes during a traffic stop.

News outlets report that the driver repeatedly requested to smoke while the officer was speaking to him, but he was not allowed to get his cigarettes during the stop. The Kennesaw Police Department posted a video to Facebook on Monday showing the recovered stun gun and reminding the public that requests to retrieve items during a traffic stop will be denied.

The department has not released further details, including the identity of the driver or if any charges were filed.

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This item was found in a vehicle during a traffic stop. While the officer was speaking to the driver outside of the car, the driver repeatedly asked to have a smoke which was located inside the vehicle. The answer was no. In the end, the only “smokes” found was the item in the video. You would be surprised at the type of weapons that have been made to look like “normal items”. So, forgive us when we seem to act “too rigid” and “mean” when we say no to your request to “smoke” or “make a phone call” with your phone, etc... We’re just trying to make it home at the end of our shifts like everyone else out here. Stay safe, everyone- its another beautiful day in Kennesaw!

Posted by Kennesaw Police Department on Monday, April 17, 2017


Diver assisting Texas police in search dies

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Domingo Ramirez Jr. Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT HOOD, Texas — A diver who was helping in the search for a motorist whose car was swept into a creek died early Sunday from injuries she suffered during the search, officials said.

The diver, Lori Pohanka-Kalama, a volunteer with the Morgan’s Point Resort Dive Team, was injured at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday during a search for the motorist who was swept into a creek during a storm Tuesday, according to the Temple Daily Telegram.

She was taken by helicopter ambulance to Baylor Scott and White Hospital in Temple where she died early Sunday, Fort Hood officials said in a news release.

Pohanka-Kalama was at House Creek along with other local teams searching for the missing motorist.

“We extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the diver’s family, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time,” said Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commanding general of III Corps and Fort Hood.

“We are grateful to everyone who has participated in this operation over the past six days, especially our local and regional partners assisting in the search,” he said.

Separate investigations of Pohanka-Kalama’s death will be conducted by Fort Hood officials and the Morgan’s Point Resort Police Department.

———

©2017 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram


AG Sessions: More proactive policing needed to combat violent crime

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote in a USA Today op-ed that too much focus is being placed on consent decrees rather than arresting criminals, leading to an increase in violent crime.

Sessions called for a return to proactive policing, and said in order to restore trust and public safety, common sense reforms like de-escalation training need to be emphasized.

“Too much focus has been placed on a small number of police who are bad actors rather than on criminals,” Sessions wrote in the article. “And too many people believe the solution is to impose consent decrees that discourage the proactive policing that keeps our cities safe.”

The attorney general said the DOJ will prosecute officers who violate civil rights, but consent decrees won’t be signed for “political expediency.” Consent decrees “cost more lives by handcuffing the police instead of the criminals,” leaving minority communities less safe, Sessions wrote.

Sessions argued that the main priority of the United States needs to be restoring public safety by bringing back community policing that works.

“To help achieve those goals, the department, with the help of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, will focus our efforts on thwarting violent crime, drug trafficking, and gun crime and gang violence,” Sessions wrote. “If combating violent crime and restoring public safety are seen as dramatic reversals, then I fully support such a sea change.”


Ambushed trooper: ‘Coward’ shot me and killed comrade

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By Michael Rubinkam Associated Press

MILFORD, Pa. — Alex Douglass used to be 180 pounds of muscle and sinew, a CrossFit and running enthusiast who ran a 50-mile ultra-marathon when he wasn't working his day job as a state police trooper.

All of that was ended by a sniper's bullet.

Douglass survived the ambush that took his comrade's life on Sept. 12, 2014, but the devastating wounds caused by that single rifle shot still haven't healed. On Monday, Douglass got the chance to confront his alleged assailant, describing years of pain and rehabilitation for a jury weighing capital murder charges against the man he called a coward.

"I started back into CrossFit," explained Douglass, who has a replacement hip and walks with a brace on his foot. "It's not like it used to be."

Limping to the witness stand, Douglass testified against Eric Frein, the anti-government marksman and survivalist who prosecutors say targeted the Blooming Grove barracks in hopes of sparking a revolution against the government. Frein allegedly hid in the woods across the street and shot Douglass and Cpl. Bryon Dickson II during a late-night shift change. He was caught after a 48-day manhunt.

Douglass was shot through both hips as he tried to rescue his mortally wounded comrade, the .308-caliber bullet leaving an exit wound the size of a silver dollar. He has undergone 18 surgeries to repair the damage but said he still has no feeling below one knee.

He's also incontinent, the result of a perforated intestine and devastating injuries to his rectum. He described a severe burning sensation that feels like "taking a serrated knife and sticking it in your rectum and twisting."

He choked up, glancing at Frein and asking for a tissue.

Frein, who could face a death sentence if convicted, looked back at him with a blank stare.

Douglass' testimony was the most anticipated of a trial in which prosecutors have introduced hundreds of pieces of evidence tying Frein to the crime. The prosecution plans to rest its case Tuesday.

Douglass told jurors how he had just gotten to work and was in the parking lot when he heard two loud bangs and a scream. He got off the phone with his girlfriend, drew his gun and began walking toward the front of the barracks, where Dickson — who'd just left the barracks after working his shift — was lying face up on the sidewalk.

Douglass said he grabbed Dickson by the leg and was preparing to drag him into the barracks when "it felt like I got hit in the back with a baseball bat." He opened the barracks door with his right hand, fell into the lobby and began crawling, trying to take himself out of the sniper's line of fire.

"At that point I knew that either some coward or cowards were shooting at us from across the street," he said.

A colleague dragged him through an interior door, where troopers began packing his wound while waiting for an ambulance.

"It was probably the worst pain you could imagine," Douglass said. "It felt like your whole body was on fire."

The bullet shattered Douglass's hip and thigh bone and left him with other injuries. He said he dropped from a "solid 180 pounds" to 135 in the months after the shooting. He had his latest surgery two months ago with "possibly more to go."

Frein has said he didn't know Douglass or Dickson before the attack, telling police after his capture that he chose to ambush the Blooming Grove barracks because it's surrounded by woods and offered good cover.

In a letter to his parents that was read to the jury on Monday, Frein complained about the loss of liberty, spoke of a revolution and said, "The time seems right for a spark to ignite a fire in the hearts of men."

The author wrote: "I tried my best to do this thing without getting identified, but if you are reading this then I was not successful."


Judge rejects effort to reinstall painting depicting cop as pig in Capitol

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has rejected efforts to reinstall in the Capitol a painting some lawmakers and police groups found offensive.

David Pulphus, a student artist from Missouri, and Rep. William Clay, his Democratic congressional representative, had sued Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers for removing the painting in January.

The painting, which shows what appears to be a pig in a police uniform, divided members of Congress for its depiction of Ferguson, Missouri.

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates says the government has used its editorial discretion in the selection and presentation of the art.

As a result, it's engaging in "government speech" and the plaintiffs have no First Amendment right to display the painting.

Leah J. Tulin, a lawyer representing Pulphus and Clay, says they are likely to appeal.


Police: Man sought in Cleveland Facebook killing is dead

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mark Gillispie Associated Press

CLEVELAND — The man who randomly killed a Cleveland retiree and posted video of the crime on Facebook shot himself to death on Tuesday in Pennsylvania, police said.

Pennsylvania State Police said Steve Stephens was spotted Tuesday morning in Erie County, in the state's northwest corner. Authorities say officers tried to pull Stephens over and, after a brief pursuit, he shot and killed himself.

He was wanted on an aggravated murder charge in the shooting death of a 74-year-old man who was picking up aluminum cans on Sunday after spending Easter with his family.

Stephens posted a video of himself killing Robert Godwin Sr., a former foundry worker who had 10 children, police said. In it, he said, "I snapped, I just snapped."

Stephens, 37, shared a recording on Sunday of himself announcing his plan to kill someone, then two minutes later posted another video of himself shooting and killing Godwin, Facebook said. A few minutes after that, he went live and confessed, the company said.

The company said it disabled Stephen's account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the video of the fatal shooting and two hours after receiving any report.

Facebook has since announced it was launching a review for reporting harmful content.

Police would not speculate on what was behind the killing, but videos Stephens posted showed him talking about losing everything he had to gambling and trouble with his girlfriend.

Stephens filed for bankruptcy two years ago despite holding down a job as a counselor helping young people develop job skills and find employment. The behavioral health agency where he worked said an extensive background check before he was hired turned up nothing worrisome.

In one video posted on Facebook, Stephens said that he gambled away everything and that he and his girlfriend had planned to marry but did not, without saying why.

In the video of the shooting, Stephens told Godwin the name of his girlfriend and said, "She's the reason that this is about to happen to you." Godwin did not seem to recognize the name.

The woman Stephens spoke of, Joy Lane, said in a text message to CBS that "we had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened."

Investigators said that Godwin was the only victim so far linked to Stephens, despite his claim on Facebook that he killed over a dozen people.

Officers searched dozens of places around Cleveland without finding Stephens or any other victims before expanding the manhunt. Detectives spoke with the suspect on Sunday by cellphone and tried to persuade him to surrender, police said.

Within a day, authorities expanded the search nationwide and offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to his capture and prosecution.

Law enforcement officials said on Monday that his cellphone was last tracked Sunday afternoon in Erie, Pennsylvania, about 100 miles east of Cleveland.


Cop who caught FDNY EMT’s killer: ‘She’s the real hero’

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — A police officer was honored Monday by the FDNY for his efforts in capturing the suspect accused of killing EMT Yadira Arroyo.

PIX11.com reported that MTA K-9 officer Daniel McDade was presented a plaque inside Station 26 — where Arroyo worked.

"Officer McDade acted bravely just as Yadi did. He stopped a dangerous individual from hurting anyone else," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

McDade was starting an overtime shift and traffic diverted him through the Bronx. He jumped into action to help subdue the suspect.

Jose Gonzales, who has pleaded not guilty, backed up and ran over Arroyo after stealing her ambulance March 16. The 14-year veteran and mother of five sons was killed.

"This is an honor to be here but the true honor and the true heroism goes to Yadi," McDade said. "I'm here today for her, not for me. Every day, I think of Yadi and her family and members of the FDNY. My heart goes out to them. Speaking to all her friends and family, she was an amazing person, it's sad I'll never get to know her."

On Monday, April 17, FDNY members thanked @mtanyctransit Police Officer Daniel McDade, a member of the MTA Police Department’s Special Operations Division K-9 Unit, for his courage and bravery displayed on March 16, when he stepped into action while off-duty, apprehending EMT Yadira Arroyo’s killer before the individual could bring harm to others around him. #FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said, “As her killer attempted to flee in the ambulance he violently stole, Officer McDade stopped him. He was off-duty at the time, but as all first responders know, you are never truly off-duty. Officer McDade acted bravely, just as Yadi did. He stopped a dangerous individual from hurting anyone else… He went into action to help others, and to stop a killer, just as he was trained to do.”

A post shared by FDNY (@fdny) on

Monique Williams, Arroyo's partner, hugged and thanked McDade.

"On behalf of our family, thank you, a very small phrase compared to the immense gratitude we feel for your courageous act. You're a hero in our heart and in our eyes. Right now, our family is in complete turmoil, the pain is unbearable. Nevertheless, we acknowledge your heroic act and are very grateful that because of you, who chose not to look the other way, this case did not become a cold case file," Ali Acevedo-Hernandez, Arroyo's aunt, said.

HONORING MTA Officer Daniel McDade at #FDNY Station 26 #BX. He's credited for apprehending the man suspected of killing EMT Yadira Arroyo pic.twitter.com/k0efpditXf

— Asha McKenzie (@AMcKenzie_News) April 17, 2017

#NYCSheriff gives thanks @MTAPD Police Officer Daniel McDade & others for quickly apprehending the suspect in EMT Yadira Arroyo's murder. pic.twitter.com/8YAaVMqDec

— NYC SHERIFF (@NYCSHERIFF) March 17, 2017

An EMS station was filled with gratitude Monday for MTA Officer Daniel McDade, who helped catch the man accused of killing Yadira Arroyo. pic.twitter.com/UVclrfFl2E

— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) April 18, 2017


Videos show desperation of suspect in Facebook video killing

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mark Gillispie Associated Press

CLEVELAND — The suspect in the random killing of a retiree posted on Facebook made his living mentoring teens in Cleveland, but his life appeared to be unraveling under the weight of gambling debts and trouble with his girlfriend.

Rambling videos he shared showed his despair, saying he was out of options and wanted to kill as many innocent people as he could.

While authorities have not found any evidence that he killed anyone else, the manhunt for Steve Stephens stretched into a third day on Tuesday and far beyond the neighborhood where police said he shot a 74-year-old man who was picking up aluminum cans on Sunday after spending Easter with some of his children.

Stephens, 37, could be anywhere, authorities said, calling it a nationwide search. A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his capture and prosecution.

Stephens posted a video of himself killing Robert Godwin Sr., a former foundry worker who had 10 children, police said. In it, he said, "I snapped, I just snapped." But police would not speculate on what was behind it.

"Only Steve knows that," Williams said.

In the video, Stephens told Godwin a woman's name and said, "She's the reason that this is about to happen to you." Godwin did not seem to recognize the name.

The woman Stephens spoke of, Joy Lane, said in a text message to CBS that "we had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened."

She also said Stephens was "a nice guy" who was good to her and her children.

Police say Stephens had a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

WEWS-TV reports that a video Stephens posted to Facebook last year showed him firing rapidly at targets at the Sherwin Shooting Sports range, in violation of its safety rules, and being warned to stop by an employee.

The owner of the Willoughby gun range, Blake Frederick, told Cleveland.com that he recalls Stephens as nice and jovial and doesn't remember anything negative about him.

Stephens filed for bankruptcy two years ago despite holding down a job as a counselor helping young people develop job skills and find employment. The behavioral health agency where he worked said an extensive background check before he was hired turned up nothing worrisome.

In one video posted on Facebook, Stephens said that he gambled away everything and that he and his girlfriend had planned to marry but did not, without saying why. He blamed her for what was about to happen.

Some friends said they knew about his gambling. But the videos showed a man they did not recognize.

Alexis Lee, who saw Stephens last week, said his childhood friend always seemed respectful and got along with everybody.

"He never ever told me he had problems or issues. It was always good things," Lee said. "He was always just so happy and cool, calm, collected, like, that's why it's so shocking."

Other neighbors said he was quiet as a kid and intelligent, recalling how he went to college and got a master's degree.

"He was just a no problem person at all, compared to a lot of people," said Cynthia Coley, a former neighbor.

In one video in which he blamed his girlfriend, Stephens said he woke up last week and "couldn't take it anymore."

Investigators said that Godwin was the only victim so far linked to Stephens, despite his claim on Facebook that he killed over a dozen people.

On Monday evening, Facebook announced that it was launching a review for reporting harmful content following the killing. The company said that Stephens posted a video of himself announcing his intent to commit murder, then two minutes later posted another video of himself shooting and killing Godwin. A few minutes after that, he went live and confessed.

The company said it disabled Stephen's account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the video of the fatal shooting and two hours after receiving any report.

"In this case we did not receive a report about the first video, and we only received a report about the second video — containing the shooting — more than an hour and 45 minutes after it was posted," said Justin Osofsky, Facebook's vice president of global operations. "We received reports about the third video, containing the man's live confession, only after it had ended."

Officers searched dozens of places around Cleveland without finding Stephens or any other victims before expanding the manhunt. Detectives spoke with the suspect on Sunday by cellphone and tried to persuade him to surrender, police said.

Law enforcement officials said his cellphone was last tracked Sunday afternoon in Erie, Pennsylvania, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Cleveland. Police in Philadelphia said eight elementary schools and a high school were locked down Monday while they investigated reported sightings but found nothing.


Calif. police seek more suspects after violent rallies

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. — Northern California authorities are seeking suspects involved in violent clashes between supporters and detractors of President Donald Trump over the weekend in downtown Berkeley, officials said.

City spokesman Matthai Chakko said Monday officials are seeking to arrest and prosecute anyone involved in crimes last Saturday. He said they are evaluating photographs and video of the skirmishes. Among the videos that have drawn attention is one posted online showing a man punching a female protester in the face.

Berkeley Police on Monday released the names of 19 adults arrested during the demonstrations. A 17-year-old girl was also arrested but her name and hometown were not released.

Sixteen of those arrested are from the San Francisco Bay Area, though only four are from Berkeley. Three are from Southern California.

The charges they face include battery, resisting arrest, assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and inciting a riot.

Trump supporters announced a "Patriot Day" rally at the park featuring speeches by members of the alt-right, an amorphous fringe movement that promotes racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny and xenophobia.

Counter-demonstrators then announced a rally at the same place.

Video footage from a March 4 demonstration in Berkeley where the same groups clashed led to the arrest of Kyle Chapman, Berkeley Police said.

Chapman describes himself in social media as a "proud American nationalist" and "ardent Trump supporter."


Ariz. governor signs bill protecting off-duty police officers

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation adding tougher sentences for assaults on off-duty law enforcement officers.

Ducey signed the legislation Monday after heated debates arose over it in the Legislature. The governor said in a written statement the legislation "sends the clear message that Arizona stands firmly with its men and women in uniform."

The "Blue Lives Matter" law drew criticism from Democratic lawmakers who called it an affront to the "Black Lives Matter" movement that protests police killings of black people and racial profiling. Republican backers say even off-duty officers deserve higher protections.

Prosecutors would have to show the assault was motivated by the officer's employment. Assaulting an on-duty officer or an off-duty officer acting in a law enforcement role already draws a harsher sentence.


Police: Woman wearing pajama bottoms robs 6 Utah banks

Posted on April 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah woman has been arrested after she was identified as the pajama-wearing robber in at least six bank robberies in the Salt Lake City area, including five in less than two hours on Saturday morning, police said Monday.

Nannette Louise Perkins, 40, was arrested Sunday afternoon at home in suburban Taylorsville home after Salt Lake City police received a tip about her identity, Unified police Lt. Brian Lohrke said.

According to police, the robber did little to hide her appearance during robberies Friday and Saturday morning at banks in Salt Lake City, Holladay, West Valley City, Cottonwood Heights and Sandy.

She was seen on bank surveillance camera images and described wearing pajama bottoms, black prescription eyeglasses, a dark shirt and a blue bandanna over dark hair in a ponytail or bun.

Lohrke said the robber passed notes to tellers, never showed a weapon and got cash in five of the six banks. She left one empty-handed.

The police spokesman said he did not know what Perkins was wearing when she was arrested.

She was being held at the Salt Lake County jail pending an initial court appearance on felony charges.


Escaped inmate who allegedly attempted to kill Ala. cop turns self in

Posted on April 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By William Thornton Alabama Media Group

FLORENCE, Ala. — A 10-hour standoff ended peacefully Saturday night after an Lauderdale County inmate on the run since April 7 turned himself in.

WHNT-19 is reporting that Christopher Wayne Kilpatrick, 43, gave up after staying inside a building off Cloverdale Road near Florence.

Police surrounded the address near Florence Saturday after receiving a report that Kilpatrick was in the area, Sheriff Rick Singleton said. A deputy spotted a stolen Toyota Tacoma pickup truck out of Tennessee at the address, and Kilpatrick was suspected to be traveling in the vehicle.

Lauderdale County officials shut down the roadways in the area. Multiple law enforcement agencies responded.

After several hours, Kilpatrick turned himself in peacefully. He escaped on April 7 from the Lauderdale County Detention Center.

©2017 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham


Coachella attendees use ‘Find my iPhone’ to nab man with 100 stolen phones

Posted on April 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Veronica Rocha Los Angeles Times

INDIO, Calif. — Leave it to a group of tech-savvy concert-goers to solve a case of stolen cellphones at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival over the weekend.

At a scene like Coachella, where any music act, art installation and fashion or food trend is Instagrammable or Snapchatted, it’s no wonder several festival-goers noticed their cellphones had vanished during the event Friday.

According to the Indio, Calif., Police Department, the music fans activated their “Find My iPhone” app and followed Reinaldo De Jesus Henao around the venue until he was detained by security workers.

Officers later arrived and found more than 100 cellphones in Henao’s backpack, police said.

Henao, 36, of New York was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and possession of stolen property, police said.

Several cellphones were returned to victims, and others were left at lost and found, according to police.

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Hunt for suspect in Facebook slaying video expands nationwide

Posted on April 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mark Gillispie Associated Press

CLEVELAND — In a rambling video, Steve Stephens said, "I snapped, I just snapped." But as the manhunt dragged on Monday for the man accused of posting Facebook footage of himself killing a retiree, police were unable to explain what set him off.

"Only Steve knows that," Cleveland police Chief Calvin Williams said as authorities posted a $50,000 reward for Stephens' capture in the shooting of Robert Godwin Sr., a 74-year-old former foundry worker.

In the video, Stephens blamed a former girlfriend he had lived with, saying he woke up last week and "couldn't take it anymore." But in a statement Monday, the woman shed little light on what might have gone wrong and said Stephens was good to her and her children.

As for the shooting victim, Godwin appeared to have been selected at random, gunned down while picking up aluminum cans Sunday afternoon after spending Easter with some of his children.

A manhunt that started in Cleveland's gritty east side expanded rapidly into a nationwide search for Stephens, a 37-year-old job counselor who worked with teens and young adults, police said.

"He could be nearby. He could be far away or anywhere in between," FBI agent Stephen Anthony said.

Law enforcement officials said his cellphone signal was last detected on Sunday afternoon in Erie, Pennsylvania, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Cleveland.

Police reported getting dozens and dozens of tips, and nine schools in Philadelphia were locked down Monday while authorities investigated possible sightings of Stephens. But they said there was no sign he was actually there.

Some of those who know Stephens described him as pleasant and kind, while some said he had a gambling problem. He filed for bankruptcy two years ago.

In another video posted to Facebook, Stephens said that he gambled away everything and that he and his girlfriend had planned to marry but didn't, without saying why.

"He got along with everybody, so it's just unbelievable what happened," said Alexis Lee, a friend who saw Stephens last week.

The police chief said: "We are not going to pinpoint a specific thing and say this is what triggered this, because we don't know."

Godwin's daughter said he was killed while collecting cans in a plastic shopping bag.

"Not because he needed the money, it was just something he did," said 52-year-old Debbie Godwin. "That's all he was doing. He wasn't harming anyone."

She said her father, who had 10 children, was a gentle man with nothing mean about him.

In the shooting video, Stephens told Godwin a woman's name and said, "She's the reason that this is about to happen to you." The victim did not seem to recognize the woman's name. The gunman then pointed a weapon at Godwin, who shielded his face with the plastic bag.

The woman Stephens spoke of, Joy Lane, said in a text to CBS that "we had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened." She said Stephens was "a nice guy" who was generous to everyone.

The video of the killing was on Facebook for about three hours before it was taken down.

Investigators said that Godwin was the only victim so far linked to Stephens, despite his claim in a separate video on Facebook that he killed more than a dozen people.

Detectives spoke with Stephens on Sunday by cellphone and tried to persuade him to surrender, police said.

Stephens worked at Beech Brook, a social services agency in suburban Cleveland that deals with vulnerable young people. He helped them gain job skills and find employment, said Beech Brook spokeswoman Nancy Kortemeyer.

An extensive background check before he was hired turned up nothing worrisome, she said.

Stephens filed for bankruptcy in January 2015. His attorney at the time, Trent Binger, said Monday that he remembered Stephens discussing gambling problems.

"He was an easy client to deal with," Binger said. "Always respectful to me ... well-mannered."


Man stalks, opens fire on Ohio deputy

Posted on April 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Lori Monsewicz The Repository

CANTON, Ohio — A coordinated investigation Thursday by three police agencies and the U.S. Marshals Service led to the arrest of a man accused of firing shots at a Stark County deputy taking part in a surveillance operation.

Frederick M. Hill, 49, of Barberton was nabbed Thursday by the Barberton Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Hill faces charges of felonious assault on a peace officer, first-degree felony, and illegal cultivation of marijuana.

Stark County Sheriff George Maier said a Stark County Metro Narcotics Unit deputy was assisting Canton's Vice Unit on a drug investigation Wednesday night about 10:45 in the 2600 block of Cleveland Avenue SW. He was there only for a short period when a suspect spotted him.

"Our deputy attempted to remove himself from the situation," the sheriff said.

But as he drove away, the suspect got into a car, followed, pulled up alongside the deputy's unmarked car several blocks away and opened fire.

"As far as we know, only two shots were fired," Maier said. One bullet struck the car door pillar. The other shattered a window.

The deputy sped away and called for help.

"We're just happy that our deputy's OK and that nobody was injured," Maier said, adding that "this is what we deal with here in Stark County."

He noted the drug-related shooting of a deputy this week in Tuscarawas County, adding "This is just the nature of the business we're in. We're dealing with bad people."

The investigation is continuing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Canton Police Department at 330-489-3144 or the Stark County Sheriff's Office at 330-430-3800, or on the tip line at 330-451-3937. Anonymous tips can be sent by texting CANTON and the message to 847411.

©2017 The Repository, Canton, Ohio


SEC sues company accused of ‘duping’ Texas police group out of $1M

Posted on April 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By Max B. Baker Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH, Texas — The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is suing the developer of the stalled $4.4 million Fort Worth Police Officers Association headquarters for operating a multi-million-dollar fraud scheme in seven states and Canada.

In the lawsuit filed by SEC in Fort Worth federal court Thursday the agency contends that since 2014 4D Circle raised at least $9 million from more than 50 investors and also defrauded the POA out of $1 million through its agreement to build a five-story, 30,000-square-foot building in downtown Fort Worth.

U.S. District Judge Terry Means on Thursday froze the assets of the company, also known as Enoetics, and also appointed a receiver to protect the interest of the investors. The lawsuit specifically names Chief Executive Officer Mantford Hawkins and Chief Operating Officer David Bell.

“4D Circle was not the successful, cash rich company that was portrayed to investors. It was, in reality, a failing business that was hemorrhaging cash — and ultimately, a fraud scheme,” the SEC complaint states.

Hawkins and Bell, without admitting or denying the allegations made in the complaint, agreed to a preliminary injunction freezing their assets and to the appointment of the receiver. Hawkins and Bell also agreed to stop selling securities.

Hawkins and Bell could not reached for comment by the Star-Telegram on Friday. Hawkins’ attorney, Kevin Edmundson of Spicewood, also did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

The SEC complaint is the latest chapter in the saga of the troubled company, with its most noteworthy project being the proposed construction of a new headquarters at 10th and Collier streets for the POA, which has already filed a civil lawsuit against the company in Tarrant County civil court.

In that lawsuit, the POA said Hawkins and his associates at 4D Circle not only miscalculated the building’s size by 10,000 square feet, but it then took more than $1 million the association had paid it and used the money on other projects. It even alleged that some of the money was used to pay for an associate’s divorce.

In return for their investment, the POA got little more than an empty lot where their former headquarters used to be. It is now surrounded by a chain link fence and the group is renting office space elsewhere.

In the SEC complaint, the agency contends that 4D Circle’s officers offered debt and equity securities and that the company would use the money to acquire and improve multi-family or commercial real estate properties. Typically, 90 percent of the cash was earmarked for buying properties and 10 percent for repairs.

4D Circle does have a number of commercial buildings, many of them on Fort Worth’s near east side, including The Lancaster Apartments at 5200 E. Lancaster Ave., according to Tarrant County court records.

Investors were told that the company only bought stable, cash-flowing properties and that they would make them produce even more revenue through improvements and their management expertise, federal court records show. The cash flow would then be shared with investors in the form of periodic interest payments.

But very early on in the offerings “if not from the very outset,” it became apparent to Hawkins and Bell that “4D Circle’s properties were not generating enough cash to pay the promised investor returns,” court documents state. There wasn’t even enough cash to pay the day-to-day expenses, records show.

Instead of being up-front about 4D Circle’s “failing model,” the company’s leadership paid the promised interest payments with money from new investors. When that didn’t prove enough to keep things afloat, the company took money from wherever it was available and used it where it was needed, records show.

‘Rob Peter to pay Paul’

“This ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ approach had the effect of prolonging the scheme,” court records state. The POA project was another chapter in that approach, the SEC claims.

The POA signed a “fixed price” contract with 4D Circle in late 2014 with work scheduled to begin in early 2015. Work was to be done in phases, with payment made upon completion of each stage. To get things off the ground, the POA paid 4D Circle $1 million up front.

The new building was to include four floors of office space for the association, including training space and a gym. The street level was supposed to have 3,500 square feet of retail space.

“As it turned out, the defendants diverted significant sums of money into other 4D Circle entities as part of the overall fraud scheme,” court documents state. “The defendants also misappropriated funds — including for the purchase or refinance of a property that had nothing to do with the FWPOA,” court records show.

Chris Lyster, the attorney representing the POA in state civil court, could not be reached for comment Friday. But in an earlier interviewed said the group felt “duped.”

“It darn sure ain’t right. If you give people money to build their project you ought to use their money to build their project,” Lyster said. “The police were duped in this thing.”

©2017 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram


Busted! Police impersonator pulls over real cop

Posted on April 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Charles Rabin Miami Herald

MIAMI — Marcos Pacheco-Bustamante’s impersonations need some work. His observation skills, they could use a little polishing up, too.

On Friday morning, in what police described as a poor attempt to imitate a police officer, Pacheco-Bustamante set a blue siren atop his cop-like Ford Crown Victoria and turned it on. He was signaling for the SUV in front of him to pull over.

It did — and Pacheco-Bustamante got busted.

His mistake, other than not looking much like a cop: The man he pulled over in the unmarked SUV turned out to be Miami-Dade Detective Alton Martin, dressed in full uniform.

Almost as quickly as Martin and Pacheco-Bustamante got out of their vehicles, the cop wannabe was taken into custody. He was charged with falsely impersonating a police officer and jailed. His bond was set at $5,000.

“He indicated to detectives when interviewed that he’s done this before,” said Miami-Dade Detective Jennifer Capote.

Though Pacheco-Bustamante admitted to pulling others over before, he told police he did it with good intention: Usually, said the failed police impersonator, his victims were texting while driving or speeding.

On Friday after being hauled off to police headquarters in Doral, he offered no good explanation as to why he pulled Martin over on I-95 during rush hour and near the Northwest 119th Street exit ramp.

Before the dark green, 2000 Crown Victoria Pacheco-Bustamante was driving was towed, cops checked its interior for evidence. Wedged against the blue siren between the console and driver’s seat was an H&K plastic BB gun, a replica that Capote said “looks real.”

©2017 Miami Herald


Drug dealer convicted of murder in fatal fentanyl sale

Posted on April 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By Michelle R. Smith Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A drug dealer who sold fentanyl to a woman who overdosed and immediately died was convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

It's the first time in Rhode Island, since the opioid crisis began, that a drug dealer was convicted of murder for selling drugs that killed someone, according to the attorney general's office, which said it is also believed to be among just a handful of such cases nationally.

Aaron Andrade, 25, pleaded no contest to the charge Wednesday and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with an additional 20 years suspended with probation.

Prosecutors said Kristen Coutu, 29, thought she was buying heroin in February 2014, but that Andrade sold her the powerful drug fentanyl, instead.

Coutu had struggled with a heroin addiction for several years, and had come home from a month's stay in a rehab facility in Texas the previous night, according to her mother, Sue.

She bought $40 worth of what she thought was heroin, and injected it on the spot, prosecutor Jim Baum said. Coutu died immediately and was found in her car a few hours later.

Superior Court Judge Kristen Rodgers choked up during the hearing.

"Her death should not be in vain," Rodgers told the courtroom, adding that the sentence sends a message to drug dealers. "Their actions, putting dangerous drugs on the street, will result in a murder charge."

Coutu's mother said outside court that she didn't know if the sentence would make a difference in the opioid crisis, but she hoped it would.

"There is so much heroin and fentanyl that's flowing through the state and every state right now. It's hard to say if it will make a difference with just one person," she said. "I would think if you are a small-time drug dealer, you would think twice before selling again."

Asked if the sentence would set a precedent moving forward, Baum replied, "I certainly hope so. That's why we did it."

The attorney general's office said getting a murder conviction in such a case is difficult, and there few other cases they could find of similar convictions nationally. A woman in Tennessee pleaded guilty in September to facilitation of second-degree murder for supplying the heroin that killed a man, and she was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In the Rhode Island case, they had cellphone evidence and other evidence that linked Andrade to the address, he admitted selling drugs to Coutu, and other factors, Baum said.

Stacey Veroni, chief of the attorney general's criminal division, said that in 2016, there were 329 overdose deaths in Rhode Island, and 58 percent involved fentanyl, and that going after people who sell such drugs is a top priority for the office.

"These cases are very difficult to prove and link the dealers, but where we can, where law enforcement can, we will prosecute these cases," Veroni said.

Andrade apologized in court to Coutu's family, and to his own.

"The action that I did that day," he said, "I never meant to hurt nobody."


2 Detroit officers injured while responding to burglary; 1 critical

Posted on April 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DETROIT – One officer was shot and another officer was injured Sunday while responding to reports of a burglary.

According to WXYZ, a 19-year-old man fired a shotgun at the officers as they checked out the man’s home. One officer was shot in the face. The other officer was injured by flying glass.

Police Chief James Craig said it appears the shooter feared for the safety of his family, according to the Detroit Free Press. The man’s mother and 14-year-old brother were also in the house at the time of the incident. All three were detained after the shooting.

The 19-year-old is remorseful and hopes the officers are OK, according to the report. The officers were in full uniform at the time of the incident.

The officer injured by glass was treated and released. The other officer, who was hit in the face by two shell pellets, is in critical, but stable condition and is expected to recover.

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Chief Craig update on officers shot on the city's west side.

Posted by Detroit Police Department on Sunday, April 16, 2017


9 teens injured in shooting outside Calif. house party

Posted on April 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

VALLEJO, Calif. — Police say nine teenagers were injured when two suspects opened fire on a crowd of young people standing outside a Northern California house as a party was ending.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports eight teenagers were shot and one was trampled Sunday by the frantic crowd running away from the home in Vallejo.

Vallejo Police Spokesman Lt. Kevin Barlett says all victims are in stable condition. He says one was shot in the torso and others had femurs broken by bullets.

He says that one of the shooters had a mask and that officers found several spent bullet casings on the street.

No arrests have been made.

Barlett says investigators are trying to determine a motive in the attack.


Court: State police don’t have to cover NJ troopers’ tolls

Posted on April 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. — State police don't have to reimburse troopers for tolls they pay during their commute to and from work, an appellate court ruled.

The decision, issued Thursday, found an arbitrator was mistaken in declaring the practice "an established term and condition" of employment.

The case came about after authorities ended a yearslong practice in which troopers and other state employees were allowed to skip tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike and some other major roadways.

The toll perk was revoked in November 2010. When state police refused to cover the troopers' tolls, the State Troopers Fraternal Association filed a grievance that claimed the division had violated their collective bargaining agreement.

According to court documents, state police had agreed to a "mileage allowance" for troopers. But the division said it shouldn't be held responsible for elimination of the free tolls because it was provided by the transit authorities.

The arbitrator found the toll perk was a negotiable benefit and an established "past practice." But the appellate court ruled the arbitrator "exceeded his authority and made a mistake of law."

The state attorney general's office, which represented state police, declined to comment.

An attorney for the troopers union could not be reached for comment.


Manhunt expanded for suspect in Facebook video killing

Posted on April 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mark Gillispie Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Authorities in several states were on the lookout Monday for a man police say shot a Cleveland retiree collecting aluminum cans and then posted video of the apparently random killing on Facebook.

"He could be nearby. He could be far away or anywhere in between," FBI agent Stephen Anthony said on Day 2 of the manhunt for Steve Stephens, a 37-year-old job counselor for teens and young adults.

Police said Stephens killed Robert Godwin Sr., a 74-year-old former foundry worker, on Sunday.

Investigators said that Godwin was the only victim so far linked to Stephens, despite the suspect's claim in a separate video on Facebook that he killed over a dozen people.

Officers searched dozens of places around the city and spoke with the suspect by cellphone, police said.

Police Chief Calvin Williams warned residents to be careful as the go about their day.

Authorities also warned people in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan to be alert for Stephens, who was wanted on a charge of aggravated murder.

Godwin apparently was shot while out picking up cans in a plastic shopping bag, his daughter said.

"Not because he needed the money, it was just something he did," said 52-year-old Debbie Godwin. "That's all he was doing. He wasn't harming anyone."

She said her father, who had 10 children, was a gentle man with nothing mean about him.

"We called him the junk man," she said. "He'd pick up things off the street and fix them. He picked up bikes and he fixed them."

The motive for the shooting wasn't entirely clear from the shaky video, in which Stephens told Godwin a woman's name and said, "She's the reason that this is about to happen to you." Godwin did not seem to recognize the woman's name.

The suspect then pointed a gun at Godwin, who shielded his face with the plastic bag.

Facebook said the video was posted after the killing but wasn't broadcast on Facebook Live as police initially indicated. The suspect did go live on the social media site at another point Sunday.

The video of the killing was on Facebook for about three hours before it was taken down. Stephens' Facebook page also was eventually removed.

"This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook," the company said. "We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety."

In the separate video, Stephens said: "I killed 13, so I'm working on 14 as we speak."

Police said they have not verified any other shootings or deaths.

Stephens worked at Beech Brook, a behavioral health agency headquartered in Pepper Pike, near Cleveland. He helped young people develop job skills and find employment, said Beech Brook spokeswoman Nancy Kortemeyer.

An extensive background check before he was hired turned up nothing worrisome, she said.

"We just hope Mr. Stephens is apprehended as quickly as possible so that no one else is injured," she said.

In one of the videos, Stephens could be seen holding up his employee identification and said: "I'm killing with my Beech Brook badge on, too."


Schools locked down in Cleveland suspect hunt

Posted on April 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mark Gillispie Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Authorities in several states were on the lookout Monday for a man police say shot a Cleveland retiree collecting aluminum cans and then posted video of the apparently random killing on Facebook.

"He could be nearby. He could be far away or anywhere in between," FBI agent Stephen Anthony said on Day 2 of the manhunt for Steve Stephens, a 37-year-old job counselor for teens and young adults.

Police said Stephens killed Robert Godwin Sr., a 74-year-old former foundry worker, on Sunday.

Investigators said that Godwin was the only victim so far linked to Stephens, despite the suspect's claim in a separate video on Facebook that he killed over a dozen people.

Officers searched dozens of places around the city and spoke with the suspect by cellphone, police said.

Police Chief Calvin Williams warned residents to be careful as the go about their day.

Authorities also warned people in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan to be alert for Stephens, who was wanted on a charge of aggravated murder.

Law enforcement officials said that the last place his cellphone signal was tracked was in Erie, Pennsylvania, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Cleveland, on Sunday afternoon.

And nine schools were locked down Monday in Philadelphia, a more than six-hour drive from Cleveland, as police investigated possible sightings of Stephens.

Godwin apparently was shot while out picking up cans in a plastic shopping bag, his daughter said.

"Not because he needed the money, it was just something he did," said 52-year-old Debbie Godwin. "That's all he was doing. He wasn't harming anyone."

She said her father, who had 10 children, was a gentle man with nothing mean about him. "We called him the junk man," she said. "He'd pick up things off the street and fix them. He picked up bikes and he fixed them."

The motive for the shooting wasn't entirely clear from the shaky video, in which Stephens told Godwin a woman's name and said, "She's the reason that this is about to happen to you." Godwin did not seem to recognize the woman's name.

The suspect then pointed a gun at Godwin, who shielded his face with the plastic bag.

The woman Stephens mentioned, Joy Lane, said in a text to CBS that "we had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened."

She also said Stephens was "a nice guy" who was generous to everyone and was "kind and loving" to her and her children.

Facebook said the video was posted after the killing but wasn't broadcast on Facebook Live as police initially indicated. The suspect did go live on the social media site at another point Sunday.

The video of the killing was on Facebook for about three hours before it was taken down. Stephens' Facebook page also was eventually removed.

"This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook," the company said. "We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety."

In the separate video, Stephens said: "I killed 13, so I'm working on 14 as we speak."

Police said they have not verified any other shootings or deaths.

Stephens worked at Beech Brook, a behavioral health agency headquartered in Pepper Pike, near Cleveland. He helped young people develop job skills and find employment, said Beech Brook spokeswoman Nancy Kortemeyer.

An extensive background check before he was hired turned up nothing worrisome, she said.

"We just hope Mr. Stephens is apprehended as quickly as possible so that no one else is injured," she said.

In one of the videos, Stephens could be seen holding up his employee identification and said: "I'm killing with my Beech Brook badge on, too."


Cleveland police hunt for man who aired killing live on Facebook

Posted on April 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

CLEVELAND — Police are searching for a suspect they say shot and killed someone live on Facebook Sunday.

Police are warning the public that the suspect, Steve Stephens, is considered armed and dangerous.

Stephens also claimed to have "committed multiple other homicides which are yet to verified," police said.

Stephens is 6 foot 1, weighs and is bald with a full beard. He is wearing a dark blue, and gray or black striped polo shirt.

Sources told FOX 8 he is driving a white Ford Fusion with temporary tags.

Police are searching multiple areas but no other victims have been found.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.


Videos: 20 arrested after violence erupts at Calif. pro, anti-Trump rallies

Posted on April 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. — At least 20 people were arrested after violence broke out Saturday between groups of supporters and detractors of President Donald Trump holding rallies in downtown Berkeley, authorities said.

About 200 people were at Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park when several fights broke out. Dozens of police officers in riot gear standing nearby quickly arrested one man. Others were arrested after several skirmishes.

Trump supporters announced earlier in the week that they were holding a "Patriot Day" at the park at noon that would feature speeches by members of the alt-right, an amorphous fringe movement that uses internet memes, message boards and social media to spread a hodgepodge of racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny and xenophobia. Counter-demonstrators then said they would hold a rally at the same place at 10 a.m.

Police put in a makeshift barrier of plastic orange poles and orange fence mesh to separate both sides, but that quickly came down as demonstrators started punching and kicking each other, while pepper spray and firecrackers were thrown to the crowd.

After the barrier was put back in place, demonstrators shouted at each other from a distance, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"You go back to the '60s," shouted a pro-Trump supporter.

It's going down in the pro-Trump rally in Berkeley. Bottles, m-80s, etc. pic.twitter.com/tgOxbIknPJ

— Shane Bauer (@shane_bauer) April 15, 2017

"You go back to the 1400s," someone on the opposing side shouted back

The groups then left the park and walked on Berkeley streets with police closely following them. Photographs of the scene showed at least two men with bloodied faces.

Berkeley police have stopped intervening a while ago @EastBayExpress pic.twitter.com/kCHoi6hOKh

— Brian Krans (@citizenkrans) April 15, 2017

Authorities had said ahead of the rallies, that baseball bats, sticks, flagpoles and any items that could be used as a weapon were banned at the park. Officers on Saturday confiscated sticks, knives, flagpoles and helmets and sticks with signs on them.

The rally followed March 4 demonstrations at the same park planned by some of the same groups and that ended in violent clashes. Several people were injured and police arrested 10 demonstrators.

Antifa needs to be labeled as domestic terrorists. This hate group is getting out of control. Total chaos.#Berkeley pic.twitter.com/ne75geN3dM

— Tennessee (@TEN_GOP) April 15, 2017

In February, protesters threw rocks, broke windows and set fires outside the University of California, Berkeley's student union building, where then-Breitbart News editor and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was set to speak. His presentation was cancelled.

Absolutely chaotic scenes in Berkeley where pro- & anti-Trump protesters are clashing. @BuzzFeedNews also on scene: https://t.co/GHfElQPq6U pic.twitter.com/XX5mR0s7LC

— David Mack (@davidmackau) April 15, 2017


Police say 9 shot early Sunday in Ohio club, 2 critical

Posted on April 16, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Police in Ohio's capital city say nine people have been wounded, two critically, in an early morning shooting in a Columbus club.

Columbus police say initial investigation indicates an argument erupted into gunfire at 3:20 a.m. Sunday in the J&R Party Hall. They say five females and four males were shot, with wounds ranging from minor to life-threatening. News outlets reported that two people were still in critical condition hours later.

Police say they haven't identified any suspects yet, but think there was more than one shooter.

In another early Sunday morning shooting three weeks ago, Cincinnati police responded to a dispute that escalated into a gun battle inside the Cameo club. Two people died, and 15 others were injured. A man has pleaded not guilty to charges including murder.


A survivor, now a dad: Virginia Tech tragedy, 10 years later

Posted on April 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Alanna Durkin Richer Associated Press

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Kevin Sterne has spent 10 years trying not to let himself be defined by the mass shooting that nearly killed him at Virginia Tech. But now that he's a new father, Sterne grapples with knowing that one day he must tell his son about the horror he worked so hard to put behind him.

"How do I approach that? Do I talk about it? What age is appropriate to go into what kind of detail?" Sterne asked, seated outside the building where he was taking a German class on April 16, 2007, when a mentally ill student with a gun chained the doors shut and killed 30 people before killing himself.

Not until months after the shootings did Sterne's mother hear him talk about what he saw that day. Even now, he doesn't discuss it much: the day a bullet cut through his right leg and another one ripped his femoral artery. The day he wrapped a power cord around his leg as a tourniquet, likely saving his own life. The day four officers carried his bloody body out of Norris Hall — an image plastered on the front pages of newspapers across the country.

How do you explain that to a little boy?

Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on campus that cold April day. More than two dozen others were wounded by bullets or hurt trying to escape. It was, at the time, the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. A massacre that claimed 49 lives at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub surpassed it last year.

The Tech shooting motivated schools across the country to reevaluate campus security.

It also prompted Virginia lawmakers to close a loophole that allowed Cho to buy guns even though a judge had declared him a danger to himself and ordered him to get involuntary mental health treatment. But a push from Tech survivors and relatives of the slain failed to persuade lawmakers to tighten oversight of sales at gun shows, revealing the depth of the gun culture in this Southern state.

Over the years, other students wounded at Tech have graduated and moved away, many becoming advocates for gun-control and campus safety. Quiet and unassuming, Sterne has chosen to stay out of the spotlight, remain at the school and try to continue his life the way he imagined it would be before it was upended.

"I just don't think he wants that one day, that one horrific day that he can't change ... to control who he is," his mother, Suzanne Grimes, said.

That doesn't mean its effects don't linger.

He still sometimes loses feeling in his right leg, where the bullet remains lodged in the head of his femur. When the anniversary approaches, he gets more irritable and stressed — the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, he believes. Loud noises can still make him uneasy. His mother notices he gets anxious in crowds and sits with his back to the wall at restaurants so he can see the entrances and exits.

And he has never re-entered Norris Hall.

"This isn't something that happens and then it's gone and everybody is fine ... It stays with you," said Sterne, now 32.

Sterne is the only one of the wounded students still at Tech, where he works as an engineer in two labs. While recovering in the hospital, he was accepted at graduate school here and never considered not returning, despite protests from his mother. In the weeks and months that followed, he found it comforting to be around others on campus who witnessed the same horror. When he was offered a job at the school, he accepted and never left.

He didn't want to leave just because that terrible thing happened to him here, he said.

"It will be an event that changes and kind of shapes our lives, but there are so many other things to do," Sterne said.

On the massacre's 10th anniversary weekend, Sterne will bring his wife and son to campus to join other survivors for events honoring the lives lost that day. Not even a year old yet, his son is still too young to understand the reason for the solemn faces. Sterne knows tough conversation will eventually come.

But for Sterne, Tech is no longer just a place of tragedy: It's where he built a career, started a family and survived.

"I think one of the most incredible things about Kevin is he's not the guy who was shot on April 16," his wife, Kacey Sterne, said. "He's Kevin Sterne, an electrical engineer. He self-identifies as a nerd. He's a dad now.

"I don't think that he sees this as, like, 'the place I got shot' ... I think he thinks of it as... 'my home.'"


Boston marks 4th anniversary of deadly marathon bombing

Posted on April 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BOSTON — Bostonians marked the fourth anniversary of the deadly Boston Marathon attacks on Saturday with quiet remembrances for the victims.

Bill Richard placed a large wreath on the Boylston Street sidewalk where his 8-year-old son, Martin, died. The boy was one of the three spectators killed when two bombs planted near the finish line exploded on April 15, 2013, spraying shrapnel into the crowds. More than 260 others were wounded.

Richard stood Saturday with his wife, Denise, their daughter, Jane, and oldest son, Henry, in silence as bagpipers performed "Amazing Grace." The Boston Globe reports he briefly hugged a family member of Lu Lingzi, a Boston University graduate student from China who was killed in the second blast.

The family of 29-year-old Krystle Campbell placed a second wreath about 200 yards away where the Medford native was killed in the first blast.

Democratic Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker took part in the wreath-laying ceremonies for what is now called "One Boston Day."

Sean Collier, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, also was killed later while struggling with the bombers as they tried to steal his gun.

Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in an ensuing standoff with police. His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was convicted on federal charges and sentenced to death.

The attacks have inspired several movies, including the Mark Wahlberg film "Patriots Day."

On the eve of the anniversary, volunteers planted thousands of daffodils along the marathon course in solidarity.


Videos: Train stuck in tunnel 3 hours, then ECD sparks stampede

Posted on April 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jennifer Peltz and Verena Dobnik Associated Press

NEW YORK — A train with about 1,200 passengers became stuck in a tunnel between New York and New Jersey for nearly three hours on Friday, and the chaotic scene escalated to pandemonium when Amtrak police used a stun gun to subdue a disruptive man in a station, sparking a stampede.

It was the latest in a series of recent rail problems plaguing the metropolitan area.

The New Jersey Transit train became disabled in the Hudson River tunnel late Friday afternoon, when Amtrak was experiencing overhead power problems. A New Jersey Transit spokeswoman said the train finally reached New York's Penn Station in the early evening.

A look at the chaos at Penn Station after Amtrak police used a Taser on a man. Details: https://t.co/4eIk8Ak0k2 pic.twitter.com/RjcuwGX7NR

— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) April 14, 2017

The overcrowded train station erupted in panic when Amtrak police used a Taser to subdue a man who was causing a disturbance. New York police said the use of the Taser led to false rumors of gunshots at the station. People screamed and ran, leaving the station strewn with abandoned bags. The nearby Macy's department store was briefly locked down. Sixteen people suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Amtrak said Friday night the subdued man, who wasn't a passenger from the disabled train, was in police custody.

The loss of power in the tunnel caused delays of an hour or more on Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. It happened three weeks after the derailment of an Amtrak train at Penn Station and a week after a New Jersey Transit derailment shut down eight of 21 tracks there and disrupted travel in the region for days. No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

VIDEO: Chaos at Penn Station after Amtrak Police tasered an emotionally disturbed person #nbc4ny pic.twitter.com/d17PZUlqw4

— Steven Bognar (@Bogs4NY) April 14, 2017

One passenger from Friday's train, Mia Sanati, described a scene of confusion.

Sanati said she and her husband were headed for the New York International Auto Show when they boarded the train in Secaucus, New Jersey, at Secaucus Junction, the last New York-bound stop before Penn Station.

She said shortly after the train entered the tunnel to go under the Hudson River, they felt a bump on the side of the train and saw sparks.

"About 30 seconds later, the train just came to a complete stop," Sanati said.

The power went out, except for emergency lights, and so did the air conditioning, said Sanati, who made video of the darkened car.

"It got really hot really fast, with that many people crammed together," she said.

Aftermath of the stampede in Penn Station. It was crazy. Unclear what exactly sparked it. @NBCNewYork pic.twitter.com/eKXFKDgTxV

— Erica Byfield (@EricaByfield4NY) April 14, 2017

As riders waited and plans changed — they were told that the train would be towed, then that it would be evacuated — some tried to make light of the situation or scooted over in their seats to make room for people who were standing. But others were shaking, pacing, saying they had to get out or mulling about walking through the tunnel, Sanati said.

After the electricity came back on and the train started moving, there were cheers, said Sanati, who lives in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and just finished a doctoral program in mass communications.

Rush hour passengers trying to leave New York faced mounting delays.

Adam Rosen, a chemical engineer going to Hamilton, New Jersey, said, "They keep extending the delays from 45 minutes to 90 minutes and now indefinitely. This is the worst."

New Jersey Transit executive director Steven Santoro said in a statement to affected riders, "we deeply apologize for your experience, and I would like to hear from you."

NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said the railroad was working with Amtrak to determine the cause of the problem.

Mass panic erupted at Penn Station this evening when police chased and tased a man inside the Amtrak waiting area pic.twitter.com/iqMpN4xseY

— AJ Ross (@AJRossABC7) April 14, 2017


Prosecutor undecided on 137-gunshot case against police supervisors

Posted on April 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mark Gillispie Associated Press

CLEVELAND — The new county prosecutor in Cleveland appears to have left open the possibility he might not pursue misdemeanor criminal charges against five Cleveland police supervisors for failing to control a high-speed chase in 2012 that ended with two unarmed black people fatally shot in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a judge in East Cleveland, where the chase ended, can preside over the officers' dereliction of duty charges. The ruling did not address the merits of the charges.

Prosecutor Michael O'Malley said through a spokesman Friday that his office was reviewing the court's ruling and that no decision had been made about whether he would pursue charges against Randolph Dailey, Patricia Coleman, Michael Donegan, Jason Edens and Paul Wilson.

O'Malley took office in January and inherited the case from his predecessor, Tim McGinty, whom O'Malley defeated last year in a Democratic primary election.

The chase in November 2012 began near Cleveland police headquarters after an officer standing outside the building reported a shot had been fired from a passing beat-up Chevy Malibu. Experts later said it was likely the sound of the car backfiring.

The supervisors initially were charged in May 2014 at the same time patrol officer Michael Brelo was indicted on voluntary manslaughter charges for the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. Brelo was the only officer of the 13 who shot at the car charged with a crime. Brelo fired 49 of the 137 rounds, including a final 15-shot volley while standing on the hood of the Malibu.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O'Donnell acquitted Brelo in May 2015 after a bench trial. O'Donnell was scheduled to preside over the supervisors' trial but eventually dismissed the case at McGinty's request after the prosecutor filed identical dereliction of duty charges in East Cleveland.

Attorneys for the supervisors accused McGinty of "forum shopping" and appealed to the 8th District Court of Appeals, which issued an order prohibiting the case from being heard in East Cleveland. The Supreme Court overturned that ruling on Thursday.

The East Cleveland judge, William Dawson, didn't return phone messages Thursday. The court was closed Friday. McGinty's appeal to the Supreme Court said Dawson "takes no position on his authority or jurisdiction" in the case.


Lawyer: Little money involved in Trump sanctuary order

Posted on April 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — President Donald Trump's executive order withholding funding from communities that limit cooperation with immigration authorities applies to a small pot of grant money, not the billions of dollars that San Francisco and a California county say is at stake for them, a lawyer with the Department of Justice said Friday.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler made the comments during a court hearing on lawsuits filed by San Francisco and the Silicon Valley county of Santa Clara against Trump's order targeting so-called sanctuary cities.

Readler said the city and county were interpreting the order too broadly.

The funding cutoff applies to DOJ and Department of Homeland Security grants contingent on compliance with a federal law that prohibits local governments from refusing to provide people's immigration status to federal authorities, he said.

The order would affect less than $1 million in funding for Santa Clara County and possibly no money for San Francisco, Readler said. "There is no mystery," he said.

The plaintiffs have argued that more than $1 billion was at stake for each of them, citing all federal funds they receive for a variety of programs and services.

Sarah Eisenberg, a deputy city attorney in San Francisco, disputed Readler's claim, saying the city has money at stake.

Readler's comments about the money appeared to catch U.S. District Judge William Orrick by surprise. Orrick then questioned the point of the president's executive order.

The administration was using a "bully pulpit" to highlight an issue it cares deeply about, Readler responded.

John Keker, an attorney for Santa Clara County, rejected Readler's interpretation and said the order referred to all federal funds now received by local governments that don't detain immigrants for possible deportation when they are due for release from jail.

"They've come up with a further interpretation," Keker said. "It won't wash."

San Francisco and Santa Clara County have asked for a court order blocking the Trump administration from cutting off funds to any sanctuary cities. Orrick did not immediately issue a ruling after Friday's hearing.

Readler said the request was premature because decisions about withholding funds and what jurisdictions qualify as sanctuary cities have yet to be made.

Mollie Lee, another deputy city attorney in San Francisco, said the Trump administration has labeled San Francisco a sanctuary city in public comments, so the city had good reason to believe it was a target.

The sanctuary city order was among a flurry of immigration measures the president signed in January, including a ban on travelers from seven majority Muslim countries and a border security directive calling for a wall with Mexico.

A federal appeals court blocked the travel ban. The administration then revised it, although the new version is also stalled in court.

The Trump administration says sanctuary cities allow dangerous criminals back on the street, and the president's order is needed to keep the country safe. San Francisco and other sanctuary cities say turning local police into immigration officers erodes trust that's needed to get people to report crime.

The order has also prompted lawsuits by Seattle, two Massachusetts cities, Lawrence and Chelsea, and a third San Francisco Bay Area government, the City of Richmond, though none of those cases has received a court hearing yet.

San Francisco, the first city to challenge the order in court, said in court documents that the president does not have authority over federal funds and cannot force local officials to enforce federal immigration law.


Things we learned from Pa. barracks ambush suspect’s confession

Posted on April 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Rubinkam Associated Press

MILFORD, Pa. — He decided to attack a state police barracks only a few days before squeezing the trigger. He was surprised the manhunt for him wasn't more aggressive. He feared he'd be shot by police but figured he had it coming.

Eric Frein's videotaped statement to police, recorded on the night of his 2014 capture and aired publicly for the first time during his capital murder trial last week, offered new details into what the suspect was thinking and doing before, during and after the deadly ambush that killed one trooper and left a second with devastating injuries.

While chain-smoking cigarettes given to him by police, Frein answered many of the investigators' questions with a nod or shake of the head - and, in the process, implicated himself over and over.

His attorney, Michael Weinstein, told reporters after the video was played in court that "it's not for us to decide if it's a confession." But he added the video showed Frein displayed "legitimate remorse."

The 33-year-old college dropout, who eluded capture for nearly seven weeks after the ambush, faces a potential death sentence if he's convicted in the attack that killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson. He's pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors have said they could rest their case this week.

Some things we learned about Frein from the video and from other evidence presented at his trial:

PLAN DEVELOPED QUICKLY

Frein told police he began plotting the ambush the first weekend of September, only a few days before the Sept. 12, 2014, attack. He used Google Earth to scope out state police barracks near his home in Canadensis, picking the Blooming Grove station because it was surrounded by woods and offered good cover. He said he didn't visit the area ahead of time and knew no one at the barracks.

___

HIDE AND SEEK

Frein wasn't exactly on the run during a large portion of the manhunt. He told police he spent most of his time as one of America's most wanted men living in an airplane hangar attached to a defunct and abandoned Poconos resort more than 20 miles from the shooting scene. It was stocked with everything he needed to live in relative comfort, though he did say he burglarized a home a few days before his capture to steal food. He called it "scary" and "a little bit disconcerting" to be the target of a manhunt but added he didn't care if he got caught.

___

RELUCTANT TO OFFER MOTIVE

Faced repeatedly with questions about why he did it, Frein demurred. "I don't know," he said at one point. At another, Frein seemed to suggest he was dissatisfied with his life as a 31-year-old man who lived with his parents and had few job prospects. Finally, toward the end, he agreed with the investigators' suggestions that he shot Dickson and Trooper Alex Douglass to "wake people up" and force a change in government. He complained there was no one worth voting for.

Another key piece of evidence - a letter to his parents - lends credence to the idea that Frein was a wannabe revolutionary. He wrote that only another revolution can "get us back the liberties we once had."

___

CLAIMS TO BE RELIGIOUS

Asked if he considered himself a man of faith, Frein nodded his head yes. He talked about Old Testament prophesy and the New Testament book of Luke. He made the sign of the cross when an investigator said "thank God" nobody got seriously hurt during the manhunt. He spoke of his soul and said "there's already enough to answer for."

And, in a handwritten journal recovered from the hangar, he asked Jesus Christ for mercy.

Frein did not square his professions and displays of piety with the sniper who plotted, laid in wait and chose his victims at random.


Facts, tips and tricks concerning shotgun ammunition

Posted on April 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: TFB Staff

This article originally appeared on The Firearm Blog.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some curious and relatively lesser-known facts as well as some handy tips concerning the shotgun ammunition. There is no actual criteria as such. I just gathered some thoughts, random facts and other interesting information that I hope will be useful for you and let you learn something new. So let’s see what we have:

1) What does “Dram Equivalent” mean?

You’ve probably noticed on a shotshell box a marking saying “Dram” or “Dram Equivalent”. It is usually right between the hull length and shot weight markings.

It comes from the days when shotshells were loaded with black powder. So “dram” is a weight measuring unit, which was used to measure the black powder weight. Dram is equal to 1/16 of an ounce or about 27.3 grains. Obviously, shotgun shells loaded with black powder are virtually obsolete today. Modern smokeless powders are much powerful at a given weight. If you weigh as much smokeless powder as black powder and load it into the shell, you’ll end up blowing up your gun or severely damaging it. Let alone how dangerous it can be for the shooter.

So, why then they put that marking on the boxes? That’s where the word “Equivalent” comes in. The number of dram equivalent on modern shotshell boxes indicates the amount of power level that particular ammunition is loaded to compared to black powder weight. In other words, by printing the dram equivalent value on the ammo boxes, manufacturers try to say that the shotshell is loaded with smokeless powder, which will generate as much power/pressure as the printed amount of black powder would do.

It is somewhat weird, isn’t it? Why don’t they just put the type and weight of the smokeless powder that is loaded in any particular shell? It is hard to tell. This system was definitely useful when smokeless powder was newly introduced and not all shells were loaded with it. In that period of time, both smokeless and black powder loads were available. So it was useful to have some sort of a comparison reference to have an idea concerning what to expect from the ammunition loaded with the “new” smokeless of powder. Today it seems to be a rather non-practical tradition or maybe it is a requirement for some legislations or sporting federation rules.

Here is a video by Federal Premium Ammunition explaining the meaning of “dram”:

2) What gauge is .410 bore?

As you know the shotgun gauge number indicates the amount of equal diameter balls that can be cast from one pound of pure lead. However, in the case of .410 bore shell, the “.410” is the actual bore diameter. So it is more like caliber designation of rifled firearms. In order to calculate the gauge knowing the bore diameter and vice versa, there are a couple of formulas, which look like so:

In the above formulas, dn is the bore diameter and n is the gauge.

So from the second formula, placing .410 instead of dn we get 67.57. It means that if .410 bore had a gauge designation, it would be 67 or 68 gauge.

Now, this is just a curious fact and it has no use. If you don’t like this kind of stuff, then skip the next point – it is even more impractical, yet interesting.

3) What gauge is equal to caliber?

Let’s see what bore diameter matches the gauge number. In that case, n will be equal to dn . So using the same formulas we get the approximate number of 46.5. Which means that a .465 caliber (bore diameter) would be equal to 46.5 gauge!

4) How to memorize the diameter of birdshot pellets of any particular number?

Birdshot has number designations. If you are an experienced shooter you probably already have an idea of what size each birdshot number matches. But for many people, especially for new hunters and shooters, it is hard to remember what sizes have the numbers of birdshot. However, you don’t have to keep in mind that numbers. There is a simple trick to quickly calculate the shot diameter of each birdshot number. All you need is to subtract the birdshot number from “17” and you’ll get the diameter in hundredths of an inch. For example, to calculate the pellet diameter of say #9 birdshot, you need to subtract 9 from 17 (17-9=8) and the answer 8 will mean that #9 pellets have a diameter of .08 inches.

5) A couple of tips from Russian hunters

I learned a couple of DIY tricks while watching a Russian hunting YouTube channel, which host was telling about his grandfather’s experience. There were not too many advanced shotgun ammunition offerings in the Soviet Union. Things like special wads that decrease the spread patterns and buffering media were pretty much nonexistent. But the problems and need to solve them still existed, so people had to invent DIY solutions. I talked to a couple of long-time hunters (and researched other sources) and they pretty much confirmed the legitimacy of these tricks (with minor differences).

So, instead of the birdshot buffer (to decrease the pellet deformation), they used potato starch. Sounds interesting, isn’t it? What they did is poured potato starch into the shell right on top of a couple of rows of birdshot. Then they shook the shell to allow the starch to find its way into the column and fill the voids between pellets. Then added a couple of more rows of birdshot and repeated the process until the necessary amount of birdshot was loaded and the starch had no more place to go in. For some unknown reason, they used only starch and nothing else with similar density (no salt, no flour, nothing else).

Next trick helped to decrease the spread pattern of the buckshot load. So what they did is poured melted candle wax into the hull, which filled the voids between the buckshot pellets. You may think that it would form a wax slug, which is exactly what I thought first. However, it turns out that because buckshot pellets are much larger and have greater individual mass, they separate from each other unlike the birdshot, which forms a wax slug. However, they separate with a delay of a fraction of a second which makes the buckshot patterns tighter in normal shotgun hunting distances.

TAOFLEDERMAUS YouTube channel earlier tried to make a wax slug made of buckshot and it worked for him as a slug. So I guess it is all about what type of wax to use or maybe the technique of applying candle wax to make the buckshot pellets separate with a delay.

I have to say that I haven’t tested these methods and I DON’T RECOMMEND you to try them. I am just sharing with our readers the interesting information that I came across. Now I warned you … if you try them and blow your gun, don’t blame me ??

If you are an avid hunter then you were probably aware of most of the subjects discussed in the article. Moreover, you may know about more interesting things which could be a good addition to this article. So, if you do know something like that, please share it with us in the comments section.


SC officer dies from crash injuries

Posted on April 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — An officer died Thursday evening after crashing his motorcycle earlier this week.

According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 39-year-old Jason Gregory Harris was responding to a call for backup Tuesday when his motorcycle struck a vehicle pulling into a driveway. Harris was thrown from his bike and suffered serious injuries.

Harris joined the Spartanburg Police Department in 2004 and took on multiple roles, including gang investigator, SWAT team member, and motorcycle patrol, according to the report.

“He took a lot of pride in his work. Jason was one who was always ready to volunteer, to take on a task whether pleasant or unpleasant,” Deputy Chief Jennifer Kindall told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.

The officer is survived by his wife and three kids.


Answering the call: Daughter of cop killed in 9/11 attacks joins NYPD

Posted on April 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — The daughter of a New York Police Department officer killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks has been sworn in as a member of the force.

Brittney Roy, of Massapequa Park on Long Island, was sworn in Thursday along with 473 other recruits during a ceremony held at the city's police academy in Queens.

Meet Brittney Roy, daughter of NYPD Sgt. Timothy Roy who was killed on 9/11. Today, Brittney joined the NYPD. Let's say thank you & congrats pic.twitter.com/ECVVo320Dz

— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 14, 2017

Her father, Sgt. Timothy Roy, was assigned to the NYPD's surface transit enforcement division. He was working in Brooklyn courts when the terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

The 36-year-old Roy rushed to Lower Manhattan to help. He was last seen by the South Tower before it collapsed. His body was found the following March.

Brittney Roy, now 22, was 7 years old when her father died. She says she always dreamed of becoming a police officer.


Photo: Fla. cop becomes lost girl’s ‘knight in shining armor’

Posted on April 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CLEARWATER, Fla. — A Florida police officer is getting some social media love after a woman snapped a picture of him walking hand-in-hand with a little girl who got separated from her family.

Clearwater police officials said on a Facebook post that the child wandered away from her family on Tuesday evening. After the 6-year-old girl approached several beachgoers, Officer Rich Edmonds came to her rescue.

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A Clearwater Police officer was a knight in shining armor for one little girl earlier this week on Clearwater Beach. The...

Posted by Clearwater Police Department on Friday, April 14, 2017

Police say that when Edmonds realized the crying child didn't want to get in his police car, he walked with her until they found her family farther down the beach.

The photo, posted Friday morning, was shared 59 times before noon.

Clearwater is on Florida's west coast, near Tampa.


Videos: Philly cops corral horse loose on city streets

Posted on April 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Police used carrots to corral a horse that got loose and blocked traffic at an intersection in Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood.

Police believe the animal got loose from the city's Fairmount Park stables. Officials there didn't immediately return a call for comment.

The horse was seen galloping through the city streets before being captured by police at Girard Avenue and Richmond Street about 7:15 a.m. Friday.

Officers used carrots to attract and calm down the horse, so they could put him in a trailer.

#EXCLUSIVE: Philly police safely capture runaway horse. First spotted running on Kelly Drive. Chase ended at Girard and Richmond. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/RrqBsoMoFk

— Jan Carabeo (@JanCarabeoCBS3) April 14, 2017

#EXCLUSIVE: Just before capture on Richmond near Girard. Horse seen running on Kelly, Spring Garden and Beach this morning. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/cT2b2qrt7X

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#LIVE: Not your typical #Traffic #Alert... A horse that was on the loose has been captured in Fishtown. STORY: http://cbsloc.al/2otIaHp

Posted by CBS Philly on Friday, April 14, 2017


Police arrest fugitive who stole guns, penned anti-government manifesto

Posted on April 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Gretchen Ehlke Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin fugitive accused of stealing an arsenal of firearms and sending an anti-government manifesto to the White House was arrested Friday after a retired school counselor found him camping on his property and calmly talked to the man before calling authorities.

The arrest of Joseph Allen Jakubowski settled fears among residents and law enforcement over what he might do with his stockpile of weapons and ammunition. In his manifesto, Jakubowski detailed a long list of grievances against the government and law enforcement, and threatened unspecified attacks.

His arrest came about 6 a.m. Friday, when tactical officers surrounding his campsite in a field near Readstown and arrested him without incident, said Jeffrey A. Gorn, the property owner who called authorities. Readstown is about 125 miles (200 kilometers) northwest of Janesville, where the manhunt for Jakubowski began April 4.

Gorn told The Associated Press he was driving his four-wheeler on his property late Thursday night and checking his deer stands when he spotted a blue tarp and discovered a man camping on his land. Gorn said he didn't realize it was Jakubowski, the 32-year-old target of an intense manhunt by at least 150 federal, state and local law enforcement officers for more than a week.

Gorn approached the tent fashioned from the tarp and asked if anyone was inside. Jakubowski came out.

"He said he was off the grid," Gorn said. "And I told him you're not too far off the grid. You're on my grid."

Gorn, 58, a former high school guidance counselor, said he talked with Jakubowski for an hour.

"He seemed angry at the way he views society, how he believes money is controlling society," Gorn said, adding that the man was "extremely cordial."

"He never raised his voice, never showed any sign of doing anything inappropriate. I shook his hand twice," Gorn said. "He wanted me to see his points of view. He wanted me to see what he had written to various people."

Gorn said Jakubowski asked for food and asked if he had to leave the field. Gorn told him he could stay the night. When he returned to his house, Gorn said he felt a bit uneasy with the campsite and called the Vernon County Sheriff's Office. Law enforcement officers began to descend on the property in the dark and set up a perimeter around the camp. Gorn estimated 100 officers arrived and sat down with him to look over maps of the property. A thermal imaging camera showed Jakubowski was in the tent, he said.

Tactical officers moved in about 6 a.m. and arrested Jakubowski without resistance, according to the Rock County Sheriff's Office.

Jakubowski's capture quieted concerns after authorities said Thursday they were investigating a letter threatening Easter attacks on churches in Wisconsin, specifically around Sussex, purportedly sent by Jakubowski. Officials did not confirm its authenticity.

An Easter egg hunt at the governor's mansion that was cancelled Thursday because of the hunt for Jakubowski was back on for Saturday.

Janesville Police Chief David Moore earlier said Jakubowski cited concerns about President Donald Trump in his 161-page manifesto but that he didn't make any specific threats.

The sheriff's office said Jakubowski filmed a video of himself dropping his manifesto, addressed to Trump, into a mailbox and speaking of a "revolution" before the manhunt began. He warned in the video that whoever received the manifesto "might want to read it."

Authorities believe Jakubowski drafted a letter of apology the owner of a gun store in his hometown of Janesville before stealing 18 guns, two silencers and ammunition on April 4.


Videos: Police fire 2 Ga. officers after viral UOF incident

Posted on April 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kate Brumback Associated Press

ATLANTA — Two Georgia police officers were fired Thursday, a day after authorities say one punched a man who had his hands up and the other kicked the man in the head once he was handcuffed on the ground.

The Gwinnett County Police Department said Thursday afternoon that Master Police Officer Robert McDonald violated department policy and the law. Video showed McDonald assaulting the handcuffed man, identified as Demetrius Bryan Hollins, while assisting a supervisor who had called for backup during a traffic stop about 4 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

Several hours later, police said that supervisor, Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni, had also been fired after a second video surfaced of him punching Hollins in the face as Hollins put his hands in the air.

"We acknowledge that the actions of these two officers have implications that will be felt for some time," a police department statement says. "However, we also believe that our decisive action in terminating both officers speaks volumes about what is expected of each officer that wears a Gwinnett County Police badge."

The department also has opened criminal investigations into the behavior of the two officers. The results will be turned over to the county district attorney, who will decide whether to prosecute the two officers.

McDonald was hired by the department in August 2013 and graduated from the police academy in March 2014, while Bongiovanni was hired in September 1998 and graduated from the academy in February 1999.

No working number could be found for McDonald, and the voicemail at a number listed for Bongiovanni was full. It wasn't immediately clear whether either man had an attorney who could comment.

Another police video surfaces from Gwinnett County today as an officer punches a man with hands up. ???? pic.twitter.com/Y5GyeHhm58

— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) April 13, 2017

Bongiovanni pulled Hollins over in Lawrenceville, just outside Atlanta, police said.

Video filmed by a witness shows Bongiovanni punching Hollins as Hollins stands with his hands up after getting out of the car, police said.

The other video shows Bongiovanni appearing to yell at a handcuffed man who then lies face-down in a left-turn lane of the busy intersection. McDonald runs up and immediately appears to stomp on the man's head before both officers eventually pull him to his feet.

Hollins, 21, appears to have blood on his nose and lip in his booking photo.

The shift commander initiated an "immediate investigation" and placed McDonald on administrative leave after Hollins' arrest.

Hollins was driving a red Acura Integra with no license plate and a brake light that didn't work, and switched lanes three times without signaling, according to an incident report filed by Bongiovanni.

Hollins yelled and began to "act strange," and based on that and the officer's recollection of Hollins' behavior during a previous arrest in August, Bongiovanni called for backup, the report says.

Hollins yelled and refused to obey orders when Bongiovanni ordered him out of the car and resisted when Bongiovanni tried to arrest him, the report says. There is no mention of Bongiovanni hitting Hollins.

The report mentions McDonald arriving after Bongiovanni had used his stun gun on Hollins and gotten him handcuffed on the ground. It doesn't mention any contact between McDonald and Hollins.

The two officers are white and Hollins appears to be black, police Cpl. Michele Pihera said in an email.

Jail records show Hollins faces charges of driving with a suspended or revoked license, operating a vehicle with a suspended or revoked registration, failure to signal, having a brake light that's not in good repair, obstructing a law enforcement officer and having less than an ounce of marijuana. He was released on bond Thursday afternoon.

Police released McDonald's personnel file Thursday and said Bongiovanni's would be released Thursday.

McDonald was "an excellent example of a team player with a strong work ethic" who completed his work on time, was always willing to help others and was courteous and professional with the public, Bongiovanni wrote in annual evaluation last June. He gave McDonald a rating of "often exceeds expectations" in many categories and no rating lower than "generally meets expectations."

McDonald received a few commendations and recognitions, including sharing the officer of the month honor in November 2015.

He had filed three use-of-force reports explaining why he used his stun gun or physical force in the course of his duties.

He faced a disciplinary loss of his good driving record after he rear-ended another car in his patrol car in June 2015. But the officer who responded to the accident said in a letter to the department's safety review committee that it would have been very difficult for McDonald to avoid the wreck.


Orlando nightclub shooting: ‘If you’re alive, raise your hand’

Posted on April 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — The sight of so many injured people lying on the dance floor after the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando led one officer to ask patrons, "If you're alive, raise your hand," according to a new report from police.

The report reveals nearly half of the 49 victims in the mass shooting last June died on the dance floor without a chance to react or run for help. Another 13 died in bathrooms while waiting for help during a three-hour hostage standoff.

The revelations are part of a 78-page presentation Orlando Police Chief John Mina has given to about 10 police groups to discuss his department's response to the attack, considered the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The Orlando Sentinel obtained a copy of the presentation, which includes diagrams and still photos from body cam footage that shows officers in their initial confrontation with gunman Omar Mateen as they responded to the club at 2:02 a.m. June 12.

The images include Officer Adam Gruler, who was working an off-duty job at Pulse that morning, firing shots at Mateen in the club's doorway. Gruler called a signal 43, which means an officer needs help. When help arrived minutes later, Gruler told them, "He's in the patio!" and shot multiple rounds toward Mateen.

Surveillance video from inside the clubs captures Mateen running from the main dance floor toward the bathrooms.

Nine people died in the north bathroom, where Mateen, 29, was barricaded for much of the standoff, according to the report. Four died in the south bathroom. Eleven died at the hospital or in triage areas set up outside the club.

At 5:02 a.m., some three hours after arriving, police used explosives to breach the building. That's when Mateen was killed in a shootout with police.

Mina's presentation notes that officers rescued people throughout the night. He said he doesn't know if any victims were struck by police gunfire.

The Orlando Police Department was one of 27 agencies responding to the shooting, which also wounded 68 people.

The presentation includes self-assessments and ways the agency might approach such situations differently in the future. It notes better coordination with local fire departments could lead to better communication. Mina said the Orlando Fire Department and Orange County Fire Rescue were not in his agency's command post outside the club.

"Would that have saved any more lives? No. The people who needed care, got care," Mina said. "But the communication would have been better between our two agencies if someone from the fire department would have been in our command post."

The presentation says that fire department officials said the "indirect communication" with law enforcement prevented crews from being informed of the wall breach. For example, many firefighters didn't know police would use explosives to breach the nightclub.


Policing Matters Podcast: What the public should know about police SCOTUS cases

Posted on April 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

&amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_391S--&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_391E--&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_391S--&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_391E--&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_391S--&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_391E--&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_391S--&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_391E--&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_391S--&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_391E--&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_409S--&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_409E--&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_146S--&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_146E--&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;

Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

Some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases for law enforcement are either misunderstood or entirely unknown by the average American citizen. Meanwhile, law enforcement officers are generally very much in tune with the cases which govern how officers’ actions — everything from use of force to search and seizure activities — are judged. In this podcast episode, Jim and Doug talk about a host of cases that cops know about and wish that the public did too.


La. police union’s raffle prize: TASER a cop

Posted on April 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Associated Press

DERIDDER, La. — A local police union in Louisiana is raffling off a grand prize that has shocked some: the use of a stun gun on one of its officers.

DeRidder Police Chief John Gott says officers themselves suggested one of their own be stunned April 15 to raise funds for the department's Christmas toy drive.

"They are willing to do whatever it takes ... to purchase toys for local families in need," Gott told The American Press of Lake Charles.

Gott says a certified instructor will shoot the stun gun under controlled conditions, showing what officers must endure in training.

The prize is intended for adults. That detail wasn't included on community flyers, Gott says, and may have contributed to some negative reactions. But he says reaction has been largely positive.

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Those of you who are parents of elementary age children have probably seen the postcard sent home today regarding the...

Posted by DeRidder Police Officers Union Local 222 on Wednesday, April 5, 2017


P1 Photo of the Week: Highway shut down

Posted on April 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Officer Steven Venezia with the Clearwater (Fla.) Police Department sent in this shot his co-worker snapped of him assisting the local fire department during a shutdown of the interstate. A large brush fire started by a commerical lawn mower that overheated shut down roads for hours on April 7. Luckily, no one was injured.

Calling all police photographers! PoliceOne needs pictures of you in action or training. Submit a photo — it could be selected as our Photo of the Week! Be sure to include your name, department information and address (including city, state and ZIP code) where we can reach you — Photo of the Week winners have a chance to win a PoliceOne.com T-shirt!


Dispatcher of the Year’s speedy work helped save SF cops life

Posted on April 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Sarah Ravani San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco emergency dispatcher Janet Atchan was in the last hour of a 12-hour shift when she got the call she and her colleagues fear most.

“Shots fired. Officer down.”

Atchan, 46, drew on her 25 years of experience as a dispatcher as she mobilized emergency crews and backup police officers to the scene, and even took calls from witnesses with tips on the suspect’s whereabouts.

On Tuesday, Atchan was named Dispatcher of the Year for staying cool under pressure and helping to save San Francisco Police Officer Kevin Downs’ life after he was shot in the head following a confrontation on Oct. 14 at the Lakeshore Plaza Shopping Center.

“Your adrenaline goes from 0 to 100 and it’s scary, it’s a lot of confusion. You just can’t believe it’s real,” Atchan said. “I’m happy the officer is recovering very well.”

She also received a special commendation by supervisors Katy Tang and Norman Yee for her response.

“We are so grateful that people like Janet are there to calmly handle all the emergency situations that arise in the City. Emergency dispatchers work hard behind the scenes, and often times their work goes unnoticed,” Tang said in a statement to The Chronicle.

Atchan received a call about 8:15 p.m. that seemed routine, “a man was acting erratically at a shopping center,” said Francis Zamora, a spokesman for the city Department of Emergency Management.

Within minutes, the situation escalated.

When police officers got to the shopping center on the 1500 block of Sloat Boulevard, a security guard pointed them toward the suspect on Everglade Drive, and the man immediately fired multiple shots, striking Downs in the head, police said.

Downs survived the incident and police officials say it was due to Atchan’s speedy coordination in dispatching emergency crews.

“We are just very grateful and thankful that she maintained her professionalism and did her job,” said Officer Giselle Talkoff, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Police Department. “We are very thankful that she was there and helped out.”

When Atchan heard the words “officer down” on the police scanner frequency, she immediately coordinated emergency responders to transport Downs to San Francisco General Hospital, she said.

“There’s that adrenaline, that fear and that concern. A lot of different feelings happening at one time really,” Atchan said.

She then worked with fellow dispatchers to establish a search perimeter within the neighborhood so that police could catch the assailant. As they worked with police, Atchan and other dispatchers were also fielding calls from community members with tips, including a wedding party that was near the shooting, Atchan said.

“As you can imagine, that’s incredibly intense and requires a lot of coordination,” Zamora said.

The bullet that hit Downs in the head missed his main cerebral artery by less than a centimeter, but caused a skull fracture and brain trauma that left his right leg paralyzed, police said.

The gunman, 26-year-old Nicholas McWherter, who grew up in Pacifica and battled mental illness, was shot during the confrontation with police. He died two days after the shootout.

That night, Atchan was calm and collected as she worked to respond, Zamora said.

But once her headset came off, the shock started to set in and she started shaking and crying, Zamora said.

“The situation overcame her,” Zamora said. “In her 25-year career, that has never happened to her before.”

Atchan is a fourth generation San Franciscan who grew up in the Fillmore neighborhood, but now lives in Oakland.

While working as a dispatcher, she attended night classes at UC Berkeley and earned a degree in sociology.

She eventually earned an MBA from University of San Francisco, which she hopes to use working in sports management after her dispatching days are over.

Atchan and Downs’ story isn’t over yet. The two haven’t met, but a future meeting is in the works, Atchan said.

“As a dispatcher, even with our 911 calls, we don’t see the people,” Atchan said. “So a lot of times, the end of our story isn’t complete because we don’t really get to see the person or meet the person. I’m really looking forward to actually meeting him and giving him a hug.”

———

©2017 the San Francisco Chronicle

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Learn more about our Dispatcher of the Year, Janet Atchan! https://sfdem.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/2016-dispatcher-of-the-year/

Posted by San Francisco Department of Emergency Management on Thursday, April 13, 2017


Policing Matters Podcast: What the public should know about SCOTUS cases governing police activities

Posted on April 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

Some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases for law enforcement are either misunderstood or entirely unknown by the average American citizen. Meanwhile, law enforcement officers are generally very much in tune with the cases which govern how officers’ actions — everything from use of force to search and seizure activities — are judged. In this podcast episode, Jim and Doug talk about a host of cases that cops know about and wish that the public did too.


How well do you know the history of the NYPD?

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: P1 Community

By Megan Wells, PoliceOne Contributor

The NYPD formed as an attempt from Americans to limit government power and rectify their distrust of a standing army. The people of New York thought that municipal institutions should be close to the people. How much do you know about the rich history of the NYPD?

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Did you like that quiz? Try these out next:

Which city are you meant to police? Are these guns real or fake?


Commission approves at-will New Orleans PD commanders

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By Matt Sledge The Advocate

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Civil Service Commission on Monday approved the Police Department’s controversial proposal to allow its superintendent to promote and demote commanders at will.

The commission voted 4-0 to allow Superintendent Michael Harrison to pick the commanders who run the department’s eight geographic districts and other major divisions. Harrison said the proposal would cement recent reforms made under a consent decree with the federal government.

The OK for the plan came over the objection of all three major police unions. The Civil Service Commission's staff also had objected to the proposal, saying it represented an end-run around the regular, test-based promotion process for officers.

The commission’s vote will likely change little at the Police Department in the short term, because commanders have been serving at-will on a provisional basis since 2011. However, the vote hands the department what may be its ultimate victory in a long-running dispute with its unions.

Harrison acknowledged that the creation of 16 positions that officers can be promoted to and removed from purely at his discretion is an “exceptional” situation for a department where most officers are protected by strict civil service rules. But he said he needs the flexibility to implement the 2012 consent decree’s reforms.

“Because we work in exceptional times and live in exceptional times, it requires us to make exceptional decisions and take exceptional measures. Anything else is just the status quo, which is exactly why we’re in the nation’s most expansive federal consent decree,” he said.

The Police Department and the Landrieu administration had lined up several business and community leaders to support their position. All expressed confidence in Harrison’s ability to pick good leaders for the department.

“My view is that the job is to protect and serve, and that the protection of citizens is the primary thing in view and that we ought to empower this chief,” said David Crosby, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of New Orleans. “He understands what he needs. He’s saying, 'This is what I need to protect my citizens to the best of my ability.' ”

Union supporters said that making commanders subject to the approval of the police superintendent will expose them to politics inside and outside the department.

Peter Hansche, a sergeant in the NOPD’s homicide section who also is vice president of the Police Association of New Orleans, said he has encountered commanders who live in fear of being “defrocked.”

“When I started on the Police Department, captains were godlike figures,” he said. “It’s different now. The commanders that I’ve encountered through working seem scared.”

Several union representatives said Monday that while they respect Harrison, they believe handing the next superintendent the power to remake his top ranks overnight would be unwise.

“The fact is, the chief of police is going to be chief of police for about another year,” said Jim Gallagher, secretary-treasurer of the Fraternal Order of Police. He was referring to the fall election for a new mayor, who could appoint a new police superintendent next year.

Gallagher said the next chief could get rid of many or all of the commanders appointed by Harrison.

“Can you imagine what that does to the rank and file police officers, looking every three years to see the entire management structure, upper and middle, replaced?” he asked.

Commission member Ronald McClain said he also was concerned that the turnover in administrations would result in turnover at the Police Department. He called for an audit in 2018 to see how the system is working, and the commission agreed.

Another commission member said she appreciated the unions' concerns. Still, she insisted the move will not lead to the loss of civil service positions elsewhere in city government.

“This in no way is a slippery slope. I know we’ve heard that discussion and that worry,” Michelle Craig said. “We do not expect this to be used as precedent for any other office or any other appointing authority, because this is a unique set of circumstances.”

A police union leader said he anticipated mounting a legal challenge to the commission's vote.

"Yes, we can, and yes, we will," said Mike Glasser, president of the Police Association of New Orleans.

———

©2017 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.


P1 Research: De-policing and police morale are troubling trends post-Ferguson and Dallas

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Researchers at Louisiana State University recently partnered with PoliceOne to conduct a survey entitled Policing in a Post-Ferguson Society. The survey garnered a total of 3,346 responses from verified sworn law enforcement professionals across all ranks and department sizes. Respondents consisted of line officers and supervisors working patrol and other assignments in the profession.

The survey — which was reflective of the prevailing opinions of a sample size of American LEOs represented by PoliceOne members — was aimed at discovering police officers’ opinions about their jobs following three seminal events. Officers were asked how their morale and job satisfaction, confidence in use of force, and sense of safety changed following the Michael Brown OIS in Ferguson, and the deadly ambush attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

Among the wide-ranging results — which you can read more about here and here — I observed two key takeaways that support two widely-held beliefs in law enforcement for which we had heretofore mostly anecdotal evidence.

The first is that following Ferguson, officers across the country began to disengage in proactive police work (a phenomena dubbed “de-policing”). This concept continues to be widely discussed, and up to now, the only real data to support the theory are spotty changes in police reports of citizen contacts and a decrease in the number of arrests in some select places.

The second is that many police officers feel that they are under attack. This notion also has been widely perceived to be true, but up to now there has been scant quantitative data to support this assertion.

With the completion of the LSU/PoliceOne survey of PoliceOne readers, we now have data that shows that our anecdotal observations seem to be accurate.

De-policing

Asked about their feelings during the post-Ferguson period (August 2014 to June 2016), a full 45 percent of officers said that their motivation at work decreased. Further, nearly half of all respondents (47.29 percent) said that following Ferguson, the amount of stops they made (traffic and pedestrian) decreased. More than half of respondents (51 percent) said that their enjoyment at work decreased during that same time period.

In addition, in the aftermath of the fatal OIS on West Florissant Street, 39.80 percent of officers said that their apprehensiveness about using force increased. This is a surprising result, given the fact that 95 percent reported confidence in determining appropriate use of force, and 89 percent said they had confidence in UOF training.

Further, when queried about whether or not they are confident in their “ability to determine the appropriate decision in a shoot/don't shoot situation” 30 percent said they agree, and 65 percent said they strongly agree. That’s a full 95 percent of officers polled who are confident that they will make the right decision when faced with a deadly threat scenario, and yet, a large number also say they have pulled back from proactive police work.

These are eye-opening responses. And frankly, it’s a little concerning.

Several years ago I began writing about the notion of de-policing and deadly hesitation and have followed up on the topic on several occasions (see here and here and here).

That reportage was admittedly based on anecdotal evidence readily available at the time. It was based on conversations held with a relatively small, but well-informed, universe of law enforcement professionals. It was based on conclusions derived from those discussions.

According to the data derived from the LSU study, it was also accurate.

Based on the raw data from the LSU study, the trend of de-policing is real, and officers and police leaders alike need to figure out how to deal with it.

Under attack

Following the August 2014 fatal OIS of Michael Brown in Ferguson, 59 percent of officers responding to the LSU/PoliceOne survey said that their feelings of safety on the job decreased. Following the ambush attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge in July of 2016, 67 percent of officers said they felt less safe on the job.

Think about that for a moment: two thirds of police officers polled said that they felt less safe simply performing their job after the ambush attacks that left five officers in Dallas dead and three Baton Rouge police officers slain (with many others in those cities wounded).

Following those ambush attacks, 41 percent of officers responding to the survey said that their feeling that most people don’t respect the police increased. When asked if citizens would be more apt to obstruct the police than to cooperate with them, 36 percent of respondents said their agreement with that statement became even stronger.

The LSU study focuses on officers’ opinions following the ambush attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge, but according to preliminary data supplied to PoliceOne by NLEOMF, police officers have also been shot and killed in ambush attacks in Salt Lake City (Utah), Danville (Ohio), Bel Air (Maryland), Prince William (Virginia), Landover (Maryland), and Richmond (Virginia) in 2016 alone.

Indeed, according to the NLEOMF, the number of officers shot and killed in ambush attacks in 2016 was 20 — the highest total since 1995. The NLEOMF also reported that 44 officers were killed in fatal ambush shootings since 2014.

Not all ambush attacks are fatal. About 15 hours after the attack in Baton Rouge, two Sheboygan (Wisconsin) Police Department officers thwarted an ambush attempt during a robbery in progress call. In September 2016, University of Pennsylvania Police Officer Eddie Miller and Philadelphia Police Sergeant Sylvia Young survived a shooting rampage. Last October, two Boston police officers who were responding to a report of a domestic disturbance were wounded in an ambush attack. There were numerous others — too many to list here.

It’s clear that these ambushes are having a major impact on officers — and a large number of officers responding to the LSU poll feel unsafe and under attack. Everyone in the profession needs to account and accommodate for this paradigm shift. Cops cannot conduct their daily duties effectively if they are feeling fear on the job.

Conclusion

In the past two or three years, we have perceived precipitous decline in morale among many police officers. As a consequence, the dominant focus of the 2017 LSU/PoliceOne survey was about officer morale.

The bad news is that in collecting the opinions of more than 3,300 police officers, we confirmed some of our assumptions that the profession is suffering — that these incidents impact officers’ motivation to work and feeling of safety.

The good news is that there remains a strong core of officers who counter that opinion, saying that after the OIS in Ferguson and the numerous attacks on officers, they continued about their business, trying to not let those events affect their work.

I’m hopeful that this latter group of cops can positively influence the former, and that the proud profession of policing regains what confidence has been lost in recent years. They chose not to rely on self-destructive behaviors to deal with recent events, but found solace in family and fellow officers.

I’m hopeful also that the overwhelming majority of American citizens who respect and admire their police become more vocal in their support, somehow finding a way to drown out any anti-police sentiment which is pervading our public discourse and hurts officer morale.

With the data in hand from the LSU survey of PoliceOne members, perhaps we can affect these ends.

Regardless of what feelings officers express regarding the morale issues examined in the PoliceOne/LSU survey, we hope that the findings begin discussions that move us toward a more positive period for American police in the future.

In terms of possible solutions to these two problems, we need to at least open the conversation about what can be done. When faced with feelings that the public doesn’t respect or support the police, officers can find on PoliceOne and other websites a number of positive stories of citizens committing random acts of kindness. With a perception that attacks on officers are increasing, agencies may want to consider the officer safety benefits of patrolling in pairs, and officers on the street should do their best to back up their fellow officers on as many calls as possible.

Offer your own suggestions in the comments area below. Let’s get this conversation started.


‘Policing Post-Ferguson’ survey: Opinions differ across race, rank, and gender

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

PoliceOne partnered with researchers at Louisiana State University to issue a survey of PoliceOne members entitled Policing in a Post-Ferguson Society. The survey was conducted between January 10 and January 22, 2017, garnering a total of 3,346 responses from verified sworn law enforcement professionals across all ranks and department sizes. Among the respondents, 54 percent were line officers and 46 percent were supervisors. Interestingly, two thirds of respondents work in patrol whereas 32 percent have other assignments. The average age of respondents was 45 years old.

The survey, which was reflective of the prevailing opinions of a sample size of American LEOs represented by PoliceOne members, was aimed at discovering police officers’ opinions about their jobs following three seminal events. Officers were asked a variety of questions about how they felt about their job satisfaction, confidence in use of force and a host of other topics following the Michael Brown OIS in Ferguson, and the ambush attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

The survey revealed that, following Ferguson, job satisfaction fell precipitously across all demographics, with 45 percent of respondents saying that their motivation to work decreased. Nearly half of respondents (47 percent) said that the number of stops they made (pedestrian and traffic) decreased during the period following Ferguson. A full 51 percent said that their enjoyment at work decreased, and during that time period, a full 59 percent of all respondents said that their feeling of safety decreased.

Following the ambush attacks that left five officers in Dallas dead and three Baton Rouge police officers slain (with many others in those cities wounded), that feeling of safety worsened significantly, with 67 percent saying that they felt less safe after those dreadful attacks. Following those incidents, 41 percent of all respondents said that their feeling that the police-public relationship is not very good increased.

Disparities between officers

The survey revealed distinct differences in responses from a variety of demographic groups, notably supervisors versus non-supervisors, female and male officers, as well as officers of different races. PoliceOne recently connected with Jose Torres, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Louisiana State University and lead researcher on the survey, to discuss his interpretation of the initial findings.

“The majority of the sample was very apprehensive about using force during this time period and also very fearful of losing their jobs,” Professor Torres told PoliceOne. “Specifically in regards to how the samples felt on certain items following Ferguson, there were some noteworthy increases in terms of apprehension of using force and stopping minorities. And there were also some noteworthy decreases in feelings of safety as well. And then overall, cynicism toward the public also increased following Ferguson.”

Torres said that non-supervisors — line-level officers — tended to be a bit more cynical toward the public in comparison to supervisors. Officers were more inclined than supervisors to feel that citizens are more apt to obstruct than cooperate and have feelings that police-public relations are not very good.

“Non-supervisors were also much more fearful of using force, which is not surprising considering they’re put in more of those situations where it’s needed,” Torres said. “They’re also much more fearful of losing their job in comparison to supervisors. And this is regardless of the time period — whether it was following Ferguson or following the events in Dallas.”

Apprehensiveness in using force and apprehensiveness in stopping minorities increased with non-supervisors following Ferguson and Dallas in comparison to supervisors.

“Supervisors were much more confident in the training that they’ve received and how that training allows them to determine the appropriate amount of force,” Torres said. “In comparison to non-supervisors, supervisors were much more confident with their ability to judge the appropriate amount of force. It might be something where you’re much more confident in your ability to use force if you’re not in those situations as much anymore. Whereas patrol officers on the street — who are making those contacts with citizens regularly — have a little less confidence in their ability to make that appropriate determination of force because they are more often put in those situations than supervisors.”

Torres went on to say that supervisors should try to reassure those guys on the street, because it looks as though one of the main problems revealed in the survey is officers’ fear about using force and fear of losing the job.

“That’s something where the brass — or the supervisors — can step in and try to put some more confidence in their guys to continue to do their job with the support of rank personnel,” Torres said.

Similarities between officers

Not all questions revealed differences between line-level officers and their supervisors. Interestingly, supervisors and non-supervisors had a very similar view on the types of duties police should be engaged in on the street. For example, a full 91 percent of all respondents said they are willing to work with minority communities to build trust. Furthermore, a full 92 percent of respondents agree that cops should make frequent informal contacts with people, and 91 percent feel that cops should perform duties that build trust with the community.

Another area where supervisors and non-supervisors had similar responses was in the area of how they responded to the events in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Only a tiny fraction of all respondents sought professional assistance, with most simply speaking with either a family member or a fellow officer about their feelings in the aftermath of those attacks.

This, however, was where one of the more interesting differences between male and female officers was evident.

Gender differences between officers

“Women were more likely to seek professional help and more likely to talk to others about how they were feeling,” Torres said. “Men were more likely to deal with these events by what we can call a detachment style coping, basically attempting to let go of the events on your own, not seeking as much formal or informal help.”

Female officers surveyed were more inclined to want to quit the profession following the events in Dallas and Baton Rouge than they were following Ferguson. What this implies is that — at least for female LEOs included in the survey sample — that high-profile line of duty deaths have more of an impact on whether they want to stay in the profession than high-profile incidents involving police use of force.

“Stepping back, what does that mean?” Torres rhetorically asked. “It could suggest that departments should devote additional resources to try and keep females following high-profile line of duty deaths since it appears as though this could be an issue where females would be pushed to leave departments. Given the dilemma plaguing departments about hiring and retaining females, this might be something they may need to address so that the issue of increasing the presence of women in law enforcement is not worsened.”

Torres said another thing that departments may want to consider is devoting additional resources to allow their personnel — specifically men — to deal with these kind of events in a more positive manner to prevent them from having to deal with these events entirely on their own.

Racial differences between officers

There were also some significant differences in responses from officers of different racial backgrounds.

“Black officers in the sample were much more likely to feel safe in comparison to other racial and ethnic groups in the sample and that’s regardless of what time period we looked at — whether it was immediately following Ferguson or immediately following the events in Dallas,” Torres said. “They also appear to have a bit more satisfaction with the job currently and again that’s even after specifically following Ferguson or specifically following Dallas. They have much less fear of losing their jobs in comparison to other groups. They’re less likely to support stop and frisk strategies than other groups and I’d say, overall, they’re more likely to support community policing strategies.”

Torres said that white officers are much more apprehensive about using force than any other group. Black officers were very confident of their ability to go hands on in the scenario question that was asked in comparison to the other groups. That scenario suggested that on an officer’s next shift, they confront a hostile citizen that needs to be taken into custody. This person is a male who is six feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. The subject shows no signs of having a weapon. “How confident are you in your ability to use only your hands to physically get them into custody by yourself without the use of OC/pepper spray, baton, or TASER?"

“One thing to take from this is more support for the hiring of minority officers — specifically black officers since they were considerably less apprehensive about stopping minorities,” Torres said. “Given the current state of police-minority relations, being apprehensive about stopping minorities needs to be reduced since apprehensiveness could potentially increase negative police-citizen encounters.”

Conclusion

“Part of why I wanted to do this was because sometimes we can use science to do some good," Torres said. “With this study, one of my goals was to give a voice to law enforcement out there to speak their minds on what happened in Ferguson and how it impacted them. Studies like this can sometimes help tease out certain problems that we can’t see — identify certain problems that we didn’t know about before — and we can go from there to determine the next step in trying to address those issues. For example, the questions about how law enforcement was coping with the events in Dallas and Baton Rouge, that was one more specifically I was interested in because one of the things that doesn’t get addressed much within law enforcement is mental health. Asking law enforcement questions about how they’re dealing with the things that they encounter on the street is particularly important because it is a profession that is going to come with an increased exposure to critical incidents.”

Torres pointed out that some of the solutions to the issues found in the survey don’t need to be tailored to specific groups based on race, gender, or rank, and could simply be addressed to all personnel.

For instance, peer-support programs following major events are offered universally and not tailored to any one demographic.

Another issue that should be viewed and addressed as a universal problem affecting all officers is fear of job loss when having to use force. Such fear could result in the failure to act in a use-of-force situation and thus can put fearful officers at risk. Torres said that departments may need to review their use-of-force policies and the disciplinary process with their personnel so everyone is on the same page as to how their department would handle use-of-force complaints, which may reduce some of these fears.


P1 Research: Cops fear using force despite confidence in training

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By John Bostain

Police use of force is in the national spotlight. News outlets like CNN have hosted town hall forums, social media is regularly flooded with stories about police conduct and the candidates in the last presidential election cycle frequently brought up the topic. The question is, has the intense national focus caused officers to fear using force?

A recent Pew Research Study found that 76 percent of the officers surveyed are more reluctant to use force, even when it’s appropriate. Now, a survey administered by PoliceOne entitled “Policing in a Post-Ferguson Society” is finding similar results.

The survey, a joint project between PoliceOne and Louisiana State University, examined officers’ opinions related to policing in the post-Ferguson era (August 2014-June 2016) as well as their feelings since the ambush attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge (July 2016-present). More than 3,000 sworn law enforcement officers responded, providing valuable insight into the attitudes of officers in the field.

While the sample size is not representative of the 900,000 law enforcement officials in the U.S., the opinions reflected in the survey are consentient with what I hear as I teach around North America. Approximately 53 percent of the officers surveyed indicated they are apprehensive about using force, even though it may be necessary, and 40 percent indicated that apprehensiveness increased after the events in Ferguson.

Further, nearly 50 percent of the officers indicated the amount of stops they made (traffic and pedestrian) decreased in the period after Ferguson. When it comes to their own safety, 59 percent of the officers surveyed indicated their feeling of safety decreased after Ferguson, and that number jumps to 67 percent since the Dallas and Baton Rouge attacks.

Officer reluctance

Interestingly, 95 percent of the officers indicated they are confident in their ability to use force and believe they have received proper training, so the reluctance to use force is being caused by other factors. In short, many officers appear to be more reluctant to use force when appropriate, which may have negative implications for officer safety.

The notion that officers may be more reluctant to use force now versus prior to Ferguson may be welcome news to the general public and special interest groups. Activist groups, research foundations and even some police executives have been calling for officers to show more restraint during dangerous situations. The Los Angeles Police Department’s Preservation of Life award is just one example of this.

Restraint examined

But how much restraint is too much? Research on the Restraint in the Use of Deadly Force conducted by the FBI found that 70 percent of officers have been confronted with a situation where they could have justifiably used deadly force, but did not. It appears officers already show great restraint in deadly situations. How much more is expected?

The problem with rewarding officers for showing “great restraint” is that it evaluates the quality of the outcome, not necessarily the quality of the decision. Just because the outcome was good, doesn’t mean the decision making was good.

For example, a person decides to go out to a bar and get drunk. Rather than call for a cab, they decide to take their chances and drive home. The following morning, they wake to find their car in the driveway, undamaged and nobody got hurt. That’s a pretty good outcome, right? The person saved money, didn’t hurt anyone and didn’t damage their vehicle. That’s a good outcome. But, is anyone going to claim the decision to drive drunk was a good one? Of course not. It’s the same when rewarding officers on the outcome of an encounter and not whether they made quality decisions.

Overcoming apprehension

Is there a way to overcome the apprehensiveness that many officers say they are feeling about using force? While these surveys have provided insight into how officers are feeling, the cause of those feelings is still open to interpretation. Until there is more research on the topic, our police officers would be well served by training focused on enhancing use of force decision making. One of the most important things we can do is slow down, when feasible.

It’s time to address the culture of speed that exists in the law enforcement profession. Anyone who takes a wide scale, objective look at law enforcement training programs will see that there is an element of speed ingrained in much of what is taught. For example, consider how recruit officers are taught to respond to an open door alarm activation. In almost every academy in the country it’s taught the same way. Arrive on scene, call for back-up, set a perimeter and call for a K-9 if available. They are further instructed that in these situations, time is on their side, so there is no need to rush.

However, as Harold D. Stolovitch says, “Telling ain’t training.” When officers are given a chance to practice responding to an open door alarm activation in a scenario, they attempt to follow what they were told in the classroom. They call for back-up, to which the instructor promptly replies “back-up isn’t available.” The recruit then asks for a K-9, much to the chagrin of the instructor, who replies “You know we don’t have a dog out here! “

What the instructor really wants the young recruit to do is get into the building, clear it and debrief. Why? Is it because that’s what they were taught? No. It’s because they have several other groups of students to get through the scenario before the instructor can go home. This is an unintended consequence of well-intentioned training, and it isn’t malicious on the instructor’s part. This is just the way we’ve always done it. So the culture of speed starts in the academy and grows from there.

There are many other examples of how we are priming officers towards a culture of speed in training. For example, in driver’s training, you are allowed to hit a certain number of cones as long as you do it under a certain time limit (you can hit stuff, as long as you do it fast enough). Another example is scenario-based training that ends as soon as shots are fired or a takedown is complete, without allowing it to progress to a natural conclusion.

With increased speed often comes decreased quality of decisions. That’s why officers need to be primed to slow down when feasible. Slowing down isn’t the same as going slow. I prefer the approach of John Wooden, who taught his players to “be quick, but don’t hurry.” To hurry is to be chaotic and out of control, but quick is fast, while also being deliberate and purposeful. That's where good decisions come from.

Improving decision making

What we know from reviewing the emerging research is that officers appear to be more reluctant to use force, and some agencies are compounding that problem by implementing policies to ensure restraint by their officers. The community and the police officers themselves would be safer with a focus on improved decision making, not a focus on how to avoid using force. One step toward that goal is to slow things down and be quick, but not in a hurry. Is it the solution to solve all of our problems? No, but it’s a start.


About the Author John Bostain is the Co-owner and lead instructor for Command Presence Training Associates. He is a former Hampton Police Officer, serving in patrol, narcotics, and the academy. He then served as a Senior Instructor for Defensive Tactics, Use of Force, and Patrol Operations for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) for 13 years. John was also the 2012 ILEETA Trainer of the Year and can be reached at jbostain@commandpresence.net


2017 ‘Policing Post-Ferguson’ survey complete results

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

In collaboration with Louisiana State University, PoliceOne issued a survey that explored officers’ views related to policing in the Post-Ferguson era (August 2014-June 2016) and their feelings since the ambush attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge (July 2016-present). This survey resulted in 3,346 responses on topics ranging from use of force to law enforcement career satisfaction.

For expanded analysis of the survey findings, visit our special coverage page. To view complete survey results, view the embedded document below or download the embedded survey findings here.

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Infographic: How are cops policing post-Ferguson?

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

PoliceOne and LSU’s 2017 "Policing in a Post-Ferguson Society" survey asked 3,346 sworn law enforcement professionals across all ranks and department sizes about the impact of major events like Ferguson and Dallas on their happiness and overall performance as law enforcers. P1’s full coverage of the results can be found here.

This infographic highlights some of the key findings in three critical areas: use of force, community relations and the mental health impact of such events. Click the shortened preview image below to download the entire infographic.

View the full PDF infographic


Exclusive: PoliceOne and LSU’s survey of how Ferguson, Dallas have impacted cops

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor
Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

In collaboration with Louisiana State University, PoliceOne issued a survey that explored officers’ views related to policing in the post-Ferguson era (August 2014-June 2016) and their feelings since the ambush attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge (July 2016-present). This survey resulted in over 3,346 responses on topics ranging from use of force to career satisfaction.

In our special coverage series, “Major Event Impact: How Ferguson and Dallas Changed Police Psychology”, PoliceOne is publishing several items as a result of the survey findings.

1. Data Summary

The data summary provides an overview of the data and responses collected. You’ll quickly see that the 54 percent of the respondents are line officers and 46 percent are supervisors. The information contained in the data summary is incredibly valuable to all department leaders and can be used to inform policy, procedure and training.

2. Infographic

The infographic is a visual aid that highlights key findings from some of the main themes of the survey, including use of force, community relations and how critical incidents like Ferguson and Dallas impact officers’ mental health.

3. Expert analysis

PoliceOne Contributor John Bostain looks into the issues revealed by the survey about police use of force, including officer reluctance, restraint and fear on the job. Bostain emphasizes that police officers will be safer by focusing on improved decision making and not on how to avoid using force. PoliceOne Editor-at-Large Doug Wyllie interviewed the LSU researchers about their interpretation of the survey findings, including the differences in opinion among supervisors and officers, female and male cops, as well as officers of different races. Wyllie also examines how the raw data appears to confirm the issue of de-policing and the general sentiment among cops that they are under attack.

High-profile events like Ferguson, Dallas and Baton Rouge are bound to impact officers in one way or another. It is incumbent on us to directly acknowledge and address these issues so we can move forward, and safeguard our officers and the communities they continue to nobly serve. All law enforcement officials should use these findings as a tool and discuss them among the command staff and line officers within their departments.

While continued research on the key issues — use of force, career satisfaction/morale and mental health — is needed, these findings provide a good baseline for the law enforcement profession to make informed and evidence-based decisions on policy, procedure and training.


Cop paralyzed on duty fights for benefits

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

By PoliceOne Staff

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — An officer who was paralyzed after injuring her spinal cord while responding to an emergency call is fighting to receive benefits to aid her recovery.

Officer Cora Kerton fell while responding to reports of an unconscious man in 2015, PIX 11 reported. The fall left her paralyzed from the waist down.

Kerton is fighting to gain benefits for full-time care and a new wheelchair, but says she’s not receiving what she’s earned from her 17 years of law enforcement service.

"I am so angry,” she said. “I am just asking for the care I earned and deserve.”

Kerton said she struggles to obtain her medication, medical supplies, and transportation to the doctor.

The city said they don’t “comment on personnel matters and litigation.”

Vin Disbrow, vice president of the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association, said the union “will continue to represent [Kerton] fully, and do all that we can to insure she is afforded the benefits of a hero she earned through her service protecting the community.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Kerton with her needs.


What is the role of religion and spirituality in policing?

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

By Ed Kelley, Executive Pastor of Bay Area Community Church, Chaplain for INLETS

A typical table has four legs. We have all experienced a table that is out of balance, where one leg is “off” and the silly table unsteadily rocks back and forth. I like to think of life like the four legs of a table, each representing the four key areas of our existence: physical, emotional (social), mental and spiritual.

A table needs equal strength from all four legs in order to handle any significant weight placed upon it. If one leg is weak, the table can come crashing down. Life is the same way: The human life needs physical, emotional, mental and spiritual balance so when life’s stresses land in our life—as they always do—we can handle it.

Stress can feel really heavy; law enforcement, as a profession, is extremely stressful. Officers can experience stress from all sorts of sources: responding to calls for service; leadership within the department; society’s expectations; spouses and family members; finances; or even from within, as officers tend to hold their actions and behaviors to very high standards.

Officers often feel they are under constant stress, and this weight can accumulate over time. High levels of stress can also come from a single event, whether it’s responding to a car accident or being involved in a use-of-force incident. Unfortunately, many officers take the stress they experience from their job back to their home lives, which can cause even more turmoil.

I have worked with law enforcement for 30 years. I have counseled officers whose out-of-balance work lives ended up crashing their personal worlds. Quite often, officers crash when their lives are out of balance over an extended period of time. Whether it’s the emotional (social) or mental sides of life that are weak—or if they are ignoring the spiritual aspect—out-of-balance lives create risk. After all, a three-legged table is not very good at handling weight that is thrown on it.

As a Christian pastor, I help officers deal with the emotional and spiritual aspects of their lives. I have found that many officers ignore spirituality. That worries me because I know how valuable faith, be it Christian or otherwise, can be for helping the average person get through life’s stresses, so it’s even more important to officers who experience much greater levels of stress.

Part of the reason officers do not address the spiritual side of life can be attributed to their inconsistent and downright crazy work schedules. Many officers work night shifts, weekends, and are on call, so attending religious services or maintaining relationships at a house of worship can be difficult to manage.

Another reason officers often neglect the spiritual side of life is that they have seen so many bad things. Officers deal with the lowest of the low in society and they’ve also seen horrific things, from gruesome crimes to tragic accidents. This can harden a person’s outlook towards people and life in general. However, this is even more of a reason why officers need to find some element of spirituality in their lives. Spirituality helps people gain perspective on their life’s events and can help bring balance, perspective, and even gratitude for what they have. Finding spirituality also drives many people into a service task such as participating in missions and local charities to help them give back and contribute in a different, and often therapeutic, way.

Throughout my 35 years as a pastor, I have found that almost all the officers who share with me their frustrations, challenges and pain are able to find some sort of solace when they focus on their spiritual life.

Officers come to me with all different backgrounds and experiences in spirituality. Those who start with no spiritual foundation and spend some time investigating faith are usually drawn out of the malaise of their daily life. Officers who have a moderate understanding and practice of faith normally just need to be reminded of what is really important in the grand scheme of life and are able to renew their focus on the spiritual leg of their table. For those who are strong in faith, reiterating together what is true in divinity usually helps strengthen their life’s spiritual journey even further.

My message to every officer I work with, regardless of their faith, is that stress is a killer. It destroys lives and can cause incredible damage to a person’s well-being. Officers need to find ways to cope with and address their stress, so it doesn’t eat them from the inside out. My job is to help people think through what is right, and what is important in life, so that stress doesn’t get a hold of one of their “legs.” For me, as someone who has a Christian worldview, I believe that stress can be lessened when one understands his or her purpose in life. When officers take the time to ensure that the legs of their own table are in balance, they are much better equipped to handle the weight of life.

About the Author: Ed Kelley has been a pastor for 35 years and is currently working as the Executive Pastor of the Bay Area Community Church in Annapolis, Maryland. As part of his ministry, he has been working with law enforcement officers for the last 30 years and is the Chaplain for the last three years with INLETS. If you have questions about life, “legs,” or the Christian worldview, feel free to contact him at Ed.Kelley@bayareacc.org.


Pushing ‘strong pensions,’ San Antonio recruits Dallas officers

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

By PoliceOne Staff

SAN ANTONIO — Armed with a strong pension plan and signing bonuses for veteran officers, the San Antonio Police Department is targeting Dallas cops as their new recruits.

Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata told Fox 4 News that he believes between 20 and 30 Dallas officers will join the San Antonio department after attending the recruiting event in Dallas that took place on Monday and Tuesday.

Dallas has struggled retaining officers and recruiting new ones as the pension system heads toward insolvency. According to the Dallas Morning News, the combination of unsustainable benefits and overvalued, underperforming investments have put the police and fire pensions on track to collapse in 10 years. The department is currently lacking 400 officers.

San Antonio PD says the pension is 90 percent funded, and they’re promising recruits a $7,500 signing bonus for eligible officers and a housing credit for those who buy a home within the city limits, Fox 4 reported.

San Antonio Lt. Steven Trujilio said the department is “simply being aggressive trying to hire the best.”

“They are qualified and they are experienced,” Trujillo said. “Those are some of the things that the city of San Antonio Police Department is looking for.”

Mata said the Dallas officers looking into other options are “looking out for what’s best for them and their future.”

“I don’t think anybody can look bad at them for that.”


Pa. probation officer, parolee wounded in ambush shooting

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PITTSBURGH — A probation officer and his parolee were wounded in an ambush-style shooting.

According to KDKA Pittsburgh, the two were sitting on the parolee’s front porch Wednesday when two men fired nearly 12 shots at them.

A bullet penetrated the skull of the probation officer, but police said he was walking and talking when he was en route to the hospital. The parolee was shot five times and was in surgery Thursday morning. Both victims are expected to survive their injuries.

“At the time of transport, both victims were responsive to paramedics,” Police Supt. Coleman McDonough told KDKA.

The suspects fled and remain at large. Police describe them as two black males in their late teens or 20s, wearing all black clothing.

An investigation is ongoing.


NY town to keep ‘Punisher’ decals on patrol cars

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By Charley Hannagan Syracuse Media Group

Solvay, N.Y. — The Solvay police won't be removing the decals of The Punisher, a comic book vigilante character, off their vehicles, a department lieutenant said Wednesday afternoon.

"The Punisher symbol on the patrol vehicles of the Solvay Police Department, while similar to the symbol featured in Marvel comics, is our way of showing our citizens that we will stand between good and evil," the statement from Chief Allen Wood and Lt. Derek Osbeck said.

The department has no intention of removing the decal from its vehicles, Osbeck said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. "There would be no reason to," he said. "Why would we remove it?"

Other than a Marcellus man, who saw the decal Monday on a police SUV, and then emailed Mayor Ron Benedetti and a village trustee about the symbol, there has been no backlash from the Solvay community, Osbeck said.

Months ago the department placed a small decal of an American flag colored black and white with a thin blue line imprinted over a skull on its cars. The skull is a symbol for The Punisher, a Marvel Comic vigilante character who uses murder, torture, extortion and kidnapping to battle crime.

"There is no vigilante justice that takes place in our community or within our department," the statement said. "The insinuation is insulting to those that stand up against evil and are willing to fight for and protect those that are in need."

The thin blue line symbol on the decal shows the department believes in the unity and support of police nationwide, the statement said.

"There is clearly a war on police and the criminal element attempting to infiltrate and destroy our communities, lifestyles and quality of living requiring men and women willing to stand up to evil and protect the good of society," the statement said.

The Punisher's creator Gerry Conway in February said his character isn't a good model for police departments after another department used the skull decals.

"He's a complex morally compromised anti-hero, not to be emulated by cops," Conway, wrote on Twitter.

That department in Kentucky removed the decals.

Solvay Mayor Ron Benedetti said Tuesday that he wasn't told of the decals before they were placed on the vehicles. "I'm looking into this and if I feel it's inappropriate it will be coming off," he said.

Syracuse.com|The Post-Standard could not reach the mayor Wednesday to ask about his review of the decals after the police department issued the statement that the decals would not be removed.

Read the department's full statement below.

Solvay Police Department statement on The Punisher decal by The Post-Standard on Scribd

———

©2017 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.


Feds arrest suspected shooter of border agent Brian Terry

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

PHOENIX — Authorities have arrested the suspected shooter in the 2010 killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent whose death exposed a bungled gun-tracking operation by the federal government.

A U.S. marshal for the District of Arizona said Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes was arrested in Mexico on Wednesday, The Arizona Republic reported.

Osorio-Arellanes was one of two men who remained fugitives in the December 2010 murder of 40-year-old Brian Terry, whose death exposed Fast and Furious, in which agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed criminals to buy guns with the intention of tracking the weapons.

But the agency lost most of the guns, including two that were found at scene of Terry's death. The operation set off a political firestorm and led Terry's family to file a lawsuit. The family said through a spokesman on Wednesday that it was not commenting on the latest arrest due to the sensitivity of the case.

The government has heavily pursued prosecution of the men involved in the killing. It had offered a $250,000 reward for Osorio-Arellane.

Four other men involved in the killing have been convicted or have pleaded guilty in federal court to murder charges.

Terry was part of a four-man team in an elite Border Patrol unit staking out the southern Arizona desert on a mission to find "rip-off" crew members who rob drug smugglers.

They encountered a five-man group of suspected marijuana bandits and identified themselves as police in trying to arrest them.

The men refused to stop, prompting an agent to fire non-lethal bean bags toward them. They responded by firing from AK-47-type assault rifles.

Terry was struck in the back and died shortly after.

A jury in Tucson in October 2015 found two men, Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza and Ivan Soto-Barraza, guilty on murder and other charges. Another man, Manual Osorio-Arellanes, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2014.

A fourth man, Rosario Rafael Burboa-Alvarez, pleaded guilty to murder. He was not present during the shooting but is accused of assembling the rip crew.

Only Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga remains at large.

Fox News was first to report the arrest.


City officials push to name courthouse after slain Texas lawman

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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By St. John Barned-Smith Houston Chronicle

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Harris County officials are pushing to name a courthouse annex in Baytown after Clint Greenwood, the veteran lawman murdered there a week ago in the parking lot.

Don Coffey, a Precinct 3 justice of the peace, said Wednesday county officials first asked him three years ago for suggestions of people to name the county courthouse after but he didn't have any to offer.

Greenwood, 57, spent decades working as a defense attorney, prosecutor and peace officer in Harris County, earning the respect of a wide swath of the local criminal justice community.

He was killed April 3, moments after arriving at his job at the courthouse annex at 701 W. Baker St. in Baytown. He had started work Jan. 1 as assistant chief deputy in the Precinct 3 Constable's Office.

Baytown police on Monday said they believed 64-year-old William Kenny was the gunman; Kenny shot and killed himself the day after the murder.

During Greenwood's funeral, Coffey said he was reminded again of their desire to name the courthouse.

"It hit me," he said, "This is right thing to do... To honor his 30 years of service to the county and citizens of Harris County, and to remind people of where his career ended."

Coffey said he and Precinct 3 Constable Sherman Eagleton will formally ask Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman next week to support the effort; they had been waiting until police identified Greenwood's killer.

In an email, Morman said he would be asking for approval for the renaming at Commissioners Court later this month.

"I'm happy to let you know that Mrs. Greenwood and her family feel proud to have the Baytown Courthouse Annex named after her husband," he said, in the email. "I also want to thank Tim Cannon and other friends of Assistant Chief Deputy Greenwood for all their assistance to his family in discussing this honor and I am proud to make the recommendation to my fellow court members."

Eagleton, who assumed office in January, said Greenwood had been instrumental in helping restructure his department.

"Chief Greenwood laid down the foundation on what we're building on right now," he said. "Clint Greenwood was a blessing to the Precinct 3 Constable's Office and we're going to miss him dearly."

———

©2017 the Houston Chronicle


City officials push to name courthouse after slain Texas lawman

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By St. John Barned-Smith Houston Chronicle

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Harris County officials are pushing to name a courthouse annex in Baytown after Clint Greenwood, the veteran lawman murdered there a week ago in the parking lot.

Don Coffey, a Precinct 3 justice of the peace, said Wednesday county officials first asked him three years ago for suggestions of people to name the county courthouse after but he didn't have any to offer.

Greenwood, 57, spent decades working as a defense attorney, prosecutor and peace officer in Harris County, earning the respect of a wide swath of the local criminal justice community.

He was killed April 3, moments after arriving at his job at the courthouse annex at 701 W. Baker St. in Baytown. He had started work Jan. 1 as assistant chief deputy in the Precinct 3 Constable's Office.

Baytown police on Monday said they believed 64-year-old William Kenny was the gunman; Kenny shot and killed himself the day after the murder.

During Greenwood's funeral, Coffey said he was reminded again of their desire to name the courthouse.

"It hit me," he said, "This is right thing to do... To honor his 30 years of service to the county and citizens of Harris County, and to remind people of where his career ended."

Coffey said he and Precinct 3 Constable Sherman Eagleton will formally ask Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman next week to support the effort; they had been waiting until police identified Greenwood's killer.

In an email, Morman said he would be asking for approval for the renaming at Commissioners Court later this month.

"I'm happy to let you know that Mrs. Greenwood and her family feel proud to have the Baytown Courthouse Annex named after her husband," he said, in the email. "I also want to thank Tim Cannon and other friends of Assistant Chief Deputy Greenwood for all their assistance to his family in discussing this honor and I am proud to make the recommendation to my fellow court members."

Eagleton, who assumed office in January, said Greenwood had been instrumental in helping restructure his department.

"Chief Greenwood laid down the foundation on what we're building on right now," he said. "Clint Greenwood was a blessing to the Precinct 3 Constable's Office and we're going to miss him dearly."

———

©2017 the Houston Chronicle


During border visit, AG Sessions outlines immigration plan

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Astrid Galvan Associated Press

NOGALES, Ariz. — Attorney General Jeff Sessions toured the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday and unveiled what he described as a new get-tough approach to immigration prosecutions under President Donald Trump.

The nation's top law enforcement official outlined a series of changes that he said mark the start of a new push to rid American cities and the border of what he described as "filth" brought on by drug cartels and criminal organizations.

The tour included visiting a port of entry, where Sessions exited an SUV in a white shirt and baseball cap before entering a restricted area.

Sessions has been steadily expanding the Justice Department's role in the anti-immigration agenda of the Trump administration, but the border trip offered the most comprehensive look yet at his plans.

During his visit, he urged federal prosecutors to intensify their focus on immigration crimes such as illegal border crossing or smuggling others into the U.S.

Such prosecutions are already happening on a large scale. They made up more than half of all federal prosecutions in fiscal year 2016, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. But prosecutions were slightly down from fiscal year 2015.

In a three-page memo, Sessions told U.S. attorneys to prioritize immigration prosecutions by appointing a border security coordinator who can oversee investigations, keep statistics and provide legal advice and training to prosecutors. The coordinators would meet regularly with federal immigration authorities.

In addition, Sessions said federal prosecutors must consider bringing felony charges against those who have illegally entered the country more than once as well as those who marry to evade immigration laws. He also urged prosecutors to consider charging those illegally in the country with felony identity theft and document fraud.

"This is a new era. This is the Trump era," he said. "The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws, and the catch and release practices of old are over."

Sessions defended Trump's proposed border wall, saying it will be another tool to fight illegal immigration amid efforts within the Justice Department and other branches of government to punish and deter border crossers.

Critics blasted the initiatives announced by Sessions as fear-mongering and anti-immigrant rhetoric not rooted in facts.

"Once again, Attorney General Sessions is scaring the public by linking immigrants to criminals despite studies showing that immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than the native born," said Gregory Z. Chen, director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Sessions made the announcement in Nogales, a border city that has witnessed a dramatic drop in immigrant and drug smuggling in recent years as more people enter the country in Texas, many of them Central Americans fleeing violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

The Border Patrol's Tucson sector, which comprises most of Arizona, saw about 65,000 arrests of immigrants last fiscal year, roughly half the number agents made in 2012, according to Border Patrol data. Marijuana seizures have also dropped by about 28 percent from 1 million pounds in 2012 to 728,000 last year.

Following the border tour, Sessions spoke to officials at an International Association of Chiefs of Police conference outside Phoenix. He'll also speak with service members at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix.

Sessions' immigration plans have long been foreshadowed. Even as it plans to cut the Justice Department's budget by more than $1 billion, the Trump administration wants hundreds of millions of dollars to hire 60 federal prosecutors and 40 deputy U.S. marshals to focus on border cases.

It also wants to boost immigration courts by $80 million to pay for 75 additional teams of judges. That would speed up removal proceedings for people in the United States illegally and address a backlog of more than 540,000 pending cases. The proposal also calls for adding $1.5 billion to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's budget to find, detain and deport immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, along with more than $300 million to hire 500 new Border Patrol agents and 1,000 immigration agents.


During border visit, AG Sessions outlines immigration plan

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Astrid Galvan Associated Press

NOGALES, Ariz. — Attorney General Jeff Sessions toured the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday and unveiled what he described as a new get-tough approach to immigration prosecutions under President Donald Trump.

The nation's top law enforcement official outlined a series of changes that he said mark the start of a new push to rid American cities and the border of what he described as "filth" brought on by drug cartels and criminal organizations.

The tour included visiting a port of entry, where Sessions exited an SUV in a white shirt and baseball cap before entering a restricted area.

Sessions has been steadily expanding the Justice Department's role in the anti-immigration agenda of the Trump administration, but the border trip offered the most comprehensive look yet at his plans.

During his visit, he urged federal prosecutors to intensify their focus on immigration crimes such as illegal border crossing or smuggling others into the U.S.

Such prosecutions are already happening on a large scale. They made up more than half of all federal prosecutions in fiscal year 2016, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. But prosecutions were slightly down from fiscal year 2015.

In a three-page memo, Sessions told U.S. attorneys to prioritize immigration prosecutions by appointing a border security coordinator who can oversee investigations, keep statistics and provide legal advice and training to prosecutors. The coordinators would meet regularly with federal immigration authorities.

In addition, Sessions said federal prosecutors must consider bringing felony charges against those who have illegally entered the country more than once as well as those who marry to evade immigration laws. He also urged prosecutors to consider charging those illegally in the country with felony identity theft and document fraud.

"This is a new era. This is the Trump era," he said. "The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws, and the catch and release practices of old are over."

Sessions defended Trump's proposed border wall, saying it will be another tool to fight illegal immigration amid efforts within the Justice Department and other branches of government to punish and deter border crossers.

Critics blasted the initiatives announced by Sessions as fear-mongering and anti-immigrant rhetoric not rooted in facts.

"Once again, Attorney General Sessions is scaring the public by linking immigrants to criminals despite studies showing that immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than the native born," said Gregory Z. Chen, director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Sessions made the announcement in Nogales, a border city that has witnessed a dramatic drop in immigrant and drug smuggling in recent years as more people enter the country in Texas, many of them Central Americans fleeing violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

The Border Patrol's Tucson sector, which comprises most of Arizona, saw about 65,000 arrests of immigrants last fiscal year, roughly half the number agents made in 2012, according to Border Patrol data. Marijuana seizures have also dropped by about 28 percent from 1 million pounds in 2012 to 728,000 last year.

Following the border tour, Sessions spoke to officials at an International Association of Chiefs of Police conference outside Phoenix. He'll also speak with service members at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix.

Sessions' immigration plans have long been foreshadowed. Even as it plans to cut the Justice Department's budget by more than $1 billion, the Trump administration wants hundreds of millions of dollars to hire 60 federal prosecutors and 40 deputy U.S. marshals to focus on border cases.

It also wants to boost immigration courts by $80 million to pay for 75 additional teams of judges. That would speed up removal proceedings for people in the United States illegally and address a backlog of more than 540,000 pending cases. The proposal also calls for adding $1.5 billion to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's budget to find, detain and deport immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, along with more than $300 million to hire 500 new Border Patrol agents and 1,000 immigration agents.


Ariz. town considers laying off all police, firefighters

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By Joe Ferguson The Arizona Daily Star

SOUTH TUCSON, Ariz. — A projected $624,000 budget deficit has the South Tucson City Council considering the possibility of having to lay off all of its firefighters or its police officers.

Officials said they would look to contract with another agency or agencies to handle court services, patrol city streets and handle other emergency services in the one-square-mile city.

Hopefully at a cheaper cost than what the city is spending now.

City Manager Sixto Molina said the city is refusing to throw up the white flag as it struggles to continue to offer services as revenue, specifically sales taxes, continues to dwindle. The city has failed to meet projected sales tax revenues in nine out of the last 10 years.

Options such as cutting city employees’ pay and requiring job furloughs would not be enough to offset the budget deficit, Molina said.

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said he would be open to exploring a new agreement with South Tucson to take over court services, but ruled out the possibility of Pima County sheriff’s deputies patrolling the city.

Huckelberry said he is trying to reduce costs at the sheriff’s department, which has a history of being over budget.

South Tucson already contracts with the county for animal control services as well as the housing of inmates in the county jail.

Tucson City Manager Mike Ortega said he hasn’t discussed the possibility of contracting with South Tucson to provide services, but said any formal proposal would be decided by the Tucson City Council.

The city of Tucson now provides residential trash services to South Tucson and bills customers directly.

Less than two years ago, Waste Management severed ties with South Tucson in a dispute over $300,000 in unpaid debts for garbage collection. South Tucson was able to avoid a costly legal fight but agreed to a $140,000 settlement paid over several years.

South Tucson has not reached out to other agencies or privately-run companies like Rural/Metro about an agreement for fire and ambulance service.

However, South Tucson officials said Monday that forming a fire district would likely be cost-prohibitive for the city. An estimate suggested the cost to an average homeowner would be $3,451 a year just to operate a fire district in the small city.

Molina discussed various options with the South Tucson City Council on Monday night, outlining why furloughing employees, cutting salaries and eliminating holiday pay cannot make up for the expected budget shortfall.

The council also briefly discussed various tax hikes, but staff acknowledged that there are caps on how much the city can increase property taxes. The proposal was quickly dismissed as insufficient to answer the city’s budget crisis.

The issue is expected to be revisited at the next council meeting in a few weeks.

———

©2017 The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.)


Facebook post helps nab 2 elk poachers

Posted on April 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By Andrew Theen The Oregonian

DALLAS, Ore. — Two 26-year-old Dallas men are barred from hunting for three years and face one year of unsupervised probation and $7,600 in fines after illegally killing a bull elk last year.

David Maxfield Jr. and Allen Boal agreed to a plea deal Tuesday in Benton County Circuit Court in connection with the August 2016 incident in the Kings Valley area. Maxfield pled guilty to misdemeanor poaching charges. Boal pled no contest but faces similar punishment.

The sentences mark a rare victory for law enforcement in the ongoing challenge to find and prosecute those who illegally kill game animals.

In the past five years, Oregon State Police troopers have averaged 764 poaching investigations a year, most cases involving elk or deer.

Officials estimate Oregon's mule deer and elk population to be greater than 360,000, but it's not clear how many animals are illegally killed. The state has just 120 law enforcement officers dedicated to tracking game violations.

"Those guys are looking for a needle in a haystack," Sgt. Kaipo Raiser said of the state's wildlife enforcement division.

Troopers tracked down the Dallas men because Maxfield posted pictures of the bull elk on the public Oregon Big Game Hunting Facebook page. The page, which has some 6,819 members, includes submitted photos from throughout the state, with hunters sharing their kill and tips of the trade.

Maxfield posted three pictures on the Facebook page on Aug. 31.

According to Raiser, a trooper saw the pictures and ran Maxfield's name through state fish and wildlife databases.

Maxfield Jr. did not have the proper tag to kill the bull elk.

A hunting license can run $32 for big game, plus the $46 for an elk tag for Oregon residents.

"It was a great catch by our trooper," Raiser said.

During a subsequent investigation, Maxfield admitted to killing the animal, Raiser said.

"He confessed pretty quickly."

Under a plea agreement, Maxfield agreed to perform 40 hours of community service and surrender the bow and arrow used in the killing, as well as the elk's head and antlers.

The men left the animal to rot, aside from its head and antlers. Boal has a previous wildlife conviction.

In a separate case publicized Tuesday, two more men were sentenced in a poaching-related incident. Brandon Yamanaka, 30, pled guilty to illegally killing multiple black tail deer.

He was barred from hunting for five years and fined $15,650 and sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation and 80 hours of community service. In the same case, Christopher Martin, 33, was fined $8,150 and banned from hunting for three years, amid other punishment. During the investigation, troopers seized "multiple trophy class black tailed deer taxidermy mounts, turkey parts, bows and a shotgun."

The Oregon Hunters Association chips in money each year for tips that lead to poaching citations. Hunters can get as much as a $1,000 reward for information related to the unlawful killing of a bighorn sheep, mountain goat or moose.

Some Oregon lawmakers are pushing to up the ante for hunters willing to share information on poachers.

The House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources held a work session Tuesday on a bill that would offer incentives to tipsters who help state officials nab -- and convict -- elk poachers.

That bill would give tipsters a leg up in landing hard-to-get tags for certain big game animals.

———

©2017 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)


CHP officers help rescue Calif. cop from fiery crash

Posted on April 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Two California Highway Patrol officers helped rescue a San Jose police officer after he crashed into the back of an 18-wheeler.

The officer was on his way home when he collided with the truck that stopped due to road construction, NBC Bay Area reported. The officer’s car caught fire and he became trapped inside.

Officials said two California Highway Patrol officers were nearby with a fire extinguisher. One officer put out the flames while the other called the fire department.

CHP spokesman Derek Reed told the news station that firefighters had to cut the SUV’s door off to rescue the injured officer. He was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and released.

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Two CHP officers are being hailed as heroes for helping save a San Jose police officer who was involved in a fiery crash with a big rig on Highway 84. http://nbcbay.com/Ek42mq2

Posted by NBC Bay Area on Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Fla. officer charged with shooting autistic man’s caretaker

Posted on April 12, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MIAMI — Officials say a Florida police officer who shot an autistic man's caretaker is facing criminal charges.

A news release from the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office says North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda was charged Wednesday with attempted manslaughter and misdemeanor culpable negligence.

Authorities say Aledda shot Charles Kinsey in the leg July 18 as he lay in the street next to his adult client. Arnaldo Rios had walked away from the group home where he lives. Kinsey was trying to coax him back when a woman called 911 saying a suicidal man was walking down the street with a gun. Rios was actually carrying his toy truck.

A cellphone video captured events leading up to the shooting.

The police union that represents Aledda didn't immediately have a comment.


Too many cops are dying in single-vehicle accidents

Posted on April 12, 2017 by in POLICE

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

On Tuesday, April 11, 2017, Trooper Anthony Borostowski of the Wisconsin State Patrol was killed in a single-vehicle crash when his patrol car left the roadway and struck a tree. The day before that, Lowndes County (Alabama) Sheriff’s Deputy Levy Pettway was killed in a single-vehicle crash when his patrol vehicle left the roadway and struck several trees.

According to reports, Pettway was not wearing his seatbelt. There is no publicly available information that confirms whether or not Trooper Borostowski was wearing his seatbelt.

Unknown in both cases is whether or not excessive speed played a part in these recent tragedies. Also unknown, at present, is whether or not weather was a factor.

What is known is that too many police officers are killed every year by trees, phone poles and other stationary objects beside our nation’s roadways.

Indeed, at the time of this writing, ODMP reports that 10 officers have been killed in vehicle accidents of patrol vehicles in 2017. Briefly researching the ODMP posts reveals that the majority (seven of 10) of these deaths were single-vehicle collisions.

This madness must end.

Changing the culture of the profession

There have been precisely 100 days between January 1 to April 11, 2017, and 10 cops have been killed in vehicle collisions in that period. The math is simultaneously simplistic and incomprehensible. We’ve lost one officer per 10 days due to vehicle collisions.

Perhaps these awful losses suffered in the past several days can be an impetus for law enforcement professionals to reflect on ways in which similar tragedies can be averted in the future. For me, one of the first things to come to mind is to revisit the concepts taught in the Below 100 program.

Recall that two of the five tenets of the Below 100 program (wear your seatbelt and watch your speed) specifically address safety behind the wheel, and two others (remember “What’s important now?” and that complacency kills) tangentially touch on vehicle incidents.

For the record, the fifth tenet is to wear your vest. This is not just about your body armor — it also includes the reflective vest that can keep you alive while outside of your vehicle on the roadways. So to an extent, the entire program takes into account the dangers cops face on the road.

Below 100 is not “high-speed, low-drag” training. It is sober and simple. It is about decisions. Wearing your vest is a decision. Wearing your belt is a decision. Watching your speed is a decision. Asking “What’s important now?” is a decision. Being vigilant and not complacent — a decision!

Every officer in America should receive Below 100 training, but not every agency has the resources to make that happen. In any event, individual cops can become familiar with the five tenets (quickly, easily, and free of charge) by clicking here or here or here.

In addition — and something of an extension of Below 100 — more emphasis needs to be placed on decision-making in EVOC training.

There have been some truly awesome safety enhancements made to the modern patrol vehicle — everything from anti-lock braking systems to airbags — but the most important safety device in any police car resides between the ears of the vehicle’s driver. Having the physical skills to push a vehicle into the red on the tachometer is useless unless you also have the ability to make safe and sound decisions when running code three.

Furthermore, the decision to run code three at all should be weighed on every call. Running with lights and sirens not only increases the adrenaline of the officer, but it makes other drivers around him or her do some really whacky and unpredictable things.

Finally, police trainers need to help officers better understand the dangers they face behind the wheel. Many officers believe that the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths for police officers is feloniously killed with a firearm, but that hasn’t been the case for more than 20 years.

Let there be no confusion: the risk of being fatally and feloniously attacked by a dangerous subject is real — and is perhaps even on the rise. However, the automobile remains a deadly adversary — and is perhaps the most dangerous cops face on a daily basis.

Changing the future of the statistics

According to ODMP, auto-related deaths are up a whopping 45 percent this year. This statistic includes incidents outside of the single-vehicle variety (struck-by and vehicle assaults), but it is still alarming. The good news — and it’s a struggle to find any good news here — is that we’re only in the middle of April, and there is still time to reverse this trend over the next seven and a half months.

We need to remind our colleagues that in order to be of any assistance at any call the first order of business is to arrive alive. Wrapping your squad around a tree is not a very good strategy to achieve that objective.

My brothers and sisters, please wear your belt, watch your speed, remember WIN, and don’t allow complacency to creep into your day-to-day.


Police warning shots: A consensus lacking agreement

Posted on April 12, 2017 by in POLICE

David Blake
Author: David Blake

The IACP recently published a National Consensus Policy on Use of Force, calling it a “collaborative effort among 11 of the most significant law enforcement leadership and labor organization in the United States.” The consensus policy is listed as intending to serve as a template for comparison and enhancement of existing policy. The 11 participating entities include recognizable alphabet soups such as NOBLE, CALEA, NTOA and NAPO. The policy stayed away from some of more controversial PERF recommendations, but still raised a few eyebrows in allowing warning shots.

Specifically, the consensus states, “Warning shots are inherently dangerous. Therefore, a warning shot must have a defined target and shall not be fired unless, (1) the use of deadly force is justified; (2) the warning shot will not pose a substantial risk of injury or death to the officer or others; and (3) the officer reasonably believes that the warning shot will reduce the possibility that deadly force will have to be used.”

I’ve been part of quite a few discussions on this subject, and I can’t say I’m against warning shots, which has resulted in some criticism. I can come up with a lengthy list of reasons why warning shots are a bad idea, but I can also come up with some situations where it could be a reasonable alternative to deadly force. What I really wanted to know is how the consensus came about, so I reached out to each of the 11 entities and asked them. After waiting a week, I received one vague response by the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training. That response stated the consensus entities engaged in a significant amount of discussion on warning shots and that although the majority did not initially agree, “…the minority presented a very compelling argument for allowing agency discretion…”

Law enforcement feedback

Without a clear answer from the consensus entities, I developed a short survey and distributed it to law enforcement via social media. The following results were garnered from 270 law enforcement personnel from across the country:

1. 80 percent of the respondents did not agree with the authorization of warning shots.

2. 85 percent of respondents stated they did not believe it was feasible to fire a warning shot into the ground and then re-engage (center mass) a suspect approaching from 25 feet away.

3. 85 percent of respondents stated a warning shot would not be a reasonable alternative if two men were facing off with baseball bats and it appeared as if one was ready to hit the other with his bat.

4. 79 percent of the respondents stated that a warning shot would not be feasible (prior to re-engaging center mass) for a fleeing felon armed with a knife and running away from them.

5. 80 percent of respondents stated they would not use warning shots even if they were authorized in other than deadly force situations.

6. 78 percent said there were no scenarios they could think of in which a warning shot would be reasonably feasible.

Respondents were asked their main arguments for and against warning shots. The recurring themes for each are presented in the table below:

For Warning Shots

Against Warning Shots

One more tool in the toolbox

Danger to others (stray bullets, fragmentation)

May cause suspect to surrender

Liability concerns

A few reported using warning shots with success

Public expectation for warning shots

No data

No research on effectiveness

Feasibility of warning shots

As a human performance trainer and firearms instructor, I have serious reservations about warning shots. Deadly force situations are generally tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving which indicates stress and a lot of moving parts. Stress can create problems in judgment and decision making as well as deficits in motor skills. The ability to analytically arrive at a warning shot decision under force response stress conditions is difficult as a standalone. Add the need to find and fire that shot in a safe area while also paying attention to a suspect who is threatening the life of an officer or another, and it’s not rational.

However, contrary to popular belief, not all deadly force situations are split-second decisions, and there may be a situation where a warning shot is doable under the totality of the circumstances. For instance, consider a fleeing violent felon who meets the criteria of deadly force (Tennesse v. Garner). We can ascertain that a warning shot could be given in this type of instance, when feasible. If that feasibility exists, could part of that warning be inclusive of a shot fired into the ground?

There is at least one study that reviewed the feasibility of warning shots, and the findings indicate they have been successful in a number of police/suspect and civilian/suspect situations. Also, let’s not forget that some police departments (e.g. San Jose PD, California) across the country have and continue to allow warning shots, indicating it is not the problem some in law enforcement assess it to be.

In conclusion, there are a few points that require clarity. The National Consensus Policy on Use of Force isn’t a recommendation for warning shots, although I do understand how it may be perceived that way. The report simply shows that 11 national organizations have agreed on its contents as a standard.

Having said that, my recommendation is to seriously consider under what hypothetical situations warning shots might be used and to test those situations using reality-based training. Consider the whole concept in a risk versus. gain manner and implement only items which have been tested, trained, and proven effective.

Bottom line, I don’t care what “x,” says, I care what “x” can prove – and so should you when your safety is on the line.

Be safe and vigilant!


Ala. Senate votes to allow church to form police department

Posted on April 12, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Senate has voted to allow a church to form its own police force.

Lawmakers on Tuesday voted 24-4 to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to establish a law enforcement department.

The church says it needs its own police officers to keep its school as well as its more than 4,000 person congregation safe.

Critics of the bill argue that a police department that reports to church officials could be used to cover up crimes.

The state has given a few private universities the authority to have a police force, but never a church or non-school entity.

Police experts have said such a police department would be unprecedented in the U.S.

A similar bill is also scheduled to be debated in the House on Tuesday.


United CEO: Airline won’t use police to remove overbooked passengers

Posted on April 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — The United Airlines CEO said that the company will no longer use airport authorities or local police to remove overbooked passengers from flights after video of an aviation security officer dragging a man off a plane went viral.

Oscar Munoz told ABC News Wednesday that the passenger, Dr. David Dao, was not at fault and the incident occurred due to a “system failure” that resulted in a “lack of common sense.”

"We're not going to put a law enforcement official... to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger," Munoz said. "We can't do that."

Airline officials told ABC that they offered passengers at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport up to $800 to volunteer their seats for four crew members who needed to board. When no one volunteered, the computer generated four passengers’ names. Dao, 69, was the only one who refused due to his need to see hospital patients.

“The doctor needed to work at the hospital the next day,” witness Jayse Anspach tweeted. “So he refused to ‘volunteer.’”

Dao can be seen in the video being dragged out of the plane with blood running down his face. His lawyers said he is recovering in a local hospital from his injuries.

In an email to employees on Tuesday, Munoz said Dao was “disruptive and belligerent” before he was removed by officers. Later he said the company is investigating and he “deeply apologize[s] to the customer forcibly removed and to all customers on board. No one should ever be mistreated this way.”

“I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right,” he continued.

The security officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation. The Chicago Department of Aviation told ABC that the officer’s action were “not in keeping with the standard operating procedure.”


Colo. cop seriously injured after suspect stomps her face

Posted on April 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — An officer is recovering and a suspect is in custody after an assault Monday night.

Owners of Specialty Sports & Supply told KKTV they called police after Rickie Darrington, 42, walked into the store and demanded guns and ammo. When employees refused, he allegedly told them he was going to retrieve his personal gun and return to the store.

The owner said Darrington repeatedly attacked the female officer who responded to the scene and stomped on her face. She was transported to a local hospital where she was treated for hand and face injuries and released.

Photo of Rickie Darrington DOB 12/20/1974 charged with 2 counts 2nd Degree Assault on Peace Officer (photo from 11/16/16) No current photo pic.twitter.com/Y0bjJR72QZ

— Springs Police (@CSPDPIO) April 11, 2017

An anonymous witness told the news station he attempted to stop her bleeding with his sweater after the attack.

"It really happened so fast that he hit her like 10 times and kicked her at least twice that I saw," he said. "I was shaking. He hit her hard, and the way he sucker punched her, I mean it was like he was trying to do more than hurt her."

Darrington is facing two counts of second-degree on a peace officer.

An investigation is ongoing.


Search continues for suspects who shot Ohio cop

Posted on April 12, 2017 by in POLICE

ByJon Baker and Nancy Molna The Times-Reporter

NEWCOMERSTOWN, Ohio — Two armed men are being sought in connection with the shooting of a Newcomerstown police officer on Tuesday morning.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office reported that one suspect was wearing a vest, and that they are armed with a shotgun and hand guns.

Patrolman Bryan J. Eubanks, 37, was taken to Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center in Cambridge for treatment of a wound to his right forearm, according to Police Chief Gary Holland. He said the single bullet that went through Eubanks' arm caused a clean wound without serious damage.

"That's a relief," Holland said.

Eubanks has been with the department 14 years.

He was shot after he stopped a black Geo Tracker at 10:08 a.m. on the south end of the S. River Street bridge over the Tuscarawas River. The shooting took place in Oxford Township.

"Upon approaching the vehicle, a white male passenger opened fire on the officer, shooting at him twice, striking him once in the arm," Holland said. "The officer sustained non-life threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery. He was transported to the hospital by (Newcomerstown Emergency Rescue Service, Inc.) and has since been released."

Sheriff Orvis Campbell said the Tracker is believed to have two doors with a rear-tinted window.

One of the suspects was described as a skinny, white male with tattoos on his face. Information was not available, however, if that individual was the driver or the passenger. He and the other suspect were reported to have been in a black Geo Tracker with blacked-out windows. The vehicle has a hard shell on the back, tinted windows, black rims, wide tires and no license plates.

Both occupants in the Geo Tracker fled the scene. The passenger was wearing a lime green shirt and some type of vest. The driver was described as a white male wearing a red shirt.

Holland released the following additional information to reporters Tuesday afternoon:

- The passenger in the vehicle fired two shots at Eubanks. The passenger reached behind the driver's seat to get the weapon used;

- The reason for the traffic stop was that the vehicle had no license plates;

- Police are working on a list of Geo Trackers in the area to look for matches with the suspect vehicle;

- A witness who saw the shooting has some idea what happened.

Information is being gathered at this time, and the suspects' current whereabouts are unknown. The public is advised that they should be considered armed and dangerous.

In a press release, Holland advised the public not to try to apprehend the suspects themselves, but to contact local law enforcement.

"We have numerous agencies assisting us with this on-going investigation (including) Tuscarawas County Sheriff Office, Coshocton County Sheriff Office, Guernsey County Sheriff Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol," the chief said.

"We've been looking all over because we're not sure of where or what," Holland said. "At this point in time, we're still in a search for a Geo Tracker.

There are still two suspects out there somewhere."

Holland was investigating the scene of the shooting with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation on Tuesday afternoon. BCI agents used a three-dimensional scanner to take 360-degree photos of the crime scene.

Holland said a person of interest, a 28-year-old former Newcomerstown man, was questioned, released and is not considered a suspect.

Campbell said the incident is being investigated jointly by the Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office and the Newcomerstown Police.

He said law enforcement conducted searches of house and roads in Tuscarawas, Guernsey and Coshocton counties. "This is a multi-county agency investigation," he said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Newcomerstown Police Department at 740-498-6161.

The Daily Jeffersonian contributed to this report.

Update from the Newcomerstown Police chief. No suspects in custody. Person of interest cleared. Cop released from hospital. Shot thru arm.

— Ben Garbarek (@BenWSYX6) April 11, 2017

———

©2017 The Times-Reporter, New Philadelphia, Ohio


Condom-clogged pipe leads police to Texas prostitution ring

Posted on April 12, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Police say they cracked an Austin prostitution ring they were led to by a drainage pipe clogged with condoms.

A police affidavit filed Tuesday said investigators learned that a massage parlor was operating in a shopping strip in northwestern Austin after the realty company that had just taken control of the property. The company grew suspicious of the activities of a tenant when they found hundreds of condoms clogging a waste disposal unit connecting the strip to the city sewer system.

Police say they found a massage parlor operating in the strip where female workers offered sexual services for pay. A woman and her husband have been arrested and charged with organized criminal activity and money laundering.


Chicago police question people of interest in judge slaying

Posted on April 12, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago police say they're questioning multiple people of interest in the fatal shooting of a judge who oversaw criminal cases in Cook County, Illinois.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in an email Wednesday that investigators are "questioning individuals" in the case who are "people of interest." He declined to specify how many.

Police said in a statement Tuesday that they're making "considerable progress" on the investigation into the slaying of Associate Circuit Court Judge Raymond Myles, who was shot to death Monday outside his home on the South Side of Chicago.

A woman he knew also was shot and wounded.

The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward.

Investigators are considering whether the shooting was an attempted robbery gone wrong, although police don't believe anything was stolen in the pre-dawn attack.


US halts weekly local police immigration cooperation report

Posted on April 12, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A widely criticized weekly report publicized by President Donald Trump's administration to showcase local police seen as uncooperative with immigration enforcement was suspended Tuesday after the administration acknowledged the report contained flawed data.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement identified computer coding problems and mix-ups where jurisdictions were incorrectly placed on the report, said David Lapan, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Several local law enforcement agencies had complained that information in the reports was inaccurate and unfairly targeted them — including some jurisdictions supportive of Trump's immigration enforcement efforts.

The administration started publishing the report weekly last month after Trump issued an executive order aimed at encouraging local police to help federal immigration agents trying to carry out deportations. It listed jurisdictions that had been deemed uncooperative.

Kern County, a vast rural agricultural expanse north of Los Angeles, ended up on one of the lists.

But Sheriff Donny Youngblood said targeting his law enforcement agency was wrong because federal agents have access to his county's jail and its data.

Being placed on the federal list prompted calls from angry residents of the largely conservative area, Youngblood said. So he complained to federal immigration officials.

"I explained to them this can be devastating for an elected official when you have to refute this," Youngblood said. "I am really pleased they're going to stop until they get this corrected. Correct information is what people should be getting, not a rush to be first to send it out, whether it is factual or not."

Many local police and sheriff's agencies across the U.S. have publicly proclaimed they will not cooperate with Trump's immigration crackdown.

Tension over whether U.S. local law enforcement agencies should assist federal deportation efforts dates back years.

But it has grown significantly amid the Trump administration's efforts to boost immigration enforcement and build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Some local law enforcement agencies fear immigrants will not report crime or trust officers if they believe local police will help get them deported.

Others have said immigrants who commit crimes must be released from jail once they serve their sentences, and won't keep them in custody longer for immigration agents to pick them up.

Also, some state and local laws have prohibitions on when immigrants can be transferred to the agents for deportation.


Talk by pro-police author disrupted at Calif. college

Posted on April 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By Howard Blume Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Administrators expressed disappointment and threatened discipline in the wake of a demonstration that disrupted a planned public event last week featuring conservative commentator and author Heather MacDonald at Claremont McKenna College.

The campus demonstration was among the latest nationwide to impede the appearance of a conservative speaker.

Perhaps the most notable occurred two months ago at the University of California, Berkeley, where violent protesters prevented then-Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking. Those protests were condemned by both UC administrators and President Donald Trump.

At Claremont McKenna, east of Los Angeles, about 250 protesters on Thursday blocked the entrance to the Athenaeum, where MacDonald was scheduled to appear. Many chanted “black lives matter” and “black lives — they matter here.”

Campus officials and security decided not to force entry into the venue on behalf of those who came to hear MacDonald speak.

“Based on the judgment of the Claremont Police Department, we jointly concluded that any forced interventions or arrests would have created unsafe conditions for students, faculty, staff and guests,” Claremont McKenna College President Hiram E. Chodosh said in a statement. “I take full responsibility for the decision to err on the side of these overriding safety considerations.”

Instead, MacDonald spoke before a handful of observers while the college live-streamed the event to a viewing audience that Chodosh estimated at 250 — about the same number as those protesting outside, according to authorities.

Her 30-minute talk also was made available for later viewing.

“Her presentation that is posted on our CMC homepage has already been viewed over 1,400 times,” Chodosh said. “In the end, the effort to silence her voice effectively amplified it to a much larger audience.”

Chodosh also threatened disciplinary action against any students from the Claremont colleges who blocked the entrances, calling it a violation of college policy.

The election of Trump as president has sparked a wave of campus activism directed at the appearances of outspoken conservatives, especially those supporting Trump. In February, UC Berkeley authorities canceled Yiannopoulos’ speech. Two hours before he was to speak, more than 1,500 people had gathered in protest. Some smashed windows and set a small fire.

Protests also resulted in the cancellation of a Yiannopoulos speech at UC Davis.

MacDonald’s books include last year’s “The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe.” She has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, whose supporters have denounced her.

A statement from a group that defined itself as “students of color at the Claremont Colleges” called MacDonald a “notorious white supremacist fascist.”

MacDonald recounted the experience in comments published by “The College Fix,” which describes itself as providing a “daily dose” of student-reported “right-minded news and commentary.”

“I was hustled from my guest suite by several police officers from Claremont PD into the lecture hall,” MacDonald said. “It was decided that I would give the speech for live streaming to a largely empty hall.

“An escape plan through the kitchen into an unmarked police van was devised,” she continued. “I was surrounded by about four cops. Protesters were sitting on the stoop outside the door through which I exited, but we had taken them by surprise and we got through them.”

The day before, protesters also disrupted MacDonald’s appearance at UCLA. There, MacDonald gave her talk and took some questions, including one or more from protesters, with answers that sometimes led to angry reactions, according to accounts of the event.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Former NFL player joins Mich. state police

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By PoliceOne Staff

LANSING, Mich. — A former New England Patriots linebacker is starting a new career and joining the Michigan State Police.

Cam Gordon, 25, told The Detroit News that after he was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs, he realized he wasn’t playing at his full potential.

“I said, ‘What is another career that will allow me to have an impact, have influence on younger kids and also leave behind a positive legacy?’ Instantly, state trooper — law enforcement — jumped into my mind,” Gordon said.

Last week, the agency approached Gordon with a conditional job offer, securing his place in the next recruiting school.

His offer comes as nearly 250 troopers are set to retire between June 2018 and September 2020, the publication reported. Spokeswoman Shanon Banner said the graduates from six large recruiting classes are set to reach the threshold that gives them full state benefits after retirement.

Police officials asked for an additional $9.2 million in 2018 to train 100 new troopers, which would bring the total number of state police to the highest point since 2003.


Ind. man arrested after stalking officer, telling others to booby trap cops

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Pharos-Tribune

KOKOMO, Ind.– A Russiaville man was arrested after allegedly encouraging Facebook friends to rig traps in their yards to injure Kokomo Police officers, states a press release from the Kokomo Police Department.

Christopher Sutton, 44, was arrested on a warrant for stalking, a level 5 felony, intimidation, a level 6 felony, and harassment, a class B misdemeanor.

On April 6, officers were notified of possible threats being made against them on social media, according to the press release, which went on to say investigation revealed Sutton allegedly made the threats.

On April 4, Sutton allegedly encouraged his friends and followers to “booby trap” their yards to injure officers, and specifically a Kokomo police officer, when they come onto their property. Specifically, the release says, he suggested hiding boards with exposed nails and animal traps in thick grass.

Sutton allegedly asked for videos of officers being injured, the press release says

The officer he directed the threat toward is assigned to the Code Enforcement Division of the Kokomo Police Department. Her duties include, but are not limited to, the enforcement of Kokomo ordinances within city limits, such as tagging and towing vehicles identified as abandoned by city code.

The press release states documentation exists indicating Sutton had allegedly been stalking that officer since 2014. In October 2014, the officer conducted a traffic stop on Sutton as he allegedly followed her at the completion of her shift. He was issued multiple traffic citations and plead guilty to the infractions.

Sutton turned himself in at the Howard County Jail on April 7.

Sutton’s attorney did not return a call to comment for this story.

———

©2017 the Pharos-Tribune (Logansport, Ind.)


1 suspect arrested, 1 at large after shooting of Ohio cop

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEWCOMERSTOWN, Ohio — One suspect is in custody and another is still at large after a Newcomerstown officer was shot.

WCPO reported that Chaz Gillilan, 28, and the other unnamed suspect shot Officer Bryan Eubanks twice in the arm Tuesday morning. According to the New Philadelphia Times Reporter, Eubanks was investigating a potential meth lab.

The officer is in good condition.

According to ABC22 Now, the vehicle is described as a black Geo Tracker that is blacked out with dark tinted windows and no plates.

ABC22 Now reported that one man was wearing a lime green shirt while the other was wearing a red sweatshirt, it’s unclear which man was wearing what. One suspect is wearing a tactical vest as well.

The suspect still on the run is considered armed and dangerous.

#BlueAlert Update: Gillilan in custody. A 2nd unknown suspect still at large. Black Geo Tracker still believed to be involved. https://t.co/ngos1XzAKJ

— Ohio AG Mike DeWine (@OhioAG) April 11, 2017


Wis. trooper killed in crash

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By PoliceOne Staff

SAUK COUNTY, Wis. — A trooper has died after he lost control of his patrol vehicle.

Anthony J. Borostowski was on duty Tuesday when he lost control of his patrol vehicle, fell into a ditch and struck a tree, Baraboo News Republic reported. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Gov. Scott Walker offered condolences in a statement after learning the identity of the fallen officer.

"I had the honor of meeting him in 2015, when he received the Wisconsin State Patrol's lifesaving award for saving a man's life by performing CPR. Tonette and I send our prayers to Anthony’s family,” Walker said.

An investigation into the crash is underway.


Police union official says comments that angered St. Louis firefighters were misconstrued

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Ashley Lisenby St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis police union official has issued a clarification after an editorial in a union newspaper angered city firefighters.

Jeff Roorda, St. Louis Police Officers Association business manager, penned a front-page editorial in the April edition of the union paper Gendarme lauding officers for their promptness and bravery, but criticizing city firefighters for the lack thereof.

“Who else dares to brave these neighborhoods? How many times have you or one of the cops you work with, charged into a burning building because even the fire department is slower to answer the call in the ghetto than the cops who are right there, in the trenches, hearing the shrill cry for help?” Roorda wrote in the commentary titled “Do Something Amazing.”

The St. Louis Fire Department posted a scathing response to Roorda’s opinion piece on Facebook on Monday.

“It is unfortunate that an individual such as Mr. Roorda, who is paid to represent an organization comprised of brave professional police, is continually allowed to voice and put into print his uneducated, uninformed and disparate comments without accountability or corrective action,” said Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson in a statement.

He continued, “His baseless comments are an insult to every professional first responder, including firefighters and EMS, in our city.”

Jenkerson said firefighters respond to “incidents across the city in under four minutes,” directly addressing Roorda’s claims about slow response times.

Roorda said Monday night that he wrote the editorial in response to the amount of criticism he believes police receive and to acknowledge the ways they exceed their public duties.

As for his comments about the fire department, he said after reading them over again, he could see how the department would be put off.

He said he spoke with the president of the firefighters union Monday. “I told him that it absolutely wasn’t meant in the way he was describing,” Roorda said.

In addition to planning a clarification next month in the union paper, Roorda took to Facebook on Monday to post a public apology.

“Every day, firefighters climb into the same foxholes that cops do. The fact that cops some times get their boots muddy first is a matter of geography not reluctance,” he wrote. “I spent eight years in Jefferson City as the number one supporter of firefighters in the Missouri Legislature. My commitment and admiration for our brothers and sisters who drive the red trucks hasn’t changed, nor will it ever.”

Jenkerson’s critical Facebook post appears to have since been removed.


Miss. mayor catches suspect after foot pursuit

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

PEARL, Miss. — A Mississippi mayor is being credited with catching a fraud suspect who was running away from police.

The Clarion-Ledger reports Pearl Mayor Brad Rogers was riding with the city's police chief Friday when they heard a call for assistance with a foot chase. Both men joined the pursuit when they saw a man matching the suspect's description bolt past Police Chief Tim Sarrett's truck.

Police said Rogers followed the fugitive over an 8-foot privacy fence and the suspect gave up after the unarmed mayor demanded he drop to the ground.

Jermaine Marshall of Chicago was charged with credit card fraud, identity theft and failure to obey a police officer. He had fled from a local bank after the manager reported Marshall to police as a possible fraud suspect.


UK police receive Porsche patrol car

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

ATTLEBOROUGH, England — A police department’s new Porsche Cayman GT4 police vehicle is catching the eyes of young drivers.

The vehicle, donated to the Norfolk Constabulary by the Lind Trust, will serve not as a vehicle for everyday law enforcement operations but as a conversation starter about road-safety with young drivers, Jalopnik reported. It comes fully-loaded with police decals, interior blue lights, and even its own hashtag, #Porsche999.

For the past two years, the GT4 has been donated to the Constabulary to help combat fatal and serious crashes involving young drivers, the department said in a press release. In Norfolk, 61 young drivers have died in collisions and 504 have suffered serious injuries over the last five years.

“The GT4 will certainly attract a lot of attention – but that’s the whole idea,” Chief Constable Simon Bailey said in the press release. “We hope the car will act as a conversation starter, which gives us the opportunity to engage with people, but more importantly those hard-to-reach groups like young drivers, and offer practical advice as well as describing what can happen when things go wrong.”

The Porsche will complement existing initiatives including the police’s #Impact campaign and the Young Driver Education Presentation, which they present in local schools.


3 shot outside Tenn. automotive plant

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE


1 killed, 2 injured in shooting outside Tenn. automotive plant

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — One person is dead and two others were injured after a shooting outside the Ficosa plant Tuesday morning.

Major Carl Sells told NewsTalk 94.1 radio that one person has died. Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton told News Channel 5 that the alleged shooter was one of the three people shot. It’s unclear if the gunman has been taken into custody, WRCB reported.

Shelton tweeted that the scene was secure and there is no outside threat.

Their conditions are unknown.

Nearly 300 employees work at the automotive plant.

#BREAKING - we've confirmed that three people have been shot outside the FICOSA plant in Cookeville, medical helicopters on scene @NC5 pic.twitter.com/o857gJp5vM

— Chris Conte (@NC5_ChrisConte) April 11, 2017


Sheriff: Escaped Ala. inmate might be driving a stolen van

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

FLORENCE, Ala. — Authorities in Alabama say an inmate accused of trying to kill a police officer and then escaping from jail might be driving a stolen van.

Investigators say 43-year-old Christopher Wayne Kilpatrick might be driving the 2003 maroon Chrysler Town and Country van taken Sunday night from a Florence home.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton says Kilpatrick escaped from the Lauderdale County Detention Center on Saturday night.

The TimesDaily reports Kilpatrick was being held without bail awaiting trial on a number of offenses, including attempted murder of a Florence police officer.

Singleton says Kilpatrick apparently escaped by crawling through the casing around a plumping pipe, then made his way to the roof of the detention center and was able to crawl over the razor wire that surrounds the roof and yard.


Escaped inmate who allegedly attempted to kill Ala. cop might be driving stolen van

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

FLORENCE, Ala. — Authorities in Alabama say an inmate accused of trying to kill a police officer and then escaping from jail might be driving a stolen van.

Investigators say 43-year-old Christopher Wayne Kilpatrick might be driving the 2003 maroon Chrysler Town and Country van taken Sunday night from a Florence home.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton says Kilpatrick escaped from the Lauderdale County Detention Center on Saturday night.

The TimesDaily reports Kilpatrick was being held without bail awaiting trial on a number of offenses, including attempted murder of a Florence police officer.

Singleton says Kilpatrick apparently escaped by crawling through the casing around a plumping pipe, then made his way to the roof of the detention center and was able to crawl over the razor wire that surrounds the roof and yard.


Criminal case judge fatally shot outside his Chicago home

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

CHICAGO — A judge who oversaw criminal cases in Cook County, Illinois, was shot to death early Monday outside his Chicago home and a woman he knew was shot and wounded, police said.

Investigators are looking at the possibility that the shooting of Associate Circuit Court Judge Raymond Myles and the acquaintance could have been part of an attempted robbery, although police don't believe anything was stolen from the victims or the house. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Myles also "may have been targeted for one reason or another."

"The offender shot him numerous times," Guglielmi said.

No arrests have been made in the shootings that happened around 5 a.m. on Chicago's South Side. Myles was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Since the woman who was shot is a witness to a killing, her name is not expected to be released, Guglielmi said. Chief of Detectives Melissa Staples described the woman as a close associate of Myles and said she was shot once and is expected to survive.

The woman was shot first. Myles heard commotion and a gunshot, exchanged words with the attacker and then was shot himself, Staples said.

Police Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro called the shooting "a senseless act of violence."

"Every day civil servants like Judge Myles and those of us in law enforcement work tirelessly to hold criminals accountable and make our streets safer," Navarro said. "That's why, when incidents like this occur, it's not only a reminder of the ever-present challenge we have with illegal guns and the offenders willing to use them, but it's also a direct attack on the criminal justice system that keeps our society safe."

Myles received his law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. He was appointed to the court in 1999. Circuit court judges appointed him an associate judge in 2001 and Myles had served in the criminal division since 2009, Chief Judge Timothy Evans said in a statement.

"I join all of the judges today in the Circuit Court of Cook County in expressing our sadness regarding the tragic passing of our colleague and friend," Evans said.

"I have always known Judge Myles to be focused and determined in the pursuit of justice, and his conduct earned him the confidence and respect of the people who appeared before him," Evans added. "All of our colleagues at the Leighton Criminal Court Building will miss Judge Myles, who they came to know for his kindness and his impartial administration of justice."

The FBI is working with Chicago police on the investigation and is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to a suspect in the case.


‘Worst nightmare’: Parents wait in agony after Calif. school shooting

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Amanda Lee Myers and John Rogers Associated Press

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — For Elizabeth Barajas it had been an hours-long nightmare waiting to learn the fate of the daughter she had dropped off at school a couple of hours before police reported gunfire in a classroom that left two adults and one child dead and another child wounded.

Then, in some ways, the nightmare became worse.

Barajas learned her daughter, Marissa Perez, had been sitting at her desk Monday morning when a gunman stormed into her classroom, shot her teacher to death, killed one of her classmates and wounded another before killing himself.

"I don't know what to do. I don't know what to tell her," Barajas said as the two held each other and sobbed after the ordeal that sent police flooding onto the campus of San Bernardino's North Park School.

As Marissa and about 600 other students were shepherded to safety, Barajas and hundreds of other parents raced to the school. There they would endure an agonizing four-hour wait before learning that all but two of their children were physically if not emotionally unharmed.

"She just said she was scared. As soon as she saw the guy with the gun, she went under the table. She keeps telling me 'My teacher got shot, my friend got shot,'" Barajas said as she clutched her daughter's blood-stained sweatshirt.

Marissa said the shooter didn't say a word as he opened fire. One of her friends was hit, she added, as she pointed to her abdomen.

Police identified the gunman as Cedric Anderson, 53, of Riverside. They believe he arrived at the school intending to kill his estranged wife, North Park teacher Karen Elaine Smith, and accidentally shot the two children.

Many of the parents of the school's 600 students were at home when the blaring sounds of emergency vehicle sirens shattered the morning quiet of their neighborhood.

Amberly Raffle, who had left her son with his pre-kindergarten class earlier that morning, said she wasn't sure what the sirens were about until her sister-in-law ran to her house to tell her there was a problem at the school.

"Policemen were everywhere and ambulances, firetrucks, helicopters," she said of the scene she saw. "I got really scared then."

It was "every parent's worst nightmare," said Holly Penalber as she wiped tears from her face while waiting to hear the fate of her 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter.

Penalber, a Riverside County sheriff's deputy, was on a training assignment when she began getting frantic texts from her husband and mother, saying something bad had happened at the school.

Then she waited hours outside a nearby high school where parents were eventually reunited with their children. She was too nervous to join Barajas and others in the library, saying there were more rumors than information there. But eventually she heard from someone who had seen her children and assured her they were safe.

"It was such a sigh of relief. But I won't feel good until I hold my kids," she said.

One of the first parents to be reunited with a child was Raffle, who cried tears of joys as she embraced her son.

"He doesn't really know what happened," she said. "I think we're blessed because of that."

Barajas is concerned about what witnessing the shooting will do to her daughter.

"They can't just tell us your kids are fine," she said. "Obviously my kid is not fine. She witnessed what happened to her teacher and the other students, and all they said is your kids are safe, your kids are fine."


Ala. sheriff’s deputy killed in crash

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jonece Starr Dunigan Alabama Media Group

HAYNEVILLE, Ala. — Lowndes County Sheriff's Office deputy was killed in a wreck Monday morning near Hayneville, Alabama State Troopers said.

Lowndesboro resident Levy Pettway, 61, was killed when the 2001 Ford Crown Victoria he was driving left Alabama 21 and struck several trees at 11:53 a.m. Pettway was a reserve deputy for the sheriff's department and a school resource officer at Calhoun School.

Troopers said Pettway was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead a short time after the accident.

Additional details were not released since the accident is still under investigation.

———

©2017 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham


Ill. trooper cadets to be trained to deal with hate crimes

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CHICAGO — The Illinois State Police is helping create a new curriculum that will make troopers better at recognizing and investigating hate crimes.

In a news release, Governor Bruce Rauner's office says the agency will work with the Anti-Defamation league to better train state police cadets before they hit the street.

The curriculum will focus on helping officers strengthen their understanding and skills dealing with hate crimes by providing up-to-date information and strategies. The curriculum will also provide the cadets with ideas on how to be more effective dealing with changing community norms.

The Anti-Defamation League says the training will strengthen the relationship between communities and law enforcement.


Ohio State beefs up response plans after car-and-knife attack

Posted on April 11, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Andrew Welsh-Huggins Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University is beefing up its emergency alert system and streamlining the way officials communicate in a crisis after a November car-and-knife attack exposed some flaws in the text-message procedure.

Some campus contractors and visitors weren't aware of campuswide "Buckeye Alerts" to seek shelter during the attack that wounded more than a dozen people, according to the report obtained by The Associated Press through an open records request.

Too much time passed between the 10 alerts, which were issued over a period of about seven hours, according to the report by the OSU Department of Public Safety. In addition, the initial alerts lacked specifics about the attack, according to the report.

The "After Action Review" also noted that the sheet-covered body of the attacker — shot dead by a police officer seconds after the attack began — was visible for hours, "potentially creating psychological trauma and panic."

In addition, communication between safety personnel and top university officials was cumbersome and some outside police departments weren't aware an "all-clear" message had been sent, the report said.

The report makes several recommendations for changes that the university is reviewing. Some have already been put in place.

"Public support for the law enforcement response has been gratifying, but we know there is always room for improvement," Monica Moll, director of the university Department of Public Safety, said in a statement.

The Nov. 28 attack began when first-year Ohio State student Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove into a crowd outside a classroom building, then attacked people with a knife. Thirteen people were injured in the attack.

In a coincidence, a nearby building had been evacuated minutes earlier after reports of a gas leak. A university police officer assisting at the scene shot and killed the 18-year-old Artan almost immediately.

Authorities believe the attack by the Somalia-born Artan was partly inspired by a cleric killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. An investigation continues.

Among other problems and recommended fixes:

— The university phone operator transferred many calls from worried parents and the media to an already overloaded 911 call center, limiting dispatchers' "ability to focus on strategies/tactics" regarding the crisis. The report recommends the creation of a phone bank that could take such calls.

— Ohio State and City of Columbus police tactical teams had trouble communicating because their radios use different versions of encryption. The university plans to provide radios to its officers using the same encryption as Columbus.

— The alert system relies too heavily on text messages, which limits awareness of an emergency for people who haven't signed up for alerts. Ohio State plans to increase the use of "pop-up" emergency messages on computers, insert alerts into digital signs around campus and let visitors sign up for alerts for specific times on campus, such as sporting events.

— University police weren't trained to use a "fire alarm speaker system" to communicate with occupants in campus buildings. This meant that some people in buildings who weren't getting Buckeye Alerts were unaware of the emergency and didn't get updates. The report recommends training officers to use that speaker system and installing equipment allowing dispatchers to access the speakers remotely.

— To deal with "cumbersome" communication problems that developed between safety and senior academic officials, all top administrators will be relocated to the hall housing the university's Department of Public Safety in an emergency.

— The university has purchased equipment that would shield a body from onlookers while letting an investigation continue.

— Some students, faculty and staff don't know what to do in an emergency. The report recommends increasing opportunities around campus for learning the "Run, Hide, Fight" system for active-shooter situations. The report also recommends making sure the university's Department of Public Safety has enough employees to boost emergency prevention and preparedness initiatives.

— Officials will look at ways to make initial alerts less generic and continue to support dispatchers sending those initial alerts but will also allow emergency operations officials to take over responsibility for sending alerts as soon as possible.

— Policies will be developed for instructing campus bus drivers on what to do with passengers when "shelter in place" alerts go out.

— Only armed officers will be used to search inside the so-called hot zone after concerns arose about using unarmed security personnel in building-to-building searches.

— An effort will be made to sign up more outside police agencies for alerts to avoid the problem of some agencies not getting the "all clear" alert.


Vievu joins the AI race with new Veritone partnership

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

One of the biggest trends in law enforcement technology is the development of software solutions that enable cops to spend less time at their desks and more time out in the field.

Given that universal adoption of body-worn cameras among police agencies is inevitable, vendors in the BWC space are moving toward technology designed to ease the challenge an ever-increasing volume of digital video evidence presents to the very small IT teams commonly found in police departments.

Vievu on Tuesday announced a partnership with Veritone to add an artificial intelligence component to the company’s BWC products, which will enable police agencies to process in near real-time large volumes of audio and video evidence.

“This is a great opportunity for our customers because it gives them the ability to consolidate, sort, and search. It enables them to extract from millions of hours of video the critical segment of evidence that they’re looking for,” said Terry O’Shea, chief technology officer of Safariland. “It’s helping them get that one picture that’s worth a thousand words from millions of hours of video in an easy way.”

Veritone’s cognitive engines – 40 in all – will be used to help agencies gather actionable information via functions like transcription, optical character recognition and object recognition.

For transcription alone, police agencies will be able to choose from among 19 cognitive engines the best tailored for their region. As an example, departments in the southern United States will be able to select a transcription service designed to accurately capture a southern dialect. The technology also translates over 140 different languages into English.

“No artificial intelligence engine is perfect in every situation, but by giving our customers these 40 different ones, it enables them to basically dial down to the right one for the right situation to extract the information, make it searchable, and enable them to easily find data,” O’Shea said.

In addition to transcription, the technology will also feature sentiment analysis – going further than mere words by documenting the emotion behind those words.

“I’ve been working with inference engines and artificial intelligence systems for a long time, and they’ve always been kind of clunky and hard to use,” O’Shea said, “But what Veritone has done is put together a nice, simple, easy–to-use package. This partnership really compliments what we already have out in the field and we’re really excited to bring it to our customers later this year.”

From investigations and training to responding to public record requests, Vievu hopes their collaboration with Veritone will streamline police department operations in a big way.


Ways to reinvigorate your passion for policing

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Matthew Loux, Faculty Member, Criminal Justice at American Military University

Do you find yourself dreading going to work every day? Being a police officer is an extremely demanding job and there are likely a lot of factors affecting how you feel about your job. Here are a few simple things you can do to regain a positive outlook on your job and learn to enjoy your career:

Consciously Adopt a Positive Attitude

It can be very difficult to maintain a positive attitude and it is made even harder if you let yourself be negative for long periods of time. To begin the shift from negative to positive, start with being conscious of your self-talk. Start repeating positive comments to yourself several times a day to help drown out negative thinking.

Having a positive attitude not only improves your mood, but it has health benefits as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, a positive attitude can have the following health benefits:

Increased life span Lower rates of depression Lower levels of distress Greater resistance to the common cold Better psychological and physical well-being Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress Get Plenty of Exercise

Law enforcement officers must be physically fit for their job performance. While being physically fit is important, exercising is about more than just being fit. Exercise helps to:

Reduce stress Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression Boost self-esteem Improve sleep Strengthen your heart Increases energy levels Lower blood pressure Improves muscle tone and strength Strengthen and build bones Helps reduce body fat Makes you look fit and healthy Set Progressive Goals

Sit down and brainstorm what you really want to achieve in your career, with your family, and in life in general. When brainstorming your goals, speak with your supervisor to get his or her input on your work goals to ensure they align with the department’s vision. In similar fashion, talk with your family members to get their input on your goals.

The outcome of your brainstorming session becomes your target and your primary objectives. Think about your goals in multiple stages and set micro-, midterm-, and long-term goals.

Micro-goals are goals that you want to accomplish on a daily basis. These should help you accomplish your short-term goals, which ultimately help you achieve your long-term goals. Maybe you want to be promoted at work, so reading recent news articles, applying to college to get an advanced degree, or reading a book about taking the police advancement test would be supporting micro-goals. Midterm-goals are usually goals you want to achieve in one month to a year. Define the goal as well as what is to be accomplished. Be specific because general goals without a clear and concise timeframe and outcome are very difficult to achieve. Long-term goals usually require about five years to achieve. Again, these goals need to be specific to make sure you work toward them over time and know when you have accomplished them.

Adopting this type of goal-setting strategy is effective because it is the little accomplishments—the micro-goals—that help you build the momentum and self-confidence needed to achieve your short- and long-term goals. As you work toward your goals, be sure to visualize yourself accomplishing each one. A positive attitude will come naturally when you feel that you are on track to reach your goals.

Embrace Meditation

One of the best ways I have found to reduce stress and keep a positive attitude is through meditation. Meditation involves sitting quietly or with calming music for a few minutes a day. As you meditate, let go of the negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts.

I started off with 5 to 10 minutes a day of sitting quietly and reflecting on my life and what I want out of it. I have increased my meditation time to about 30 minutes each morning, which gets me off to a great start. It is amazing how much my attitude has changed and how many positive ideas I have just from meditating very day.

One of the best ways to get started is to find an app on your phone that either plays calming music or features a voice walking you through the process. Whatever method you choose, the key is to get started.

I encourage every police officer to try these techniques. If you find something that works well for you, please comment on this post so we can all learn new strategies for being more positive in our jobs and lives. Such positivity leads to a better work environment, a closer family, and longevity.

About the Author: Matthew Loux has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years and has a background in fraud, criminal investigation, as well as hospital, school, and network security. He has researched and studied law enforcement and security best practices for the past 10 years. He is a faculty member in the Criminal Justice program at American Military University.


2 adults dead, 2 kids shot at Calif. school

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Christopher Weber Associated Press

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — An apparent murder-suicide inside an elementary school classroom in San Bernardino left two adults dead, including a teacher, and two students wounded, police and school officials said.

Investigators believe "the suspect is down" and that North Park School faces no further threat, Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said on Twitter.

Two students were airlifted to a hospital after what was believed to be a domestic dispute, San Bernardino City Unified School District spokeswoman Maria Garcia told news station KNBC-TV. Their conditions were not immediately known, police said.

"We believe the teacher knew who the shooter was," Garcia said, adding that all other students were safe.

We believe this to be a murder suicide. Happened in a class room. Two students have been transported to the hospital.

— Chief Jarrod Burguan (@SBPDChief) April 10, 2017

Students gathered on a field and a blacktop basketball court inside the fenced-in grounds of the campus near a line of school buses. The school has about 600 students in kindergarten through sixth grades.

Frantic parents running up a sidewalk looking for information about their children were not able to learn immediately what happened. Several parents interviewed on TV said their children were too young to carry mobile phones, so they had not been able to contact them to see if they were safe.

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Live coverage of the elementary school shooting in San Bernardino, where multiple people have been injured.

Posted by ABC7 on Monday, April 10, 2017

Marina Ramos told news station KABC-TV that she rushed to the school to try to pick up her grandson after she heard about the shooting. She said she spoke to him, and he told her he was safe but was upset.

"He was crying. He's scared," she said. "It was a typical morning and then chaos broke out."

Students were being taken to local college campus, Garcia said. Police told parents to go to a nearby high school to pick up their kids, but it's not clear when the students would get there.

Firefighters don body armor at North Park Elementary where there's an active shooter pic.twitter.com/rtdaMNywWN

— Rick Sforza (@RickSforza) April 10, 2017

The city of 216,000 was the site of the December 2015 terror attack that killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at a meeting of San Bernardino County employees. Husband-and-wife shooters Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik were killed in a gunbattle with authorities later that day.

The city is known for its high rates of violent crime, especially homicides, and has struggled to emerge from bankruptcy.


Likely murder-suicide at school kills 3, hurts 1

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Christopher Weber Associated Press

UPDATE: 3:50 p.m. (PST)

Police chief: 8-year-old student shot in San Bernardino classroom in murder-suicide has died.

Original story below.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A teacher was shot to death and two students critically wounded Monday in a murder-suicide at a San Bernardino elementary school that spread panic across a city still recovering emotionally from a terrorist attack at a community center just 15 months ago.

The suspected shooter who opened fired in a classroom at North Park School also died. A school official said the attack was believed to stem from a "domestic dispute" and that the teacher knew the gunman.

The two wounded students were flown to a hospital where they were listed in critical condition.

"The children we do not believe were targeted," police Capt. Ron Maass told reporters.

The 600 other students at the school were bused to safety at California State University's San Bernardino campus, several miles away. Television news footage showed students, escorted by police officers, walking off campus hand-in-hand.

As word of the shooting spread, panicked parents raced to the school, some in tears, some praying as they anxiously sought information about their children. They were told to go to a nearby high school where they would be reunited.

Four hours later, the children began to arrive at the high school, getting hugs from emotional parents. As the students got off the buses, many of them carrying glow sticks they had been given to pass the time with, police officers applauded and high-fived them.

When the buses first pulled away, some parents ran alongside, waving and trying to recognize their children inside. Many said their children were too young to have cellphones. Others said the phones rang unanswered.

Among those waiting anxiously at the high school for her 9-year-old granddaughter's return was Alberta Terrell, who said she cried with relief when she was told that a family friend saw the girl getting safely onto a bus.

"I was really elated. But I won't be truly happy until I see her and can give her a big hug," Terrell said as she sat in the bleachers near Cajon High School's baseball diamond.

"It's frustrating for us as parents but also understandable," Holly Penalber said of the long wait, which most parents seemed resigned to.

Penalber's 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter attend the school. She called Monday's shootings "every parent's worst nightmare."

San Bernardino, a city of 216,000 people about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, was the site of a December 2015 terror attack that killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at a meeting of San Bernardino County employees. Husband-and-wife shooters Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik were later killed in a gunbattle with authorities.

Monday's shooting was the latest tragedy for a city that has struggled in recent years with more than its share of them. Once a major rail hub and citrus producer, San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy in 2012 after struggling to pay its employees despite steep cuts to the budget.

An outlying suburb of Los Angeles, it was hit hard when the Great Recession sent housing prices tumbling. As the city struggled with economic problems that forced layoffs of police and other government workers, violent crimes, particularly homicide, began to rise.

In the past year, however, the city seemed to be making a recovery. Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, who won national praise for the way his department responded to the 2015 shootings, announced last year he was hiring additional officers.


Likely murder-suicide at Calif. school kills 2 adults, 1 student

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Christopher Weber Associated Press

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A husband opened fire on his wife Monday in a San Bernardino elementary school classroom, killing her and a student in a murder-suicide that spread panic across a city still recovering emotionally from a terrorist attack at a community center just 15 months ago.

The shooter also died, and a second student was critically wounded at North Park School.

"The children we do not believe were targeted," police Capt. Ron Maass told reporters.

The gunman was identified as 53-year-old Cedric Anderson, of Riverside, who shot his wife, Elaine Smith, also 53. She was a teacher in the special-needs classroom for students in first through fourth grades.

Anderson said nothing as he began firing a large-caliber revolver, according to police. Both of the children who were hit were standing behind Smith. An 8-year-old later died. The other student was hospitalized in stable condition.

The gunman had a history of weapons, domestic violence and possible drug charges that predated the marriage, which lasted only a few months, authorities said.

The boy who died was identified as Jonathan Martinez. Authorities did not name the other boy who was wounded.

The 600 other students at the school were bused to safety at California State University's San Bernardino campus, several miles away. Television news footage showed students, escorted by police officers, walking off campus hand-in-hand.

As word of the shooting spread, panicked parents raced to the school, some in tears, some praying as they anxiously sought information about their children. They were told to go to a nearby high school where they would be reunited.

Four hours later, the children began to arrive at the high school, getting hugs from emotional parents. As the students got off the buses, many of them carrying glow sticks they had been given to pass the time with, police officers applauded and high-fived them.

When the buses first pulled away, some parents ran alongside, waving and trying to recognize their children inside. Many said their children were too young to have cellphones. Others said the phones rang unanswered.

Among those waiting anxiously at the high school for her 9-year-old granddaughter's return was Alberta Terrell, who said she cried with relief when she was told that a family friend saw the girl getting safely onto a bus.

"I was really elated. But I won't be truly happy until I see her and can give her a big hug," Terrell said as she sat in the bleachers near Cajon High School's baseball diamond.

"It's frustrating for us as parents but also understandable," Holly Penalber said of the long wait, which most parents seemed resigned to.

@KTLA is on scene overhead. The little ones holding hands while evacuating.. #pleasepray #SanBernardino pic.twitter.com/QXS5s2szem

— Kara Lee Marken (@misskaraleem) April 10, 2017

Penalber's 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter attend the school. She called Monday's shootings "every parent's worst nightmare."

San Bernardino, a city of 216,000 people about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, was the site of a December 2015 terror attack that killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at a meeting of San Bernardino County employees. Husband-and-wife shooters Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik were later killed in a gunbattle with authorities.

Monday's shooting was the latest tragedy for a city that has struggled in recent years with more than its share of them. Once a major rail hub and citrus producer, San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy in 2012 after struggling to pay its employees despite steep cuts to the budget.

An outlying suburb of Los Angeles, it was hit hard when the Great Recession sent housing prices tumbling. As the city struggled with economic problems that forced layoffs of police and other government workers, violent crimes, particularly homicide, began to rise.

Firefighters don body armor at North Park Elementary where there's an active shooter pic.twitter.com/rtdaMNywWN

— Rick Sforza (@RickSforza) April 10, 2017

In the past year, however, the city seemed to be making a recovery. Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, who won national praise for the way his department responded to the 2015 shootings, announced last year he was hiring additional officers.


Police: Gunman who killed Texas lawman killed himself

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BAYTOWN, Texas — A man who fatally shot a Houston-area deputy constable outside a county courthouse last week killed himself the next day, police said Monday.

William Kenny, 64, was the man who shot Harris County Precinct 3 Assistant Chief Deputy Clinton Greenwood on April 3 moments after Greenwood arrived for work, Baytown police Lt. Steve Dorris said at a news conference. The attack prompted a massive manhunt.

Dorris said investigators identified Kenny late Sunday as the gunman and found his body early Monday at a residence in downtown Houston. The gun used in the shooting of Greenwood, 57, was the same one used by Kenny to kill himself, Dorris said.

Dorris declined to reveal a motive for the shooting and said investigators were still working to determine why Greenwood was targeted.

Greenwood was shot by a man who stepped out from behind a dumpster as Greenwood exited his SUV. Greenwood collapsed at the scene and was taken to a Houston hospital, where he died.

Dorris said investigators were able to track a rental car shown on surveillance video to Kenny.

Greenwood, who was a 30-year law enforcement veteran, had also worked with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, the county's sheriff's office and in private practice as a lawyer.

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WATCH LIVE: Baytown PD press conf. on Pct. 3 Deputy Greenwood investigation

Posted by KHOU 11 News on Monday, April 10, 2017


2 dead, several injured after shooting at Calif. elementary school

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

UPDATE 1:43 p.m. (CST):

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The San Bernardino police chief says two adults are dead after a shooting at an elementary school.

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan says on Twitter that investigators believe "the suspect is down." He says there is no further threat to the school.

Burguan says the shooting is believed to be a murder-suicide.

He said at least two students were taken to a hospital.

EARLIER:

By PoliceOne Staff

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Officials said multiple people were shot Monday morning at North Park Elementary School.

San Bernardino City Unified Spokeswoman Maria Garcia told the The Sun that the shooter and three victims were shot.

“One of them is a teacher, the other two are unknown, and their condition is unknown. We believe the situation is contained,” Garcia said.

Police Chief Jarrod Burguan tweeted that police believe it was intended to be a murder suicide and two students were transported to a local hospital.

According to CBS Los Angeles, the school has been placed on lockdown and a shelter in place order has been issued.

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Live coverage of the elementary school shooting in San Bernardino, where multiple people have been injured.

Posted by ABC7 on Monday, April 10, 2017

We believe this to be a murder suicide. Happened in a class room. Two students have been transported to the hospital.

— Chief Jarrod Burguan (@SBPDChief) April 10, 2017

Police are lining the perimeter of North Park elementary where there's an active shooter pic.twitter.com/HTUAKYEGsH

— Rick Sforza (@RickSforza) April 10, 2017

Students at the school are be taking to cajon high school for safety.

— Chief Jarrod Burguan (@SBPDChief) April 10, 2017

Firefighters don body armor at North Park Elementary where there's an active shooter pic.twitter.com/rtdaMNywWN

— Rick Sforza (@RickSforza) April 10, 2017


Who was Chalino Sanchez?

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

P1 Community
Author: P1 Community

Subcultures often identify themselves through a particular style of music. Song lyrics are also a way for law enforcement to keep up with current information on dangerous fads in culture. That’s what makes the story of Rosalino “Chalino” Sanchez important to learn from.

Chalino is one of the first and most famous musicians to sing narcocorridos, a style of music strongly tied to Mexican drug and gang culture, and inherently law enforcement.

The man behind the music

Chalino Sanchez was born in the Sinaloa state in Mexico in 1962. His family was impoverished and lived in an isolated village. At the age of 15, Chalino shot and killed one of the several men who had raped his sister four years earlier. After the incident, he left for the United States to stay with an aunt in Los Angeles. Once in California, he worked numerous jobs, including a stint as a “coyote” (someone who smuggles illegal aliens into the US).

In the early 1980s, Chalino was sentenced to serve eight months in La Mesa jail for a variety of petty crimes.

During his time in jail, Chalino practiced music and exchanged stories with other Sinaloans. This experience inspired Chalino to describe these stories through a type of Sinaloan song called a corrido. Historically, this music was composed to tell the stories of heroes from the Mexican Revolution or infamous bandits.

The rise of Chalino’s music

Once released, Chalino quickly established a reputation for writing corridos on commission and his music career took off. There was a massive demand for his music. He wrote stories that resonated with his own background and experiences in Sinaloa.

While he rarely mentioned the drug trade directly in his music, listeners still knew the connection and the meaning of the music. Chalino told the stories of men who overcame impossible poverty to survive and develop power, as valientes, and about the reality of dying from the violence in a corrupt system.

Because of the content and the stories told in the music, this style of song became known as a narcocorrido. While it told a story in the manner of a traditional corrido, these were so tied to the lifestyle of the drug culture, that they took on the term ‘narco’ from narcotics.

The gang culture

The narcocorridos, also called corridos prohibidos, resonated with Sinaloans that moved to L.A. As narcocorridos became more popular in Southern California, it became adopted by other artists but remained largely eschewed by major labels. The root of this was that mainstream culture did not understand the conditions that led to the narco-culture that was predominantly Sinaloan.

Being very poor in Mexico meant drug smuggling was one of the only ways to find financial security. As organized crime and its influence grew, drug smugglers began to be regarded as heroes at times.

Similar to the way in which ‘gangster rap’ became part of the lifestyle for gang members in urban cities, narcocorridos became very popular with Sinaloan Cowboys. The musical tales of narco heroes glorifies the violence in the drug trade and made this style of music the rallying cry for organized drug-smuggling gangs.

The impact of Narcocorridos

For this reason, narcocorridos remain largely prohibited, and musicians who pursue this type of lifestyle are often in danger. Chalino himself was killed in 1992, after being pulled over at a traffic circle by a group of armed men who flashed state police identification cards. Chalindo was then blindfolded, tied up and shot in the head twice. No motive was established and no suspects were arrested, though there is little doubt the murder was fueled by the drug trade.

Since Chalino’s death, there have been at least a dozen big-name narcocorrido performers that have been murdered, including Valentin Elizalde in 2006 and Sergio Gomez in 2007. In 2013, there were 17 less-famous narcocorrido musicians murdered. For them, the music, drugs, and the culture are all entwined, in life and commonly, in death.

Yet, despite the peril many of these musicians’ face, many are still performing, simply to give voice to a culture and a way of life that the vast majority of people cannot relate to. Chalino Sanchez paved the way for an entire genre of music to fill a void and even today it remains an integral part of Mexican drug cartels and their various gangs.

[i] Quinones, S. (2001). True Tales from Another Mexico: They Lynch Mob, The Popsicle Kings, Chalino, and the Bronx. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.

[ii] Mertova, V. (n.d.). The “narco-culture” in Mexico: Narcocorridos and Chalino Sanchez. On The Post, Karlova University. Retrieved April 7, 2017 from http://postnito.cz/the-narco-culture-in-mexico-narcocorridos-and-chalino-sanchez/

[iii] Cobo, L. (2015, April 10). It’s like a horror movie: The grisly details behind Mexico’s narcocorrido murder epidemic. On Billboard. Retrieved April 7, 2017 from http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/latin/6531208/behind-mexico-narcocorrido-music-murder-epidemic


Miss. corporal dies from injuries sustained in off-duty motorcycle crash

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

JACKSON, Miss. — An officer succumbed to his injuries Friday morning after he was critically injured in an off-duty motorcycle wreck April 1.

Cpl. Allen Harper, 43, died from head trauma, The Clarion-Ledger reported.

Harper was a 22-year veteran of the Jackson Police Department and patrolled downtown. His partner, Detective Colendula Green, told The Clarion-Ledger that Harper was a community man and widely recognized throughout the town.

"He wouldn’t meet a stranger. Everyone that came across him loved him instantly," Green said. "We had so many fun moments that he was always the life of the party. He’s a person that the badge he wears, he exemplified it in his character, his integrity. He was our hero, he helped everybody. He was a hero to me."

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?JPD 22 yr. veteran, Cpl. Allen J. Harper, Jr. died this morning at 8:52 AM due to injuries from an off-duty motorcycle accident on 4/1/17. ?????????

Posted by Jackson Police Department on Friday, April 7, 2017

Police Chief Lee Vance said he can’t remember any time a complaint was filed against Harper and the community is feeling the loss of a great officer.

"When a guy like Allen Harper dies, people in the community feel it because they know they've lost a true servant," Vance told the Clarion-Ledger. "It's a sad thing when we lose one of the good guys."

Harper leaves behind a wife and two sons.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing, but police said it doesn’t appear that any laws were broken.

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Police Chief Lee D. Vance issues statement regarding the death of 22 year JPD veteran, Cpl. Allen Harper, Jr. Harper, 43, died today following injuries he sustained from an off-duty motorcycle accident on 4/1/17.

Nai-post ni Jackson Police Department noong Biyernes, Abril 7, 2017


Officials back Colo. officer after video of UOF incident goes viral

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: P1 Community

Associated Press

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A video spreading on social media shows a police officer in Colorado throwing a woman face-first onto a sidewalk after a scuffle.

The woman struck the officer in the university town of Fort Collins on Thursday after police detained her boyfriend, police spokeswoman Kate Kimble told the Coloradoan newspaper

The officer used "standard arrest control" to subdue her, Kimble said.

Seems excessive @barstoolcsu

A post shared by Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) on

In a statement Sunday evening, police Chief John Hutto pledged to conduct a fair investigation of the video. The department will review the officer's actions, he said.

But Hutto added that he will not release the video from officers' body cameras. "This is an open investigation and to release evidence, absent a truly compelling reason, would not be proper," he said.

Hutto says the body-camera video will be released once the investigation is over.

Police identified the woman as 22-year-old Michaella Surat, a junior at Colorado State University. She was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault and obstructing a peace officer and released on bond.

No phone number could be found for her.


NC trooper dies from apparent heart attack

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

AVERY COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina trooper died unexpectedly from an apparent heart attack.

According to the Avery County Sheriff’s Facebook, Brandon Peterson passed away on Friday.

Last month, he was honored as Highway Patrolman of the Year by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his work to educate youth about the dangers of driving under the influence.

“Trooper Peterson exhibits the highest virtues of professionalism to which someone in law enforcement or public service can aspire,” DA Seth Banks said in a statement regarding Peterson’s award.

Peterson leaves behind a wife and 3-year-old daughter.

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We at the Avery County Sheriff's Office offer our most heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family of Brandon...

Posted by Avery County Sheriff's Office on Friday, April 7, 2017


Sweden mourns 4 killed, 15 wounded in Stockholm truck attack

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

STOCKHOLM — Swedes observed a minute of silence Monday during an official day of mourning to honor the four people killed and 15 wounded in a truck attack last week on shoppers in Stockholm.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told a crowd outside Stockholm City Hall that "the whole of Sweden" sympathized with the families and friends of the victims, thanking the police and other officials for their courage "from the bottom of my heart."

He said the countries of the four victims — two Swedes, a British man and a Belgian woman — had suffered "horrendous acts of terrorism, but we have also seen the strength and determination and power of our democratic societies."

"We will never surrender to terror. We will get through this together," Lofven said.

Police have arrested a 39-year-old man from Uzbekistan whose residency application was rejected last year. He is being held on suspicion of terrorist offenses and police said was known for having been sympathetic to extremist organizations.

A second person has also been arrested in the case but police have given no details about them. Four others questioned about the attack have been released, police said Monday.

Stockholm regional police commander Jan Evensson said suspicions against the Uzbek suspect "had grown stronger and we are pretty sure we've got the right man."

"He will sit behind bars for the rest of his life," Evensson told Swedish SVT television.

Earlier Monday, people gathered outside the upscale department store where the truck plowed into a crowd of Friday shoppers. Among them was John Holmstrom, who works at the Ahlens store and said he had been at work just two hours before the attack.

"It's been a real shock, all this week and everything around this weekend about this accident," Holmstrom said. "I know a lot of people that were really, really close to getting hit by the truck."

Carl Forsaljare, a magazine seller, was in the area during the attack but says, unfortunately, he was not surprised it happened in peaceful Sweden.

"I said just a week before that it's just a matter of time before it is going to pop up in Sweden," he told the Associated Press.


Man who allegedly attempted to kill Ala. detective escapes from jail

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Ashley Remkus Alabama Media Group

FLORENCE, Ala. — A man accused of trying to kill a Florence police detective escaped from the Lauderdale County Detention Center late Saturday.

Christopher Wayne Kilpatrick, a 43-year-old white male, should be considered "armed and dangerous," said Florence police Sgt. Brad Holmes.

Kilpatrick is described as 6 feet and about 160 pounds. He last was seen heading south on Seminary Street in Florence.

Kilpatrick, who was being held without bail, escaped from the jail around 9:22 p.m., Holmes said.

In December 2016, Kilpatrick was indicted for attempted murder of a Florence cop. The indictment stemmed from an August incident, in which Kilpatrick pointed his gun at Detective Michael Price.

Price wasn't injured, but Kilpatrick was taken to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to the abdomen. An internal review found Price acted appropriately in the situation.

At the time of that incident, Kilpatrick allegedly had escaped from work release and stolen a truck from Jacksonburg Church of Christ a day earlier. When a Florence officer spotted the truck in the nearby Dollar General parking lot off Chisholm Road, he called for backup and Price responded.

As Price arrived, Kilpatrick, who was driving the truck, ran into a wooded area behind the store. Two male passengers stayed with the truck and were taken into custody without incident.

Price ran after Kilpatrick and the two began struggling, at which time the detective shot Kilpatrick in the abdomen, police said. A gun, reportedly stolen from another vehicle, was found on the ground near Kilpatrick.

When Kilpatrick escaped Saturday, he was awaiting trial on the attempted murder charge. A grand jury issued an indictment when it determined there was enough evidence to send the case to trial.

Anyone who sees Kilpatrick should notify local law enforcement immediately.

———

©2017 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham

Lauderdale Sheriff's office says an inmate was able to escape from the Detention Center after getting on the roof & jumping the fence.@whnt pic.twitter.com/t1xeUYgzIg

— Aaron Cantrell (@AaronTheNewsGuy) April 9, 2017


Gorsuch sworn into Supreme Court, vows to serve Constitution

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Sam Hananel and Vivian Salama Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump praised new Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch during a White House swearing-in ceremony on Monday as a jurist who will rule "not on his personal preferences but based on a fair and objective reading of the law."

In the Rose Garden ceremony, Trump said Americans would see in Gorsuch "a man who is deeply faithful to the Constitution of the United States" and predicted greatness for the 49-year-old former appeals court judge from Colorado.

"I have no doubt you will go down as one of the truly great justices in the history of the U.S.," Trump said. The president noted that the successful nomination came during his first 100 days in office and added: "You think that's easy?"

Gorsuch, who restores the court's conservative majority, was sworn in during the ceremony by Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he once served as a law clerk. It was the second of two oaths — the first was conducted privately in the Justices' Conference Room by Chief Justice John Roberts.

In remarks in the Rose Garden, Gorsuch said he was humbled by his ascendance to the nation's high court and thanked his former law clerks, saying of his former law clerks, "your names are etched in my heart forever."

Gorsuch promised to be a "faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation."

He fills the nearly 14-month-old vacancy created after the death of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who anchored the court's conservative wing for nearly three decades before he died unexpectedly in February 2016. In nominating Gorsuch, Trump said he fulfilled a campaign pledge to pick someone in the mold of Scalia.

During 11 years on the federal appeals court in Denver, Gorsuch mirrored Scalia's originalist approach to the law, interpreting the Constitution according to the meaning understood by those who drafted it. Like Scalia, Gorsuch is a gifted writer with a flair for turning legal jargon into plain language people can understand.

Gorsuch will be seated just in time to hear one of the biggest cases of the term: a religious rights dispute over a Missouri law that bars churches from receiving public funds for general aid programs.

His 66-day confirmation process was swift, but bitterly divisive. It saw Senate Republicans trigger the "nuclear option" to eliminate the 60-vote filibuster threshold for Gorsuch and all future high court nominees. The change allowed the Senate to hold a final vote to approve Gorsuch with a simple majority.

Most Democrats refused to support Gorsuch because they were still seething over the Republican blockade last year of President Barack Obama's pick for the same seat, Merrick Garland. Senate Republicans refused to even hold a hearing for Garland, saying a high court replacement should be up to the next president.

The White House swearing-in ceremony was a departure from recent history. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were both sworn in publicly at the Supreme Court. Former Justice John Paul Stevens has argued that holding the public ceremony at the court helps drive home the justice's independence from the White House.

Some interesting facts about Gorsuch and the court:

—He is the youngest nominee since Clarence Thomas, who was 43 when confirmed in 1991.

—The Colorado native went to high school in Washington while his mother served as EPA administrator in the Reagan administration.

—He's the sixth member of the court who attended Harvard Law School; the other three got their law degrees from Yale.

—Gorsuch credits a nun with teaching him how to write. He and his family attend an Episcopal church in Boulder, though he was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools as a child. He joins a court that has five Catholics and three Jews.

—As an associate justice, Gorsuch will earn $251,800 a year — over 15 percent higher than his $217,600 salary as an appellate judge.

—Gorsuch joins the ranks of justices who are millionaires. He reported financial assets in 2015 worth at least $3.2 million, according to his latest financial disclosure report.


Police hunt for gun theft suspect with manifesto for Trump

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

JANESVILLE, Wis. — The hunt continues Monday for a man suspected of stealing firearms from a Wisconsin gun store who sent an anti-government manifesto to President Donald Trump and has threatened to carry out an unspecified attack, sheriff's officials said.

Joseph Jakubowski, 32, has been missing since Tuesday, when authorities believe he stole a large quantity of handguns and rifles from the store in Janesville, 70 miles (110 kilometers) southwest of Milwaukee. He also acquired a bulletproof vest and helmet, and a burned vehicle registered to him was found nearby.

Concerns ramped up late last week when a friend of Jakubowski gave a copy of the 161-page manifesto to police and said the suspect had also sent it to the White House. The Rock County Sheriff's Office said Jakubowski also expressed anti-religious views in the document, and increased patrols near churches in the area Sunday.

"When you look at the document that he wrote, it's really a long laundry list of injustices he believes that the government and society and the upper class have put forth onto the rest of the citizens," Sheriff Robert Spoden said last week.

It is not clear if the White House has received Jakubowski's manifesto.

Investigators say Jakubowski has made no specific threat. He remains at large Monday morning, according to Rock County sheriff's dispatcher Jenna Winiarski.

The sheriff's office said in a statement Sunday night that it had contacted school districts to inform them that Jakubowski is still on the run so they can make decisions on any precautionary measures. Many Rock County schools are on spring break this week.

About 150 local, state and federal law enforcement officers and support personnel are involved in the hunt for Jakubowski, the sheriff's office said. Investigators said they have followed up on more than 300 tips and leads in the manhunt, and federal authorities are investigating any leads developing outside the area.

Jakubowski has had several run-ins with law enforcement over the years. Most were for traffic violations, though he has previously resisted arrest and once tried to disarm an officer, said Janesville Police Chief David Moore.


Police hunt for gun theft suspect with manifesto for Trump

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

JANESVILLE, Wis. — The hunt continues Monday for a man suspected of stealing firearms from a Wisconsin gun store who sent an anti-government manifesto to President Donald Trump and has threatened to carry out an unspecified attack, sheriff's officials said.

Joseph Jakubowski, 32, has been missing since Tuesday, when authorities believe he stole a large quantity of handguns and rifles from the store in Janesville, 70 miles (110 kilometers) southwest of Milwaukee. He also acquired a bulletproof vest and helmet, and a burned vehicle registered to him was found nearby.

Concerns ramped up late last week when a friend of Jakubowski gave a copy of the 161-page manifesto to police and said the suspect had also sent it to the White House. The Rock County Sheriff's Office said Jakubowski also expressed anti-religious views in the document, and increased patrols near churches in the area Sunday.

"When you look at the document that he wrote, it's really a long laundry list of injustices he believes that the government and society and the upper class have put forth onto the rest of the citizens," Sheriff Robert Spoden said last week.

It is not clear if the White House has received Jakubowski's manifesto.

Investigators say Jakubowski has made no specific threat. He remains at large Monday morning, according to Rock County sheriff's dispatcher Jenna Winiarski.

The sheriff's office said in a statement Sunday night that it had contacted school districts to inform them that Jakubowski is still on the run so they can make decisions on any precautionary measures. Many Rock County schools are on spring break this week.

About 150 local, state and federal law enforcement officers and support personnel are involved in the hunt for Jakubowski, the sheriff's office said. Investigators said they have followed up on more than 300 tips and leads in the manhunt, and federal authorities are investigating any leads developing outside the area.

Jakubowski has had several run-ins with law enforcement over the years. Most were for traffic violations, though he has previously resisted arrest and once tried to disarm an officer, said Janesville Police Chief David Moore.


Family: NYPD officer died from lung mass, kidney failure

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — A 23-year veteran of the New York Police Department died Friday from kidney failure, his family says

Doctors discovered a mass on Officer Dave Guevara’s lungs when he went to the doctor for what he thought was pneumonia two weeks ago, his wife, Lakisha, told the New York Daily News.

Guevara, 45, worked multiple recovery operations at Ground Zero in the days following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks even though he wasn’t a first responder at the time. Lakisha told the publication the family suspects her husband died due to the toxic exposure.

“His death happened so suddenly, within two and a half weeks,” Lakisha said. “He deteriorated to a point where most of his organs failed, and it was one thing after another where every day I would go to the hospital and the doctor told me something else failed.”

Guevara was considering retirement in September. He leaves behind his wife, and a son and daughter, ages 14 and 20.

NYPD’s 70th tweeted out news of Guevara’s death, as well.

RIP P.O. Dave Guevara. Another #70BlueAngel gone too soon. #NYPD pic.twitter.com/iBPErBjzaY

— NYPD 70th Precinct (@NYPD70Pct) April 9, 2017


Sheriff to heroin dealers: ‘We’re coming for you. Run!’

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

TAVARES, Fla. — A Florida sheriff is sending a stern warning to heroin dealers: "We're coming for you. Run!"

In a video posted to the agency's Facebook page Friday, Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell told dealers his undercover agents have already bought heroin from them, adding that officials are "simply waiting for the arrest warrants to be finalized."

Flanked by four agents wearing black hoods and masks, the sheriff told dealers to "enjoy looking over your shoulder and constantly wondering if today is the day we will come for you."

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A message from the Lake County Sheriff's Office Community Engagement Unit.

Posted by Lake County Sheriff's Office on Friday, April 7, 2017

Grinnell says a number of citizens have contacted him recently about the number of heroin overdoses in Lake County, which is west of Orlando in central Florida. He urged more citizens to call in anonymously.

Then he taunted the dealers: "Enjoy trying to sleep tonight."


Ford says hybrid police car catches bad guys, saves gas too

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Tom Krisher and Mike Householder Associated Press

DEARBORN, Mich. — The next time the cops chase you down for speeding, they could be driving a fuel-efficient gas-electric hybrid.

Ford Motor Co., which sells more police vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, says it will offer a police pursuit version of the hybrid Fusion midsize sedan, in response to requests from cities nationwide. The new car, with its 2-Liter four-cylinder engine and 1.4 kilowatt lithium-ion battery, is expected to get 38 miles per gallon of gas in combined city-highway driving. That's 20 mpg more than Ford's current police car, the Taurus police interceptor.

The hybrids won't be as fast as the Taurus with a 3.7-Liter turbocharged V6, but Ford expects it to be quick enough to earn a pursuit rating when tested later this year by the Michigan State Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the first hybrid to earn that honor. To get a pursuit rating, cars have to perform well in acceleration, handling, braking, top speed and ergonomics and make the list of cars that the Michigan and Los Angeles agencies would buy.

When the throttle is held down for five seconds, the car will go into pursuit mode, using both the electric motor and the gas engine for maximum performance, Ford said. The company also says the car will be durable for tough police duties.

Police cars spend much of their days idling by the side of a road, and that's where the hybrid has a true advantage, Ford said. The gas engine will shut off at idle with the battery handling the electrical load for flashers, radios and other items. It will restart to recharge the battery.

Ford said at $2.50 per gallon for gas, the hybrid would save a police department $3,877 per year in fuel costs per vehicle. The price of the hybrid, available in the summer of 2018, isn't being released just yet.

Ford was to unveil the police car Monday with press conferences in New York and Los Angeles. One already has been outfitted to look like a Los Angeles police cruiser.

While big-city departments might be most interested in the fuel savings, the cars might also be appealing to small departments.

Thomas Korabik, chief of the 10-officer North Muskegon, Michigan, Police Department, said his city spends about $22,000 per year on gasoline for four cruisers and would be interested in cutting that in half.

But he wonders if the Fusion is big enough inside to carry computers, radios and other equipment. Many departments have switched to SUVs to handle the equipment, said Korabik, who also is president of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.

"Anytime you can save money it is good," he said. "I'd want to see the car first and see how it would hold up."

Todd Soderquist, Ford's chief engineer for the Fusion Police Responder, conceded the car is smaller than other cruisers on the outside. "Internally, you'll be surprised at how comparable they are," he said.


Fla. officer killed, another injured in off-duty crash

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By Carli Teproff Miami Herald

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — The Delray Beach Police Department was mourning one of its officers and hoping for the recovery of another Sunday, after the two were involved in an off-duty crash in Key West, Jeffrey Goldman, the department’s chief, said.

Officer Christine Braswell, 40, who was with the department for more than 10 years, was riding a scooter with fellow officer Bernenda Marc, 25, when they were hit by an oncoming car Saturday, according to a department Facebook post.

The Key West Police Department told the Palm Beach Post that the 3 a.m. crash happened when the driver of the car turned left in front of the scooter the two women were on. The crash is under investigation.

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Christine didn't want to take a #Chelfie with me. I made her, what a huge loss. So sad....

Posted by Delray Beach Police Chief on Sunday, April 9, 2017

Braswell was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, where she later died, and Marc was taken to Jackson South with critical injuries, the chief said.

“We will all miss her bright smile, jovial personality and how hard she loved and cared for all of those who had the privilege to know her,” Goldman said of Braswell in the Facebook post. “We will post updates as officer Marc’s condition improves.”

Goldman said in the post that Braswell, who was on the department’s SWAT team and was a SWAT sniper, “shared her passion for law enforcement” by training new officers, becoming an instructor at Broward College and mentoring teens in the department’s explorer program.

Those who knew Braswell took to social media Sunday to share their memories and offer their condolences. Many changed their profile picture to a police shield with a blue line in memory.

“Today we said goodbye to a great officer and an even better person,” Joey Cafone, a Delray Beach firefighter, said in a Facebook post. “Working with you on the SWAT Team was an absolute honor and pleasure. May you forever rest easy sister, we have it from here.”

———

©2017 Miami Herald


Bill aims to take guns from those at risk of inflicting harm

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By Steve LeBlanc Associated Press

BOSTON — Massachusetts lawmakers are weighing legislation aimed at taking guns out of the hands of those deemed at risk of hurting themselves or others.

The bill would let family members and police ask a judge to impose what supporters call an "extreme risk protective order" against individuals experiencing a personal crisis and at risk of dangerous behavior.

The order would let police temporarily restrict the individual's access to firearms. The initial order would remain for 10 days after which an individual could petition to have the order removed. A judge could agree or could extend the order for up to a year.

Supporters point in part to suicides among veterans, many of whom use guns to kill themselves. The bill, which gun rights advocates oppose, could help avoid some of those suicides by giving family members more power to intervene, they say.

The bill's sponsor, Democratic state Rep. David Linsky, said there have been a number of cases where family members knew a relative had a mental health problem and sought to have weapons removed from the home, but were told by police they didn't have the authority.

"If someone is having a temporary mental health problem but is a firearms owner, this will be a mechanism for mental health providers to temporarily get those guns out of their hands," said Linsky.

Massachusetts isn't alone. Supporters say 20 states are currently weighing some form of the legislation.

A handful of states already have similar measures on the books including California, which passed a law in the wake of a 2014 mass shooting that allows family members and police to ask a judge to issue an emergency protective order for those at risk of harming themselves or others.

Jim Wallace, executive director of the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts, said the legislation is misguided.

"We're actually pretty concerned about the bill. I think it's an extraordinarily dangerous bill in terms of civil rights and public safety," Wallace said. "It's a sound bite."

Wallace said lawmakers should focus more on the issue of mental illness and not on limiting access to firearms in a state which already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

He said there are other ways for an individual to hurt themselves besides using a gun.

"We're labeling someone an extreme risk and taking their civil rights away and letting them walk away? That's a horrific situation," Wallace said. "We're ignoring the human element. We're ignoring the situation. There are a lot of other ways they can hurt themselves and others."

Linsky said that argument is hypocritical.

"Gun advocates for years have been saying it's not a gun problem, it's a mental health problem. Here it is a court finding that there is a mental health problem and the gun extremists still want these individuals to have guns to kill themselves or their family members or innocent people," Linsky said.

He said the goal of the bill is to "take away the guns and get them treatment rather than leaving them with their guns and hoping they get treatment."

Linsky said he's hopeful the bill could pass during the current two-year legislative which began in January. He said he already has 32 co-sponsors in the 160 member House.


Chicago’s top cop testifies at trial, recalls being shot in head

Posted on April 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jason Meisner Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — The question put to Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on the witness stand Thursday was blunt.

Are police officers sometimes justified in shooting a fleeing suspect in the back?

"Yes," Johnson replied calmly in a Cook County courtroom. Then the 29-year police veteran pointed at a scar near the top of his head, saying he had a constant reminder "right here" of a suspect who had turned and fired at him years ago during a foot chase.

"Just like this," testified Johnson, demonstrating for the jury by moving his body a quarter-turn and pointing with his finger like a handgun at the wall behind him. "So I know it can happen."

Johnson's bare-bones recollection of the 2005 off-duty shooting incident — the first time he's spoken about it publicly since becoming superintendent a year ago — came in the third day of trial in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the mother of Christian Green. The 17-year-old was fatally shot in the back by a veteran police tactical officer on the Fourth of July 2013 as he ran away with a gun.

Johnson did not elaborate for the jury on what happened in the 2005 shooting. A Police Department spokesman later said Johnson, who at the time was a sergeant assigned to the Wentworth Area detective division, was working a plainclothes security job for a South Side business when a suspect tried to carjack him at gunpoint.

During the ensuing foot chase, the suspect fired four shots at Johnson, one of which apparently grazed him in the head, said spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. Johnson took cover with his weapon drawn but didn't fire a shot, according to Guglielmi. The suspect was never arrested.

Lawyers for Patricia Green called the superintendent as a witness because at the time of her son's shooting he was the acting street deputy who responded to the scene and signed off on the officers' use-of-force reports of the incident. He also gave a sworn deposition in the lawsuit last year.

Dressed in a crisp white uniform and sipping occasionally from a Styrofoam cup of water, Johnson testified in Cook County Circuit Court for about an hour about his general experience working the scenes of police shootings and what he did specifically to investigate on the day Green was killed.

The appearance of Chicago's top cop to give sworn testimony in a police shooting case was unusual and drew a horde of media to Associate Judge Elizabeth Budzinski's tiny Daley Center courtroom. Johnson's predecessor, Garry McCarthy, testified once during his four years as superintendent, but that was in a criminal case in which McCarthy had arrested a gun offender, Guglielmi said.

While Johnson's testimony was mostly dry, one poignant moment took place when, during a sidebar with the lawyers and judge out of the courtroom, Green's mother suddenly burst into loud sobs from her seat across from the superintendent.

For several awkward moments, Johnson sat on the stand, quietly staring ahead, while the jury looked on and reporters on the courtroom benches craned their necks to see.

When the judge came back in the room, she saw the commotion and told a sheriff's deputy, "Can you take her out of the courtroom?"

Patricia Green re-entered the courtroom after Johnson's testimony resumed.

Green's death was one of scores of officer-involved shootings in recent years that occurred after a foot chase. An unprecedented database compiled by the Chicago Tribune shows that foot chases played a role in more than a third of the 235 police shootings from 2010 through 2015 that ended with someone wounded or killed.

The issue was red-flagged by the U.S. Justice Department in its scathing report in January that found Chicago police routinely violated the civil rights of citizens, particularly in African-American and Hispanic communities.

Last month, Johnson unveiled a list of the department's "next steps for reform" that included new training that would cover when and how officers should engage in foot pursuits.

Johnson was not asked, however, about those reforms during his testimony Thursday.

Green was shot by Officer Robert Gonzalez on a warm, humid holiday afternoon as the veteran tactical officer and his partner, Officer George Hernandez, responded to a call that two other officers from their squad were chasing a person with a gun.

Surveillance video from a nearby liquor store played in court Tuesday showed Green trying to throw a gun into a trash can as he sprinted up State Street. The gun bounced off the can's rim onto the sidewalk. Green doubled back, bent quickly and picked the weapon up before taking off again.

At 57th Street, Green crossed into a vacant lot with Gonzalez and Hernandez in pursuit in an unmarked Chevrolet Tahoe. The Tahoe jumped the curb into the lot. As Gonzalez was about to get out of the SUV, the officers said Green turned toward them with a black Smith & Wesson .45-caliber pistol in his right hand and pointed the barrel in their direction, records show.

Riding in the passenger seat, Gonzalez aimed out the window of the Tahoe and opened fire, taking 11 shots before seeing Green stumble a few yards and collapse. A bullet had entered Green in the left side of his back and pierced his lung and heart. He died en route to Stroger Hospital.

The gun carried by Green was found in the vacant lot more than 70 feet from the teen's body, according to court records. Initial police reports showed that Green had been shot in the chest, a fact that was not corrected or raised by investigators with the Independent Police Review Authority when the officers were interviewed.

Johnson told the jury he arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting and spent about two hours gathering information from detectives and walking the officers through the event "to try to make a determination whether the shooting was within department guidelines."

The superintendent said all four officers were kept separate while the investigation was ongoing — an important protocol that keeps each officer's version of events from mingling with another's.

"I don't want them in a group so one person's story becomes another person's story," Johnson said.

Green had been transported by ambulance by the time Johnson got to the scene and he never saw where on the body he was shot or followed up on the autopsy results, Johnson said.

Later that day, Johnson signed off on Tactical Response Reports submitted by Gonzalez and the three other officers stating Green had pointed a gun at both Gonzalez and another officer, Manuel Leano, during the foot chase.

At one point, Green's lawyer, Victor Henderson, asked Johnson pointedly whether it was his job to "stick by" his fellow police officers no matter what.

"If a police officer is wrong, it's my job to articulate that," Johnson said. "The facts will guide my decision."

Henderson has alleged that a shoddy investigation by the Police Department and IPRA allowed Gonzalez and his colleagues to conspire to get their stories straight before they were interviewed about the shooting.

Hernandez, Leano and the other officer at the scene, Douglas Nichols Jr., all backed up Gonzalez's account in their interviews with IPRA. The interviews were held back-to-back in the same IPRA office, each lasting less than 20 minutes, records show.

In his interview the next day, Gonzalez explained to an IPRA investigator that he felt he had "no other option" but to fire.

"I felt like I was going to um, you know, be killed or incur, uh, great injury," Gonzalez said, according to a transcript of the audio-recorded interview obtained by the Tribune.

"Great injury," the investigator said. "So you were in fear of your life?"

"Yes, in fear of my life," Gonzalez replied.

The much-maligned agency ruled the shooting was justified in September 2014.

In her opening remarks, Gonzalez's attorney, Assistant Corporation Counsel Dana O'Malley, said what happened on that Fourth of July was a "tragedy" but that Green's own actions led to his death.

"Officer Gonzalez didn't go out to shoot anyone that day," O'Malley said. "He was put in a situation where he had no choice."

The Green shooting was one of three fatal police shootings Gonzalez was involved in over a two-year span, records show. In the other two cases — the 2012 shooting of 16-year-old Rickey Childs and the 2014 shooting of Ronald Johnson III, 25 — it was Gonzalez's partner who opened fire.

Court filings show that beginning in the early 2000s, Gonzalez was investigated by the Police Department's Internal Affairs Division as well as the FBI for his connection to a corrupt team of tactical officers led by then-Sgt. Ronald Watts.

Gonzalez was never charged with any wrongdoing, but Watts and another member of his team were sent to federal prison for shaking down a drug courier for protection money at the now-shuttered Ida B. Wells housing complex.

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©2017 the Chicago Tribune


Newest Mo. deputy has the cutest puppy eyes

Posted on April 9, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kimball Perry The Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Franklin County's newest deputy carries no gun and isn't there to take a bite out of crime.

Instead, Mattis K. Nine will rely on his big brown eyes, laid-back personality, sweet face and general cuddliness to disarm others. He's one of the few therapy dogs used by law enforcement in the United States to help crime victims.

"He can bring comfort to people, probably changing the worst day of their lives," Deputy Darrah Metz said. "This is just a totally different aspect of our outreach."

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Welcome our newest recruit, and first ever Therapy Dog...Mattis. www.facebook.com/mattisk9 Keep up to date with Mattis' training by going to the page above. ALSO...Please share me with your friends!

Posted by Franklin County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Instead of helping sniff out lost people, drugs or explosives as many police dogs do, Mattis will provide comfort to crime victims, children and the elderly during the tough times when deputies are called. Mattis, a Labrador retriever, is the Sheriff's Office's first therapy dog.

"His purpose is to make people happy," Metz said. "We can just brighten their day a little bit by bringing him around."

Metz is assigned to the department's community relations department. She proposed getting a therapy dog once before, but it didn't happen.

After Sheriff Dallas Baldwin took office in January and changed some of the command structure, Metz approached her boss and pitched the idea again. Within two weeks, Mattis was on board. The puppy's training doesn't begin until April 17, so until then his only duties are to play, poop, eat and sleep. He has become the attraction of the building where community relations is housed.

Mattis has become such a canine rock star that he has his own Facebook page — facebook.com/mattisk9 — and already it's getting lots of attention.

His name was given to him as Metz watched a press conference featuring James Mattis, a retired U.S. Marine general and current U.S. Secretary of Defense.

The puppy will be 12 weeks old on Friday and he weighs 12 pounds. As an adult, the Labrador is expected to weight 85 pounds.

A donor gave the Sheriff's office $10,000. That was used to buy Mattis and reconfigure a cruiser to safety drive the puppy around. Hilliard's Petland, a chain of pet stores based in Chillicothe, is paying for the dog's food and supplies for life. His veterinary services and training also are being donated.

Mattis has to pass five phases of training and he's not expected to be on the job for nine months. "By the time he's one, he'll be ready to go," Metz said.

She envisions Mattis making children feel more comfortable around police, helping senior citizens smile, and reaching out to women inmates in a program designed to keep them from returning to jail.

"Who doesn't like a dog?" Metz asked.

"Let's be honest. In our climate today, anything we can do to bridge the gap with our community is going to be positive thing, whether it's handing out stickers or pencils or letting them love on a dog."

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©2017 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)


Mo. mulls funding cuts for sobriety checkpoints

Posted on April 9, 2017 by in POLICE

By Katie Kull Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri police could lose state funding for sobriety checkpoints after a debate weighing motorists' rights to avoid unreasonable searches against the state's interest in keeping roads safe, as well as the value of checkpoints in deterring drunken driving.

The House on Thursday passed a budget that would prohibit the use of state funds for checkpoints. Local law enforcement would still be able to conduct checkpoints with locally raised money.

A core group of conservative Republicans supported the bill, arguing the checkpoints violate due process rights and protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

The checkpoints block a street so that all drivers are funneled through a group of officers who stop drivers even if they don't appear to be doing anything illegal.

"This is a guilty until you're proven innocent type situation," said Rep. Robert Ross, of Summersville. "It's against due process."

At least twelve states prohibit checkpoints, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some states bar road blocks by state statute, and others have found checkpoints illegal in court.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1990 upheld the use of road blocks in a case involving the Michigan Department of Police. Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in his opinion that the state's interest in preventing drunken driving outweighs the intrusion on drivers.

Maj. Dale Schmidt, executive director of the Missouri Peace Officers Association, said the checkpoints are a good option and can help spot other offenses such as drug possession or driving without a valid license.

"We make a lot of good other arrests at this because we're coming into contact with so many people," Schmidt said.

Another issue is how well checkpoints work. In a floor debate Tuesday, House Budget Chairman Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, of Shell Knob, argued that the checkpoints cost a lot of money but aren't as effective as saturation patrols, in which officers look for drivers weaving, speeding, or driving in other ways that tend to indicate impairment.

Rep. Justin Hill, who was previously a police officer in O'Fallon, Missouri, favors saturation patrols because it's easier to establish the cause for pulling a driver over if they've committed a moving violation.

It also deters crime because officers are spread out on streets in unpredictable ways instead of concentrating them in one place, he said.

"If you know where the cops are, you're going to avoid it," Hill said. "Now with social media, there's Facebook pages that say 'Here's a checkpoint, avoid it.' I wouldn't be surprised if eventually we have an app."


Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad sparks San Francisco police inquiry

Posted on April 9, 2017 by in POLICE

By Martha Ross East Bay Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Kendall Jenner’s disastrous Pepsi ad didn’t just offend the nation with its appropriation of Black Lives Matter protest imagery to sell soda, it has left San Francisco police wondering if certain legal lines were crossed, according to TMZ.

The website is reporting that San Francisco police are working with the San Francisco City Attorney’s office to determine whether producers of the since-pulled ad crossed a legal line by improperly using the police department’s logo on the costume uniforms of police officers depicted in the ad.

The appropriated logo in question can be seen in behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the commercial, TMZ said. Both the ad and the behind-the-scenes footage were released this week online.

In the ad, supermodel Jenner is interrupted during a photo shoot by a band of happy, attractive protesters. She decides to tear off her blond wig and join the protest.

The ad ends with Jenner walking up to a stoic looking police officer, handing him a can of Pepsi and getting him to break into a smile. Many felt that this moment especially trivialized serious concerns about racism and police shootings of African-Americans by having a rich white model from a famous family seem to solve all these problems by just offering up a can of soda.

From the logo on the costume of the actor playing the officer, it definitely looks like the commercial is depicting the officers as San Francisco police officers, TMZ said.

While the commercial reportedly was filmed in Thailand, the logo on the sleeves of the actors is very similar to the official San Francisco police logo, as seen on the department’s Twitter account. TMZ says the SFPD never gave Pepsi permission to use their logo.

According to TMZ, the emblem on the officer’s shirt sleeve has the words, “San Francisco Police.” There’s also an eagle spreading its wings — very similar to the real San Francisco police logo, except the color scheme is different.

Sources told TMZ that the City of San Francisco considers their logos proprietary, which has prompted the police and city attorneys to investigate whether the Pepsi producers crossed a legal line.

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©2017 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)


Mo. deputy killed in crash with school bus

Posted on April 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jeff Lehr The Joplin Globe

CASSVILLE, Mo. — A Barry County deputy has died from injuries sustained when his vehicle struck a school bus at 10:49 a.m. today on Missouri Highway 37, a half-mile south of Washburn, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Deputy Carl T. Cosper, 56, of Pineville, was taken to Mercy Hospital Cassville following the accident, the state patrol said. He was pronounced dead there at 12:09 p.m.

Cosper was southbound on the highway when the driver of a Washburn School District bus, which had no children on board, attempted to make a left turn on to the highway and failed to yield the right of way to the deputy's vehicle, the patrol said. The bus driver, William D. Reeves, 60, of Seligman, escaped injury.

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©2017 The Joplin Globe (Joplin, Mo.)


To some, aggressive Justice Dept stance looks like step back

Posted on April 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sadie Gurman Associated Press WASHINGTON — For three decades, America got tough on crime.

Police used aggressive tactics and arrest rates soared. Small-time drug cases clogged the courts. Vigorous gun prosecutions sent young men away from their communities and to faraway prisons for long terms.

But as crime rates dropped since 2000, enforcement policies changed. Even conservative lawmakers sought to reduce mandatory minimum sentences and to lower prison populations, and law enforcement shifted to new models that emphasized community partnerships over mass arrests.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions often reflects fondly on the tough enforcement strategies of decades ago and sees today's comparatively low crime rates as a sign they worked. He is preparing to revive some of those practices even as some involved in criminal justice during that period have come to believe those approaches went too far, for too long.

"In many ways with this administration we are rolling back," said David Baugh, who worked as a federal prosecutor in the 1970s and 1980s before becoming a defense lawyer in Richmond, Virginia. "We are implementing plans that have been proven not to work."

Sessions, who cut his teeth as a federal prosecutor in Mobile, Alabama, at the height of the drug war, favors strict enforcement of drug laws and mandatory minimum sentences. He says a recent spike in violence in some cities shows the need for more aggressive work. The Justice Department said there won't be a repeat of past problems.

"The field of criminal justice has advanced leaps and bounds in the past several decades," spokesman Ian Prior said. "It is not our intention to simply jettison every lesson learned from previous administrations."

Sessions took another step back from recent practices when the Justice Department announced last week that it might back away from federal agreements that force cities to agree to major policing overhauls. His concern is that such deals might conflict with his crime-fighting agenda.

Consent decrees were a staple of the Obama administration's efforts to change troubled departments, but Sessions has said those agreements can unfairly malign an entire police force. He has advanced the unproven theory that heavy scrutiny of police in recent years has made officers less aggressive, leading to a rise in crime in Chicago and other cities.

It's the latest worry for civil rights activists fretting about a return to the kind of aggressive policing that grew out of the drug war, when officers were encouraged to make large numbers of stops, searches and arrests, including for minor offenses. That technique is increasingly seen as more of a strain on police-community relationships than an effective way to deter crime, said Ronal Serpas, former police chief in New Orleans. He was a young officer in the 1980s when crack cocaine ravaged some communities.

Officers' orders were simple, Serpas said: "'Go arrest everybody.' We had no idea what the answers were," he said. "Those of us who were on the front line of that era of policing have learned there are far more effective ways to arrest repeat, violent offenders, versus arresting a lot of people. That's what we have learned over the last 30 years."

In a recent memo calling for aggressive prosecution of violent crime, Sessions told the nation's federal prosecutors that he soon would provide more guidance on how they should prosecute all criminal cases.

Sessions' approach is embodied in his encouraging cities to send certain gun cases to tougher federal courts, where the penalties are more severe than in state courts, and defendants are often sent out of state to serve their terms.

He credits one such program, Project Exile, with slowing murders in Richmond, Virginia, in the late 1990s. Its pioneer was FBI Director James Comey, who was then the lead federal prosecutor in the area.

In the community, billboards and ads warned anyone caught with an illegal gun faced harsh punishment. Homicides fell more than 30 percent in the first year in Richmond, and other cities adopted similar approaches.

But studies reached mixed conclusions about its long-term success. Defense lawyers such as Baugh said the program disproportionately hurt the black community by putting gun suspects in front of mostly white federal juries, as opposed to state juries drawn from predominantly black Richmond jury pools that might be more sympathetic to black defendants.

"They took a lot of young African-American men and took them off the streets and out of their communities and homes and placed them in federal prison," said Robert Wagner, a federal public defender in Richmond.

Baugh argued the program was unconstitutional after a client was arrested for gun and marijuana possession during a traffic stop. He lost the argument, but a judge who revealed 90 percent of Project Exile defendants were black also shared concerns about the initiative.

Sessions has acknowledged the need to be sensitive to racial disparities, but has also said, "When you fight crime, you have to fight it where it is ... if it's focused fairly and objectively on dangerous criminals, then you're doing the right thing."

During the drug war, sentencing disparities between crack cocaine and powder cocaine crimes were seen as unfairly punishing black defendants. Sessions in 2010 co-sponsored legislation that reduced that disparity. But he later opposed bipartisan criminal justice overhaul efforts, warning that eliminating mandatory minimum sentences weakens the ability of law enforcement to protect the public.

"My vision of a smart way to do this is, let's take that arrest, lets hammer that criminal who's distributing drugs that have been imported in our country," Sessions said in a recent speech to law enforcement officials.

The rhetoric sounds familiar to Mark Osler, who worked as a federal prosecutor in Detroit in the late 1990s, when possessing 5 grams of crack cocaine brought an automatic five-year prison sentence. Osler said he came onto the job expecting to go after international drug trafficking rings but "instead we were locking up 18-year-old kids selling a small amount of crack, and pretending it was an international trafficker."


Good Samaritan honored for rescuing officer from wreck

Posted on April 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By Douglas Hanks Miami Herald

MIAMI — A few weeks ago, Christopher Cummings was behind the wheel of his county garbage truck when he watched a police squad car crash, flip and badly injure the officer inside. Cummings, 52, pulled him out and was declared a hero Tuesday when Miami-Dade’s mayor honored him with a proclamation.

Naturally, the talk turned to second chances. But not for the rescued officer.

“Twenty years ago I used to be homeless,” Cummings told Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the other elected leaders who gathered around him. “Twenty years ago, I used to eat out of the garbage can. Twenty years ago, I used to smoke crack cocaine.”

Cummings credited his heroics to God. The faith that led him from a life of dealing cocaine and then a life of poverty in Miami. He lived on the streets for about four years. Then he walked from 95th Street to 20th Street, and checked into the Miami Rescue Mission’s homeless program. Cummings said he got sober and took a church deacon’s advice to apply for a temporary position in the county’s sanitation department. That set him on the path that led him to the scene of a wrecked police cruiser.

“Twenty years ago, God gave me a second chance,” said Cummings, a married father of four. “I take every day of my life seriously. Whatever I can do to help anybody, that’s what I do.”

Honoring Christopher Cummings for pulling @MiamiDadePD injured officer out of car following crash. @MiamiDadeCounty pic.twitter.com/iOuVCLRABg

— Juan Perez (@JPerezinMia) April 4, 2017

He turned 52 on March 21 and thought about staying home for his birthday. “But I said: ‘No, I’m going to work today,’ ” Cummings said. When he pulled his Miami-Dade sanitation truck near the intersection of Northwest 87th Avenue and 18th Street that morning, he happened to be one of the first people to see a crash that sent a county officer to the hospital. Police said the officer, who hasn’t been publicly identified, collided with another vehicle while trying to pull over a third car.

Cummings said the squad car flipped, and then came to rest on its wheels. The veteran garbage-truck driver said the officer yelled for help. “He was like, ‘Get me out,’ ” Cummings told a Channel 10 camera crew at the accident scene. “So I reached in, and grabbed his bulletproof vest and pulled him out of there.”

On Tuesday, Cummings elaborated. “It wasn’t me,” he said. “It was God.”

Juan Perez, the county’s police director, praised Cummings for making good use of his reclaimed life.

“God gave you a second chance,” Perez said. “And you have chosen to make a difference. And you gave somebody a second chance.”

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©2017 Miami Herald


Mass. governor pushes police protection law

Posted on April 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Matt Stout Boston Herald

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker is renewing his push to up the penalty for attacking and injuring cops with a bill his top public safety aide is touting as a “foolproof” measure to protect police officers in the line of duty.

The legislation, which Baker aides say he’ll file today, mirrors a bill he pushed last spring in the wake of a murder of an Auburn cop. That bill never came to a vote in the Legislature.

Baker wants to boost the charge of assault and battery on a police officer to a felony in cases where the cop sustains a “serious bodily injury.” The change would impose a mandatory minimum sentence of a year, with the potential for up to 10 years — well above the current maximum of 2?1/2 years.

“Under the law right now, technically it’s only a misdemeanor,” said Chelsea police Chief Brian Kyes. “You might push me, you might punch me in the face.”

Under Baker’s bill, Kyes said, “It would only rise to the level of felony if you beat someone to the point where you broke my arm, broke my jaw. Having that currently as only a misdemeanor, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.”

The bill joins others already filed by lawmakers on Beacon Hill, and was prompted in part by the high-profile death last May of Auburn police officer Ronald Tarentino during an early morning traffic stop.

Suspect Jorge Zambrano, who was later shot and killed by police, had a history of arrests and assaults on cops beforehand, including a charge just months earlier when he pulled a cop into a car. He had been given probation on that charge.

But the legislation faced headwinds. Civil libertarians objected that it would do little to deter such attacks and could give police a heavy-handed charge to hold over defendants who may inadvertently strike an officer during a tussle.

Rahsaan Hall, director of the ACLU of Massachusetts’ racial justice program, noted at the time that even if the bill was on the books, it would not have prevented Tarentino’s death.

“There are adequate protections already,” Hall told lawmakers last July. “There’s already a penalty for assault and battery with serious bodily injury.”

Baker did not make any substantive changes to the new bill, but Public Safety Secretary Dan Bennett said his administration would emphasize the mandate of “serious bodily injury,” which under state law generally includes permanent disfigurement or “substantial risk of death.”

“(We’re) trying to do a better job convincing them, legislative members, that this is the right bill at the right time,” Bennett said. “Is it a bill that’s foolproof in making sure it’s not abused? That ‘serious bodily injury’ is what makes it foolproof to that. ... It’s going to get knocked out by a court if they can’t produce medical records showing that.”

State Rep. Paul K. Frost, an Auburn Republican who is co-sponsoring a similar bill, said the timing of last year’s push near the end of the legislative session contributed to its demise.

“Now we’re going to have to do more education on it,” he said.

———

©2017 the Boston Herald


NY police set to deploy 1,200 bodycams around the city

Posted on April 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By Colleen Long Associated Press

NEW YORK — The New York Police Department is set to deploy the first body cameras to officers around the city after resolving some of the thorniest issues on when to switch on the camera, how long to keep the tape and when to tell the public they're being recorded.

About 1,200 officers who work the evening shift in 20 precincts will get the cameras starting at the end of the month as part of a pilot program ordered by a federal judge. The order followed a 2013 ruling that officers were wrongly targeting black and Hispanic men with its stop-and-frisk program. At the time, few police departments used body cameras.

Their use has exploded around the country following a string of killings of unarmed black people by police over the past three years and the ambush and killing of officers in New York City, Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Both officers and citizens have said cameras could help de-escalate tense situations that lead to violence.

But the NYPD's deployment has been on hold following a lengthy process to choose the camera company and storage, and questions on how they would work. As part of the federal mandate, the department sought public comment through a questionnaire. Some 25,000 people, plus 5,000 police officers, responded anonymously, and NYPD officials made changes based on the results.

Public response was disproportionately white relative to the city's population, police officials acknowledged. But the report found that on many key questions, there was little difference in response by race.

One change based on the results was to alert civilians they are being recorded.

"New Yorkers ... really want to be told they're being recorded," assistant deputy commissioner Nancy Hoppock said. "And officers really don't want to tell them."

Police won't record every interaction — even though the public would prefer it — because there's not enough storage capability and it would bump up against privacy laws and could stop witnesses from coming forward.

"We're very cognizant of people's privacy. We don't want to deter people from cooperating," said Assistant Chief Matthew Pontillo.

According to a draft of the operations order, officers will turn on their cameras for arrests, summonses, vehicle stops, interactions with crime suspects, interactions with a mentally unstable person who is violent, or when using force. They record property searches. They won't record demonstrations unless there is a crime in process or other enforcement. Officers also won't be able to view their footage if they're involved in a fatal shooting or a criminal probe before being questioned by prosecutors. The tapes will be kept for a year.

Lawyers on the federal stop-and-frisk case, who are working with the NYPD, said they believe the amount of recording doesn't go far enough and creates too much confusion for officers on when to record.

"Making a call to turn on a camera in the heat of the moment is much more burdensome for officers," said attorney Darius Charney. "Just turning on the camera at the beginning is a much more straightforward approach."

The federal monitor must sign off on the changes. Officers will receive a day of training on the camera, and the order will be revised as the department gets feedback and does its own study using a yearlong comparison to 20 precincts without cameras. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he wants all 23,000 of its patrol officers outfitted with cameras by 2019.

San Francisco's policy is similar to New York's. In Chicago, officers are told to turn on cameras at the start of every tour and activate them only as they encounter citizens. In Baltimore, cameras are used for "all enforcement actions; for calls of a potentially criminal or adversarial nature; and for any other law enforcement contact that the officer believes appropriate," according to city policy.


Fla. cop: ‘I was in fear for my life’ during struggle with burglar

Posted on April 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jessica De Leon The Bradenton Herald

BRADENTON, Fla. — When Bradenton police Lt. William Weldon walked up to a jewelry store early Sunday, he didn’t think he would end up fighting for his life.

He thought, as dispatch had told him, he was meeting with a resident after an alarm system was tripped.

Weldon, a 15-year veteran, knew he had already shown himself to the burglar, he said, when he shined his flashlight inside the the jewelry store in the 2400 block of Ninth Street West through a smashed door, so he had to react quickly.

Isaac Hernandez Dubon, 23, was unarmed, he noticed. Weldon said he wasn’t going to fire on an unarmed man, but a struggle would ensue between the veteran officer and a man several years younger than him.

“I was afraid for my life,” Weldon said. “I didn’t know what to expect from him. All I knew was that I needed to keep control of him until my backup officers got there.”

Weldon thought he had Hernandez under control so he put his flashlight down on the jewelry store counter and re-holstered his gun, so he could attempt to handcuff him. But Hernandez then reached for the officer’s gun.

There were no words exchanged between Weldon and the suspect, a Honduran citizen who entered the United States illegally, during the struggle, which was captured by surveillance cameras.

Hernandez began to gouge at his eyes and hit him in the face, Weldon recalled Wednesday as he pointed out on video recording during a press conference at the Bradenton Police headquarters Wednesday morning.

“His fingers were inside my eye sockets,” Weldon said.

Just before other officers arrived and after Hernandez had made a second attempt to take his weapon, the lieutenant said he pushed the suspect away from him and took out his weapon again. His vision was now blurred and he was seeing four images of the suspect, so with a large sweeping motion he swung the firearm at Hernandez, knocking him to the ground.

When officers rushed in seconds later, Weldon leaned over the store counter, tired and in pain.

Hernandez was arrested and charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, unarmed burglary of an unoccupied structure, theft and resisting arrest with violence. He appeared before a judge Monday afternoon and was ordered held on bonds totaling $12,000. Federal officials also placed an immigration hold on Hernandez.

Hernandez was found with stolen jewelry and other stolen items worth $462.70, according to police.

Police say that Hernandez is currently a suspect in other burglaries in the immediate area, including at least one other business. He has no known criminal history in the United States.

First thing Monday morning, Police Chief Melanie Bevan said the department contacted the alarm company and had them launch an investigation into how erroneous information was given to dispatch.

“Errors on their part almost resulted in a catastrophic event here in the city of Bradenton,” Bevan said. “We don’t take that lightly, and we are going to hold them responsible for that.”

While pistol-whipping by an officer is against use-of-force policies, Bevan said Weldon will not face any sort of internal affairs investigation. Bevan expressed her pride in how the lieutenant humbly told her he was thankful that he, and not one of the officers under his command, had been the one to respond. Weldon credited his training as a former Marine and an officer.

“I think but we do a great job with training our officers, but we’ll never have enough training,” the chief said. “Every day we arrive to work, it’s training in progress.”

Weldon attempted to return to duty, but the department has given him paid leave to allow him time to recover from his injuries.

Since Sunday, Weldon has been filled with mixed emotions about what unfolded early Sunday morning. Like other officers who are put in similar situation, he said he wondered if there was anything he could have done differently. He also comforted his wife who was equally affected, he said.

At the end of the day, he was grateful that both he and Hernandez walked away from the situation.

“That’s the way it should have ended up,” Weldon said. “We don’t come to work thinking we are going to have to shoot somebody, that we want to have to shoot somebody. Anytime you get into a fight like this, and you can walk away, is always a good day.”

———

©2017 The Bradenton Herald (Bradenton, Fla.)


Chicago names new police oversight chief

Posted on April 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Hal Dardick Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — A criminologist who once headed up a Chicago nonprofit group focused on public safety and social justice has been appointed to a post from which she would audit the city's efforts to reform the Police Department.

City Inspector General Joseph Ferguson on Thursday named Laura Kunard, a senior research scientist with CNA Corp., to the new job of deputy city inspector general for public safety. Her appointment will be considered Monday by aldermen during a joint meeting of the City Council's Public Safety and Budget committees.

"Laura Kunard has spent her career working around the country on the implementation of reforms to professionalize policing and rebuild trust between communities and police," Ferguson said in a statement. "With Dr. Kunard at the helm and through accountability and transparency, our office will promote best practices in the Chicago Police Department to foster the professionalism and trust needed to create productive partnerships with the communities it serves."

The deputy IG post was created last year by the council as part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's effort to enact changes to oversight of the Police Department after the November 2015 release of a police dashcam video showing a white police officer shooting black teen Laquan McDonald 16 times.

As part of those reforms, the council voted to disband the discredited Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates alleged cases of police abuse, and replace it with a more empowered Civilian Office of Police Accountability — a change that has yet to be fully implemented. Aldermen also created the new post to which Kunard was appointed.

The new deputy inspector general's role is to audit the new police accountability system and identify patterns and practices that violate constitutional rights.

An attempt to contact her was not successful.

Lori Lightfoot, who headed up a Police Department reform task force set up by the mayor, said the new role will be even more important now that chances appear remote that the U.S. Department of Justice under the leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions will move to obtain a court-ordered consent decree to enforce reforms of the Chicago Police Department.

Lightfoot said she does not know Kunard, but added: "We need a strong and robust oversight function, which includes transparency, which is essential to helping educate the public and restoring faith in the Police Department. We should all welcome this important development, and I look forward to getting to know Ms. Kunard."

At CNA, a nonprofit research group, Kunard works on a variety of Department of Justice initiatives focused on law enforcement research, training and technical assistance as part of the corporation's safety and security division. She also is part of a team set up to monitor a federal court consent decree to reform the Albuquerque Police Department in New Mexico and is a board member of the Illinois Department of Corrections Adult Advisory Board.

Before that, she was the director of the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs Center for Public Safety and Justice and earlier the founding director of the Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice at the Chicago-based Adler School of Professional Psychology. At Adler, she focused on police interactions with people who have mental illnesses as well as restorative justice. She took that job after serving as associate director of the Center for Research in Law and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

She's also a past board member of the John Howard Association prison watchdog group and the onetime vice president of the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. She holds a doctorate in criminology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a master's in criminal justice from the same school and a bachelor's in psychology and sociology from Northwestern University.

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©2017 the Chicago Tribune


Calif. lawmakers vote for stronger immigrant protections

Posted on April 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Lawmakers in the California Assembly have voted to strengthen protections for immigrants in the country illegally who are victims or witnesses of crimes.

Lawmakers passed a bill Thursday to prohibit law enforcement from detaining a crime victim or witness for a suspected or actual immigration violation. The bill still requires approval by the state Senate and a signature from the governor.

Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer said his bill will help people cooperate with law enforcement.

Police are already prohibited from detaining people who report or are assisting with investigations of hate crimes for immigration violations. The Los Angeles Democrat's bill, AB493, would extend the protection to victims and witnesses of all crimes.'

The bill is one of several proposed this session to strengthen protections for immigrants in California.


Navy vet becomes first amputee to graduate from Calif. police academy

Posted on April 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By John Scheibe Ventura County Star

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. — A Navy veteran made law enforcement history in Ventura County on Thursday by becoming the first amputee not only to graduate from the sheriff's training academy but also to don the uniform of an Oxnard Police Department officer.

"This is a happy day for all of us," Aaron Heldreth, 31, said as he stood outside the Oxnard Performing Arts Center on Thursday afternoon in full uniform, surrounded by family members, including his wife and two daughters.

Heldreth, along with 45 other law enforcement graduates, had just taken the stage inside, graduating from a grueling six-month course at the Ventura County Sheriff's Office's Criminal Justice Training Center in Camarillo. Participants not only must learn the details that go with being a law enforcement officer, but also must show a high level of physical fitness.

Heldreth's left leg was amputated below the knee after an October 2008 car accident in San Diego. He'd just turned 22 and had been in the Navy for about five years at the time.

Afterward, he underwent numerous operations, including three amputations on his lower left leg. But within less than a year, he rejoined his Navy dive team after being outfitted with a high-tech prosthetic. He continued to serve in the Navy for about eight years, said his wife, Crystal Brewer.

"His job in the Navy was dangerous," Brewer said Thursday as she recalled her husband's job as a diver in numerous Navy missions around the world.

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A Navy veteran makes history as the first amputee not only to graduate from the Ventura County sheriff's training academy but also to don the uniform of an Oxnard police officer. http://bit.ly/2nj9VVO

Posted by Ventura County Star on Thursday, April 6, 2017

Asked if she was worried about his new role as an Oxnard police officer, she said, "I know he's more than capable of meeting the demands of the job."

As for the high physical demands on those in the training academy and for police officers, Heldreth took it all in stride. So did his wife, as she recalled how he won gold medals in two swimming events at the 2011 Wounded Warrior Games. He's also a speedy runner.

About two years ago, after the couple's second daughter, Adriana, was born, Heldreth said he began considering a new career. He'd earned a bachelor's degree and had graduated with honors with a nearly 4.0 grade-point average.

Heldreth spoke to numerous recruiters during a career fair in 2015 and again in 2016.

"One of the areas I was considering was law enforcement," he said, recalling how he eventually spoke with an Oxnard police recruiter. Heldreth said he had some doubts that law enforcement agencies would hire an amputee.

But those doubts quickly disappeared after he spoke with the Oxnard recruiter. The department was very receptive to having Heldreth on the force, his wife said.

And so began his journey to becoming a sworn Oxnard police officer. He is believed to be the first amputee hired by a Ventura County law enforcement agency as an officer.

"I think he's going to do an awesome job," Eric Sonstegard, Oxnard's assistant chief of police, said as he stood next to Heldreth on Thursday.

Heldreth is especially happy the job will allow him to stay in Oxnard, where he's lived for many years.

"This is my home, and I'm so happy I'll be able to raise my family here," Heldreth said.

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©2017 Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.)

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Chiefs welcoming our newest members of the Oxnard Police Department today at the graduation in Oxnard. They begin their...

Posted by Oxnard Police Department on Thursday, April 6, 2017


Why your mic placement matters

Posted on April 7, 2017 by in POLICE

Duane Wolfe
Author: Duane Wolfe

There’s an old cop saying, “If dispatch doesn’t know where you are, only God can help you.” The link between you and the rest of the world is your lifeline. That lifeline needs to be kept as strong as possible. By the same token, don’t let that lifeline be the cause of your injury or death.

For those of us who lived through the days of having to take our radio off our belts every time we wanted to call dispatch on our portables, the lapel mic was a real blessing. Many of you have never had to work without one, but that blessing can also be a curse.

If you wear a mic that is wired to your radio, remind yourself that you are wearing a weapon that a suspect intent on harming you can use against you. You don’t want to find it wrapped around your neck while an assailant attempts to strangle you with it.

Consider how you attach the mic to your uniform and where you have the cord. In order to take up the slack in the cord and keep it out of the way of the equipment on your duty belt, many officers put the cord behind them and the mic on the shoulder.

This can cause several problems that can affect your safety:

• The cord can be used by an attacker to strangle you.

• In this method of carry, officers lack the ability to retain and control the mic if someone grabs it from behind and tries to prevent you from calling dispatch.

• In a physical confrontation, if the mic comes off, where will it end up? How many videos have you seen of cops fighting with a mic cord dragging behind them, out of reach and useless?

• A mic located on your shoulder can cause officers to turn their head towards the mic, potentially away from a suspect. It may also cause you to raise your elbow up which can compromise the security of your baton, TASER and firearm.

Look up the Trooper Coates video if you aren’t familiar with it. In this case the suspect was shot five times with a .357 and survived. Trooper Coates was shot with a .22 several times, all of which struck his vest, except for one that hit him in his raised upper arm as he called for assistance on his portable. That round turned and traveled into his heart and proved fatal.

All officers should consider using a method I first learned from Bob Hindi, who developed the Hindi Duty Belt S.A.F.E.T.Y. System. Hindi did extensive research on body mechanics, physiology, ergonomics and kinesiology as it relates to police officers and their equipment. He recommends threading the cord under your shirt and then out between the top and second button or under your external carrier. By placing the mic in this location, you achieve several goals:

The cord is out of the way of interfering with any of your duty belt equipment. The cord is less accessible to be used to strangle you. The cord is contained inside your shirt so someone cannot use it to take the mic away. When the mic comes loose, it ends up hanging right in front of you, where you can access it. The mic is centered so it is equally accessible to both hands to retain it when someone tries to take it away and either hand can key the mic. Having the mic centered doesn’t cause you to turn your head when you transmit.

Obviously, the new wireless mics can reduce the problems mentioned, and you should count your blessings if you are fortunate enough to have one, but you have a greater concern for retention. With no cord, you have much less to hang onto in order to retain the mic if someone tries to take it from you.

Regardless of the type of mic you use, the use of a mic loop or clip will also aid in keeping it where you want it. By attaching the mic loop or clip to a shirt button or your vest you provide a more solid base than just clipping it to your shirt or jacket.

Mic placement might seem like a little thing, but it could cause a big problem for you. Where and how you choose to wear your mic, or any other piece of equipment, is a personal decision that should be tactically thought out. You can come to the best conclusion when you are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of different locations. All equipment placement is critical to maintaining your operational readiness. All your equipment must be accessible and placed so that you can protect it.


Tackling the obesity epidemic in law enforcement

Posted on April 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Matthew Loux, Faculty Member, Criminal Justice at American Military University

The Wall Street Journal issued a report that more than 40 percent of police officers, firefighters, and security officers are obese. Similarly, the FBI conducted a study that found eight-out-of-10 police officers are overweight. Missing from both of these reports are reasons why officers are overweight and obese.

Obesity is defined when an individual’s body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. Body mass index is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms (kg) by height in meters (m) squared (here’s a helpful tool to help you calculate your own BMI).

Weight issues and obesity can be caused by a number of things. The Mayo Clinic found the leading causes of obesity are:

Inactivity Poor eating habits Lack of sleep

While these causes often apply to those in law enforcement, there are many additional factors that contribute to weight issues and obesity in officers.

Stress Contributes to Obesity

Police officers have a dangerous job. They are regularly exposed to domestic violence, death notifications, suicides, homicides, and many other serious crimes. When responding to calls for service, officers must always be prepared to encounter life-threatening situations. Such situations cause immense levels of stress and, over the years, can take a significant toll on an officer’s physical and mental well-being.

Another primary source of stress for many officers is finances. Many officers choose to work overtime and off-duty assignments for financial reasons. In addition, many spouses of law enforcement officers work as well, which causes additional stressors in an effort to balance work and life responsibilities.

There are several techniques that can help reduce stress such as meditation, enhanced physical fitness routines, healthy eating habits, and peer support.

Poor Eating Habits

There are endless jokes about police officers and donuts and the reality is that an officer’s work schedule makes it difficult to eat well. When on patrol, officers must often eat fast food because it is quick and convenient and they are able to eat it between calls for service. In addition, officers often drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks to stay awake on long shifts.

Officer diets tend to be high in calories, served in oversized portions, and lack fruits and vegetables—all of which contribute to weight gain.

To eat healthier, officers should:

Try eating a balanced meal of lean meats and vegetables Control portions and don’t overeat Bring healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables on patrol Reduce or eliminate high-sugar soft drinks Long Periods of Sitting and Lack of a Fitness Program

Whether you are an officer on patrol or a detective, those in law enforcement tend to sit for long periods of time.

According to the Mayo Clinic: “Researchers have linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome—a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels.”

This is cause of great concern for officers. The Mayo Clinic research suggests that “the muscle activity needed for standing and other movement seems to trigger important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars within the body. When you sit, these processes stall—and your health risks increase. When you’re standing or actively moving, you kick the processes back into action.”

This is where fitness comes in. All officers should undergo an exercise program and, depending on an individual’s current physical condition, should do so under the care of a physician. Some health carriers and employers offer incentives to stop smoking, track walking, paying for gym fees, etc.

Health Challenges Caused by Shift Work

Another contributor to obesity, stress, and fatigue is shift work. Officers often work rotating shifts, double shifts, and overtime. The International Journal of Obesity found that shift work led to may be directly responsible for obesity. Officers may not be able to do much about shift work, but should try to bid for shifts that can benefit the family.

Poor sleep patterns can also lead to obesity. The National Sleep Foundation found that “An estimated 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, which is often associated with people who are overweight.” Officers who think they have sleep apnea, should consult a physician.

Officers should seek assistance from their physicians for any issues that are impacting their feelings of well-being. A dietician may be able to help with issues related to weight.

In the end, it is up to every officer to be healthy. Good health practices will not only address weight issues, but will help everyone to live a longer, healthier life.

About the Author: Matthew Loux has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years and has a background in fraud, criminal investigation, as well as hospital, school, and network security. He has researched and studied law enforcement and security best practices for the past 10 years. He is a faculty member in the Criminal Justice program at American Military University.


Wis. girl donates birthday money to K-9

Posted on April 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOLMEN, Wis. — When Emily Larson’s 10th birthday was approaching, she didn’t ask for presents. Instead, she wanted to help out her local police department.

She decided she “had enough toys because I get them every year,” and told her mother she wanted to donate her money to K-9 Ori, WXOW reported. Larson said she was motivated to donate to Ori because she loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.

Larson’s $135 donation will help police buy food and equipment for Ori, who is the sole K-9 with the Holmen Police Department. Ori recently had surgery to remove cysts and is back on the job.

“I felt good and happy that I was helping my community and that I was helping the dogs,” Larson told the news station.

K-9 Officer Terry Kind said it’s nice to know their work isn’t going unnoticed.

“It shows that kids do appreciate the law enforcement where they live, and I not only see it, but other law enforcement officers will see it as well--that we are making a difference for the younger generation out here," Kind said.

As a thank you, Holmen police gave Larson a framed photo of Ori and a card with the K-9’s paw print inside.

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On January 30th Emily Larson turned 10 years old. Instead of presents she asked her guests to donate money toward the...

Posted by Holmen Police Department on Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Paralyzed Idaho cop who lost leg in shootout to receive modified Harley

Posted on April 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

BOISE, Idaho — A paralyzed officer who thought he would never ride a motorcycle again after losing one of his legs is receiving a modified bike from a Harley Davidson dealership.

In November, Cpl. Kevin Holtry was shot five times while searching for a shooting suspect, the Idaho Statesman reported. The shooting resulted in the death of K-9 Jardo and injured Cpl. Chris Davis as well. Davis was released from the hospital in November after being treated for a leg wound.

“When I got shot...I knew I was paralyzed, one of the first things I thought of was, ‘Oh my gosh, I'm never going to ride again,’” Holtry told KBOI.

Along with a custom seat that allows Holtry to get on the bike from his wheelchair, the dealership designed the three-wheel motorcycle with all the controls built into the handles.

According to KBOI, the project will cost around $50,000. The dealership has been raising funds from the community to pay for the project, including through a GoFundMe page and an online auction that is still in the works. But local marketing manager Todd Godfrey told the news station that even if they don’t raise the funds, they’ll gift Holtry the bike at no cost to him.

"It is the least we can do for the sacrifice that Kevin made to the community and we're just excited to get him back on three wheels to get the wind back in his face," Godfrey said.

Holtry told KIVI that he’s grateful he’ll be able to feel a sense of freedom again.

“When I thought I lost that, it was devastating to me, but, now, I'm going to get it back.”

According to the Idaho Statesman, the suspect Marco Romero was killed in the November shootout.


Critically injured Mo. cop showing ‘optimistic signs’

Posted on April 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mike Genet The Examiner

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Independence police officer Tom Wagstaff remains in critical condition after being shot last Wednesday responding to a burglary and home invasion call, but Chief of Police Brad Halsey offered some encouraging news in a statement posted Tuesday morning on social media.

"There have been optimistic signs, but he still has a long road ahead," Halsey said of the 42-year-old Wagstaff, a 15-year veteran of IPD. "Your prayers for him are still needed."

Halsey did not elaborate on the encouraging signs. He said he also wanted the public to know that while the situation has been difficult for his department, its men and women "have not wavered" in their usual duties.

"We remain committed to serving with pride," Halsey said. "We were strong before this incident, and as a result of the amazing support from our community and our amazing IPD family, we will no doubt be stronger from this point forward."

Four suspects have been arrested and charged in the case that resulted in Wagstaff being shot – two who allegedly forced their way into the house and fled in a stolen vehicle when police surrounded the house, during which the shooting happened – and two who allegedly drove the suspects to the western Independence neighborhood.

Court documents do not mention the shooting. However, Independence police said shortly after the incident that the suspects had fired while fleeing and officers returned fire. County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has acknowledged that Wagstaff could have been hit accidentally by a fellow officer's bullet, from what she called a one-in-a-million event that could never be replicated.

The Kansas City Police Department is investigating the shooting, and a spokesperson there said the department has kept IPD abreast of any developments in that investigation.

Numerous fundraisers have been scheduled or are taking place around the community to support the Wagstaff, not to mention prayers from all over.

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©2017 The Examiner, Independence, Mo.


Bill would ban ICE agents from labeling themselves as police

Posted on April 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — A bill introduced to the House Thursday would ban Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and officers from wearing clothing bearing the label “police.”

Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, the bill’s author, D-N.Y., told The Washington Post that the “deceptive” practice could discourage people from reporting crimes to local police due to deportation fears.

“It could trick families into opening their doors to agents from ICE without a warrant,” Velázquez said. “There’s not going to be a lot of trust between the police and the communities.”

ICE spokeswoman Sarah Rodriguez told CNN that “police” is a “universally recognized term for law enforcement.”

“In the often dangerous law enforcement arena, being able to immediately identify yourself as law enforcement may be a life-or-death issue,” Rodriguez said.

Velázquez told the Washington Post that she’s aware the bill might not get a second look, but she wants to “call the attention of the White House and Homeland Security that there are ways to implement immigration in communities without instilling fear.”


Hijacked truck crashes into Stockholm store in terror attack

Posted on April 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By David Keyton and Jan M. Olsen Associated Press STOCKHOLM — A hijacked beer truck crashed into an upscale department store in central Stockholm on Friday, killing at least two people, according to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who called the crash a terror attack.

Live television footage showed smoke coming out of the upscale Ahlens department store on the city's pedestrian street Drottninggatan, the store the truck smashed into about 3 p.m.

People in the downtown area fled in panic. Authorities evacuated the city's Central Station, which serves regional trains and the Swedish capital's subway system, which was a few hundred yards away. All trains to and from the main station were halted and two large shopping malls in the capital were shut down.

"Sweden has been attacked," Lofven said in a nationally televised press conference. "This indicates that it is an act of terror."

Broadcaster SVT said at least five people were killed in the attack while Swedish radio reported three dead, but police could not immediately confirm those reports. The country's intelligence agency said a large number of people were wounded in the crash.

"We stood inside a shoe store and heard something ... and then people started to scream," witness Jan Granroth told the Aftonbladet daily. "I looked out of the store and saw a big truck."

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack and police in a later news conference said no one has been arrested, contradicting earlier Swedish media reports that one person was in custody.

"We have no contact with the person or persons who drove the truck," Sweden's top police chief, Dan Eliasson, told reporters.

Swedish police say searching for person of interest in Stockholm attack probe https://t.co/DcIBJhTKZ7 pic.twitter.com/A3xmx69sqk

— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) April 7, 2017

"Right now, we have no one arrested," said Jan Evensson of the Stockholm police, who urged people not to drive into central Stockholm.

Swedish beer maker Spendrups said one of its trucks had been hijacked earlier Friday.

"It is one of our delivery trucks. In connection with a delivery to a restaurant called Caliente, someone jumped into the truck and drove it away while the driver was unloading his delivery," Spendrups spokesman Marten Luth told the Swedish news agency TT.

He said the original beer truck driver was not injured.

Sweden's security agency boss, Anders Thornberg, said the SAPO agency was working with police on the case and had no indications earlier that an attack was imminent.

Mats Loving of the national police's operational unit said police presence across the Scandinavian country had been stepped up.

Reports of three people killed in possible terror attack in #Stockholm. Latest on Sky News https://t.co/K4qe34eeFg pic.twitter.com/4osDIUdcrr

— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 7, 2017

Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf cut short a visit to Brazil to return earlier than planned and sent the royal family's condolences to the families of the victims and those who were wounded.

The truck crash appeared to be the latest attack in Europe using a vehicle.

Last month, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group, a man drove into a crowd on London's Westminster Bridge, killing three people and injuring many others before stabbing a policeman to death. He was shot dead by police. A fourth person, a woman thrown into the Thames by the force of the car attack, died Thursday.

The IS group also claimed responsibility for a truck attack that killed 86 people in Nice, France, in July during a Bastille Day festival last year and another truck attack that killed 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin.

WATCH: Video shows people fleeing after truck drives into crowd on street in Stockholm; at least 2 are dead. https://t.co/AwyosUYMrd pic.twitter.com/JfBmdMROTv

— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 7, 2017

Condolences poured into Sweden on Friday from top European Union officials and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In neighboring Finland, President Sauli Niinisto said he was shocked by the "maniac act of terror" in Stockholm.

"Every terror attack is to be equally condemned. But it touches us deeply when such an attack takes place in our Nordic neighborhood," Niinisto said.

Helsinki police said they were tightening security in the center of the Finnish capital.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said in a tweet Friday that "my heart is in Stockholm this afternoon. My thoughts are with the victims and their families and friends of today's terrible attack."

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said "one of Europe's most vibrant and colorful cities appears to have been struck by those wishing it — and our very way of life — harm."

Juncker also said "an attack on any of our (EU) member states is an attack on us all" and that Sweden can count on EU help.

Watching the events unfold after a truck drove into Åhléns on Drottninggatan. pic.twitter.com/kxJLUOAsns

— Emil Stenqvist (@svammel) April 7, 2017

Friday's crash is near the site of a December 2010 attack in Stockholm in which Taimour Abdulwahab, a Swedish citizen who lived in Britain, detonated a suicide bomb, killing himself and injuring two others.

Abdulwahab rigged a car with explosives in the hope that the blast would drive people to Drottninggatan — the street hit Friday — where he would set off devices strapped to his chest and back. The car bomb never went off, and Abdulwahab died when one of his devices exploded among panicked Christmas shoppers.


Judge refuses to move officer’s trial in Philando Castile case

Posted on April 7, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A judge has declined to move the trial of a Minnesota police officer charged with fatally shooting a black motorist last summer.

Attorneys for St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez wanted his May 30 trial moved out of Ramsey County, where Philando Castile was shot. Castile's girlfriend livestreamed the bloody aftermath on Facebook after the shooting in Falcon Heights.

But Judge William H. Leary III rejected the request Thursday after hearing arguments earlier this week.

Yanez's attorneys argued that the officer, who is Latino, couldn't get a fair trial in Ramsey County because of pretrial publicity.

Prosecutors said moving the trial wouldn't achieve anything because the case received widespread publicity.

Yanez has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and two other felonies. His attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Sweden: Truck crash into Stockholm store is terror attack

Posted on April 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By David Keyton Associated Press

STOCKHOLM — A large beer truck crashed into an upscale department store in central Stockholm on Friday, killing at least two people, according to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who called the crash a terror attack. One person was arrested.

People in the downtown area fled in panic, and Stockholm's Central Station for trains and the subway, which is a few hundred yards from the scene, was evacuated.

Broadcaster SVT said at least five people were killed in the attack while Swedish radio reported three dead, but police could not immediately confirm those reports. The country's intelligence agency said a large number of people were wounded in the crash.

Live television footage showed smoke coming out of the upscale Ahlens department store on Drottninggatan Street, which the truck smashed into. The department store is part of Sweden-wide chain.

"Sweden has been attacked," Lofven said in a nationally televised press conference. "This indicates that it is an act of terror."

Police said there were no indications of shooting in the area, as Swedish broadcaster SVT reported earlier.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. The prime minister said one person was arrested, but gave no further details.

"We stood inside a shoe store and heard something ... and then people started to scream," witness Jan Granroth told the Aftonbladet daily. "I looked out of the store and saw a big truck."

Watching the events unfold after a truck drove into Åhléns on Drottninggatan. pic.twitter.com/kxJLUOAsns

— Emil Stenqvist (@svammel) April 7, 2017

Photos from the scene showed a large beer truck sticking out of the department store. Aftonbladet reported that Swedish beer maker Spendrups said one of its trucks had been hijacked earlier Friday.

Lofven, who was visiting a school in central Sweden hit by a bus crash Sunday that killed three high school students, said he and the Swedish government were being updated on developments.

Friday's crash is near the site of a December 2010 attack in which Taimour Abdulwahab, a Swedish citizen who lived in Britain, detonated a suicide bomb, killing himself and injuring two others.

Abdulwahab rigged a car with explosives in the hope that the blast would drive people to Drottninggatan — the street hit Friday — where he would set off devices strapped to his chest and back. The car bomb never went off, and Abdulwahab died when one of his devices exploded among panicked Christmas shoppers.

Vehicles have been common weapons in recent extremist attacks.

WATCH: Video shows people fleeing after truck drives into crowd on street in Stockholm; at least 2 are dead. https://t.co/AwyosUYMrd pic.twitter.com/JfBmdMROTv

— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 7, 2017

Last month, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group, a man drove into a crowd on London's Westminster Bridge, killing three people and injuring many others before stabbing a policeman to death. He was shot dead by police. A fourth person, a woman thrown into the Thames by the force of the car attack, died Thursday.

The IS group has also claimed responsibility for a truck attack that killed 86 people in Nice, France, in July during a Bastille Day festival and another truck attack that killed 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin.

Reports of three people killed in possible terror attack in #Stockholm. Latest on Sky News https://t.co/K4qe34eeFg pic.twitter.com/4osDIUdcrr

— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 7, 2017


Slain Texas lawman remembered as ‘smartest guy in the room’

Posted on April 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

HOUSTON — A law enforcement commander has told thousands of mourners that a Houston-area deputy constable who was shot to death this week "was always the smartest guy in the room."

Montgomery County sheriff's Lt. Tim Cannon said Thursday during a funeral service in Houston that Clint Greenwood was a consummate professional, meticulous with details and the first to lend colleagues a hand.

The 57-year-old Greenwood, a Harris County assistant chief deputy constable, was killed Monday by a gunman who stepped out from behind a trash bin as Greenwood arrived for work at a sub-courthouse in Baytown, east of Houston.

No arrest has been made, but Baytown police released a surveillance video Thursday that shows a possible suspect near the scene and the man's car — a black 2013-2017 Nissan Versa Note.

The video shows the otherwise empty sub-courthouse parking lot Sunday afternoon, the day before Greenwood was fatally shot, said Lt. Steve Dorris, the Baytown police spokesman. The car passes in front of the surveillance camera and parks, then a man steps out and walks out of view. Moments later, the man returns to the car and drives away.

"The natural thought is that he was doing some pre-operational planning," Dorris said.


Swedish PM: 1 arrested in truck ‘terror attack’

Posted on April 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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UPDATE 9:34 a.m. (CST):

STOCKHOLM — Photos at the scene in downtown Stockholm show that the truck which crashed into a major department store, killing several people, is a large beer truck.

The Aftonbladet daily says Swedish beermaker Spendrups said its truck had been carjacked earlier Friday. Photos showed the beer truck sticking out of the Ahlens department store.

Swedish broadcaster SVT said shots were fired at the scene, though it wasn't clear who fired them.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says the truck crash "is an act of terror" that has killed at least two people. He says one person has been arrested in the attack.

Swedish media report that up to five people have been killed, and Sweden's intelligence agency says many people have been injured in the crash.

UPDATE 9:23 a.m. (CST)

STOCKHOLM — Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says everything indicates that a truck which has crashed into a major department store in downtown Stockholm is "a terror attack."

Lofven says at least two people have been killed in the attack Friday afternoon on the Ahlens store.

Broadcaster SVT says at least five people have been killed in the attack but police could not immediately confirm that. Swedish radio says at least three people have died.

The Aftonbladet daily says Swedish beermaker Spendrups said its truck had been carjacked earlier Friday.

The most recent attack in Stockholm was on Dec. 11, 2010, when an Iraqi-born Swede, Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, detonated two devices, including one that killed him, in central Stockholm.

EARLIER:

Associated Press

STOCKHOLM — A truck crashed into an upscale department store in central Stockholm on Friday, and Swedish radio says the crash has killed three people. People in the downtown area are fleeing the scene in panic.

Swedish broadcaster SVT says shots have been fired at the scene and the Swedish news agency TT says several people have been rushed away in ambulances.

Live television footage on Friday showed smoke coming out of the upscale Ahlens department store on Drottninggatan Street, which the truck smashed into. The department store is part of Sweden-wide chain. The building includes several stores at street-level.

"We stood inside a shoe store and heard something ... and then people started to scream," witness Jan Granroth told the Aftonbladet daily. "I looked out of the store and saw a big truck."

Swedish police confirmed that a truck drove into people and the store but could not confirm the reports of shots fired. Police said in a statement "there are reports of injured but we have no details on how many and how serious.

Video from office block close to the scene in #Stockholm -My cousin and his colleagues have been told to stay inside pic.twitter.com/2AVQD9SbyX

— Zara King (@ZaraKing) April 7, 2017

Reports of three people killed in possible terror attack in #Stockholm. Latest on Sky News https://t.co/K4qe34eeFg pic.twitter.com/4osDIUdcrr

— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 7, 2017

Swedish PM: 1 arrested in truck ‘terror attack’

Posted on April 7, 2017 by in POLICE

null

UPDATE 9:34 a.m. (CST):

STOCKHOLM — Photos at the scene in downtown Stockholm show that the truck which crashed into a major department store, killing several people, is a large beer truck.

The Aftonbladet daily says Swedish beermaker Spendrups said its truck had been carjacked earlier Friday. Photos showed the beer truck sticking out of the Ahlens department store.

Swedish broadcaster SVT said shots were fired at the scene, though it wasn't clear who fired them.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says the truck crash "is an act of terror" that has killed at least two people. He says one person has been arrested in the attack.

Swedish media report that up to five people have been killed, and Sweden's intelligence agency says many people have been injured in the crash.

UPDATE 9:23 a.m. (CST)

STOCKHOLM — Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says everything indicates that a truck which has crashed into a major department store in downtown Stockholm is "a terror attack."

Lofven says at least two people have been killed in the attack Friday afternoon on the Ahlens store.

Broadcaster SVT says at least five people have been killed in the attack but police could not immediately confirm that. Swedish radio says at least three people have died.

The Aftonbladet daily says Swedish beermaker Spendrups said its truck had been carjacked earlier Friday.

The most recent attack in Stockholm was on Dec. 11, 2010, when an Iraqi-born Swede, Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, detonated two devices, including one that killed him, in central Stockholm.

EARLIER:

Associated Press

STOCKHOLM — A truck crashed into an upscale department store in central Stockholm on Friday, and Swedish radio says the crash has killed three people. People in the downtown area are fleeing the scene in panic.

Swedish broadcaster SVT says shots have been fired at the scene and the Swedish news agency TT says several people have been rushed away in ambulances.

Live television footage on Friday showed smoke coming out of the upscale Ahlens department store on Drottninggatan Street, which the truck smashed into. The department store is part of Sweden-wide chain. The building includes several stores at street-level.

"We stood inside a shoe store and heard something ... and then people started to scream," witness Jan Granroth told the Aftonbladet daily. "I looked out of the store and saw a big truck."

Swedish police confirmed that a truck drove into people and the store but could not confirm the reports of shots fired. Police said in a statement "there are reports of injured but we have no details on how many and how serious.

Video from office block close to the scene in #Stockholm -My cousin and his colleagues have been told to stay inside pic.twitter.com/2AVQD9SbyX

— Zara King (@ZaraKing) April 7, 2017

Reports of three people killed in possible terror attack in #Stockholm. Latest on Sky News https://t.co/K4qe34eeFg pic.twitter.com/4osDIUdcrr

— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 7, 2017

Policing Matters Podcast: Are more civilians coming to cops’ aid nowadays?

Posted on April 7, 2017 by