NIST’s free software helps agencies test computer forensics tools

Posted on November 27, 2017 by in POLICE

the Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Author: the Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

By Becky Lewis TechBeat Magazine

Such a small item, this cellphone dropped by a suspect fleeing at the scene of a failed drug deal. But potentially, this small item could yield vital evidence in preparing a case that would stop the drug deals for good. And the investigators want to be absolutely sure they’re using the right version of the right forensic tool that will produce that evidence in a manner that will hold up in court.

They turn to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Computer Forensics Tool Testing (CFTT) project to get the help they need to ensure that it will.

Created in 1999 in the early years of the Information Age, CFTT offers computer forensics assistance to law enforcement agencies in two ways: through posting tool testing reports produced by NIST researchers and through offering free Federated Testing software that allows agencies to test tools on their own.

Launched in November 2015 with a version that allows agencies to check disk imaging capabilities, Federated Testing consists of a downloadable Linux CD .iso file. Agencies can burn the file to a blank CD, then use that CD to boot a forensic workstation and test a tool or tools via a user-friendly interface.

“For 15 years we just did this ourselves, and law enforcement used our reports to help select the appropriate tools,” says Barbara Guttman, leader of the Software Quality Group. “We got to the point where there are so many tools out there, with new versions released all the time to correspond with new versions of mobile devices and new versions of apps, and how can you test all of them? The obvious answer was someone other than NIST has to do some of it or we can’t keep up.”

The Federated Testing software started with disk imaging because the first and most basic step in computer forensics investigations is to make a copy, thus leaving the original intact. NIST added the capability to test mobile forensics data extraction tools in June 2017, and write blocking capability will come online this fall. Agencies can sign up on the CFTT website (https://www.cftt.nist.gov/) to receive notification when a new version becomes available.

In its early months of availability, Version 1.0 of Federated Testing averaged about 35 downloads a month, and with the addition of the mobile forensics suite, that number should increase, says the Software Quality Group’s Ben Livelsberger. During 2017, NIST has provided technical assistance to a public defender’s office in Missouri and officers out of the United Kingdom, indicating agencies are already putting the downloaded software to use. And NIST encourages users to submit copies of their reports via email so that they, too, can be posted on the CFTT website and shared with other agencies.

“Law enforcement agencies and universities can use it to not only help themselves directly, they can also use it to help each other,” Guttman says. “Sharing information will reduce everybody’s workload, and if we can help each other out, isn’t that a more efficient way of doing things? The result is a big win for law enforcement, and it can also be a big win for the vendor community, because they can use the reports to help them improve their tools.”

Guttman cautions that tools that “work correctly” still aren’t perfect; for example, it’s not possible to recover every single deleted file.

“We say we want the tools to work right, and in order to do that, we first have to define what ‘right’ is. Sometimes all we’re doing is characterizing what they can and can’t do so they can be used effectively,” she says.

The Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence is developing a soon-to-be-released report that will help support using test reports even if a different version of the tool was tested.

“What they’re really saying is it’s unlikely that major versions will have bugs that will turn out to be relevant to your workload, and if you did extremely specific testing all the time, you’d never get any actual work done,” she says.

The Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center, provided the original funding. Ongoing funding for the project comes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

To research posted test reports or download the Federated Testing software, visit https://www.cftt.nist.gov. Reports produced prior to March 2013 can be located at here.

For more information, contact Rich Press in the NIST Public Affairs Office at Rich.press@nist.gov.


Why public safety needs an integrated response plan for acts of mass violence

Posted on November 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Heather R. Cotter
Author: Heather R. Cotter

Acts of mass violence in the U.S., defined as three or more people killed in a public location, are occurring at an unprecedented rate.

Here are some of the major acts of mass violence that have occurred in the United States since October:

October 1: A lone gunman opened fire on a crowd of concert goers at the Route 91 music festival in Las Vegas, resulting in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history; October 31: An ISIS-inspired terrorist drove a truck down a bike path and killed eight individuals in New York; November 5: A lone gunman opened fire and killed 26 during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas; November 14: Five individuals in Northern California were randomly killed by a gunman.

Acts of mass violence are challenging our nation, our communities and our first responders. While the tactics used by the assailants in each of these four events differed vastly, during each attack the first responders did their best to respond quickly and in a coordinated manner.

With no end in sight to mass violence, first responders and communities must review their preparedness and develop response and recovery training that includes integrated response and civilian trauma care.

Integrated response

First responders need to adopt an integrated response philosophy and train often to ensure a coordinated and effective response. Acts of mass violence are generally unpredictable and often evolve quickly with little warning. Several jurisdictions have adopted the rescue task force concept, as seen in Las Vegas, and more jurisdictions around the nation are applying similar tactics to their training.

Captain Evan Hannah with the Clark County Fire Department said that, “The biggest factor in mitigating the October 1 event was the existing collaborative relationship between Clark County Fire Department and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Countless training hours over the years has not only increased our ability to integrate with each other, but increased our personal relationships with department personnel, easing integration from the Unified Command structure to RTF teams. Events of October 1 revealed areas in our current response policy that will be adjusted due to the size and complexity of incident we faced. Allowing more flexible tactical decision making by on-scene personnel is something we will evaluate in the near future.”

Glen Simpson, special events manager with Community Ambulance stated that, "The mass casualty incident at the Route 91 concert in Las Vegas affirmed the value of our pre-planning and contingency-planning efforts.

“Over the years, we have trained for various active shooter scenarios and have developed a framework for responses that includes discussions regarding egress, ambulance staging and accurate triaging. Such planning and training played a large role in our ability to effectively act/respond to an event none of us could have envisioned in our worst nightmares. While we know there’s no way to imagine every possible scenario we may encounter, we constantly train for an array of possibilities.

“Moving forward, we will take the experiences from ‘One October’ and add them to our framework to be adaptive to all MCI events. As first responders, we must continue to re-examine our experiences and continue to prepare for worst-case scenarios.”

In order to be fully prepared for any act of mass violence, all local agencies (law enforcement, fire, EMS and dispatch) must create trusted relationships between one another. Together they must establish what a comprehensive, integrated response and recovery plan looks like in their jurisdiction. They need to discuss details about establishing unified command and determine cross-disciplinary training schedules.

Civilian trauma care

In addition to integrated response training, first responders must train civilians in basic trauma care, as civilians will be at the scene and potentially able to provide medical aid to victims.

Research shows that an individual can bleed to death in less than three minutes from a traumatic injury. First responders should provide awareness training and hands-on trauma care training (to include tourniquets) to community members at a minimum on an annual basis.

Educating civilians on rapid medical care before an attack will help improve victim survivability.

Actionable next steps

First responders must leverage the lessons learned from recent attacks. While recent studies do address unique components of mass casualty events, there is a lack of research and readily available information about how agencies can create an effective, integrated, cross-disciplinary response to dynamic events. Here are some key steps agencies should take:

    Review after-action reports and leverage existing resources and publications about integrated response training tactics. Connect with responders who were on scene and find out if you can attend one of their upcoming exercises. I’ve attended rescue task force trainings in major cities in the east and west coast. Watch PoliceOne Roll-Call Videos and listen to podcasts that discuss current trends. Attend conferences hosted by groups like the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA), Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) and the International Public Safety Association (IPSA), that center on integrated response. Apply to serve on national level working groups that address these issues to learn from your peers and shape integrated response policy and training.
Acts of Mass Violence Initiative

IPSA is launching a new Acts of Mass Violence: Public Safety Response and Recovery Initiative and is seeking first responder subject matter experts to be involved. Since federal funding is not currently available, the effort is being kick started through a #GivingTuesday fundraiser. IPSA is currently accepting donations to support this effort.

Recent acts of mass violence have no jurisdictional boundaries. These events evolve quickly, and they occur with little to no warning. First responders know the modus operandi and weaponry will vary and there is a range of assailant planning tactics from impulsively acting to extensive strategy. For jurisdictions to be fully prepared, they must have a comprehensive, integrated response and recovery plan that includes all allied emergency responders.


Police: Off-duty Mich. deputy fatally shot intruder at her home

Posted on November 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Heather R. Cotter

Associated Press

DETROIT — Police say an off-duty sheriff's deputy shot and killed a man who had broken into her home in southwest Detroit.

The Wayne County deputy was inside the home when she heard a door being kicked in about 1:30 a.m. Saturday. The deputy told investigators she grabbed her weapon and fired shots at the intruder, who was armed with a pistol and wearing a black ski mask.

The man was struck in the chest and pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities didn't immediately release the names of the deputy or the man who died.

The Wayne County sheriff's office says the deputy will be assigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of an internal investigation.


Calif. city to pay $1.7M to man who was hit by rubber bullets while armed

Posted on November 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Heather R. Cotter

By Jason Green The Mercury News

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The city of Santa Clara will pay $1.7 million to a man who suffered “life-altering” injuries after a police officer fired two rubber bullets that hit him in the head.

Handed down last week, the verdict followed a jury trial in which lawyers for Austin Calhoun argued Santa Clara police Officer Mike Horn used unreasonable force during the July 8, 2012, encounter.

Calhoun, who was 16 at the time, reportedly left a party intoxicated, walked to a fire station near Homestead Road and Kiely Boulevard, and called 911. He was in the midst of a mental health emergency and holding a knife to his throat when officers arrived, but he did not threaten anyone, said attorney John Burris, whose office represented Calhoun.

A police spokesman at the time said the officers had to act when Calhoun came near them.

Horn opened fire with a gun, known as a SAGE launcher, that shoots rubber bullets and hit Calhoun twice in the head. Burris said his client required life-saving brain surgery and will live with a skull deformity for the rest of his life.

The city is standing by Horn’s actions.

“Our sympathy goes to the plaintiff and his family as we recognize the need for long-term medical care but do believe that the officer acted in good faith in a very dangerous situation per accepted police practices,” said city spokeswoman Jennifer Yamaguma.

Calhoun, meanwhile, is satisfied with the verdict and hopes it will prevent people with mental health issues from being injured in a similar fashion in the future, Burris said.

“Sadly, it seems that money is the only way to force the police to stop unnecessarily killing and injuring citizens who are suffering from mental health issues,” he said. “The conduct of the officers was outrageous, and Mr. Calhoun was fortunate to survive.”

©2017 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)


Pharmacies using GPS devices in pill bottles to track criminals

Posted on November 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

OMAHA, Neb. — Several pharmacies are putting GPS tracking devices in pill bottles in an effort to deter and prevent robberies at their stores.

KETV reports that with the rise in opioid-related crimes, insurance companies said pharmacies need to protect their employees and their products. The devices were successful in catching two armed robbers recently in Nebraska.

In October, the two suspects held up a Walgreens and demanded cash and painkillers. Police were able to catch them at a nearby apartment complex thanks to the GPS device in the pill bottle. Michael Warren, Risk Manager with Pharmacy Mutual Insurance, said criminals cannot tell if a bottle is rigged with the device.


Baltimore police receive ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Christmas tree in wake of detective’s death

Posted on November 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Police Department expressed its gratitude on Facebook after it was gifted a "Blue Lives Matter" Christmas tree in the wake of a veteran detective’s death.

WJZ-TV reports that the tree is decorated with the names of fallen officers, including Det. Sean Suiter, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this month. A family purchased and delivered the tree after seeing it at a charity event that features uniquely decorated Christmas trees, according to Baltimore PD’s Facebook post.

Suiter was shot and killed on Nov. 15 while he was investigating a murder case in a West Baltimore neighborhood. Police have not identified a suspect, and a $215,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

A funeral service for Suiter will be held on Wednesday.

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A special thank you to Shaun and Christi who saw this tree at the Kennedy Krieger Institute Festival of Trees. They...

Posted by Baltimore Police Department on Sunday, November 26, 2017


Houston officers help rebuild Puerto Rico on Thanksgiving

Posted on November 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — Several Houston police officers spent this Thanksgiving holiday away from their families to give a helping hand to the people of Puerto Rico.

The Houston Police Department tweeted out several photos of officers helping out communities in Puerto Rico as they recover from the effects of Hurricane Maria.

The department said they are thankful to “bring hope and smiles to the community.”

The officers are part of multiple teams of Houston cops who volunteered to head to the island earlier this month after a nationwide request from FEMA, The New Haven Register reports.

Some of our officers will be spending today away from family helping rebuild @PuertoRicoPUR , but we are thankful for being able to help, making new friends, and bringing hope and smiles to the community. #Thanksgiving pic.twitter.com/pt28f8MpwI

— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) November 23, 2017


2 off-duty Calif. deputies help man bitten by shark

Posted on November 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By Queenie Wong The Mercury News

MONTEREY, Calif. — A shark attacked a man who was spearfishing at the Stillwater Cove area of Pebble Beach on Friday afternoon, Cal Fire said.

The man was bitten in the leg around 1:40 p.m. and transported to the Natividad Hospital’s trauma center in Salinas.

Ryan Kearns, an engineer for Cal Fire, said that they believe it was a shark attack because of the bite marks, but did not know the species of the shark.

“It’s extremely rare,” he said.

The man was stable when he was transported to the hospital, but they did not know his current condition.

(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 = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.11'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Shark Attack 11/24/17 Pescadero Point

Two off duty Deputies were finishing up their day of fishing at Still Water Cove when they were alerted to a victim of a shark bite this afternoon. A call for help went out to county communications and a short time later an on duty deputy arrived that had a medical trauma kit. One of the Deputies on scene was trained in emergency field medicine and applied a tourniquet to the man's leg stopping his massive blood loss. The victim was transported from the scene by AMR and his condition is unknown at this time. The Sheriff Airplane was airborne and responded to the scene. The air unit conducted a search of the area and spotted a large aquatic animal off Pescadero Point, which may have been a shark. The Sheriff Office learned the shark bite victim was spear fishing under the surface in that area when he was attacked. The air unit searched along the coastline and coordinated with CalFire units to evacuate Still Water Cove. Below is some footage from the Sheriff's Airplane of the area immediately after the incident. Cal Fire had their jet ski in the water and aided a swimmer back to the pier. Thanks to the quick efforts and team work by the Deputies involved and the AMR and CalFire units on duty the victim will likely survive this rare tragedy. AW

Posted by Monterey County Sheriff's Office on Friday, November 24, 2017

Two off-duty deputies from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office were wrapping up their day of fishing at Stillwater Cove when they heard someone had been bitten by a shark.

“One of the deputies on scene was trained in emergency field medicine and applied a tourniquet to the man’s leg stopping his massive blood loss,” wrote the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office in a Facebook post on Friday.

Officers in an airplane also searched the area and “spotted a large aquatic animal off Pescadero Point, which may have been a shark.”

The identity and age of the man has also not been released.

Signs were posted and the area was evacuated.

This news organization also reached out to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is reportedly investigating the attack, but have not received a response.

Sean Van Sommeran, executive director of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation, said it’s the peak of the season for the adult white sharks to migrate near shore.

Fishing boats can attract sharks because they can smell the fish.

“Typically, they’re indifferent to humans or have a brief curiosity,” he said. “If there’s not any food or anything interesting to a shark then they typically pass right through.”

The Associated Press reported that according to state fire Capt. Josh Silveira, the man and his father were several hundred yards offshore Friday at Pebble Beach when the son was bitten in the right thigh.

Silveira said the man’s leg was intact but the bite was serious.

Silveira said there haven’t been any recent shark sightings at the Monterey County beach.

However, in March a great white shark attacked a kayak in Monterey Bay, knocking the kayaker into the water. He wasn’t bitten.

©2017 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)


2 off-duty Calif. deputies help man bitten by shark

Posted on November 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By Queenie Wong The Mercury News

MONTEREY, Calif. — A shark attacked a man who was spearfishing at the Stillwater Cove area of Pebble Beach on Friday afternoon, Cal Fire said.

The man was bitten in the leg around 1:40 p.m. and transported to the Natividad Hospital’s trauma center in Salinas.

Ryan Kearns, an engineer for Cal Fire, said that they believe it was a shark attack because of the bite marks, but did not know the species of the shark.

“It’s extremely rare,” he said.

The man was stable when he was transported to the hospital, but they did not know his current condition.

(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 = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.11'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Shark Attack 11/24/17 Pescadero Point

Two off duty Deputies were finishing up their day of fishing at Still Water Cove when they were alerted to a victim of a shark bite this afternoon. A call for help went out to county communications and a short time later an on duty deputy arrived that had a medical trauma kit. One of the Deputies on scene was trained in emergency field medicine and applied a tourniquet to the man's leg stopping his massive blood loss. The victim was transported from the scene by AMR and his condition is unknown at this time. The Sheriff Airplane was airborne and responded to the scene. The air unit conducted a search of the area and spotted a large aquatic animal off Pescadero Point, which may have been a shark. The Sheriff Office learned the shark bite victim was spear fishing under the surface in that area when he was attacked. The air unit searched along the coastline and coordinated with CalFire units to evacuate Still Water Cove. Below is some footage from the Sheriff's Airplane of the area immediately after the incident. Cal Fire had their jet ski in the water and aided a swimmer back to the pier. Thanks to the quick efforts and team work by the Deputies involved and the AMR and CalFire units on duty the victim will likely survive this rare tragedy. AW

Posted by Monterey County Sheriff's Office on Friday, November 24, 2017

Two off-duty deputies from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office were wrapping up their day of fishing at Stillwater Cove when they heard someone had been bitten by a shark.

“One of the deputies on scene was trained in emergency field medicine and applied a tourniquet to the man’s leg stopping his massive blood loss,” wrote the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office in a Facebook post on Friday.

Officers in an airplane also searched the area and “spotted a large aquatic animal off Pescadero Point, which may have been a shark.”

The identity and age of the man has also not been released.

Signs were posted and the area was evacuated.

This news organization also reached out to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is reportedly investigating the attack, but have not received a response.

Sean Van Sommeran, executive director of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation, said it’s the peak of the season for the adult white sharks to migrate near shore.

Fishing boats can attract sharks because they can smell the fish.

“Typically, they’re indifferent to humans or have a brief curiosity,” he said. “If there’s not any food or anything interesting to a shark then they typically pass right through.”

The Associated Press reported that according to state fire Capt. Josh Silveira, the man and his father were several hundred yards offshore Friday at Pebble Beach when the son was bitten in the right thigh.

Silveira said the man’s leg was intact but the bite was serious.

Silveira said there haven’t been any recent shark sightings at the Monterey County beach.

However, in March a great white shark attacked a kayak in Monterey Bay, knocking the kayaker into the water. He wasn’t bitten.

©2017 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)


Off-duty Kan. officer fatally shoots man who brandished gun at Costco

Posted on November 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

LENEXA, Kan. — An off-duty police officer shot and killed a man who brandished a gun inside a Costco Wholesale store in a Kansas City suburb.

The Kansas City Star reports the shooting was reported around 11 a.m. Sunday at the store in Lenexa, Kansas, near Interstate 35 and 95th Street.

Lenexa Police Capt. Wade Borchers said the off-duty officer just happened to be in the store shopping when the incident happened. Investigators are still trying to determine what the armed man did before the shooting.

Borchers says he’s thankful the officer was there although he didn’t say which agency the officer works for.

Nikki Lotia of Olathe was shopping in the store during the shooting, and she hid back in the pharmacy. Lotia says the just kept praying during the shooting.

Panic at a Lenexa Costco on a busy Sunday morning after a man walked inside with a gun. At 10:46 p.m., new information on the off-duty police officer who saved lives. pic.twitter.com/rCeO1WbKiK

— KCTV5 News (@KCTV5) November 27, 2017


SCOTUS to review need for warrant for cellphone data

Posted on November 27, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Mark Sherman Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Like almost everyone else in America, thieves tend to carry their cellphones with them to work.

When they use their phones on the job, police find it easier to do their jobs. They can get cellphone tower records that help place suspects in the vicinity of crimes, and they do so thousands of times a year.

Activists across the political spectrum, media organizations and technology experts are among those arguing that it is altogether too easy for authorities to learn revealing details of Americans' lives merely by examining records kept by Verizon, T-Mobile and other cellphone service companies.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court hears its latest case about privacy in the digital age. At issue is whether police generally need a warrant to review the records.

Justices on the left and right have recognized that technology has altered privacy concerns.

The court will hear arguments in an appeal by federal prison inmate Timothy Carpenter. He is serving a 116-year sentence after a jury convicted him of armed robberies in the Detroit area and northwestern Ohio.

Investigators helped build their case by matching Carpenter's use of his smartphone to cell towers near Radio Shack and T-Mobile stores that had been robbed. The question is whether prosecutors should have been required to convince a judge that they had good reason, or probable cause, to believe Carpenter was involved in the crime. That's the standard set out in the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which also prohibits unreasonable searches. Prosecutors obtained the records by meeting a lower standard of proof.

The American Civil Liberties Union, representing Carpenter, said in court papers that the records "make it possible to reconstruct in detail everywhere an individual has traveled over hours, days, weeks or months."

In Carpenter's case, authorities obtained cellphone records for 127 days and could determine when he slept at home and where he attended church on Sunday, said the ACLU's Nathan Freed Wessler.

Courts around the country have wrestled with the issue. The most relevant Supreme Court case is nearly 40 years old, before the dawn of the digital age, and the law on which prosecutors relied to obtain the records dates from 1986, when few people had cellphones.

The judge at Carpenter's trial refused to suppress the records, and a federal appeals court agreed. The Trump administration said the lower court decisions should be upheld.

Nineteen states supporting the administration said the records "are an indispensable building block" in many investigations. There is no evidence the records have been used improperly and requiring a warrant for them would result in more crimes going unsolved, the states said.

The administration relied in part on a 1979 Supreme Court decision that treated phone records differently than the conversation in a phone call, for which a warrant generally is required.

The court said in Smith v. Maryland that telephone users have no privacy right to the numbers they dial. Not only must the phone company complete the call using its equipment, but it also makes a record of calls for billing and other purposes, the court said.

But that case involved a single home telephone.

More recently, the justices have acknowledged that the wonders of technology also can affect Americans' privacy, and also struggled with striking the right balance.

Speaking in New Zealand last summer, Chief Justice John Roberts said he and his colleagues are not experts in the rapidly changing field. But he also reaffirmed his view as expressed in a 2014 opinion that generally requires police to get a warrant to search the cellphones of people they arrest.

"I'll say it here: Would you rather have law enforcement rummaging through your desk drawer at home, or rummaging through your iPhone?" Roberts asked. "I mean, there's much more private information on the iPhone than in most desk drawers."

Justices Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor also have written about their concerns over technology's effect on privacy.

In that same 2014 case, Alito said Congress is better situated than the courts to address the concerns. Two years earlier, Sotomayor said the court may need to bring its views in line with the digital age. "I for one doubt that people would accept without complaint the warrantless disclosure to the Government of a list of every Web site they had visited in the last week, or month, or year," she wrote in a 2012 case about police installation of a tracking device on a car without a warrant.


SCOTUS to review need for warrant for cellphone tower data

Posted on November 27, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Mark Sherman Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Like almost everyone else in America, thieves tend to carry their cellphones with them to work.

When they use their phones on the job, police find it easier to do their jobs. They can get cellphone tower records that help place suspects in the vicinity of crimes, and they do so thousands of times a year.

Activists across the political spectrum, media organizations and technology experts are among those arguing that it is altogether too easy for authorities to learn revealing details of Americans' lives merely by examining records kept by Verizon, T-Mobile and other cellphone service companies.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court hears its latest case about privacy in the digital age. At issue is whether police generally need a warrant to review the records.

Justices on the left and right have recognized that technology has altered privacy concerns.

The court will hear arguments in an appeal by federal prison inmate Timothy Carpenter. He is serving a 116-year sentence after a jury convicted him of armed robberies in the Detroit area and northwestern Ohio.

Investigators helped build their case by matching Carpenter's use of his smartphone to cell towers near Radio Shack and T-Mobile stores that had been robbed. The question is whether prosecutors should have been required to convince a judge that they had good reason, or probable cause, to believe Carpenter was involved in the crime. That's the standard set out in the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which also prohibits unreasonable searches. Prosecutors obtained the records by meeting a lower standard of proof.

The American Civil Liberties Union, representing Carpenter, said in court papers that the records "make it possible to reconstruct in detail everywhere an individual has traveled over hours, days, weeks or months."

In Carpenter's case, authorities obtained cellphone records for 127 days and could determine when he slept at home and where he attended church on Sunday, said the ACLU's Nathan Freed Wessler.

Courts around the country have wrestled with the issue. The most relevant Supreme Court case is nearly 40 years old, before the dawn of the digital age, and the law on which prosecutors relied to obtain the records dates from 1986, when few people had cellphones.

The judge at Carpenter's trial refused to suppress the records, and a federal appeals court agreed. The Trump administration said the lower court decisions should be upheld.

Nineteen states supporting the administration said the records "are an indispensable building block" in many investigations. There is no evidence the records have been used improperly and requiring a warrant for them would result in more crimes going unsolved, the states said.

The administration relied in part on a 1979 Supreme Court decision that treated phone records differently than the conversation in a phone call, for which a warrant generally is required.

The court said in Smith v. Maryland that telephone users have no privacy right to the numbers they dial. Not only must the phone company complete the call using its equipment, but it also makes a record of calls for billing and other purposes, the court said.

But that case involved a single home telephone.

More recently, the justices have acknowledged that the wonders of technology also can affect Americans' privacy, and also struggled with striking the right balance.

Speaking in New Zealand last summer, Chief Justice John Roberts said he and his colleagues are not experts in the rapidly changing field. But he also reaffirmed his view as expressed in a 2014 opinion that generally requires police to get a warrant to search the cellphones of people they arrest.

"I'll say it here: Would you rather have law enforcement rummaging through your desk drawer at home, or rummaging through your iPhone?" Roberts asked. "I mean, there's much more private information on the iPhone than in most desk drawers."

Justices Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor also have written about their concerns over technology's effect on privacy.

In that same 2014 case, Alito said Congress is better situated than the courts to address the concerns. Two years earlier, Sotomayor said the court may need to bring its views in line with the digital age. "I for one doubt that people would accept without complaint the warrantless disclosure to the Government of a list of every Web site they had visited in the last week, or month, or year," she wrote in a 2012 case about police installation of a tracking device on a car without a warrant.


Police: Suspect shot after pointing fake gun at cop in Texas mall

Posted on November 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By Claire Z. Cardona The Dallas Morning News

ARLINGTON, Texas — A police officer shot and wounded a man suspected of stealing from a store at The Parks at Arlington mall Sunday afternoon.

Two on-duty Arlington officers, who were in uniform, responded to a report of a theft about 4:30 p.m. at the Sunglass Hut at the mall in the 3800 block of South Cooper Street, near Interstate 20, police Lt. Christopher Cook said.

Second photograph shows suspect pointing imitation replica BB gun directly at officer who was attempting to detain him for a theft investigation. It is nearly impossible to determine the authenticity of a real versus fake gun. pic.twitter.com/V0oIX8hTWM

— Will Johnson (@ArlingtonChief) November 27, 2017

One uniformed officer stayed on the upper deck of the mall and the second was on the lower floor. Mall security staff also reported on a two-way radio that they were following the man, who had reportedly stolen two pairs of sunglasses, police said.

Police said the man fled from security and got on the escalator to the second floor, near the food court. He pulled out what police said was later found to be an imitation weapon and pointed it at the police officer on the first floor. Believing that it was a real gun, the officer fired at the man, striking him, Cook said.

The suspect, who is in his early 20s, was taken to an area hospital. His condition was unavailable Sunday evening and authorities released no additional information.

No other injuries were reported.

The name of the officer was not released.

Despite initial reports on social media, the incident was not an active shooter situation, police said. But Cook indicated that the situation could have been worse.

Shoot out at the #Arlington parks mall pic.twitter.com/1j4bPRj4Z5

— Anthony M Lozano (@AnthonyMLozano) November 26, 2017

"This happened when the mall was extremely busy, there were a lot of bystanders," Cook told KXAS-TV (NBC5). "You saw a lot of people that were upset, crying, kids misplaced from their parents, people sheltering in place, because you don't know nowadays."

Cook also cautioned against the use of imitation firearms.

"Officers cannot make a distinction between the two, especially ... in a split second decision," he said. "You have an officer trying to detain an individual for a legitimate offense ... and then he makes a decision to pull an imitation firearm out. You can't do that. You'll get this type of response."

The mall, which had been scheduled to close at 6 p.m. Sunday, was evacuated early as police conducted their crime scene investigation.

Replica imitation firearms/BB guns have no place in society when used in criminal endeavors. There is no training that would allow officers to distinguish between what’s real & what’s fake in a matter of seconds. We will continue focusing efforts on new legislation. pic.twitter.com/EYgW5wZ0Jb

— Will Johnson (@ArlingtonChief) November 27, 2017

©2017 The Dallas Morning News


Large brawl outside NJ bar ends with 2 officers injured, 4 arrests

Posted on November 26, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

HOBOKEN, N.J. — A large brawl outside a New Jersey bar ended with four people under arrest and two police officers injured.

Hoboken police say as many as 40 men and women were involved in the fight that broke out around 4 a.m. Saturday.

Officers who happened to be nearby tried to break up the crowd. But as they started to separate combatants, smaller pockets of fights formed.

Authorities say one man threw officer Michael Losurdo to the ground. But Losurdo was able to arrest the man despite suffering leg, ear and head injuries.

Two other men then tried unsuccessfully to pull the man away from Losurdo and ran off, but both were captured.

Another officer suffered a back injury when another man jumped him from behind.

Authorities haven't said what sparked the brawl.

Last night, we had 2 @HobokenPD officers from our midnight shift injured breaking up a brawl involving 40 people. Fortunately, injuries are not serious but 1 Sgt is now out of work inj. Bars or restaurants that can't control crowds will not be tolerated.4 arrests for Agg Assault.

— Chief Ken Ferrante (@KenFerrante) November 25, 2017


Fla. man accused of hurling concrete blocks at police cars

Posted on November 26, 2017 by in POLICE

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A Florida man is accused of hurling concrete blocks at police cars.

The Gainesville Sun reports 20-year-old Delontaye Antwan Nicholas Wilson is charged with two counts of criminal mischief with damage to property and one count of resisting an officer with the University of Florida police department.

An arrest report says Officer Courtney Alexander pulled into the parking lot of the police station and saw a man throwing a concrete block at a police car.

According to the report, when Alexander got out of her car, she saw the man throw another block at the car.

Officers checked the parking lot and found a second police car with a shattered passenger window and a personal car with damage.

Jail records don’t list a lawyer for Wilson.


Suspect in death of Mich. deputy faces first-degree murder charge

Posted on November 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Hasan Dudar Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — A Macomb Township man, who authorities say claimed to be God, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of an Oakland County sheriff’s deputy on Thanksgiving Day.

Magistrate Marie Soma entered a not-guilty plea Saturday on behalf of Christopher Berak, 22, during a video arraignment at 52-3 District Court in Rochester Hills.

Berak, who was denied bond, is accused of leading police on a 22-mile chase that began in Lapeer County. Authorities say Berak intentionally steered his vehicle into Deputy Eric Overall, 50, causing Overall's death.

Overall, a 22-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, had gotten out of his car at the intersection of M-15 and Seymour Lake Road in Oakland County to place stop sticks on the road and end the chase.

Overall’s death has been ruled a homicide by the Oakland County Medical Examiner.

At Saturday's arraignment, Berak was charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of murder of a peace officer. Both counts carry a penalty of life in prison without parole upon conviction.

Berak, who works at a pizzeria and lives with his parents, has prior misdemeanor convictions, including possession of marijuana and attempted fleeing and eluding law enforcement, for which he’s currently on probation in the 41B District Court, said his lawyer, Stephen Rabaut.

Berak’s probable cause conference has been scheduled at the District Court in Clarkston on Dec. 4, at 9 a.m.

Funeral services for Deputy Overall will be held at Mt. Zion Church, 4900 Maybee Road in Clarkston at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, according to the sheriff’s office. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

©2017 the Detroit Free Press


Del. trooper dies suddenly while running with son

Posted on November 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

NEWARK, Del. — Police in Delaware say a state trooper likely died from a heart attack during a run with his son on Friday.

The News Journal reported Saturday that 40-year-old Sgt. Rodney H. Bond died suddenly near his home.

Bond was assigned to Delaware State Police Troop 2, which is based in Newark. Medical examiners have not declared a cause of death.

Bond was a 14-year veteran of the force. He worked in the criminal investigations unit as the school resource officer supervisor. He also was a member of the police honor guard.

Superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr. asked community members to keep Bond’s family and state police in their thoughts.

McQueen said Bond “was an outstanding trooper and was committed to serving the citizens of Delaware with dignity and pride.”


Funeral held for fallen US Border Patrol agent

Posted on November 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

EL PASO, Texas — Family, friends and law enforcement officers converged on an adobe Catholic church in El Paso, Texas, Saturday to mourn a Border Patrol agent whose death last weekend in the rugged and remote Big Bend area has not been explained.

Bagpipes played as Border Patrol pallbearers in green uniforms carried the U.S. flag-draped coffin of Rogelio Martinez, 36, into Our Lady of Guadalupe Church for a private funeral Mass. He died in a hospital Sunday of head and other injuries.

"It honors him to see law enforcement agencies from across the United States" attend the service, Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero told reporters outside the church.

Martinez was found Nov. 18 in a culvert along with his seriously injured partner, whose name has not been released, in a rugged area near Van Horn, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the border with Mexico and 110 miles (175 kilometers) southeast of El Paso.

Attorney General Jeff Session was scheduled to attend the funeral but it was not clear if he was there. Following the funeral, a graveside ceremony was held at Restlawn Cemetery in El Paso.

Speculation about the cause of death has run rampant with several politicians saying the agent was attacked, including President Donald Trump, who used the death to highlight his support for building a wall on the border with Mexico. Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. in the FBI's El Paso office has said investigators were treating the incident as a "potential assault," but they could not rule out other scenarios.

Representatives from the border patrol's union have insisted that the incident was an attack, based on the accounts of other agents who responded to the scene. Chris Cabrera, a spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council, told The Associated Press that agents responding to the scene called it "grisly."

However, a U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press on Monday that the agents may have fallen, and that the surviving agent had no memory of his duty-shift. The official spoke on condition of anonymity and is not authorized to speak publicly.

After the death of Martinez, his father told the El Paso Times that his son loved his job. Jose Martinez said his son would call him every day to say goodbye for the night.

"And I would tell him, 'Take care of yourself son. God bless you,'" the father said.


Boxing ring helps Mo. officer fulfill dream

Posted on November 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Tawanna Simms had wanted to be a cheerleader when she was 12 years old, a dream that her single mother couldn’t make true for her while rearing five children in a public housing complex.

So she stepped into a boxing ring instead at the free recreation center that was within walking distance. Boxing would change her life.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports her skills caught the attention of a local boxing coach Kenny Loehr and then St. Louis Police Maj. Jerry Leyshock. The two had her spar with female police officers training for a Thanksgiving Eve tradition, Budweiser’s Guns N Hoses. The event features firefighters boxing police officers to raise money for a nonprofit group that supports families of fallen first responders.

She secretly listened as they swapped stories about their jobs, and told Leyshock she wanted to be a police officer someday.

For most of her teen years, Simms was a regular at the gym. She graduated from Cleveland Jr. Naval Academy in 2012. Four years later, she graduated from the police academy. She now patrols the St. Louis’ neighborhood where she grew up and where she first saw Leyshock.

“I seen him ride around my ’hood a lot, but I didn’t talk to him because I wasn’t in any kind of trouble,” she said. “Now, when I ride through where I grew up, they see me, they smile and wave and praise me in a way, and they want to do the same thing.”

Simms is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Webster University, and participates at the annual Budweiser Guns ’N Hoses events.

Leyshock, now a lieutenant colonel, is still in her corner.

“She certainly saw a lot of failure out there, people making wrong choices, but she was transfixed on becoming a police officer. And she never wavered,” Leyshock said. “It’s a tremendous success story. And now she’s policing in the community where she grew up, and we need that.”


Minn. police department to provide ‘customer service’ training to new recruits

Posted on November 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Tom Olsen Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH, Minn. — Police officers put in hundreds of hours of logistical training, seeking to sharpen their skills and prepare for any dangerous scenario that might arise in the blink of an eye.

But cops tend to spend a lot less time training for their day-to-day interactions with community members, Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said.

"We're really good about training officers to be tactically sound — to have good critical-thinking skills and decision-making," he said. "But one of the areas we can improve upon is soft skills. Better communication will enhance your perspective and the way you look at problem-solving."

It is with that goal that the Duluth Police Department plans to introduce what Tusken describes as "customer service training" for the 15 newest recruits before they hit the streets for the first time.

The department has partnered with Dale Carnegie Training to experiment with a course that officials say could eventually become a more standard component of law enforcement training.

"Ultimately, when I think of Dale Carnegie, I think of customer service," Tusken said. "So many times it's used in industry, and policing really is about customer service. For years, it wasn't always looked at like that. We're a monopoly. You don't get to pick another police department because you don't like Duluth. So we always have to be at our best."

Dale Carnegie Training is an international, for-profit teaching business that boasts of more than 8 million graduates worldwide. It was established in 1912 and named for the self-improvement guru and author of "How to Win Friends and Influence People," one of the best-selling business books of all time.

Roz Randorf, a consultant for Carnegie in Duluth, said the new officers will receive the organization's standard 24-hour "Skills for Success" course. She said it will include the same content and principles as a class business executives might attend — though some language and scenarios may be tweaked slightly to tailor it to a law enforcement audience.

Randorf said she felt now would be a good time to test the course on officers, given the nationwide discussion over community-police relations in wake of numerous high-profile shooting incidents.

"There are all kinds of situations where communicating and building trust is critical to whether a situation escales or de-escalates," she said. "I think this will be be pretty transformational."

Tusken noted that the police department has consistently enjoyed the support of more than 70 percent of residents interviewed in National Citizen Surveys commissioned by the city.

But the chief said he views the Carnegie training as an opportunity to stay on the "cutting edge" of law enforcement, likening it to the recent department-wide training to recognize implicit bias and last year's deployment of less-lethal weapons that fire sponge rounds.

"We're starting from the platform of a lot of people approving of our service," he said. "But we pay rent on that everyday. We don't own it. As long as it took us to develop that, we can lose it just like that. So we need to stay ahead as a department."

The concept of Carnegie training for law enforcement began last year, when a partnership was forged with Global Peace Officer Development, a newly formed training organization founded in the Twin Cities by a retired police officer and a business executive.

Randorf said a cluster of police officers and commanders in the metro area were first assembled to test a pilot program, but Duluth will be the first outside agency to receive the training.

She said Carnegie's corporate office is offering the training to Duluth at a substantial discount and is keeping an eye on its progress. The department will pay $500 per recruit and officials are pursuing donations from businesses and benefactors to cover remaining costs.

Tusken said it's an opportune time to integrate the training. The incoming class consists of 15 new officers, which he said will be the largest group to join the department since at least 1970.

The recruits will receive the training near the end of the department's 10-week training academy, which gets underway next month.

If it's a success, Tusken said he could envision putting more officers through the training. The biggest hindrance, he said, is always cost.

"I'm excited for us to be able to look at things a little differently," he said. "We want to be looking at what we can do to continually enhance the work we do. We don't like to get mired in mediocrity and stay the status quo."

©2017 the Duluth News Tribune (Duluth, Minn.)


Sheriff: Man who killed Mich. deputy claimed to be God

Posted on November 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Bill Laitner Detroit Free Press

OAKLAND CO., Mich. — The man who authorities say drove his car straight at a police officer in rural Oakland County to kill him on Thanksgiving morning had earlier claimed he was God and demanded the release of one of his followers from jail, Lapeer County authorities said Friday.

Just before midnight, the man walked into the Lapeer County Jail where a lobby microphone heard him “say he was God and he was here to bring out one of his sons — his followers,” Lapeer County Sheriff Scott McKenna said.

What followed was likely the strangest police chase ever for Lapeer — multiple traffic stops, shouted talk through closed car windows, a suicide threat to drive at high speed into a tree, calls by the driver to 911 insisting that “we don’t follow your laws,” and a convoy of police cruisers following a battered blue car that was stopping at signs, using turn signals to change lanes and seemingly observing all traffic laws, McKenna said at a news conference Friday afternoon.

The police chase continued for 22 miles and, including stops, roughly a half hour — with pursuing cops “trying everything to de-escalate this” and avoid a tragic ending, McKenna said at the news conference, which was carried on WDIV-TV's Facebook page.

The chase ended in Oakland County’s Brandon Township, where Oakland Deputy Eric Overall — alerted by police radio calls — placed stop sticks on the highway to disable the fleeing suspect's vehicle, then stood well off the roadway. Yet Overall was struck when the suspect intentionally swerved to hit him, McKenna said.

McKenna gave this further account: On a squad car's dash-cam video, as the fleeing car nears the stop sticks, “you see the suspect tap his brakes and make an almost 90-degree turn to strike and kill Deputy Overall. . . I’ll say it one more time — that was a deliberate act."

McKenna went on: “The scary part of all this is that this guy came to us,” showing up at the jail’s lobby at 11:40 p.m. Wednesday to voice delusional statements, then going back to his car and calling 911 with similar statements. He even drove next door to the grounds of a state prison — Thumb Correctional Facility — where he said the same kinds of things to an exiting officer before driving back to the jail's parking lot, where he was confronted by county officers who'd been alerted by a 911 dispatcher.

When the man refused to get out of his car and instead drove off, those officers followed in their squad cars, yet driving without flashing lights and sirens, hoping to subdue the cautious driving, odd-talking man. He had yelled, "This isn’t a jail" because he "had a claim on this land.”

Next, after driving a short distance, the man pulled over and stopped, shouting at the deputies through his closed car windows that he was going to unbuckle his seat belt and would commit suicide by driving into a tree.

He then drove off at moderate speed and entered westbound I-69 heading toward Flint, soon turning south on M-15, driving through Genesee County where a Metamora police officer joined the chase. He finally entered Oakland County, apparently spotting Overall's squad car and then steering toward the standing deputy with deadly impact.

“I’m proud of everyone involved in this. Everyone did a fantastic job — with a horrible result. This was hard on everybody,” McKenna said, his voice breaking.

The pursuing officers refrained from aggressive tactics, such as attempting to use their vehicles to "box in" the fleeing car and force it to crash, McKenna said.

"If you want to know why, ask some legislators," he said, alluding to recent changes in state law that make it more difficult for police to justify aggressive chases. These came after complaints and lawsuits about pursuits ending in deaths, not only to those fleeing but sometimes to innocent drivers struck by drivers trying to escape the law.

Michigan State Police recently suspended all chases in Detroit, pending the investigation of one in which a pursuing officer fired a Taser stun-gun at a youth fleeing him on an unlicensed all-terrain vehicle just before the youth fatally struck a truck.

McKenna said declining to chase the odd-talking man wasn't an option.

"'When you have a person who goes to a law-enforcement agency and talks that way, you have to do something. If we'd let it go and something happened, I'd be getting hammered up here right now. I don't like how this turned out but we had to take action," he said.

The suspect is to be arraigned Saturday, said Oakland County authorities, who are handling the investigation. The 22-year-old Macomb Township man will be arraigned at 11 a.m. in Rochester Hills' 52-3 District Court via video link, according to a news release from the Oakland County Sheriff.

Overall died of blunt force injuries and his death has been ruled a homicide by the Oakland County Medical Examiner. The suspect has been held in the Macomb County Jail since the crash early Thursday, reportedly to avoid potential friction with corrections deputies who considered Overall a close friend.

The inmate at the Lapeer County Jail whom the fleeing driver had wanted released told investigators he was unaware of any effort to free him, McKenna said in the news conference. The inmate has been held in Lapeer since July and the two have had no contact, he said, adding: “It’s just an acquaintance. The guy in jail has been very cooperative. But it’s so hard to tell what this is about with somebody who’s so delusional.”

Overall was known as a caring, outgoing officer who took special interest in young people. Many who said Overall helped them as youths are among those who've left comments on a GoFundMe site set up to aid Overall's family. As of Friday night, the site had raised more than $46,000 in pledges.

Overall was recently married and had one adult son, authorities said.

Services for Deputy Eric Overall

Monday: Visitation will be 3-8 p.m. at Mt. Zion Church, 4900 Maybee Road, Independence Township. Open to the public.

Tuesday: Funeral service at Mt. Zion Church. Doors open at 9:30 a.m., with a service to begin at 11 a.m. After the service, there will be a "private procession for family and members of the Oakland County Sheriff's Office."

©2017 the Detroit Free Press


Suspected shooter of Texas trooper charged with capital murder

Posted on November 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Claudia Lauer Associated Press

DALLAS — The suspect in the shooting death of a state trooper during a Thanksgiving Day traffic stop in East Texas was charged Friday with capital murder of a law enforcement officer.

Dabrett Black, 32, was being held in the Brazos County jail in Bryan, Texas, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Houston. He is accused of fatally shooting Trooper Damon Allen on Thursday.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said in social media posts late Thursday that Allen initiated a traffic stop shortly before 4 p.m. on Interstate 45 near Fairfield, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of Dallas. DPS said Black shot Allen with a rifle after the trooper walked back to his vehicle.

Allen died at the scene, DPS officials said, adding that he had been with the department since 2002. An obituary posted Friday by the funeral home said Allen is survived by his wife Kasey, three daughters and a son.

DPS said Black, of Lindale, Texas, fled the scene in a car and was spotted about three hours later more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Fairfield, in Waller County. The Waller County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook that deputies were attempting to take Black into custody when shots were fired. It was not clear from the statement who opened fire.

Black fled on foot and was taken into custody after a police dog found him in a nearby field. He had been hiding among hay bales, authorities said. He was treated for injuries that weren't life-threatening.

"Our DPS family is heartbroken tonight after one of Texas' finest law enforcement officers was killed in the line of duty," DPS Director Steven McCraw said. "Trooper Allen's dedication to duty, and his bravery and selfless sacrifice on this Thanksgiving Day, will never be forgotten."

Allen was the second Texas trooper to be killed while on duty this month and the first trooper in the state to be shot in the line of duty since 2008. Trooper Thomas Nipper was struck and killed by a vehicle during a traffic stop on Interstate 35 earlier this month.

Court and jail records show Black has a history of evading arrest and violent run-ins with law enforcement officers.

A magistrate judge who heard official charges against Black declined to hold a bond hearing Friday. Black will likely be transferred to one of the three counties where there are open charges against him. Jail officials said a bond hearing on the capital murder charge would likely have to happen in Freestone County, where the charge originated.

Smith County court records show Black was indicted last month after he led police on a chase and rammed his car into a police cruiser in July. Court records show he was charged with aggravated assault of a public servant and evading arrest or detention with a vehicle. Brazos County jail records show that he was out on bond on those charges and that the bond had been recalled as insufficient due to the new charges.

Black was charged in 2015 with assault on a public servant and attempting to take a weapon from an officer, according to Smith County court records. Those charges were dismissed in 2016, but the records didn't explain why.

Brazos County jail records also show Black was facing a charge of evading arrest with a vehicle in Anderson County, east of where the shooting occurred Thursday. Details of the charge, including the date of the alleged offense, were unclear from those records that said his bond had been forfeited. A call to Anderson County court officials was not immediately returned Friday.

A call to a court-appointed attorney representing Black in the Smith County charges was also not immediately returned Friday. It was unclear from Brazos County records whether Black has an attorney representing him in the capital murder case.

Several Texas officials reacted to Allen's death. In a tweet Thursday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz offered "prayers for the family and loved ones" of the trooper.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the fatal shooting of Allen a "heinous crime" in a statement Thursday. Abbott also expressed his "most sincere condolences" to the trooper's family.

Allen's body was taken to the Dallas County medical examiner's office late Thursday night. A DPS spokesman said law enforcement officers on Friday escorted Allen's body to a funeral home in Teague, Texas.

A funeral is planned Dec. 1 in Mexia, Texas.


Authorities reopen 2010 case involving slain Baltimore detective

Posted on November 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Justin Fenton The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — After members of the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force were indicted this year for shaking down citizens and falsifying evidence, a federal inmate in a West Virginia prison reached out to the judge in his case. Umar Burley had been charged by a member of the task force. Now, he wanted another look at his arrest.

“Could you imagine how hard it is to be here for a crime I didn’t commit and struggling to find clarity and justice on my own,” Burley said in a hand-written letter in June that is included in his court file.

Burley was arrested in 2010 by then-Detective Wayne Jenkins, one of the indicted gun task force members, and by Detective Sean Suiter, who was killed last week. In court records filed at the time of Burley’s arrest, Jenkins wrote that Suiter found drugs in Burley’s vehicle, which was searched after a chase in Northwest Baltimore that ended with a collision that killed an 87-year-old man.

Federal prosecutors did reopen Burley’s case. And Suiter, on the day after his death, had been scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury still investigating the gun task force, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis confirmed this week.

It is not clear if Suiter’s testimony was expected to touch on Burley’s arrest. The slain detective also had worked with other members of the gun task force. Davis said Suiter was not a target of the federal investigation, and had a sterling reputation in the department.

But the disclosure that Suiter was going to testify brings together two cases that have rocked the city this year: the indictment of an elite unit tasked with taking guns off the street, and the first killing in a decade of an on-duty Baltimore police officer by a suspect.

Davis said police have no reason to believe Suiter’s death is connected to his testimony, calling the attack “spontaneous.” No suspect has been identified.

Records show Burley contested the charges at the time of his arrest, but eventually pleaded guilty and has been serving a 15-year sentence. Jenkins has not entered a plea in the racketeering indictment. A trial date is tentatively scheduled for January.

Burley’s arrest came after Jenkins and another detective were driving an unmarked vehicle patrolling in the Grove Park neighborhood on April 28, 2010. Federal prosecutors wrote at the time that the officers had received information that the area was being used by “large-scale drug dealers.”

“Detective Jenkins himself had arrested between five and 10 defendants in the area and had seized distribution quantities of drugs,” Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Celeste wrote.

Jenkins wrote in a statement of probable cause that he and his partner saw a man who was holding cash enter the passenger side of an Acura parked in the block. Jenkins pulled his vehicle in front of Burley’s Acura. Suiter, in a separate vehicle, pulled up behind.

As Burley began to drive away, Jenkins’ partner pulled out his service weapon and ordered Burley to stop. He pulled away, with the detectives in pursuit. The detectives said they lost sight of Burley’s vehicle, and he crashed at the intersection of Belle and Gwynn Oak avenues.

The collision forced another vehicle into the porch of a home, killing 87-year-old Albert Davis and severely injuring his wife.

In a police report, Jenkins wrote that Suiter conducted the search of the vehicle and found 32 clear plastic bags containing 29 grams of heroin, along with a digital scale.

Burley’s attorney at the time said Burley “disputes much of Detective Jenkins’ statement of probable cause,” and said the detectives had seized and arrested Burley without justification.

“Alleged law enforcement observations of an African-American entering a parked car with money in a high crime area do not add up to probable cause,” Burley’s attorney, Thomas Crowe, wrote.

Crowe also said the officers bumped Burley’s car when they blocked it in, and used deadly force by pointing a gun at him. He said police had tried to justify their actions by the later discovery of drugs.

The prosecutor on the case at the time backed the officers.

“The officers believed that a drug transaction was about to take place, based on their experience in seizing drugs from individuals making deals in cars and information provided by informants,” Celeste wrote.

Burley pleaded guilty in state court to manslaughter in the crash death, and received 10 years. In the federal case, he pleaded guilty to a heroin possession charge, and received 15 years. The suspect who was seen getting into the car also pleaded guilty, and received 46 months in prison.

In his letter to Judge Catherine C. Blake, Burley argued Jenkins’ indictment was “relevant to my case.”

Previously, prosecutors in the gun task force case have made accusations against Jenkins involving high-speed chases. In one incident in 2016, they say Jenkins and Detective Jemell Rayam, another member of the unit, pursued a vehicle that crashed near Mondawmin Mall. The officers allegedly stole drugs from the vehicle and re-sold them. Those accusations led to the indictment of a Philadelphia police officer.

Prosecutors also say that in 2011, Jenkins and Rayam pursued a vehicle at high-speed, resulting in a crash near Mondawmin Mall, and stole $1,800 from the driver.

Rayam has pleaded guilty to racketeering and is cooperating with authorities.

Suiter had other connections to members of the gun task force. From 2007 to 2009, Suiter worked with Detective Maurice Ward, who has pleaded guilty in the racketeering case and made arrests with Jenkins in 2011. Suiter also worked a handful of cases in 2008 with Detective Momodu Gondo, who has pleaded guilty.

©2017 The Baltimore Sun


Woman accused of lying about rape drops similar claim against 2nd trooper

Posted on November 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By James Halpin The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

PLAINS TWP., Pa. — A township woman charged with lying when she reported she had been raped by a Pennsylvania State Police trooper on Tuesday dropped a restraining order alleging a similar sexual assault by another trooper.

Christine A. Cromer, 37, of 237 Maffett St., is facing charges of filing false reports for reporting that Trooper Robert Covington, a Bureau of Gaming Enforcement officer, forced himself on her in November 2016, after she tried to break off a relationship with him.

Police say Cromer, who for months posted fliers and sought to publicize her cause, gave “multiple and inconsistent stories” about the alleged attack in an unmarked police car outside Mohegan Sun Pocono, where she worked at the time as a cocktail waitress.

Prior to being charged, Cromer obtained a temporary sexual-violence protection order against trooper Sgt. Daniel Jones, who interviewed her about the allegations against Covington. In her application, Cromer alleged Jones “forced himself” on her in a car behind the casino.

But in court Tuesday, with a group of investigators prepared to listen intently to her sworn testimony, Cromer announced that she had decided to drop the claim.

Jones’ attorney, William T. Jones of Scranton, said he would “vehemently object” to dismissal, arguing that dismissal would leave a filing that could tarnish the record of a trooper with a “stellar reputation.”

“This matter was filed with one intention: To intimidate a police officer who had nothing to do with the allegations,” William Jones said.

After hearing legal arguments, Senior Judge Linda K.M. Ludgate, visiting from Berks County, said dismissing the complaint with prejudice would allow for the record to be expunged and be in line with legal precedent. Cromer did not oppose that resolution.

According to the charges against Cromer, she told investigators she got into a relationship with Covington that began when the trooper approached her because of her husband’s involvement in the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. Covington offered to take Cromer on a cruise and to protect her, she claimed.

While Cromer claimed Covington had been pursuing her, casino employees reported that she was in fact “infatuated” with Covington, according to police.

Cromer initially denied having a sexual relationship with Covington, but later said they did have consensual sex in the car sometime in August 2016, according to police.

Police further allege that Cromer had no evidence to back up her rape story and could not even provide investigators with Covington’s phone number. Cromer also described the car where the alleged assault took place in as having a front bench seat, when in fact the vehicle has a large center console containing a radio, according to police.

Covington, meanwhile, maintained he had never been in a relationship with her, nor had ever communicated with her outside the casino.

Cromer remains free after posting $30,000 bail following her arraignment last week. She is due back in court for a preliminary hearing today.

©2017 The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)


Conn. chief’s ban of word ‘police’ on outerwear sparks outrage among rank and file

Posted on November 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By Brian Lockhart Connecticut Post

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Six letters emblazoned on the back of a jacket could be a matter of life and death for the men and women who safeguard Connecticut’s largest city.

That is how Sgt. Chris Robinson feels about having “POLICE” printed on outerwear worn by Bridgeport’s Finest.

Robinson was suspended with pay last week for publicly criticizing Police Chief Armando “A.J.” Perez’s Nov. 13 memorandum forbidding cops from advertising their profession on their clothing.

“We are the police, are we not? Yet then why are we now attempting to disguise or even go to such measures and means to hide it now?” wrote Robinson in a email rebuttal circulated throughout the department. His email, along with Perez’s order, were obtained by Hearst Connecticut Media.

“Members of Service (officers) are reminded that any wearing of ‘POLICE’ on department uniforms other than road job outerwear is prohibited,” Perez had written. “Supervisors will be held accountable for failing to enforce and abide by this directive.”

“This order compromises everyone’s safety!!!!” Robinson said in his email. “It is an order that can get an officer hurt or killed!”

It is certainly an order that has stirred up even more controversy for the acting top cop. Perez was already dealing with a spike in homicides, allegations of use of excessive force by some officers, angry community leaders demanding uniform cameras and training reforms, and pressure from City Hall to reduce overtime.

“It does make me worry about his leadership,” said City Councilman-elect Marcus Brown. “The police are there to protect and serve. People need to be able to ID who police officers are when outside of the vehicle. If they want to remove ‘POLICE’ from the jackets, what’s next? From police cars? It doesn’t make sense to me.”

In Bridgeport, cops are paid an annual uniform allowance but responsible for selecting and purchasing the clothing. Sgt. Chuck Paris, the police union president, said he is aware of a few members who opted to have “POLICE” printed on some of their clothing, in reflective material, “Not figuring it would be an issue. ... They feel safer with that on their jackets.”

Perez on Monday told Hearst that putting “POLICE” on uniforms is not authorized in current policy, which is established by the chief, the city’s law department and the police commission,

“Uniformity and discipline are necessary for the efficient operation of a police organization,” Perez said in a statement. “We are an organization of rules and laws and the rules must be adhered to. A uniform professional appearance is the image this organization wishes to convey.”

The chief noted that officers are “readily identifiable” by their uniforms, badges, name tags, hats, and police patches.

Perez also said that Robinson was not suspended “for raising concerns” but for not expressing them through proper protocol.

Robinson in the email that got him suspended offered four scenarios where officers could benefit from clothing with reflective letters, all occurring at night: Working at the scene of a motor vehicle accident; chasing a suspect; responding to a burglary; and trying to breakup a street fight.

In all four cases, Robinson said, having “POLICE” on a jacket or other outerwear would ensure that the wearer is recognized by fellow officers and the public. Robinson also argued that having “POLICE” on clothing could make a difference in court cases.

“I myself have been drilled on the stand before in trials that that they repeatedly asked me, ‘Well, is it possible that maybe they didn’t know you were a police officer’?” recalled Robinson.

Perez on Monday said he has not been provided “any studies” demonstrating such advantages. And John DeCarlo, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of New Haven, agreed the issue has not been researched.

DeCarlo said Robinson’s arguments made sense, but added that in some cases such outerwear could make police targets.

“I recall first becoming a cop and having the interior lights of the cars divested of bulbs because officers did not want the lights going on when they got out of the car so as not to be easy targets for someone looking to do them harm,” DeCarlo said.

And Hartford officials recently accused federal immigration enforcement agents in that city of wearing jackets emblazoned with “POLICE” to fool immigrants in the community who work with and trust local cops.

Paris said the union hoped to intervene with Perez on Robinson’s behalf and to further research the clothing issue to see if it current policy should be changed.

©2017 the Connecticut Post


Police: Decapitated MS-13 victim was stabbed 100 times, had heart ripped out

Posted on November 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Police in Maryland say they have charged an alleged MS-13 gang member with first-degree murder in the death of a man stabbed more than 100 times.

Montgomery County police say 19-year-old Miguel Angel Lopez-Abrego was charged in the death of a man whose body was discovered buried in a park in Wheaton in September.

The Post, citing Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, said Lopez-Abrego is a citizen of El Salvador and is in the United States illegally.

Police documents made public in a court hearing Wednesday and cited by the Washington Post say the victim was decapitated and dismembered. Court papers said the killers cut the victim's heart out and threw it in the grave.

Investigators have been unable to identify the victim. They are looking for other suspects.

Charging docs for Miguel Angel Lopez-Abrego aka “Timido”, 19, accused of murdering a still unknown victim in Wheaton park, say it’s MS13 linked. Allege Victim was lured from Annapolis, stabbed over 100 times & decapitated. More details in photos: pic.twitter.com/m3hUpdIZ7F

— Cam Thompson DCW50 (@CamThompsonDC) November 22, 2017


Last of 6 Baltimore cops in Freddie Gray case won’t face disciplinary hearing

Posted on November 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kasey Jones Associated Press

BALTIMORE — The last of six Baltimore police officers involved in the 2015 arrest of a young black man who died from a spinal cord injury he sustained in a police van won't face a disciplinary hearing after the police commissioner decided not to proceed.

Sgt. Alicia White was scheduled to face a trial board and possible termination on Dec. 5 related to Freddie Gray's arrest and van transport.

But Wednesday night, Commissioner Kevin Davis dismissed the scheduled administrative hearing. White will face no further administrative actions, police spokesman T.J. Smith said in an email.

White's attorney told The Baltimore Sun that White was "grateful" for the decision.

"She has always maintained her innocence from the very beginning," Tony Garcia said.

Davis' decision came less than a week after a police disciplinary board cleared Lt. Brian Rice, the highest-ranking officer involved in the Gray arrest. The same three-member panel, made up of law enforcers, recently found the police van's driver not guilty.

The evidence and allegations against White are the same as the previous two hearings, and Davis did not feel another hearing would be in good faith, Smith said.

"We look forward to continuing the many reform efforts underway that will ensure the BPD is serving our city in a manner consistent with the expectations of our residents," Smith said.

The death of the 25-year-old Gray set off Baltimore's worst riots in decades and led to a federal investigation into allegations of police abuse. Baltimore and the Justice Department entered into a reform agreement after a scathing report by the federal agency outlined widespread misconduct and abuse within the city's police department.

Rice and other officers also were acquitted of criminal charges in Gray's arrest and death.


Details emerge in fatal shooting of Texas LEO on Thanksgiving

Posted on November 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

FAIRFIELD, Texas — A Texas state trooper was shot and killed during a Thanksgiving traffic stop in East Texas.

The Texas Department of Public Safety released a statement on its Twitter account Thursday night identifying the trooper as Damon Allen, 41. DPS said Allen joined the department in 2002 and was married with three children.

The agency also said it will file capital murder charges against Dabrett Black, 32, of Lindale, Texas.

Allen was shot and killed before 4 p.m. Thursday during a traffic stop on Interstate 45 near Fairfield, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of Dallas, according to DPS. The department said Allen was shot with a rifle and died at the scene. The suspect then fled.

Hours after the shooting, the Waller County Sheriff's Office said the suspect's vehicle was spotted in Hempstead, about 110 miles (177 kilometers) south of Fairfield. The sheriff's office said on its Facebook page that shots were fired, but did not indicate who opened fire.

RIP Trooper Damon Allen, Texas Department of Public Safety, shot & killed during a traffic stop on Thanksgiving. Trooper Allen was 41 years old and is survived by his wife and three children. He served since 2002. #THESACRIFICECONTINUES. pic.twitter.com/uTM20ggUAc

— PAPD (@PAPD911) November 24, 2017

Black was apprehended a short time later. The Department of Public Safety said he's being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

KYTX-TV reported in July that Black was charged with evading arrest, reckless driving and aggravated assault against a public servant following a police chase in Smith County.

Several Texas officials reacted to Allen's death. In a tweet, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz offered "prayers for the family and loved ones" of the trooper.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called Allen's shooting death a "heinous crime" in a statement Thursday. Abbott also expressed his "most sincere condolences" to the trooper's family.


Police respond to ‘shots fired’ at London’s Oxford Circus

Posted on November 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

LONDON — British police flooded London's busy Oxford Circus area Friday after receiving multiple reports of "shots fired." They have not located any casualties.

Armed and unarmed officers rushed to the shopping district, and police said they were responding "as if the incident is terrorist related." They did not, however, confirm that it was.

The busy Oxford Circus subway station was closed and police have told people in the area to take shelter in nearby stores. Witnesses on social media reported people running into nearby shops and pubs for shelter.

The Metropolitan Police force said officers were called just after 4:30 p.m. to "a number of reports of shots fired on Oxford Street and underground at Oxford Circus tube station."

Police said officers have not found any casualties.

Police advised people to avoid the area, which was packed with commuters and shoppers at the end of the working week and amid Black Friday sales.


London’s Oxford Circus subway station reopens after ‘shots fired’ alert

Posted on November 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

UPDATE 11:10 a.m. (PST):

London transit authorities say Oxford Circus station has reopened after a large-scale security alert saw it evacuated amid reports of gunfire.

Transport for London says Oxford Circus and nearby Bond Street, which was also shut, have both reopened to subway trains.

Police say they were called Friday afternoon to reports of shots being fired in and around Oxford Circus station. People ran in panic and sheltered in stores.

But police later said that had found no trace of any suspects or casualties and no evidence shots had been fired.

One woman suffered a minor injury while leaving the subway station.

EARLIER:

LONDON — British police flooded London's busy Oxford Circus area Friday after receiving multiple reports of "shots fired." They have not located any casualties.

Armed and unarmed officers rushed to the shopping district, and police said they were responding "as if the incident is terrorist related." They did not, however, confirm that it was.

The busy Oxford Circus subway station was closed and police have told people in the area to take shelter in nearby stores. Witnesses on social media reported people running into nearby shops and pubs for shelter.

The Metropolitan Police force said officers were called just after 4:30 p.m. to "a number of reports of shots fired on Oxford Street and underground at Oxford Circus tube station."

Police said officers have not found any casualties.

Police advised people to avoid the area, which was packed with commuters and shoppers at the end of the working week and amid Black Friday sales.


Texas trooper fatally shot on Thanksgiving, manhunt underway

Posted on November 23, 2017 by in POLICE

PoliceOne Staff

UPDATE: (5:30 p.m. PST)

WALLER COUNTY, Texas — The Waller County Sheriff's Office has posted on Facebook that the suspect in the fatal shooting of a Texas Trooper, Darbrett Black, was spotted by a sheriff's deputy and shots have been fired.

Officials are urging everyone to stay out of the area and to "pray for the safety of all first responders involved."

EARLIER:

FREESTONE COUNTY, Texas — A Texas State Trooper was fatally shot Thursday afternoon and a massive manhunt is underway for the suspect.

The shooting occurred on Interstate 45 around 4 p.m., reported NBCDFW.com.

Officials have identified the gunman as Darbrett Black, who left the scene driving a gray Chevrolet Malibu, license plate: JDN4273.

pic.twitter.com/7elDFFOvrf

— Navarro County OEM (@NavarroOEM) November 24, 2017

Anyone who sees Black is urged to call law enforcement. Several law enforcement agencies are involved in the search for the gunman.

Authorities did not release the trooper’s identity nor did they release any more information on the shooting.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the TXDPS trooper shot and killed this afternoon in Freestone County. Information on the suspect to follow. #dfwnews #txdps

— Navarro County OEM (@NavarroOEM) November 23, 2017

A Texas DPS Trooper has been shot & killed in the line of duty. Suspect remains at-large! See post for detailed suspect information: pic.twitter.com/czhGpz1ksC

— Fort Worth Police OA (@FWPOA) November 23, 2017


Suspect in fatal shooting of Texas trooper in custody

Posted on November 23, 2017 by in POLICE

PoliceOne Staff

UPDATE: (6:53 p.m. PST)

WALLER COUNTY, Texas — The Waller County Sheriff's Office is reporting the suspect in the fatal shooting of a Texas Trooper has been taken into custody.

Suspect in today’s fatal TXDPS trooper shooting in Freestone County has been captured in Waller County near Prairie View. Excellent operation by numerous agencies to take this suspect into custody with no additional casualties. #wallercounty #txdps #freestonecounty

— Navarro County OEM (@NavarroOEM) November 24, 2017

The Dallas News reports that the trooper had pulled Darbrett Black's vehicle over for a traffic violation. As the trooper was walking back to his patrol car, the suspect fired multiple shots from a rifle.

Statement on Texas DPS Trooper killed in Freestone County. pic.twitter.com/n5qCclFHWF

— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) November 24, 2017

UPDATE: (5:30 p.m. PST)

WALLER COUNTY, Texas — The Waller County Sheriff's Office has posted on Facebook that the suspect in the fatal shooting of a Texas Trooper, Darbrett Black, was spotted by a sheriff's deputy and shots have been fired.

Officials are urging everyone to stay out of the area and to "pray for the safety of all first responders involved."

EARLIER:

FREESTONE COUNTY, Texas — A Texas State Trooper was fatally shot Thursday afternoon and a massive manhunt is underway for the suspect.

The shooting occurred on Interstate 45 around 4 p.m., reported NBCDFW.com.

Officials have identified the gunman as Darbrett Black, who left the scene driving a gray Chevrolet Malibu, license plate: JDN4273.

pic.twitter.com/7elDFFOvrf

— Navarro County OEM (@NavarroOEM) November 24, 2017

Anyone who sees Black is urged to call law enforcement. Several law enforcement agencies are involved in the search for the gunman.

Authorities did not release the trooper’s identity nor did they release any more information on the shooting.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the TXDPS trooper shot and killed this afternoon in Freestone County. Information on the suspect to follow. #dfwnews #txdps

— Navarro County OEM (@NavarroOEM) November 23, 2017

A Texas DPS Trooper has been shot & killed in the line of duty. Suspect remains at-large! See post for detailed suspect information: pic.twitter.com/czhGpz1ksC

— Fort Worth Police OA (@FWPOA) November 23, 2017


Mich. deputy killed during police pursuit

Posted on November 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BRANDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — An Oakland County Sheriff’s deputy has been killed when he was struck by a vehicle that was being pursued by police.

Authorities say that the deputy was outside his squad car shortly after midnight on Thursday preparing to deploy what are called “stop sticks” designed to deflate vehicles’ tires at an intersection in Brandon Township when he was struck by the fleeing suspect’s vehicle. The suspect’s vehicle rolled over and the driver was taken into custody at the scene.

The deputy’s name has not been released but the sheriff’s office says he had been with the department for 22 years.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says the deputy “had a great career here and touched a lot of lives.”

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Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard sadly informs the community that one of our Sheriff’s Deputies was tragically...

Posted by Oakland County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, November 23, 2017


Police: Slain Baltimore detective shot day before grand jury testimony

Posted on November 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By David McFadden Associated Press

BALTIMORE — A Baltimore detective killed by a gunman last week was slain a day before he was set to testify in a corruption probe into activities of indicted officers, the city's police commissioner confirmed Wednesday.

Commissioner Kevin Davis announced the news to reporters a week after the detective was shot in the head in a West Baltimore vacant lot. Rumors have been running rampant about the unsolved slaying of Detective Sean Suiter.

The police commissioner's latest revelation will do little to quell speculation. Davis emphasized that Suiter was not the target of any criminal investigation, but he was scheduled to testify before a grand jury "the day after he was murdered."

The Baltimore police and the FBI do not have any evidence to suggest that Suiter's slaying is "part of any conspiracy," according to Davis. But he added "there's nothing we won't consider" and said he understands why there is speculation.

"It certainly makes for great theater," Davis said.

The federal grand jury is investigating a group of Baltimore officers who worked together on a firearms crime task force and have been charged with stealing money, property and narcotics from people over two years. An indictment has described the members of the Gun Trace Task Force, a small unit dedicated to getting illegal guns off Baltimore's streets, as using their position to allegedly threaten the innocent, detain people on false pretenses and steal their money. They are also accused of faking police reports, lying to investigators and defrauding their department.

Davis emphasized that the evidence collected in Suiter's unsolved killing points to a "spontaneous encounter" the homicide detective had with a suspicious man he observed while working in a high-crime neighborhood with his partner. Evidence indicates a violent struggle, Davis said, including a roughly three-second-long radio transmission in which what seem to be gunshots are heard and Suiter appears to be in distress.

Investigators have recovered the detective's gun from the gritty lot where he was shot and have determined that the 18-year veteran of the department was shot with his own weapon. Ballistic tests show that recovered shell casings were matched to the recovered firearm.

An autopsy conducted four days after the attack showed that the gunshot was fired in "close contact" to Suiter's head, Davis said.

Davis knocked down speculation that Suiter's partner might have somehow been involved.

"The fact that we have not yet made an arrest creates an environment for rumors to flourish," he said, adding that "many people" have been interviewed and interrogated.

A reward of $215,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person who killed Suiter.


NM sheriff says body cam video unfair to officers

Posted on November 23, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The sheriff of New Mexico's most populous county will not require his deputies to use body cameras because he said the media would use the footage to unfairly criticize the officers.

Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales told KOAT-TV in a story Tuesday that the video "gives a lopsided, one-sided story, which I think is a disservice to the whole community."

His stance has drawn criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union and the New Mexico Foundation of Open Government.

Bernalillo deputies have been involved in nine shootings in the last four months. In the most recent, 50-year-old Matthew Scudero was fatally shot after authorities said he opened fire on deputies on Nov. 10.

A family member of Scudero has questioned the sheriff's office for why it doesn't have video of the encounter.

People want to know what happened and are not trying to unfairly paint the police a certain way, said Greg Williams, president of the open government foundation.

"It often justifies their position because it shows that they were doing their job in a correct way," Williams said. "And in those situations where maybe they were not, or mistakes were made, or things that they could learn from, the video helps that process."

Deputies do record audio during their interactions with people. The sheriff's office has not yet released the audio related to the shooting form earlier this month.


Thousands pay respects to Pa. officer slain during traffic stop

Posted on November 23, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Thousands of police officers from around the country turned out to pay respects Wednesday to a rookie Pennsylvania police officer who was fatally shot during a traffic stop last week.

Law enforcement officers from as far away as Colorado and Rhode Island joined students and residents lining the roads as Officer Brian Shaw's funeral procession moved through the streets of New Kensington. Some held handmade signs, such as one that read, "God Bless Officer Shaw." The mile-long line of police cruisers followed the hearse from the funeral home to Mount Saint Peter Church.

The 25-year-old officer was shot and killed Friday night when he tried to pull over an SUV for a routine traffic violation.

Mourners remembered Shaw for his smile, twinkling eyes and devotion to his job.

Frazer Police Chief Terry Kuhns, who was Shaw's boss before he joined the New Kensington department, said the officer once told him he wanted to make a difference in the world.

"It is not how officers die that make them heroes, it is how they lived," Kuhns said during the funeral Mass. "Clearly Brian tried to make a difference — and did make a difference — and lived his life as a hero."

The Mass was broadcast to the hundreds of mourners outside and could be heard all throughout the block.

Afterward, the vehicle procession wound its way to the cemetery for a private burial. In front of the hearse was Shaw's cruiser, draped in black ribbon with bouquets of flowers strewn about the hood.

Authorities have charged 29-year-old Rahmael Holt with fatally shooting Shaw.

Officials have said Shaw stopped a vehicle that Holt was riding in, and Holt fled on foot. Shaw, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, pursued Holt and was shot several times. It doesn't appear that Shaw returned fire.

Holt was arrested Tuesday after a multiday manhunt.

Among those watching the funeral procession was a group of about 60 Valley High School students and faculty gathered near the church.

Senior Ian Henry told the Tribune-Review he was there to show support to Shaw's family and other officers.

"We hope that they'll see how important they are to us," Henry said. "Our cause is to make sure Officer Shaw won't be forgotten."


City settles with dispatcher who slept through a 911 call

Posted on November 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PEABODY, Mass. — A Massachusetts city has reached a settlement with a former fire dispatcher who slept through a 911 call.

Terms of the settlement between Peabody and John Brophy have not been disclosed. The Salem News reports that Brophy was fired after he fell asleep during a 2005 call concerning a 6-month-old infant who had stopped breathing.

Police and an ambulance crew heard the call and were able to reach the home in time to save the baby's life.

An arbitrator later ruled the city needed to rehire Brophy — but he never returned to work, as then-Mayor Mike Bonfanti fired him again for failing to submit to a drug test. His lawyers contended he did not have to submit to the examination.

Neither Brophy nor the city returned requests for comment.


Police: Fla. man crashes car on purpose to highlight dangerous intersection

Posted on November 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CLERMONT, Fla. — Authorities say a man angered over people driving dangerously through a busy intersection appeared to intentionally cause a crash there to highlight the problem.

The Daily Commercial reports 61-year-old Bruce John Homer told Lake County Sheriff's Office deputies who responded to the Sunday afternoon accident that he was frustrated law enforcement wouldn't crack down on people running through a stop sign at the intersection.

The driver of the SUV that was hit says Homer pulled out in front of him as he was going through the intersection. The driver says Homer approached him after the crash, telling him he'd run the stop sign and law enforcement "won't do anything until someone dies."

Homer is charged with aggravated battery and reckless driving. It's unclear if he has a lawyer.


In terror-wary NYC, security tight for Thanksgiving parade

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Colleen Long Associated Press

NEW YORK — Sand-filled sanitation trucks and police sharpshooters will mix with glittering floats and giant balloons at a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade that comes in a year of terrible mass shootings and not even a month after a deadly truck attack in lower Manhattan.

New York City's mayor and police brass have repeatedly stressed that layers of security, along with hundreds of officers, will be in place for one of the nation's biggest outdoor holiday gatherings, and that visitors should not be deterred.

"We had a couple of tough months as a nation," Police Commissioner James O'Neill said. "We won't ever accept such acts of hate and cowardice as inevitable in our society."

A posting last year in an English-language magazine of the Islamic State group, which took credit for the Oct. 31 truck attack that killed eight people, mentioned the Thanksgiving parade as "an excellent target." Authorities say there is no confirmation of a credible threat.

"I want to assure the people that we swore to protect that anytime something happens anywhere in the world, the NYPD works with our law enforcement partners and studies it and we learn from it and it informs our decision making going forward," O'Neill said.

This year's security plan includes dozens of city sanitation trucks, which weigh about 16 tons empty and up to twice that with sand, that will be lined up as imposing barriers to traffic at every cross street along the 2 ½-mile parade route stretching from Central Park to Macy's flagship store on 34th Street.

In addition, officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors will walk among the crowds, and sharpshooters on rooftops will scan building windows and balconies for anything unusual.

New York officials are also asking the tens of thousands of spectators to be alert for anything suspicious.

"There will be a cop on every block," said NYPD Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan. "Go to that cop and say something."

The 91st annual parade begins at 9 a.m. and will be broadcast live on NBC. Smokey Robinson, Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, Flo Rida and Wyclef Jean will be among the stars celebrating, along with performances from the casts of Broadway's "Anastasia," ''Dear Evan Hansen" and "SpongeBob SquarePants."

New balloons added this year include Dr. Seuss' Grinch, Olaf from the smash movie "Frozen," and a puppy called Chase from Nickelodeon's "Paw Patrol."

Beyond the pageantry, police say they have been working on security for the parade since the moment last year's parade ended. It's a plan that got renewed attention after a terror attack in lower Manhattan Oct. 31, when a man in a rented truck barreled onto a crowded bike path near the World Trade Center, killing eight people.

Authorities said the 29-year-old suspect operated from a playbook put out by the Islamic State group. Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant, was charged with federal terrorism offenses that could qualify him for the death penalty. According to a criminal complaint, he made statements about his allegiance to the Islamic State group.

The first major event since the attack — the New York marathon, which drew tens of thousands of spectators and 50,000 runners from around the world — went off with no problems.

"We said right away New York's response is to remain strong and resilient," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "We do not back down in the face of terror threats. The city is filled with resolve."


Veteran, 71, writes letter to thank ‘angel’ Mass. trooper for helping him

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Melissa Hanson MassLive.com

One night just more than a month ago, a 71-year-old Marine Corps Vietnam-era veteran had to pull over on the side of Interstate 93 with tire trouble.

The Weymouth man had just crossed into Massachusetts from New Hampshire. But he didn't have much cell service and was having a hard time trying to talk with his road service company on the phone.

But his luck changed when State Police Trooper Steven Hanafin came to his rescue.

"I was scared and had not much cell service left on my phone," the man wrote in a letter to the State Police. "Then God sent an Angel, Tpr. Steven Hanafin, to my rescue... He protected me and after a while he even talked to my road service company and told them I was in a bad area and he hoped they could come soon."

State Police shared parts of the letter online Tuesday.

The trooper promised the man he would not leave him alone on the highway until his tire was fixed.

"Then, while there, the Trooper saw my plate and thanked me for my service, and said 'Semper Fi,'" the man wrote.

It turns out that Hanafin, of the Andover Barracks, is also a veteran.

"So there you are: God sent me an Angel, and a former Marine. Amazing. God works in mysterious ways," he wrote.

Once the road service came and helped, Hanafin put the busted tire in the man's trunk for him.

But that wasn't the end of his car troubles.

"I closed up the trunk and then, can you believe it, I went to start my car and the battery was dead from having the flashers on," the letter continued.

Again, Hanafin stayed.

"The Trooper made a phone call, and within five minutes two men showed up and jumped the battery. At last the man was able to continue his ride home," State Police wrote.

Hanafin continued to go the extra mile, following the man as he got on the road to head home.

"He took my number and called me at my house to make sure I got home safe," the man wrote. "Never in my life have I seen this and when I tell somebody they can't believe what I tell them, even my brother who for 28 years (was) a police officer."

Along with the letter, the man sent two Guardian Angel coins, one for Hanafin and one for Troop A Major Pat Russolillo.

"We are proud of the service provided, and compassion shown, by a Trooper to a man in a tough situation who needed his help," State Police wrote. "The motorist's own Guardian Angel truly did send him help that night when he needed it most in the form of MSP Trooper Steven Hanafin."

©2017 MassLive.com


NY police chief recounts day he was shot during domestic dispute call

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Amanda Spadaro The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y.

TOWN OF MONTGOMERY, NY — Arnold "Butch" Amthor saw the assailant's arm rise. He heard the gunshot just before he was knocked to the floor.

Anthony Bostick, 28, had barricaded himself in his third-floor Abbey Avenue apartment in the Village of Maybrook when Town of Montgomery and Village of Maybrook police officers tried to arrest him on charges related to a domestic dispute.

Amthor, police chief for both departments, said the situation escalated in seconds after officers breached the barricade.

Bostick, armed with a .45-caliber handgun, shot him.

Amthor's left side went numb. He couldn't get up. An officer grabbed him by the jacket and helped him stumble down the stairs.

He was immediately put into a car and taken to Newburgh, then transferred to an ambulance on Route 52 and taken to St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital.

"Until I saw the wound myself in the car, I initially thought that possibly it had blown my arm off, because I've investigated a lot of shootings, and a round like that certainly is capable of blowing your arm off," Amthor said.

Through the barricade

The confrontation in which Amthor was shot stemmed from an early morning report of a domestic dispute.

At about 3:30 a.m. on May 16, a woman walked into the Town of Montgomery Police Department and reported limited information about property damage at her home on Abbey Avenue, Amthor said.

Although Abbey Avenue is in the Village of Maybrook, the village relies on the town for police services from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Since 2007, Amthor has been the full-time chief for the town police, and he became the part-time chief for the village force in 2010.

Because the town's police department was short-staffed that night, officers decided to wait to respond to the complaint, Amthor said. The woman went to stay somewhere else, and officers drove by the home a few times during the night.

Later that morning, town and village officers headed to 812 Abbey Ave., a three-floor, multi-family home, to question Bostick about the property damage.

At about 8:30 a.m., Amthor was returning phone calls and answering emails, his normal routine, when he learned Bostick was not responding to officers' requests to come to the door.

Amthor decided to stop by the scene.

"It's on a case-by-case basis," he said. "I just felt like on that particular day that I should go over there."

After talking with the officers for about 40 minutes, Bostick stopped responding.

"Officers were concerned that he might be attempting to harm himself," Amthor said. They decided to enter the apartment.

The door had been barricaded, as documented by body camera footage released by Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler.

Bostick was hiding at the end of a hallway, near the bathroom.

"Anthony, step out," one officer said to Bostick, audible on the released footage. "Step out, bro."

Bostick can be heard telling the officers to "stop" multiple times.

"I'm coming either way," an officer said.

It only took seconds for the situation to turn violent.

"One officer started to approach (Bostick), and he just raised his hand up really quick," Amthor said. "He fired one shot."

"It spun me around about 180 degrees and knocked me right on the floor," Amthor said.

While Amthor was helped out of the apartment, Town of Montgomery Police Officer John Hank returned fire.

'Your husband is shot'

Amthor's wife, Lisa Amthor, was on the phone in her office at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut when two police officers showed up.

"They said, 'We're here to tell you that your husband is shot but he's okay, and we're going to take you there,'" she said. "But all I really heard was that he was shot."

With a background as a critical care nurse, Lisa Amthor knew that even if he was alright initially, a gunshot wound could be worse than it looked.

"They didn't know if he was hit in the heart, in the lungs, in an artery, in the throat. We didn't know anything at the time," she said. Halfway through the hour-long drive from Danbury to St. Luke's, she learned he was shot in the shoulder.

Hospital staff stopped the bleeding and dressed the wound. Amthor was held overnight for observation and released the next day.

"I never had the thought that I was going to die," he said. "I knew as long as I got to the hospital, I was confident that I was going to be OK."

In his 31 years as a police officer, it was the first time he had been shot. While he always considered it a possibility, he didn't expect it.

"I say if you gave Alex Rodriguez a 20-pound sledgehammer and told him to hit you, and they braced you against a brick wall so you really couldn't kind of roll with it ... that's about what it feels like," he said.

Today, his left shoulder bears a purple scar the size of a penny.

The bullet missed a major artery by an eighth of an inch. Doctors told him he would have died on the way to the hospital if it had been hit.

The round embedded in his scapula, where it remained until early August, since it wasn't medically necessary to remove it immediately or at all, Amthor said.

"You could feel the bullet coming through my skin," he said.

On Aug. 2, he had the bullet fragment removed. A week before, Amthor had returned to work for both the town and village. But in September, he went back on leave, realizing he had returned to work too soon.

Amthor has been doing physical therapy to improve his range of motion, and hopes to return to work in about two months.

Asked if he ever considered leaving law enforcement, he answered immediately.

"No, not at all."

Now, the family is working on their return to normalcy, Lisa Amthor said.

"People really have no idea of the gravity or the impact," she said. "Even though he's OK and things worked out really as best as can be expected, it still takes something out of you, the officer, or the family.

"Even now that something has happened, this disturbed twist of events, you have to try to weave it back into the fabric of life so to speak and smooth things over."

Shots fired

Although the Orange County District Attorney's Office and Amthor declined to identify the officer who returned fire, Hank identified himself after an award ceremony in September in Maybrook.

Hank, who was the first to enter the apartment and notice it was barricaded, said the situation was frightening in its unpredictability. The 39-year-old has been a police officer for 17 years, including four years with the NYPD.

"Any police officer that says they do not deal with fear is lying," he said. "Any time you're in a stressful or very dangerous situation, there is always that element of fear. But that fear helps us stay focused and stay vigilant to keep us safe."

The danger is real, Hank said, even in a quiet place like Maybrook.

"None of us go into situations like this thinking we're invincible or feeling like there's no chance anything bad can happen," he said. "It doesn't matter how big or how small a department you work for, there's always that threat."

A few seconds after Hank fired back, a muffled shot can be heard on the video. The officers fled the apartment and set up a containment perimeter around it.

Hours later, Bostick was found dead, killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the left temple, according to the Orange County Medical Examiner's Office.

In August, an Orange County grand jury decided not to charge Hank for returning fire, and an independent investigation by the District Attorney's Office determined he was justified in using deadly force. Ballistics evidence was consistent with suicide, and no bullets fired by the police struck Bostick, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Hank declined to talk about Bostick's suicide or the investigation.

"I'd be perfectly happy if this had never happened," Hank said. "I think people think we're excited to be involved in these things, but ... we all wholeheartedly wish we could've ended this peacefully and moved on from there."

Judgment calls

Being a police officer requires one in-the-moment judgment call after another.

The officers decided to enter the apartment out of fear that Bostick might commit suicide, said Amthor, who declined to describe officers' 40-minute conversation with him.

Police knew Bostick had expressed suicidal thoughts, and that he had served five years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree attempted burglary a decade ago.

But that is not something that changes how an officer reacts, Amthor said.

"You're not going to treat the person differently because they got arrested before," he said. "If you have somebody who you know has a history of mental illness, or you know somebody has a history of suicidal behavior ... those are all things that you'd like to have knowledge of and take into consideration."

Officers often have to make immediate decisions with limited information, which can be challenging during emotionally charged calls like domestic disputes, Amthor said.

"People are very unpredictable when they're upset, when they're angry, when there's anxiety ... they're very volatile," he said. "It's an emotional situation."

Officers simply try to de-escalate the situation and make what they believe is the best call.

"You try not to make the situation worse. And I think somebody can always go, after the fact, 'Well, you should've tried this or you should've said this,'" Amthor said.

That hindsight can be difficult to deal with, Amthor said, especially when the Abbey Avenue call ended with Bostick's suicide.

"At the end of the day, no police officer wants to feel that they're responsible for somebody taking their life," Amthor said.

©2017 The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y.


The worst military handgun cartridge of the 20th Century?

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: TFB Staff

This article originally appeared on The Firearm Blog.

Mike takes a look at the Swiss 7.5mm M82 cartridge, which served from the 1880s until the 1970s, production ending in the 1960s. You’ll be amazed by the most shocking bit of info about this rather weedy little number!

Guns in this video: Swiss M82 revolver Swiss M82/29 revolver Belgian Bulldog


Maine police warn people not to eat spoiled, trash-picked turkeys

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

FALMOUTH, Maine — A Maine police department is warning residents to steer clear of black market Butterballs.

The police department in Falmouth reports a Hannaford supermarket had to discard frozen turkeys that thawed out because of a mechanical failure. Police say the problem is that someone collected them from a trash bin with the idea of redistributing them.

Police say people should beware of the black market turkeys because they're dangerous to consume. They urge any consumers who came across them to put them in the trash where they belong.


Maine police warn people not to eat spoiled, trash-picked turkeys

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

FALMOUTH, Maine — A Maine police department is warning residents to steer clear of black market Butterballs.

The police department in Falmouth reports a Hannaford supermarket had to discard frozen turkeys that thawed out because of a mechanical failure. Police say the problem is that someone collected them from a trash bin with the idea of redistributing them.

Police say people should beware of the black market turkeys because they're dangerous to consume. They urge any consumers who came across them to put them in the trash where they belong.


Suspect in NY terror attack indicted on murder, terrorism charges

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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Larry Neumeister Associated Press

NEW YORK — A 22-count indictment was returned Tuesday against a New Jersey man in the slayings of eight people during a truck attack on a bike path in New York City.

Sayfullo Saipov, 29, of Paterson, was charged in Manhattan federal court with providing material support to the Islamic State group, along with eight counts of murder and 12 counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering. Numerous counts carry a potential penalty of death.

He was arrested after people were run over by a vehicle Oct. 31 in a midday attack that authorities immediately labeled terrorism.

His lawyer did not return a message seeking comment.

In a release, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the attack a "calculated act of terrorism in the heart of one of our great cities."

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said "scores of videos and images on his cellphone" will be part of the evidence in the case against Saipov.

"Like many terrorists before him, Saipov will now face justice in an American court," Kim said. "And like New York City's response to his alleged attack, we expect that justice in this case will be swift, firm and resolute."

William F. Sweeney Jr., head of New York's FBI office, said the indictment should signal "that the rule of law will always prevail."

"When Sayfullo Saipov carried out his brutal attack last month, his intentions were to inflict significant damage, death and injury to innocent victims and terrorize this city," Sweeney added. "We announce today's indictment with the understanding that nothing can ever reverse the unfortunate events of that day, or alleviate the pain and sorrow of the victims' families."

Saipov, held without bail, was charged with using a rental truck to mow down cyclists and pedestrians on a bike path.

Authorities said he made statements after his arrest about his allegiance to the Islamic State group, which later took credit for the attack. He was shot by a police officer after crashing the truck into a school bus. His injury was minor enough that he was transferred to a prison facility in Manhattan two days later.

Saipov came to the U.S. legally in 2010 from Uzbekistan, where officials say he had no history of trouble with the law. He first lived in Ohio, where he was a commercial truck driver, then in Florida. He most recently lived in New Jersey with his wife and children, and worked as an Uber driver.

Authorities said in court papers that Saipov told investigators he was inspired to carry out the attack after watching a video of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi questioning "what Muslims in the United States and elsewhere were doing to respond to the killing of Muslims in Iraq."

Evidence against him includes what was found on two of his cell phones, according to court documents. Investigators said one phone contained 90 videos and other Islamic State propaganda, including one of a beheading and another of a tank running over a prisoner. The other phone showed a search for truck rental outlets.


Suspect in NY terror attack indicted on murder, terrorism charges

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Larry Neumeister Associated Press

NEW YORK — A 22-count indictment was returned Tuesday against a New Jersey man in the slayings of eight people during a truck attack on a bike path in New York City.

Sayfullo Saipov, 29, of Paterson, was charged in Manhattan federal court with providing material support to the Islamic State group, along with eight counts of murder and 12 counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering. Numerous counts carry a potential penalty of death.

He was arrested after people were run over by a vehicle Oct. 31 in a midday attack that authorities immediately labeled terrorism.

His lawyer did not return a message seeking comment.

In a release, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the attack a "calculated act of terrorism in the heart of one of our great cities."

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said "scores of videos and images on his cellphone" will be part of the evidence in the case against Saipov.

"Like many terrorists before him, Saipov will now face justice in an American court," Kim said. "And like New York City's response to his alleged attack, we expect that justice in this case will be swift, firm and resolute."

William F. Sweeney Jr., head of New York's FBI office, said the indictment should signal "that the rule of law will always prevail."

"When Sayfullo Saipov carried out his brutal attack last month, his intentions were to inflict significant damage, death and injury to innocent victims and terrorize this city," Sweeney added. "We announce today's indictment with the understanding that nothing can ever reverse the unfortunate events of that day, or alleviate the pain and sorrow of the victims' families."

Saipov, held without bail, was charged with using a rental truck to mow down cyclists and pedestrians on a bike path.

Authorities said he made statements after his arrest about his allegiance to the Islamic State group, which later took credit for the attack. He was shot by a police officer after crashing the truck into a school bus. His injury was minor enough that he was transferred to a prison facility in Manhattan two days later.

Saipov came to the U.S. legally in 2010 from Uzbekistan, where officials say he had no history of trouble with the law. He first lived in Ohio, where he was a commercial truck driver, then in Florida. He most recently lived in New Jersey with his wife and children, and worked as an Uber driver.

Authorities said in court papers that Saipov told investigators he was inspired to carry out the attack after watching a video of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi questioning "what Muslims in the United States and elsewhere were doing to respond to the killing of Muslims in Iraq."

Evidence against him includes what was found on two of his cell phones, according to court documents. Investigators said one phone contained 90 videos and other Islamic State propaganda, including one of a beheading and another of a tank running over a prisoner. The other phone showed a search for truck rental outlets.


Spotlight: CATI Armor provides a lighter line of body armor

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

PoliceOne Sponsors
Author: PoliceOne Sponsors

Company name: CATI Armor Signature product: CQB multi-curve steel core armor plate line Website: https://www.catiarmor.com/

The CATI Armor name originates from two distinct points in history. The first is the battle of Thermopylae in 480BC which is the famous battle of 300 Spartans against the Persian Empire, and the 2nd is the Battle of Gonzales Texas, in 1835. Both represent the spirit of protecting one’s life, liberty and property, embodied with the slogan "Come and Take it!"

Q&A:

1. Where did your company name originate from?

Our company name originates from two distinct points in history. The first is the Battle of Thermopylae in 480BC which is the famous battle of 300 Spartans against the Persian Empire. The second is the Battle of Gonzales during the Texas Revolution in 1835. Both represent the spirit of protecting one's life, liberty and property, embodied with the slogan "Come and take it!"

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

Our signature product is our CQB multi-curve steel core armor plate line. A patent- pending forming process creates multiple radius curves in our steel core ballistic plates. This multi-curve plate conforms perfectly to the body which allows the low-profile plate to wear lighter and more secure.

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

Our patent-pending CQB multi-curve plates are essential to the first responder community because of the great performance they provide at an affordable price. From Level 3a pistol threat plates at .21 inches thick to special threat- tested 3+ rifle threat plates at a little over .25 inches thick, our CQB plates far exceed the lifespan and durability of composite solutions, while formed to a fit, multi-curve design.

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

The biggest challenge our company has faced is twofold. The first was brand differentiation from other steel core armor companies. The second was solving the problem of making a steel plate that fits just right.

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

The most rewarding aspect of serving those who serve us is providing a comfortable, capable and concealable armor plate.

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

Further expanding the CQB multi-curve line and developing a try-before-you-buy program for departments. We are confident that if you are looking for a steel core armor solution, our plates will sell themselves. Try some on!


Spotlight: CATI Armor provides a lighter line of body armor

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

PoliceOne Sponsors
Author: PoliceOne Sponsors

Company name: CATI Armor Signature product: CQB multi-curve steel core armor plate line Website: https://www.catiarmor.com/

The CATI Armor name originates from two distinct points in history. The first is the battle of Thermopylae in 480BC which is the famous battle of 300 Spartans against the Persian Empire, and the 2nd is the Battle of Gonzales Texas, in 1835. Both represent the spirit of protecting one’s life, liberty and property, embodied with the slogan "Come and Take it!"

Q&A:

1. Where did your company name originate from?

Our company name originates from two distinct points in history. The first is the Battle of Thermopylae in 480BC which is the famous battle of 300 Spartans against the Persian Empire. The second is the Battle of Gonzales during the Texas Revolution in 1835. Both represent the spirit of protecting one's life, liberty and property, embodied with the slogan "Come and take it!"

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

Our signature product is our CQB multi-curve steel core armor plate line. A patent- pending forming process creates multiple radius curves in our steel core ballistic plates. This multi-curve plate conforms perfectly to the body which allows the low-profile plate to wear lighter and more secure.

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

Our patent-pending CQB multi-curve plates are essential to the first responder community because of the great performance they provide at an affordable price. From Level 3a pistol threat plates at .21 inches thick to special threat- tested 3+ rifle threat plates at a little over .25 inches thick, our CQB plates far exceed the lifespan and durability of composite solutions, while formed to a fit, multi-curve design.

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

The biggest challenge our company has faced is twofold. The first was brand differentiation from other steel core armor companies. The second was solving the problem of making a steel plate that fits just right.

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

The most rewarding aspect of serving those who serve us is providing a comfortable, capable and concealable armor plate.

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

Further expanding the CQB multi-curve line and developing a try-before-you-buy program for departments. We are confident that if you are looking for a steel core armor solution, our plates will sell themselves. Try some on!


5 off-duty safety rules every cop should follow

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Marty Katz
Author: Marty Katz

While on duty, police officers are in a constant state of readiness (or they should be), but when off duty, with family and friends, it is easy to drop your guard. But criminals who prey on society work 24/7, so maintaining situational awareness is always important.

Follow these five rules to ensure your safety when off duty.

1. Always be armed.

Never leave your home without your firearm. If you carry your badge and id, you must carry your weapon.

Always carry additional loading devises, magazines or speed loaders. Carry your firearm in the same place, so you will reach for it without thinking about its location on your person.

It is a good idea to carry handcuffs, as you may need to control a suspect while you wait for help to come.

It would also be ideal to have a portable light source such as a flashlight or weapon-mounted light. Taking action means being able to clearly identify the situation and the threat; having a light could be critical for the proceeding investigation that will follow.

2. Don’t show your cards.

I tell officers to carry two wallets: one for your police id and badge and the other for your personal identification, credit cards and money. There is no need to open your wallet and display your badge.

Refrain from wearing any items that link you to law enforcement or having any LEO decals on your personal vehicle.

3. Make a plan.

Instruct your family on what to do if you are forced into action. Knowing they are out of harm’s way allows you to concentrate on the task at hand. They need to distance themselves from you and contact 911.

Agree on a phrase that alerts your family you are about to take action. Rehearse your response. Remind your family of the phrase, the action you need them to do, and what you are going to do based on the circumstances.

Understand that it might be better to act as a witness rather than intervene. You are by yourself without a radio, no uniform to identify yourself, you might not see the entire situation and, when seconds count, your backups are minutes away.

4. Prepare for the possibility of being a victim.

You have a legal right and obligation to be armed. If a criminal picks you for their prey, too bad for them. The moment your mind acknowledges the danger, you must respond correctly. If you are not armed, you might find yourself taking partial action without the needed equipment.

5. Train with your off-duty weapon.

Train with your off-duty weapon just like you train with your on-duty weapon. Speed is fine, but accuracy is final. Train to draw and fire from various positions while wearing non-uniform clothing.

The ability to survive is a perishable skill that needs constant training to remain second nature. Off duty, you deal with action vs. reaction with a good chance that you will be the one reacting. You might not have the luxury of time. Action must be spontaneous, within policy and all without stopping to think.

While all the above is taking place, be aware you are not wearing your vest.

The key to survival is to have the proper mindset, be aware of your surroundings, always train, have a plan, and know what you can and cannot do legally. Once the situation unfolds, you must do something. Indecision is fatal. Take action or mentally record the event. Either way, you must switch to the on-duty mindset. Be safe out there.


Ohio dealer must pay funeral expenses for drug user who overdosed

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

null
Author: Marty Katz

By PoliceOne Staff

CINCINNATI, Ohio — An Ohio drug dealer has been ordered to pay for the funeral expenses of a user who overdosed.

WLWT reports that as part of his sentence for distributing fentanyl, Michael Chandler, 29, will have to pay more than $9,000 in restitution to cover the funeral costs of a juvenile user who died of an overdose. Chandler was also sentenced to 200 months in prison.

Investigators said the user died on April 20, 2016 after ingesting fentanyl that was distributed by Chandler. Authorities were able to trace the drug back to Chandler and searched his home.

They found fentanyl, 28 grams of cocaine, a handgun and other drug paraphernalia inside his home.

Chandler was indicted on six distribution charges in June 2016 and pleaded guilty in May 2017.


Funeral services planned for slain Baltimore homicide detective

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Talia Richman The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — The funeral for slain Baltimore homicide Detective Sean Suiter will be held at 11 a.m. on Nov. 29 at Mt. Pleasant Church, according to a police department death notice.

Suiter died Thursday after he was shot in the head while investigating a homicide in the notoriously violent Harlem Park neighborhood in West Baltimore. The 18-year department veteran was 43 years old, and leaves behind a wife and five children.

After nearly a week, police have not provided a detailed suspect description. Since at least the 1960s, the city has never gone this long without identifying a suspect in the killing of a police officer.

City and state authorities are offering a $215,000 reward for information.

A GoFundMe page set up to support the family has raised more than $41,000.

There will also be a viewing for Suiter held on Nov. 27 and Nov. 28 at Vaughn Greene Funeral Home in Randallstown. The viewing will run from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on both days.

©2017 The Baltimore Sun


Funeral services planned for slain Baltimore homicide detective

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Talia Richman The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — The funeral for slain Baltimore homicide Detective Sean Suiter will be held at 11 a.m. on Nov. 29 at Mt. Pleasant Church, according to a police department death notice.

Suiter died Thursday after he was shot in the head while investigating a homicide in the notoriously violent Harlem Park neighborhood in West Baltimore. The 18-year department veteran was 43 years old, and leaves behind a wife and five children.

After nearly a week, police have not provided a detailed suspect description. Since at least the 1960s, the city has never gone this long without identifying a suspect in the killing of a police officer.

City and state authorities are offering a $215,000 reward for information.

A GoFundMe page set up to support the family has raised more than $41,000.

There will also be a viewing for Suiter held on Nov. 27 and Nov. 28 at Vaughn Greene Funeral Home in Randallstown. The viewing will run from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on both days.

©2017 The Baltimore Sun


Calif. police dept. criticized for dumping water on woman during helicopter fire training

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jordan Graham and Keith Sharon The Orange County Register

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — An Orange County sheriff’s helicopter practicing firefighting techniques in Huntington Beach last month inadvertently dumped water on a woman standing outside a plumbing business, generating questions about whether the department is as yet skilled enough to fight fires.

The errant dumping occurred Oct. 9, the day the Canyon Fire 2 erupted in Anaheim Hills. While the blaze burned more than 9,000 acres and damaged or destroyed nearly 60 structures, the Orange County Fire Authority did not ask the sheriff’s three helicopters for help dumping water — a decision that later sparked criticism from county supervisors and the community.

However, a damage claim filed by the drenched woman suggests more study might be needed on the sheriff’s readiness to engage in firefighting, officials said.

“We want to know if the sheriff’s department is trained up to deal with these situations … We need to understand what their future capabilities are,” said Supervisor Todd Spitzer, who is helping to monitor a fire investigation requested by Supervisor Shawn Nelson.

“I certainly want (the claim) in our investigation,” Spitzer said.

Sheriff’s officials acknowledged the dumping mistake and noted that the incident occurred while training. If the agency had been asked to help fight the Canyon Fire 2, officials said,it has pilots on staff who are more experienced with the equipment.

Capt. Joe Balicki, who heads the sheriff’s aviation unit, said accuracy “would not have been an issue” while fighting a wildfire on a hillside.

“You don’t have to be that accurate in an open area,” Balicki said.

Nelson agreed.

“Is the contest to see who drops the potato in the bucket from the highest height? No,” the supervisor said.

But fire officials noted that stakes are high when fighting any blaze. Fire Authority Battalion Chief Marc Stone said firefighters on the ground could sustain significant injuries if a helicopter missed the target while dropping water.

“Imagine 300 gallons of water at eight pounds per gallon, coming down 100 feet on top of your head,” Stone said. “Do misses happen? Yes. But it’s very important they don’t happen regularly.”

“I can tell you this,” Stone added. “Our carded pilots have not dropped water on civilians.”

For nearly two years, sheriff’s department and fire authority pilots have feuded over whether sheriff’s helicopters should be used in rescue situations and to fight fires, jobs traditionally reserved in Orange County for firefighters. That ongoing dispute has led to numerous confrontations between deputies and fire officials, including tug-of-war style arguments over who would respond to rescue calls. The agencies are in official mediation over the issue.

That argument became public again after news broke on how the fire authority responded to the Canyon Fire 2. That morning, as flames that soon would devour homes started, sheriff’s pilots were practicing water drops at Irvine Lake, less than five miles from the fire’s origin. But the Sheriff’s Department was not invited to help fight the blaze, in part because fire officials believed the sheriff’s equipment wasn’t legally certified for that purpose.

That’s why sheriff pilots moved their training to a patch of dirt behind a Huntington Beach fire training center near Gothard Street.

Kayla Kuvakas, a 28-year-old dispatcher at Crandall’s Plumbing, said she could feel a rumbling generated by the helicopters as she sat at her desk between 10 and 11 that morning.

“It was a really loud sound, and really low,” she said. “My desk was shaking.”

She went outside and saw a sheriff’s helicopter. It had a reddish funnel hanging from the bottom.

And then …

“As soon as I looked up, the water dumped on me,” she said. “I was soaked.”

Kuvakas dropped her phone, which shattered, and ran. She saw the helicopter continue to drop water on a nearby construction crew and on firefighters who were training.

Kuvakas went inside her office and dried her shirt, using a dryer that plumbers use for their tools. She said her supervisor later urged her to leave work, according to her claim.

She is asking the county for $1,079 for damage to her Michael Kors wristwatch and her cellphone and $2,000 for other compensation.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Bart Epley, a helicopter pilot, confirmed the incident, saying he was practicing dumping water that morning using the belly tank that’s been attached to the department’s Huey helicopter.

“I was training with it, and so I released (the water) a little bit early,” Epley said.

“It’s like anything else; as you go on you get better.”

Epley said the helicopter was carrying about 150 gallons that he’d pulled from a nearby reservoir. He said Kuvakas was hit by spray, not a direct blast of water.

“I apologized,” Epley said. “I regret hitting her. It was just a mistake.”

Copyright 2017 The Orange County Register


Calif. police dept. criticized for dumping water on woman during helicopter fire training

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jordan Graham and Keith Sharon The Orange County Register

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — An Orange County sheriff’s helicopter practicing firefighting techniques in Huntington Beach last month inadvertently dumped water on a woman standing outside a plumbing business, generating questions about whether the department is as yet skilled enough to fight fires.

The errant dumping occurred Oct. 9, the day the Canyon Fire 2 erupted in Anaheim Hills. While the blaze burned more than 9,000 acres and damaged or destroyed nearly 60 structures, the Orange County Fire Authority did not ask the sheriff’s three helicopters for help dumping water — a decision that later sparked criticism from county supervisors and the community.

However, a damage claim filed by the drenched woman suggests more study might be needed on the sheriff’s readiness to engage in firefighting, officials said.

“We want to know if the sheriff’s department is trained up to deal with these situations … We need to understand what their future capabilities are,” said Supervisor Todd Spitzer, who is helping to monitor a fire investigation requested by Supervisor Shawn Nelson.

“I certainly want (the claim) in our investigation,” Spitzer said.

Sheriff’s officials acknowledged the dumping mistake and noted that the incident occurred while training. If the agency had been asked to help fight the Canyon Fire 2, officials said,it has pilots on staff who are more experienced with the equipment.

Capt. Joe Balicki, who heads the sheriff’s aviation unit, said accuracy “would not have been an issue” while fighting a wildfire on a hillside.

“You don’t have to be that accurate in an open area,” Balicki said.

Nelson agreed.

“Is the contest to see who drops the potato in the bucket from the highest height? No,” the supervisor said.

But fire officials noted that stakes are high when fighting any blaze. Fire Authority Battalion Chief Marc Stone said firefighters on the ground could sustain significant injuries if a helicopter missed the target while dropping water.

“Imagine 300 gallons of water at eight pounds per gallon, coming down 100 feet on top of your head,” Stone said. “Do misses happen? Yes. But it’s very important they don’t happen regularly.”

“I can tell you this,” Stone added. “Our carded pilots have not dropped water on civilians.”

For nearly two years, sheriff’s department and fire authority pilots have feuded over whether sheriff’s helicopters should be used in rescue situations and to fight fires, jobs traditionally reserved in Orange County for firefighters. That ongoing dispute has led to numerous confrontations between deputies and fire officials, including tug-of-war style arguments over who would respond to rescue calls. The agencies are in official mediation over the issue.

That argument became public again after news broke on how the fire authority responded to the Canyon Fire 2. That morning, as flames that soon would devour homes started, sheriff’s pilots were practicing water drops at Irvine Lake, less than five miles from the fire’s origin. But the Sheriff’s Department was not invited to help fight the blaze, in part because fire officials believed the sheriff’s equipment wasn’t legally certified for that purpose.

That’s why sheriff pilots moved their training to a patch of dirt behind a Huntington Beach fire training center near Gothard Street.

Kayla Kuvakas, a 28-year-old dispatcher at Crandall’s Plumbing, said she could feel a rumbling generated by the helicopters as she sat at her desk between 10 and 11 that morning.

“It was a really loud sound, and really low,” she said. “My desk was shaking.”

She went outside and saw a sheriff’s helicopter. It had a reddish funnel hanging from the bottom.

And then …

“As soon as I looked up, the water dumped on me,” she said. “I was soaked.”

Kuvakas dropped her phone, which shattered, and ran. She saw the helicopter continue to drop water on a nearby construction crew and on firefighters who were training.

Kuvakas went inside her office and dried her shirt, using a dryer that plumbers use for their tools. She said her supervisor later urged her to leave work, according to her claim.

She is asking the county for $1,079 for damage to her Michael Kors wristwatch and her cellphone and $2,000 for other compensation.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Bart Epley, a helicopter pilot, confirmed the incident, saying he was practicing dumping water that morning using the belly tank that’s been attached to the department’s Huey helicopter.

“I was training with it, and so I released (the water) a little bit early,” Epley said.

“It’s like anything else; as you go on you get better.”

Epley said the helicopter was carrying about 150 gallons that he’d pulled from a nearby reservoir. He said Kuvakas was hit by spray, not a direct blast of water.

“I apologized,” Epley said. “I regret hitting her. It was just a mistake.”

Copyright 2017 The Orange County Register


FBI: Border Patrol agent’s death a ‘potential assault ‘

Posted on November 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Claudia Lauer and Emily Schmall Associated Press

DALLAS — An FBI official said Tuesday that the bureau is investigating the death of a border patrol agent and severe injuries to another as "potential assault," but he wouldn't rule out that they could have been hurt in some other way.

Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. said during a news conference in El Paso that investigators are still trying to "gather the facts," but they are currently treating it as an assault on a federal officer.

The couched language comes more than two days after U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agent Rogelio Martinez succumbed to traumatic head injuries and broken bones suffered while on duty, and after several politicians portrayed his death as the result of an attack.

Martinez died Sunday and his partner, whose name has not been released, was seriously injured. They were found late Saturday in a culvert near Van Horn, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the border with Mexico and 110 miles (175 kilometers) southeast of El Paso.

At Tuesday's news conference, Buie and U.S. Border Patrol Acting Chief Victor Velazquez did not say why they believed the agents may have been attacked.

Authorities haven't said whether they have any suspects. The state of Texas is offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest or conviction, and the FBI on Tuesday tacked on an additional $25,000.

A U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation told the Associated Press Martinez may have fallen into the culvert. The official said Martinez's partner, who radioed for help, was still recovering in the hospital and has no memory of what happened. The official, who was briefed on the investigation spoke on condition of anonymity and is not authorized to speak publicly, said it happened after dark in an area that's known for drug activity and where agents often look for drugs in culverts.

Rush Carter, a border patrol supervisor for the region that includes the area where the agents were injured, said Monday night that reports it was an attack were "speculation." But several elected officials, including President Donald Trump, referred to it as such.

When asked about the president's remarks Tuesday, Buie said he had not briefed Trump on the investigation.

An FBI spokeswoman told the San Antonio Express-News on Sunday that the agents were "not fired upon," but she didn't elaborate.

Martinez's mother, Elvia Martinez, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she and her husband are also awaiting more information. She said she didn't yet know any details about the circumstances surrounding their son's death.

"He was a very accomplished person and loved his work," she said tearfully and in Spanish.

Rogelio Martinez, father to an 11-year-old, joined the Border Patrol in 2013.

Chris Cabrera, a spokesman for a border patrol agents union, the National Border Patrol Council, told The Associated Press that the two agents appeared to have been struck in the head with a rock or rocks. Cabrera said agents who responded to the scene described it as "grisly" and said Martinez and his partner had "extensive injuries."

Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to insist that Martinez's death underscores the need for a wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico. The president offered his condolences to Martinez's family. He also said Martinez's partner was "brutally beaten and badly, badly hurt" but that it "looks like he'll make it."

Authorities haven't said whether they think drug smugglers or people who were in the country illegally were involved.

Martinez is the second agent to have died this year.

The Border Patrol website lists 38 agents, not including Martinez, who have died since late 2003. Some were attacked while working along the border and others were killed in traffic accidents.


Son of officer killed in Dallas ambush dies by suicide

Posted on November 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CORSICANA, Texas — The son of an officer who was killed in the July 2016 ambush in Dallas died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Monday.

KDFW reports that 19-year-old William Thompson, son of Dallas Area Rapid Transit Officer Brent Thompson, was found dead by Corsicana police at a park. Police said Thompson called 911 early Monday morning and told them that he was planning to kill himself.

Officers were able to track Thompson down, but he shot himself as police were approaching him, according to the report. No suicide note was found.

Brent Thompson was one of five officers who were killed in a deadly ambush in downtown Dallas on July 7, 2016.

Police said William Thompson’s death is under investigation.


The 10 best states to make a living as a police officer in 2017

Posted on November 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By Megan Wells, PoliceOne Contributor

Each year, PoliceOne analyzes 50 states and Washington D.C. to determine which offers the best comprehensive wages for law enforcement officials.

After the 2016 edition was published, we received requests to include a deeper look at income and property taxes. We listened. And this year, we’ve added several new data points.

Criteria

In short, we used a weighted average to compare:

Salary Cost of living Income tax Property taxes

A detailed breakdown of the methodology can be found at the end of this article.

Notable changes from 2016: Only four states from the 2016 list appear in 2017. Six of the 10 states to make this list don’t have an income tax. One state on this list sits below the national average wage for police officers, which is $57,129.

See if your state made the list.

https://readymag.com/912810

Methodology

We used a weighted system to measure the best states for police officers to make a living. The data points we measured are as follows:

Salary (35%) Using Bureau of Labor Statistics data we found the annual mean wage for patrol officers in each state. Cost of living (20%) We used the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center to rank each state’s cost of living. State income tax percentage (30%) We used the Tax Foundation to find max tax rates in each state. Data is valid as of July 2017. States with an * by them indication a flat income rate throughout the state. Property tax (15%) We used the Tax Foundation to find property taxes which are effective tax rates on owner-occupied homes.

The lack of consistent variables makes it difficult to include pension information in our write up. We do acknowledge long-lasting financial security paints a more robust picture of which states allow officers the best living.

Click for the full national ranking.


Calif. man sentenced in brutal beating of officer in front of cop’s daughter

Posted on November 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Luke Money Daily Pilot, Costa Mesa, Calif.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — A Huntington Beach man has been sentenced to six years in state prison for beating an on-duty police officer last year, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Darryl Keith Headrick, 60, pleaded guilty Friday to one felony count of aggravated assault on a peace officer and one misdemeanor count of resisting and obstructing an officer.

His son Bryce Headrick, 25, also of Huntington Beach, is serving a seven-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to the same charges last year.

In both cases, the charges carried a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury.

According to authorities, a Huntington Beach police officer stopped Bryce Headrick for a traffic violation while he was riding a bicycle near the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Clay Avenue at about 11:20 p.m. Feb. 9, 2016.

As the two talked, Darryl Headrick approached and hit the officer on the head from behind, according to police.

The father and son knocked the officer to the ground and repeatedly punched and kicked him until he lost consciousness, authorities said.

They then fled on bicycles.

Huntington Beach officers arrested Darryl Headrick near the scene. Bryce Headrick was arrested hours later near his home.

The officer, whose name was not disclosed, was treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, including a concussion, authorities said.

At Darryl Headrick’s sentencing Friday, the officer said the crime has had a tremendous effect on him and his family. According to the district attorney’s office, the officer’s daughter was on a ride-along with him that night and saw the attack.

©2017 the Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, Calif.)


Judge permanently blocks Trump sanctuary cities order

Posted on November 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Monday permanently blocked President Donald Trump's executive order to cut funding from cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities.

U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick rejected the administration's argument that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money and said Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.

The judge had previously made the same arguments in a ruling that put a temporary hold on the executive order targeting so-called sanctuary cities. The Trump administration has appealed that decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"The District Court exceeded its authority today when it barred the President from instructing his cabinet members to enforce existing law," Department of Justice spokesman Devin O'Malley said in a statement late Monday. "The Justice Department will vindicate the President's lawful authority to direct the executive branch."

Orrick's ruling came in lawsuits brought by two California counties, San Francisco and Santa Clara.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said the ruling was "a victory for the American people and the rule of law."

"President Trump might be able to tweet whatever comes to mind, but he can't grant himself new authority because he feels like it," he said in a statement.

A lawyer for the DOJ argued during a hearing before Orrick in April that the executive order applied to only a few grants that would affect less than $1 million for Santa Clara County and possibly no money for San Francisco.

But the judge disagreed, saying in his rulings that the order was written broadly to "reach all federal grants" and potentially jeopardized hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to San Francisco and Santa Clara.

He cited comments by the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions as evidence that the order was intended to target a wide array of federal funding. And he said the president himself had called it a "weapon" to use against recalcitrant cities.

The Trump administration separately has also moved to withhold one particular law enforcement grant from sanctuary cities, prompting a new round of lawsuits that are pending.


More than $98M in community policing grants awarded

Posted on November 21, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Several cities, including Chicago, have been awarded more than $3.1 million each in federal grants to hire extra police officers.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Monday announced COPS Hiring Program grants, saying 80 percent of the 179 agencies sharing $98 million in grants agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities.

It's not clear which cities agreed to cooperate.

Metropolitan Dade County Florida, Houston and San Antonio police departments and the Orange County sheriff's office in California also received grants.

The grants are separate from one that pays for public safety equipment. The Trump administration threatened to withhold those grants from cities that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

Chicago is suing the federal government for withholding that funding, and dozens of jurisdictions have supported it.


Police: Fla. teen attacks parents after being told to stop playing video game

Posted on November 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By David J. Neal Miami Herald

MIAMI — A teenager who wanted to keep playing video games attacked his mother and stepfather with a golf club, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said, an attack that included trying to stab the stepfather with the golf club.

The teenage boy was charged with domestic violence battery on his mother and felony domestic violence-related aggravated battery on his stepfather.

Because he is a juvenile, no names were released in the sheriff’s office description of last Tuesday’s family fight in a Destin home, which the agency said came from what the boy told deputies.

Deputies said the teen admitted that his mother wanted him to stop playing a video game involving other players and talk to her. When he didn’t, she brought the golf club into play by threatening to smash the video game console. The teenager grabbed the golf club and began pushing his mother with it, according to the report.

When the stepfather tried to stop the pushing, the teenager began hitting him with the golf club. When the club broke in half, the teen then tried to stab his stepfather with the broken end, but “it didn’t work,” the teen told deputies.

The stepfather drove himself to medical care, the sheriff’s office said.

©2017 Miami Herald


Official says border agent was found at bottom of culvert

Posted on November 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Claudia Lauer and David Warren Associated Press

DALLAS — Investigators believe a border patrol agent who died in West Texas after suffering extensive injuries to his head and body may have fallen down a 14-foot (4-meter) culvert, and his partner, who radioed for help, has no memory of what happened, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation.

FBI spokeswoman Jeanette Harper said in a statement Monday that both agents were found late Saturday night in a culvert near Van Horn and that both had traumatic head injuries. Harper said Rogelio Martinez died early Sunday. The FBI is leading the investigation and results of his autopsy are pending.

Another U.S. official, who was briefed on the investigation but is not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Monday that Martinez was found at the bottom of the culvert and that investigators believe he may have fallen. The official said it happened after dark in an area that's known for drug activity and where agents often look for drugs in culverts.

Authorities haven't offered an official explanation of what happened to Martinez and his partner, and a border patrol supervisor said reports that the agents were attacked are "speculation."

Several elected officials, including President Donald Trump, have called Martinez's death an attack. Rush Carter, a supervisor for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol region that includes the area where Martinez died, said all the agency can confirm is that the two "were injured while performing their regular duties."

"We are waiting for the investigation to fully determine how those injuries happened," Carter said Monday night.

Harper told the San Antonio Express-News on Sunday that Martinez and his partner were "not fired upon," but she didn't elaborate.

Martinez's father told the El Paso Times that his son suffered serious injuries that left his head "destroyed." The agent repeatedly suffered cardiac arrest before succumbing to his injuries, an emotional Jose Martinez said.

"I would tell him, 'Son, that job is too dangerous.' But he would say, 'Dad, it's the job I like. I want to defend my country from terrorists . I want to prevent terrorists and drugs from coming into the country,'" Martinez said.

Rogelio Martinez, father to an 11-year-old, lived in El Paso and joined the Border Patrol in 2013.

CBP issued a statement Sunday that was thin on details, saying the two agents "were responding to activity" near Interstate 10 and close to Van Horn, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the border with Mexico and 110 miles (175 kilometers) southeast of El Paso. A CBP spokesman said Martinez and his partner were taken to a hospital, where Martinez died. Martinez's partner, whose name hasn't been released, was in serious condition.

Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of CBP, said in a letter sent to border agents on Sunday that Martinez was unconscious when agents found him with "multiple injuries" to his head and body.

Chris Cabrera, a spokesman for a border patrol agents union, the National Border Patrol Council, told The Associated Press that the two agents appeared to have been struck in the head with a rock or rocks. Cabrera said agents who responded to the scene described it as "grisly" and said Martinez and his partner had "extensive injuries."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a $20,000 reward Monday for information that leads to an arrest or conviction in the case. The Republican also tweeted that "resources must be increased to prevent these attacks in the future."

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz took a similar approach in a news release: "We are grateful for the courage and sacrifice of our border agents who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe."

Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to insist that Martinez's death underscores the need for a wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

"Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!" he tweeted.

The president offered his condolences to Martinez's family. He also said Martinez's partner was "brutally beaten and badly, badly hurt" but that it "looks like he'll make it."

Authorities haven't said whether they have any suspects or whether they think smugglers or people who were in the country illegally were involved.

Border Patrol records show that the agency's Big Bend sector, which includes the area where the incident occurred, accounted for about 1 percent of the more than 61,000 apprehensions its agents made along the Southwest border between October 2016 and May 2017. The region's mountains make it a difficult area for people to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico.

The Border Patrol website lists 38 agents, not including Martinez, who have died since late 2003. Some were attacked while working along the border and others were killed in traffic accidents.

Martinez is the second agent to have died this year.


Fla. K-9 dies following medical procedure

Posted on November 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By Alexi C. Cardona Naples Daily News Fla.

COLLIER CO., Fla. — A Collier County Sheriff's Office K9 died earlier this month after undergoing a medical procedure from which he did not recover.

The K9, Ajax, was handled by Cpl. Eugene Shakuro. The K9 provided security for President Donald Trump during his Sept. 14 visit to Collier County following Hurricane Irma, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Shakuro and Ajax spent numerous hours working together, and the team completed their patrol/detection course last year.

"K9 Ajax had a great personality and an outstanding drive to want to work," the Sheriff's Office said on its Facebook page.

Ajax was 2½ years old.

(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 = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.11'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

It is with great sadness that the Collier County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit announces the passing of K9 Ajax. K9 Ajax...

Posted by CCSO K-9 Unit on Monday, November 20, 2017

©2017 the Naples Daily News (Naples, Fla.)


11 fantastic discounts for law enforcement officers

Posted on November 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

Working as an LEO means you put your life on the line every day. As a way to show appreciation, some companies offer discounts to first responders. With the holiday’s right around the corner, it’s a great time to check the deals out, too.

Consider these offers for the men and women in blue for serving their community every day.

Discounts for law enforcement officers

1. Sandals Resorts – If you’re able to get away this winter, do it at a discount. Active police officers can get an additional 10 percent discount on any promotion at Sandals Resorts.

2. Royal Caribbean – Royal Caribbean offers special pricing for police officers and veterans on certain cruises. Anyone occupying the same room as the officer is also eligible for the discount. Refer to their website for a more detailed look at discounted rates.

3. GOVX – All uniformed professionals, including military, police, firefighters, and EMS workers are offered membership with GOVX, which includes 65 percent off over 400 retail brands, exclusive sports, music and other tickets as well as special deals on travel packages, hotels, rental cars and theme parks. 4. Auto Insurance – As a small token of appreciation, men and women who have served our country can also get a discount on auto insurance. Several providers dole out discounts, so it's important to compare different auto insurers to see which provides the best discount for veterans.

5. MLBShop.com, NFLshop.com and NHLShop.com – Sports fans rejoice. The NFL offers a 10 percent discount to law enforcement. The NHL and MLB both offer 15 percent off to officers and their families as well.

6. Columbia – Columbia’s Professional Purchase Program offers a discount to all employees of government agencies who actively work outdoors. Under the terms of service, members of the Professional Purchase Program may not disclose pricing information to anyone who is not an active member of the program.

7. Under Armour – Active police officers, veterans, EMTs and firefighters can take advantage of a 10 percent discount offered by the clothing brand Under Armour. You just need to select the military & fire responder discount at checkout (if you’re online shopping) and you can verify your status instantly.

8. Ford – Ford offers discounts to police officers buying cars through its First Responder Appreciation Program. The offers vary, but right now you can get $1000 in bonus cash when you buy a car through the program.

9. Apple – The popular computer store offers government employees special pricing on personal electronic devices. To redeem their offer go to ‘Apple Store for Government’.

10. Costco – Police officers who join Costco will receive exclusive coupons worth over $60 (which includes 3 free items).

11. Oakley Standard Issue – - This division of Oakley Inc. caters to first responders, military personnel and other employees of the government. Products through this division are marked at a special rate. Register on their webpage for access to products at discounted prices.

Also, if a discount is offered, be sure you know your department's policy on accepting such gifts — no discount is worth losing your job. Do you additional retailers that officer discounts for public safety officials? Mention your favorite discounts in the comments below.


Small W. Va. community rallies around wounded officer

Posted on November 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By Matt Combs The Register-Herald, Beckley, W. Va.

ALDERSON, W. Va. — If there is one thing that can be said about small communities, it is that in times of need and crisis, those small communities gather around one another and offer a helping hand.

A fine example of that community cohesiveness has been on display in the town of Alderson.

On the evening of Oct. 27, Mac Brackenrich, an off-duty Alderson police officer, was shot in the neck while riding an ATV in Summers County and airlifted to a hospital in Charleston where he still remains fighting through his wounds.

On Sunday morning, the Alderson Volunteer Fire Department held a fundraiser breakfast for the wounded officer at their station in Alderson’s Historic District.

Although Brackenrich may be best known as Alderson PD’s K9 officer, he was also a member of the fire department in the small town straddling the Greenbrier.

Mike Vandall, with the fire department, had nothing but praise for the young man.

“Mac is very warm,” Vandall said. “He’s never met a stranger. He’s the kind of guy that will give you the shirt off his back; he’ll do anything for you.”

Those feelings were also shared by Jeremy Bennett, the town’s police chief.

“Super good kid,” Bennett said. “Young. Had such drive, loved helping his community. He was a firefighter, police officer. He was also an EMT or working on becoming an EMT. A father, son, grandson. Just an all-around good kid. That’s all you can really say.”

Bennett was at a loss for words about the whole situation.

“There’s so many emotions,” Bennett said. “I mean why him?”

Although Bennett may be at a loss for words on the situation, he isn’t lost when it comes to the steps that need to be taken.

“Just to support the family, that’s it,” Bennett said. “There’s a long-term need. We all got to come together and do what we can to help him.”

Vandall highlighted some of those costs.

According to Vandall, the emergency flight to the hospital will cost upward of $50,000, with bills from over three weeks in intensive care also pilling up.

“The cost of this is going to be astronomical,” Vandall said. “He’s improving; it’s just slow.”

The support that the community has shown Brackenrich has impressed Vandall.

“To have the support that the community has given Mac is overwhelming,” the firefighter said.

Another person who has been impressed by the support is Tracie Brackenrich, the young officer’s mother.

Staying by the side of her wounded son, Tracie Brackenrich said that she has received prayers and well wishes from as far away as Texas and North Dakota.

The officer’s mother said that countless numbers of people her know her son even in the smallest way have reached out with their thoughts.

“Just overwhelming is about the only word I can come up with,” Tracie Brackenrich said.

The officer’s mother believes that the outpouring of support shown to her son is in part because of the love and respect that the community has for him.

“He knew everybody,” Tracie Brackenrich said. “If he didn’t know everybody, everybody knew him.”

©2017 The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.)


Baltimore police find new evidence in slain detective’s case

Posted on November 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Justin Fenton The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Armed with new autopsy findings, Baltimore Police investigators returned Monday to the scene where Det. Sean Suiter was fatally shot last week and said they had found “additional, significant” evidence.

“I’m very encouraged by the recovery of this evidence,” Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Monday, declining to elaborate on what was discovered. “I think it’s going to help us identify the killer.”

Davis said the new findings were the result of an autopsy completed over the weekend, which formally ruled Suiter’s death as a homicide by shooting.

The commissioner appeared upbeat about the progress of the case, despite the investigation’s taking longer than usual for an agency accustomed to quickly identifying killers of its own. Since at least the 1960s, the city police department has never gone so long without identifying a suspect in the killing of a police officer.

Davis also said the discovery of new evidence bolstered his decision to keep the area around the Harlem Park crime scene locked down through last weekend, which had prompted criticism from some residents and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland. Residents said their IDs were checked as they came and went from their homes.

“I would much rather endure some predictive criticism from the ACLU and others about that decision, than endure a conversation with Detective Suiter’s wife about why we didn’t do everything we possibly could do to recover evidence and identify the person who murdered her husband,” Davis said.

On Monday evening a small group congregated at the corner of West Franklin and Schroeder streets, getting as close as they could to the yard where Suiter was fatally shot. Police caution tape and patrol cars still blocked off some of the streets surrounding the crime scene. For a sixth night in a row, blue and red lights reflected off nearby Harlem Park rowhomes.

The group came to “pour love and light” into the neighborhood, said Baltimore Ceasefire organizer Erricka Bridgeford, and to “turn a murder location into sacred ground.”

Bridgeford, 45, plans to take similar actions at the scene of every murder in Baltimore. Along with other activists, she lit sage to cleanse the area, a process called “smudging.”

“Baltimore deserves light and love in the middle of all this darkness,” she said.

Police have said Suiter, 43, was investigating a still-unsolved homicide from December of last year when he saw a suspicious person in a vacant lot in the 900 block of Bennett Place. Suiter was shot once in the head, rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead the next day.

The reward for tips leading to an arrest and conviction remains at $215,000, which is believed to be an unprecedented amount in Maryland.

At least three shots were fired from Suiter’s own service weapon, which was recovered from the scene, police said. All recovered shell casings were matched to Suiter’s gun, but Davis cautioned that that does not necessarily mean no other gun was fired.

No suspect description has been given to the public since hours after the shooting, when Davis described the suspect as a black man wearing a black and white jacket.

He declined to say what the detective who was with Suiter has told investigators. The partner has not been publicly identified.

The crime scene was secured through the weekend because Suiter’s body was not taken for an autopsy until Saturday afternoon as his organs were donated. Davis said autopsies often provide new theories about the crime, including bullet trajectory and the shooter’s proximity to the victim.

Though investigators scoured the rowhome-sized lot where Suiter was shot, Davis said it was “not unique” to find evidence several days after a crime occurs.

Davis also confirmed that two people had been taken into custody, questioned, and released in the investigation. They were taken into custody after a raid in the 700 block of Dolphin Street, not far from the crime scene. They were not identified.

On Monday about 8:30 a.m., the only signs of the days-long crime scene were a squad car parked near the lot where Suiter was shot and a memorial around the corner on Schroeder Street. Crime scene tape no longer blocked access to the sidewalks.

But around noon, police began putting yellow tape back up and were looking at the dirt lot anew. Davis said it could be closed off for another day.

Later that evening, Bridgeford walked along the police tape on Franklin Street, burning sage. About a dozen others knelt on the nearby sidewalk, arms outstretched toward the vacant lot where Suiter was shot.

As he fell to his knees, Darnyle Wharton prayed for peace. He prayed for his city, for this neighborhood, for Suiter’s family and for everyone who knew him.

“I know it’s really hard for them right now,” said Wharton, 48. “He left that morning and they expected him to come home. And he didn’t. And he won’t again.”

Suiter’s daughter set up an online fundraiser — the authenticity of which was verified by both GoFundMe and the Police Department — on Sunday to collect donations to the family. It had raised more than $30,000 by Monday afternoon.

Police said funeral arrangements were not final but were expected to be announced next week.

Police asked anyone with information to call 911, the homicide unit at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

©2017 The Baltimore Sun


Baltimore police find new evidence in slain detective’s case

Posted on November 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Justin Fenton The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Armed with new autopsy findings, Baltimore Police investigators returned Monday to the scene where Det. Sean Suiter was fatally shot last week and said they had found “additional, significant” evidence.

“I’m very encouraged by the recovery of this evidence,” Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Monday, declining to elaborate on what was discovered. “I think it’s going to help us identify the killer.”

Davis said the new findings were the result of an autopsy completed over the weekend, which formally ruled Suiter’s death as a homicide by shooting.

The commissioner appeared upbeat about the progress of the case, despite the investigation’s taking longer than usual for an agency accustomed to quickly identifying killers of its own. Since at least the 1960s, the city police department has never gone so long without identifying a suspect in the killing of a police officer.

Davis also said the discovery of new evidence bolstered his decision to keep the area around the Harlem Park crime scene locked down through last weekend, which had prompted criticism from some residents and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland. Residents said their IDs were checked as they came and went from their homes.

“I would much rather endure some predictive criticism from the ACLU and others about that decision, than endure a conversation with Detective Suiter’s wife about why we didn’t do everything we possibly could do to recover evidence and identify the person who murdered her husband,” Davis said.

On Monday evening a small group congregated at the corner of West Franklin and Schroeder streets, getting as close as they could to the yard where Suiter was fatally shot. Police caution tape and patrol cars still blocked off some of the streets surrounding the crime scene. For a sixth night in a row, blue and red lights reflected off nearby Harlem Park rowhomes.

The group came to “pour love and light” into the neighborhood, said Baltimore Ceasefire organizer Erricka Bridgeford, and to “turn a murder location into sacred ground.”

Bridgeford, 45, plans to take similar actions at the scene of every murder in Baltimore. Along with other activists, she lit sage to cleanse the area, a process called “smudging.”

“Baltimore deserves light and love in the middle of all this darkness,” she said.

Police have said Suiter, 43, was investigating a still-unsolved homicide from December of last year when he saw a suspicious person in a vacant lot in the 900 block of Bennett Place. Suiter was shot once in the head, rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead the next day.

The reward for tips leading to an arrest and conviction remains at $215,000, which is believed to be an unprecedented amount in Maryland.

At least three shots were fired from Suiter’s own service weapon, which was recovered from the scene, police said. All recovered shell casings were matched to Suiter’s gun, but Davis cautioned that that does not necessarily mean no other gun was fired.

No suspect description has been given to the public since hours after the shooting, when Davis described the suspect as a black man wearing a black and white jacket.

He declined to say what the detective who was with Suiter has told investigators. The partner has not been publicly identified.

The crime scene was secured through the weekend because Suiter’s body was not taken for an autopsy until Saturday afternoon as his organs were donated. Davis said autopsies often provide new theories about the crime, including bullet trajectory and the shooter’s proximity to the victim.

Though investigators scoured the rowhome-sized lot where Suiter was shot, Davis said it was “not unique” to find evidence several days after a crime occurs.

Davis also confirmed that two people had been taken into custody, questioned, and released in the investigation. They were taken into custody after a raid in the 700 block of Dolphin Street, not far from the crime scene. They were not identified.

On Monday about 8:30 a.m., the only signs of the days-long crime scene were a squad car parked near the lot where Suiter was shot and a memorial around the corner on Schroeder Street. Crime scene tape no longer blocked access to the sidewalks.

But around noon, police began putting yellow tape back up and were looking at the dirt lot anew. Davis said it could be closed off for another day.

Later that evening, Bridgeford walked along the police tape on Franklin Street, burning sage. About a dozen others knelt on the nearby sidewalk, arms outstretched toward the vacant lot where Suiter was shot.

As he fell to his knees, Darnyle Wharton prayed for peace. He prayed for his city, for this neighborhood, for Suiter’s family and for everyone who knew him.

“I know it’s really hard for them right now,” said Wharton, 48. “He left that morning and they expected him to come home. And he didn’t. And he won’t again.”

Suiter’s daughter set up an online fundraiser — the authenticity of which was verified by both GoFundMe and the Police Department — on Sunday to collect donations to the family. It had raised more than $30,000 by Monday afternoon.

Police said funeral arrangements were not final but were expected to be announced next week.

Police asked anyone with information to call 911, the homicide unit at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

©2017 The Baltimore Sun


Man accused of shooting rookie Pa. officer arrested

Posted on November 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — The man accused of fatally shooting a rookie police officer in western Pennsylvania was taken into custody Tuesday, the state police said.

Details of the arrest of 29-year-old Rahmael Sal Holt were not immediately released. A news conference was planned for later Tuesday.

Holt is accused of killing New Kensington Officer Brian Shaw during a traffic stop Friday night.

Shaw tried to pull over a Jeep Cherokee driven by Tavon Jamere Harper at 8 p.m. Friday, according to a complaint filed by Westmoreland County Detective Ray Dupilka.

"The Jeep never stopped," Dupilka wrote in the complaint.

District Attorney John Peck said Shaw was attempting to pull the SUV over for a traffic violation that he characterized as "something minor."

On Sunday, police arrested Harper, who they allege fled the traffic stop after Holt bolted from the SUV.

They tracked down Harper and found him Saturday with $2,500 cash and bags of suspected heroin, according to a criminal complaint.

On Sunday, detectives filed drug and fleeing charges against Harper. He does not face charges in connection with Shaw's death.

Authorities said the 25-year-old rookie officer was shot in the chest while chasing Holt on foot.

A viewing resumes Tuesday and Shaw's funeral is set for Wednesday.

Officers from different towns and municipalities were pitching in on the manhunt so the town's police department could grieve Shaw's death and attend services, New Kensington Mayor Tom Guzzo said.

"The outpouring of support from the officers from all over western Pennsylvania has been extraordinary," he said. "We could not be doing this without them."


Border Patrol agent killed in apparent Texas attack

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

VAN HORN, Texas — Authorities were scouring West Texas on Monday for those behind an apparent attack that killed one U.S. border agent and injured another.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a statement Sunday that was thin on details about what happened, saying the two agents "were responding to activity" while on patrol near Interstate 10 in the area of Van Horn, which is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the border with Mexico and about 110 miles (175 kilometers) southeast of El Paso.

CBP spokesman Douglas Mosier said 36-year-old agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were transported to a hospital, where Martinez died. Martinez's partner, whose name hasn't been released, is in serious condition.

Elected officials referred to it as an attack, with Gov. Greg Abbott tweeting that "resources must be increased to prevent these attacks in the future." And Republican Sen. Ted Cruz also referred to it as such, saying in a news release: "We are grateful for the courage and sacrifice of our border agents who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe."

At a Cabinet meeting Monday, President Donald Trump offered his condolences to Martinez's family and said the wall he has promised to build along the border between the U.S. and Mexico is on the agenda.

Trump said the injured agent was "brutally beaten and badly, badly hurt" but "looks like he'll make it."

Authorities haven't said whether they have any suspects or whether they think smugglers or people who were in the country illegally were involved.

Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of CBP, said in a letter sent to border agents that Martinez was unconscious when agents found him, with "multiple injuries" to his head and body.

Jeanette Harper, FBI spokeswoman for the El Paso field office, told the San Antonio Express-News only that Martinez and his partner were "not fired upon." The FBI has taken over the investigation.

Border Patrol records show that the agency's Big Bend sector, which includes the area where Sunday's attack took place, accounted for about 1 percent of the more than 61,000 apprehensions its agents made along the Southwest border between October 2016 and May 2017. The region's mountains make it a difficult area for people to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico.

The Border Patrol website lists 38 agents, not including Martinez, who have died since late 2003 — some attacked while working along the border and others killed in traffic accidents. Martinez is the second agent to have died this year.


Texas Border Patrol agent killed in apparent attack

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

VAN HORN, Texas — Authorities were scouring West Texas on Monday for those behind an apparent attack that killed one U.S. border agent and injured another.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a statement Sunday that was thin on details about what happened, saying the two agents "were responding to activity" while on patrol near Interstate 10 in the area of Van Horn, which is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the border with Mexico and about 110 miles (175 kilometers) southeast of El Paso.

CBP spokesman Douglas Mosier said 36-year-old agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were transported to a hospital, where Martinez died. Martinez's partner, whose name hasn't been released, is in serious condition.

Elected officials referred to it as an attack, with Gov. Greg Abbott tweeting that "resources must be increased to prevent these attacks in the future." And Republican Sen. Ted Cruz also referred to it as such, saying in a news release: "We are grateful for the courage and sacrifice of our border agents who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe."

At a Cabinet meeting Monday, President Donald Trump offered his condolences to Martinez's family and said the wall he has promised to build along the border between the U.S. and Mexico is on the agenda.

Trump said the injured agent was "brutally beaten and badly, badly hurt" but "looks like he'll make it."

Authorities haven't said whether they have any suspects or whether they think smugglers or people who were in the country illegally were involved.

Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of CBP, said in a letter sent to border agents that Martinez was unconscious when agents found him, with "multiple injuries" to his head and body.

Jeanette Harper, FBI spokeswoman for the El Paso field office, told the San Antonio Express-News only that Martinez and his partner were "not fired upon." The FBI has taken over the investigation.

Border Patrol records show that the agency's Big Bend sector, which includes the area where Sunday's attack took place, accounted for about 1 percent of the more than 61,000 apprehensions its agents made along the Southwest border between October 2016 and May 2017. The region's mountains make it a difficult area for people to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico.

The Border Patrol website lists 38 agents, not including Martinez, who have died since late 2003 — some attacked while working along the border and others killed in traffic accidents. Martinez is the second agent to have died this year.


Video of Ala. K-9 doing pushups alongside officers goes viral

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

GULF SHORES, Ala. — A seven-second video featuring a K-9 doing pushups in sync with two police officers has gone viral.

AL.com reports that two-year-old K-9 Nitro, who joined the Gulf Shores PD in February, joined Officers William Cowan and Ben Hancock as they did push-ups. The video has gained more than 60,000 views since it was posted on Saturday.

The video was made to promote an anti-car theft campaign called the “9 p.m. routine” - reminding people to remove their valuables from their cars at night to prevent theft. The campaign was started by the Paso County, Florida, Sheriff’s Department and has reportedly reduced the number of thefts there.

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It’s 9:00 PM #GulfShores! Go ahead and follow the #9PMRoutine. ??????????? K9 Nitro, Officer Cowan and Officer Hancock are getting warmed up and ready to apprehend any bad guys that break the law!

Posted by Gulf Shores Police Department on Saturday, November 18, 2017


Ford unveils first plug-in hybrid police car

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — The Ford Motor Company recently unveiled its first plug-in hybrid patrol vehicle.

CNET reports that the Ford Special Service Plug-in Hybrid Sedan will have a 7.6 kWh battery and is capable of driving up to 21 miles on battery alone at speeds up to 85 miles per hour.

The battery will take an estimated 2.5 hours to charge on a Level 2 charger.

The interior features “anti-stab plates” in the seats. Agencies can also add additional features such as spot lamps and the ability to turn off interior lighting for surveillance purposes.

Orders for the vehicle will open in December, and delivery is expected to start next summer.

Our very first plug-in #hybrid police vehicle, the Special Service Sedan, gives officers, fire chiefs, detectives & other government personnel alike the chance to get through entire shifts both gas and emissions free. #EV pic.twitter.com/IdZ1TZxdJ5

— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) November 20, 2017


How to build a diverse police force: Lessons from the corporate world

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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Editor's note: This special coverage series, Recruitment & Retention Crisis: The Struggle to Hire – and Keep – Good Cops, will take an in-depth look at the recruitment and retention challenges currently facing police agencies, share potential solutions to the crisis and highlight best practices progressive PDs are deploying to bolster their ranks. Watch for further installments of this series throughout the rest of 2017.

By Simma Lieberman

The corporate world is asking, “How do we recruit, engage and retain a diverse workforce?” Diversity is not just a good idea today. It is a business imperative if companies want to stay competitive and innovative.

What could law enforcement learn from the business world to increase diversity among its ranks? This article identifies common mistakes in diversity recruitment, perceived obstacles and best practices by organizations.

Common mistakes in diversity recruitment

Organizations make two mistakes when it comes to diversity recruitment:

1. Company photo diversity

The organization only considers the visible dimensions of diversity: primarily race and gender. The company photo looks good, but everyone thinks the same.

Differences that include sexual orientation, geographic background, thinking and communication style, work function, ability and disability, religion and work style are not valued and are even discouraged.

This is a very narrow definition of diversity and offers little or no value to the organization in terms of new ideas, creativity and innovation.

2. Diversity by numbers

Again, diversity is defined by what you can see. Demographics reflect the outside community, but it is only at the lower or entry levels. There is little or no diversity as you move up into management.

When questioned about diversity in their organization, leaders point to all the numbers. Every year they have good numbers, but the people are constantly changing.

Employees leave and get jobs where there is a value of diversity at all levels and they are encouraged to move up in the ranks.

Addressing diversity challenges

To be a successful organization in today’s culture, you need to create an environment of inclusion where people feel valued and integrated into a company’s mission, vision and strategy at all levels.

When employees’ skills and knowledge are recognized, appreciated and utilized, they are more engaged in contributing to an organization’s success. They are more willing to go the extra mile and share ideas and innovation. The visible and invisible dimensions of diversity that they bring are used as resources for success and growth. In order to create an inclusive work environment, you need a diverse workforce.

Assess your need. Clarify your definition of diversity. Include the visible as well as the invisible dimensions. Conduct a culture assessment of your organization, department or function using focus groups, interviews or surveys. Determine whether one or all of these methods would be most appropriate. Get feedback from the community and identify the needs of any potential end users.

Develop a strategy and implementation plan for a diversity/culture change initiative. Any culture change must be driven by senior management, and include the whole organization. Address all systems and processes including recruitment, employee engagement, retention, promotion and performance evaluation.

Barriers to success

There are three reasons why organizations drop the ball and don’t move forward.

1. Analysis and data nullification

When the assessment is completed and data analyzed, leadership is in denial about the results. Employees lose any trust or hope developed as a result of participating in the assessment. Leadership places blame on employees for having a hidden agenda.

2. Short-cut solution

Leadership listens to the report and decides that hiring a member of one of the underrepresented groups is the answer. They conduct an executive search for the best and brightest and declare a solution found. There is no need and no time for any long-term strategy.

3. Diversity holding pattern

Executive leadership holds a strategy meeting, which results in good ideas or long-term vision, but there is no process of accountability or steps to implement specific actions. Other than discussing the need for more diversity in the organization, there is no plan to change employee recruiting and retention methods.

Recruitment strategies with diversity in mind

Organizations can deploy several strategies to improve diversity recruitment:

1. Create a diverse pool of candidates

If you are serious about implementing a diversity/culture change initiative, you must create a diverse pool of candidates. If you always recruit from the same places, with the same methods, you will always get the same people.

In today’s competitive market, you need to be creative. You have to go where the candidates are and have a long enough lead-time to get a good selection of candidates.

Consider the following:

Research and develop a list of schools that historically have large numbers of women, people with disabilities, and people from different cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds. Send recruiting teams to those schools. Attend career days at middle and high schools and come prepared to discuss the benefits of working for your organization and your industry. Goldman Sachs began a program in 1998 called GS Scholars to introduce high school students from historically underrepresented groups to business and finance as a career option. Employers from the publishing industry have participated in career days and gone into middle schools in racially diverse areas to interest students in book and newspaper publishing. When GE Nuclear couldn’t find enough qualified college graduates in nuclear engineering, they began to send recruiters to high schools to get people interested in the field before they went to college. Contact student groups on mainstream campuses and ask them to suggest the best candidates or include notices about your organization in their newsletters or other vehicles for communication. Develop relationships with diversity-related organizations (e.g., Black Student Union, Native American Students Organization, Asian-American Student Union, LGBT organizations, etc.) and sponsor events. Send a diverse team to meet with people at schools and other recruiting sites and build relationships so your organization will be the agency of choice to apply to work. Develop relationships with diverse community organizations and let them know about the opportunities in your organization.

Diageo has sponsored LGBT events during Gay Pride Week in San Francisco and has used marketing and PR people who specialize in the LGBT market.

Sodexho, a food and facilities management services company, in partnership with the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce and the SODEXHO Pan Asian Network Group, has set up a scholarship for Asian American college juniors who are also involved in community service.

Identify new ways of reaching target markets. In 2002, Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow, a not-for-profit coalition of 37 nursing and health care organizations, ran promotions in 436 movie theaters before films like “Spiderman” and “Star Wars” in order reach a young market who might not have thought about nursing as a career.

2. Clearly communicate your recruitment process

Your criteria for interviewing and hiring should be based on qualifications and not just because you are more comfortable with someone who went to the same school, practices the same religion or shares your gender or sexual orientation. Have a diverse panel conduct interviews so you can get other perspectives.

Include diversity as part of your mission statement and display it on your website and marketing material. One of the first things a potential recruit will do in researching your organization will be to look at your website. If it does not state and show a high value for diversity, there is a good chance that recruit will look elsewhere.

Diversified Maintenance Services, a facilities service organization, mentions the diversity of their management team in the first sentence of their mission statement. “Diversified Maintenance Services, Inc. (DMS) has a diverse multicultural management team with decades of combined management experience, unique in their unparalleled vision and expertise.”

Market your diversity initiative throughout the organization so the word gets out that your environment is a great place for everyone to work. Identify any changes your organization has made regarding diversity and how diversity goals are being met.

3. Change perceptions about your profession

Identify stereotypes of people who work in your industry and develop strategies for changing perceptions:

Use more inclusive language and visuals in rule books, training and recruiting materials. Make sure all pronouns aren’t female in industries like nursing and that all pronouns are not male in industries like law enforcement.

Johnson and Johnson created a “discover nursing” campaign featuring male and ethnically diverse nurses in television commercials.

Be aware of your own biases and stereotypes and their impact on the environment. Participate in high-level diversity training. Create processes to make people who are different from you feel welcome and included in your organization, and then use the media to alert potential employees that you are a welcoming, inclusive employer.

Organizations like PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Wellpoint advertise in “Diversity, Inc.” and market the diversity of their employees as strength. This not only increases their customer base but it helps promote them as employers of choice.

Mentor people who are a different gender or from different cultural or ethnic backgrounds. It will help you become more comfortable with other people and will help your staff grow in their careers. Incorporate ideas from other cultures to solve problems and be more innovative.

4. Implement policies that support diversity recruitment

Use resources that are already in place and research what other organizations have done to be successful. Implementing the following policies will support your diversity recruitment:

Develop relationships with employee affinity groups and keep them apprised of any openings. Provide cross-cultural communication training to help staff work well together and serve the client population more effectively. Survey and interview staff across demographics to determine their needs in order to create a strategic plan for retention and increased recruitment under represented populations. Rethink your beliefs that a candidate should always have direct eye contact, be a certain weight or height, speak the way you do, have children, be single, lead in a certain way, not be hearing impaired, etc. Outside of physical requirements for being able to do the job, don’t let your biases exclude excellent candidates. Examine your definition of leadership qualities to include ways in which people with different thought processes and communication styles can lead. If you have been hierarchical in the past, start learning that people with consensus styles can also be effective leaders and do not exclude them from the recruiting process. Conduct exit interviews and identify patterns and themes if they exist. Be willing to change to accommodate and use new ideas and creativity. Use a recruiting team trained in diversity and inclusion awareness.

The Compass Group, a hospitality and facilities management corporation, trains their recruiters so they can communicate and interest diverse candidates. They know that the recruiters are the frontline people and how they interact with potential candidates can be the deciding factor in how that candidate will follow up.


About the author Consultant Simma Lieberman is known as “The Inclusionist,” because she creates inclusive workplaces where employees love to do their best work, and customers love to do business.

Simma is a member of two diversity think tanks, a former co-chair of the San Francisco Regional Chapter of Out and Equal, and former board member of the Northern California Chapter of the National Speakers Association. She is the president of the Northern California Chapter of Society for the Advancement of Consulting, and an inductee to the Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame.

Contact Simma at Simma@Simmalieberman.com or visit http://simmalieberman.com/ for more information.


Chicago passes 600 homicides for only third time since 2003

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Madeline Buckley Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Chicago has surpassed 600 homicides for the second year in a row and for only the third time since 2003, according to data kept by the Tribune.

As of early Monday, the city has recorded at least 609 homicides. That trails the 711 homicides this time last year but far exceeds previous years. In 2015, the city had recorded 443 homicides by the weekend of Nov. 22. In 2014, it was 400.

Like homicides, shootings are also markedly down from last year but up by hundreds compared to previous years. At least 3,267 people have been shot in Chicago this year, compared to 3,937 this time last year. In 2015, the number so far was 2,288 and in 2014, 1,999.

This weekend saw 13 people shot in the city, including a 14-year-old boy who was seriously injured.

The boy was walking on Sunday morning in the 2500 block of North Lotus Avenue in the Cragin neighborhood on the Northwest Side when someone shot at him from a vehicle, hitting him in the chest.

He was one of four teens shot over the weekend.

From Friday afternoon to early Monday, one man was fatally shot in what police said was an accident. Anthony Collins, 30, accidentally shot himself Sunday in the 1600 block of North Mango Avenue in the the North Austin neighborhood on the West Side.

The weekend’s latest gun attack was a double shooting in the West Side’s South Austin neighborhood around 3:10 a.m. Monday. Two men were shot in a residence in the 5000 block of West Fulton Street when the assailants entered the home and fired at them, police said.

©2017 Chicago Tribune


Crash sends Calif. police car off road, killing 2 boys

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles County sheriff's patrol vehicle heading to an emergency call crashed with another car and then ran onto a sidewalk, killing two small boys and critically injuring their mother, authorities said Friday.

Two other people in a crosswalk were injured in the Thursday night crash as deputies responded to a report of a gunshot victim, Los Angeles police Capt. Alfonso Lopez said. Investigators were still trying to determine whether the patrol vehicle was using its emergency lights and siren at the time.

"We extend our deepest condolences to the families and all those affected by this tragic accident," a sheriff's department statement said. The agency said it is cooperating with a city police investigation.

A witness, Julie Valle, said the SUV was speeding and didn't activate its lights until it reached the intersection, just before it collided with another car, ran off the road and hit the woman and her two boys.

"They turned the lights on at that moment, a split-second, not enough time for anybody to get out of the way because they were going so fast," she said at a news conference Friday.

Valle said she rushed toward the crash and saw an injured woman.

"She was trying to get up," Valle said. "I told her, 'Don't move, you were just involved in a car accident.'"

Valle also said she saw the boys.

"All I see is little legs," she said. "Then I see a boy, and that's when I start to get the full picture."

Luis Hernandez told the Los Angeles Times that the victims were his brothers, 7-year-old Jose Luis and 9-year-old Marcos. The 7-year-old died at the scene, and the older boy died at a hospital, relatives told the paper.

"I got the call and I didn't believe it," Hernandez said tearfully Friday at a makeshift memorial of flowers, stuffed animals and candles at the intersection. "I just didn't believe it."

Their mother was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

The Times said a brief video clip from a liquor store security camera showed the patrol vehicle, its emergency lights on, driving on the sidewalk. A trash can and a person are seen bouncing off the front of the SUV.

The car that collided with the sheriff's SUV hit a third car that struck two adults in a crosswalk, according to the sheriff's statement. Those adults, another pedestrian and two deputies were treated for minor injuries, authorities said.

It was the third crash involving law enforcement vehicles in a single day.

Leticia Ramirez, 15, died at a hospital Thursday night after she was struck by a sheriff's patrol car in nearby Riverside County. The girl ran into the street in the city of Perris and was struck by the vehicle, which wasn't using its lights or siren, authorities said.

A 25-year-old man was struck by a Riverside police car as he stepped off a center divider into its path early Thursday, police said. He was hospitalized in critical but stable condition.


Texas deputy helps native Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By Brooke A. Lewis Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON — Armando Aviles Jr. fondly recalls the soothing sounds of "coquis" or frogs during the summers he spent as a boy in Puerto Rico. The memory of those sounds was a call to arms for the Harris County Sheriff's deputy after Hurricane Maria devastated his native island.

Just weeks earlier, the deputy with the Harris County Sheriff's Office had rescued flooded victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. "They needed help, (and) I could get to them," said Aviles, who felt fortunate to only suffer some minor damage at the home he shares with his wife and five stepchildren.

When Maria hit, he said: "My family needed help, and I couldn't get to them."

Aviles' cousins and grandparents live in Aguas Buenas, but he had no way of immediately getting to the mountain town thousands of miles away. Worry paralyzed the deputy as he sat at home trying to figure out a way to help his isolated relatives.

"I'm not rich," he said. "I don't have the hook up with big organizations. I can't call somebody and say, 'Hey give me a plane.' "

Aviles grew up in New Jersey but spent summers in Puerto Rico, where he was born. He couldn't stop thinking about his family running out of food and living without electricity and water.

The 35-year-old deputy decided to hold a two-day relief drive at Kroger on Highway 6 in northwest Houston, an area he now patrols. He's worked six years for the sheriff's office.

As Aviles started putting plans into place, he asked the area Kroger manager if he could use the store to keep donations and hold the drive.

The manager broke down in tears, confiding to Aviles that she, too, was Puerto Rican.

The plan started to come together.

Aviles spread the word on social media. He also partnered with another deputy who is an executive for United Sikhs, an organization that has been active in hurricane relief.

In a moment of panic, he remembers asking his wife, "What if nobody shows up?"

Instead, he watched Puerto Ricans from across Houston flood the store to donate whatever they could.

"All these Puerto Ricans came out from different backgrounds, different jobs, even Puerto Ricans who didn't have any money. Puerto Ricans who are unemployed, children," Aviles said. "They came out and wanted to help."

Aviles managed to fill four 18-wheelers with supplies to send to Puerto Rico. They were sent to a warehouse in Miami and are scheduled to arrive by plane in Puerto Rico by early December. However, the deputy still doesn't feel like efforts are enough. He's heard stories of Puerto Ricans burying loved ones in backyards and tales of hospitals with no electricity.

He hears about islanders with diabetes who have run out of insulin.

Plans swim around in the head of Aviles, who set up a GoFundMe to help raise more money for supplies.

He's also searching for families from Puerto Rico who relocated to Houston in the wake of Maria and are in need of food for Thanksgiving. He dreams of holding a local Christmas toy drive for Puerto Rican children.

He wrestles with the reality that there's always more he could do. "You know, you can't get to everybody, as bad as you want to," he said.

©2017 the Houston Chronicle


Off-duty Mo. officer dies in car accident

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

POTOSI, Mo. — An eastern Missouri police officer has died following an off-duty accident.

The Daily Journal newspaper in Park Hills, Missouri, reports that 28-year-old Adam King of Potosi died in a one-vehicle crash Sunday afternoon on Highway 47 in Washington County.

King was an officer with the Terre Du Lac Police Department.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says King was driving a Jeep Wrangler when he went off the left side of the road, over-corrected, and went off the right side of the road. The Jeep overturned and struck a tree.

King was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Our hearts are truly broken. Yesterday after leaving work at Terre du Lac Police Department, Officer Adam King was in a...

Posted by Bismarck Missouri Police Department on Monday, November 20, 2017


Charles Manson, whose cult slayings horrified world, dies

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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By John Rigers Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after masterminding the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969, died Sunday night after nearly a half-century in prison. He was 83.

Manson died of natural causes at a California hospital while serving a life sentence, his name synonymous to this day with unspeakable violence and depravity.

Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County, reacted to the death by quoting the late Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor who put Manson behind bars. Bugliosi said: "Manson was an evil, sophisticated con man with twisted and warped moral values."

"Today, Manson's victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death," Hanisee said.

A petty criminal who had been in and out of jail since childhood, the charismatic, guru-like Manson surrounded himself in the 1960s with runaways and other lost souls and then sent his disciples to butcher some of L.A.'s rich and famous in what prosecutors said was a bid to trigger a race war — an idea he got from a twisted reading of the Beatles song "Helter Skelter."

The slayings horrified the world and, together with the deadly violence that erupted later in 1969 during a Rolling Stones concert at California's Altamont Speedway, exposed the dangerous, drugged-out underside of the counterculture movement and seemed to mark the death of the era of peace and love.

Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Manson maintained during his tumultuous trial in 1970 that he was innocent and that society itself was guilty.

"These children that come at you with knives, they are your children. You taught them; I didn't teach them. I just tried to help them stand up," he said in a courtroom soliloquy.

Linda Deutsch, the longtime courts reporter for The Associated Press who covered the Manson case, said he "left a legacy of evil and hate and murder."

"He was able to take young people who were impressionable and convince them he had the answer to everything and he turned them into killers," she said. "It was beyond anything we had ever seen before in this country."

California Corrections Department spokeswoman Vicky Waters said it has yet to be determined what happens to Manson's body. It was also unclear if Manson requested funeral services of any sort.

Prison officials previously said Manson had no known next of kin, and state law says that if no relative or legal representative surfaces within 10 days, then it's up to the department to determine whether the body is cremated or buried.

The Manson Family, as his followers were called, slaughtered five of its victims on Aug. 9, 1969, at Tate's home: the actress, who was 8½ months pregnant, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, Polish movie director Voityck Frykowski and Steven Parent, a friend of the estate's caretaker. Tate's husband, "Rosemary's Baby" director Roman Polanski, was out of the country at the time.

The next night, a wealthy grocer and his wife, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, were stabbed to death in their home across town.

The killers scrawled such phrases as "Pigs" and a misspelled "Healter Skelter" in blood at the crime scenes.

Manson was arrested three months later. In the annals of American crime, he became the personification of evil, a short, shaggy-haired, bearded figure with a demonic stare and an "X'' — later turned into a swastika — carved into his forehead.

"Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969," author Joan Didion wrote in her 1979 book "The White Album."

After a trial that lasted nearly a year, Manson and three followers — Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten — were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. Another defendant, Charles "Tex" Watson, was convicted later. All were spared execution and given life sentences after the California Supreme Court struck down the death penalty in 1972.

Atkins died behind bars in 2009. Krenwinkel, Van Houten and Watson remain in prison.

Another Manson devotee, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975, but her gun jammed. She served 34 years in prison.

Manson was born in Cincinnati on Nov. 12, 1934, to a teenager, possibly a prostitute, and was in reform school by the time he was 8. After serving a 10-year sentence for check forgery in the 1960s, Manson was said to have pleaded with authorities not to release him because he considered prison home.

"My father is the jailhouse. My father is your system," he would later say in a monologue on the witness stand. "I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you."

He was set free in San Francisco during the heyday of the hippie movement in the city's Haight-Ashbury section, and though he was in his mid-30s by then, he began collecting followers — mostly women — who likened him to Jesus Christ. Most were teenagers; many came from good homes but were at odds with their parents.

The "family" eventually established a commune-like base at the Spahn Ranch, a ramshackle former movie location outside Los Angeles, where Manson manipulated his followers with drugs, oversaw orgies and subjected them to bizarre lectures.

He had musical ambitions and befriended rock stars, including Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. He also met Terry Melcher, a music producer who had lived in the same house that Polanski and Tate later rented.

By the summer of 1969, Manson had failed to sell his songs, and the rejection was later seen as a trigger for the violence. He complained that Wilson took a Manson song called "Cease to Exist," revised it into "Never Learn Not to Love" and recorded it with the Beach Boys without giving Manson credit.

Manson was obsessed with Beatles music, particularly "Piggies" and "Helter Skelter," a hard-rocking song that he interpreted as forecasting the end of the world. He told his followers that "Helter Skelter is coming down" and predicted a race war would destroy the planet.

"Everybody attached themselves to us, whether it was our fault or not," the Beatles' George Harrison, who wrote "Piggies," later said of the murders. "It was upsetting to be associated with something so sleazy as Charles Manson."

According to testimony, Manson sent his devotees out on the night of Tate's murder with instructions to "do something witchy." The state's star witness, Linda Kasabian, who was granted immunity, testified that Manson tied up the LaBiancas, then ordered his followers to kill. But Manson insisted: "I have killed no one, and I have ordered no one to be killed."

His trial was nearly scuttled when President Richard Nixon said Manson was "guilty, directly or indirectly." Manson grabbed a newspaper and held up the front-page headline for jurors to read: "Manson Guilty, Nixon Declares." Attorneys demanded a mistrial but were turned down.

From then on, jurors, sequestered at a hotel for 10 months, traveled to and from the courtroom in buses with blacked-out windows so they could not read the headlines on newsstands.

Manson was also later convicted of the slayings of a musician and a stuntman.

Over the decades, Manson and his followers appeared sporadically at parole hearings, where their bids for freedom were repeatedly rejected. The women suggested they had been rehabilitated, but Manson himself stopped attending, saying prison had become his home.

The killings inspired movies and TV shows, and Bugliosi, the prosecutor, wrote a best-selling book about the murders, "Helter Skelter." The macabre rock star Marilyn Manson borrowed part of his stage name from the killer.

"The Manson case, to this day, remains one of the most chilling in crime history," veteran crime reporter Theo Wilson wrote in her 1998 memoir, "Headline Justice: Inside the Courtroom — The Country's Most Controversial Trials." ''Even people who were not yet born when the murders took place know the name Charles Manson, and shudder."


Police seek person of interest in Pa. cop’s killing as manhunt continues

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — The manhunt for a suspect and a person of interest in the fatal shooting of a rookie police officer in Pennsylvania is into its fourth day.

Pennsylvania state police have issued an arrest warrant for 29-year-old Rahmael Sal Holt. He's accused of killing New Kensington Officer Brian Shaw during a traffic stop Friday night. Holt faces charges of murder and murder of a police officer.

Authorities say the 25-year-old rookie was shot in the chest while chasing Holt on foot.

Authorities are also trying to find Lisa Harrington as a person of interest. It's not clear how she's connected to the case.

Shaw had served as a part-time officer in three other towns before joining the New Kensington force full time in June.

New Kensington is about 18 miles (29 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh.


Driver arrested, manhunt continues in deadly Pa. police shooting

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Police say they arrested the driver of an SUV that fled a traffic stop, leaving behind a passenger who fatally shot a rookie police officer in suburban Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania State Police are searching for 29-year-old Rahmael Sal Holt. He's accused of killing New Kensington Officer Brian Shaw during a traffic stop Friday night.

Police on Sunday arrested Tavon Jamere Harper, who they say fled the traffic stop after Holt bolted from the SUV.

He faces drug and fleeing charges. No attorney is listed.

Authorities say the 25-year-old rookie officer was shot in the chest while chasing Holt on foot.

A viewing is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday and Shaw's funeral is set for Wednesday.

Officers from different towns are pitching in on the manhunt so the town's police department can grieve Shaw's death.


Driver in Pa. rookie officer’s death arrested, manhunt continues

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Police say they arrested the driver of an SUV that fled a traffic stop, leaving behind a passenger who fatally shot a rookie police officer in suburban Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania State Police are searching for 29-year-old Rahmael Sal Holt. He's accused of killing New Kensington Officer Brian Shaw during a traffic stop Friday night.

Police on Sunday arrested Tavon Jamere Harper, who they say fled the traffic stop after Holt bolted from the SUV.

He faces drug and fleeing charges. No attorney is listed.

Authorities say the 25-year-old rookie officer was shot in the chest while chasing Holt on foot.

A viewing is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday and Shaw's funeral is set for Wednesday.

Officers from different towns are pitching in on the manhunt so the town's police department can grieve Shaw's death.


Police to clear scene of detective’s killing in Baltimore

Posted on November 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Colin Campbell and Talia Richman The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Police Department plans on Monday to clear the crime scene in Harlem Park where a still-unidentified gunman killed Detective Sean Suiter last week, police said.

Officers have locked the neighborhood down for six days, testing the patience of some residents.

As the reward for information on Suiter’s killer has climbed, police have maintained a perimeter in the neighborhood in hopes of gathering tips and preserving evidence. They have made no arrests.

Police say Suiter, 43, was investigating a triple homicide in the 900 block of Bennett Place on Wednesday afternoon when he saw someone acting suspiciously in a vacant lot and approached. The married father of five was shot once in the head. He was pronounced dead Thursday.

Some residents have said they were being required to show identification to get past the police tape to enter their homes.

“Please know this crime scene preservation has been necessary,” Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said on Twitter on Sunday. “We will finish our exhaustive examination of the scene in the morning.”

The Police Department thanked neighborhood residents for their patience and understanding during the prolonged investigation.

“We appreciate the support and sensitivity from our community during this difficult time,” the department said in a statement. “Our efforts to identify and arrest the perpetrator rely on the thoroughness of our investigation and our capacity to recover forensic, physical and other evidence.”

Daniel Anderson, 46, said he’s sick of the flashing police lights that shine into his bedroom window and keep him up at night, and tired of having to show an ID and a police pass to get onto his street.

"When you go out your door, you have to be escorted off your block by police," Anderson said. "I just let them do what they got to do."

On Wednesday — the night Suiter was shot — Anderson was supposed to have reported to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport for his night shift as a service agent. But he couldn't get out of his neighborhood, he said, and lost out on what he estimates to be about $100.

His 12-year-old son was late to school one day after he was questioned by SWAT agents, he said. His wife keeps getting held up on her way to catch the bus.

"It's unfair,” he said. “When regular people get killed, they don't do all of this. When a civilian gets killed, they wrap up real real quick."

The cars on nearby streets have fliers advertising a $215,000 reward tucked under their windshield wipers. Caution tape juts out from a church.

Haley Crosby’s backyard is partially blocked by the tape.

"It's been crazy," the 29-year-old woman said.

Dozens have protested the extended police presence on social media with the hashtag “#FreeWestBaltimore.” Some have called it “martial law.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland called Suiter’s killing “tragic,” but requested an explanation for the days-long cordoning off of the neighborhood. The organization said it had received reports that people have faced pat-down searches, and nonresidents have been barred from entering the area.

“While the search for a killer is, of course, a high priority for the police, the limits on lawful police behavior do not disappear even when engaged in that pursuit,” ACLU of Maryland senior staff attorney David Rocah said in a statement. “And at least one federal appellate court has said that a similar police cordon and checkpoint system was unconstitutional.”

"The residents of Baltimore, and, in particular, the residents of the affected community, deserve a clear explanation from the City as to why this unprecedented action has been taken, what rules are being enforced, and why it is lawful,” Rocah said. “The need to secure a crime scene from contamination to preserve evidence does not, on its face, explain the wide area to which access has been restricted for days after the incident."

The police commissioner said Friday that restricting the area has allowed police to follow up on tips and search in the immediate area while keeping the crime scene from being contaminated.

“Once we release a crime scene, we can’t get it back,” Davis said. “I do understand the temporary inconvenience for residents. I personally interacted with residents in Harlem Park myself, and to a person, each and every one of them understands why we’re out there and why we’re doing what we need to do. They don’t want the killer roaming around their community either.”

City Solicitor Andre Davis, a former senior judge on the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, said Sunday he understands the inconvenience to neighbors, but sees no legal problems with the Police Department’s shutdown of the neighborhood, given the circumstances.

“I don’t think it’s terribly abnormal or unusual,” Davis said.

He said he hoped police have been respectful and done no damage in their search for clues or a suspect. If they did, he said, residents may file for a claim from the city.

Davis said the whole city wants the detective’s killer caught.

“There’s no more compelling need to control a crime scene than under circumstances such as these,” he said. “It’s a sad day, but we’ve just got to keep working.”

The Rev. Barbara Abraham, pastor of Solid Rock Apostolic Faith Church on Schroeder Street, said she tried to make services Sunday feel normal.

She didn't address the multiple police cars parked outside, or the caution tape tied to one side of the church building.

She emailed congregants Saturday night to let them know they might have to take alternative routes to church on Sunday morning.

No matter what was happening outside, Abraham said, it felt important to come together in prayer.

“We don't want to stay away from God's house,” Abraham said. “This is a good place for people to be right now, to help lift each other up.”

She said she's been praying since Wednesday that the person who shot Suiter will be caught.

Suiter’s daughter set up an online GoFundMe fundraiser — the authenticity of which was verified by both GoFundMe and the Police Department — on Sunday to collect donations to the family. It raised more than $11,000 by Sunday evening.

Police asked anyone with information to call 911, the homicide unit at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

©2017 The Baltimore Sun


Border Patrol agent dies after being injured in Texas

Posted on November 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

VAN HORN, Texas — Authorities are searching Texas' Big Bend area for potential suspects and witnesses after a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent was fatally injured responding to activity there.

Border Patrol spokesmen said they could not provide any details Sunday on what caused the agent's injuries or what led to them. Spokesman Carlos Diaz says the FBI has taken over the investigation.

Another spokesman, Douglas Mosier, says that 36-year-old agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were transported to a local hospital, where Martinez died. Martinez's partner is in serious condition. His name wasn't released. Martinez had been a border agent since August, 2013 and was from El Paso.

Border Patrol records show that Big Bend accounted for about 1 percent of the more than 61,000 apprehensions its agents made along the Southwest border between October 2016 and May 2017. The region's mountains and the Rio Grande make it a difficult area for people to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico.

The Border Patrol website lists 38 agents who have died since late 2003, some attacked while working along the border, and other fatalities in traffic accidents. It lists one other agent death in the line of duty this year.

#CBP mourns the loss of #USBP Agent Rogelio Martinez who passed away this morning. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and fellow Agents during this difficult time. #HonorFirst https://t.co/ALpQ30thVk pic.twitter.com/wLcPzEXtKs

— CBP (@CustomsBorder) November 19, 2017


Ga. officer found dead with gunshot wound

Posted on November 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

RINGGOLD, Ga. — A Georgia police officer was found dead with a gunshot wound inside a vehicle following a car accident on Saturday evening.

WTVC reports that a car was driving near a highway when it veered across a divider and crossed into oncoming traffic before it went down a steep embankment. Police responded to reports of a car accident and found the driver of the car, who was later revealed to be Varnell police officer, dead with a gunshot wound.

The Georgia Bureau of investigation said they are investigating the officer’s death as a suicide. The officer's identity has not been released.

No additional details have been released at this time.


Colo. LEOs and firefighters square off in charity hockey game

Posted on November 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By Zachary Hillstrom The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo.

PUEBLO, Colo. — Representatives from local law enforcement and fire departments took to the ice at Pueblo Ice Arena for an intensely competitive hockey game Saturday afternoon, battling for three periods in front of a packed crowd of nearly 900 during the 2nd annual Ice Cup charity game.

The back-and-forth game saw the law enforcement team emerging victorious with a hard-fought 5-3 win over the fire team in an event designed to raise funds for the Pueblo Police Department’s Heroes and Helpers program.

“Heroes and Helpers is a program where we take the monies that are raised through this event and match a police officer up with an underprivileged child,” said Police Chief Troy Davenport.

“That child can go and purchase presents that they normally wouldn’t be able to get, and we always make sure that they walk away with a little something for themselves. So it’s a great way for the officers to connect with the community and, in particular, the youth.”

Programs handed out at the game detailed that in addition to the nearly $6,000 in funds raised for the Heroes and Helpers program at last year’s Ice Cup, 92 new children’s books and 162 brand new toys were collected at the game.

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2017 2nd Annual Ice Cup!

Posted by Pueblo Police Department on Saturday, November 18, 2017

The game featured all of the staples of an action-packed day at the hockey rink, as those in attendance snacked on stadium concessions such as popcorn and pizza while clapping along with music broadcast on the overhead sound system and intently watching the game.

The event has been billed as the hockey equivalent of the annual Cops vs. Bikers Toy Bowl — a charity flag football game played each year between police and local motorcycle riders — but the stick skills, puck handling and skating speed of the players competing Saturday gave the event more of a semi-professional atmosphere.

“It was a good game,” Davenport said. “We started off with two points right away and I thought it was going to be a runaway, but then the fire department came back and scored two of their own. So it is in good spirits and in the sense of brotherhood, but it’s also highly competitive. Both sides want to win.”

Hundreds of families came out to the crowded event to support their local first responders, such as the family of Pueblo residents Warren and Sarah Nuckols, who brought their young daughter Cadence and son Braxton to check out the event.

“We’re actually brand new to the Pueblo community,” Sarah Nuckols said. “We just moved here at the beginning of the summer and we found (the Ice Cup) on an event catalogue at the local library, which had a big article about the time and the cause. And when we found out this all goes to the community, we thought it would be a cool event.”

“It is so encouraging that Pueblo shows up,” Davenport said. “Pueblo takes care of Pueblo and those stands being full like they are I think is an endorsement of that. It’s just really good to see them all out here supporting their first responders, law enforcement and the spirit of giving.”

©2017 The Pueblo Chieftain (Pueblo, Colo.)


NC officers cleared in fatal shooting of 911 caller

Posted on November 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jane Wester, Lavendrick Smith and Michael Gordon The Charlotee Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers will not be charged after killing a Charlotte man in September who carried an unloaded gun but had his hands raised when he was shot, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray announced Friday.

Courtney Suggs and David Guerra have been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 6, when 29-year-old Ruben Galindo called 911 and was shot by officers responding to his call.

On the night of the shooting, Galindo told dispatchers he was trying to turn himself in for an upcoming court date involving an earlier arrest for pointing a gun at someone. In the 911 call released to the Observer, Galindo tells the dispatcher he has a gun on him, but repeats the phrase “I have no bullets” in Spanish.

In Murray’s report, he ruled Galindo failed to follow officers’ commands to put his weapon down. He also said Galindo was impaired during the encounter. (A toxicology report released Tuesday showed Galindo had a blood-alcohol level of .23 but no drugs in his system.)

“While it is entirely possible that Galindo’s intent was to surrender to police and give them the firearm, other alternatives that could have been lethal to the officers, neighbors in the community or other occupants of the residence were just as likely based on the information available to Officer Guerra in the seconds he had to evaluate the situation,” Murray said. “This officer-involved shooting was indisputably tragic, but it was not unlawful.”

Suggs has been working for the department since December 2014 and Guerra was hired in April 2013.

The police officers’ attorneys welcomed the decision, and said it was supported by fact, including Galindo’s refusal to put down the gun, his apparent drunkenness and that he had his upcoming court date.

“Had he simply surrendered the weapon as asked by 911 callers in Spanish he would be alive today,” Michael Greene said. “These officers were given a difficult situation and dealt with it to secure their own safety, the safety of other officers on the scene and the safety of other residents in the apartment complex.”

Guerra’s attorney, George Laughrun, dismissed the notion that police should have taken Galindo at his word and believed that the gun was empty and that he wanted to turn it over to police before his court date.

“That’s like believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. It does not make any sense,” Laughrun said. “You can always Monday morning quarterback and say ‘What if? What if? What if?’ ”

Laughrun and Greene are former law partners of Murray.

Not all the reactions to Murray’s findings were as favorable. Phil Stinson, a police-shooting expert at Bowling Green State University, said he agreed with Murray’s legal analysis but said the officers erred in shooting Galindo.

“It’s unfortunate that a police shooting can be found to be legally justified yet unnecessary and inappropriate,” Stinson, a former law enforcement officer, said Friday. “In my view, this case should have gone to a grand jury.”

Last month, after repeated viewings of the shooting video, Stinson said, “I question whether a murder has been committed.”

Mel Tucker, a former N.C. police chief, FBI agent and retired police trainer on the use of force, said Galindo did not have enough time to respond to police commands.

“If I was looking at this case, I can tell you that this shooting was unnecessary,” Tucker said in October. “They just barely gave him enough time (to react), boom, before they shot him.”

Police said Galindo raised the gun while facing officers, a claim local activists have disputed. The video, however, showed Galindo with his arms above his head when officers shot him. The gun and clip recovered at the scene were both empty.

Based in part on a landmark case in Charlotte, police are legally justified in using deadly force if they have a “reasonable” fear of imminent death or serious injury to themselves, other officers or the general public, according to the court system.

Suggs told interviewers after the shooting he feared the encounter might be an ambush attempt, according to Murray’s report.

In comments after the Galindo shooting, CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said the legal standard is not hard to meet when a resident carries a gun into a confrontation with police.

“I’m not going to give anyone the authority to take my life legally. Ever!” he said during a community meeting with the city’s Latino community.

As Putney spoke, Galindo’s widow, Azucena Zamorano, sat directly in front holding a poster-size portrait of her husband.

“Police are not trained to control a situation like that, but to kill,” she said through a translator. “I don’t understand why he was shot.”

On Friday, a Charlotte activist said the family does not accept Murray’s decisions and will pursue other legal options.

“This is not the end of the road,” said Hector Vaca, the Charlotte president of the nonprofit Action NC. “Regardless of what the police say, it’s obvious Ruben Galindo was unjustly killed. His hands were in the air, and they killed him anyway.”

©2017 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)


Man charged in stabbing of off-duty Chicago officer

Posted on November 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Elyssa Cherney Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — A South Deering man was charged with attempted first-degree murder in connection with the domestic stabbing of an off-duty Chicago police officer Friday on the city's South Side, authorities said.

David Johnson, 21, turned himself in to police about 8 hours after the attack, which took place in the 1600 block of East 76th Street in the South Shore neighborhood, police said.

The off-duty officer, 47, was driving about 8 a.m. Friday when she was stabbed in the head, causing her to hit a school bus.

She was taken in serious condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where her condition was later stabilized, police said.

A child on the bus was taken to Jackson Park Hospital complaining of a headache.

About 3:35 p.m. Friday, Johnson, of the 9700 block of South Commercial Avenue, turned himself into police in the 7600 block of South Chappel Avenue in the South Shore neighborhood, police said.

He is expected to appear in bond court on Sunday.

©2017 the Chicago Tribune


Authorites issue warrant for Pa. rookie cop killer’s arrest

Posted on November 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Authorities are seeking a suspect in the fatal shooting of a rookie police officer.

Pennsylvania state police have issued an arrest warrant for 29-year-old Rahmael Sal Holt. He's accused of killing New Kensington Officer Brian Shaw during a traffic stop Friday night.

Authorities say the 25-year-old Shaw was shot in the chest while chasing Holt on foot.

Investigators say they know why the traffic stop occurred. But they won't provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Shaw had served as a part-time officer in three other towns before joining the New Kensington police force full time in June. He was taken to a hospital after the shooting but was pronounced dead there a short time later.

New Kensington is about 18 miles (29 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh.


Authorities issue warrant for Pa. rookie cop killer’s arrest

Posted on November 19, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Authorities are seeking a suspect in the fatal shooting of a rookie police officer.

Pennsylvania state police have issued an arrest warrant for 29-year-old Rahmael Sal Holt. He's accused of killing New Kensington Officer Brian Shaw during a traffic stop Friday night.

Authorities say the 25-year-old Shaw was shot in the chest while chasing Holt on foot. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Holt faces charges of murder and murder of a police officer.

Investigators say they know why the traffic stop occurred. But they won't provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Shaw had served as a part-time officer in three other towns before joining the New Kensington force full time in June.

New Kensington is about 18 miles (29 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh.


Ill. student improves park dedicated to fallen officer

Posted on November 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kathy Routliffe Pioneer Press Newspapers, Suburban Chicago, Ill.

CHICAGO — To motorists on Green Bay or Church roads in Winnetka, the wedge of greenery at their confluence can pass unremarked, its sign and tiny plaque unseen. To Brendan Bahan, Robert E. Burke Memorial Park was first a mystery, then a window on an all but forgotten part of Winnetka's past.

When Bahan, a 15-year-old member of Winnetka Scout Troop 20, learned the story of Robert Burke, the only Winnetka police officer to die in the line of duty, he decided to bring that story into the present by rejuvenating the park as his Eagle Scout service project.

"I live only a block from the park itself. For a while, I'd just pass it and not know what it was. I finally walked over and saw the plaque. Then I did some research," Bahan said. "I realized if I live this close to the park and didn't know what happened, other people probably didn't, and I felt it was important to honor this officer."

On Nov. 11, after months of research, planning, and hard work, Bahan, a New Trier High School sophomore who is also the son of Winnetka Village Manager Rob Bahan, officiated at the park's rededication.

The snowy ceremony was attended by Robert Burke's younger brother Bill, of Sterling, Ill., who postponed travel plans to attend. Police from Winnetka, Glencoe, Kenilworth and Northfield were also on hand, as were members of Bahan's Scout troop, park district and other community representatives.

The park now has a new and redesigned sign, complete with an accurate representation of the Winnetka police medallion. It has been re-landscaped, with more colorful plantings to attract the eye, according to Bahan and Winnetka Park District maintenance head Andrew Cabrera.

Tane Beecham, director of the Winnetka Historical Society, said Bahan "dusted the cobwebs off the monument, and brought it to peoples' attention again."

"Most of us in the Society weren't aware of the story, because it happened so long ago," she said.

Marc Hornstein, Winnetka's interim police chief, said that Patrolman Robert E. Burke was only 31 years old on May 23, 1957, when he stopped his squad car to investigate a hitchhiker standing on Green Bay Road.

According to information published at the time of the park's 1997 dedication, the hitchhiker began firing at Burke as he got out of his car. Burke fired one shot in return, but was hit in the chest. His assailant reportedly waved witnesses away, walked across Green Bay to the land that eventually became Burke Memorial Park, and shot himself.

"What impressed me so much is that a young person in the community recognized the significance of this history," Hornstein said. "We have (Burke's) picture and his star and service revolver on display at police headquarters, but many people don't know anything about him."

Winnetka Police Officer Glenn Florkow, now retired, worked to get what was then Bradstreet Park renamed for Burke, Hornstein said. Since then, the wood on the original sign deteriorated, Bahan said, and the original landscape plantings gave way to weeds.

Bahan approached the park district with his rededication proposal about nine months ago, Cabrera said.

"We knew that at some point in our future we'd be doing some improvement there, so it fit in with our plan," Cabrera said. "I'm an Eagle Scout myself, so I was excited to work with Brendan."

Bahan said he researched the story at the Historical Society, met with former Police Chief Patrick Kreis and with Hornstein and Florkow.

He tackled what he said seemed like a ton of paperwork, some of which he must still complete before sitting for his final Eagle Scout application interview. He also weathered last-minute challenges, including pouring rain on the initial work day that forced a date and work team change, he said.

The entire project cost between $4,000 and $5,000, Cabrera said. Bahan raised funds for landscaping materials, as well as for the creation of the police medallion placed at the top of the sign, Cabrera said.

Nat Roberts, Bahan's troop master, called Bahan a quiet leader whose methodical planning abilities are a strength: "Other people sort of rally the troops and charge the hill. He sits and thinks about how to organize things, then goes and does what he says he's going to ... He cares deeply about civic commitment issues, and I think it's illustrative of Brendan that he chose this project."

Bahan's mother, Anne Bahan, said she was proud of her son and of how his project improved the park's appearance.

"The fact that Brendan did this has really brought attention to (Officer Burke)," she said. "It was great to see how many people came out to support the project. They were all so touched and moved that even a high school kid would feel how important it is to honor the man."

©2017 Pioneer Press Newspapers (Suburban Chicago, Ill.)


Fla. man caught with explosives, claims he wanted to hurt first responders

Posted on November 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Williams Orlando Sentinel

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — What started as a domestic disturbance between a DeBary man and his parents led to the discovery of hundreds of chemicals, acids, bomb-making materials and a potential booby trap meant to kill first responders, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

The incident began shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday on Bradwick Circle, when deputies responded to an argument involving Christopher Langer, 31, and his parents, sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Gant said. Langer told his parents he had put an explosive substance into a grenade, Gant said.

In the backyard, deputies found a metal, pineapple-shaped grenade with a paper clip in place to keep it from exploding, Gant said. They also found a toy car concealing what appeared to be a small pipe bomb.

Authorities said a device was also rigged inside a SpongeBob SquarePants lunchbox.

X-ray images of the suspect's devices. One of these was rigged inside a Spongebob Squarepants lunchbox. pic.twitter.com/Dm68ocnEHw

— Volusia Co. Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) November 13, 2017

“What’s extremely concerning is you’re talking about a kid’s school lunch box. What was in his mind where you would put together a SpongeBob lunchbox and booby-trap that?” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said at a news conference.

“The purpose of that is to blow somebody up,” he said.

Inside the house, deputies found Langer’s room in “deplorable” condition, covered in urine and feces. They found about 200 containers of acids and chemicals, including nitric acid, sulfuric acid and sulfur. They also discovered several containers of Langer’s urine, which can be used as fuel for an explosive device, Chitwood said.

While Langer was being arrested, he told authorities he had anti-government sentiments and was against “the system,” deputies said.

More photos of materials found in our suspect's home. pic.twitter.com/b2qCSVxxSD

— Volusia Co. Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) November 13, 2017

“You’ve got somebody who’s mentally ill, clearly. He’s been Baker-Acted four times. He’s got a substance-abuse problem. He has a hate for the government. So, you have somebody who’s not really dealing in the realm of reality,” Chitwood said, adding he believes Langer was “looking to make a weapon of mass destruction.”

A few weeks ago, deputies responded to the home and found Langer overdosing on heroin. He was administered a dose of Narcan, which saved his life, Chitwood said.

“Two weeks ago, we saved your [expletive] life. And now we’re here two weeks later, and you’re talking about how you wanted to blow us all up,” he said.

Langer was charged with making and possessing a destructive device and was taken to the Volusia County Jail on $5,000 bail, but Chitwood asked a judge to revoke Langer’s bail. Additional charges may be filed, pending the results of the investigation.

Some residents who had been evacuated from their homes returned Sunday night.

©2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)


MS-13 crackdown nets more than 200 arrests across the country

Posted on November 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Victor Manuel Ramos Newsday

NEW YORK — Thirty-eight Long Island residents were among more than 200 MS-13 members arrested on a variety of charges and immigration violations across the country in the latest crackdown on the street gang, federal officials said Thursday.

Of the 214 MS-13 members arrested nationally, the largest number were found on Long Island, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It was the lead federal agency in “Operation Raging Bull” that took place between Oct. 8 and Nov. 11.

An earlier phase yielded 53 arrests in El Salvador in cooperation with that country’s national police, after an 18-month investigation that concluded in September.

A senior official with Homeland Security Investigations, the investigative arm of ICE, said 93 of the alleged gang members would face federal or state criminal charges, while 121 were arrested on administrative immigration violations, meaning the agency would seek to remove them from the United States. No detailed list of related prosecutions was disclosed, but the official cited charges ranging from driving under the influence to murder conspiracy.

Thomas Homan, ICE’s deputy director, said this operation underscored the federal government’s focus on targeting and dismantling MS-13, a priority of President Donald Trump.

“In their relentless effort to expand gang membership and gain traction within our communities, they aggressively target our children in the schools. The violence they perpetrate is shocking and shows no remorse or even a basic respect to human life,” Homan said during a news conference in Washington, D.C. “Eliminating this threat is one of our highest priorities at ICE.”

Long Island topped Baltimore’s 35 arrests and Los Angeles’ five arrests. Two of the arrests took place in New York City and one was in the Hudson Valley, ICE said.

This region has become the focus of federal law enforcement efforts against the gang after a series of gruesome killings and violent assaults, particularly since 2016. The violent group with roots in Los Angeles and El Salvador has followed immigrants fleeing violence in their home countries.

Of those arrested in the nationwide operation, 198 are foreign nationals and 16 are U.S. citizens, federal officials said. Only 5 of those born abroad had legal status and 64 had crossed the border illegally as minors, they said.

©2017 Newsday


Manhunt continues for killer of rookie Pa. officer

Posted on November 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — An intense search continued Saturday for a suspect in the fatal shooting of a rookie police officer.

The shooting happened shortly after 8 p.m. Friday in New Kensington, about 18 miles (29 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh. Officer Brian Shaw, 25, was shot in the chest after a traffic stop involving an SUV led to him chasing someone on foot, authorities said.

Police later recovered an older model of an unoccupied brown Jeep Grand Cherokee, wanted in connection with the shooting. State police said Saturday that investigators know why the suspected shooter was pulled over but would not provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

A description of the suspect has not been released.

Shaw had served as a part-time officer in three other towns before joining the New Kensington police force full time in June. He was taken to a hospital after the shooting but was pronounced dead there a short time later, according to authorities.

Police officers from neighboring towns continued to scour the area for the suspect early Saturday. SWAT teams and police dogs assisted.

Authorities were offering a $40,000 reward for information on the shooting. The FBI has contributed $25,000 to the reward, while the U.S. Marshals Service offered $5,000 and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will contribute up to $10,000.


Listen: Man calls 911 mid-police pursuit, asks to speak to Trump

Posted on November 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — A man called 911 asking to speak to President Trump while deputies were pursuing him Tuesday morning.

FOX4Now.com reported that Collier County Sheriff's deputies said the suspect was acting suspiciously and they could smell marijuana in his car. A deputy spotted a baggie in the car, but the suspect grabbed the bag, put it in his mouth and sped away.

"I need help please," Aric Frydberg told 911. "There's a police officer chasing me."

The dispatcher tried numerous times to get Frydberg to pull over. However, during the phone call he tried to get the dispatcher to call his parents as well as President Trump.

"Donald Trump is a close friend of mine," he said. "We made a deal."

Deputies eventually stopped him after a seven-mile pursuit. Frydberg is being charged with tampering with evidence, resisting an officer and two counts of battery of an officer.

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Woman who bargained with EMS for ‘Big Red’ soda gets sweet surprise from cop

Posted on November 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

TYLER, Texas — A 76-year-old woman received a sweet surprise from a local beverage company after her story went viral.

CBS19.tv reported that a paramedic with East Texas Medical Center EMS and his partner were called to a welfare check involving the elderly woman who had fallen and been on the floor for an unknown amount of time.

After the paramedic helped get her up, he tried to convince her to get checked out at the hospital. However, she said "All I want is a Big Red to drink and I will be fine."

The woman finally agreed to go to the hospital after a sergeant with the police department told her that he would bring her a Big Red, a popular soda.

"I thought he was bluffing so that she would agree to go to the hospital," the paramedic wrote on Facebook. "I could hardly believe it when Sergeant Noble arrived minutes later at the hospital with an ice cold Big Red for her."

The officer made good on his promise while she was being treated at the hospital. In fact, he showed up with several cases of Big Red.

"Thanks to Sergeant Noble's kind gesture of a Big Red drink for the patient and more importantly he kept his word," the paramedic said.

The woman is back home recovering.

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Big Red Follow Up! Several media markets across the country picked up the story about the 76 year-old patient who would...

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I’m a paramedic for ETMC – EMS. On Tuesday night my partner and I were called out by Tyler Police Department to assist...

Posted by Tyler-City Police Department on Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Police officer killed in Pa., gunman at large

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Authorities in Pennsylvania say a police officer was shot and killed while making a traffic stop and a search is underway for the gunman.

Lower Burrell Police Chief Tim Weitzel, acting as a spokesman for the New Kensington police, confirmed the officer's death on Friday night. He declined to identify the officer or say which police department he worked for.

#BREAKING: @IannottiRalph is reporting police officer shot in New Kensington has died. #KDKA pic.twitter.com/Bv1BRKjFZ2

— Ian Smith (@ismithKDKA) November 18, 2017

The Tribune Review reports that the fatal shooting happened shortly after 8 p.m. in New Kensington, about 18 miles (29 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh. It says police officers from neighboring towns, some carrying rifles, are scouring the area for the suspect. Police dogs also are being used in the search.

Authorities are looking for a brown, older model Jeep Grand Cherokee believed to be connected to the shooting.


Fla. K-9 honored after taking bullet for partner

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida K-9 was honored with a Purple Heart Wednesday after taking a bullet that was meant for his partner back in May.

WSPA reports that K-9 Casper took a bullet in the hip when an armed robbery suspect opened fire on deputies who were attempting to apprehend him. The bullet missed his bones, making his recovery quicker.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Casper returned to duty shortly after the incident.

The suspect who fired the shot died in a shootout with deputies.

K9 Casper awarded The Purple ??for taking a bullet meant for his partner. This heroic furry friend has won the hearts of many #PBSOproud pic.twitter.com/atNies4vHP

— PBSO (@PBCountySheriff) November 15, 2017


Man accused of shooting Ohio cop arraigned in court

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Ryan Dunn The Blade, Toledo, Ohio

TOLEDO, Ohio — A Toledo man accused of shooting a city police officer will remain in jail with a $3 million bond.

Jamaine Hill, who is charged with three counts of felonious assault on a police officer, appeared Friday in Toledo Municipal Court. Officials identified him as the gunman who fired through his front door at Detective Jason Picking.

The detective assisted with a drug-related search warrant about 2:08 a.m. in the 4100 block of Caroline Avenue. He was shot near the left side of his mouth, shattering his jaw.

Detective Picking, 36, was hospitalized at Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center. The round lodged in his neck, requiring reconstructive surgery. Police have described his condition as “critical but stable.”

Mr. Hill's parents, Andre and Cheryl Cochran, said after the hearing Mr. Hill regrets firing his weapon. He thought the police raid was a break-in, they said.

“My son wouldn’t have fired on them had they identified themselves,” Mr. Cochran said.

Both said they are sorry to the officer and his family.

Police officials said officers on scene did identify themselves. Chief George Kral said Thursday SWAT unit executed a “knock and announce” search warrant at the residence.

©2017 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)


Ohio police honor those involved in rescuing wounded sergeant

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By Malcolm Hall The Repository, Canton, Ohio

LAKE TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Teamwork and dedication at their best could be one way to describe the response to the shooting of police Sgt. David White on a July evening.

White, a member of the Uniontown Police Department, survived four gunshot wounds he suffered July 9 as he responded to a domestic violence call. As a result of the shooting, White was rushed to Summa Akron City Hospital.

During the Uniontown Police Department's awards ceremony, those who had a hand in rescuing the police sergeant — from his police partner, to Uniontown Fire Department paramedics and emergency dispatchers — received awards Thursday night. The ceremony was held in the West Wing banquet hall of Hartville Kitchen restaurant.

While the Police Department holds this awards ceremony annually, "a big part of it this year will be (about) this incident that happened in July," said Chief Harold Britt of the Uniontown Police Department. "He won't be back to work for another four or five months. He wants to go out on his own terms. It depends on the next couple surgeries how soon he comes back. He is a tough guy. If it wasn't for his partner and the Fire Department, he probably wouldn't be with us."

During the encounter, the perpetrator who shot White, Ryan Probst, 28, was killed during the exchange of gunfire with police.

Uniontown Police Department is under authority of Lake Township Board of Trustees.

White, 59, also was at the awards banquet. He received a purple heart medal and a medal of valor. The other police officer who arrived at the domestic violence scene received a medal of valor. He placed a tourniquet on White's arm and applied gauze material to the wounded sergeant's stomach to slow the bleeding. For security purposes, that officer requested his name be withheld.

"I was hoping to be back April 1," White said. "I got a bunch of hernias in my stomach from all the surgeries."

Other receiving awards for the rescue work involving White included three members of the Uniontown Fire Department: Assistant Chief Derek Shaffer, Lt. Jason Hamblin, Al Johnson and Jonathan Swansiger. Two dispatchers with Nimishillen Township-based CenCom (Central Communications), Chris Peterson and Jason Kroah, also received awards.

"I was at home, I responded from home," Shaffer said, recalling that evening. "It still chills to think about it. It was one of our guys. When the radio went off, and I heard that, I knew that I had to get there."

White remains uncertain if and when he will resume his law enforcement duties. A lot rests on how upcoming surgeries go.

"They said if it is reconstructive surgery, I probably would have to retire." White said. "But you know what, looking back, I probably wouldn't have done anything different."

White was accompanied by his wife, Robin, and 16-year-old daughter, Olivia.

"I am still worried for him," Robin White said. "He needs another surgery. Hopefully, we get through that."

Township Trustee John Arnold was out of the area and not at the police awards banquet. When, contacted Arnold expressed his thoughts on the performance of the Uniontown safety forces.

"I talked to the guys involved, and I couldn't be more proud," Arnold said. "We are really blessed that David White made it through. That is the most dangerous thing, a domestic violence. They walked into a hornet's nest and they are lucky to come out alive."

©2017 The Repository, Canton, Ohio


Policing Matters Podcast: What’s the best policy for police pursuits?

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

For 100 consecutive weeks, Jim and Doug have cranked out podcast segments on topics as varied as suicide by cop, stop and frisk, Apple vs. the FBI, officer suicide, gang injunctions, and "contempt of cop." They've also covered some lighter topics, assembling lists of their favorite police books, as well as best cop movies and cop shows on TV. In this 100th podcast segment, Jim and Doug revisit the topic that generated the most listener feedback: vehicle pursuits.


Dallas sniper attack: 5 lessons for cops from the fire-rescue response

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Mike Wood
Author: Mike Wood

On July 7, 2016, five Dallas police officers were killed and seven others wounded by an attacker who fired upon them during a protest march. Two citizens were also wounded by the rifle-armed assailant before he was killed by police with an explosives-laden robot.

The Dallas sniper attack resulted in more police deaths and injuries than any other attack since 9/11, and the attempt to salvage actionable lessons from the event is ongoing in the law enforcement community.

It’s critical for law enforcement to recognize that our fellow public safety professionals from the fire and EMS communities were an integral part of the response that night, and there are many lessons to be learned from their experience. While we typically look at an event like the Dallas attack through a law enforcement lens, it’s important for us to look outside our profession for insights and knowledge.

During the 2017 CopsWest Training and Expo, hosted by the California Peace Officers Association, Dallas Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Tami Kayea shared insights with the audience on the fire/EMS response to the Dallas sniper attack, which included the following:

1. The importance of incident command

When Chief Kayea arrived on scene in the early minutes of the event, her first priority was to find the law enforcement command post so that a unified command could be established.

Confusion and security concerns at the still-developing scene prevented her from doing this, but Chief Kayea was able to establish a fire-rescue command post on Elm Street, one block east of the attack site, which served as the on-scene commander for all fire/EMS assets during the event.

The command post allowed Chief Kayea to establish priorities, direct and account for personnel, and properly allocate scarce resources. It also allowed Chief Kayea to establish a measure of control and coordination during a chaotic situation, which improved the response to this complex event.

Fortunately, a deputy chief that arrived later was able to locate the law enforcement command post and establish a unified command, while Chief Kayea continued in command of the fire/EMS operations. The resulting division of labor promoted efficiency, and ensured a high level of coordination between all players.

Our fire/EMS brethren have a rich history of using the Incident Command System (ICS), and law enforcement would be wise to learn from their experience in using this powerful organizational tool.

Dallas Fire-Rescue leadership and personnel were used to working within an ICS environment, and their familiarity with the structure allowed a quick transition to ICS-directed operations. The improvements in communication, efficiency and coordination afforded by ICS were ably demonstrated in the Dallas attack, and serve as an important example for law enforcement personnel faced with similar emergencies.

2. The importance of planning

Dallas Fire-Rescue implemented its Civil Disturbance Plan at the outset of the attack, using it for the first time in an operational environment.

The Civil Disturbance Plan created a separate fire department within a defined perimeter around the event. A dedicated dispatcher handled all calls for service within the perimeter, and specific fire-rescue assets were dedicated to the zone. These assets acted under the control of the Elm Street command post, which also controlled access to the zone – no fire-rescue assets entered or exited the perimeter without coordination with Elm Street Command.

This plan was used with great success during the Dallas attack, and allowed Chief Kayea to effectively manage both the attack response, and routine calls for service within the perimeter.

Chief Kayea admits that fire-rescue leaders didn’t have a high level of familiarity with the plan, but they were able to successfully implement this unproven strategy when the crisis occurred. This is a testament to the value of preplanning efforts. Having a plan in place – even an untested one – can encourage a more comprehensive, coordinated and effective response.

Law enforcement leaders should consider having basic response plans in place for high-profile targets or high-visibility events where an attack is likely. These plans should consider issues such as:

Entry/egress points; Floorplans; Selection of command post or casualty collection point locations; Staging area locations; Emergency vehicle parking; Best locations for police scout/sniper teams; Traffic control; Security measures.

Any work done in advance eases the burden on responders when an emergency kicks off. Even if tactical circumstances dictate significant changes to the basic plan, it helps to have a place to start from.

3. The importance of communications

Good communications are vital to successfully resolving an incident like this, and the Dallas attack provided many lessons in this area.

Implementing the Civil Disturbance Plan allowed Dallas Fire-Rescue to dedicate a tactical dispatcher to handle all calls within the perimeter. Relieving the dispatcher of external responsibilities dramatically improved the effectiveness of radio communications during the event.

Cell phones were used for some sensitive communications during the event in lieu of the radio, as the radio was not a secure medium. It’s easy for prepared attackers to monitor radio communications and derive important intelligence from them, so a secure communication capability is important. Cell phones may not be available in a critical incident due to network overload or tower damage, so agencies should investigate and prepare other means of reliable, secure communications in advance.

Staging operations were coordinated on the same radio channel used for operations during the Dallas attack. Chief Kayea noted that this burdened the tactical frequency and, in retrospect, she would advise using a separate channel to coordinate staging efforts.

Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) software and protocols were found to be lacking during the event. The MDTs used by Dallas Fire-Rescue place new entries at the top of the stack and automatically advance the screen to the top of the page when a new message comes in. This created problems for personnel who were reading an older message when a new message arrived. It was difficult to return to the old message and read it with a constant influx of new messages resetting the screen.

More important, the MDT does not segregate information by priority, so critical entries were frequently lost amongst the flood of routine/administrative messages.

Managing the high volume of MDT information was problematic in the Dallas attack – there were 481 lines of information on the MDT (versus five in a typical emergency), and sorting out the wheat from the chaff was extremely difficult and labor intensive.

Improved MDT software that could “triage” information based on its importance is a pursuit worth considering, based on the Dallas experience.

4. Police transport of victims

Four of the five law enforcement officers killed in the Dallas attack, and one of the citizen casualties, were transported by police. Because it was difficult to secure the rapidly-changing scene and get rescue assets to the wounded, officers made the decision to transport victims directly to hospitals in police vehicles.

Chief Kayea notes that there are many advantages to this procedure and it is often the best choice. However, she also notes that agencies should establish policies and provide training to assist officers in making good decisions on whether to transport a victim. A suitable policy must address:

The types of injuries that warrant direct transport instead of waiting for fire/EMS; Coordinating the transport to ensure that the victim is transported to a facility with the appropriate level of care; Coordinating the transport to ensure that one facility is not overloaded – it’s important to spread out the load amongst several facilities in a mass casualty incident to avoid breakdowns; Coordinating the transport to ensure it’s preferable to bringing the victim to available fire/EMS assets nearby; Minimum manning for a transport operation – one officer to treat the victim while the other drives.

Implementing policies and training in this area will aid officers in making a better choice during a high-stress situation, and will also help to protect the agency and officers from potential liability.

5. The importance of critical incident stress management

Critical events like the Dallas attack subject public safety personnel to high levels of stress. Police, fire and EMS personnel not only have to deal with the risk of personal injury, they also carry the burdens of seeing innocent parties injured or killed.

Organizations must understand that critical events can affect personnel for a long time after the incident. Many agencies are good at providing counseling or help for responders in the immediate aftermath, but few take a long-term approach to managing the stress caused by critical incidents.

It’s important for leaders and personnel to understand that everyone in the organization has a duty to look out for the health and safety of their fellow employees, and to pay particular attention to behaviors that indicate someone might be struggling with depression or stress triggered by critical incidents or just the everyday rigors of the job.

Agency leaders need to ensure resources are always available to help someone who needs it, and that agency policies such as scheduling, pay and sick leave are supportive of members who seek this assistance.

Agency leaders also need to consider the families of public safety personnel. The families themselves are frequently affected by the stress of the job, and may need access to help or care as well. Additionally, they need to be part of the solution when their spouse/parent/child is struggling with job-related stress or depression.

It’s a basic responsibility of every agency, and of every employee in that agency, to care for members of the team and their families. The painful experience of Dallas helps to remind us of this long term obligation.

In closing

I’d like to thank Battalion Chief Kayea, the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department and the California Peace Officers Association for providing this valuable opportunity for members of the law enforcement community to learn from the experience of the Dallas attack.

It takes a lot of effort to distill these lessons and turn them into actionable items, but we owe it to the public we protect, and to each other, to pay attention to them. There will always be a “next time,” and we need to ensure we are ready for it. God bless you all, and be safe out there.


Calif. officer’s kidney donation leads to lifesaving chain of events

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By Sophie Haigney San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — As a soldier in the U.S. Army, Anna Cuthbertson served in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. As a San Francisco police officer, she patrols the streets of the Richmond District, busting criminals and protecting citizens.

The average person might think that’s heroic enough. But in a selfless act initially meant to save one life, Cuthbertson, a mother of a 13-year-old girl, donated a kidney this week to a stranger, and in the process set off a chain reaction that made it possible for eight other people to receive lifesaving kidney transplants.

“I thought, the more the merrier. I was thrilled,” said the 35-year-old Cuthbertson, who was recovering at UCSF on Thursday after undergoing the surgery on Tuesday.

The operation was the culmination of a mission that started about a year ago after she listened to an episode of the podcast “Strangers” featuring a story about a transplant that mentioned the website www.matchingdonors.com. Intrigued, she clicked onto the site.

“It was really just my morbid curiosity at first,” she said.

The more research she did, the more she became persuaded to donate: the risks were lower and the procedure was less invasive than she’d expected.

While on the website one day, reading profiles of people across the country in need of organ transplants, she stumbled on the profile of a 64-year-old Joan Grealis, a mother two children from Walnut Creek.

“I lost my mother when I was 16, and Joan has kids who are my age,” Cuthbertson said. “I thought about how I would do anything to have my mom back, and to think there was a way that I could help these people who are my age keep their mother. I just thought, ‘God, why wouldn’t I?’”

Grealis got a call from Cuthbertson the day she posted the profile on the website. She had written about her close-knit family, especially her husband, a childhood sweetheart she met at the age of 12.

“He was devastated at the prospect of losing me,” Grealis said of her husband, Gary.

Grealis suffered from end-stage renal disease, a result of complications from intestinal surgery she had when she was in her 20s. Doctors determined that neither of her two children nor her husband was a match for donation.

Before getting the call from Cuthbertson, Grealis had been on a waiting list for a donor for 3½ years.

Cuthbertson underwent eight months of intensive testing to see whether she could donate a kidney to Grealis. But eventually, doctors determined she and Grealis were not a match.

Both Cuthbertson and Grealis were put into a registry of pairs of people who want to donate and receive organs but aren’t matches for each other. Cuthbertson was eventually matched to a stranger, whose willing donor, in turn, paired up perfectly with someone else. Eventually the chain comprised 18 people, nine donors and nine recipients, including Grealis.

Grealis underwent a successful transplant at UCSF on the same day Cuthbertson’s kidney donation was completed.

Roughly 19,000 kidney transplants occurred in the United States in 2016, according to data from United Network for Organ Sharing.

Still, though the overall number of transplants has been steadily rising because of an increase in donors, waits remain long. The average wait time for a deceased donor donation in Northern California is seven to 10 years, said Chris Freise, surgical director of kidney transplantation at UCSF.

“Besides great outcomes for living donor transplants, one of the really big advantages is getting the transplant done a lot more quickly. Sometimes within a matter of months,” Freise said. According to the organ-sharing organziation, living donors accounted for about 30 percent of kidney transplants nationally in 2016.

Cuthbertson — who was born in the Sunset District of San Francisco and now lives in Pacifica — enlisted in the Army in 2001 and was deployed to Iraq in 2003. After she returned, she joined the San Francisco Police Department and gave birth to a daughter. She remained in the Army reserves, and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, where she led a female engagement team that helped construct a local women’s center and advocate for women’s rights.

Cuthbertson said donating her kidney is one of the most exciting things she’s done.

“If I could highlight one thing about all of this, it’s that it’s so easy,” Cuthbertson said. “If people just did more research about it, they could really help save a life.”

©2017 the San Francisco Chronicle


Video shows suspect dancing for Texas officers after leading them on chase

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

HOUSTON — A man who led police on a nearly 20-mile chase through Houston was taken into custody only after dancing for a time once he stepped out of his car.

The unidentified suspect came to a stop early Thursday before striking spike strips police had laid across Interstate 45.

He eventually complied with police orders to step out of his car but rather than lay on the ground, the man began a dance with arms above his head. The episode concluded when a police dog attacked him.

Police Lt. Larry Crowson says officers were concerned the man might try to flee into traffic, so they unleashed the dog.

Crowson says investigators will determine whether the man was under the influence.

The suspect has been charged with evading arrest.


Video shows suspect dancing for Texas officers after leading them on pursuit

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Mike Wood

Associated Press

HOUSTON — A man who led police on a nearly 20-mile chase through Houston was taken into custody only after dancing for a time once he stepped out of his car.

The unidentified suspect came to a stop early Thursday before striking spike strips police had laid across Interstate 45.

He eventually complied with police orders to step out of his car but rather than lay on the ground, the man began a dance with arms above his head. The episode concluded when a police dog attacked him.

Police Lt. Larry Crowson says officers were concerned the man might try to flee into traffic, so they unleashed the dog.

Crowson says investigators will determine whether the man was under the influence.

The suspect has been charged with evading arrest.


Texas officer helps woman find family of slain cop

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By Rashda Khan San Angelo Standard-Times, Texas

SAN ANGELO, Texas — It's not often someone is glad after a car crash, but for Sheila Walthall a September wreck solved a more than six-decade-old mystery.

In 1958, Walthall lost her "super big brother" — a Kingsville policeman killed in the line of duty. Sgt. Gene Christopher was fatally shot with his service revolver responding to a bar fight.

At age 14 she attended his funeral and distinctly remembers officers from across the country in attendance. But beyond those memories, she had little else. Fire destroyed her family photos and over time she lost touch with the Christophers. She regretted not knowing what happened to Christophers' then 2-year-old son.

Then she got into a traffic crash Sept. 13 and met San Angelo Police Officer Steven Quade.

A hit-and-run investigator, Quade wasn't supposed to work the crash. However, he was training a rookie officer and decided to volunteer them both.

"We jumped in to take the work and met her in the process," he said. While the rookie worked the crash, Quade and Walthall talked.

"I told him to be safe," Walthall said, then she told him about Christopher.

Bernice and Garland W. "Dude" Christopher, of Fort Worth, met Walthall's mother during her pregnancy and became like family.

"We lived with them from my birth until I was about 5 or 6 years old," Walthall said. "Gene was their only son."

Even after moving out, the families stayed close. Gene would come by to take Walthall to the zoo, to get ice cream, tease — things a big brother does.

"He loved life, he enjoyed life, he was happy and he was always trying to make other people laugh and enjoy themselves," she said.

Gene Christopher served five years in the U.S. Navy before he married Norma Jean Henderson of Kingsville.

"He was real tall and she was tiny," Walthall recalled with a smile. "So we called them Big Gene and Little Jean."

Soon after, Christopher joined the Kingsville Police Department, where he worked four years.

On Feb. 9, 1958 — a Sunday night — Sgt. Christopher responded to a call for assistance at Mayorga's Cafe, where the bartender was having issues with two customers.

When Christopher arrived, he found two officers struggling with Pablo Lomas. As he ran to help, Lomas' half-brother, Pasqual Vasquez, grabbed Christopher's revolver from his holster and shot the officer in the chest. He was 26 when he died.

Christopher's widow moved to Venezuela with their son, Mark Christopher.

After Quade heard the story, he was determined to help.

"She didn't even have a picture of him," said Quade, who has 29 years with the SAPD Honor Guard.

Having been with families after they suffer a loss, Quade has seen the impact. "I wanted to get her something," he said. "All she had were fond memories."

As a police officer, Quade knew he could investigate and research, reach out. So he spent his own time working on the project from September to November.

"I found a lot more stuff than I was expecting to find," he said. "A lot of people helped."

He asked people to find and get rubbings of Gene Christopher's name on memorial walls at the Texas Peace Officers Memorial in Austin and at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Quade also reached out to Rep. Drew Darby for a proclamation in honor of Christopher, and he obtained a flag flown over the State Capitol for the family.

The officer tracked down articles covering Christopher's death, marriage and more, and photographs. Lots of photographs capturing Gene Christopher at different stages of life — from a lanky youth to a dashing naval officer, one where he is passionately kissing his wife, to another where he's holding his son.

More importantly, Quade found Mark Christopher.

His initial search pulled up six people in Texas with that name, so he narrowed it.

"The article (about Christopher's death) from 1958 said the son was 2 years old," Quade said. "So I started looking for someone born in 1956."

He found a Mark Christopher in Houston with the right year of birth. Quade sent him a letter asking if he was Gene Christopher's son. A week later, he got a call confirming he was Gene's son.

Mark, who is a historian, provided the officer with a lot of photos and information for Walthall.

While he doesn't remember her, Mark said he's looking forward to speaking with her. "She could tell me a lot about my dad," he said in a phone interview. "I want to learn what I can."

The only memory Mark has of his dad is being held by his mother while she said goodbye to Gene as he was leaving the house. Mark said he recalls reaching for the pens in his dad's shirt pocket.

Quade revealed his findings to Walthall on Thursday.

"All these years, I had so many questions and now they have been answered," Walthall said, adding that she's excited the boy she never got to hold and see again has been found. "I can't wait to talk to Mark and tell him what a great father he had."

However, Walthall said she'd wait a bit to call him until she wasn't so overwhelmed and could be a bit calmer and coherent.

As each item was presented — framed memorial rubbings, shadowboxed flag, family photographs — Walthall responded with tears, smiles, fanning herself, holding a tissue to her face, her heart. "Oh my God," she repeated over and over.

Then she beamed at the SAPD officers and called them her "angels."

"I can't believe all this — they went to so much trouble ... and they didn't even know me," Walthall said. "I was just the nobody who ran into the back of a truck."

She paused for a breath. "I'm glad I wrecked my car," she added with a grin.

©2017 the San Angelo Standard-Times (San Angelo, Texas)


Top-ranked Baltimore officer cleared in Freddie Gray case

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By David McFadden Associated Press

BALTIMORE — A police disciplinary board cleared the highest-ranking Baltimore officer involved in the 2015 arrest of a young black man who died from a spinal cord injury he sustained in a police van.

The three-member board ruled Friday that Lt. Brian Rice was not guilty on all administrative charges, meaning he can keep his job.

He appeared visibly relieved and hugged his attorneys after the findings were read aloud. Rice's lawyer, Michael Davey, later said the lieutenant is extremely happy.

Gray's death was "a terrible tragedy, and honestly that's all it was," Davey said. That tragedy is "not lost on anybody, especially Lt. Rice due to the fact he was there."

Rice, who also was acquitted of criminal charges, plans to take a week off to spend time with his family before returning to work, Davey said.

The 10 administrative charges Rice faced focused on how he handled himself as shift commander on the day of Gray's arrest and transport. The charges ranged from failing to ensure Gray's safety by not strapping him with a seat belt, to incompetence, to failure to monitor communications.

Gray was arrested April 12, 2015, after running from an officer on bike patrol outside a public housing project. A neighbor's video showed him handcuffed behind his back and hoisted into a police van. Officers later shackled his feet as well and put him face-down on the floor of the metal compartment. The van made a total of six stops during the roughly 45-minute journey to the nearby station. Gray was found unresponsive with a broken neck on arrival, and died a week later.

The treatment of the 25-year-old by police set off Baltimore's worst riots in decades and led to a federal investigation into allegations of police abuse. Baltimore and the Justice Department entered into a reform agreement after a scathing report by the federal agency outlined widespread misconduct and abuse within the city's police department.

Neil Duke, the lead attorney for the police department, argued that Rice must face disciplinary actions because he was the officer in charge. He didn't follow protocol in his leadership role, he argued, including failing to put Gray in a seatbelt and neglecting to act after he was told by a subordinate that the detained man appeared "lethargic" at the fifth stop.

"This is all about accepting personal responsibility. Leaders lead, others make excuses," Duke said during his closing arguments.

But Davey, Rice's lawyer, argued that the prosecution failed to provide any evidence that could possibly justify discipline leading to the lieutenant losing his job.

"The evidence of this case, presented to you by the department, didn't even come close," Davey said.

Davey argued that the police transport vans were "inherently dangerous" at the time. He also said Gray was "combative and violent" up to the van's fifth stop. He noted that responding officers testified that Gray's lack of cooperation attracted onlookers in the high-crime neighborhood, threatening the officers' safety.

The same panel recently found the van's driver, Officer Caesar Goodson, not guilty of 21 charges.

Baltimore's mayor has said she will renew efforts to persuade the legislature to add two civilians to police trial boards. Police union opposition has kept civilians off such panels in Baltimore, even as civilians join police in handling complaints in other cities.

One other officer, Sgt. Alicia White, still faces a trial board and possible termination. She is due to go to trial on Dec. 5.


Manhunt continues for shooter of Baltimore detective

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

BALTIMORE — The manhunt for the killer of a Baltimore homicide detective has entered its third day.

Baltimore police detective Niki Fennoy said by phone Friday that federal agents assisting the department are at the crime scene.

They include agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The FBI and other agencies are also involved.

Sean Suiter was shot late Wednesday afternoon and died Thursday.

Police say the shooter was a man Suiter approached in a vacant lot in a particularly troubled area of West Baltimore. Suiter and a partner were investigating a 2016 homicide. Police said Suiter approached the man because he was "acting suspiciously."

Rewards totaling $169,000 by early Thursday evening have been offered for information.

The 43-year-old Suiter was an 18-year veteran of the police force.


Mich. K-9 dies after being hit by car during training exercise

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By PoliceOne Staff

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A Michigan K-9 died after he was struck by a car during a training exercise last Friday.

The Traverse City Record Eagle reports that Antrim County K-9 Ori, a 16-month-old German shepherd, was practicing off-lead obedience with his handler when he was struck and killed. Ori started his duties on Oct. 30.

Ori assisted the narcotics team with locating drugs and arrests during investigations.

In August, Antrim County was given a $17,250 donation in order to establish a K-9 program for the county. Sheriff Dan Bean said in a statement that he hopes to continue the program and get another dog.

Additional details are unknown at this time.


Why the Explorer 3005 pistol case is the perfect traveling companion

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Lindsey J. Bertomen
Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

I’m not much of a traveler. I really don’t like flying. However, I can tell you I am particular about a few things when I have to travel. Foremost, I don’t travel without a gun in my checked baggage.

Testing gun cases is not the most interesting aspect of writing. In fact, no one gets excited about them until their custom over-and-under is damaged in transit. After that, the gun owner is religious about their protective cases.

To that end, I tested the Explorer # 3005 single pistol case, a hard-sided, single pistol case made of Explorer’s nearly indestructible copolymer polypropylene compound.

Despite the brisk treatment I gave it, it still looks new.

Short-term storage and transport of a firearm

When traveling, a locking gun box is essential, especially when airlines put “there’s a gun in here” bright tags on the outside of one’s luggage to alert every employee and passenger that this is the baggage that, when stolen, contains a bonus.

Explorer cases are made in Italy; the company is headquartered in Inglewood, California. The copolymer doesn’t buckle in extreme temperatures and they have better strength-to-weight ratio than another brand I have used. This case is designed for short-term storage and transport of a firearm. It is completely waterproof and shockproof.

The Explorer #3005 case uses corrosion-proof steel pivot pins for the hinges and latches. One of the things I did to test them is place straps on the edge of the product and try to close it using my body weight. This is a lot of force, considering the O ring seal system is recessed, and the lip of the bottom section is raised to engage the O ring.

The hinges and latches remained true, despite the abuse.

The case does lock, and the locking holes are steel reinforced. If you tried to punch the pins out, the design would prevent it.

Let’s not be unrealistic, it’s copolymer, not diamond-plate. It does have strategically placed reinforcement lines that protect the integrity of the case. The corners are reinforced and the walls are thick enough to be rigid. For this reason, you would have to use a good saw to defeat its security.

The contents are well protected. The interior is 11 13/16” x 8 1/4” x 2 5/16”, perfect for a full-sized handgun and a couple of magazines. The interior is egg crate foam on the top and pick foam on the bottom. It has a manual pressure relief valve.

I dropped it with my gun in it. Not only was it well protected, the gun remained in place, even when dropped on the corners. Even jumping on it will not pop the one-piece, “claw like” latches open. The #3005 case will stack horizontally and vertically.

I would pick a copolymer case over steel or aluminum because they are a bit quieter, and they don’t dent.

Most of the metal ones I have seen aren’t waterproof. I like river rafting, and I wouldn’t think twice about toting an extra gun in this case. For marine use, each side has material that stands it off of a flat surface enough so stuff doesn’t accumulate under it. The material also makes it stackable. They are IP 67 and MIL-STD 810F-810G. It is easily tied down to other equipment.

The #3005 case weighs less than three pounds and is only a little buoyant.

Explorer cases are inter-stackable, which means that cases of different sizes and configurations can also be stacked. For photographers and 3-Gunners, this feature really makes a difference.

This case will take the Explorer Cases optional shoulder strap kit. It has a tamper-resistant name plate and a comfortable carry handle. Explorer cases have an incredible warranty.

What didn’t I like about this case? The hinged lid opens just a little past 90 percent. I like my cases to open flat.

You may select any color you wish, as long as it’s black. MSRP is $54.99.

P.S. Here’s a tip: Never fly into NYC with a firearm. Pick somewhere else. You’re welcome.


Why the Explorer 3005 pistol case is the perfect traveling companion

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Lindsey J. Bertomen
Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

I’m not much of a traveler. I really don’t like flying. However, I can tell you I am particular about a few things when I have to travel. Foremost, I don’t travel without a gun in my checked baggage.

Testing gun cases is not the most interesting aspect of writing. In fact, no one gets excited about them until their custom over-and-under is damaged in transit. After that, the gun owner is religious about their protective cases.

To that end, I tested the Explorer # 3005 single pistol case, a hard-sided, single pistol case made of Explorer’s nearly indestructible copolymer polypropylene compound.

Despite the brisk treatment I gave it, it still looks new.

Short-term storage and transport of a firearm

When traveling, a locking gun box is essential, especially when airlines put “there’s a gun in here” bright tags on the outside of one’s luggage to alert every employee and passenger that this is the baggage that, when stolen, contains a bonus.

Explorer cases are made in Italy; the company is headquartered in Inglewood, California. The copolymer doesn’t buckle in extreme temperatures and they have better strength-to-weight ratio than another brand I have used. This case is designed for short-term storage and transport of a firearm. It is completely waterproof and shockproof.

The Explorer #3005 case uses corrosion-proof steel pivot pins for the hinges and latches. One of the things I did to test them is place straps on the edge of the product and try to close it using my body weight. This is a lot of force, considering the O ring seal system is recessed, and the lip of the bottom section is raised to engage the O ring.

The hinges and latches remained true, despite the abuse.

The case does lock, and the locking holes are steel reinforced. If you tried to punch the pins out, the design would prevent it.

Let’s not be unrealistic, it’s copolymer, not diamond-plate. It does have strategically placed reinforcement lines that protect the integrity of the case. The corners are reinforced and the walls are thick enough to be rigid. For this reason, you would have to use a good saw to defeat its security.

The contents are well protected. The interior is 11 13/16” x 8 1/4” x 2 5/16”, perfect for a full-sized handgun and a couple of magazines. The interior is egg crate foam on the top and pick foam on the bottom. It has a manual pressure relief valve.

I dropped it with my gun in it. Not only was it well protected, the gun remained in place, even when dropped on the corners. Even jumping on it will not pop the one-piece, “claw like” latches open. The #3005 case will stack horizontally and vertically.

I would pick a copolymer case over steel or aluminum because they are a bit quieter, and they don’t dent.

Most of the metal ones I have seen aren’t waterproof. I like river rafting, and I wouldn’t think twice about toting an extra gun in this case. For marine use, each side has material that stands it off of a flat surface enough so stuff doesn’t accumulate under it. The material also makes it stackable. They are IP 67 and MIL-STD 810F-810G. It is easily tied down to other equipment.

The #3005 case weighs less than three pounds and is only a little buoyant.

Explorer cases are inter-stackable, which means that cases of different sizes and configurations can also be stacked. For photographers and 3-Gunners, this feature really makes a difference.

This case will take the Explorer Cases optional shoulder strap kit. It has a tamper-resistant name plate and a comfortable carry handle. Explorer cases have an incredible warranty.

What didn’t I like about this case? The hinged lid opens just a little past 90 percent. I like my cases to open flat.

You may select any color you wish, as long as it’s black. MSRP is $54.99.

P.S. Here’s a tip: Never fly into NYC with a firearm. Pick somewhere else. You’re welcome.


P1 Photo of the Week: The Fargo challenge

Posted on November 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

This week's photo comes from the Roseville (Minn.) PD. These officers had some fun working the local high school football game on a wintery Friday night - donning their vintage cold weather gear and creating the "Fargo Challenge." Pretty spot-on!

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!


Police grants: What’s being federally funded in 2018?

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Samantha Dorm

Don’t let the news regarding the current political climate distract you from preparing for future grant opportunities. Despite not having an approved federal budget in place, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has already posted its FY18 Program Plan, along with the estimated release dates for request for proposals to be published.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has three grant-making components:

    Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS); Office of Justice Programs (OJP), comprised of six bureaus and program offices; Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

These three agencies are responsible for awarding federal financial assistance to support law enforcement and public safety activities in state, local and tribal jurisdictions to:

Assist victims of crime; Provide training and technical assistance; Conduct research; Implement programs that improve the criminal, civil and juvenile justice systems.

The congressional appropriation that supports DOJ's programs and operations reflects the priorities of the President, the attorney general and Congress.

The DOJ Program Plan is a tool to help applicants and grantees find funding opportunities (solicitations) that address their criminal, juvenile and civil justice needs.

What funding opportunities are in the DOJ plan?

Q1: Oct/Nov/Dec 2017

Plans for this quarter support various efforts under the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

Program highlights include emergency planning efforts for juvenile justice residential facilities, supervised visitations and safe exchange programs, and research to improve forensic science for criminal justice purposes.

Q2: Jan/Feb/Mar 2018

OJJDP and the NIJ programs will dominate funding notice releases early in 2018. Look for a host of programs related to juvenile treatment courts, mentoring programs, and gang and violence prevention, along with the highly competitive Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program.

Expect the release of the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP), which could support records management improvements.

Q3: Apr/May/Jun 2018

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) returns to its normal spring release after early postings during the presidential transition in 2017.

It is anticipated that we will see grants under Community Oriented Policing that may have traditionally been released under BJA. This includes programs like the body-worn camera initiative, the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program and funds to improve police-community relations.

Please note: It is not uncommon for the various programs to accept grant applications prior to the approval of the FY18 budget. However, the awards will not be granted until the funding has been approved and the proposed projects are subject to change.

Q4: Jul/Aug/Sep 2018

Program awards are expected to be announced during this period.

Proposed budget highlights

1. Department of Justice (DOJ) FY18 proposed budget

The bill funds DOJ at $29 billion, an increase of $349 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level.

Within this amount, funds are increased for the highest-priority grant programs, including:

$527 million for the Violence Against Women account (an increase of $46 million); $500 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (an increase of $104 million); $220 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (an increase of $10 million).

2. Community trust initiative

The recommendation includes $65,000,000 for a program to improve police-community relations. Included in this initiative is:

$10,000,000 for the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program; $25,000,000 for justice reinvestment; $22,500,000 for a body-worn camera partnership initiative; $7,500,000 for research and statistics on community trust.

3. Opioid abuse

The recommendation includes $118,000,000 for programs to reduce opioid abuse, which is the full amount authorized by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA; Public Law 114-198). Within this amount is included:

$43,000,000 for drug courts; $7,000,000 for veterans treatment courts; $12,000,000 for Residential Substance Abuse Treatment; $14,000,000 for prescription drug monitoring; $12,000,000 for the Mentally Ill Offender Act; $30,000,000 for other programs authorized by the bill. 4 tips on preparing for FY18 funding opportunities

Follow these four tips to prepare your police agency to maximize FY18 funding opportunities.

1. Educate yourself about the funding priorities

The best way to determine the right funding options for projects in your area is to contact your State Administering Agency (SAA) to obtain detailed program information.

The link above contains information about the lead agency to help users better understand the grant priorities and methods for applying for funds.

Direct contact information is generally available for the key personnel members who coordinate funding for the following programs:

Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

Although the source of funding is the same at the federal level, each state prioritizes how the funds will be used according to local trends. If you are unable to locate a copy of the local priorities online, reach out to the SAA for details.

2. Register for online grants-related portals

Most grant applications are submitted online and require various administrative steps be taken. Check program websites or review previous request for proposals (RFP) to obtain registration requirements in advance. Some systems can take 2-3 weeks to validate registrations.

3. Sign up for email notifications

Many online resources offer users the option to sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss important deadlines. Take the time to specify the type of information you wish to receive and the frequency of the notices so you aren’t bombarded with emails.

4. Sign up for free grants assistance from PoliceGrantsHelp The PoliceGrantsHelp grant assistance program includes a number of options for departments seeking assistance in securing grant funding. Grant assistance is available by filling out a request form from one of the major police category segments.


Police grants: What’s being federally funded in 2018?

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Samantha Dorm

Don’t let the news regarding the current political climate distract you from preparing for future grant opportunities. Despite not having an approved federal budget in place, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has already posted its FY18 Program Plan, along with the estimated release dates for request for proposals to be published.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has three grant-making components:

    Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS); Office of Justice Programs (OJP), comprised of six bureaus and program offices; Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

These three agencies are responsible for awarding federal financial assistance to support law enforcement and public safety activities in state, local and tribal jurisdictions to:

Assist victims of crime; Provide training and technical assistance; Conduct research; Implement programs that improve the criminal, civil and juvenile justice systems.

The congressional appropriation that supports DOJ's programs and operations reflects the priorities of the President, the attorney general and Congress.

The DOJ Program Plan is a tool to help applicants and grantees find funding opportunities (solicitations) that address their criminal, juvenile and civil justice needs.

What funding opportunities are in the DOJ plan?

Q1: Oct/Nov/Dec 2017

Plans for this quarter support various efforts under the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

Program highlights include emergency planning efforts for juvenile justice residential facilities, supervised visitations and safe exchange programs, and research to improve forensic science for criminal justice purposes.

Q2: Jan/Feb/Mar 2018

OJJDP and the NIJ programs will dominate funding notice releases early in 2018. Look for a host of programs related to juvenile treatment courts, mentoring programs, and gang and violence prevention, along with the highly competitive Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program.

Expect the release of the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP), which could support records management improvements.

Q3: Apr/May/Jun 2018

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) returns to its normal spring release after early postings during the presidential transition in 2017.

It is anticipated that we will see grants under Community Oriented Policing that may have traditionally been released under BJA. This includes programs like the body-worn camera initiative, the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program and funds to improve police-community relations.

Please note: It is not uncommon for the various programs to accept grant applications prior to the approval of the FY18 budget. However, the awards will not be granted until the funding has been approved and the proposed projects are subject to change.

Q4: Jul/Aug/Sep 2018

Program awards are expected to be announced during this period.

Proposed budget highlights

1. Department of Justice (DOJ) FY18 proposed budget

The bill funds DOJ at $29 billion, an increase of $349 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level.

Within this amount, funds are increased for the highest-priority grant programs, including:

$527 million for the Violence Against Women account (an increase of $46 million); $500 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (an increase of $104 million); $220 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (an increase of $10 million).

2. Community trust initiative

The recommendation includes $65,000,000 for a program to improve police-community relations. Included in this initiative is:

$10,000,000 for the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program; $25,000,000 for justice reinvestment; $22,500,000 for a body-worn camera partnership initiative; $7,500,000 for research and statistics on community trust.

3. Opioid abuse

The recommendation includes $118,000,000 for programs to reduce opioid abuse, which is the full amount authorized by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA; Public Law 114-198). Within this amount is included:

$43,000,000 for drug courts; $7,000,000 for veterans treatment courts; $12,000,000 for Residential Substance Abuse Treatment; $14,000,000 for prescription drug monitoring; $12,000,000 for the Mentally Ill Offender Act; $30,000,000 for other programs authorized by the bill. 4 tips on preparing for FY18 funding opportunities

Follow these four tips to prepare your police agency to maximize FY18 funding opportunities.

1. Educate yourself about the funding priorities

The best way to determine the right funding options for projects in your area is to contact your State Administering Agency (SAA) to obtain detailed program information.

The link above contains information about the lead agency to help users better understand the grant priorities and methods for applying for funds.

Direct contact information is generally available for the key personnel members who coordinate funding for the following programs:

Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

Although the source of funding is the same at the federal level, each state prioritizes how the funds will be used according to local trends. If you are unable to locate a copy of the local priorities online, reach out to the SAA for details.

2. Register for online grants-related portals

Most grant applications are submitted online and require various administrative steps be taken. Check program websites or review previous request for proposals (RFP) to obtain registration requirements in advance. Some systems can take 2-3 weeks to validate registrations.

3. Sign up for email notifications

Many online resources offer users the option to sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss important deadlines. Take the time to specify the type of information you wish to receive and the frequency of the notices so you aren’t bombarded with emails.

4. Sign up for free grants assistance from PoliceGrantsHelp The PoliceGrantsHelp grant assistance program includes a number of options for departments seeking assistance in securing grant funding. Grant assistance is available by filling out a request form from one of the major police category segments.


4 ways the new LE5 body-worn camera from Safariland VIEVU supports transparency for police agencies

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Sponsored by VIEVU

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

Body-worn cameras have become essential tools for modern policing. In addition to providing audio and video evidence for prosecutorial purposes, there is an inherent transparency in providing a neutral account of events, with community organizations and police departments increasingly demanding such transparency.

Cameras and video recordings often prove a useful tool for de-escalation, as well, and resulting video can support situational training.

VIEVU’s new LE5 body-worn camera builds on the company’s existing technology with new configurable features and support for in-field connectivity and auto activation options. As policing becomes more technology-driven, these features open the door to new opportunities for communication and collaboration.

Here are 4 features of VIEVU’s new LE5 body-worn cameras that make it easy to capture an accurate record of events for increased transparency.

1. Configurability

As diverse as police agencies, their policies and their officers are, body-worn cameras must accommodate a range of needs that can only be met with configurable settings. New features like selectable fields of view, covert mode and pre- and post-recording options allow for greater camera customization.

VIEVU also offers flexible software options so agencies can choose the evidence management solution that best suits their needs. Video evidence from the LE5 body-worn camera can be managed with a CJIS-compliant Microsoft Azure Government cloud-based solution, on-premises storage or a combination approach, according to agency preference.

“We provide body-worn camera technology that supports the unique needs of each police department,” said Jason Wine, vice president of engineering and technology for VIEVU. “Our cameras allow agencies to select the appropriate level of transparency for them, building trust with the community while maintaining control over what features and capabilities they have.”

2. Activation

When to activate body-worn cameras is a common dilemma, and the easier it is to switch recording on or off, the easier it is for the officer to remain focused on the situation at hand. The LE5 series cameras offer a slide switch to control camera activation. High-efficiency wireless and wired connectivity options allow for automatic activation as well.

With the LE5, VIEVU also offers a holster-based CAS technology option in conjunction with the Safariland 7TS duty holster. The Camera Auto-Activation System, or CAS, automatically activates the body-worn camera when an officer draws his or her firearm, so the officer can focus completely on the situation at hand.

“In the heat of the moment, an officer may not have time to both draw his or her firearm and activate the camera,” said Wine. “We want to make sure these cameras are turning on during the most critical moments to take the onus off the officer. Officers can be confident their camera is on as they focus on the moment and the situation.”

3. Connectivity

The LE5 body-worn camera also provides Wi-Fi and high-efficiency wireless connectivity for integration with other devices and systems. This enables remote activation as well as opportunities for real-time viewing and surveillance.

“Typically, agencies download video data through docking stations when officers recharge the cameras,” Wine said, “but with LE5, they have the flexibility of uploading from anywhere there’s an internet connection.”

The industry-standard USB-C connector on the LE5 has a symmetrical and reversible design that allows for fast charging, high-speed uploads and easy docking.

Officers also can upload video and add metadata using the VIEVU mobile app. This allows officers to add notes while details are fresh in their minds for more accurate reporting. Mobile access and new processing features on the back end further shift the burden from officers to technology to help ensure officers’ time is spent focused on policing.

4. Accuracy

An important new feature allows each agency to adjust the cameras’ field of view according to their preference. Agencies can choose between recording a view of 70, 95 or 120 degrees. The default setting is 95 degrees, closest to the human eye’s perspective.

As with any camera, the image is the objective, and the LE5 cameras are designed to capture video without “fisheye” image distortion or infrared enhancement to provide a greater degree of accuracy that reflects what the officer saw in the moment.

“The goal is to replicate the human eye,” said Wine. “We’re supposed to be a bystander, without bias, recording what is occurring. To do that, we want an accurate representation of what that officer is actually seeing. Our cameras capture evidence without relying on technologies such as infrared that might alter critical details.”

Increasing the field of view beyond 100 degrees begins to introduce fisheye distortion that bends the image around the edges, which can make it difficult to identify people, read license plates and measure distances. However, some agencies may consider a wider view more important than being able to measure details in the edge of a video frame.

Additionally, the new LE5 cameras also offer up to three minutes of pre-recording and up to one minute of post-recording for added context to any event. This additional information can make a difference in court, whether the justice system or the court of public opinion.

Additional Benefits

Weighing less than 5 ounces, the new LE5 cameras offer full-shift battery life and more than 12 hours of active recording time for reliability. An empty battery recharges completely in four hours.

For added configurability, VIEVU’s new ClipLock System provides the ability to quickly and easily change mount styles without the need for tools, plus safeguards against accidental drops. Four mounting options are currently offered, and more will be available in early 2018 to cover every shift in the department and account for seasonal uniform changes.

With the LE5, VIEVU offers a range of features and options that allows an agency to configure the body-worn camera system for a solution that fits their needs and the diverse needs of their officers.


LEO supervisors among top 10 jobs that don’t require college degree

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — The wage gap between working adults with college degrees and those without continues to increase, but new data reveals that police and detective supervisors are among the top 10 jobs that don’t require a college degree.

WGN-TV reports that the position is ranked No. 2 on the top 10 paying jobs that doesn’t require a degree with a median salary range of $84, 840 in 2016. The list is based on data released by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics pulled from Oct. 2017. Most agencies only require candidates to have completed high school.

Some of the skills required include a deep knowledge of public safety, good problem-solving abilities and even “customer” service.


Baltimore police detective shot in the head dies

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

BALTIMORE — The 18-year veteran police detective who was shot in the head Wednesday has died, police said.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Det. Sean Suiter was surrounded by his family in the hospital before his death. Police said a manhunt for the suspect continues. Authorities have offered a $69,000 reward for any information that leads to the suspect’s arrest.

“His tragic death will forever impact the BPD,” Police Commissioner Kevin Davis wrote in an email obtained by The Baltimore Sun. “Each of you go out there and put your lives on the line every single day. The importance of your sacrifice, and Sean’s, can’t be overstated.”

Suiter was doing a follow up on a homicide in a notoriously violent section of Baltimore when he spotted a man who was engaging in suspicious activity. Suiter reportedly attempted to speak with the man when he was shot.

He was rushed to a trauma center where he was later pronounced dead. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Officials said they were engaged in a tactical operation in the neighborhood as they investigate whether not the gunman is still in the area.

“With this community, we’re going to identify him, we’re going to arrest him, and we’re going to ensure justice is done,” Davis said.


Video shows Ohio trooper, nurse pulling man from burning car

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

FREMONT, Ohio — Dash cam footage shows an Ohio trooper and a nurse pulling a man out of a burning car before it exploded.

WTVG reports that a Ford Mustang pulled into the path of a Dodge Durango and collided with it. State troopers said the driver of the Mustang, 21-year-old Jose Gonzalez, was trapped in his car.

A registered nurse who was on the scene checked on the trapped driver before Trooper Donte Hanns arrived. The car burst into flames shortly after Hanns got to the scene. Hanns used his baton to break the car’s passenger-side window.

The trooper and the nurse were able to pull the driver out to safety. Mere seconds after the rescue, the vehicle exploded.

"Trooper Hanns was in the right place at the right time. He used his training and basically put himself in harm's way to help save somebody else's life," Lieutenant Matt Meredith said.

Gonzalez was cited for DUI. His arraignment was set for Wednesday, but he reportedly did not show up.

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VIDEO: One of troopers was in the right place at the right time. Tpr. Hanns was in the area along U.S. 20 in Green Creek Township on Nov. 9 and arrived at a recent crash scene. He was able to pull the driver to safety before the car burst into flames. More info about the crash can be found at http://ohne.ws/2mqMJox #saferohio

Posted by Ohio State Highway Patrol on Tuesday, November 14, 2017


DA: Pa. troopers justified in using deadly force in shooting

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Riley Yates The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — State police were justified in shooting a 22-year-old Monroe County man who opened fire on them at a traffic stop, critically injuring one trooper, authorities announced Thursday.

Cpl. Seth J. Kelly and Trooper Ryan Seiple were in essence “sitting ducks” when a motorist they stopped Nov. 7 grabbed a gun from his car and immediately began shooting, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said at a news conference.

Morganelli called his decision to clear the two troopers an easy one, saying the stop was captured on video and audio recording. It showed the troopers exercising impressive restraint during a violent encounter in which their suspect fought with them and at one point tried to grab Seiple’s gun from its holster, Morganelli said.

“I’m very proud of how they operated in this case,” Morganelli said. “They followed their training."

Daniel Khalil Clary of Effort is charged with attempted murder and is being held in Northampton County Jail under $1 million bail. Morganelli said his office is now focused on winning his conviction.

Clary is accused of shooting Kelly after Kelly and Seiple tried to arrest him on suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Clary was also wounded in the gunfight, police said, and was hospitalized for five day before he was transferred to jail.

Kelly continues to recover from gunshot wounds to his neck, shoulder and thigh, but his condition has been characterized as stable. A 13-year veteran of state police and the husband of a Forks Township police detective, Kelly is being treated at St. Luke’s Hospital in Fountain Hill.

Seiple stopped Clary's vehicle on Route 33 in Plainfield Township and issued him a speeding citation. When Seiple started to drive away, Clary flagged him down and asked how to pay for the citation.

Seiple suspected Clary was under the influence and saw drug paraphernalia in Clary’s car, according to court records. Seiple called for backup and after Kelly arrived, they gave Clary a sobriety test that he failed, according to police.

A “knock-down, drag-out” fight ensued when the troopers tried to arrest Clary as cars sped past them, Capt. Richard D'Ambrosio has said.

Clary was hit with a stun gun, but it had little affect on him, and he got away from the troopers, according to court records. He got a handgun from his car and opened fire, hitting Kelly several times, police said.

The troopers returned fire and Clary fled in his car and drove himself to Easton Hospital, police said.

©2017 The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)


Sheriff: Calif. school staff’s quick thinking during shooting prevented more carnage

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mike Chapman Redding Record Searchlight, Calif.

RED BLUFF, Calif. — Although one child was shot and injured at Rancho Tehama Elementary School during a shooter's rampage Tuesday, one local law enforcement official said school officials prevented more carnage by quickly locking down the campus.

"This incident, as tragic and as bad as it is, could've been so much worse if it wasn't for the quick thinking and staff at our elementary school," Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said at a press conference Tuesday.

A school district spokesman said Wednesday morning that there will be no classes at Rancho Tehama for the rest of the week.

She also noted that the students will be off next week for Thanksgiving break and classes won't resume until Nov. 27.

The shooter, identified by law enforcement as 44-year-old Kevin Neal of Rancho Tehama, drove a vehicle to the elementary school on his third of seven stops in his shooting spree. He ended up killing four people in the rural Northern California community and wounding 10 others before he died in a police shootout. Authorities said on Wednesday he killed his wife on Monday and hid her under the floorboards.

Officers recovered a semiautomatic rifle and two handguns they believe were used by the shooter.

The man rammed the school's fence and gate then entered the campus on foot with a semiautomatic rifle that had a multi-round clip while wearing a tactical vest, Johnston said.

"He was wearing a load-bearing vest that you sometimes see soldiers wear that have the clips embedded in the chest," he said. "The individual shooter was bent on engaging and killing people at random."

The shooting started before classes began. The gunman shot out windows and through walls, the district said. One student on campus was injured when Neal fired 20 to 30 rounds at the school. Nobody was killed at the school.

"The shooter targeted the school from outside the school and shot multiple rounds into the school," Johnston said.

The assistant sheriff said Rancho Tehama school officials already had gone on alert after hearing shots a quarter-mile away and quickly shut down the campus.

"They went into an immediate lockdown without having to be told to do so by law enforcement," Johnston said.

Neal apparently became frustrated because he could only enter an open bathroom while he was at the school for six minutes.

"It appears that because he couldn't make access to any of the rooms because they were locked, that he gave it up and re-entered the vehicle and went on his killing spree and took it to the streets of Rancho Tehama," Johnston said.

The school has a video surveillance system being reviewed by law enforcement.

"There is no doubt in my mind, based on the video that I saw, (the school's staff) saved countless lives and children," Johnston said.

A second child was injured by the shooter's gunfire off campus when his mother was driving down the road and taking him to school.

"She passed by the (shooter's) vehicle and he opened fire on them without provocation or warning," Johnston said.

The boy, who was in the back seat, didn't suffer life-threatening injuries, Johnston said. The mother did suffer life-threatening wounds, either from a bullet or shrapnel from the bullet hitting the pickup, the sheriff's official said Tuesday.

After the shooter left the school, officials put the students on a bus and took them to a nearby Rancho Tehama Association recreation hall for safety.

Many parents suffered anxious moments at a law enforcement roadblock while they waited to hear details of the school shooting.

"I know it was very hard on some of the parents because they were stuck at the roadblock. They couldn't get through, but we had to do what we could to secure the area and make sure the children were safe," Johnston said.

©2017 the Redding Record Searchlight (Redding, Calif.)


Officials: NY man who shot up store sought job before shooting

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — Authorities say the man accused of spraying the entrance of a suburban Buffalo retails store with gunfire had requested a job application before he began shooting.

Erie County prosecutors say 29-year-old Travis Green walked into a Dollar General store Tuesday afternoon and requested a job application. Officials say he became irate, left the store and got a pump-action AR-15-style rifle from his car.

Police say he then fired more than 20 rounds at the store from the outside, shattering the entrance's glass door and windows. A 53-year-old man outside the store at the time was wounded in the shoulder.

The owner of a nearby business drove his car into Green when he paused in between firing. Green then fled on foot but was caught nearby by police.

He's being held in jail without bail.

Officials: Suspect asked for job application at store, became irate, got rifle from car and started shooting. Story: https://t.co/lfBiGAjblL pic.twitter.com/dwz469B3i5

— AP Eastern U.S. (@APEastRegion) November 16, 2017


2018 Police Video Guide: The emerging tech, training and tactics shaping law enforcement

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

PoliceOne Digital Edition
Author: PoliceOne Digital Edition

Police officers today have an arsenal of technologically-driven tools designed to better execute their mission to protect and serve, while also enhancing officer safety and improving operational efficiencies.

One of the most transformative of these tools has been the use of video in policing.

This digital edition focuses specifically on how police agencies can use video tools to transform field operations.

Download this PoliceOne Digital Edition, sponsored by Motorola, to learn about:

Cutting-edge applications of police drones The capabilities and limitations of throwable video robots The issues bystander videos present for law enforcement How to turn BWC footage into actionable data for police officer training How to safely store and protect your video data How to protect your digital evidence from cyberattack

Enter your information below to download the guide in either downloadable PDF or digital flipbook format.


Police: La. man fatally shot tried to run, fought with officer

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Digital Edition

By Michael Kunzelman and Melinda Deslatte Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — A man killed by a Baton Rouge police officer had tried to run when confronted during a child abuse investigation, fought with the officer and kept resisting after being shot, authorities said Tuesday.

The Louisiana State Police said 24-year-old Calvin Toney "attempted to flee on foot" when a state child welfare case worker and the city officer showed up Monday evening at an apartment complex and had a "lengthy struggle" with the officer, who used a stun gun on Toney multiple times.

"After being shot, Toney fled and was later taken into custody by the officer. While taking Toney into custody, he remained non-compliant and was placed into handcuffs for safety reasons," the state police said in a statement from Senior Trooper Bryan Lee.

Toney was alert and receiving medical attention from police when paramedics arrived, and his handcuffs were then removed, Lee said.

Toney died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to the local coroner's office, which released preliminary results of an autopsy performed Tuesday.

The officer suffered minor injuries, Lee said. Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely identified the him as Officer Darrell Carter. He's a 32-year-old black man with 2 1/2 years of service, McKneely said in a text message.

The shooting remains under investigation by the state police. Footage from Carter's body camera and surveillance video from the apartment complex were being reviewed Tuesday by the state police, who said investigators also continued questioning witnesses. None of the video footage was released to the public.

The shooting of Toney, a black man, drew a crowd of angry neighbors Monday night at the apartment complex in north Baton Rouge, a city that was wracked by unrest after a police shooting last year. Calvin Coleman, who identified himself as Toney's father, stood with the others behind the police tape after the shooting.

"It hurts," Coleman said. "It tears you apart knowing that he's right there and there's nothing you can do about it."

The Department of Children and Family Services confirmed the state police's statement and said its case worker was unharmed in the altercation. But agency officials didn't provide further details, citing confidentiality laws.

Department Secretary Marketa Garner Walters said she knows of no other instances where a shooting has occurred during a child welfare visit.

"We've had situations where workers have been attacked by dogs, where workers have been threatened with their life, where workers have had guns pointed at them, where guns actually have been fired over workers' heads," Walters said. "We've had scary situations, but I don't remember a shooting like this."

The department's case worker asked for the police escort because of the "nature of the allegations and previous history involving Toney," according to the state police statement.

Court documents show Toney pleaded guilty in 2014 to cruelty to a juvenile after he was accused of placing his toddler daughter on a kitchen counter next to a hot stove and leaving her. The daughter suffered third-degree burns to her arm, wrist and hand — and also was healing from previous wounds that included multiple bone fractures across her body that three doctors determined were "consistent with abuse," according to court records.

After the guilty plea, Toney was then accused of breaking into the home of his daughter's mother, grabbing her by the throat and throwing her against the wall. Court records show the child's mother told police that Toney became irate because his daughter was scared of him.

State police didn't detail the abuse allegations that prompted Monday's visit to the apartment complex.

After the shooting, about 100 people gathered at the apartment complex, some yelling "Black lives matter," and "No justice, no peace." By Tuesday morning, the protesters were gone, and a maintenance worker at the complex asked an Associated Press reporter to leave the site, saying tensions were high after the shooting.

In July 2016, a white Baton Rouge police officer shot and killed a 37-year-old black man, Alton Sterling, outside a convenience store where he was selling homemade CDs. Two cellphone videos of the shooting quickly spread on social media, sparking nightly protests in Louisiana's capital city. Nearly 200 protesters were arrested in the days after that shooting.


Ohio cop in critical condition after being shot in the face

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

TOLEDO, Ohio — Police in Ohio say an officer is in critical condition after being shot in the face during a drug raid at a home in Toledo.

A police spokesman describes the officer's injuries as "very serious," but not believed to be life threatening.

Toledo Police Chief George Kral says the officer was standing about 30 yards away when SWAT officers knocked on a door and tried to enter the home early Thursday.

Kral says a man inside the home fired several shots through the door. He was taken into custody and is being questioned.

The chief says no one else was hurt and that officers didn't return fire.

Kral says the injured officer was shot near the mouth and will need major reconstructive surgery.

Alert: #toledopolice officer shot overnight in the 4100 block of Caroline Ave. The officer is in "critical but stable" condition at this time. @gkraltoledo will provide further details later this morning. Please send your thoughts and prayers.

— Toledo Police (@ToledoPolice) November 16, 2017


NYPD recruit, 23, dies of leukemia

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — An NYPD recruit who was sworn in on July died after a short battle with leukemia early Tuesday.

The New York Daily News reports that Jake Siciliano, 23, died a month after he was admitted to the hospital. Siciliano was diagnosed with the deadly disease just three months into his training. He was just one month away from graduating from the academy, the LI Herald reports.

Police said Siciliano was considered to be on active duty even after he was hospitalized. He leaves behind a fiancé, who he got engaged with on Oct. 1, two weeks before he received the diagnosis.

Last month, his friends set up a GoFundMe page to support his medical expenses. They were able to raise more than $21,000 as of Nov. 16, 2017.

A fundraiser hosted by the Lynbrook Alumni group to raise money for medical expenses was scheduled to take place on Saturday. The event is still planned to take place to honor his memory.

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So at 1 am on 11-14-17, not only my fiancé, but the love of my life, my best friend and partner in crime Jake Siciliano...

Posted by Ashlee Ragusano on Monday, November 13, 2017


Police: Baltimore detective shot in head; manhunt underway

Posted on November 16, 2017 by in POLICE

By David McFadden Associated Press

BALTIMORE — A homicide detective with the Baltimore police force was shot in the head Wednesday while working in a troubled area of the city grappling with high crime rates.

Outside the hospital where the gravely wounded 18-year veteran was fighting for his life, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said a manhunt was underway for a "cold, callous killer" who shot the detective who was "just doing his job."

Federal agencies were offering a $60,000 reward for information leading to the gunman's arrest. The officer wasn't identified, but Davis said he has a wife and two children.

Update: If you have any tips, call the #FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI, Option #4. @Baltimorepolice @ATFHQ @DEAWASHINGTONDC https://t.co/CvgDYIU6L5

— FBI Baltimore (@FBIBaltimore) November 16, 2017

"This is a dangerous profession. This is a dangerous job. Police officers know that at any given time they could confront someone who wants to do them harm, and that's exactly what happened tonight," Davis said, adding that it would be a "long night" for investigators seeking "every bit of evidence."

Police cordoned off streets in the West Baltimore area and a tactical unit combed alleyways searching for a shooter. Numerous cruisers responded and a police helicopter buzzed overhead, illuminating streets below with a searchlight. The neighborhood has a number of vacant row houses.

Dr. Thomas Scalea, chief of the University of Maryland Medical Center's Shock Trauma Center, said the injured officer was on life support in the intensive care unit.

"We are doing everything we can to keep him stabilized and to take care of the injury to his brain," he said, flanked by Davis and Mayor Catherine Pugh.

Wednesday's shooting of the police officer comes amid a particularly violent period in Baltimore: So far this year, the city of roughly 620,000 inhabitants has seen more than 300 homicides.

Pugh called for a halt to the violence — a frequently repeated refrain in Baltimore.

"We are praying for peace in our streets. And I can say to you all again and again: Enough is enough. Crime has to come to an end in this city. This kind of violence cannot be tolerated," she said.


Police officer shot in Baltimore

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BALTIMORE — A member of the Baltimore police force has been shot in a troubled area of West Baltimore.

Baltimore police said in a tweet that one of their officers was shot Wednesday evening. The department did not immediately disclose the officer's name or any other details.

Officers cordoned off streets and combed alleyways as they searched for a shooter. Numerous cruisers responded and a police helicopter buzzed overhead.

One of our officers was shot this evening. Please say an extra prayer for the officer and the officer’s family. We’ll update soon. Thank you.

— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) November 15, 2017

The area where the officer was shot has a number of vacant rowhouses and has been the scene of numerous shootings.

Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis went to a hospital where the officer was apparently being treated. They did not immediately talk with reporters.

Special agents from ATF’s Baltimore Field Division are on scene to assist @BaltimorePolice partners after a Baltimore Police Officer was shot this evening. pic.twitter.com/aGcj6zjIG9

— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) November 16, 2017


Grants.gov announces new application system for 2018

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

For years applicants have applied for federal grants by submitting a package of PDF forms. But on Dec. 31, 2017, Grants.gov will officially retire the legacy PDF package as a method to apply for a federal grant. This system will be replaced by Grants.gov Workspace, a fast, easy, and secure alternative to apply for federal grants.

Workspace is an online environment designed to work for individual applicants and large teams applying on behalf of an organization.

Forms can either be completed online within a web browser or downloaded individually and uploaded to Workspace.

Workspace enhances the Grants.gov apply functionality by providing applicants with a shared, online environment to collaboratively complete and submit grant applications.

Benefits of the new system include:

Allows multiple users to concurrently complete the application forms; Permits users to reuse/copy existing Workspace forms; Offers upfront validation that allows applicants to correct application errors prior to submission, which minimized the rejection rate; Provides seamless integration between online web forms and offline PDF forms; Allows collaboration with users external to your organization; Immediately reflects any changes to the opportunity package.

Direct questions on Workspace to the Grants.gov Support Center at support@grants.gov or visit the Grants.gov Support page.


When a K-9 dies in the line of duty

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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The sad truth of police work is that both dogs and officers sometimes die in the line of duty. In my time on the road, I meet a few officers whose dogs had been killed on the job. The first is Doug Lewis. Several RCMP dog handlers have mentioned Doug Lewis, and I’m nervous about meeting this survivor face-to-face. My fears are put at ease when he answers the door with a tiny Maltese/Yorkie puppy nestled in his muscular arms. I knew Lewis was retired; I just didn’t know he’d be so young and so fit. Tall and sun-bronzed, with dark hair, he and his wife, Christine, look like they have stepped out of the pages of a fitness magazine.

He holds the pup as I sit down, while two very affectionate cats and another dog trot out to greet me. One of the cats keeps jumping on my laptop as I take notes, her tail curling over my arm. Even though his house has the good company of cats and dogs, there are no more police dogs in Doug Lewis’s life, and probably never will be again.

“So,” I ask, “how did you get into policing?”

“By grade three, I wanted to be a police officer. My dad was in the marine section of the RCMP, but that didn’t encourage me for police work. I found Dad’s job very boring. I went out for many hours on Dad’s boat. When I was thirteen, my mom took me aside and said, ‘Dad doesn’t want to take you on the boat, because you can’t sit still like your brother.’ It was true.

“The big influence on me as a kid was my older brother. He was a top athlete. He used to beat me up lots. It was, ‘I’m going to make you tough.’

“One time my brother was beating me up. Mum had hit him so many times with a broomstick, so she got a frying pan and hit him between the shoulder blades to get his attention. Mum had to hit him twice.”

I think about my sons, and try to picture anything remotely similar to this situation. My imagination fails me. But Lewis doesn’t seem fazed by what he went through. It’s obvious after five minutes of conversation that Doug Lewis and his brother were hell on wheels as boys. When they were young, they were called The Crazy Brothers. It’s clear they both earned the name in those early years. “My brother choked me once on the ferry until I passed out. After a while, we had it out and he never challenged me since.” It took joining the RCMP to channel that intense youthful drive.

“My brother joined the RCMP four years before I did. He got out of high school and right into the RCMP. I wasn’t the greatest kid to be going in. I had a lot of traffic violations. I had a lead foot. I wasn’t violent, just a teenage boy showing off. My dad was stationed on Salt Spring Island. Well, it was two days after I got my driver’s license, I was doing donuts and hit a pole.

“Later I got involved in rollovers and other traffic violations. When I actually put my application to the RCMP, I was asked, ‘And how do you explain this?’

“ ‘Due to immaturity, sir.’ I was rejected the first time, due to eyesight. I thought my world had come to an end. I tried exercising my eyes. I stopped wearing glasses to strengthen my eyes. I did that for two weeks. So it was one and a half years later, I was working at a lumber mill, pulling off green wood, I get this phone call, ‘Are you still interested?’ ”

“So that’s when you joined the RCMP?”

“Yes. You had to grow up—except you still got to drive fast. I put in eight years of service. I was pushing the idea of the antiterrorist team. At this point, Bill Sweeney was the assistant commissioner. He said, ‘Doug, you want the antiterrorist team, you’re in.’

“Then the dog man shows up a week later. I said, ‘So you get to hunt people, drive your own wagon, the dog’s your partner?’ I said, ‘Can I go to Peace River and train with you?’ I spent four days at this dog man’s house. I’ll never forget the first bite. I was scared, but I was excited. I just couldn’t get enough. I wish I would have known that before.

“I helped to raise five dogs. You pay for your own gas, you do twelve-hour shifts, then it’s nighttime, you take the dog out for a walk quickly. Then you lay tracks and get bit.”

“How did you find the strength to do what you had to do?” “You don’t feel invincible, because you know people get hurt, but you feel ‘I’m not going to get hurt out of this, I’ll come out of it okay.’ When I first got into the RCMP, I only wanted to catch bad guys. I thought my dog, Reiker, was invincible. He was one hundred and seven pounds of solid German shepherd. We were catching people left, right, and center. Anybody with weapons, he’d take them down. “As time got along, I realized, ‘Dogs are like a bad date, they never leave you.’ They are always there. With Reiker, he was handler-soft, he’d go on his belly if I yelled at him, but with everyone else he’d go bonkers. I remember people saying, ‘My god, he’s got a bite like an alligator.’ Once on a training, I saw a guy put on two arm guards.

I said, ‘What are you doing?’

“ ‘I’ve heard about your dog’s reputation,’ he told me. Some of the quarries would scream because of the pressure of the bite.”

Lewis keeps talking. The cat curls softly around my arm.

“Once we were out on a call and someone shouted to me, ‘Doug, he ran down that alley!’ So I go, I’m circling the dog, but he’s not picking anything up. I soon realized that it was the next alley over. We go, I’m yelling at my dog, he’s down on his belly, then I circled him again. I realized boom, he gave it to me. We got the guy. I realized my dog will give it to me if it’s there. I don’t need to yell. You can’t force your dog. You have to make it fun. Make it bubbly.”

Make it bubbly. That expression stays with me. The hardest work in the world, where lives are at stake, and to get your dog to do his best work, you have to make it all a big game.

People sought out Doug Lewis for training advice when they were raising dogs and working as quarries, hoping to be chosen as police dog handlers.

“I wanted to see a real commitment to dog services. You gotta be a go-getter.”

Doug keeps the stories coming. “Once we were on a domestic violence call. It had nothing to do with dogs. Her husband had threatened her before he left, said he’d come back and kill her, then he drove away and she called us. My dog started walking around the house and all of a sudden I see the tail wagging. Then I hear this SCREAM! My dog’s got the guy in the shoulder blade. Her husband had come back. He had a gun lined up to shoot the policeman that was coming up the walk. I had shivers going down my spine. The other cop said, ‘That dog saved my life.’ ”

Lewis has seen more than anyone should of the worst of human nature.

“Once we were called about this nineteen-year-old raping a seventeen-year-old at knifepoint. The victim came running out of the bushes by the White Spot Restaurant. She was all torn up. My dog ran across to the other side of the road. The guy was hiding there, with his pants still half done up. We got him, and then we backtracked and found the weapon.”

Now I’m the one with shivers going down my spine. It’s not hard to picture the guy, crouching in the ditch with his pants undone, the girl crawling out of the bushes at White Spot after being raped. It’s not hard to picture the knife held to her throat, then cast into the grass as the guy tried to escape. What if the dog hadn’t been there, and the rapist had gotten away? And even though he was caught, what about the rest of her life, all the days that come after, with the memory of the knife against her throat?

I had heard what happened to Doug Lewis from other cops. When I ask him about it, though, he gets up and leaves the room. He comes back and hands me his official police statement. I read it carefully. It seems like such a nonevent: a suspect who fled without paying for gas, and refused to stop when the cops pursued him. Doug, who was off duty at the time, was buying dog food at Buckerfield’s in Chilliwack. He arrived at the scene with his dog Chip, wearing nothing but jeans and a T-shirt, unarmed but ready to track. He had two uniformed members to back him up, both members of ERT, the Emergency Response Team.

Dog handlers move much faster than anyone else. This can be a problem for those who want to keep up, even if they are exceptionally fit ERT officers providing cover for a K9 team during a pursuit. The dog teams often move at a run, and seldom slower than a trot. Once the dog is on a scent, he is in full pursuit mode.

Twice the ERT members who were providing backup to Lewis yelled at him to slow down, which he did. But when he didn’t hear from them again, he followed Chip through the brush at a rapid pace, assuming his backup team was right behind him.

When he found the suspect and told him to surrender, the man refused. Chip was sent in to subdue him, which he did, grabbing his left arm. This is where the statement gets hard to read. I quote it directly:

To my disbelief I saw the suspect come around with his right hand holding a knife. Without anything said or any hesitation the suspect stabbed “Chip” in the neck area. The suspect then pulled back to stab him again and I saw the blood squirt out of his neck. I then dropped the long line I was attached to “Chip” and started to charge the suspect so I could stop him from stabbing him again. The suspect saw me charge at him and he stopped stabbing at “Chip” and started running towards me. “Chip” then came off the suspect and came back to me and circled around me and charged at the suspect again. As “Chip” had circled around me he dragged the twenty foot leash behind him and ended up tying my legs together so I couldn’t move out of the way of the suspect swinging the knife around. The suspect ended up knocking me down to the ground wailing the knife at my face and chest area. I tried several times to block the blows but he kept stabbing at me. At one point I felt the knife go into my chest and at the same time I felt “Chip” biting my upper right thigh area. I knew he was doing some damage to my face when I felt the blood going into my right eye. I did manage to grab the knife blade and held on tight to it as he was yelling at me “I’m not a killer, I’m not a killer.” I responded to that comment that he wasn’t showing me a good example of this.

Just as children sometimes lash out at their parents, police dogs will sometimes bite or attack their handlers in times of extreme stress or pain. This is what Chip did after he’d been stabbed. The brutal fight continued. Doug Lewis wrote: “He kept on trying to punch me and was yelling at me ‘go out, go out, let me put you out.’ ” But Doug kept fighting, and kept on yelling for Nigel, one of the cover officers from ERT. Finally, the suspect demanded Doug’s money, his wallet, pager, and keys, and then ran off into the woods.

I went over to “Chip” and saw that his eyes were glassed over and his tongue was hanging out the side of his mouth and I could barely see any blood coming out of his neck area. I then took my t-shirt off and tried to stop whatever bleeding there was left coming out and as I looked at his head he let out a gasp and there was nothing else there . . . I wiped the blood from my watch and it was 3:10 p.m.

I put the sworn statement down and meet Doug’s eyes. It’s a heavy moment.

“What was going through your head at that point?”

“We learned that whenever you are in a situation, don’t give up. As it was happening, I’m not thinking of quitting. I’m thinking, ‘How do I subdue this guy? How do I get him to stop stabbing me?’ Apparently Nigel could hear me, though I couldn’t hear him. He was running through the brush, trying to find me, and he couldn’t. He kept hearing me and wasn’t able to help.”

At this point, Doug Lewis knew he didn’t have much time left before he bled to death from the wounds in his head and chest. But he made one last attempt to save his own life. He was able to slide down the brush until he made his way to a road. Several cars drove around Lewis, refusing to stop as he tried to wave them down, covered in blood. Finally a driver stopped and drove him to the hospital.

“My stabbing, I got nine knife wounds and my dog got killed. The guy who did it, he got ten months in the mental institution. Then the media called to tell me that he’s being released less than ten months later. I was frustrated. I was mad. I was told he would at least do a few years, but ten months later he’s released to his parents. This is proof we have a legal system, but we certainly don’t have a justice system. I said this, and it went on the news. I was called in by the Superintendent of the RCMP district. He told me, ‘You can’t say that.’

“I put my hand out and said, ‘Slap me, because that’s all you’re going to get.’ ” Nobody, no matter what their rank, can stop Doug Lewis from calling it as he sees it.

“After all this, the guy applied for a firearms certificate. His application was rejected. Everyone knew what he did to a police officer, and that he killed a police dog.”

At times, as he tallies his losses, Lewis tries to joke, but I can tell that the pain is fresh. The price he paid was so high. To Doug Lewis, his dogs are his partners. It eats at him that he couldn’t protect Chip.

Lewis lost Chip, lost his first marriage, and nearly lost his life, but he fought his way back from every loss. “They gave me all the time in the world to heal, but I couldn’t sit still for very long. I located another dog, Zack, and in less than a month I was back in Innisfail at kennels training with him. As I was sitting in the bushes after laying a track for one of the other fellows, I looked down at my hands where the stitches had come out, and I asked myself, ‘Should I be here?’ It was a very strange feeling, but I shook it off and continued my training. I tried so hard not to think of Chip. He appeared every night in my dreams, and still does.”

Lewis is still on that long path toward recovery, though he won’t work as a police officer again. He talks openly of his experience and his mistakes, so that others can learn from his ordeal.

When I said good-bye, Doug was holding his tiny puppy, Nika, to his muscular chest, cuddling her as she snuggled against him. Nika closed her eyes, snoozing in the crook of his arm, completely secure in her world in a way that her owner never can be again.


When a K-9 dies in the line of duty

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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The sad truth of police work is that both dogs and officers sometimes die in the line of duty. In my time on the road, I meet a few officers whose dogs had been killed on the job. The first is Doug Lewis. Several RCMP dog handlers have mentioned Doug Lewis, and I’m nervous about meeting this survivor face-to-face. My fears are put at ease when he answers the door with a tiny Maltese/Yorkie puppy nestled in his muscular arms. I knew Lewis was retired; I just didn’t know he’d be so young and so fit. Tall and sun-bronzed, with dark hair, he and his wife, Christine, look like they have stepped out of the pages of a fitness magazine.

He holds the pup as I sit down, while two very affectionate cats and another dog trot out to greet me. One of the cats keeps jumping on my laptop as I take notes, her tail curling over my arm. Even though his house has the good company of cats and dogs, there are no more police dogs in Doug Lewis’s life, and probably never will be again.

“So,” I ask, “how did you get into policing?”

“By grade three, I wanted to be a police officer. My dad was in the marine section of the RCMP, but that didn’t encourage me for police work. I found Dad’s job very boring. I went out for many hours on Dad’s boat. When I was thirteen, my mom took me aside and said, ‘Dad doesn’t want to take you on the boat, because you can’t sit still like your brother.’ It was true.

“The big influence on me as a kid was my older brother. He was a top athlete. He used to beat me up lots. It was, ‘I’m going to make you tough.’

“One time my brother was beating me up. Mum had hit him so many times with a broomstick, so she got a frying pan and hit him between the shoulder blades to get his attention. Mum had to hit him twice.”

I think about my sons, and try to picture anything remotely similar to this situation. My imagination fails me. But Lewis doesn’t seem fazed by what he went through. It’s obvious after five minutes of conversation that Doug Lewis and his brother were hell on wheels as boys. When they were young, they were called The Crazy Brothers. It’s clear they both earned the name in those early years. “My brother choked me once on the ferry until I passed out. After a while, we had it out and he never challenged me since.” It took joining the RCMP to channel that intense youthful drive.

“My brother joined the RCMP four years before I did. He got out of high school and right into the RCMP. I wasn’t the greatest kid to be going in. I had a lot of traffic violations. I had a lead foot. I wasn’t violent, just a teenage boy showing off. My dad was stationed on Salt Spring Island. Well, it was two days after I got my driver’s license, I was doing donuts and hit a pole.

“Later I got involved in rollovers and other traffic violations. When I actually put my application to the RCMP, I was asked, ‘And how do you explain this?’

“ ‘Due to immaturity, sir.’ I was rejected the first time, due to eyesight. I thought my world had come to an end. I tried exercising my eyes. I stopped wearing glasses to strengthen my eyes. I did that for two weeks. So it was one and a half years later, I was working at a lumber mill, pulling off green wood, I get this phone call, ‘Are you still interested?’ ”

“So that’s when you joined the RCMP?”

“Yes. You had to grow up—except you still got to drive fast. I put in eight years of service. I was pushing the idea of the antiterrorist team. At this point, Bill Sweeney was the assistant commissioner. He said, ‘Doug, you want the antiterrorist team, you’re in.’

“Then the dog man shows up a week later. I said, ‘So you get to hunt people, drive your own wagon, the dog’s your partner?’ I said, ‘Can I go to Peace River and train with you?’ I spent four days at this dog man’s house. I’ll never forget the first bite. I was scared, but I was excited. I just couldn’t get enough. I wish I would have known that before.

“I helped to raise five dogs. You pay for your own gas, you do twelve-hour shifts, then it’s nighttime, you take the dog out for a walk quickly. Then you lay tracks and get bit.”

“How did you find the strength to do what you had to do?” “You don’t feel invincible, because you know people get hurt, but you feel ‘I’m not going to get hurt out of this, I’ll come out of it okay.’ When I first got into the RCMP, I only wanted to catch bad guys. I thought my dog, Reiker, was invincible. He was one hundred and seven pounds of solid German shepherd. We were catching people left, right, and center. Anybody with weapons, he’d take them down. “As time got along, I realized, ‘Dogs are like a bad date, they never leave you.’ They are always there. With Reiker, he was handler-soft, he’d go on his belly if I yelled at him, but with everyone else he’d go bonkers. I remember people saying, ‘My god, he’s got a bite like an alligator.’ Once on a training, I saw a guy put on two arm guards.

I said, ‘What are you doing?’

“ ‘I’ve heard about your dog’s reputation,’ he told me. Some of the quarries would scream because of the pressure of the bite.”

Lewis keeps talking. The cat curls softly around my arm.

“Once we were out on a call and someone shouted to me, ‘Doug, he ran down that alley!’ So I go, I’m circling the dog, but he’s not picking anything up. I soon realized that it was the next alley over. We go, I’m yelling at my dog, he’s down on his belly, then I circled him again. I realized boom, he gave it to me. We got the guy. I realized my dog will give it to me if it’s there. I don’t need to yell. You can’t force your dog. You have to make it fun. Make it bubbly.”

Make it bubbly. That expression stays with me. The hardest work in the world, where lives are at stake, and to get your dog to do his best work, you have to make it all a big game.

People sought out Doug Lewis for training advice when they were raising dogs and working as quarries, hoping to be chosen as police dog handlers.

“I wanted to see a real commitment to dog services. You gotta be a go-getter.”

Doug keeps the stories coming. “Once we were on a domestic violence call. It had nothing to do with dogs. Her husband had threatened her before he left, said he’d come back and kill her, then he drove away and she called us. My dog started walking around the house and all of a sudden I see the tail wagging. Then I hear this SCREAM! My dog’s got the guy in the shoulder blade. Her husband had come back. He had a gun lined up to shoot the policeman that was coming up the walk. I had shivers going down my spine. The other cop said, ‘That dog saved my life.’ ”

Lewis has seen more than anyone should of the worst of human nature.

“Once we were called about this nineteen-year-old raping a seventeen-year-old at knifepoint. The victim came running out of the bushes by the White Spot Restaurant. She was all torn up. My dog ran across to the other side of the road. The guy was hiding there, with his pants still half done up. We got him, and then we backtracked and found the weapon.”

Now I’m the one with shivers going down my spine. It’s not hard to picture the guy, crouching in the ditch with his pants undone, the girl crawling out of the bushes at White Spot after being raped. It’s not hard to picture the knife held to her throat, then cast into the grass as the guy tried to escape. What if the dog hadn’t been there, and the rapist had gotten away? And even though he was caught, what about the rest of her life, all the days that come after, with the memory of the knife against her throat?

I had heard what happened to Doug Lewis from other cops. When I ask him about it, though, he gets up and leaves the room. He comes back and hands me his official police statement. I read it carefully. It seems like such a nonevent: a suspect who fled without paying for gas, and refused to stop when the cops pursued him. Doug, who was off duty at the time, was buying dog food at Buckerfield’s in Chilliwack. He arrived at the scene with his dog Chip, wearing nothing but jeans and a T-shirt, unarmed but ready to track. He had two uniformed members to back him up, both members of ERT, the Emergency Response Team.

Dog handlers move much faster than anyone else. This can be a problem for those who want to keep up, even if they are exceptionally fit ERT officers providing cover for a K9 team during a pursuit. The dog teams often move at a run, and seldom slower than a trot. Once the dog is on a scent, he is in full pursuit mode.

Twice the ERT members who were providing backup to Lewis yelled at him to slow down, which he did. But when he didn’t hear from them again, he followed Chip through the brush at a rapid pace, assuming his backup team was right behind him.

When he found the suspect and told him to surrender, the man refused. Chip was sent in to subdue him, which he did, grabbing his left arm. This is where the statement gets hard to read. I quote it directly:

To my disbelief I saw the suspect come around with his right hand holding a knife. Without anything said or any hesitation the suspect stabbed “Chip” in the neck area. The suspect then pulled back to stab him again and I saw the blood squirt out of his neck. I then dropped the long line I was attached to “Chip” and started to charge the suspect so I could stop him from stabbing him again. The suspect saw me charge at him and he stopped stabbing at “Chip” and started running towards me. “Chip” then came off the suspect and came back to me and circled around me and charged at the suspect again. As “Chip” had circled around me he dragged the twenty foot leash behind him and ended up tying my legs together so I couldn’t move out of the way of the suspect swinging the knife around. The suspect ended up knocking me down to the ground wailing the knife at my face and chest area. I tried several times to block the blows but he kept stabbing at me. At one point I felt the knife go into my chest and at the same time I felt “Chip” biting my upper right thigh area. I knew he was doing some damage to my face when I felt the blood going into my right eye. I did manage to grab the knife blade and held on tight to it as he was yelling at me “I’m not a killer, I’m not a killer.” I responded to that comment that he wasn’t showing me a good example of this.

Just as children sometimes lash out at their parents, police dogs will sometimes bite or attack their handlers in times of extreme stress or pain. This is what Chip did after he’d been stabbed. The brutal fight continued. Doug Lewis wrote: “He kept on trying to punch me and was yelling at me ‘go out, go out, let me put you out.’ ” But Doug kept fighting, and kept on yelling for Nigel, one of the cover officers from ERT. Finally, the suspect demanded Doug’s money, his wallet, pager, and keys, and then ran off into the woods.

I went over to “Chip” and saw that his eyes were glassed over and his tongue was hanging out the side of his mouth and I could barely see any blood coming out of his neck area. I then took my t-shirt off and tried to stop whatever bleeding there was left coming out and as I looked at his head he let out a gasp and there was nothing else there . . . I wiped the blood from my watch and it was 3:10 p.m.

I put the sworn statement down and meet Doug’s eyes. It’s a heavy moment.

“What was going through your head at that point?”

“We learned that whenever you are in a situation, don’t give up. As it was happening, I’m not thinking of quitting. I’m thinking, ‘How do I subdue this guy? How do I get him to stop stabbing me?’ Apparently Nigel could hear me, though I couldn’t hear him. He was running through the brush, trying to find me, and he couldn’t. He kept hearing me and wasn’t able to help.”

At this point, Doug Lewis knew he didn’t have much time left before he bled to death from the wounds in his head and chest. But he made one last attempt to save his own life. He was able to slide down the brush until he made his way to a road. Several cars drove around Lewis, refusing to stop as he tried to wave them down, covered in blood. Finally a driver stopped and drove him to the hospital.

“My stabbing, I got nine knife wounds and my dog got killed. The guy who did it, he got ten months in the mental institution. Then the media called to tell me that he’s being released less than ten months later. I was frustrated. I was mad. I was told he would at least do a few years, but ten months later he’s released to his parents. This is proof we have a legal system, but we certainly don’t have a justice system. I said this, and it went on the news. I was called in by the Superintendent of the RCMP district. He told me, ‘You can’t say that.’

“I put my hand out and said, ‘Slap me, because that’s all you’re going to get.’ ” Nobody, no matter what their rank, can stop Doug Lewis from calling it as he sees it.

“After all this, the guy applied for a firearms certificate. His application was rejected. Everyone knew what he did to a police officer, and that he killed a police dog.”

At times, as he tallies his losses, Lewis tries to joke, but I can tell that the pain is fresh. The price he paid was so high. To Doug Lewis, his dogs are his partners. It eats at him that he couldn’t protect Chip.

Lewis lost Chip, lost his first marriage, and nearly lost his life, but he fought his way back from every loss. “They gave me all the time in the world to heal, but I couldn’t sit still for very long. I located another dog, Zack, and in less than a month I was back in Innisfail at kennels training with him. As I was sitting in the bushes after laying a track for one of the other fellows, I looked down at my hands where the stitches had come out, and I asked myself, ‘Should I be here?’ It was a very strange feeling, but I shook it off and continued my training. I tried so hard not to think of Chip. He appeared every night in my dreams, and still does.”

Lewis is still on that long path toward recovery, though he won’t work as a police officer again. He talks openly of his experience and his mistakes, so that others can learn from his ordeal.

When I said good-bye, Doug was holding his tiny puppy, Nika, to his muscular chest, cuddling her as she snuggled against him. Nika closed her eyes, snoozing in the crook of his arm, completely secure in her world in a way that her owner never can be again.


How PAL makes a difference for cops, kids and communities

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Karen L. Bune
Author: Karen L. Bune

Videos and photographs on social media that show police and youth shooting hoops together, playing soccer, dancing and other activities demonstrate the development of trust and cooperation between teens and cops.

However, such connections between police and youth in the community existed long before Facebook and Twitter.

Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) has long history

In 1914, New York City Police Commissioner Arthur Woods began a social movement that came to be known as the National Association of Police Athletic/Activities Leagues (PAL), a youth mentoring program that uses civic, educational, athletic and recreational activities to create understanding and trust between youth and law enforcement.

PAL engages cops with youth – using role models and reinforcement – to teach teens about the accountability factors surrounding the choices they make.

Former PAL Executive Director Joseph Perishing – who served as the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and executive director of the Washington DC Police Foundation – brought a tremendous level of knowledge and expertise to PAL. Dedicated to its purpose, he enthusiastically bridged youth with law enforcement.

Persichini assembled resources from the business community to support law enforcement’s outreach and youth programming efforts.

“It’s a national synergy for us looking at solutions. Law enforcement cannot be successful without the faith and trust of the people they serve,” Persichini said.

Youth need to learn how to face challenges and understand that making wrong decisions can be life-altering. With the advantage of having law enforcement officers serve as role models, youth can obtain a healthy perspective and bond with professionals who make a difference in the lives of others.

“It is about mentoring, providing life skills and work force development. We want them (youth) to consider a profession in public safety. We have jobs. We have good jobs. We want to prepare youth to take these jobs and go back to help. We need it (police work) to become that dream job again,” Persichini said.

PAL brings officers and youth together; the officers that work with PAL must have critical awareness and the ability to relate to kids. A lot of PAL centers are run by retired officers. Mentoring relationships evolve through sports center activities. Additionally, meals are provided during holidays such as Thanksgiving.

PAL programs are customized to community needs

PAL programs retain a significant amount of flexibility that allow for adjustments to be made to fit a community’s needs. A recommendation in the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing affirms the development and funding of training and life skills through positive youth/police collaborations and interactions.

PAL has also solicited grants and established public partnerships with corporations such as Verizon, Motorola, Walmart, Target and CVS. The goal is to get the business community to lend support and invest in the future for the benefit of these police/youth mentoring relationships. These public/private partnerships bring assets and capabilities that law enforcement does not have.

It is vital for the American people to understand there are law enforcement officers and agencies working with youth to build trust and establish healthy and respectful relationships that is counter to all the negative information that the public is being saturated with from news outlets and media sources. Federal money directed to programs that focus on boots on the ground and mentoring, such as PAL, helps develop positive messaging.

Community policing cannot be established and enhanced without having officers ready and available to work with youth daily. The development of relationships that build faith and trust is a long-term commitment for every police department in America.


12 steps to being a more decisive cop

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Lt. Dan Marcou
Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

There are moments in every cop’s career where being decisive is an absolute necessity.

Field training officers will confirm that most entry-level recruits are not born decisive, but that decisiveness must be cultivated in young officers.

Here are 12 steps for developing decisiveness:

1. Look for opportunities to critically think

There was an old night shift sergeant years ago who, whenever a new officer brought a situation to his attention and asked him how to proceed, would say, “If I wasn’t here, how would you handle it?”

There would always be a few moments of silence and then the young officer would put forward a plan of action for consideration.

The sergeant would listen and, in most cases, respond with, “Sounds good to me.”

The wise old sergeant was perfectly capable of giving each officer a course of action, but he chose instead to develop their critical thinking skills. He became their net rather than their crutch.

Soon the young coppers were flying high without a net.

2. Understand authority

Police authority is given by statutes and can be suddenly restricted by new court rulings or arbitrary directives by people in leadership.

Understanding the extent and limits of authority is crucial in decision-making.

3. Train to be prepared

High-quality training prepares officers to take action under stress that appears to be automatic. Here is a formula:

Pre-trained + pre-planned = pre-pared.

4. Give positive and timely critique

Part of becoming effectively decisive is having a team of supervisors and trainers who have the courage to give positive and timely critique. This also means an officer has to be able to accept critique and learn from his or her mistakes.

5. Experience counts

The more often a police officer successfully navigates through a difficult call, the more prepared they are to make rapid, correct decisions in similar situations in the future. For example, a former army medic and EMT who is now a police officer will more decisively apply a tourniquet when faced with arterial bleeding than a recruit who practiced it once in the police academy six months earlier.

6. Proper tools enable officers to take action

It is easier to decisively take the correct action in a crisis when an officer has the proper tools. Of late, departments have shown great leadership in meeting modern challenges by expanding the tools available to street officers. Examples of this are the presence of tourniquets, TASERs, less lethal munitions, naloxone and AEDs.

7. Words of encouragement

Police officers find it easier to make difficult decisions when their peers, supervisors and community have a history of showing encouragement. Recognize great work you hope to see repeated. You don’t have to have stripes or bars to tell a fellow officer, “Great job!”

If a department or a community does not back their police officers when they are in the right, some officers will choose to back off.

8. Instill confidence

Following years of training, experiences and repeated successes, officers gain confidence. This confidence leads to decisiveness under stress. When a confident officer arrives on scene, the confidence is as clearly on display to all present as his or her uniform.

9. Maintain training

Training should not end at entry level. Knowledge and skills need to be updated on a regular basis. When unpracticed, psychomotor skills deteriorate over time.

Knowledge not only can be forgotten, but legal decisions, technology, equipment, weapons, policies and procedures change over time. Police officers must keep abreast of changes. No piece of new equipment should be placed in a squad or hung on a duty belt without the officer being supremely proficient in its use.

10. Desire

To be decisive takes personal desire. It is easy to be disappointed by the blows that are delivered by this profession and decide to fly low and slow, or even hang back. With time it becomes apparent to police officers that more pay is not received for doing more. More grief is too often the reward for doing more.

Officers can blame a lack of desire on supervisors, politicians, the media or the community, but ultimately every officer has response-ability. That is the ability to choose to respond to every call with empathy or apathy. It’s their call.

Ultimately, everyone is responsible for their own morale.

11. Courage

The most important aspect of decisiveness is courage.

Courage is not taking action in the absence of fear, but taking action in spite of fear. To engage in the proper first steps toward successful conclusion of an emergency situation while fearing failure, or much worse, is indeed courageous.

12. The ability to decide

Being decisive requires the basic ability to make decisions.

Napoleon Bonaparte said, “Nothing is more difficult and therefore more precious than the ability to decide.”

When an officer is able to continually make good decisions under stress, he or she is a precious commodity. They become that cop who, when things are at their worst, is always at their best. They become a cop’s cop!

Conclusion

Over time decisiveness can be developed in every police officer. The challenge with law enforcement is that from day one the need to be decisive might be thrust upon an officer at any moment. When that moment arrives, the ability to be decisive will indeed be “precious,” as precious as life itself.


Mo. dispatcher accused of stealing from fundraiser she started for paralyzed cop

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By Christine Byers St. Louis Post-Dispatch

HAZELWOOD, Mo. — A police dispatcher celebrated for her efforts to raise money for an officer paralyzed in the line of duty was led out of police headquarters in handcuffs Monday amid an investigation into whether she pocketed some of the funds.

April Briscuso, 40, was arrested on suspicion of stealing more than $750 meant for former Hazelwood Officer Craig Tudor, but she has not been charged. She was released Monday afternoon from the St. Louis County Justice Center.

Hazelwood Police Chief Gregg Hall said he could not comment on the specifics of the ongoing investigation, so it’s unclear how much money police believe the Tudor family has not received. The arrest was on suspicion of a class D felony, meaning at least $750 taken. The next most serious charge would be a class C felony, a theft of $25,000 or more.

In a Facebook message to a reporter, Briscuso said she had raised more than $75,000 on Tudor’s behalf, but the injured officer said his family has received nowhere near that amount.

It’s also unclear whether Briscuso will ultimately be charged, or if the matter will be resolved through restitution.

Hall said he asked St. Louis County police to handle the investigation. Hazelwood police officers also are conducting an internal affairs investigation. “This is not a resolved set of circumstances yet,” Hall said.

Briscuso, who has been a dispatcher in Hazelwood for 11 years, was put on leave, though Hall would not say whether it is paid or unpaid.

In Facebook messages to a reporter, Briscuso said, “I’m getting it all to him” when asked whether she had given Tudor all of the money she raised in his name.

“I did a hell of a lot of work for him and raised over $75,000 plus time and work. I got desperate on my bills and used some money but had every intention on payin’ him back... I am not a criminal ... I just made a mistake but plan on paying him every dime no question. He will not be betrayed by me.”

But Tudor says he does feel betrayed.

“It’s really not about the money for us, it’s about the deceitfulness,” Tudor said.

“This has been one tough year, and now we have to deal with a situation with someone who is supposed to be helping,” Tudor added. “And when people hear stuff like this, they get apprehensive about other officers having fundraisers going on.”

Fundraisers started after crash

Briscuso started raising money for Tudor almost immediately after he was paralyzed during a crash in August 2016 while he was responding to a call.

Fundraisers she has organized have involved dine-out events, a trivia night, a painting event and a Cardinals game. Tudor threw out a ceremonial pitch.

Cardinals spokesman Ron Watermon said the team sold Briscuso 331 tickets on consignment at $16 each, and they were then sold to attendees for $20 each. The team believed the money was to assist Tudor with medical bills and transportation costs when traveling to a hospital in Colorado for treatment.

“Needless to say, we had hoped to help someone in need who sacrificed a lot to protect our community,” Watermon said in a statement. “It would be heartbreaking to learn that the funds did not go to help him.”

Fellow paralyzed officers attended some of the events. Former Rock Hill Officer Mathew Crosby attended a “Paint Nite” event in June, and former Ballwin Officer Mike Flamion was among the 300 people who bought tickets to the Cardinals game in September. Flamion and Tudor went to the same spinal cord rehabilitation center in Colorado last year.

A Hazelwood police officer nominated Briscuso for KTVI’s Pay It Forward program, which awards do-gooders a $500 gift certificate, and she was featured on Channel 2 about six months ago.

Tudor and his wife, Christine, say they haven’t received any money from some events. For others they received some funds, but don’t know how much, if any, was missing. Still, they say they are trying to focus on the positive.

“The grievous actions of one person cannot overshadow the incredible encouragement we have received from our friends, family and the greater community,” they said in a statement. “Yes, we are hurt by what April has done, and saddened that she misled so many who came out to support us, but we choose to focus on the many blessings we have received over the past year. We want all who have steadfastly helped us to know that their efforts have encouraged us through the most difficult season of our life.”

The Tudors said a GoFundMe account that was set up shortly after the crash is the only donation site that directly benefits them. It has raised about $34,000 in about 14 months.

©2017 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Video shows Nev. LEO fatally shooting man who held wife at gunpoint

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By Ricardo Torres-Cortez Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS — After four officer-fired rounds rang out outside a Silverado Ranch-area convenience store Saturday evening, an armed man went down, and his wife, who he was in a physical struggle with him over his gun, exclaimed that she’d been hit.

The bullet, shot by Officer David Nesheiwat, 33, went through Phillip Pitts’ arm and into her stomach, Clark County Assistant Sheriff Tom Roberts said Tuesday.

As Pitts, 41, pressed the gun against the woman's stomach, Nesheiwat shot twice, knocking the suspect to the ground, Roberts said. While down, Pitts kept the gun pointed at the woman, prompting the officer to pull the trigger twice more.

The unidentified woman underwent surgery and survived at University Medical Center, while Pitts died there moments after the shooting.

This was the 21st shooting involving Metro officers this year, compared with seven during the same time last year, Roberts said.

The shooting and dramatic moments that preceded it were captured on officer-worn cameras and broadcast Tuesday.

A concerned citizen called 911 at 5:34 p.m. to report that a man, who was possibly armed with a gun, was choking a woman outside the store, 780 Pyle Ave., near Pollock Drive, Roberts said. Surveillance video shows a physical struggle between the couple.

An officer, who was not identified, arrives first. "What's going on?" he yells. "What's that in your hand? Drop your gun!"

He then directs his attention to the woman, who is crying and screaming, "Step away from him. Step away. Step away from him now. Step away from her!"

At some point during the wrestling for the gun, Pitts points the gun to his head and says he's going to shoot himself, Roberts said. The woman presumably pleads for him not to do it.

"Sir, get on the ground! Put the gun down! Sir, put the gun down!"

With his left hand, the officer motions the woman to come to him, while he points the gun at Pitts with his right.

The officer, who takes cover between his cruiser and a civilian vehicle, pleads with Pitts to drop the gun, which goes ignored.

About 35 seconds after the first officer drives up, Nesheiwat arrives and yells at Pitts to drop the gun, firing his gun about 10 seconds later.

Before firing their guns, officers are trained to weigh the backdrop of the scene and assess the danger to other officers and bystanders, Roberts said. “The intent is to save lives, not take lives ... and trying to neutralize the threat as best as you can.”

Pitts did not fire his 9 mm gun, which had eight bullets in the magazine, one in the chamber, and had its safe off, Roberts said.

Pitts goes down, and the woman holds her stomach, walks and sits on a curb, and announces, "I'm hit ... I got hit."

An investigation determined that the bullet that struck the woman had gone through Pitts’ arm, Roberts said.

The couple’s 10-year-old daughter had been trying to keep Pitts away from her mother sometime before police arrived, Roberts said.

Pitts did not have a criminal history in Las Vegas but did have multiple arrests, mostly for misdemeanors, in Hawaii, his last in 2007, Roberts said. Nesheiwat, an 11-year Metro veteran, was placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues, per the agency's policy.

The shooting was the 21st this year involving Metro Police and the 10th fatal officer-involved shooting. At the same time last year, police had investigated seven officer-involved shootings, three of them fatal.

©2017 the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nev.)


Chicago cop leads effort to renovate struggling veteran’s newsstand

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — After a Chicago police officer went on Facebook Live asking volunteers to help an Air Force veteran renovate his newsstand, the community answered the call and spent weeks transforming the stand.

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Posted by John Garrido on Sunday, November 5, 2017

WGN-TV reports that Chicago Police Lt. John Garrido first met veteran Anthony Johnson about a year ago. Johnson has been selling newspapers out of a beaten up newsstand at a local corner for the past seven years. After getting to know the veteran, Garrido decided to lend him a hand and provide him with a better place to sell his newspapers.

Johnson said he makes about $120 a week from selling newspapers and often has to sleep indoors. So, Garrido also decided to set up a GoFundMe account for the veteran to raise money for living expenses.

After several weeks of work from volunteers, the veteran’s new and improved newsstand will be unveiled on Thursday night.

Garrido is no stranger to helping others. He and his wife also run the Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation, which supports “no kill” community coalitions helping cats and dogs find homes. His efforts have helped countless stray pets.

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Chicago Police Lieutenant John Garrido and a group of volunteers came together to rebuild a newspaper stand on the Northwest Side - all to help 60 year-old Air Force veteran Anthony Johnson get back on his feet. The finished newspaper stand will be unveiled at 5:30pm on Thursday at the corner of Milwaukee and Faragut. You can contribute to the GoFundMe that was set up to help with Anthony's living expenses at http://gofundme.com/stepupforanthony

Posted by Marcus Leshock on Wednesday, November 15, 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 = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.11'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Chicago Police Department Lt. John Garrido is the "Dog Father" of #Chicago. Him and his team recently rescued pitbull mix, Emerald, who had 11 puppies on Thanksgiving Day. If you're interested in adopting Emerald and her puppies, reach out to SerendiPittie Rescue. As for Cowboy, the 2 year-old pit mix, he's also up for adoption at Chicago Pet Rescue. Help us help them find a home!

Posted by You & Me on Friday, January 6, 2017


FBI report: Hate crimes rose for 2nd year in a row in 2016

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By Sadie Gurman Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Hate crimes rose for the second straight year in 2016, with increases in attacks motivated by bias against blacks, Jews, Muslims and LGBT people, according to FBI statistics released Monday.

There were more than 6,100 hate crimes last year, up about 5 percent over the previous year. In 2015 and 2016, that number was driven by crimes against people because of their race or ethnicity.

More than half the 4,229 racially motivated crimes were against black people, while 20 percent were against whites, the report shows. And Jews were targeted in more than half the 1,538 crimes that were motivated by religion. Crimes fueled by bias against LGBT people rose from 203 in 2015 to 234 last year.

The yearly report is the most comprehensive accounting of hate crimes in the U.S. But authorities have long warned it is incomplete, in part because it is based on voluntary reporting by police agencies across the country.

The numbers likely reflect an uptick recorded by civil rights groups in harassment and vandalism targeting Muslims, Jews, blacks and others amid the presidential campaign, which included sharp rhetoric from Republican Donald Trump and others against immigrants, especially Muslims. There were 307 crimes against Muslims in 2016, up from 257 in 2015, which at the time was the highest number since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In releasing the figures, the FBI said hate crimes remain the "number one investigative priority" of its civil rights unit and pledged to continue collecting data on the problem. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said it would be a top focus of his Justice Department.

On Monday, Sessions said the Justice Department is awaiting a full report from a task force on steps it can take to improve training for prosecutors and investigators, boost data collection on hate crimes and partner with local officials and communities. In the meantime, Sessions said, the department can continue to aggressively prosecute people who violate the civil rights of others.

"The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that individuals can live without fear of being a victim of violent crime based on who they are, what they believe, or how they worship," Sessions said in a statement.

Advocates said they can't adequately address the problem without a fuller understanding of its scope.

"There's a dangerous disconnect between the rising problem of hate crimes and the lack of credible data being reported," said Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt, who called for an "all-hands-on-deck approach" to address underreporting. "Police departments that do not report credible data to the FBI risk sending the message that this is not a priority issue for them, which may threaten community trust in their ability and readiness to address hate violence."


NY man charged for giving trooper fake police badge during traffic stop

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kira Maddox Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

NORTH SYRACUSE, N.Y. — When a man was pulled over by state police in North Syracuse on Monday, he showed the trooper a badge on his belt.

He told the trooper he had the badge because he was a federal police officer.

But that turned out to be a lie, state police said in an announcement Tuesday.

Anthony J. Carbonaro, 48, of Crandon Terrace in Baldwinsville, had a fake police badge, troopers said.

After a brief search of the vehicle, officers found a rifle, tactical vest, handcuffs and a forged sheriff's office ID card in the trunk, according to police.

Carbonaro was arrested and charged with criminal impersonation of a police officer, a felony; seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance; and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.

He was issued an appearance ticket for the Town of Salina court on Nov. 30, troopers said.

©2017 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.


Dangerous necrophiliac killer escapes Hawaii psych hospital

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Audrey McAvoy and Jennifer Sinco Kelleher Associated Press

HONOLULU — A man acquitted of a 1979 murder by reason of insanity escaped from a Hawaii psychiatric hospital over the weekend, took a taxi to a chartered plane in Honolulu bound for the island of Maui and then boarded another plane to San Jose, California, police said.

Randall Saito, believed to be in Northern California, is considered extremely dangerous and should not be approached, Honolulu police said late Tuesday.

Saito left the state hospital outside Honolulu on Sunday at 10 a.m. and didn't return, police said. Hospital staff called 911 to report his disappearance shortly after 7:30 p.m. — two hours after he landed in San Jose, police said. An all-points bulletin was issued at 8:30 p.m.

It wasn't immediately known how he was able to charter a plane. Police wouldn't provide details about his flight to California.

The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service have reviewed security footage from San Jose International Airport in connection with the manhunt, said Jon Vaden, a spokesman for the airport. He said police have not advised him of any threats at the facility.

Late Tuesday night, the Hawaii Attorney General's office charged Saito with felony escape and issued a $500,000 bench warrant for his arrest. Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said officers in all 50 states may enforce the arrest warrant.

"This is a dangerous individual," Chin said. "We need him off the streets."

Saito was committed to the hospital outside Honolulu in 1981, two years after he was acquitted in the killing of Sandra Yamashiro.

The victim was shot and repeatedly stabbed before her body was found in her car at a mall.

"He is a very dangerous individual," said Wayne Tashima, a Honolulu prosecutor who argued in 2015 against Saito receiving passes to leave the hospital grounds without an escort.

Tashima warned people not to approach Saito, saying there's a concern he could commit the same "very heinous and violent offense" again. Authorities asked anyone with information to call police.

It was not immediately clear under what circumstances Saito left the facility in Kaneohe, a Honolulu suburb.

Hawaii State Hospital Administrator William May said officials are fully cooperating with law enforcement and appropriate steps would be taken if Saito had help from someone inside the facility.

Defense attorneys sought to have Saito released in 2000. But Jeff Albert, a deputy city prosecutor, objected, saying Saito "fills all the criteria of a classic serial killer."

In 1993, a court denied Saito's request for conditional release, saying he continued to suffer from sexual sadism and necrophilia.

The state Department of Health operates the hospital, which houses over 300 patients in Kaneohe. The department said it's investigating the escape.

"There is a serious lack of information for the public," said Nicholas Iwamoto, who was stabbed 18 times on a popular Hawaii hiking trail in 2009. His attacker was found legally insane and sent to Hawaii State Hospital. He was later granted conditional release to attend community college, a decision Iwamoto wasn't notified about.

"Public safety has certainly been compromised," Iwamoto said. "It's extremely alarming. But nothing from the state surprises me anymore."

Irving Tam, who has lived near the hospital in Kaneohe for about 30 years and was walking by the facility on Tuesday, said he worries about hospital patients getting out in his neighborhood.

"When they do escape, especially someone with this kind of a record, there is a high degree of concern, he could be violent and who knows," Tam said. "That's why I have a gun, for this very reason. Hopefully I never use it."

Tam said he heard about the escape from a neighbor, not the police, hospital or the media, and that patients have gotten out several times in the past.

"This is not totally uncommon, we have had similar incidents in the past, and fortunately nothing has ever happened," Tam said.

Tam thought that someone with a violent past like Saito should closely monitored. "It is disturbing that he was given that much freedom," he said. "You would think he would be under heavier security."

Saito was the impetus for a rule change in 2003, when the state attorney general's office decided mental patients committed to Hawaii State Hospital have no legal right to conjugal visits.

The issue came to light when the hospital administrator learned Saito had been escorted home for weekend conjugal visits over two years. The administrator blocked the visits away from the facility and on its grounds.

Dangerous psychiatric patients have escaped recently from other facilities in the United States.

In Washington state in 2016 a man accused of torturing a woman to death broke out of the state's largest mental hospital. Anthony Garver crawled out of a window of his ground-floor room at Western State Hospital, rode a bus 300 miles to Spokane and was captured days later without incident.

After the escape Washington Gov. Jay Inslee fired the hospital's CEO and brought in the Corrections Department to inspect the building for security improvements.

A review of police reports by The Associated Press found 185 instances in the 3 ½ years before Garver's escape in which Western State patients escaped or walked away.


Dangerous necrophiliac killer who escaped Hawaii psych hospital arrested

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

null
Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By Audrey McAvoy and Jennifer Sinco Kelleher Associated Press

HONOLULU — A man acquitted of a 1979 murder by reason of insanity who escaped from a Hawaii psychiatric hospital over the weekend was arrested in California on Wednesday.

Randall Saito left the Hawaii State Hospital on Sunday, took a taxi to a chartered plane bound for the island of Maui and then boarded another plane to San Jose, California, police said.

Honolulu police received a tip that Saito was on his way to a brother's home in Stockton, California, said Honolulu CrimeStoppers Sgt. Chris Kim. That tip was forwarded to authorities in Stockton, Kim said.

Kim said he received word that Saito had been arrested Wednesday.

Hospital staff called 911 to report his disappearance shortly after 7:30 p.m. Sunday — two hours after he landed in San Jose, Honolulu police said. An all-points bulletin was issued at 8:30 p.m.

It wasn't immediately known how he was able to charter a plane. Police wouldn't provide details about his flight to California.

The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service reviewed security footage from San Jose International Airport in connection with the manhunt on Tuesday, said Jon Vaden, a spokesman for the airport.

Late Tuesday night, the Hawaii Attorney General's office charged Saito with felony escape and issued a $500,000 bench warrant for his arrest. Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said officers in all 50 states may enforce the arrest warrant.

Saito was committed to the hospital outside Honolulu in 1981, two years after he was acquitted in the killing of Sandra Yamashiro.

The victim was shot and repeatedly stabbed before her body was found in her car at a mall.

"He is a very dangerous individual," said Wayne Tashima, a Honolulu prosecutor who argued in 2015 against Saito receiving passes to leave the hospital grounds without an escort.

Tashima warned people not to approach Saito, saying there's a concern he could commit the same "very heinous and violent offense" again.

It was not immediately clear under what circumstances Saito left the facility in Kaneohe, a Honolulu suburb.

Hawaii State Hospital Administrator William May said officials are fully cooperating with law enforcement and appropriate steps would be taken if Saito had help from someone inside the facility.

Defense attorneys sought to have Saito released in 2000. But Jeff Albert, a deputy city prosecutor, objected, saying Saito "fills all the criteria of a classic serial killer."

In 1993, a court denied Saito's request for conditional release, saying he continued to suffer from sexual sadism and necrophilia.

The state Department of Health operates the hospital, which houses over 300 patients in Kaneohe. The department said it's investigating the escape.

"There is a serious lack of information for the public," said Nicholas Iwamoto, who was stabbed 18 times on a popular Hawaii hiking trail in 2009. His attacker was found legally insane and sent to Hawaii State Hospital. He was later granted conditional release to attend community college, a decision Iwamoto wasn't notified about.

"Public safety has certainly been compromised," Iwamoto said. "It's extremely alarming. But nothing from the state surprises me anymore."

Irving Tam, who has lived near the hospital in Kaneohe for about 30 years and was walking by the facility on Tuesday, said he worries about hospital patients getting out in his neighborhood.

"When they do escape, especially someone with this kind of a record, there is a high degree of concern, he could be violent and who knows," Tam said. "That's why I have a gun, for this very reason. Hopefully I never use it."

Tam said he heard about the escape from a neighbor, not the police, hospital or the media, and that patients have gotten out several times in the past.

"This is not totally uncommon, we have had similar incidents in the past, and fortunately nothing has ever happened," Tam said.

Tam thought that someone with a violent past like Saito should closely monitored. "It is disturbing that he was given that much freedom," he said. "You would think he would be under heavier security."

Saito was the impetus for a rule change in 2003, when the state attorney general's office decided mental patients committed to Hawaii State Hospital have no legal right to conjugal visits.

The issue came to light when the hospital administrator learned Saito had been escorted home for weekend conjugal visits over two years. The administrator blocked the visits away from the facility and on its grounds.

Dangerous psychiatric patients have escaped recently from other facilities in the United States.

In Washington state in 2016 a man accused of torturing a woman to death broke out of the state's largest mental hospital. Anthony Garver crawled out of a window of his ground-floor room at Western State Hospital, rode a bus 300 miles to Spokane and was captured days later without incident.

After the escape Washington Gov. Jay Inslee fired the hospital's CEO and brought in the Corrections Department to inspect the building for security improvements.

A review of police reports by The Associated Press found 185 instances in the 3 ½ years before Garver's escape in which Western State patients escaped or walked away.


Calif. gunman who killed 4, wounded 10 was out on bail

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Don Thompson and Paul Elias Associated Press

RANCHO TEHAMA RESERVE, Calif. — The gunman behind a rampage in Northern California was out on bail charged with stabbing a neighbor, others had complained about him firing hundreds of rounds from his house, and he had been the subject of a domestic violence call the day before the attack.

Yet Kevin Neal was free and able to use a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns Tuesday to shoot 14 people, killing four, in seven different locations across his rural community, including an elementary school, before he died in a shootout with police.

It's not yet clear what the terms of Neal's bail were, and whether he would have been allowed to possess and fire the weapons on his property at the end of a dirt road in Rancho Tehama Reserve. Nor did sheriff's officials give details on the domestic violence call.

But his many contacts with authorities raised questions of why he was out of custody and able to go on the 45-minute rampage that began with the killing of two neighbors in an apparent act of revenge before he went looking for random victims.

Cristal Caravez and her father live across a ravine from the roadway where the gunman and his first victims lived.

She said they and others heard constant gunfire from the area of the gunman's house, but couldn't say for sure it was him firing.

"You could hear the yelling. He'd go off the hinges," she said. The shooting, "it would be during the day, during the night, I mean, it didn't matter."

She and her father, who is president of the homeowners association, said neighbors would complain to the sheriff's department, which referred the complaints back to the homeowners association.

"The sheriff wouldn't do anything about it," said Juan Caravez.

The gunman's sister, Sheridan Orr, said her brother had struggled with mental illness throughout his life and at times had a violent temper.

She said Neal had "no business" owning firearms.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said the shooter was facing charges of assaulting one of the feuding neighbors in January and that she had a restraining order against him.

Johnston did not comment on the shooter's access to firearms.

Johnston declined to identify the shooter until his relatives were notified, but he confirmed the gunman was charged with assault in January and had a restraining order placed against him. The district attorney, Gregg Cohen, told the Sacramento Bee he is prosecuting a man named Kevin Neal in that case.

Neal's mother told The Associated Press her son, who was a marijuana grower, was in a long-running dispute with neighbors he believed were cooking methamphetamine.

The mother, who spoke on condition she be named only as Anne because she fears for her safety, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she raised Neal. She said she posted his $160,000 bail and spent $10,000 on a lawyer after he was arrested in January for stabbing a neighbor. Neal's mother said the neighbor was slightly cut after Neal grabbed a steak knife out of the hand of the neighbor who was threatening him with it.

She wept as she told The Associated Press she spoke to Neal on the phone on Monday.

"Mom it's all over now," she said he told her. "I have done everything I could do and I am fighting against everyone who lives in this area."

She said Neal apologized to her during their brief conversation, she thought for all the money she had spent on him, saying he was "on a cliff" and the people around him were trying to "execute" him.

"I think the motive of getting even with his neighbors and when it went that far — he just went on a rampage," Johnston said.

Police said surveillance video shows the shooter unsuccessfully trying to enter a nearby elementary school after quick-thinking staff members locked the outside doors and barricaded themselves inside when they heard gunshots.

Johnston said the gunman spent about six minutes shooting into Rancho Tehama Elementary School before driving off to continue shooting elsewhere. Johnston said one student was shot but is expected to survive.

He said the 45-minute rampage ended when a patrol car rammed the stolen vehicle the shooter was driving and killed him in a shootout.

Johnston said officials received multiple 911 calls about gunfire at an intersection of two dirt roads. Minutes later, more calls reporting shots flooded in from different locations, including the school.

Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and children screaming at the school, which has one class of students from kindergarten through fifth grade.

The shootings occurred in the rural community of Rancho Tehama Reserve, a homeowners association in a sparsely populated area of rolling oak woodlands dotted with grazing cattle about 130 miles north of Sacramento.

Many there live in poverty, but others are better off.

"It's not a bad community at all," said Harry Garcia, who was minding his parents' convenience store La Fortuna Market. "Some people keep their properties nice- some don't. They rough it out here. Some go with minimum stuff. Some don't even have power out here."


Calif. gunman’s mom says he told her ‘it’s all over now’

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By Jocelyn Gecker Associated Press

RANCHO TEHAMA RESERVE, Calif. — The mother of the gunman who killed five people and wounded 10 said he called her the day before the rampage in Northern California to say he was weary of constant feuding with his neighbors and felt like he "was on a cliff and there's nowhere to go."

"Mom it's all over now," Kevin Neal's weeping mother told The Associated Press on Tuesday, hours after the rampage. "I have done everything I could do and I am fighting against everyone who lives in this area."

Neal's mother spoke by phone from Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives and where Neal grew up before moving to California. She said he was working as a pot farmer and had recently married his longtime girlfriend, who was the first person he killed, police said.

Neal, 44, was shot to death by police as he tried to flee after shooting his way through Rancho Tehama, about 130 miles north of Sacramento.

The mother asked that only her first name, Anne, be used because she feared for her safety due to her son's feuding with neighbors he claimed were involved with gangs. She was unaware of her son's role in the rampage until contacted by AP.

In her last few talks with her son, Neal's mother said he sounded desperate and despairing over his relationship with his neighbors, who he said were cooking meth and creating fumes that were harming his nine dogs.

"All of a sudden, now I'm on a cliff and there's nowhere to go," she said her son told him Monday. "No matter where I go for help here I get nobody who will help me. All they are doing is trying to execute me here."

Police believe Neal killed his wife on Monday and Tuesday morning he shot and killed two neighbors. He stole one of the neighbor's truck and sought seemingly random victims elsewhere in town, including an elementary school where children were locked in their classrooms. None was killed, though one boy was seriously wounded.

Last January Neal was charged with stabbing one of his neighbors, and his mother said she posted the $160,000 bail for him and had spent over $10,000 on lawyer's fees.

Neal's mother said her son told her the neighbor was only slightly cut after Neal grabbed a steak knife she was using to threaten him.

The head of the area's homeowners association said neighbors had been complaining about Neal firing guns excessively on the property, which sits at the end of a dirt road.

Neal's sister, Sheridan Orr, said she had not talked to her brother in months, but that he had struggled with mental illness and at times had a violent temper. She said she believed he was addicted to drugs.

"This is a person who has no business with firearms whatsoever," Orr said. "Our deep, deep sympathy for the victims and it sounds trite but our hearts are breaking for them."

Orr added, "If we can do any good to make people realize there must be some gates on people like this from getting guns."


Fla. LEO who was shot in the face gets visit from country music star

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By Trey Crumbie Lexington Herald-Leader

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida police officer who was shot in the face this year got a weekend visit from Lexington native and country music star Chris Stapleton.

Stapleton met a police officer with the Jacksonville, Fla., sheriff's office while the singer was in Florida for a music tour, according to a post on the sheriff's office Facebook page. Jeremy Mason, a K-9 officer, was shot in the face in July while chasing a suspected bank robber and a three-time convicted felon, the post read. Mason was shot while he was driving.

Despite being shot in his chin area, Mason continued to pursue Michael Joseph Harris, the suspected bank robber, The Florida Times-Union reported. After a two-mile chase, Harris’ vehicle crashed and Harris came out of the car with a gun. Harris was shot dead by Mason and another police detective.

Stapleton heard about Mason’s injury and wanted to meet him, as well as other police officers, the Facebook post read.

Stapleton, who was born in Lexington and grew up in Johnson County, has won several music awards including Best Country Album and Best Country Solo Performance at the Grammy Awards in 2016. Stapleton’s albums include "Traveller" and "From A Room: Volume 1.” A future album, “From A Room: Volume 2," is scheduled to be released Dec. 1.

The sheriff’s office was happy to grant Stapleton’s wish.

“Thank you Mr. Stapleton for taking the time out of your day to honor us. From all of us at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, we thank you for your support,” the post read.

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Chris Stapleton requests to meet JSO officer that was shot. In July 2017, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office K-9 Officer...

Posted by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Sunday, November 12, 2017

©2017 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)


Injured Mich. cop forces way inside damaged home to aid elderly resident

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Bill Laitner Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — A police chase north of Detroit ended early Sunday when the fleeing driver's car smacked into the side of a mobile home, knocking its elderly resident out of her TV chair, police said.

Now she's in the hospital and he's in jail, thanks to the fast action of pursuing cop, whose own patrol car had been smashed into earlier by the fleeing driver, said the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

The pursuing deputy, despite having his own injuries, yanked the fleeing driver from the wreckage and took him into custody, then sensed that someone inside the trailer could be hurt -- so he kicked down the door and found its 76-year-old resident lying on the floor in need of medical care, Oakland County Sheriff Mike McCabe said in a news release.

Minutes later, firefighters and paramedics arrived to treat the woman and the officer. Both were taken to McLaren-Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, where the officer was treated and released but the elderly woman remained hospitalized Sunday, McCabe said.

As for the other driver? The 37-year-old Highland man, whose burgundy 2002 Chevrolet Malibu was apparently has been totaled, has questionable behavior to answer for – starting with allegedly rear-ending at high speed the patrol car as the officer was driving about 40 m.p.h., on southbound Milford Road, McCabe’s report said. After the rear-end collision, the suspect immediately did a U-turn and sped about a mile northbound, then turned into the Highland Greens Estates mobile home community, followed by the officer with his lights and siren activated, the report said.

The deputy gave chase through the residential area by following a “fluid trail” dripping from the rammer’s car until finding the Malibu driver’s car embedded in the side of the woman’s mobile home. The driver – who reeked of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes -- was transported to a nearby hospital for a blood draw to determine his level of intoxication, then relocated to a more modest setting: the Oakland County Jail, according to McCabe’s report.

The injured deputy is a 16-year police veteran, having joined the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office four years ago after serving as a Walled Lake police officer, McCabe said.

©2017 the Detroit Free Press


Police: Off-duty NY deputy dies after gunshot to head

Posted on November 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By Richard J. Bayne The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y.

TOWN OF WOODBURY, N.Y. — An off-duty Rockland County sheriff's deputy was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in a vehicle that ran off the road Tuesday on Route 6, police said.

Police identified the sheriff's deputy as Frank Farina, 42, of Stony Point.

State police at Troop F headquarters in the Town of Wallkill said Farina was driving on Route 6, also known as Long Mountain Parkway, about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday when he suffered the single gunshot wound. Police said the vehicle then crossed the double-yellow center line, left the roadway, and struck a rock embankment.

Farina was transported by ground ambulance to Orange Regional Medical Center in the Town of Wallkill, where he was pronounced dead.

Police identified a passenger in the vehicle as Jennifer Farina, also 42 and of Stony Point. Police said Jennifer Farina was also transported by ground ambulance to ORMC, where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The crash occurred on the section of Route 6 just east of Lake Te-Ata, where Bailytown Road meets Route 6.

Police said an investigation remains ongoing.

©2017 The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y.


Gunman picking random targets kills 4 in Calif.

Posted on November 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By Don Thompson and Paul Elias Associated Press

RED BLUFF, Calif. — A gunman choosing targets at random opened fire in a rural Northern California town Tuesday, killing four people at several sites and wounding others at an elementary school before police shot him dead, authorities said.

The gunfire began around 8 a.m. in the community of Rancho Tehama Reserve, about 130 miles north of Sacramento.

Police offered no immediate word on the assailant's motive, but a sheriff's official said the shooter's neighbors had reported a domestic violence incident.

"It was very clear at the onset that we had an individual that was randomly picking targets," Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said.

Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and children screaming at an elementary school about five miles down a road from where the shooting is believed to have started.

Several people were wounded at the school, said Jeanine Quist, an administrative assistant with the Corning Union Elementary School District.

Salvador Tello said the gunman fired at a truck in front of him as he was dropping off his three children. Tello said he was about three blocks from the school when bullets made "big holes" in the truck in front of him.

He said he forced his children to duck down and slammed his truck into reverse and headed to the children's grandmother's house.

"I put my kids down and put my truck in reverse and went out," he said. "I don't believe it because I wake up, take my kids, feed them cereal and put them in the truck and says 'Let's go to school like a normal day.'"

On the way, he said, he saw an apparent gunshot victim and police at another scene.

Details were still sketchy hours after the shootings, and authorities did not have a firm count of the wounded due to the number of places the gunman attacked, Johnston said.

Authorities recovered a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns.

The rural subdivision is described on its website as a "quiet private country community" where "the people are friendly and the pace is relaxed." The homeowner association's website says there are 2,016 lots in the community and 1,346 voting members.

Two hospitals said they were treating a total of seven gunshot victims, including at least three children.

At least one student was wounded at the school. Another child was shot while driving with a woman, who also was wounded, Johnston said.

He declined to release the name of the shooter but said he was "aware" of a domestic violence incident that neighbors reported.

Brian Flint told the Record Searchlight newspaper in the city of Redding that his neighbor, whom he knows only as Kevin, was the gunman and that his roommate was among the victims. He said the shooter also stole his truck.

"The crazy thing is that the neighbor has been shooting a lot of bullets lately, hundreds of rounds, large magazines," Flint said. "We made it aware that this guy is crazy and he's been threatening us."

Officials say there at least 100 law enforcement officers on scene of about 5 different sites where the shooter opened fire. pic.twitter.com/jschtwbfAb

— Sara Stinson (@SaraStinsonNews) November 14, 2017

BREAKING: At least 3 dead in shooting in Tehama Co. it started at a home and moved to the school. Shooter shot and killed by police. pic.twitter.com/xIKvyIxq4y

— Sara Stinson (@SaraStinsonNews) November 14, 2017


Tenn. cop forms partnership with 4-year-old boy

Posted on November 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

KINGSPORT, Tenn. — A Tennessee police officer who has been on the job for more than a decade has now found a young partner to help him direct traffic.

WRCB-TV reports that Cooke County Sgt. Justin Vinson has formed a partnership with 4-year-old Sawyer. The young boy is responsible for helping Vinson put out traffic cones and even use his whistle as he directs afternoon traffic.

Allison Schimming, Sawyer’s mother, said she bought her son a police costume last Halloween and that one of his dreams is to become a police officer, WATE reports. He took it upon himself to direct traffic from his yard. That’s when he formed a bond with Vinson.

Sawyer practices traffic enforcement on pretend traffic as Vinson directs real drivers. The two have grown close ever since they formed their partnership.

"Honestly, I'm just doing my job. And, you know, if someone can look up to me, because you never know who may be looking up to you, to give them that guidance," Sergeant Vinson said. "To give them that hope. And if I can be a role model to somebody-- it makes me happy knowing that I can be."

TONIGHT: @LesterHoltNBC introduces us to an unlikely crime-fighting duo in Tennessee: Sgt. Vinson and his 4-year-old apprentice Sawyer. pic.twitter.com/X3yARNkOnd

— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) November 13, 2017


Video shows suspect fire shotgun at Minn. cop during traffic stop

Posted on November 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LA CRESCENT, Minn. — Footage released Thursday shows a suspect fire a shotgun at a Minnesota police officer w during a traffic stop.

WXOW reports that on July 31, La Crescent Officer Ryan Quanrud and Officer Christopher Frick pulling over a vehicle after they saw two men behaving suspiciously. When Quanrud approached the vehicle, the driver, Wyatt Helfrich, fired his shotgun at the officer, who returned fire.

Frick got back into his squad car and began pursuing the suspects, reaching speeds of almost 100 miles per hour. The suspects were shooting at the officers during the pursuit before their vehicle’s tires were punctured and they went off road.

After their car stopped, the suspects fled into a nearby cornfield with their weapons, but they were soon captured and taken into custody by police.

"We just want the public to realize how incredibly close we came to losing at least one of our police officers that night," Houston County Sheriff Mark Inglett, said. "We live in a low crime area, but that doesn't mean these things can't happen and it is exactly why we train as hard as we do for these kinds of situations."

Helfrich and the passenger, William Wallraff, face attempted first-degree murder and assault charges. The officers were cleared in the investigation and returned to work.


5 dead in Calif. shootings, including gunman; multiple kids wounded

Posted on November 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

RED BLUFF, Calif. — A gunman killed four people and wounded a number of others at random Tuesday at multiple locations in rural Northern California, including an elementary school, before police shot him dead, authorities said.

Two hospitals said they were treating seven people, including at least three children.

Details were still sketchy hours after the shooting and authorities didn't have a firm count of the wounded due to the number of places where the gunman opened fire in the community of Rancho Tehama Reserve, about 130 miles north of Sacramento, Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said.

One student was wounded at the school and another child was shot while driving with a woman, who also was wounded, Johnston said.

"It was very clear at the onset that we had an individual that was randomly picking targets," Johnston said.

He declined to release the name of the shooter but said the gunfire began with a domestic violence incident that neighbors reported.

Brian Flint told the Record Searchlight newspaper in the city of Redding that his neighbor, whom he knows only as Kevin, was the gunman and that his roommate was among the victims. He said the shooter also stole his truck.

"The crazy thing is that the neighbor has been shooting a lot of bullets lately, hundreds of rounds, large magazines," Flint said. "We made it aware that this guy is crazy and he's been threatening us."

Authorities have recovered a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns after the shootings in the rural subdivision described on its website as a "quiet private country community" where "the people are friendly and the pace is relaxed."

Jeanine Quist, an administrative assistant with the Corning Union Elementary School District, said no one was killed at the school with kindergarten through fifth grades.

Three people were being treated at a hospital in Redding, about 50 miles north of the shootings, Mercy Medical Center spokeswoman Marcy Miracle said. She declined to provide other details about the victims or their injuries.

Four others, including three children, were being treated at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, about 50 miles southeast of the shootings, hospital spokeswoman Nicole Johansson said.

Officials say there at least 100 law enforcement officers on scene of about 5 different sites where the shooter opened fire. pic.twitter.com/jschtwbfAb

— Sara Stinson (@SaraStinsonNews) November 14, 2017

BREAKING: At least 3 dead in shooting in Tehama Co. it started at a home and moved to the school. Shooter shot and killed by police. pic.twitter.com/xIKvyIxq4y

— Sara Stinson (@SaraStinsonNews) November 14, 2017


Video shows struggle between Conn. officer and teenager

Posted on November 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By Daniel Tepfer and Michael P. Mayko Connecticut Post, Bridgeport, Conn.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A female police officer, under fire after a video was made public showing her repeatedly punching a black teenager following a minor traffic accident Friday night, defended her actions in a report obtained Monday by Hearst Connecticut Media.

“I feared for my safety as well as officers on scene that suspect was pulling away and actively resisting due to concealing a firearm. Due to these reasons I then struck (Aaron) Kearney multiple times in the face with both fists in an attempt for him to loosen his grip of his arms and bring them out from his body,” Officer Christina Arroyo states in her addendum to the main report on the incident.

@bptpolice the name of this female officer needs to be released! I have no words besides disgusted by the actions of The Bridgeport Police. It has been long overdue that everyone allows the BPT police department to get away with all they do. #PoliceBrutality pic.twitter.com/heb9tUXDuS

— Justice For Jayson (@Justice4JaysonN) November 11, 2017

But City Councilwoman Eneida Martinez said she did not find the officer’s story convincing.

“This kid didn’t have a weapon, the excessive force she (Arroyo) used wasn’t called for,” Martinez said.

The councilwoman said Arroyo, who has been put on administrative duty pending an investigation, has a history of excessive force allegations but she said she has full confidence that Police Chief Armando “AJ” Perez will do a thorough investigation.

Following the Friday night incident 18-year-old Aaron Kearney, who graduated Harding High School in June and was captain of the school’s football team, was treated at Bridgeport Hospital for abrasion on his neck and face and a cut on his lower lip.

Arroyo states in her report she had Kearney’s blood on her uniform and suffered pain in her right hand and swelling to her middle finger.

“The chief has called for an investigation and we are looking forward to the end result of that investigation,” said police union President Charles Paris.

Aggressive tactics

Shortly after 9:30 p.m. on Friday police were called to a motor vehicle crash on Seaview Avenue, according to the report of Officer David Ortiz.

“Mr. Kearney, the party who caused the accident was found not to have insurance on his vehicle. Responding officer checked Mr. Kearney on Channel 2 for any outstanding warrants, he was then found to have a suspended license since Sept. 6, 2017,” the report states. “Mr. Kearney immediately became verbally aggressive towards responding officer saying, ‘How is my license suspended?”

The report continues that Ortiz called for additional officers because Kearney was acting in an aggressive manner.

“Mr. Kearney bladed his body and balled up his fist while yelling towards officers, responding officer and Sgt. Trevor Niestemski then attempted to grab Mr. Kearney’s arms and place him in handcuffs, at this time Mr. Kearney began to flail his arms away from officers, the report states.

The report continues that more officers arrived and were able to force Kearney against a police car.

“Mr. Kearney then spit on Officer Arroyo’s face and head area,” the report states. It does not state that Arroyo hit Kearney.

In a video of the incident that has been posted on the Internet, four police officers can be seen forcing Kearney face-first onto the hood of a police car as Kearney’s mother is screaming, “Don’t hurt my son, don’t hurt my son.”

At one point Arroyo begins hitting the side of Kearney’s face as other officers hold Kearney’s head against the car.

“Get back,” the female police officer yells to Kearney’s mother who is taking the video. “Or you are next.”

In her report, Arroyo said as officers are still trying to get control of Kearney she notices a woman standing behind the officers screaming.

“Fearing this female would harm officers on the scene I gave her loud verbal commands for female on scene to get back to which she refused to comply and remained stationary,” she stated.

Body cameras, training

Activists renewed their calls to outfit police with body and cruiser cams, require police sensitivity training and establish a civilian review board.

“We need to re-evaluate our positions,” said Ernest Newton, who come December will be back on the City Council. “A lot of this involves how we talk to each other.”

“If I talk to you respectfully, you’re going to answer me the same way,” he said. “If I break the law you have the right to arrest me, you don’t have the right to beat me.”

Newton said he has the support of Councilwoman Anita Martinez and others to outfit police and their cruisers with cameras.

“If we can find $7.9 million to rebuild the ballpark into an amphitheater we can find the money for these cameras,” he said.

Additionally Newton said the “time has come for a civilian review board.”

“We’re not getting any help from the police commission and the police can’t be expected to govern themselves...It’s time that the police have become more transparent.”

The Rev. Anthony Bennett, pastor of Mount Aery Baptist Church, agreed with Newton’s suggestions, but added there is a need for police to undergo diversity and de-escalation training.

“There’s not one magic solution but a synergistic combination of things,” he said. “There has to be a mind-set change among police.”

Bennett, who is co-chair of CONNECT (Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut) said police need to learn “how to control and deescalate a situation as opposed to participating in its escalation.”

But he added CONNECT “would want to see the curriculum and the actual hours devoted” by participants.

Camelle Scott-Mujahid, training officer of CTCORE-Organize Now!, said there “is an obvious pattern of abuse” in Bridgeport as well as other departments across the state.

“There’s just more noise in Bridgeport because the community has organized,” she said.

Scott-Mujahid said she got a first-hand view of Bridgeport police violence during last Thursday’s rally outside police headquarters recognizing the six-month anniversary of the police shooting death of Jason Negron and wounding of his companion Julian Fyffe following a car chase.

“Within 60 seconds police arrested one of our organizers, assaulted another and an officer with a baton threatened our whole group,” she said.

She said the Bridgeport as well as the state needs “a system of police accountability.”

“In the case of Jason’s death you had the State Police handling the investigation and then turning it over to the State’s Attorney’s office,” she said adding that the state’s attorneys rarely find accountability on the part of police.

“We need a system in which police are accountable to the citizens,” she said. “Just because someone is accused of committing a crime doesn’t mean they deserve to be executed or beaten,” she said. “We believe there is still a right to due process.”

©2017 the Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, Conn.)


5 dead in Calif. shootings, 2 kids wounded

Posted on November 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

UPDATE 11:52 a.m. (PST):

Authorities say shootings in rural Northern California leave 5 dead, including shooter; 2 children wounded.

EARLIER:

RED BLUFF, Calif. — Authorities say three people have been killed in shootings at multiple locations in rural Northern California, and the shooter has been killed by law enforcement. Students also were shot and wounded at an elementary school.

It's not clear if the shooter is included among the dead Tuesday.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston tells a TV station in the city of Chico that officers are investigating at least five crime scenes in and around the school in Rancho Tehama Reserve, about 130 miles north of Sacramento.

Jeanine Quist, an administrative assistant with the Corning Union Elementary School District, says no one was killed at the school but a "number" of students were shot and wounded.

Officials say there at least 100 law enforcement officers on scene of about 5 different sites where the shooter opened fire. pic.twitter.com/jschtwbfAb

— Sara Stinson (@SaraStinsonNews) November 14, 2017

BREAKING: At least 3 dead in shooting in Tehama Co. it started at a home and moved to the school. Shooter shot and killed by police. pic.twitter.com/xIKvyIxq4y

— Sara Stinson (@SaraStinsonNews) November 14, 2017


5 dead in Calif. shootings, including gunman; 2 kids wounded

Posted on November 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

UPDATE 12:09 p.m. (PST):

Authorities say a series of shootings in rural Northern California left five people dead, including the shooter, and that two children were among the wounded.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston says one child was shot at a school Tuesday and another was shot while riding in a pickup truck with a woman who was also wounded.

Johnston says the shooter was "randomly picking targets." He says there were seven shooting scenes and that there may be more victims.

Investigators have recovered a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns.

UPDATE 11:52 a.m. (PST):

Authorities say shootings in rural Northern California leave 5 dead, including shooter; 2 children wounded.

EARLIER:

RED BLUFF, Calif. — Authorities say three people have been killed in shootings at multiple locations in rural Northern California, and the shooter has been killed by law enforcement. Students also were shot and wounded at an elementary school.

It's not clear if the shooter is included among the dead Tuesday.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston tells a TV station in the city of Chico that officers are investigating at least five crime scenes in and around the school in Rancho Tehama Reserve, about 130 miles north of Sacramento.

Jeanine Quist, an administrative assistant with the Corning Union Elementary School District, says no one was killed at the school but a "number" of students were shot and wounded.

Officials say there at least 100 law enforcement officers on scene of about 5 different sites where the shooter opened fire. pic.twitter.com/jschtwbfAb

— Sara Stinson (@SaraStinsonNews) November 14, 2017

BREAKING: At least 3 dead in shooting in Tehama Co. it started at a home and moved to the school. Shooter shot and killed by police. pic.twitter.com/xIKvyIxq4y

— Sara Stinson (@SaraStinsonNews) November 14, 2017


SC trooper publicly resigns in protest

Posted on November 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By Maayan Schechter The State (Columbia, S.C.)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — S.C. Highway Patrol Sgt. David Whatley wanted to hand his resignation letter to Gov. Henry McMaster’s office.

Instead, near tears, Whatley handed his letter of resignation to his boss, S.C. Department of Public Safety director Leroy Smith, in front of S.C. House members Monday.

Whatley — a nearly 29-year employee of Highway Patrol and a combat veteran — said he is just one of many state troopers who are unhappy with the state agency’s handling of internal matters and its leadership.

For some who leave, low pay is an issue, Whatley said. The starting salary for a trainee S.C. trooper is about $38,000 a year. That increases to $42,100 after they complete training.

But declining morale within Highway Patrol is the bigger issue, the Aiken native said of the agency, where troopers determine whether a speeding motorists or drunken drivers are stopped.

A 2017 study of the Department of Public Safety cited pay as the top reason employees left, followed by low morale. Fear of retaliation, retribution and reprimands, as well as scare tactics and threats also were among the main concerns that employees have.

“We, the citizens of South Carolina, and the taxpayers are getting shortchanged, shortchanged by the Department of Public Safety,” said state Rep. Eddie Tallon, R-Spartanburg.

For the past two years, Public Safety has been under fire from state lawmakers, struggling to understand why the Highway Patrol has a high turnover rate and low morale. Much of that fire is directed at Smith, appointed by then-Gov. Nikki Haley in 2012.

During the 2017 fiscal year, the turnover rate at Public Safety was 15 percent, slightly better than the 17.8 percent average for all state agencies.

Among those who left the agency in the past seven years — 74 percent — were Highway Patrol employees. The 2017 study said the Highway Patrol, on average, loses seven uniformed officers a month, or 84 a year, due to retirement or other reasons. Troopers who left the agency this year mostly cited “personal reasons” for quitting, the study said.

Currently, there are 756 troopers on the road and 39 in training, compared with 761 in 2012 and 2013. The Highway Patrol’s budget has money for 850 troopers.

Since the study’s publication in September, Smith said several changes within the agency have occurred, including the creation of an internal employee council and one-on-one ride-alongs with troopers by Smith to hear their concerns. “I take it very seriously. We take them very seriously, and we are really committed to this.”

State Rep. Katie Arrington, R-Dorchester, didn’t appear swayed, saying she was “beyond words” that Whatley, a veteran trooper with a clean record, was leaving an agency that he loves.

“It’s our job and your job to make sure they’re the ones who get protected,” she said to Smith.

Whatley said he would consider coming back to Highway Patrol if Smith resigned. However, Whatley is not calling for Smith’s resignation.

“I’m calling for him to open his eyes and listen to us, and make changes in the agency and make them now.”

©2017 The State (Columbia, S.C.)


Man who shot and killed NY trooper granted parole

Posted on November 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Elizabeth Doran Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

NEW YORK — John Ruzas, a man who shot to death New York State Trooper Emerson Dillon on the Thruway near Canastota in 1974, has been granted parole, a state corrections department spokeswoman said Monday.

Ruzas, who was 32 at the time and is now in 74, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. This was his 11th try to get parole.

Ruzas and another man had just robbed a jewelry store in DeWitt in 1974 when the police officer stopped the car for speeding on the Thruway. Ruzas shot and killed Dillon.

NYS State Police Benevolent Association President Thomas H. Mungeer today called the parole board's decision "a travesty of justice."

Ruzas could be released from Fishkill Correctional Facility as early as Dec. 18, said Rachel Heath, speaking for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. However, he must have approved housing in place prior to his release, she said.

The parole board had recently rejected parole for Ruzas twice, but a judge from the Hudson Valley ordered the board to hear his case a third time

State judge Victor Grossman earlier this year barred the parole board from considering dozens of opposition letters from law enforcement protesting Ruzas' possible release. He also held the board in contempt.

The judge said considering those letters violated the law, and then ordered a whole new parole board to consider Ruzas' bid for release.

In his 14-page decision, Grossman insisted that he wasn't ordering the parole board to ignore community opposition to Ruzas's release. But the judge said only those people defined under law -- namely, the victim's family and representatives -- could be considered by a parole board.

Grossman noted that Ruzas is nearly 75 years old and needs a cane or a wheelchair to get around. He's hard of hearing. And he's had a clean prison record since 1990 and has repeatedly acknowledged guilt and expressed remorse, the judge said.

PBA's Mungeer disagreed with the judge's decision.

"We were precluded from having a say in the matter," he said. "The family had to fight this on their own."

Mungeer said it's unfair that the parole board could accept letters of support in Ruzas's favor, but none from law enforcement.

©2017 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.


Tampa police seek possible serial killer after 4th death

Posted on November 14, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Tamara Lush Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Police blockaded a neighborhood and searched with a SWAT team and dogs for a possible serial killer Tuesday after a fourth person was shot dead for no apparent reason.

Residents of the Seminole Heights neighborhood reported hearing shots just before 5 a.m. Tuesday. Officers quickly moved in, and found the body of Ronald Felton, 60, who had been walking across the street when a gunman came up behind him and fired, interim Police Chief Brian Dugan said.

"Our officers responded within seconds," Dugan said, enabling them to quickly set up a perimeter.

"I believe that this person lives in this neighborhood," Dugan added as he spoke with reporters at the scene. "And we need everyone's cooperation; we need everyone to pay attention to what's been going on."

Dugan said that until his detectives can determine otherwise, Felton's shooting will be treated as if it's related to last month's 10-day spree where three people were slain. The previous three victims were alone and had gotten off a bus in the neighborhood when they were gunned downed at night. None was robbed.

"This has got to stop," Mayor Bob Buckhorn told a news conference on Tuesday. "We will hunt this person down until we find him."

Cynthia Murray told The Tampa Bay Times that Felton had been living with her near the shooting scene. She said Felton was an unemployed construction worker who volunteered at the nearby food bank run by a church, which is just feet from where he was shot. She said he would go to the church at 2:30 a.m. to help.

"He didn't need to come here every week but he loved it," she said about Felton's volunteer work. She said Felton and his twin brother Reggie were well known in the area.

"He was the sweetest person, never any problems," his cousin, Linda Daniels, told the paper.

Dugan urged Seminole Heights residents to stay inside and prepare to share with police any potential detail that might be useful as the SWAT team and police dogs cleared properties. Police said the suspect is a thin black man, about 6-feet tall, wearing black clothing and carrying a large handgun. They are asking residents to examine video from any security cameras they have.

Seminole Heights is a working-class neighborhood northeast of downtown Tampa that's slowly becoming gentrified. Run-down homes sit next to renovated, historic bungalows, and trendy restaurants have sprung up near auto body shops. Officers were at every street corner around the perimeter, questioning anyone trying to leave.

Robert Clark told the Times he was in a nearby Laundromat with his girlfriend when he heard five shots, turned and saw a man run past. He said he went outside and saw Felton's body.

After the earlier shootings, police increased patrols in the neighborhood and released surveillance videos of a hooded suspect. In a security video taken moments after 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell became the first victim on Oct. 9, the suspect is running from the scene.

Two days after Mitchell was shot, Monica Hoffa, 32, was gunned down. And on Oct. 19, Anthony Naiboa, 20, was shot after taking the wrong bus home from his new job. Police patrolling nearby heard the gunshots and rushed to the scene to find Naiboa dead.

Jamie Rivera, 40, took his two children to school Tuesday and saw the heavy police presence. He turned on the radio and heard about the neighborhood's fourth killing.

"We're all panicking," said Rivera, who is a carpenter. "It's kind of scary because they don't have any idea who's doing it."

Rivera has changed the routine of his two children, ages 9 and 11.

"Normally they do play outside but since this happened, no," he told The Associated Press.

He had to go to a neighboring auto store for some parts Tuesday morning, and said he was headed to work. Otherwise, he said, he plans on staying inside.

Casimar Naiboa, Anthony Naiboa's father, told the Times that Felton's slaying "is like salt in the wound"

"It brings back dark memories," said Naiboa, 50. "I still dream about my son."

Police have told him they hope the killer makes a mistake.

"But every time he makes a mistake, someone loses their life," Naiboa said.


Mich. chief ’embarrassed’ after cops from neighboring precincts trade punches

Posted on November 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Elisha Anderson Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — Police officers from adjoining Detroit precincts argued with each other, shoved and even threw punches Thursday night during a raid on a suspected drug house, leaving two cops injured, an investigation under way and a black eye on the department.

“This is probably one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen in this department,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said during a news conference Monday afternoon at police headquarters.

Two officers accused of exchanging punches as the incident unfolded in the 19300 block of Andover, near East 7 Mile and I-75, have been placed on restrictive duty and a supervisor was reassigned from special operations pending the outcome of the investigation, Craig said.

Poor communication led officers from the 11th and 12th Precincts to be in the same area, at the same time, without proper notification, Craig said.

Officers from the 11th Precinct planned to raid a suspected drug house in the area they are responsible for covering. As they approached it about 6 p.m., the officers confronted two people several doors away, apparently not realizing they were undercover cops from the 12th Precinct, Craig said.

The officers from the 11th Precinct ordered the undercover officers to the ground and at some point an officer pointed at shotgun at the pair. Shortly after, the 11th Precinct officers continued to execute the search warrant.

“This is when it started to go terribly wrong,” Craig said.

Officers from the 12th Precinct, who were working a drug investigation and had a team in the area, approached the 11th Precinct officers as they conducted the raid.

Video from the scene captured arguing and shoving among some of the two dozen officers there, Craig said. The video has not been released but is being reviewed as part of the investigation that will be turned over to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether charges will be filed.

“At one point during this situation, one officer grabbed another,” Craig said, adding one was put in a headlock and a punch flew. Then an officer punched back.

One officer sustained an injury to his lip and the other officer has an injury to his eye. The officers, one from each precinct, were treated for their injuries and have been put on restrictive duty, officials said. Craig said assault and battery charges could come from the incident.

A third person, a supervisor from the 12th Precinct, has been reassigned as the investigation continues.

“It appears that this supervisor did not have control of the situation,” Craig said. “And had a tendency to get the officers from the 12th Precinct excited to the point we have this very embarrassing situation.”

Craig said somebody from the 12th Precinct should have let the 11th Precinct know their offices planned to be in the area, but that didn’t happen.

Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, said there were “crossed wires with communications.”

“When you have both sides of this matter, both doing their jobs to control the scene, you can imagine the chaos,” he said in a text message. “They fortunately got control of the scene together and a potentially dangerous situation didn’t turn out as bad as it could have.”

Craig said officers could have been shot during the incident that took place near the border of the adjoining precincts. He pointed to a 1986 incident in which two Detroit cops were killed leading to new protocols in the department.

“I am thankful that no one was more seriously injured,” Craig said of last Thursday's altercation.

©2017 the Detroit Free Press


Police: La. officer shoots, kills man during struggle at apartment complex

Posted on November 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By Michael Kunzelman Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — A crowd of angry neighbors gathered overnight after the fatal shooting of a man by a police officer at an apartment complex in Baton Rouge, a city that was wracked by unrest after another police shooting last year.

The officer suffered minor injuries Monday night, Louisiana State Police spokesman Trooper Bryan Lee said. The man who was fatally shot was identified by the state police as 24-year-old Calvin Toney.

Toney died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office, which released preliminary results of an autopsy performed Tuesday.

Dozens of people, many shouting angrily at officers, gathered at the scene late Monday.

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said a stun gun was deployed at least once during the struggle before the shooting, but he couldn't specify how many times it was used or who fired it. He emphasized that the man was not handcuffed at the time.

State police were called in to investigate the shooting and talked to witnesses, Lee said. He said investigators were reviewing footage from the officer's body camera. He didn't know whether the slain man was involved in the Department of Children and Family Service worker's case.

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome expressed confidence that body camera video will "add value to the truth and transparency in this process."

"My message is 'Let's wait for the facts to come out,'" she said.

Police tape covered the entrance to the complex in northern Baton Rouge, and about 100 people gathered on other side, some yelling "Black lives matter," and "No justice, no peace."

The protesters had dispersed by Tuesday morning, and a maintenance worker at the apartment complex asked an Associated Press reporter to leave the site, saying tensions were high after the shooting.

Officials have not yet identified or released any details about the officer.

Calvin Coleman, who identified himself as the father of the man who was shot, said his son was black. Coleman said he had been standing behind the police tape for some time waiting for answers.

"It hurts," Coleman said. "It tears you apart knowing that he's right there and there's nothing you can do about it."

In July 2016, a white Baton Rouge police officer shot and killed a 37-year-old black man, Alton Sterling, outside a convenience store where he was selling homemade CDs. Two cellphone videos of the shooting quickly spread on social media, sparking nightly protests in Louisiana's capital city. Nearly 200 protesters were arrested in the days after that shooting.

Democratic state Rep. C. Denise Marcelle was among those officials who spoke out after Sterling's shooting. She said Monday night she was trying to calm people down at the scene of the latest shooting.

"The emotions are extremely high," Marcelle said. "A lot of people are kind of blowing it up."

"I just wish that he did not have to kill him. I just wish there was some way it could have been avoided," she said.

Crowd now chanting "hands up, don't shoot!" and "black lives matter!" at Palms Apts on McClelland Dr in North Baton Rouge where an officer shot and killed someone tonight @wbrz pic.twitter.com/FDRPt1Wfbw

— Mark Armstrong (@TvMarkArmstrong) November 14, 2017


NY deputy dies suddenly while training for triathlon

Posted on November 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

SARATOGA, N.Y. — A New York deputy collapsed and died suddenly while training for a triathlon on Sunday.

WRGB reports that Deputy Sheriff John Brown, 45, was running by himself near his home when he suddenly collapsed. Police said he was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. He leaves behind a wife and 2-year-old son.

Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said he got the call that Sunday about Brown’s death, which is still under investigation. He said his department is shocked and saddened after hearing they lost one of their own.

“Most of the members, men and women here are in a state of shock, but we're strong as a department so we'll get through this together as a group,” Zurlo said.

Brown, a former U.S. Marine, has served Saratoga County for 12 years. Police said they’re awaiting autopsy results to determine his cause of death.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced at this time.

It is with great shock and sadness that Sheriff Zurlo must announce the tragic death of Deputy Sheriff John Brown this afternoon. Deputy Brown, who was a triathlete, collapsed while on a training run in Albany.

— Saratoga Co. Sheriff (@SaratogaSheriff) November 12, 2017


Philando Castile’s uncle becomes reserve officer

Posted on November 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ST. PAUL, Minn. — After telling reporters five months ago that he wanted to become a reserve officer, Philando Castile’s uncle officially became one last week.

KARE reports that Clarence Castile and 14 others graduated from the St. Paul Police Reserve Academy after 12 weeks of training. As a reserve officer, Castile will offer support to members of St. Paul PD. Castile said he wanted to become an officer to let children and future generations know that police officers are nothing to be afraid of.

Castile’s nephew, Philando Castile, was shot and killed by Officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop in July 2016. His death was captured on Facebook live and went viral, sparking protests. In June 2017, Yanez was cleared in the investigation into the shooting.

“I think about my nephew every day. Part of this is about him,” Clarence Castile said. “I don’t want people to be afraid. Police aren't here to hurt you even though you've heard stories and you’ve seen things on TV but all of that isn't everything.”

St. Paul Commander John Lozoya said Castile will find fulfillment as he gets involved in the community and will gain a deeper understanding of the job.


Police: Suspect tried to break Conn. cop’s fingers during traffic stop

Posted on November 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. — A Connecticut couple was arrested after one of the suspects attempted to break an officer’s fingers during a traffic stop Saturday night.

WFSB reports that after the officer pulled over Davin Ware, 20, he learned that his driver’s license was suspended and that he had a weapon and marijuana. When the LEO asked Ware to step out of his vehicle, the suspect attempted to break his fingers.

Ware’s girlfriend Juliann Patenaude, 18, also intervened in the arrest. Two officers received abrasions and lacerations to their hands after the incident.

Ware was charged with several offenses, including assault on an officer. Patenaude was also charged with assault on an officer.

Both suspects are scheduled to face a judge on Nov. 30.


Why stress inoculation is critical for police recruits

Posted on November 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Amir Khillah, P1 Contributor

Many of today’s police recruits have never been punched in the face or held a gun, and the closest thing to a fight is when they wrestled their little brother for the television remote.

However, instructors are expected in just 16 weeks to magically transform these guys and gals into new police officers. These recruits will be stationed in high-crime zones where they will be expected to hold their own.

If they had good firearms and subject control instructors, they are in luck. And if they had good instructors, they most probably hated them due to the amount of stress, yelling and pressure they placed them under.

How we transform civilians into cops in the police academy

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of stress inoculation in transforming a civilian to police officer. I am a subject control instructor at my local police academy. During scenario-based training days – affectionately known as “Redman” – cadets face role players who are both law enforcement officers and/or MMA fighters. We push cadets beyond their physical and mental limits. It is not an enjoyable day. The cadets are taken down, mounted, and their airway and breathing interrupted.

Cadets initially panic, quit, cry or “freak out.” We put them through these scenarios for three reasons:

    To teach the cadets that their techniques must be ingrained in their muscle memory in order for them to be able to execute under the stress of a dynamic scenario. To teach cadets restraint and how to avoid excessive use of force due to the panic of being in a compromising position, as well as teach them that they have various options prior to reaching deadly force during a fight. In case deadly force is required, to show cadets how to articulate in court that they have been in such a compromising position before and knew they were in a deadly force assault scenario.

Once armed with the basic techniques, it’s important to “stress test” these techniques in condition black. We want to find out if these techniques will work for the cadets’ body type when auditory exclusion, tunnel vision and hyperventilation set in.

I stress to the cadets that I’m not testing them, but I’m testing the content (the tools) I have armed them with. If cadets can’t execute in a controlled environment, what are the chances they will execute in the unpredictable environments on the street? As we all know, we don’t rise to the occasion, we fall back to the level of our training.

Be the voice in a police cadet’s head

Academy instructors are responsible for inoculating cadets to stress and teaching them the most appropriate response to their situation. We walk a fine line balancing injury prevention while inducing stress. But these young women and men count on their instructors to prepare them for situations they most likely have never experienced in their lives. The training and your “voice in their head” may save a new recruit’s life during their first demanding use-of-force encounter.

Administration of stress inoculation in the police academy

There are a number of ways to introduce stress into the cadets’ training. Here are three methods we use during each academy to hardwire a stimulus response into the mind of each new police officer.

1. Pepper spray exposure

I would be lying if I told you cadets look forward to this training module.

Cadets run a quarter mile to increase their heart rate prior to a full-face (1-2 second) exposure of pepper spray. The cadet is then escorted to a matted area (100 feet away, allowing the spray to take full affect) where she/he faces an actively aggressing suspect (a role player).

Cadets must respond to the aggressive actions of the role player, take control of the suspect, apply handcuffs, and maintain situational awareness and weapon retention.

Once the cuffs are double-locked and checked for tightness, the contaminated cadet removes the cuffs and is escorted to the decontamination site.

Cadets experience a high pain stimulus from the pepper spray exposure, and are guided through the proper response of apprehending a suspect. The first time the future officer is contaminated while deploying pepper spray on an actual suspect, she/he already knows the pain they are able to fight through, how their eyes will slam shut, how to control a resisting/assaultive suspect and how to execute completion of an arrest.

Additionally, they gain confidence with the force option, and have the compassion to decontaminate an exposed suspect without sacrificing officer safety.

2. Incorporating securiBlanks (loud) in dedicated training weapons

We recently introduced securiBlanks (loud) into our Redman days. The sound of the firearm going off, the feel of the weapon cycling a round and the realistic visual reaction of the role player during the struggle is so extreme that initially most cadets stop fighting. It takes a few loud persuasive statements by the drill sergeants to encourage the cadet to continue the good fight.

The auditory stimulus of the discharge of a firearm captures the cadets’ attention so powerfully that it can reduce their ability to accomplish a dominant position in the fight.

This effect is most noticeable on the first day a cadet experiences this auditory and tactile stimuli. A significant desensitization to the loud auditory stimuli occurs on subsequent training rotations.

Additionally, we discovered a very interesting training failure by incorporating live training weapons and securiBlanks into Redman reality-based training.

Most red or blue training guns (molded rubber) do not have a cycling slide. While carrying plastic training guns, malfunction drills were simulated. Cadets executed the basic tap, rack and re-assess drill on a gun with no moving parts. That all changed when we introduced sim guns.

During a struggle with a suspect over their firearms, cadets are instructed that their firearm has malfunctioned and is unable to fire. Cadets were being programed to smack the magazine to make sure it was seated properly, then simulate cycling the slide. The problem is that red and blue plastic training guns do not have a slide that cycles. Cadets were issued “sim guns” loaded with securiBlanks (loud or quiet) and cadets experienced weapons going out of battery due to the suspects grabbing onto their guns.

Under the stress of a “real fight” during Redman, cadets did what they have done hundreds of times prior – smacked the magazine into place, and waved a hand over a slide. They did not charge or pull back the slide but literally waved their hands over the slide like they did with the red guns. Needless to say, they were not able to get their guns back into the fight in time. By not utilizing real handguns dedicated to securiBlank training rounds (incapable of firing live ammunition and marked as training weapons), we create a dangerous muscle memory for cadets.

3. Shock knives make everyone scream

Some cadets became very proficient at edged-weapon disarming. We taught them the basic and most efficient way of disarming when creating distance and using your own firearm was not an option.

Cadets were shielding, intercepting, redirecting and disarming like champs. Eventually, cadets must have done what we all do and started searching YouTube for fancy action movie disarms.

We attempted to explain the importance of efficiency of movement and energy conservation, and the importance of gross muscle techniques. Yet the live action movie disarms continued.

Getting “cut” with a red or blue plastic training knife did not deter this. So what did we do? We introduced painful stimuli using a Shocknife with the voltage adjusted all the way up and watched as confidence, performance and flashiness all hit rock bottom.

The pain stimulus of being “cut” by the Shocknife was enough to make some cadets simply drop into the fetal position during the first round. We may or may not have had cadets simply run. Needless to say, flash was gone and we were back to basics and basics win fights.

A drastic and observable desensitization to the electric shock was noted on subsequent training rotations. Don’t get me wrong, cadets certainly did not want to get “cut,” but when they did, they were able to stay in the fight and accomplish the mission. Again, another example of stress inoculation used during reality-based-training.

There are many ways to introduce stress into the training program. Please remember that stress needs to be introduced after competency of the desired technique is achieved. If you have any questions about these training rotations or others we utilize, email amir@lightningkicks.com

Remember future police officers are counting on you to prepare them for the job.


About the author Amir Khillah is a police officer, founder of Centurion and a police academy subject control instructor.


Firearms training and prevention of hearing loss

Posted on November 13, 2017 by in POLICE

the Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Author: the Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

By Michele Coppola TechBeat Magazine

Ryan Lee Scott, Deputy Sheriff with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office in Gainesville, Florida, and adjunct faculty at the Santa Fe College police academy, noticed several years ago that a number of the longtime firearms instructors had significant hearing loss and were wearing hearing aids. His concern for his colleagues hearing health led him on a journey to quantify the problem and package sound mitigation strategies officers could immediately implement.

Law enforcement officers undergo qualification training during the year in the use of firearms. In general, Scott says firearms training probably occurs about four times a year for a typical law enforcement patrol officer, monthly or more frequently for SWAT and special operations members, and a firearms instructor could be on the firearms range up to 20 times a month.

Concerned about adequate protection against potential hearing loss for himself and others, Scott contacted audiology experts at the University of Florida a few years ago to learn about the high-level impulse sounds produced by firearms and ways to minimize risk.

In one subsequent study, researchers evaluated the sound pressure level effects of suppression, ammunition and barrel length on AR-15 rifles. Suppressors (silencers) were found to be helpful in mitigating noise, but Scott says it is still necessary to use hearing protection devices such as earmuffs and earplugs during training as well.

No one device provides an adequate amount of protection, but by using all three categories of hearing protection devices together, a sufficient hearing protection strategy can result.

To bridge the information gap between science and law enforcement and help agencies and officers understand the issues, Scott developed an educational workshop, Firearms Training and Hearing Loss, a 90-minute presentation he has been providing free to law enforcement agencies around the state of Florida, traveling to about 30 agencies thus far, along with organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police and Police Benevolent Association.

The workshop covers audiology research studies and the potential for unprotected exposure to firearms sounds to damage hearing, and the importance of use and proper fit of hearing protection devices such as earplugs and earmuffs, along with firearms suppressors, to reduce sound levels during training.

“It is largely a training issue to properly fit the devices, and use the devices in the proper combinations, not a problem with the devices themselves,” Scott says. “Most of the hearing loss is occurring in a training context. It is very preventable and relatively inexpensive to address. Agencies need to be aware of and have a good hearing conservation program to get the information out to officers on how to protect their hearing.”

Scott says most agencies are using either earplugs or earmuffs, rather than both, and not providing training on fitting.

“Agencies should use both earplugs and earmuffs at the same time and properly fit them. Most agencies I have seen are using earmuffs, which is a good start, but they need to use earplugs too. You have to spend 20 to 30 minutes to train officers to fit them so they get the proper level of attenuation for the device, and agencies need to create a hearing conservation plan to address these issues.

“In a training context using all three – suppression, earmuffs and earplugs – is the best strategy. In Alachua, the SWAT team uses suppressors in the field, which reduces noise while these firearms are deployed in real-world events. In training they use suppressors in combination with their typical earmuffs/earplugs.”

Scott provides the workshop in a classroom setting, but if an agency has the time he will go out to a firearms range and use the protection devices with the type of firearms the officers are using. By integrating the agency’s equipment with the various types of hearing protection devices, he says a balanced approach can result in adequate protection, reasonable price and a practical training environment.

Scott’s efforts led to his receipt earlier this year of a Safe-in-Sound 2017 Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention award: Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Public Safety Sector. The Safe-in-Sound awards were created by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association.

Future activities include Scott’s plans to write hearing protection sections for the law enforcement recruit textbook in Florida. He also hopes to expand his hearing protection training outreach program to every state.

For more information, contact Deputy Sheriff Ryan Lee Scott at ryanleescott05@yahoo.com or rscott2@acso.us. For information on NIOSH research regarding firing ranges, click here.


Mass. officers visit boy, 2, with brain cancer

Posted on November 13, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: the Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

Associated Press

CHELSEA, Mass. — Police in a Massachusetts town paid a special visit to their number one fan — a 2-year-old boy battling brain cancer.

Sandra Cordero says her son, Edison, loves the police. She says she went to the Chelsea Police Department on Sunday hoping just one officer would stop by their home.

Patrol cars filled her street just a few minutes later. Cordero says the entire day shift showed up to bring Edison gifts.

Police officers let Edison sit in a cruiser and talk over the radio.

WBZ-TV reports Edison's father Frank Cordero thanked the officers, saying his son was "so happy" when they showed up.

The entire Day Shift showed up in force to drop off some gifts that they bought and to wish him and his family well. Strong little boy!!! pic.twitter.com/lxeGUEmTWk

— Chief Brian Kyes (@ChiefKyes) November 12, 2017


Pension reform could force dozens of Dallas cops to retire in January

Posted on November 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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Tristan Hallman The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — At 64, Jim Aulbaugh has long been eligible to retire from Dallas Fire-Rescue. He loved working too much to call it quits, but he says he might have to now.

A new state law aimed at fixing the ailing pension fund contains a provision — a vestigial part of the original proposed fix — that could cause him and dozens of other police and firefighters to finally leave their shrinking departments in January.

The provision limits the amount of time police and firefighters can continue to receive credit in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, known as DROP, to 10 years as of Jan. 1. That means first responders like Aulbaugh, who has 12 years in DROP, will continue to pay a chunk of their paychecks into the pension while receiving no additional credit for it.

For police and firefighters, it's one of many uncomfortable new parts of the law, which pared back the pension system's unusually lucrative benefits. But the real impact of this provision is that 51 firefighters and 28 police will have spent more than 10 years in DROP as of Jan. 1 and might retire, pension officials say.

A few other portions of the law could have been the final straw for Aulbaugh and the others in DROP. Their pension contribution rate more than tripled as part of a new state law intended to save the ailing retirement fund. They could have retired in 2016, like many others did, and cash out of DROP.

But Aulbaugh said he loves working too much.

"I've been so lucky to have had this career. I just stumbled into it," he said. "How many people go to work every day looking forward to their job?"

The retirements would pile on the police and fire departments' mass exodus in recent years. The last fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, 458 police officers left the Police Department and Dallas Fire-Rescue lost 190 firefighters. That's more than double the usual attrition numbers for both departments.

DROP and the pension crisis were major causes. Previously, DROP allowed veteran police and firefighters to retire on paper while they stayed on the job. The pension checks they would have received were then credited to an individual account, allowing those in DROP to build up a lump sum to supplement their monthly pension checks when they actually did call it quits.

Hundreds of police and firefighters became millionaires from DROP because it also guaranteed compound interest rates of at least 8 percent for years.

Such benefits, combined with heavy investments in risky and overvalued real estate, put the fund on a fast track to insolvency. DROP's lack of limits on time in the fund and withdrawals exacerbated the problem. The fund's members last year collectively yanked hundreds of millions of dollars out of the pension system in waves of panic.

At the time, pension officials had a good reason to propose limits on DROP as part of their fix. The pension board's original proposed changes significantly reduced, but did not do away with, the DROP interest rate. And members could still withdraw lump sums out of the fund.

The 10-year rule was meant to make the plan look more like a normal pension and cap DROP's growth. After multiple debates on the topic, the board settled on a 10-year DROP limit, knowing that it would likely force out some current employees.

But state Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, proposed more drastic changes. His bill eliminated the interest rate on DROP and amortized the funds to be paid monthly or annually over retirees' projected lifespans. Doing so effectively killed DROP, turning the perk into what was essentially a second pension payment with some exceptions.

Some — Aulbaugh won't qualify — will have a chance to wipe all their DROP money away and buy normal service credits back instead, but the board still has to decide whether to charge interest on the contributions they would've made in those years.

Regardless, once the amortization came into play and interest rates went to zero, the 10-year rule no longer added up. The pension system could theoretically be better off if the police and firefighters remain on the job and continue to pay 13.5 percent of their paychecks into the fund because DROP was no longer earning interest. While they continue to get service credit, the system can put that money to work.

The pension board's former chairman, Sam Friar, said association leaders and pension officials pushed Flynn to remove the provision during the legislative session, but got nowhere.

"I'm not sure they really understood it," said Friar, who is now back on the new-look board as the fire representative. "It did not make sense. It still doesn't make sense."

Pension officials gave up on it because they had much bigger and thornier issues still on their plate.

"We were just trying to get a bill passed," Friar said. "We had to pick our fights."

Flynn, through a spokesman, said he didn't recall debate over the provision in the complex and massive bill, but is willing to look at it again next session.

Aulbaugh last week implored pension board members to take matters into their own hands by using another provision of the law that allows the board to "correct any defect, supply any omission, and reconcile any inconsistency" in the language. He said he's "cautiously optimistic" about it.

But he probably shouldn't be. The board must abide by the law, and Dallas Police and Fire Pension System Executive Director Kelly Gottschalk said it's probably not a defect because it was intentional.

She doesn't believe the limit on DROP will make a big difference to the fund either way. She said the idea was to make some limit on DROP like other cities' pensions.

"It wasn't about the money," Gottschalk said. "It was about trying to be more consistent with the other DROP programs."

But, she added, "it is going to force retirements."

Ultimately, the police and firefighters could decide not to retire because they love their jobs or their paychecks, although their departments aren't counting on it.

Aulbaugh, who makes more than $50 an hour, said he hasn't decided for sure if he's going to leave yet.

"Nobody wants to be told to leave," Aulbaugh said. "Most of these guys that this is going to affect are some of the best, most knowledgeable people in the department."

©2017 The Dallas Morning News


7 Ind. officers quit over take-home police car policy

Posted on November 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By Ken de la Bastide The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Ind.

ANDERSON, Ind. — The take-home car policy for the Anderson Police Department has resulted in seven officers leaving the department, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police told members of Anderson city council last week.

The discussion about take-home cars for police officers in Anderson was renewed as city council approved funding for the purchase of new patrol cars.

Prior to Thursday’s meeting, the administration of Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. provided council members with a special order outlining the policy. A year ago, the council asked for a take-home car policy to be implemented.

Councilman Jon Bell said he didn’t like policy provisions that limit take-home cars only to officers living in Anderson.

“The policy is highly unusual,” Bell said, contending that it falls short of achieving the objectives of quicker response and community policing.

“We need to have a way to address the policy,” Bell said. “This policy is a place to start, but it needs to be refined. I don’t agree with how restrictive the policy is.”

Broderick recalled that a year ago the council expressed concern about police vehicles being taken outside city limits.

“This is a beginning policy,” he said. “We will review it as we go forward, and there may be some changes.”

Scott Calhoun, president of the Fraternal Order of Police union, said the take-home car policy is a mistake and that seven officers have left the department because of the restrictions.

“It was a step back,” he said. “We have people living just outside the city limits that can’t have a take-home car.”

Councilman Ty Bibbs said the council wants each officer to have an assigned car. He said a proposal to expand the take-home car policy was presented to council just last week.

Council President Greg Graham recommended a meeting of the administration, FOP, safety board and council to discuss the take-home car policy.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department and police departments in Elwood and Alexandria all provide take-home vehicles.

The sheriff’s department has 36 take-home patrol cars, and all of the deputies reside in the county.

Elwood Police Chief Jason Brizendine last year said his department’s policy was adopted in 2016 and includes a provision where officers pay $30 every two weeks. He said there are 17 take-home vehicles, and officers must reside within a 35-mile radius of Elwood.

Alexandria Police Chief Matt Ellis said all 13 of his department's patrol officers have take-home vehicles and must reside within 25 miles of the city.

APD car policy

According to the Anderson Police Department's take-home car policy, officers driving APD vehicles while off duty must meet the following conditions:

- Limited to officers living within city limits, with exceptions for canine officers and detectives on call.

- To be used for APD-related business and driving to and from APD work; no personal use.

- No civilian passengers, unless approved by administrative staff.

- Must have badges, weapons, radio and other pertinent equipment, including handcuffs.

- Must provide aid to stranded motorists.

- Required to have police radio activated and provide backup on police calls.

- Required to maintain proper appearance of the vehicle, including washing and cleaning.

©2017 The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.)


Pa. trooper shot during traffic stop upgraded to ‘stable’ condition

Posted on November 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Pamela Lehman The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Seth Kelly, who was shot several times during a gun battle along Route 33, had his medical condition upgraded Friday as he continues his “long road” to recovery, his troop commander said.

Kelly continues to recover to gunshot wounds to his neck, shoulder and thigh in the shooting that happened after a traffic stop Tuesday morning in Plainfield Township, said Capt. Richard D’Ambrosio, commander of Troop M that serves Lehigh, Northampton and Bucks counties.

Kelly was in critical condition at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill, but was upgraded to stable condition on Friday, said D’Ambrosio.

Kelly “has a long road ahead of him right now,” D’Ambrosio said.

Kelly, a 13-year-veteran, likely saved his life by wrapping his leg with a tourniquet, officials say.

Kelly is the husband of Philomena Kelly, a Forks Township police detective, according to officials.

The suspect in the shooting, 22-year-old Daniel Kahil Clary of Monroe County, is also recovering from several gunshot wounds, authorities say. Clary remains at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest under guard until his medical condition improves enough for him to be taken to prison.

Clary is charged with two counts of attempted homicide and two counts of attempted homicide of a police officer, officials say. Clary’s bail Wednesday was set at $1 million.

Clary suffered gunshot wounds to the back of his neck, his side and hand, state police say.

Authorities say Trooper Ryan Seiple stopped Clary’s vehicle for speeding and gave him a citation. But, when Seiple started to drive away, Clary flagged him down and asked how to pay for the citation, police say.

Seiple suspected Clary was under the influence and saw drug paraphernalia in Clary’s car, authorities say. Seiple called for backup and after Cpl. Kelly arrived, they gave Clary a sobriety test that he failed, police say.

As the troopers tried to arrest Clary, a “knock-down, drag-out” fight ensued as cars sped past them, police say.

Clary was hit with a stun gun, but it had little affect on him, police say. Authorities say Clary got away from the troopers, got a handgun from his car and opened fire, hitting Kelly several times.

The troopers returned fire and Clary was able to get back into his car and drove himself to Easton Hospital, police say. Clary admitted to trying to disarm one of the troopers during the struggle and shooting at the troopers, according to Northampton County Court records.

©2017 The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)


Hundreds attend funeral of Ill. officer killed during traffic stop

Posted on November 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Marissa Page Chicago Tribune

ROCKFORD, Ill. — When it came time to line up their law enforcement vehicles for Officer Jaimie Cox's funeral procession, it took more than half an hour for all the cars to empty the church parking lot on Saturday.

A ceremony and funeral procession was held for Cox, of the Rockford Police Department, after he died on-duty Nov. 5.

Hundreds gathered at First Free Rockford church to honor Cox’s life, including several hundred of who were law enforcement officers from across the state and country, which led to the long procession.

The hourlong service was open to the public, but at the request of Cox’s family not open to media coverage. The family also requested that final arrangements for Cox’s burial remain private.

After the ceremony within the church, those in attendance gathered outside in freezing temperatures to witness the start of Cox’s funeral procession.

Cox, 30, died Sunday during a traffic stop. The man operating the vehicle, Eddie Patterson Jr., 49, was also killed. Patterson died of gunshot wounds, and Cox suffered fatal blunt force trauma.

Several officers wept and embraced as Cox’s coffin was placed in a hearse in front of the church.

Naperville resident Jeremy Arnold, a former classmate of Cox’s at Northern Illinois University, attended Saturday’s service.

Arnold, 38, said Cox led the triathlon club when they were students there. Arnold said once during a race, his legs cramped and caused him to slow down significantly. Cox and another teammate went back to track Arnold down and “ran him to the finish.”

“He was always willing to go the extra mile,” Arnold said.

Nicole Johnson, a 28-year-old Rockford resident, watched the sirens flash on the dozens of police vehicles parked in the lot at First Free as they prepared for the procession.

Tears welled in her eyes as Johnson said her husband, Steven, was sworn into the Rockford force in December along with Cox. Johnson said her husband and Cox were “really close” friends.

“I met (Cox) at the swearing-in ceremony,” Johnson said. “He was really excited to make a difference in his community.”

Johnson’s husband was part of the procession, she said. She said he was profoundly affected by Cox’s sudden death.

“Lots of officers want to be like him,” Johnson said. “Now every time they go out there, they’ll keep him in his memories and work to make him proud.”

©2017 the Chicago Tribune


Ore. K-9 killed by hit-and-run driver

Posted on November 13, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. — Authorities in western Oregon say a police dog a few weeks away from retirement has been killed by a hit-and-run driver.

The Eugene Police Department in a news release Saturday says the 8-year-old German shepherd named Blek died Friday evening while off duty with officer Rob Griesel in rural Lane County.

Police Chief Pete Kerns says Blek had been a go-to dog for the department and had a warrior’s spirit.

Earlier this year the Oregon Peace Officers Association honored Blek at its K9 Valor Awards for his capture of a suspect following the shooting of a law enforcement officer.

Authorities declined to release details about the hit and run, and say they have been unable to find the driver.

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K9 Blek Killed While Off Duty By Hit and Run Driver Eugene Police is sorry to report the death of K9 Blek, who was hit...

Posted by Eugene Police Department on Saturday, November 11, 2017


Infographic: Are you prepared to protect yourself from hazardous materials at crime scenes?

Posted on November 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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San Francisco’s first Chinese-American police officer dies

Posted on November 12, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Herb Lee, San Francisco's first Chinese-American police officer, has died. He was 84.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Lee died Nov. 1 of colon cancer.

Lee joined the police force in 1957 and spent his first years working undercover in Chinatown.

He investigated gangs and later worked in the juvenile and narcotics divisions. He was promoted to sergeant and became executive director of the Police Activities League, overseeing athletic and enrichment programs for poor children.

His son, John, who's also a police officer, says his father tried to steer youths away from crime and often took them out fishing aboard his 25-foot boat, the Ah Choo.

Lee retired from the force in 1987.

Police Chief Bill Scott calls Lee "a true pioneer" and a beloved mentor and colleague.


Man drops cocaine on floor while in court on drug charge

Posted on November 12, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

EAGLE, Colo. — Authorities say a man who was in a Colorado court for violating his bond on a drug charge is in even more trouble after a wad of cocaine fell from his hat while he was in front of the judge.

The Vail Daily reported Wednesday that 43-year-old Juan Jose Vidrio Bibriesca was standing next to two other defendants at an Eagle County District Court podium when he took his hat off and a square of folded paper fell out. A police officer watched the paper filled with cocaine fall to the floor, and after reviewing surveillance footage, authorities determined it fell from Bibriesca's hat.

Bibriesca was then walked to the county jail. He was charged with narcotics possession and another bond violation.

Booking documents don't indicate if he has hired an attorney.


Body count blamed on MS-13 violence grows in NYC suburbs

Posted on November 12, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Frank Eltman Associated Press

BRENTWOOD, N.Y. — Angel Soler's mother brought him to the U.S. as a young boy, figuring things would surely be better than in Honduras, where he had lived in one of the world's most violent cities. Javier Castillo's father made the same calculation when he took his young son out of gang-plagued El Salvador.

Life in the leafy Long Island suburbs of New York didn't prove to be any safer.

The corpses of the two teenagers, the latest victims of suspected MS-13 gang violence on Long Island, were found a few miles from each other in secluded areas late last month. Police also discovered the remains of another young man, Kerin Pineda, who, like Soler, had formerly attended Freeport High School.

Their fates match those of many of the more than two dozen people believed to have been killed by the gang in the New York suburbs in the past two years: They were Central Americans who came to the U.S. as children seeking a better life, then vanished, only to be found slain months later.

"Destroyed," Castillo's distraught father, Santos Ernesto Castillo, said Wednesday outside the funeral home where his son's wake was being held. "I don't have another word. Destroyed, because one brings his sons here to achieve their best, and this happens."

A handful of friends and relatives attended Castillo's wake at a funeral home in Brentwood. His father, a former police officer in El Salvador, asked that his photograph not be taken because he feared for other members of his family. Castillo's aunt proudly held a photograph of her nephew, smiling from a day he spent at Robert Moses beach on Long Island.

Castillo, who had attended Central Islip High School, was 16 when he vanished on Oct. 11, 2016.

"Over four months, every night we were out looking for him thinking maybe we would see him but that did not happen," his father told reporters in Spanish. "I though the police were doing something, but they let too much time pass."

The teen's remains were found more than a year later on Oct. 24 in a marshy area of a waterfront park in Freeport, more than 25 miles (40 kilometers) from his home. Police haven't revealed what led them to the body or when they think he died. He would have turned 17 during the time he was missing.

Castillo's aunt, Maria Lezema, described him as humble. "If people did not mess with him, he would not say anything. He did not bother anyone. He was quiet. He went from school to home."

Three days after Castillo was found, authorities located the remains of Kerin Pineda in thick woods near a large pond several miles away.

Pineda's mother, Lilian Oliva-Santos, told reporters her son was 19 when he vanished in May of 2016. He reportedly was talking with a girl on Facebook who told him to meet her in a wooded area.

"I brought him from Honduras here thinking everything would be better, here, like we would be safe, but I guess it wasn't," she told News12 Long Island.

Soler was 15 when he disappeared on July 31 this year. His body was discovered Oct. 19 in a wooded lot in the hamlet of Roosevelt. Homeland Security officials said they searched there based on a tip. The boy's mother, Suyapa Soler, told Newsday she came from Honduras 11 years ago and had her son join her four years ago to protect him from gang violence in their home city of San Pedro Sula.

On Friday, Nassau County prosecutors quietly arraigned a 26-year-old Wyandanch man, David Sosa-Guevara, on a charge that he and "others not yet arrested" hacked Soler to death with a machete.

In a joint statement, the county district attorney, Madeline Singas, and acting police commissioner, Patrick Ryder, declined to comment further, citing "a sensitive and ongoing investigation."

Authorities have not said whether any of the homicides are linked, although Soler's mother says he was friends with Pineda.

All three are believed to be victims of the MS-13 street gang, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The official could not speak publicly because of the ongoing investigation.

The gang has been blamed for at least 25 killings since January 2016 across a wide swath of Long Island. Earlier this year, both President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited Long Island with promises to help law enforcement stem the violence.

Police are also investigating a number of missing-persons cases involving young Central American men and boys who vanished, though they have balked at saying how many of those cases are believed to involve gang violence.

Suffolk County Assistant Police Commissioner Justin Meyers said the department is currently investigating 112 missing-persons cases involving people between ages 13 and 23 who have disappeared since Jan. 1, 2016. He said experience indicates, though, that a great majority of those cases will turn out to involve runaways or people who have failed to communicate their whereabouts to relatives.


Police: Report of plot against police nets gun, drug arrests

Posted on November 12, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ASBURY PARK, N.J. — Police in New Jersey say an investigation of a reported plot to kill a police officer resulted in the arrests of three people on firearm and drug charges.

Asbury Park police say the probe began after a report that a local gang member had told several people that "he was plotting to kill an Asbury Park police officer."

Authorities searched an Asbury Park home early Friday and arrested two men and a woman on charges of possessing a defaced firearm, unlawfully possessing weapons, and drug possession. The woman also was arrested on two child endangerment counts.

Police reported finding weapons, drugs and cash as well as an $800 bicycle bought "from a drug addict on the streets for $5."

No charges have been filed in connection with the reported plot.


Texas church members gather for 1st time since attack

Posted on November 12, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Claudia Lauer Associated Press

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — Hundreds of people will gather in the tiny town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday to worship with surviving members of a local church where a shooting rampage left more than two dozen people dead.

Members of the First Baptist Church will hold a church service for the first time since a gunman opened fire inside the small church a week earlier in the worst mass shooting in Texas history.

Initial plans called for gathering at a community center could house a few dozen people. But when organizers realized about 500 people were planning to attend, the service was moved outside to a baseball park.

Church representatives also plan to eventually open a public memorial inside the church, where 26 empty chairs have been placed. Authorities have put the official death toll at 26 victims because one of the 25 people killed was pregnant. Church officials have said the building will likely be demolished.

On Saturday, about 100 people gathered outside the town's community center to commemorate Veterans Day and to honor the shooting victims, nearly half of whom had ties to the Air Force.

"Maybe this will start the healing process that will get Sutherland Springs and Wilson County to put this horrific tragedy behind us and look to the future," county Judge Richard Jackson, his voice breaking, told the crowd, which included first responders and law enforcement officers.

Jackson, the county's top administrator, thanked the first responders and others who rushed to First Baptist Church in the aftermath of last Sunday's shooting, which also wounded about 20 people. What they saw there will affect them the rest of their lives, Jackson said.

The gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being shot and chased by two men who heard gunfire from the church. Investigators have said the attack appeared to stem from a domestic dispute involving Kelley and his mother-in-law, who sometimes attended services at the church but wasn't there the day of the shooting.

Kelley had a history of domestic violence: He was given a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force after pleading guilty to assaulting his first wife and stepson.

Sutherland Springs is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of San Antonio and not far from several military posts, including Lackland Air Force Base. The Air Force's chief of staff, Gen. David Goldfein, said 12 of those killed were either members of the Air Force or had family ties to it.

Among them were Scott and Karen Marshall, both 56, who had decided to retire in nearby La Vernia after meeting when they were in the service together more than 30 years ago. On Thursday, a military funeral was held for them at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

On Saturday, two silver hearses carried the bodies another couple, Therese and Richard Rodriguez, to a small cemetery on the edge of Sutherland Springs following a funeral.

Retired Chief Warrant Officer Mike Gonzales, who led Saturday's Veterans Day ceremony, said many veterans choose to live in the San Antonio area because of its deep military ties, and families tend to migrate to the city's surrounding rural areas.

"We come here to enjoy life, to get quiet and to raise our children," he said. "We've been to war zones and seen that tragedy firsthand. Never did we think that tragedy would strike here."

A steady stream of people also visited a makeshift memorial of crosses adorned with flowers, photographs, red hearts and white, purple and pink balloons. Among them was Jackie Lee, who traveled from San Antonio with several friends.

"It was on my heart since it happened," she said. "I needed to come to show the community some support, to show these people some support."


RI police: ‘Grave public safety risk’ led to fatal highway OIS

Posted on November 11, 2017 by in POLICE

By Amanda Milkovits and Jacqueline Tempera The Providence Journal, R.I.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The day after Providence police officers and state troopers shot and killed a pickup truck driver and wounded his passenger after a highway chase, the Providence police explained on Friday how the incident unfolded.

At a news conference, they showed video from highway cameras of the pickup truck, a white Ford F250, veering in and out of traffic and ramming cars in its way. The highway video included the volley of about 40 shots fired by multiple officers and troopers. The police also showed a view from a body camera on one of the Providence officers who fired his gun. The videos were posted on the department's Facebook page later Friday.

The police said the shooting was justified and wanted the public to see what happened. "We, as a department, believe that getting footage out and explaining the circumstances both leading up to and the use of deadly force was important," said Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré.

The police identified the driver who was killed, Joseph J. Santos, 32, and his passenger, Christine Demers, 37, who was critically injured.

The police also identified the five Providence officers who fired a total of 20 shots, though not the state troopers who fired the rest. The police referred questions about the troopers to the state police, who did not come to the news conference at the Providence Public Safety Complex.

"The state police, although partners with us in this, were not prepared to publicly discuss their role," Paré explained.

In response to numerous questions Friday afternoon, the state police still refused to identify troopers or release any information about their actions. "All I can say is the Rhode Island State Police are continuing to work with the Providence Police Department and the office of the attorney general to fully investigate the events of the past 24 hours," state police spokeswoman Laura Meade Kirk said. "This investigation is ongoing, and we will provide further details when they become available."

Gov. Gina Raimondo, speaking Friday to The Journal's podcast "The Insiders," said she had been briefed and it appeared that the shooting was justified.

"As I understand it, the person in the truck was really very violent and was dangerous," Raimondo said. "A car is a weapon, right? And it was assault with a deadly weapon. And so from what I've been briefed on and what I've seen the officers who were there, they saw this guy in the truck ... and he was going out of his way to aggressively ram into pedestrians and other cars, and they had to do what they had to do. The police were in danger, the public was in danger."

At the public safety complex, Providence Police Chief Hugh T. Clements Jr. narrated the highway surveillance video as it played on a screen. "We believe that video shows the acts of the officers as doing exactly what we would want them to do in stopping an imminent and significant threat," he said.

The incident began Thursday morning, about an hour after a handcuffed prisoner drove away in a state police cruiser, leaving the trooper behind. The Providence police found the cruiser, with the trooper's gun inside, abandoned on a street in Elmwood, Clements said.

A tip came in that a man, who may have been handcuffed, was seen trying to get into a white pickup in that area, the chief said, so officers started pulling over white pickups in the area, to no avail.

Then, a radio broadcast came in that a white pickup fled from a Cranston police officer, Clements said. Providence police Sgt. Robert Boehm broadcast on the police radio that he was behind the vehicle, which was getting onto Route 10 north and "clearly trying to elude police at high speed," Clements said.

Video from the state Department of Transportation shows a large white pickup truck speeding up Route 10 north, weaving in and out of traffic, traveling in a breakdown lane, trying to shake Providence police and state police cruisers with flashing lights following close behind.

The video shows more Providence police and state police cruisers joining the pursuit, as the white truck veered across lanes and cut off a tractor-trailer and other vehicles in an effort to escape. The truck faked a move onto Route 95 south and then sped in the breakdown lane heading for the ramp onto Route 95 north.

#BREAKING Body camera video from Providence shooting. Warning: foul language on the audio #wbz pic.twitter.com/Ly0GN1ULDR

— Jim Harrington (@jejharrington) November 10, 2017

Up ahead on the ramp, near the back of Providence Place mall, a Providence officer stopped his cruiser and blocked traffic to prevent the truck from getting onto Route 95.

"These officers believed if he made it onto the highway, there would have been a greater risk to the public," Pare said.

The truck tried to keep going anyway, ramming a small car stopped in front of it and shoving it to the side. An officer helped a woman out of that car, and other Providence police and state troopers who were converging on the truck jumped out of the way, as it smashed back and forth into cars, nearly clipping a trooper trapped between its driver's side and the railing.

The final confrontation came as the truck tried to force its way out. There's a first volley of shots, then they stop, and resume when the truck moves again.

An officer wearing a body camera arrives in time for the second volley of gunfire, and his video shows the chaos and smoke from the truck's spinning tires. The truck's windows are dark, and it's impossible to see anyone inside. The officers and troopers have guns drawn, and they wave each other to put their weapons down when it's clear the truck isn't moving. They swarm over the truck, and one shouts, "Watch the passenger! Watch the passenger!"

Paré said five Providence officers fired shots at the truck: Major Oscar Perez, in charge of the community police division; Sgt. Gregory Paolo; and task force officers Christopher Ziroli, Matthew McGloin and Thomas Zincone.

While the three officers were wearing body-cameras, only McGloin's recorded, Paré said. Zincone forgot to turn his on, and Ziroli's didn't activate because he tapped it once, not twice, the commissioner said.

"We firmly believe in situations like this, it hasn't been on our police officers [long], and there'll be times they'll just forget to put it on," Pare said.

Due to the position of the camera, its view is inadvertently blocked by McGloin's hands when he has his gun drawn.

The incident is still being investigated, and there are many unknown factors, such as why Santos was trying to escape the police. He had two bench warrants on a charge of breaking and entering in Providence and stealing a vehicle in East Providence.

His sister, Justine Santos, told WJAR-TV that he was driving an unregistered vehicle and had a suspended license.

"He was probably nervous that he was going to get pulled over and sent back to jail, so he didn't want to stop, which was the wrong decision on his part, which made it dangerous for other people," she told the TV station. "He was a good person that was scared, and not the person trying to hurt people that they're trying to say he was."

The state medical examiner is performing an autopsy, which may determine whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

On Friday evening, the man who'd stolen the cruiser, 35-year-old Donald Morgan, was caught in Cumberland.

Friday afternoon, the Providence police said Demers had undergone surgery but that her condition was not immediately available.

This is the third officer-involved shooting by Providence police this year, and the first fatal shooting by Providence police since March 2014. The five officers are on administrative duty while the incident is investigated by Providence police, state police and the attorney general's office, as is customary for police shootings in Rhode Island.

The matter will be brought to a grand jury, which will determine whether the officers were justified in their use of force.

"It's always hard when somebody dies, regardless of the circumstances," Paré said. "It is a difficult job being a police officer, and it's really difficult when you have a very heavy vehicle, or any vehicle being used as a weapon. ... Someone very easily could get run over. You could get rammed and seriously injured."

The police said they were confident the officers acted appropriately.

There was a "grave public safety risk," said Deputy Chief Thomas A. Verdi. "The driver of the vehicle posed an immediate deadly threat to others on the road and to police officers."

©2017 The Providence Journal (Providence, R.I.)


Dallas to settle for nearly $62M in police, fire back pay lawsuits

Posted on November 11, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Tristan Hallman The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — The Dallas City Council will vote next week to pay $61 million to settle four of six back pay lawsuits from police officers and firefighters — lawsuits that the mayor says could help bankrupt Dallas if allowed to proceed.

City Attorney Larry Casto said the settlement will be paid using the city's current bonding capacity and will not require voter approval. Some of the financial details still have to be ironed out, but financing it will not require a tax increase.

If approved, the settlement will avert a trial scheduled for Dec. 4 in Collin County. While the remaining two cases risk that the city could still be on the hook for hundreds of millions or more in claims, interest and legal fees, Casto said settling these four significantly reduces the peril.

"It's a wise, prudent fiscal move to remove what could be catastrophic results if we ever did have a jury that sees it the plaintiffs' way," Casto said.

Attempts to reach the plaintiffs' representatives in the cases were not successful Friday.

The cases, initially filed in the 1990s, centered on a 1979 voter referendum that gave police and firefighters raises. The city maintained that the ambiguously worded referendum was meant to be a one-time raise in 1979. Police and firefighters believed the voters had bound the city to maintaining a consistent pay differential between ranks that wasn't paid.

The lawsuits have hung around through years and through numerous mayors and councils. Joe Bob Betzel, a former firefighter who helped kick off the lawsuit, said last month that he was done negotiating with the city until they had a serious offer. The city, he said in an email, had never made any "good faith effort" to negotiate a settlement and could've been done with it years ago, under previous city management, for much less money.

The current group of city leaders recently tried to get out from under the lawsuit by using the state Legislature. First, they hoped to add language to a bill — meant to save the failing Dallas Police and Fire Pension — that would have made the city immune to the lawsuit. But they didn't find support among legislators and largely dropped the issue.

Then, during the last-minute negotiations on the final details of the pension bill in the Senate, city leaders discussed a small increase in the city's sales tax to help pay off a settlement. But that, too, fell flat with lawmakers.

Mayor Mike Rawlings said he doesn't plan to go down the sales-tax route again.

"I don't think we need it. I don't think the Legislature would support it. I don't think it's the right thing to do for the citizens of Dallas," Rawlings said.

But as he continues to bask in this week's voter approval of a $1.05 billion bond package that will help repair some of the city's crumbling streets and buildings and add new parks, Rawlings said the "dark fiscal cloud" that loomed over the city appears to be clearing.

"Now that we've got the pension fund in a place where we can start to turn healthy again and we've taken care of these four cases and the bond election has been passed, I believe the city of Dallas has never been on firmer financial ground," Rawlings said.

But a threat still lurks in Rockwall County, where the other two cases were filed. Rawlings said that if all six cases had been settled at the same rate, taxpayers would be out about $235 million.

Ted Lyon, an attorney in the Rockwall case, said he was aware of the settlement and commended the attorneys. But he hasn't had a chance to talk to his own clients about it yet.

"We haven't really talked to them about it," Lyon said. "Until we do, we won't know where they are in terms of how far we're going to go forward with the city."

Casto and Rawlings said the city will discuss settlements with the lawyers in the Rockwall case, too. But the two said they're confident the city would win in court.

Casto expects that the courts will combine the two class-action claims, leaving the city with one more case to handle. Lyon said the cases probably should be combined. Casto said the trouble with trying multiple cases is that the city only has to lose one of them to be liable for, potentially, billions in back pay. And, he said, the city would give away its game plan in the first trial to the attorneys in the other cases.

Council member Scott Griggs said he's relieved that the case won't be in the hands of a Collin County jury.

"It's a great opportunity," he said. "It's a case that we need to settle."

The settlement is the latest in a series of troublesome issues that Casto has disposed of since he was named City Hall's top lawyer last year. Casto's imprimatur was on the pension deal, the new entity tasked with building a park between the Trinity River levees and a settlement of a multi-million-dollar water rate case against the Sabine River Authority.

Rawlings, who was deposed in the case, said the looming trial and Casto's relationship with the trial attorneys helped them reach a resolution. The case nearly went to trial in August 2016 and again in May.

Casto credited the mayor and the council, saying they have "a mind-set that the sun comes up tomorrow if you tackle these hard issues."

"A lot has happened in this past year," he said. "Once you figure out, hey, you survive tackling hard issues, let's go do another one."

Sam Friar, a retired firefighter who is one of dozens of plaintiffs in the cases, was surprised to hear about the settlement. Friar was the pension board chairman during the negotiations in Austin. Although his focus was on the pension, he saw how far apart the sides had seemed on the issue.

"I never thought this would happen," he said.

Casto, who started with the city as a lobbyist in 1992, said the referendum settlement was "an excellent deal for both sides" and helps the plaintiffs get money within a few months and avoid an uncertain outcome and years of appeals.

"I really don't remember a time when the city was not struggling with this issue," Casto said. "It's nice to feel we're on a path to find a resolution."

©2017 The Dallas Morning News


Calif. first responders to receive hep A vaccines after cop is sickened

Posted on November 11, 2017 by in POLICE

By Susan Abram Daily News

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County leaders have approved an effort to look into providing law enforcement and other first responders with access to free hepatitis A vaccines, after the LAPD's union reported an officer was sickened with the liver disease while working in downtown's skid row.

The motion, authored by supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn, was introduced and approved Tuesday, nearly a week after a spokesman from the Los Angeles Police Protective League made an urgent call for vaccines for 1,000 officers after the officer contracted the virus.

The union represents some 9,800 Los Angeles Police Department officers up to the rank of lieutenant.

The board directed the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to work with the LAPD, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles County Fire, and other law enforcement and fire agencies "to ensure that first responders who are most at-risk of being exposed to Hepatitis A have access to vaccinations."

Public health officials were instructed to return to the board in 14 days with a report on availability and resources.

"We applaud the swift action taken by the Board of Supervisors to protect Los Angeles police officers and other first responders by providing the Hepatitis A vaccination," according to a statement from the LAPPL. "We appreciate the leadership of Supervisor Hahn and Supervisor Barger for immediately understanding the significance of this public health issue and for acting on our plea for help on behalf of our members."

Much of the vaccination outreach efforts in Los Angeles have been focused on homeless people who live in encampments. Health officials are concerned that, because of an outbreak among homeless people in encampments in San Diego and Santa Cruz counties, the disease will spread in Los Angeles.

As of Monday, there were 29 reported cases of hepatitis A, 15 of them among homeless people who use drugs.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease with symptoms that include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain and a yellowing of the skin or eyes or jaundice. It is spread person-to-person through close contact or through contact with environments contaminated with feces.

Copyright 2017 Daily News


Experts clarify possibility of overdosing from fentanyl on shopping carts

Posted on November 11, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LEACHVILLE, Ark. — After a police department warned Facebook users about the dangers of overdosing on fentanyl left behind on shopping carts, experts quickly negated the claims.

CBS News reported that a Facebook post by the Leachville Police Department warned grocery shoppers to wipe down their carts, or they face danger of overdosing on fentanyl left behind on the handle.

The post, which has since been deleted, read:

"You know when you go to Wal-Mart and they have the wipes to clean your cart handle? How many of you don't use them? Well I do and I always thought of the germs only. Was told today that the police chief also suggests you do it because of all the problems with drugs nowadays and if they have fentanyl or something like that still on their hands and they touch that cart handle and then you do, it can get into your system. Scary, but worth taking the time to clean the handle. All you'd have to do is rub your nose or touch your child's mouth. I never even considered this possibility. Children being exposed to just the powder or residue is a bad situation that can turn deadly."

Experts were quick to weigh in. Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery founder Chad Sabora said the chances of overdosing from shopping cart residue is “completely impossible.”

"It's just like comparing the HIV epidemic in the 80s when people claimed you could get AIDS from sitting on the toilet," Sabora said. "This is dangerous to opiate users. Like touching them can kill you? It's not true."

Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center medical director Dr. Christopher Hoyte said that while he can’t call the situation “impossible,” it is “very improbable.”

"I never say never, but it is highly, highly, highly, unlikely someone could become that systemically ill just from having fentanyl touch their skin," Hoyte said. "It's not absorbed just touching it. I will say if they touched it and then rubbed their nose and breathed it in through that way that would be a possibility.”

The police department originally linked its claims to the DEA’s first responder guidelines for fentanyl encounters, but the DEA emphasized that the manual was not meant for the public.

The department issued an apology on Facebook.

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The post about the fentanyl was sent so me from another officer at another Department. I simply shared it. I’m should have checked into it further before I posted it. Sorry for the confusion

Posted by Leachville Police Department on Thursday, November 9, 2017


Mont. drivers get turkeys instead of traffic tickets

Posted on November 11, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. — Some Montana drivers got Thanksgiving turkeys instead of tickets when they were pulled over by traffic officers.

The Billings Gazette reports that officers with the Billings Police Department checked for outstanding warrants Wednesday after pulling over drivers for traffic violations.

If they found none, they issued a written warning and a frozen turkey.

Police in Montana town issue Thanksgiving turkeys instead of tickets for minor traffic violations. "It's been a very positive thing for the community." https://t.co/MqosSbEmNQ pic.twitter.com/34yl9GHsEp

— ABC News (@ABC) November 11, 2017

Businessman Steve Gountanis bought the 20 turkeys and asked the department to distribute them in time for the holiday.

Driver Larry Riddle appreciated the surprise after he was pulled over for not signaling a turn.

Riddle's wife died of cancer and he lives alone on a limited budget. Each year, he tries to make a holiday meal for his daughter and himself.


6 things to know about the Glock Gen5 G17

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Sean Curtis

In late August I covered the introduction of two new Glocks from the Gen5 line, the G17 and G19. I wanted to spend more than a casual weekend with the weapon for an in-depth review, so Glock kindly sent me a G17 for that purpose. I have spent over a month with the G17 and the results are outstanding.

First impressions of the Glock G17

While the new G17 looks largely the same, there are some notable differences.

The finger grooves are gone from the grip and the muzzle is beveled down. In addition, there is a new slide stop on the right side of the weapon. This does not automatically make the Glock fully ambidextrous, but by switching the mag release over to the right side, which is a carryover feature from Gen4, it can be.

Finally, the new Glock is über black. Gone is the nitride finish of old in exchange for a new coating called nDLC, which is supposed to be even tougher than the previous iteration. The accessory rail, sights and backstrap system all hail from previous generations.

Testing of the Glock G17

I’ve learned that Glocks need a break-in period of several hundred rounds before you make any judgements. It’s similar to working with a new partner – you don’t know if you’re going to like them until you see them perform under stress. I stressed this gun, enlisting the help of several of my fellow firearms instructors and students to help me in this endeavor. It did not fail. Not once, after close to 1,000 rounds.

This is no surprise for those familiar with Glocks; however, running various types of ammunition from different shooters through different drills, I began to notice some trends:

1. Trigger is smoother People love the trigger. The internals have been changed here and there, but the serviceable portion of that knowledge is the trigger is smoother. The transition from trigger reset to follow-up shot is a little quicker. With practice, this levelled out for me and I was able to not only get used to it, but take advantage of it.

2. Flat shot I could not believe how flat the G17 shot even compared to the Gen4 I carry on duty. Muzzle flip is the enemy of anyone who vies for accuracy from multiple rounds. After you pull the trigger, you have to contend with recoil. It tends to throw your sights off and you have to spend time establishing sight alignment and sight picture again. This Gen5 G17 shoots flatter than any production pistol I have ever shot before. Follow-up shots were quick and authoritative. Even running the gun hard, I was able to dump rounds downrange without the typical spread I would expect in my shot group. Instead of a shotgun blast pattern, a large, ragged hole began to form. Other shooters noticed the same thing and were impressed.

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3. Ambi-slide stop lever I don’t care about the ambi-slide stop lever. I don’t utilize a technique that involves it, and I don’t teach people to use one, whatever side it’s on. But I applaud Glock for evolving their product and realizing that law enforcement isn’t their only market. The finger grooves on the grip never bothered me, but many people are happy with their demise. I did have people who use rigid holsters (Kydex, plastic) report the tapered muzzle helped with re-holstering.

4. Flared magwell Some other observations from multiple shooters related to newer features of the Gen5. The magwell is amazing. If you’ve ever been on the fence about whether a flared magwell is worth looking into, let me assure you, it is. It is surprisingly subtle. It’s not like you’re driving a motorcycle into an airplane hangar, but the difference is definitely noticeable. 5. Quicker reloads Reloads are quicker and more solid. A drawback of Glocks, if you run your mags full, is potentially not having the magazine fully seat during a reload. This results in the magazine falling out when you pull the trigger instead of the bang you were hoping for. The flared magwell helps ensure good lockup when you ram that magazine home.

6. Orange follower Another appreciated upgrade is the orange follower in the magazines. These clearly identify an empty mag through the chamber like never before. Additionally, they are visible in the round count “window” in the back of the magazine.

The sights are traditional Glock, they are functional.

Total package

Between seven shooters and five different types of ammunition, the Gen5 G17 had no failures whatsoever. I did not clean the weapon between range days. Accuracy is said to improve with newer rifling in the barrel, but I did not test this specifically. I attributed much of my control to the improved trigger, but my groups were tighter. A co-worker who shot the new model went out and bought a G19 afterwards. He appreciated the fact that Glock Blue Label was available and kept his cost well below $500.

This weapon is ideal for any police officer on the street, particularly because of the 9mm caliber and adjustable grip size. With a total carry package of 52 rounds and at such a light weight (32.12 oz. loaded), the G17 can serve a whole department. With 9mm’s recently improved ballistics and controllable recoil, anyone can shoot the pistol effectively.

Glock Gen5 G17 Specifications Manufacturer/Model: GLOCK Gen 5 G17 Caliber: 9mm Action Type: semi-auto Barrel: 4.49” Magazine: 17 round Sights: stock Glock Weight: 22.26 oz. (unloaded) Overall Length: 7.95” MSRP: $599.99, Blue Label $398.20

Video shows Ill. officer fatally shoot man who pinned him against cruiser

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — Recently released dash cam footage shows an officer fatally shooting a suspect who pinned the officer against his police vehicle.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Juan Flores, 19, backed an SUV into Officer Jesse Oeinck, who then opened fire and killed the suspect. On Sept. 10, police received a call from Flores that his girlfriend’s father took the keys to his SUV.

Upon arriving at the scene, officers were informed by the girlfriend’s father that Flores was drunk and shouldn’t drive. When Flores was searching a backyard for his keys, another person emerged with them and said they were inside his SUV the whole time. An emotional Flores got into the SUV and fled as the officer ordered him to stop.

Oeinck pursued Flores, who then backed his SUV into the officer and pinned him against the hood of his cruiser. That’s when Oeinck fired five rounds at Flores, who died at the scene.

Oeinck sustained serious injuries and was taken to the hospital. A police lieutenant said the officer acted within department guidelines.


Video shows Ill. officer fatally shoot man who pinned him against cruiser

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — Recently released dash cam footage shows an officer fatally shooting a suspect who pinned the officer against his police vehicle.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Juan Flores, 19, backed an SUV into Officer Jesse Oeinck, who then opened fire and killed the suspect. On Sept. 10, police received a call from Flores that his girlfriend’s father took the keys to his SUV.

Upon arriving at the scene, officers were informed by the girlfriend’s father that Flores was drunk and shouldn’t drive. When Flores was searching a backyard for his keys, another person emerged with them and said they were inside his SUV the whole time. An emotional Flores got into the SUV and fled as the officer ordered him to stop.

Oeinck pursued Flores, who then backed his SUV into the officer and pinned him against the hood of his cruiser. That’s when Oeinck fired five rounds at Flores, who died at the scene.

Oeinck sustained serious injuries and was taken to the hospital. A police lieutenant said the officer acted within department guidelines.


Wash. officer alleges he was denied promotion over pink shoes

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

PIERCE CO., Wash. — A Washington police officer who uncovered a theft from the memorial fund for the families of four slain officers claims that he can’t get promoted because of pink shoes he wore to work.

KIRO 7 reports that Officer Jeremy Vahle filed a lawsuit against the city of Lakewood over the issue. The suit alleges that Chief Mike Zaro misused civil-service rules to deny the officer’s promotion to sergeant in part because of the pink shoes he wore to work.

Vahle wore the shoes while negotiating a uniform allowance to cover the costs of work boots. It was a protected act during bargaining negotiations, Vahle’s attorney said.

The suit alleges that Vahle was passed over for promotion by people who were ranked lower than him on the civil service list. City code requires the top three people on each list should be considered for the promotion.

In 2012, Vahle, a 13-year officer, disclosed a former officer’s theft of $112,000 from the memorial fund set up for the families of four cops who were killed at a coffee shop in 2009. Vahle claims he has been retaliated against for blowing the whistle in that case..

A city spokeswoman said that the city “stands behind its sergeant-selection process and the resulting promotions” and didn’t provide any further comment.


La. deputy injured in Baton Rouge ambush may lose insurance

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

GALVESTON, Texas — A Louisiana deputy who’s recovering after being shot and almost killed in the line of duty may find himself being forced to leave rehab by his insurance company.

KHOU reports that Cpl. Nick Tullier, 41, was one of the officers injured when a gunman ambushed and killed three cops last July. Tullier was shot in the head, shoulder and abdomen but managed to survive.

Tullier was moved to a Houston rehabilitation center to recover, where his rehab has been coming along slowly. Two weeks ago, his insurance company moved him to a less costly location in Galveston. But Tullier’s family said they received a call from the insurance company saying they’re going to stop paying for his stay at the facility.

“Within the week we get a call from insurance, 'Oh, Nick has reached his goals now, and y’all need to move him into outpatient,'” James Tullier, Nick’s father, said. “We’re going to stop paying for him to be in any facility. Well, we wanted to know who came up with this list of goals.”

Tullier’s parents lost their home to a flood and moved into an RV close to him, making finding a location for Tullier’s outpatient care difficult. He has another week before he has to move.

Tullier’s parents will soon have a new, handicapped-accessible house, which was a gift from a Houston officer, who also survived from being shot, and his wife.


La. deputy injured in Baton Rouge ambush may lose insurance for rehab

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Sean Curtis

By PoliceOne Staff

GALVESTON, Texas — A Louisiana deputy who’s recovering after being shot and almost killed in the line of duty may find himself being forced to leave rehab by his insurance company.

KHOU reports that Cpl. Nick Tullier, 41, was one of the officers injured when a gunman ambushed and killed three cops last July. Tullier was shot in the head, shoulder and abdomen but managed to survive.

Tullier was moved to a Houston rehabilitation center to recover, where his rehab has been coming along slowly. Two weeks ago, his insurance company moved him to a less costly location in Galveston, where the family says Tullier is supposed to be for six months. But Tullier’s family said they received a call from the insurance company saying they’re going to stop paying for his stay at the facility.

“Within the week we get a call from insurance, 'Oh, Nick has reached his goals now, and y’all need to move him into outpatient,'” James Tullier, Nick’s father, said. “We’re going to stop paying for him to be in any facility. Well, we wanted to know who came up with this list of goals.”

Tullier’s parents lost their home to a flood and moved into an RV close to him, making finding a location for Tullier’s outpatient care difficult. He has another week before he has to move.

Tullier’s parents will soon have a new, handicapped-accessible house for Tullier to stay in, which was a gift from a Houston officer, who also survived from being shot.

UPDATE:

EBRSO Sheriff Sid Gautreaux released a letter addressing the agency's policy and the lengths they have gone to take care of Tullier as he continues his recovery. You can read it in full below.

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Peelian principles of policing: Building public cooperation and reducing force

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

Tim Barfield
Author: Tim Barfield

In my first article in this series, I laid out the foundations of Sir Robert Peel’s principles of policing. My second article reviewed the importance of building community relationships. The third article looked at how gaining public respect is the key to successful policing. The fourth of Peel’s nine principles focuses on how to build public cooperation and reduce force.

We are currently going through a tumultuous time in law enforcement and part of this relates to how technology enables the public to view police officer use of force.

My wife and I were discussing a recent video posted online of such an incident. She told me she winced as she observed the police officer trying to bring a suspect into compliance. Her reaction is important because she has watched many videos and we often discuss use-of-force incidents. I would certainly categorize her as a police supporter, but use of force is hard to watch even for a police officer or police supporter, so you can imagine how the general public views recordings of such incidents.

In his fourth principle, “The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force,” Sir Robert Peel understood that the public would react negatively to viewing these types of incidents.

We have three choices in dealing with the current problem:

1. We can do nothing.

With each use-of-force video that gets posted online, we are rocked with more protest and less cooperation from the people we serve. This started out as a big city problem, but now permeates small towns and rural locations. There is a bigger probability you will be recorded during a citizen encounter than helped by the public. Nothing sounds like a bad choice.

2. We can blame the media.

Although I think most of us would appreciate a fair perspective presented by the media or at least a full viewing of an incident, Peel was correct almost 200 years ago when he said that the public does not understand use of force and sees it as bullying. Think about any scene you have been on when the media arrives, what do we all do? We cover our faces and make ourselves scarce. The administration regularly circles the wagons and makes the usual “no comment” statement. The media is left to fill in the blanks with what little we offer.

3. We can accept responsibility and address issues.

Many police officers and administrators don’t understand use of force, so how can we expect the public to comprehend why it is deployed? Unless you have tried to arrest a 15-year-old, 90-pound girl who does not want to comply, and tried to get her arms behind her back without breaking them or using strikes to gain submission, you will never know how difficult it is to gain compliance from someone who does not want to go. There is no secret police technique. As stated before, all use of force looks bad.

The time to build relationships with the public and the media is before an incident happens. Police departments should use citizen police academies or public meetings to explain use of force and field questions from the public. The more we de-mystify what we do, the stronger our bonds with the public.

Using social media to relay information and interact with the public is another great tool.

We need to make ourselves available to the public and the media. Even the unintentional “us versus them” environment helps to create walls that need to come down.

Personally, I have made myself available to the media and regularly return phone calls. I take the time to explain things even when I don’t have time, in the hope of getting the “benefit of the doubt” should that day come.

We should encourage people to submit to arrest, even if they think it is unlawful, but make the complaint procedure as open and educational as possible so we can attempt to decrease these incendiary videos and stories.

We are not to blame for the choices others make, but we are responsible to make connections and build trust in our communities. This will enable us to be partners instead of adversaries, and help keep our communities safer.


Man covered in gasoline catches fire after cop deploys TASER

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By Robert Medley and Josh Wallace The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City

LINDSAY, Okla. — A man died Tuesday evening after dousing himself and the inside of his van in gasoline and then being struck by a police officer's Taser, the McClain County Sheriff's Department reported.

The man had been reported as missing by Norman police and was reportedly suicidal, said McClain County Sheriff Don Hewett. Two Lindsay police officers located the man about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday inside a parked van at 100th Street and Council Avenue, about 2 miles northwest of Lindsay.

Lindsay city manager Stephen Mills said the officers were responding to a report of a man who was acting erratic with a gun when they found him sitting inside a van with a container of gasoline.

Mills said the officers ordered the man out of the van and he got out with a lighter in his hand.

Officers saw the gasoline but said he did not smell any gasoline on the man and did not see the man pour it inside the van, Mills said.

As the man disobeyed the officers' commands to get away from the van, he turned to get back inside the van, Mills said. The officer fired the Taser, igniting the gasoline. The man climbed back into the van, where the flames ignited the gasoline already poured inside the van. The van was quickly engulfed in flames, and one officer's jacket caught fire during the blaze.

Lindsay firefighters responded to extinguish the blaze.

Mills said he didn't think the officer violated any training in the use of a Taser, which can ignite any flammable liquid or fumes present. The officer believed the risk of the man getting back into the van with gasoline and a lighter was greater than firing the Taser, Mills said. Officers have not released the name of the man, who died at the scene.

Hewett said the fire burned the man beyond recognition.

The Lindsay officer who fired the Taser, whose name has not been released, suffered minor burn injuries and was treated and released at a Lindsay emergency room clinic, Hewett said.

Mills said both officers have been placed on routine paid leave pending an outcome of the investigation into the incident.

Hewett said Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents are assisting in the investigation into the death.

Manufacturer's warning

Taser manufacturer Axon specifically warns against the use of a Taser or conducted electrical weapon, also known as a CEW, when gasoline or other flammable liquids or vapor is present.

“CEW use can result in a fire or explosion when flammable gases, fumes, vapors, liquids, or materials are present. Use of a CEW in presence of fire or explosion hazard could result in death or serious injury. When possible, avoid using a CEW in known flammable hazard conditions,” according to Axon.

A number of people have been injured or killed in recent years following Taser use by law enforcement where gasoline or other flammable liquids were present.

On July 10, an Arlington, Texas, man who had doused himself with gasoline caught fire after an officer fired a Taser at him. Four days later, Gabriel Olivas, 39, died at a hospital, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Arlington police spokeswoman Sgt. Vanessa Harrison told the paper they were aware of the risk of using a “stun gun” near gasoline, but said Olivas was “very frantic and erratic and became a danger to everyone in the room.”

Also in July, a Manitowoc, Wisconsin, man’s beard and chest hair caught fire after police were attempting to arrest him and a Taser probe reportedly struck a lighter he was holding.

In February 2015, a Virginia man led police on a pursuit and ultimately crashed his car, which led to his clothes being soaked in gasoline.

Authorities said Miles November was being combative as they pulled him from the wreckage and a Taser was deployed and November caught fire, which led to burns over 80 percent of his body.

In 2007, Juan Flores Lopez, 47, died after catching fire after a San Angelo, Texas, police officer deployed a Taser. Police said that Lopez had poured gasoline over himself and the Taser was used after pepper spray was ineffective.

Lopez later died at a hospital.

©2017 The Oklahoman


Police investigations: The connection between domestic violence and animal cruelty

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Randall Lockwood, P1 Contributor

In 2016, New York Police Department (NYPD) police officers brought a small, deceased dog to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Hospital for evaluation by forensic veterinarians. The dog had allegedly been killed by her owner’s boyfriend in a dispute over who should walk the dog.

ASPCA veterinarians documented extensive injuries to the dog’s head, chest, abdomen and back resulting from a single strong impact. The medical evidence led to charges of felony animal cruelty, robbery, grand larceny, criminal mischief and endangering the welfare of a child. The suspect pled guilty to all charges and received 60 days in jail and four years of probation.

As part of the partnership between the ASPCA and the NYPD, veterinarians regularly examine and document injuries to animals that have been hurt or killed in connection with acts of domestic violence.

The above case was just one of more than 65 cases of animal cruelty related to domestic violence reports the ASPCA has helped document in the last three years. These have involved 78 animals, 25 of which were deceased. The abusers were most often significant others (60 percent) or spouses (22 percent), with the remainder being non-intimate familial relations or roommates.

Research reveals connection between domestic violence and animal abuse

Dozens of studies over the last decade have shown a strong connection between domestic violence and companion animal abuse.

Many victims have animals they or their children are strongly attached to and frequently describe them as members of the family.

Interviews with victims seeking shelter from domestic violence consistently show that more than half have experienced threats or actual harm to their animals committed by a partner. In addition, at least one-fourth have delayed leaving an abusive environment out of fear of what would happen to animals they might have to leave behind.

Cases involve abuser seeking power and control

Why is this connection so widespread? Domestic violence and animal cruelty both frequently involve an abuser seeking power and control.

Most victims report that pets were abused to control them or their children, maintain an atmosphere of fear, and isolate them or punish them for attempts to be independent or leave the relationship. Other victims attribute harming animals to the abuser’s jealousy at not being the sole focus of attention in the home.

Law enforcement officers should be alert to the seriousness of threats or harm to companion animals in the context of domestic violence. Killing or injuring an animal in front of a child to threaten or intimidate someone can be considered a serious offense, in addition to any animal cruelty charges. When responding to a call regarding domestic violence, police officers should ask if there are any pets in the home and make note of any animals with signs of injury.

ASPCA offers resources, training

The ASPCA provides resources on this connection; offers trainings on the subject for law enforcement, social service professionals, veterinarians and others; and has helped establish safety net programs in communities across the country that provide alternatives to those who may otherwise surrender their pets to animal shelters.

The ASPCA has also provided grant funding and ongoing support and services for Urban Resource Institute’s PALS (People and Animals Living Safely) program, New York City’s first-ever initiative to shelter domestic violence victims with their pets.

Through its Animal Hospital, the ASPCA provides services including medical exams, vaccinations, behavioral support, spay and neuter surgery, and temporary fostering for pets residing in domestic violence shelters.

Police departments can access tools to help form local community task forces to address the links between animal cruelty and many forms of interpersonal violence.

In addition, the ASPCA supports the National Link Coalition, which provides up-to-date information on research, legislation and trainings on these connections.

Animals are part of the family in the majority of American households and often animal cruelty is a form of family violence. Being aware of and responding to such abuse can help save people and animals from harm.


About the author Randall Lockwood is ASPCA Senior Vice President of Forensic Sciences.


NC chief: Social media, high-profile shootings make hiring officers harder

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jane Wester The Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has made progress this year toward filling its ranks – but there’s still a long way to go.

It’s harder to recruit new officers than it was even two years ago, CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said. Police conduct is scrutinized on social media, and officer-involved shootings in Charlotte and elsewhere have attracted protests.

“We’ve been struggling,” Putney said. “Since last year, in the area of diversity, which is what we really were making some headway in, we’ve seen almost a 60 percent reduction in our ability to attract African-Americans in particular.”

CMPD recruiters have tried reaching out to veterans and various other specific groups, but on Nov. 1, the department launched a push to recruit a different group: police officers employed elsewhere, who might be interested in moving to Charlotte.

Putney said the department has enough flexibility in its budget to pay these officers based on their experience in other departments, along with extra money if they’ll live inside CMPD’s service area or if they speak Spanish. The final cost will depend on how many officers are involved – the goal is to hire 60 of these transfers at a minimum, CMPD said.

In June 2016, City Council approved Putney’s request to add more than 60 new officers across several police academy classes. The department currently has about 150 vacancies and 70 officers in training, Putney said. That’s a decrease from 200 vacancies at the start of 2017.

Officers have been working overtime to fill the gaps, which costs money, takes officers away from their families and is hard on their bodies, Putney said.

Hiring officers from other departments has advantages, Putney said – they require less training and their past performance can be carefully screened, for example.

The transfers will go through four to six weeks of training when they reach Charlotte, including sessions on implicit bias and other community issues, Putney said.

“They don’t get exempted from any of that training, because that training establishes a culture,” Putney said.

Hiring more experienced officers will help CMPD through the next few years, when the retirement rate is expected to be higher than average. Officers who joined the department through grant programs in the early 1990s will soon finish their 30 years of service and retire.

Some current CMPD officers transferred from other departments, but now CMPD is getting the word out that they’re focusing on these hires, the department said.

Officer Shaun Ward, who transferred from Asheville three years ago, said he was drawn to CMPD’s eagerness to think outside the box.

©2017 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)


Dallas police chief overhauls vice unit, reassigns 20 officers

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Naheed Rajwani The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — In her first major move as Dallas police chief, U. Renee Hall on Thursday temporarily dismantled the department's vice unit after discovering "serious issues" and reassigned its 20 officers.

The chief has not publicly detailed what led to her decision to overhaul the unit that oversees prostitution and gambling investigations.

"There are some serious issues that need to be addressed because there are more questions than answers following my initial assessment," she said at a news conference Thursday evening.

The vice unit's specialized officers will be reassigned to five other "critical enforcement" areas, such as domestic violence and robberies.

New investigations that the vice unit would typically handle will fall to patrol officers and other units, Hall said. It is unclear what will happen to open cases.

"We are responsible to the residents of this community," she said. "Service is first. Accountability is important, and we have to operate within the highest level of integrity."

The chief said it would be unfair to blame anyone for the vice unit's issues, adding that it's too early to say whether anyone will face disciplinary action. Hall has hired members of the International Association of Chiefs of Police to conduct an impartial analysis of the vice unit and help remedy its problems.

Dallas City Council Member Adam McGough, who chairs the public safety and criminal justice committee, said that like the chief, he doesn't want to jump to conclusions about the vice unit.

"I'm going to wait and let the facts come out," said McGough, adding that he supports Hall's plans to re-evaluate and restructure the department.

Dallas Police Association President Michael Mata also declined to speculate about what the chief found during her initial review.

"The men and women of the vice unit are of the highest integrity, and they have set the standard in dealing with vice offenses and investigations in North Texas," Mata said.

Hall, who joined the force in September, is conducting a top-to-bottom review of the Police Department. Beyond the vice changes, additional shakeups are expected in the coming weeks, including a new organization structure and leadership staff.

Her command staff is likely to shrink — a move that could result in demotions.

Hall's predecessor, Chief David Brown, had nine assistant chiefs and more than a dozen deputy chiefs at one point last year. The police associations often criticized his large command staff, calling it inefficient and unnecessary.

A draft copy of Hall's organizational chart shows three assistant chiefs and seven deputy chiefs.

The department currently has seven patrol divisions, but that could change, too. Hall's chart divides the city into four patrol divisions: central, west, east and south. Some of those divisions would be broken into smaller patrol areas.

©2017 The Dallas Morning News


Man accused of murdering NYPD officer found guilty

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Chau Lam Newsday

NEW YORK — A jury convicted a Queens man Thursday of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Brian Moore, an NYPD officer from Long Island.

The Queens district attorney’s office said the jury deliberated for two hours over two days before convicting Demetrius Blackwell in the death of Moore, 25, of Plainedge, who died two days after he was shot in the head on May 2, 2015.

The panel of five men and seven women also found Blackwell, 37, guilty of first-degree attempted murder for shooting at Moore’s partner, Officer Erik Jansen, who was not hurt, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Blackwell faces a maximum of life in prison without parole. Sentencing is set for Dec. 12.

Many of Moore’s brothers and sisters in blue packed the courtroom as the verdict was read, while a group of court officers stood around Blackwell.

Moore’s father, Raymond Moore, a retired NYPD detective sergeant, nodded his head in approval as the first-degree murder verdict was announced.

Blackwell said, “I love you,” to someone in the courtroom as a court officer escorted him out.

During the trial, Queens prosecutors said Moore was shot after he and Jansen, who were working in the anti-crime unit, became suspicious of Blackwell when they spotted him walking on a Queens Village street.

The plainclothes officers followed Blackwell briefly in their unmarked car, then pulled up to him. Moore identified himself as a police officer and showed his badge, which was hanging around his neck, according to Jansen. Jansen testified that Moore asked Blackwell if he “got something” on him.

Jansen told jurors that Blackwell responded: “Yeah. I got something.”

Within seconds, the officer said, Blackwell pulled out a handgun and fired at Moore twice, striking him once in the head. The second bullet hit the police car and a fragment of the bullet struck Moore in the face. Jansen said a third round was fired at him, but missed him.

After the verdict, Moore’s parents spoke at a news conference on the courthouse steps.

“At the end of the day I did lose my son,” said his mother, Irene Moore. “At the end of the day there was justice done for Brian’s killing, but it is a hole, and it is a void that will never, ever be filled. And, I hope that this never happens to anyone else.”

Raymond Moore called the outcome “a good verdict,” but added: “Brian is still not going to be there in my house when I get home.”

The grieving father said if he could speak to Blackwell, he’d use the same phrase that Blackwell reportedly said to his son before firing the fatal shot.

“I’d like to walk up to him and tell him, ‘Yeah. I got something’ for you, and put two bullets in his head,” he said.

Blackwell’s attorney, David Bart of Flushing, had told jurors that his client was paranoid and was not in control of his actions at the time of the shooting. The jury had considered whether Blackwell was acting under extreme emotional distress at the time of the shooting, but rejected that defense.

Queens Executive Assistant District Attorney Daniel Saunders said the case was complicated and included dense testimony, but judging from the speed of the verdict, he said, jurors understood it.

“Their resounding verdict, and embracing the testimony, especially of the surviving partner, Jansen, sends a message, I hope, that there are severe consequences to the murder of a New York City police officer,” Saunders said. “And hopefully every police officer in the city of New York is a little safer by virtue of their verdict today.”

©2017 Newsday


Tenn. trooper saves motorist impaled by deer antler after crash

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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Staff Report Chattanooga Times/Free Press, Tenn.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper sent to the scene of a Nashville area car crash is credited with saving the life of a driver whose neck was punctured by an antler of a deer that went through her windshield.

When Trooper Russell Bernard arrived at the scene, the driver of the crashed car was bleeding heavily from a large puncture wound in her neck, according to a news release from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Bernard applied pressure to the wound until emergency medical services personnel arrived.

The deer had been hit by another vehicle and thrown through the victim's windshield. Its antlers also punctured the driver's seat, according to the release.

"I commend Trooper Bernard for taking swift action to save the life of the injured driver," THP Colonel Tracy Trott said. "Trooper Bernard was able to apply his cadet training and respond quickly using the proper technique and protocol. I am proud of the work we do every day to save lives on our Tennessee roadways."

The driver, who had a torn artery, was taken by EMS personnel to a Dickson, Tenn., hospital and later flown to Skyline Hospital in Nashville for emergency surgery, the release states.

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


Survey: How are police agencies training cops on the use of body cameras?

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

Results from a recent PoliceOne survey indicate that two in three police officers found the training they received on the use and deployment of body-worn cameras to be insufficient. Additionally, nearly 84% of those who took the survey said they only received zero to two hours of training on the use of their BWC. How much initial and ongoing training should departments conduct to adequately equip law enforcement to police in the video age? We want you to weigh in on these issues in this quick survey.


Off-duty Mich. officer dies from medical condition

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DETROIT — A Detroit police officer has died after suffering from a medical condition Friday morning.

WXYZ reports that the officer, who was off-duty at the time, was rushed to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The officer’s identity and details about his medical condition are unknown at this time.

The officer’s colleagues have been visiting the hospital to pay their respects. The LEO has been with the Detroit Police Department for more than 15 years.

Additional details have not been released at this time.


Policing Matters Podcast: An update on active shooter incidents

Posted on November 10, 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

In Sutherland Springs, Texas, 26 people were killed at a small church. The killer was reportedly neutralized by an armed citizen who shot the subject as he fled in his vehicle. Of course we also recall the recent tragedy in Las Vegas that left 59 dead and hundreds injured at an outdoor concert. After events like the slaughter of 20 children between six and seven years old in Newtown, Connecticut, an inevitable debate about guns in America ensues. In this podcast segment, Jim and Doug discuss mental illness, gun control, and other topics tied to recent active shooter incidents.


P1 Photo of the Week: View from above

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

This stunning photo of a cruiser patrolling the roads during a misty sunrise comes from Officer James McGraw of the Weston (Conn.) Police Department. Clear evidence that fall is the best season!

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!


Ky. man tells officer ‘I have something for you,’ jabs him with sword

Posted on November 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Mike Stunson Lexington Herald-Leader

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A sword was the weapon of choice for a Louisville man who is charged with attacking a police officer Wednesday, according to court records.

An officer from Louisville Metro Police responded to a disturbance about 3 a.m., and when the officer knocked on the door, Kenneth Smith began yelling at him, according to the police report.

Smith, 41, allegedly asked the officer if he wanted to die and told him, “I’ve got something for you,” according to court records.

When the officer opened the door, Smith “jabbed” him with a 3-foot sword on the arm, according to the police report.

The officer ordered Smith to get on the ground, according to the report. Smith dropped the sword but refused to cooperate, and police then arrested him, according to the police report.

Smith’s daughter told police that he had been yelling at their dog and drinking alcohol, according to court records.

Smith was charged with wanton endangerment of a police officer and terroristic threatening. He is in the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections.

©2017 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)


Kan. man with cancer fulfills dream of becoming a police officer

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

By Stan Finger The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA, Kan. — Caleb Moraine has wanted to be a police officer since he was 10 years old.

When that moment arrived Wednesday, shortly after he turned 20, he stiffened his back so the badge could be pinned to his uniform.

And then he rose out of his wheelchair, ignoring the cancer that has dogged him relentlessly for five years, stood at attention, raised his right hand and repeated the oath new officers take as best he could, his voice barely above a whisper.

The crowd packed into the Evergreen Recreation Center in north Wichita applauded loudly, many dabbing away tears, as Caleb accepted handshakes, his parents and older brothers looking on with pride.

“It’s been a long road, a long battle for Caleb,” his mother, Renee, said. “To see him standing here today…”

Her voice broke.

As he was growing up, Caleb enjoyed lifting weights with his father, Mark, who at one point was one of the best power lifters in the state. But his legs began bothering him, so much so that Renee took him to see doctors.

“Doctors kept telling Renee the pains in his legs were growing pains,” said his aunt, Christina Collins, who took turns taking photos and wiping away tears of joy during the ceremony.

The cancer was finally discovered when he was 16. He’s had serious surgeries – including one to remove a large portion of his skull – and grueling chemotherapy regimens, but he’s remained upbeat.

Two weeks ago, the family learned the cancer is continuing to grow and chemotherapy isn’t working. That gave added poignancy to Wednesday’s ceremony declaring Caleb an honorary officer.

“From Day 1, we’ve always called him the brave warrior,” Renee Moraine said. “Several people have said he’s the strongest person they’ve ever seen,” given everything he’s been through.

“Yet he’s here right now, standing, ready to receive this honor.”

We are proud to announce our newest member of the Wichita Police Department, Officer Caleb E. Moraine, who has had a lifelong dream of being a member of Law Enforcement and is currently battling cancer. Today Officer Moraine fulfilled that dream. pic.twitter.com/hheLnSQtCA

— Wichita Police (@WichitaPolice) November 9, 2017

Collins said the impact of what the ceremony meant to Caleb is “immeasurable,” but could probably best be summed up by two words: “He’s standing!”

Given everything he’s been through, she said, that’s remarkable.

Officer Carlos Atondo, who got to know Caleb through Facebook, presented the city’s newest officer with a large metal shield he can hang on his wall at home. Retiring officers typically receive that honor, with their badge number on the art work.

“He’s been through a lot,” said Atondo, whose voice filled with emotion as he talked. “He’s so brave. He’s always hopeful. He’s always upbeat.”

Renee Moraine is an EMT and the family is known and respected in Wichita’s community of first responders. Collins said she’s in awe of the love and support the Moraine family has received.

“The city has just poured out love to them,” she said. “So kind, so gracious, so giving. People just drop by the house and leave things on their doorsteps. Encouraging words, encouraging rocks...

“Whoever thought a rock could be encouraging? And yet it has been.”

A spirit of service runs in the family. Caleb aspired to continue that tradition, Atondo said.

“Service to others – that’s what he talked about the most” Atondo said.

It’s why he wanted to become a police officer. Atondo put things together to make that happen.

“He’s a brave young man that’s going through a lot,” Chief Gordon Ramsay said. “It’s nice to do things like this. It means a lot to him and his family and we’re honored to do it.”

©2017 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)


5 principles to include in your hiring process to set your police agency apart

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

Barry Reynolds
Author: Barry Reynolds

Editor's note: This special coverage series, Recruitment & Retention Crisis: The Struggle to Hire – and Keep – Good Cops, will take an in-depth look at the recruitment and retention challenges currently facing police agencies, share potential solutions to the crisis and highlight best practices progressive PDs are deploying to bolster their ranks. Watch for further installments of this series throughout the rest of 2017.

Many, if not most, law enforcement agencies use a recruitment and hiring policy to guide the selection process of new personnel. This policy can be found within the agency policy manual, or is part of a larger human resources policy for the state, county or city that oversees hiring for the organization.

The actual policy itself is often procedural in nature, outlining the requirements for consideration of employment, and the necessary and exact steps taken through the hiring process to ensure the most qualified applicants receive consideration. Often there is a statement of non-discrimination advocating diversity within the hiring process.

These are all great policies to have and follow, but in an era of greater transparency, many organizations are including a statement of principles within their recruitment policy. This statement of principles outlines the philosophy and values within which the recruitment and selection process operates, as well as the hiring process expectations for both the agency and the potential candidates.

Some items in the statement of principles might seem obvious, while others may also be included in the police department’s values statement. However, the inclusion of expressed and transparent principles in the recruitment and selection process can be vitally important to the process itself, sending an important message to potential candidates considering your organization among their employment options.

Here are five principles to consider adding to your recruitment and selection process policy:

1. Respect for diversity

Even with the presence of similar statements or clauses within the hiring procedures themselves, a clarified statement on the value of diversity in organizational personnel takes it beyond a mere policy statement to a philosophical statement of inclusion. This principle should clearly state that the organization not only respects diversity, it actively pursues a diverse police workforce through the recruitment and selection process.

2. Service

This principle outlines the organization’s philosophy regarding community service. Regardless of the policing philosophy the organization employs, service to the community remains the foremost goal. To perpetuate that philosophy, an agency’s recruitment principles must emphasize service to the community, and actively seek police candidates who place community service as a priority in their personal approach to policing.

3. Integrity

This principle requires the agency instill integrity and honesty as the twin pillars of credibility in the recruitment and selection process. This applies to both the police agency and the candidate. If an honest mistake is made in the process, the agency may resolve the issue on the side of the candidate.

However, an agency should be clear that dishonesty or a lapse in moral integrity results in the immediate and permanent disqualification of the candidate. The social contract we hold with our communities demands we expect nothing less from current and future employees.

4. Merit-based selection

The recruitment and hiring process of police officers can be extensive and lengthy, or it can be streamlined with an eye toward on-boarding at the earliest opportunity. Regardless of the process, the principle of merit-based selection in law enforcement requires the most qualified applicant receive the highest consideration. A merit-based selection process utilizes multiple evaluations of a candidate’s qualifications with each evaluation being objective and independent from the others.

There will always be some form of subjective evaluation, but the goal of the merit-based system is to reduce subjectivity to the highest extent possible to assure candidates that their qualifications and performance are the primary considerations for advancement.

5. Recruit for vacancies and hire for the future

The philosophy behind this principle recognizes that the recruitment and selection process is the first and most important step an organization takes in acquiring and retaining career employees. While the immediate goal of the hiring process might be to fill current or imminent vacancies, the department is looking toward the sustainment of a stable and professional workforce. As such, consider those intangible traits and values that lend themselves to a long-standing employment relationship.

Conclusion

Too many agencies find themselves repeating their recruitment process because the first process failed to result in enough qualified candidates, or the candidates chosen failed to successfully transition to permanent employment status. Implementing a set of organizational principles into your recruitment and selection process helps market your agency to the type of candidates who are most likely to be successful in your hiring process, thereby increasing the chances that your next hire will be a member of your organization for decades to come.


Police rally to ‘lift the spirits’ of Maine boy, 9, battling terminal cancer

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Barry Reynolds

By PoliceOne Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — Police officers throughout Massachusetts and other states drove their cruisers to Maine to lift the spirits of a young boy battling terminal brain cancer on Wednesday.

Boston.com reports that 9-year-old Jacob Thompson, who’s battling stage 4 neuroblastoma, requested to receive homemade cards to make what is likely his last holiday season a memorable one. Lt. John Bonney of the Stoughton PD learned of his story and invited fellow first responders to help make Thompson’s day special.

Various departments in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts answered the call and participated in traveling to the hospital where Thompson was being treated. Along with cards, the Stoughton Police Relief Association bought a penguin stuffed with police badges for him.

Thompson has been battling neuroblastoma since 2014. On Oct. 11, he was taken to the hospital where his family learned that he is expected to pass away within the next month. Last week, his request for Christmas cards went viral, and he has received more than 40,000 cards from people throughout the world, WMTW reports.

His family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for life insurance expenses.

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Police Drive-By Police officers from numerous Massachusetts towns answered the call from Lieutenant John Bonney of the Stoughton Police Department and set out on a trip up north to the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Portland, Maine to lift the spirits of Jacob Thompson. Jacob is 9 years old and has been battling Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. When Lt. Bonney heard that he loves police officers, he reached out at the last minute to rally support for a police drive-by at the hospital, as Jacob is too weak for visitation. Numerous departments answered the call including, Whitman, Norfolk, Cambridge, UMass, Seekonk, Sharon, Abbington, West Bridgewater, and Bridgewater State, among others. Trooper Chris Zegna out of the Brighton barracks, who was on a day off, joined the caravan early this morning. He was later joined by two members of the Troop A Community Action Team, Trooper David Strong and Taylor Robidoux. For more about Jacob's story, read http://www.wmtw.com/article/maine-boy-battling-cancer-receives-14000-christmas-cards-in-one-day/13438947

Posted by Massachusetts State Police on Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Canada police find car full of naked kidnapping suspects after crash

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ALBERTA, Canada — Three suspects in a kidnapping case were found completely naked by police after ramming their vehicle into a truck containing their alleged victims.

CTV News reports that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrived following a vehicle collision Monday and found five people inside a white BMW unclothed.

Police later said the suspects had forced a man, a woman and a newborn baby out of their home and into a vehicle prior to the crash.

Investigators said the three victims were able to escape and were picked up by a truck driver passing through the area. After they entered the truck, the BMW purposefully ran into the truck, pushing them into a ditch.

A man, two women and two female minors who were in the BMW were arrested. The three adults face kidnapping charges. The two minors were released.

Additional details about the events that led up to the unusual arrests remain unclear at this time.


Ga. man does TV interview after robbing bank, helps cops catch him

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

By Josh Magness Miami Herald

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Don’t try robbing a bank, but if you do, just make sure you don’t start talking to a local TV station soon after about traffic at a nearby intersection.

That’s some advice from the Lawrenceville Police Department in Georgia, which shared some knowledge on Facebook Wednesday afternoon for any criminals who might be reading its post.

“It’s not often that we in Law Enforcement give criminals advice on committing criminal acts, but we felt compelled to do so after a recent event,” the department wrote. “Please pay attention.”

That recent event: Eric Rivers allegedly robbed at least two banks in Gwinnett County, Ga., within the last few weeks — and then decided to speak to a CBS46 reporter on-camera about traffic, police told CBS46.

Rivers spoke to the reporter, Ashley Thompson, after police say he robbed a Chase Bank earlier that day. Police said a bank manager told them the alleged bank robber was seen approaching a CBS46 news truck, so police contacted Thompson to get information about who she spoke to.

That information helped police find and arrest Rivers, who gave his name to Thompson.

The Lawrenceville Police Department wrote that Rivers, who they say was in the area looking for other banks to rob, might have made “our job too easy.”

So that’s why it gave such seemingly specific advice.

“This advice is extremely important so again, please pay attention. When after having robbed several banks and you are at another bank casing the place for an additional robbery and are approached by a news crew in the parking lot (covering a completely different story by the way),” the police department wrote, “DO NOT stop and agree to an interview with said news crew. The news anchor might be pretty, but fight the urge and keep walking.

“You see, when you accept an interview and provide them with your real name it actually makes our job too easy. We will find you anyway, but we do like a little more difficult investigation on occasion.”

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PSA from the Lawrenceville Police Department. It’s not often that we in Law Enforcement give criminals advice on...

Posted by Lawrenceville Police Department on Wednesday, November 8, 2017

©2017 Miami Herald


Pa. trooper shot in traffic stop has 2nd surgery

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Police say a trooper who was shot several times during a traffic stop has undergone a successful second surgery and is still listed in critical condition.

A state police spokesman says Cpl. Seth Kelly underwent surgery Thursday, a day after authorities said the 13-year veteran likely saved his own life by applying a tourniquet to his leg before help arrived following a shootout Tuesday.

Kelly suffered gunshot wounds to his neck and shoulder area and to his leg after the traffic stop erupted into a close-quarters gunfight along a busy road north of Philadelphia.

Twenty-two-year-old suspect Daniel Khalil Clary faces charges that include attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault. Authorities say troopers suspected him of driving under the influence of marijuana. He was also shot.


‘So many babies in there’: Church shooting claims 8 children

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Paul J. Weber, Emily Schmall and Jim Vertuno Associated Press

LA VERNIA, Texas — By the time Paul Brunner rolled up in his ambulance to the worst mass shooting in Texas history, the First Baptist Church was a chaotic triage scene. Parents cried and kids screamed, and nearly all the victims appeared to have been hit more than once.

Two of the first four patients the burly volunteer medic loaded into ambulances were children.

"Our inclination is to protect children. The thing is, that wasn't his inclination," Brunner said, referring to the gunman. "He wasn't separating going: 'I'm not going to hurt the kids. I'm going to go after whatever adults wronged me.'"

When gunfire tore through the church in tiny Sutherland Springs, killing more than two dozen, the bullets claimed eight children and teenagers who were sitting through Sunday services with their families. It was the largest number of children killed in a mass shooting since 20 died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

Like that massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, the fact that the assailant slaughtered defenseless children compounded the anguish. Nearby schools quickly added grief counselors.

The shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, had a turbulent and violent past that included a court-martial while serving in the Air Force on charges that he assaulted his then-wife and hit her child hard enough to fracture the boy's skull. Kelley, who had a rifle and left behind at least 15 empty magazines holding 30 rounds each, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he was chased by bystanders and crashed his car.

Investigators have said the shooting appeared to stem from a domestic dispute involving Kelley and his mother-in-law, who sometimes attended services at the church but was not present on Sunday.

One couple who survived the attack, Rosanne Solis and Joaquin Ramirez, said Kelley went aisle by aisle through the pews and shot crying children at point-blank range.

Authorities put the death count at 26, including the unborn baby of one of the slain women and the 14-year-old daughter of the church's pastor, Frank Pomeroy.

"There were just so many babies in there. It was a church. It was families," said Torie McCallum, the former sister-in-law of Crystal Holcombe, the pregnant woman. "Watching them take person after person after person out was so heartbreaking."

McCallum is also a volunteer medic in nearby Floresville who spent 12 hours at the scene Sunday. She identified Crystal and her three dead children — 11-year-old Emily, 13-year-old Greg and 9-year-old Megan.

Another of Crystal's children, 7-year-old Evelyn, ran out of the church to a neighbor's house. She suffered a head contusion, which McCallum thinks may have been caused by her head hitting a pew.

The kids were smart and liked church. Their father died six years earlier, but McCallum was relieved when John Holcombe entered the picture and helped raise them as his own.

They called him Dad and thrived in the 4-H Club. Emily liked archery while Greg, Evelyn and Megan did karate. Crystal homeschooled the children, and the girls sang in church, where the family got a kick out of how their different voices harmonized.

McCallum said the kids were excited for a new sibling and decided that the baby's name, whether a boy or girl, should be Billy Bob Wigglebottom — which they found hilarious.

The official list of those killed released by Texas authorities Wednesday included Carlin Brite "Billy Bob" Holcombe.

By Wednesday, an online fundraiser had collected more $72,000 for the family.

"To see seasoned FBI agents and seasoned paramedics and seasoned law enforcement officers, when you see their eyes red, I feel so awful for all of the people who responded to that scene. Because they should never have to see anything like that, especially with so many children," McCallum said.

One of the wounded children, 5-year-old Ryland Ward, was hit multiple times and opened his eyes at the hospital Tuesday for the first time since the shooting, said Leslie Ward, the boy's aunt.

"Seeing the children that were killed. It's one thing to see an adult, but to see a 5-year-old, that's tough," Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said.

Alison Gould, 17, returned Wednesday to the church where she had waited hours on Sunday for word about her best friend, 16-year-old Haley Krueger. She got the news she feared later that night.

"I am trying my best to cope. I want to see her really bad, and it's kind of hard because I know that I can't," Gould said. "Me and her mom keep thinking that maybe she's in the hospital, and they just identified her wrong. We're trying really hard."

Brunner, chief of the ambulance service in nearby La Vernia, had been at lunch with his own family when he heard about the shooting.

"You had parents screaming about their kids. They got stuff in front of them that they never imagined they would see in their life," Brunner said. "Not really a war zone, because at least people in a war know they're in the middle of a war. This is just hard to describe."


Congress honors officers who responded to attack

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kevin Freking Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Congress on Thursday honored five officers who "ran toward the threat and stopped it" when a gunman opened fire on a congressional baseball practice in June, gravely injuring House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

Gathering in the U.S. Capitol, leaders of the House and Senate paid tribute to the five officers who initially responded to the attack, presenting them with the U.S. Capitol Police Medal of Honor, the agency's highest honor. The medal is awarded to those who exhibit great courage and voluntary risk their life to help others.

The officers honored were Special Agents David Bailey and Crystal Griner of the U.S. Capitol Police and officers Nicole Battaglia, Alexander Jensen and Kevin Jobe of the Alexandria Police Department. The latter were the first officers from an outside law enforcement agency to receive the honor.

"These men and women we're honoring today ran toward the threat and stopped it, and we can't ever thank you enough," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Scalise, 51, was seriously wounded when he was struck in the hip, and the bullet tore into blood vessels, bones and internal organs.

Relying on two walking sticks to help him move, Scalise told the officers that their actions prevented a deadly attack similar to the recent massacres in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas.

"That day on June 14th could have turned out the exact same way. We all know what the outcome would have been if not for the heroism and the bravery of the men and women on this stage," said Scalise.

Officer Bailey's mother traveled from Brazil to attend the ceremony at the Capitol. Scalise had a message for her. "Your son saved the lives of over a dozen members of Congress and the staff that were out on that ball field that day."

Scalise and four other people were injured June 14 when a gunman opened fire on a Republican baseball practice in nearby Alexandria, Virginia. U.S. Capitol Police and other officers returned fire and killed the gunman. The rifle-wielding attacker had nursed grievances against President Donald Trump and the GOP.

"To see these officers get their due, this really is another milestone in all of our collective recovery," House Speaker Paul Ryan said. "Even as we try to go back to normal, we see that we were so close to losing so many of our friends."


Video shows Colo. officer fatally shooting man who tried to run down officers

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

By Chhun Sun The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

PUEBLO, Colo. — The Pueblo Police Department on Wednesday released footage of a fatal officer-involved shooting of a man who attempted to run officers down with his car.

The video shows a Feb. 5 shooting that killed Andrew Byrd, 35, who backed his vehicle into a patrol car before driving at other officers in the area of Small and Acero avenues just after midnight, police said. Officer Neal Robinson fired one round into the driver's side of a Toyota Camry, killing Byrd, police said.

Hours earlier, a woman reported that her 2005 Lexus sedan was stolen by Byrd, a known gang member with active warrants for his arrest, police said. He then returned to the neighborhood in a Camry.

A shootout followed that resulted in Byrd's death, police said. The video shows the Camry was stuck underneath a semi-truck before backing out and hitting a patrol car.

Robinson and fellow officer Bernadette Lambert were placed on paid administrative leave. In August, the Pueblo County District Attorney's Office ruled the shooting justified.

According to police, Robinson said he felt his life was in danger when he saw Byrd reaching for a possible weapon and driving toward him.

In a police report, Bernadette fired a shot at "Mr. Byrd based partially on her belief that he had shot Officer Robinson."

©2017 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)


Quiz: How much do you know about UCR and NIBRS reporting?

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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Sponsored by Caliber Public Safety

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

Police work is increasingly data-driven, and the FBI is working to get more agencies on board with its UCR and NIBRS reporting efforts so that crime data can be shared nationwide.

How does your knowledge of UCR and NIBRS stack up? Is your agency compliant? Take the quiz below and compare your scores to other PoliceOne readers.


Share your data and search other agencies’ records with this tool

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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Sponsored by Caliber Public Safety

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

Access to investigative data often means the difference between solving a case and watching it go cold. Insight into the information gathered by other police agencies can provide a tremendous advantage and fuel more thorough investigations and, ultimately, more convictions.

Imagine being able to access potentially crime-solving law enforcement data from multiple agencies, both in and out of your state, with a single login. Caliber Public Safety offers agencies access to its proprietary data sharing network, InterDEx, as an added benefit when an agency deploys any of Caliber’s mobile, CAD or Online RMS products.

What is InterDEx?

The Caliber InterDEx Network is a nationwide data-sharing network that enables participating agencies to easily and securely share data and exchange instant messages with other users from hundreds of connected agencies. Access to data through this network increases agency interoperability and investigative reach, as well as improving officer safety.

The network was developed in the early 2000s after the 9/11 attacks highlighted a lack of information-sharing mechanisms across law enforcement agencies. Around that time, Caliber engineers set out to satisfy requirements put forth by three neighboring police agencies in Massachusetts. All three agencies were utilizing the same records management software provided by another vendor and wanted the ability to share their RMS data with each other.

Through some custom code and a VPN connection, the first iteration of Caliber’s data-sharing network was created. The company soon began working with agencies in Oklahoma and Arkansas and recognized the potential for a nationwide data-sharing network as clients shared success stories of apprehending criminals and solving cases using the added information.

As more agencies joined the network and data sources from various vendors were added, Caliber shifted from VPN connectivity to a partnership with the Nlets justice and public safety network to host the secure data hub.

Today, InterDEx (short for “interstate data exchange network”) users can query suspects, vehicle and property details from more than 400 participating agencies across 40 states, from all levels of government, offering over 200 different data sources including proprietary local systems as well as third-party vendor records systems, with new types being added regularly. The data from these disparate systems is standardized so that officers can assimilate it quickly to make informed tactical decisions.

Each agency’s data stays in the local system and is queried automatically by participating agencies, meaning local jurisdictions maintain custody of the data without sending it anywhere. Each agency retains full control of its data and determines how much detail will be shared outside of their organization, so local information always remains safe and secure. Settings can be easily changed simultaneously with agency policies as priorities shift.

Tap Into Multiple Information Sources

The Caliber InterDEx network acts as a hub that can save investigators valuable time because they don’t need to log in and out of multiple systems to query different sources. Participants can search for data across the entire network with a single login. Returns on queries arrive in a matter of seconds, and the returns are ranked based on relevance to the original query.

“One search means that you are ‘one and done,’” said Blair Robinson, Caliber executive vice president. “There is no need to search multiple databases and make phone calls across county lines – it’s all right there at your fingertips.”

InterDEx doesn’t merely facilitate agencies sharing their RMS data. With an average exchange of more than 600,000 messages travelling across state lines each day, participants in InterDEx can share and search information far beyond what NCIC databases return.

NCIC provides data on individuals’ criminal history after an arrest, such as warrants or criminal charges. InterDEx searches law enforcement data that may not be part of the court process, such as field interview cards, traffic stop details, incident reports, suspect descriptions with identifying details, license plates, vehicle descriptions and last known addresses. These details provide actionable information that supports effective enforcement and investigations.

The network provides additional insight by delivering “Matching Recent Inquiries” (MRI) information so that when an officer initiates a query on name, driver’s license, vehicle tag or VIN, InterDEx reports all recent queries made on that identifier by any users from other connected agencies. Combined with the instant messaging capabilities, the system allows officers to see the availability of other officers in nearby jurisdictions in order to communicate directly and share valuable insights.

Participating agencies have shared numerous success stories about how InterDEx has helped them solve crimes. For example, officers along the I-40 corridor, which runs from North Carolina to California, reported being able to apprehend a wanted sex offender within hours after an MRI result showed that his plate had been run during a traffic stop in another county. In another case, a sheriff’s deputy was able to quickly discover that a young woman reported missing was being detained for DUI in another jurisdiction, based on a driver’s license query made the previous night.

“The power of the data sharing is the key component,” said Robinson. “With InterDEx, individuals can literally connect the dots, which in turn assists with more logical crime fighting. When agencies are connected, they have a much better chance of finding that needle in the haystack than they would otherwise.”


5 ways agencies can report and collaborate more effectively using an RMS platform

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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Sponsored by Caliber Public Safety

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

Law enforcement agencies rely heavily on records management systems to support day-to-day operations. An efficient RMS includes not just the software to electronically collect, organize and store secure information, it will also afford administrators, investigators and officers in the field intuitive ways to effectively navigate copious amounts of sensitive data.

When you’re trying to solve a case, system delays, network failures, awkward user interfaces and disparate systems that don’t work together can be frustrating and consume hours of each shift. This results in less time on patrol, which is a disservice to the community.

Law enforcement agencies need software tools that are reliable, responsive and effective. An RMS that integrates multiple systems, improves data quality, complies with reporting standards and that can be accessed by officers from multiple devices provides efficient access to data and allows officers more time out in the community to do their jobs.

Caliber Public Safety provides a variety of software options for law enforcement. Online RMS, its flagship RMS, is a web-based product that provides secure access anytime, anywhere from any internet-enabled device running a modern web browser. It is designed to be secure, reliable, CJIS-compliant and conform to national reporting requirements.

Here are five ways the Online RMS from Caliber makes it easy for officers, dispatchers and investigators to enter and share critical information.

1. Mobile Operation

Caliber’s Online RMS can be securely accessed from any location connected to the internet, at any time. Mobile data access provides flexibility that allows officers more time in the field, as they are not tethered to the in-office network for system access to look up data or finish reports at the end of shift.

Real-time data on the go also supplies officers on patrol with current information for enhanced situational awareness and improved safety, says Blair Robinson, executive vice president of Caliber Public Safety.

2. Security and Reliability

Caliber’s Online RMS is hosted in secure facilities in the Nlets justice and public safety network, which is dedicated to the exchange of law enforcement, criminal justice and public safety information nationwide. The Nlets facilities meet strict FBI CJIS policies and maintain redundant network paths and a disaster recovery site to protect data and ensure continuous operations.

As a hosted offering, Online RMS grants all user agencies access to the latest version of the software at all times without having to worry about updates. Program improvements, repairs and updates are deployed automatically each month to ensure an evergreen platform with no additional costs.

3. No Need to Pay for IT infrastructure

Because Online RMS runs on a completely online cloud platform, agencies are not required to install, update or maintain software. Agencies share high-performance servers for cost savings and don’t have to worry about budgeting for IT expertise or physical management of in-house data storage servers, says Robinson. Each agency has complete independent control of administration, configuration and user access privileges.

Continuous operation is a critical capability for law enforcement software, and Caliber’s cloud platform ensures fault tolerance. This means the system as a whole continues to operate even in the event of isolated problems in the hardware or software so that agencies can depend on consistent access to their data 24/7.

4. UCR/NIBRS Compliance

The Caliber Online RMS system offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface for completing incident reports. Easy-to-read icons and an incident reporting wizard provide guidance and help ensure consistent reporting and NIBRS/UCR compliance. The wizard eliminates guesswork for officers on what NIBRS elements are required for each offense and walks the officer through the reporting process, collecting details about suspects, victims, vehicles, property, drugs, weapons and other items.

The wizard is configurable to meet state-specific NIBRS variations and offers agencies the ability to define additional required fields and validations, says Robinson. The system improves data entry and quality by detecting potential audit warnings for correction prior to submission to the FBI or state NIBRS programs. The platform also provides trend reports and visual aids to support crime analysis and operational efficiency.

5. Interoperability and Data-sharing

Too often, incident report data is locked down in individual agency systems and not shared for the greater good of identifying suspects and solving crimes. Online RMS is one of a suite of platforms Caliber offers to serve public safety organizations and improve agency interoperability by removing the barriers to sharing data.

Through Caliber’s SmartSearch capability, agencies can search their own data as well as shareable incident report data, including narratives, from other Online RMS clients within the same state. This helps these agencies better connect the dots and improve crime fighting.

Harold C. Rodgers Jr., chief of the McCordsville Police Department in Indiana, credited Caliber’s data-sharing products in helping solve what seemed like an unsolvable crime.

“Prior to having Caliber Public Safety Online RMS, the solving of this criminal activity would have taken much longer, if it was capable of being solved at all,” Rodgers said. “Agencies rarely have immediate access to each other’s information and reports without writing out lengthy requests and long delays. The SmartSearch database within Caliber Online RMS made information otherwise available, but unknown, readily available at the detective’s fingertips.”

Additionally, users have access to Caliber’s nationwide InterDEx data sharing network that enables participating agencies to easily and securely share their RMS data, according to each agency’s own selected permissions. Users can query suspects, vehicle and property details from more than 400 participating agencies across 40 states, from all levels of government, plus an additional 200 external data sources.

This data-sharing capacity enables multiagency collaboration and boosts situational awareness by helping dispatchers, responders and commanders interact in real time across agency disciplines and location boundaries.

“Instant awareness of RMS-related data from participating agencies across the country saves officers valuable time because they don’t need to log in and out of multiple systems to query different sources,” said Robinson.

Data collected in police incident reports helps law enforcement agencies identify, track, prevent and solve crime, as well as keep the public informed to show that agencies are serving them to the fullest extent. A cloud-based RMS platform like Online RMS from Caliber Public Safety can help agencies trim costs, shorten response times, share and search data and ensure consistent reporting and NIBRS/UCR compliance.


Ore. police respond to call for help, turns out to be a parrot

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CLACKAMAS, Ore. — A deliveryman in Oregon who heard a woman's screams for help had his wife call 911, but when a deputy showed up it turned out the screamer was a parrot, not a woman.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday that when Clackamas County Sheriff's Deputy Hayden Sanders showed up, all he found was Diego the Parrot.

The green-and-yellow bird was in good health and no humans were involved.

. @UPS driver heard someone yelling "help" inside house. Deputies responded and found the culprit. Thankfully Diego the Parrot was unharmed pic.twitter.com/e5BVG5B5AO

— Clackamas Sheriff (@ClackCoSheriff) November 7, 2017


Mo. K-9 dies two days after fall from parking garage

Posted on November 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Christine Byers St. Louis Post-Dispatch

NORMANDY, Mo. — Dozens of area police dogs and their handlers along with officers and firefighters said good-bye Wednesday to a 3-year-old German shepherd named Argo who died from injuries he suffered while on duty.

Normandy Officer Matt Miller and his dog Argo had just finished an accident investigation along Interstate 70 on Sunday when a hail storm moved in. Miller sought shelter inside a parking garage on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus as officers in his department typically do to avoid damage to their cars, said Sgt. Tim Conner, Normandy canine supervisor.

Miller believes the storm spooked Argo, and he let the dog out of his car to calm him down. Suddenly, the dog ran toward a wall where hail could be heard slamming on the other side. The wall deceivingly looked to be level with the ground but was actually about four stories above ground, Conner said.

“We don’t know if he tried to jump the wall thinking someone was over there or just to see what was over there,” Conner said. “But that’s like being hit by a car-head on at 40 mph.”

Initially, vets told Miller that Argo suffered some broken ribs, a broken leg and a possibly punctured lung. He appeared to be improving, even standing on his back legs with his paws on a table at one point, Conner said. But his internal injuries worsened and he died about 10 minutes after his handler left him Tuesday night, Conner said.

Miller transferred to the Normandy police department in December 2016 after serving with Argo in Ferguson for about six months.

Argo could track suspects, search for drugs or other evidence and search buildings. He was most known for alerting officers to $150,000 inside a vehicle during a traffic stop because the money smelled of narcotics, Conner said.

He was one of two Normandy police dogs. Officers brought the department’s second dog, Toma, who started in March, to see Argo’s body Wednesday to say her goodbyes.

“She’s been whimpering ever since,” Conner said. “The idea is to let her see him so she knows and it gives her some closure,” Conner said.

A line of police and fire trucks escorted Argo’s remains from a vet’s office in Manchester to Baue Funeral Home at St. Charles Memorial Gardens on Wednesday. Some fire departments hung American flags from their ladders above overpasses along the route, much as they do during funerals for fallen first responders or veterans.

Dispatchers then gave Argo a final call out at the funeral home.

Normandy’s police canine unit is paid for by donations. A GoFundMe account started to pay for Argo’s medical expenses reached about $4,400 Wednesday.

The department plans to start raising money to get another dog, which can cost as much as $16,000, Conner said.

Conner said Miller is devastated by the death of his partner, as is the entire 31-officer department in north St. Louis County.

“These dogs are like our kids, and unfortunately we see them more than our families sometimes,” he said. “They fearlessly go into those dark places that we don’t want to go.

“Without fear.”

Humbled by the support the entire St. Louis community has shown. RIP K9 Argo. @Normandy_Police pic.twitter.com/sgHvDlIMqA

— Frank Mininni (@Normandy_Chief) November 8, 2017

©2017 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Ill. State Police begin ‘Silver Search’ training

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois State Police officials have launched statewide training for officers in dealing with Alzheimer's disease patients who wander away and need to be found.

"Silver Search" training will continue for two years and involve 2,500 police officers and dispatchers. Informational cards will also be distributed to every officer.

State Police Director Leo Schmitz says the Silver Search curriculum includes warning signs to look for, communication skills and procedures for activating a Silver Search.

Research shows that 60 percent of those with Alzheimer's disease will wander at some point after their diagnosis.

An Endangered Missing Person Advisory alerts the public through highway signs and lottery terminals, the Silver Search website and social media.

A public awareness campaign will include radio and TV spots, billboards and social media announcements in English and Spanish.


How to improve your shooting performance when injured or impaired

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Taylor McCubbin, P1 Contributor

Injuries can creep up on us, or afflict us suddenly. Especially at risk are those working in the military or law enforcement fields, with typical challenges such as walking long distances with heavy loads, jumping out of airplanes and being injured in dangerous situations with unruly members of the public.

Typical injuries I see service members and police officers work through include back injuries, reduced stability holding a load, limited knee flexibility and limited hip flexibility. So how do we continue to perform even with an injury?

First, having a positive perspective and being able to work around the injury not only helps shooting ability, but it can improve your outlook on daily life. This is easier said than done, however, and must be worked on every day to see results.

The risk of aggravating your existing injury may not be worth the reward, so put careful thought into the steps you need to take before jumping back into shooting like a professional. For example, some slow and consistent mobility exercises to increase flexibility may be necessary to prevent further injury.

Many good shooting habits require relaxation, which is only possible if you aren’t gritting your teeth in pain because of the limits of your flexibility; however, there are ways around typical positions that can help you regardless of limitations.

Once you train individual pieces of your “anti-impairment strategy,” you have to trust yourself and believe that you are prepared, and can win no matter what.

Positional creativity

Practice modified or unorthodox positions in addition to standard service positions such as the Weaver stance, the Isosceles standing position and whatever your firearms instructor told you was the “only” way to shoot.

Please heed these words: There is no one way to shoot. The more time I spend teaching and learning about marksmanship and firearms, the more I believe that. There are “best practices,” but sometimes you find they don’t work for you – the only constant is to strive for consistency itself.

Here’s one example that might work if you have a knee injury: when you’re told to get into a kneeling shooting position but find it incessantly uncomfortable, know that you have options. For example, if you don’t have flexibility in your rear knee to sit back on it, learn to lunge forward into your forward knee. You can even lay your rear leg flat (on the inside of the leg and foot) behind you to create more stability.

Try different positions with your support hand as well. Holding the magazine well may be your fallback position, but may not be the best one in this case. The key is to ensure you can consistently get hits with your chosen method.

The number one positional advantage is to use a piece of cover around you as a stabilizer. This requires practice and creativity; no two positions will be alike. Of critical importance (for the professionals in the audience) is to not get stuck in any position so much that you are immobile when the target of your lethal force maneuvers around you.

If you do have a long-distance target and time to make the shot, and you can settle into a position, the best way to maximize the above suggestions is to get natural alignment on target.

The typical way this is taught is to take a deep breath and check your point of aim (POA); when you’re on it, close your eyes, breathe again and be honest with yourself when your eyes open. If your POA drifted significantly, adjust your position to compensate, or so the doctrine says.

I would argue this is too slow and, under stress, you are unlikely to do this. You may be better off developing a sense of what a natural position is for you in terms of muscle memory (a consistent, repeatable habit you can settle into immediately), and getting as close to that as possible. How do you discover what this is? Practice, practice, practice.

Position is a luxury. With good fundamentals (trigger squeeze and sight alignment especially) you can be effective in almost any situation. Once you feel more comfortable applying the fundamentals, experiment with unorthodox or improvised shooting positions.

Losing use of a limb

In armed professions it is valuable to think ahead and have a plan for when things inevitably go wrong. I have never been shot, but I have heard from people who have been that a determined, mentally resilient individual can carry on fighting well after they have been injured. Many videos show the human body’s incredible ability to suck up bullets and keep moving.

If injured, your first priority is to end the fight, fast. This requires a high level of mental toughness and, while this article may help, it only works if you practice. Put yourself in stressful situations and put it to the test as often as possible. Teamwork is another topic entirely, but communicating and maximizing your resources as a team is part of this strategy.

Get some practice using one hand and your offhand to shoot. If you are shot or injured during the fight and lose functionality in a part of your body, you need to know how to compensate and keep fighting. There is an entire section of firearms training on how to manipulate your weapon systems one-handed, including reloading and fixing stoppages. For more on that, seek professional training.

Understanding how to build a strong fire position with one hand not only improves two-handed ability, but prepares you for the possibility of only having one useful hand. Possible scenarios could include: dragging a buddy while holding your pistol out and covering, losing control of one hand due to an injury, and being stuck holding a piece of equipment awkwardly and shooting with one hand. I have seen many students find they can shoot better (with pistols) one-handed, which is also a useful observation for your regular two-handed practice.

Always do this work with a reputable trainer. When entering unknown territory on the range, never attempt a new technique without a knowledgeable instructor walking you through it. You will learn faster and, more important, be safer.

Mindset and breathing

During a recent range practice, a student was struggling to adopt firing positions. He complained of a bum knee and back problems. “I just can’t hold this position steady! I haven’t shot in so long, I forgot how this works,” the soldier told us. After some advice to improve his position, he went from a 40 percent mark to passing with an 80 percent mark on his retest.

After he passed, he described to us that the critical piece of information that helped was nothing to do with position and hold; it was that we encouraged him to relax psychologically. We told him to be mentally calm and have a firm belief he could succeed. He employed this and shifted his perspective.

Mindset is a larger topic than the scope of this article. For more information on mindset and mental toughness when fighting through an injury, see my article here.

4 critical steps to success

The biggest draws on your body in shooting with an injury are your mental strength and toughness, your physical flexibility and your endurance strength. Here are four steps to ensure these critical elements are in place.

    Develop good mental habits for self-talk including replacing your negative responses to pulling a shot with “get your hits” or “stay focused.” Increase your flexibility ideally before you get injured. Do mobility drills and consistent stretching. This implies stretching correctly, and understanding the difference between dynamic and static stretching, as well as the use of tools like a foam roller to help you on your way to better range of motion. Increasing your endurance strength through long, slow movements can help with extended periods of stabilizing for a shot when under physical strain due to injury or impairment. Yoga and martial arts like Systema and Brazilian Ju Jitsu can help immensely. Know alternative holds and positions in advance, and be prepared to tap into your mental resilience and breathing techniques to keep fighting through your impairment or injury.
What’s your next step?

Form an action plan for prevention of or preparation for injury. Don’t discover you need practice with these techniques in the middle of the firefight.

To put this theory into practice, email me at taylor@chimerafirearms.com to start your journey to being better prepared for shooting with an injury or impairment.

If you’re a veteran of police or military service and found these techniques worked for you under stress let me know! I’m interested in real information, not just my own opinion.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and these are ideas I’ve come up with in my experience as much based on science as possible, but in no way are meant to replace your doctor’s recommendations.


About the author Taylor McCubbin is a senior NCO infantryman with the Canadian Armed Forces. After spending 10 years in the Canadian army, Taylor has since specialized as a firearms instructor for the Royal Canadian Air Force. While providing a high level of instruction to operational air crew and military police, he pioneered a specialized firearms program for airfield security teams.


Shot Texas deputy recovering, suspect charged with attempted murder

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — A Houston deputy is recovering from surgery after a man shot him during a disturbance call on Sunday.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Deputy Constable Justin Gay, 30, successfully underwent an 18-hour surgery on Monday. The officer had surgery on both of his legs to treat the gunshot wounds he sustained. It was not clear if deputy will have any permanent injuries.

Gay was responding to a disturbance call on Sunday evening when he encountered 38-year-old Constantine Argyrion. Gay used his TASER on the suspect, who shot the officer with a concealed weapon after falling to the ground.

Argyrion was taken into custody and charged with attempted murder. He is being held on $250,000 bond.

Const. Mark Herman said the officer was ‘in great spirits” and that they’re looking forward to him returning to work. Herman added that the constable’s office hopes to launch a fundraiser for him and his family to cover any expenses while he’s recovering and out of work.

Constable Herman visited w/ Deputy Gay who is in great spirits! The prayers have meant more than words can describe to him and his family. pic.twitter.com/bMKPxJDN6p

— Precinct 4 Constable (@pct4constable) November 7, 2017


Video shows NFL star being TASERed, apprehended by Miss. cop after fight

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

BILOXI, Miss. — Recently released footage shows an NFL star being TASERed following an alleged fight that occurred in April.

TMZ Sports reports that a Biloxi police officer saw Washington Redskins linebacker Junior Galette engaged in an altercation with another man. The officer ordered them both to freeze, but police said the athlete ignored orders and fled the scene.

The officer pursued Galette and fired his TASER, bringing the 250-pound linebacker down.

Galette was arrested for disorderly conduct and failure to comply. He later struck a plea deal with prosecutors.


Video shows Md. officer de-escalating suicide by cop attempt

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

BALTIMORE — Recently obtained body camera footage shows a Baltimore police officer talking down a man with a knife who approached police and asked them to shoot him.

WBFF reports that Officer Angel Villaronga encountered the man, who identified himself as “Phillip,” in September. Phillip threatened Villaronga with a knife and asked officers to “do their job” and shoot him.

After five minutes of talking to the man, Villaronga convinced him to hand over the knife.

"At 13 years old, I had the same situation happen with my father, and he was gonna jump off the roof," Ofc. Villaronga recounted. "So, we had NYPD there and they asked me to go up. They don't want to see my mom, because that's gonna make him jump. So, de-escalation, right there."

The man was taken to a hospital for treatment, but no other information about him is known at this time.

WATCH: A @BaltimorePolice officer discusses the Sept. 6 incident in which he deescalated a man with a knife threatening to harm himself. pic.twitter.com/vCVV9HB1vn

— Paul Gessler (@PaulGessler) November 6, 2017


5 tips from Force Science on de-escalation tactics

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Duane Wolfe
Author: Duane Wolfe

De-escalation is currently a buzz word in law enforcement. In my home state of Minnesota, the legislator has pushed over $10 million dollars toward police de-escalation and crisis response training. Consequently, many police trainers are creating presentations to meet the anticipated need for classes.

I recently attended such a class put on by the Force Science Institute (FSI), which focuses on science-based concepts, tactics and strategies for police de-escalation.

Here are five tips I picked up from FSI’s two-day class on the topic to help police officers better understand and deploy de-escalation tactics.

1. De-escalation is not just words, it is an integrated response.

Saying the right thing is a critical component to de-escalation. The power of persuasion is the most needed but least trained component of de-escalation. However, if you fail to understand that de-escalation begins with good information from dispatch, an understanding of proper tactics to deal with the specific situation, and training to prepare an officer to respond, then you cannot expect a positive outcome. All these parts must be practiced together in order for a police officer and a department to respond as effectively as possible.

2. If you cannot achieve contact, you cannot de-escalate.

If a subject is unable or unwilling to listen and respond to what you are saying, the de-escalation process cannot begin. A person’s mental, medical or emotional state may prohibit them from even being aware you are there. You cannot talk someone down if you don’t exist in their mind.

FSI founder and director Dr. Bill Lewinski suggests a tactic law enforcement could use that has been deployed in the psychiatric community for years. If it appears the person cannot hear you, try making a loud noise, immediately followed by you speaking in a pleasant manner. The loud noise may be enough to draw attention away from the voices they are already hearing. Once you have their attention, maintain a demeanor that will foster communication between you.

3. De-escalation begins with you.

In order to respond rationally and professionally, you have to prevent yourself from losing mental control and experiencing a “frontal lobe blackout.” Initiate tactical breathing to maintain a low heart rate and calm your brain.

Stress inoculation training allows police officers to experience and refine how to respond to stressful scenarios within the safe confines of a training environment. This improves the ability of officers to respond appropriately to real-life stressful situations with greater confidence gained through the experience.

4. Focus on the outcome, not the cause.

Expend energy and resources on resolving the situation at hand. By focusing on the desired outcome for the current situation, you avoid trying to deal with what has happened in the past. Understanding the cause of someone’s mental illness is nice, but it becomes secondary when they are armed with a knife endangering themselves and others in the present.

5. Police officers can do everything right and things can still go wrong.

Dealing with people in crisis is difficult and people under the influence of mental illness, drugs, alcohol, emotions or a combination, do not necessarily think or respond rationally. The response you get is beyond your control. The only things you control are yourself, the decisions you make and the tactics you use. The subject controls how they choose to respond and react.

Police officers employ de-escalation on a daily basis. Unfortunately, because we usually don’t report it, there is little proof of how often law enforcement uses it. Like any skill, we can improve through practice and training.


4 safety tips for force-on-force training

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Duane Wolfe

By Chris Machavern, P1 Contributor

The number one priority of any force-on-force training is safety. Creating and maintaining a safe training environment is the fundamental underpinning of any successful training program. Instructors can create a safe, engaging and effectual scenario-based force-on-force training environment by following some basic safety protocols.

1. Select the right location

Selecting the proper location is the first step in creating a safe training environment for force-on-force training. If your agency does not have access to a dedicated training facility to conduct force-on-force training, select a location that is secure, can be configured to have a single point of entry and exit, and allows for designated scenario and safety areas.

Effectively controlling the space where training is conducted is the most important part of creating and maintaining a safe training environment. Clearly mark the training area with visible signage that indicates police training is in progress and access is for authorized personnel only. Use physical barricades and caution tape to establish a perimeter if necessitated by the environment. Once the area is cordoned off it should be thoroughly searched for environmental hazards and/or prohibited items that could cause potential injury.

2. Designate two safety officers

Any force-on-force training should have a minimum of two instructors designated as safety officers. The safety officer is responsible for controlling and maintaining the integrity of the training environment by ensuring all safety protocols are followed. Training instructors administer the force-on-force training and are focused on the scenarios, observing the response of participants (officers involved as students), and teaching.

Safety officers and training instructors should be highly visible and easily distinguishable from participants and role players; traffic vests or red instructor vests work well for this purpose.

3. Implement a search and secure policy

All firearms, magazines, ammunition, impact/edge/chemical weapons and ECDs must be stored in accordance to department policy outside of the training area.

Safety officers should search all participants, role players and instructors to ensure prohibited items do not enter the training area. Mark those who have been searched and permitted entry. Arm bands can be easily fashioned out of blue duct or painter’s tape; two arm bands are a visual indication of redundant search by safety officers. If an individual must leave the training area, they may not be granted re-entry until a subsequent redundant search is performed by safety officers.

4. Supply key equipment

There are two basic categories of force-on-force equipment: safety gear and weapons.

All participants, role players, instructors and safety officers must have appropriate safety equipment. At a minimum this includes:

Impact-resistant full-face protection (covering the forehead, eyes, nose, mouth and chin); Throat, groin and female breast protection; Long sleeve shirt, pants and gloves.

Participants must wear this equipment at all times in the scenario area and anywhere within the training area when force-on-force scenarios are being run.

It is imperative to have a medical kit with includes tourniquets, hemostatic agents and basic first-aid supplies like adhesive bandages, gauze and antiseptics. Centrally locate these supplies within the safety area. All participants, role players, instructors and safety officers should have an IFAK/trauma kit that includes at minimum a tourniquet and a hemostatic agent.

There are a number of options for force-on-force training weapons:

Dedicated marking firearms; Airsoft-type products; Firearms temporarily converted to marking weapons.

No matter which type of weapon is utilized, safety protocols are the same. Marking weapons must be thoroughly examined by at least two safety officers to ensure it is a marking firearm incapable of accepting live ammunition.

If dedicated marking firearms (which should be clearly marked as such) are not used, safety officers should install any distinguishing markings such as forearm bands, training magazines and other visual indicators after the firearms have been deemed inert by redundant search.

All magazines used for force-on-force training should be completely segregated as force-on-force magazines only. They should never be loaded or stored with live ammo, and should be clearly marked with blue paint indicating they are force-on-force magazines. If translucent magazines are used, mark them with blue base pads.

Dedicated marking firearms should be painted blue, which includes airsoft guns. Clearly marking force-on-force training weapons serves a two-fold purpose:

1. To ensure training weapons are highly visible within the training environment;

2. To help prevent a marking firearm or airsoft gun from making its way onto the street.

Take an inventory of all marking firearms, marking cartridges and training magazines prior to and upon conclusion of the force-on-force training.

When conducted properly, force-on-force training is an indispensable component to any firearms, tactics and use of force training. Making safety the number one priority will ensure your officers can engage in countless training scenarios that will help keep them safer on the streets.


About the author Chris Machavern has been involved in law enforcement since 2008 and holds a degree in criminal justice. He is a state-certified law enforcement firearms instructor and co-owner of Mastermind Tactics.


Mo. detective ends interview after suspect answers question with ‘loud fart’

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Tony Rizzo The Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — His flatulence stopped one police interrogation, but not a continuing investigation that has resulted in a 24-year-old Kansas City man facing federal gun and drug charges.

Sean A. Sykes Jr., is charged in U.S. District Court possession with intent to sell cocaine and being a felon in possession of three firearms, two of which were reported stolen.

The charges stem from Kansas City police traffic stops on Sept. 1 and Nov. 5, according to court documents.

On Sept. 1, Sykes was in a car that police searched and found a backpack that contained various drugs and two handguns. One of the guns, a .357 Magnum, had been reported stolen out of a car in Independence a few days earlier, according to the documents.

While being questioned, Sykes denied knowing anything about the guns and drugs.

In his report about the interview, the detective wrote that when asked about his address, “Mr. Sykes leaned to one side of his chair and released a loud fart before answering with the address.”

“Mr. Sykes continued to be flatulent and I ended the interview,” the detective wrote.

Charges were not filed at that time.

Then on Nov. 5, police pulled over a car driven by Sykes.

According to the allegations in court documents, police found marijuana and crack cocaine inside the vehicle. They also found a .38-caliber revolver that had been reported stolen from Overland Park.

Sykes made an initial court appearance Monday and was ordered held in custody pending a hearing later this week to determine if a bond will be set.

©2017 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)


Police: Man shoots 2 Ga. officers; later found dead

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

FOREST PARK, Ga. — Authorities say a man shot two police officers and was later found dead behind a home south of Atlanta.

Forest Park police Maj. Chris Matson told WSB-TV that Jacob Bailey's body was found behind a home in the city of Forest Park near where two police officers were shot Wednesday morning. Matson didn't say how Bailey died.

Forest Park police Sgt. Kelli Flanigan said both officers were in stable condition and their injuries were considered non-life-threatening.

Matson said Bailey got in a shootout with the officers when they tried to pull him over for reckless driving.

Forest Park Middle School on lockdown as police search for this man, identified as Jacob Bailey pic.twitter.com/zqfkfar4ho

— Christie Ethridge (@ChristieOnTV) November 8, 2017


Officers who saved Dallas firefighter-paramedic’s life earn Medals of Valor

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By Naheed Rajwani The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — Police officers used a Dallas squad car as a makeshift ambulance earlier this year to rush a wounded paramedic to the hospital.

It was a bold, and probably lifesaving, move.

A shooter had killed his godfather before wounding his neighbor and firefighter-paramedic William An, who had come to their aid.

The first officers to arrive at the scene determined the neighbor would be OK. But An, who wasn't conscious, was in dire need of help. Officers dragged him into the back of a squad car and sped toward Baylor University Medical Center, risking their own lives to help save his.

Nine officers were awarded Medals of Valor from the Friends of Dallas Police on Monday night for the rescue. But six months later, they insist they were just doing their duty.

"I was doing my job, and the other officers that were with me, I know they would say the same thing," Sgt. Robert Watson, who led the response, said in an interview on Monday.

Organizers say the Friends of Dallas Police's annual banquet is like the Oscars for the city's officers, many of whom swap their police uniforms for suits and dresses for the evening.

This year's banquet, which was Chief U. Renee Hall's first Friends of Dallas Police banquet as chief, recognized 115 officers and civilians for their work.

"Law enforcement is extremely tough today," the chief said in a speech at the start of the ceremony. "It's tougher than it was when we began. Beyond the challenges, these officers that we are honoring today, each one of these individuals has set aside those challenges."

Watson works in the Dallas Police Department's crisis response team and is often called to active shooter calls that turn out to be a false alarm. He didn't know An personally before May, but he considered it his duty to help a fellow first responder.

An said Monday that he was touched by the support he's gotten from police and his fellow paramedics since he was shot.

"We're kind of like two sides of the same coin, you know?" An said.

A special night. My nephew received the Medal of Valor, the highest award given to a Dallas Police Officer. pic.twitter.com/rDSP7Xgphf

— ?? Lindy Rowland (@sono_grata) November 7, 2017

Watson and An met again during Monday's awards ceremony. This time, they had their families with them — the Watsons and their children, ages 9, 11 and 12, and the An family and their children, ages 4 and 3 weeks.

The 3-week-old is named Watson, which An's wife had picked out before the shooting. The couple realized later that it was the lifesaving sergeant's last name, too.

"Purely coincidental," An said, "but some people say there's no such thing as coincidences."

He still isn't sure how long his recovery will take, but he hopes to return to firefighting someday.

"My dream was to be a firefighter, not to be an admin or logistics," he said. "I want to be in the field, for sure."

Copyright 2017 Dallas Morning News


Pa. trooper shot during traffic stop identified, undergoes another surgery

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Authorities have identified a Pennsylvania State Police trooper who was shot several times during a traffic stop and remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Police said Wednesday that Cpl. Seth J. Kelly, a 13-year veteran, suffered gunshot wounds to his neck and shoulder area and to his leg. He's set to undergo another surgery to remove a bullet.

State police Capt. Richard D'Ambrosio said Kelly was helping another trooper arrest a motorist they suspected of driving under the influence when a fight broke out. He said the suspect grabbed a gun from his car and opened fire, hitting Kelly. Both troopers returned fire, hitting the suspect, who then drove himself to the hospital.

The suspect was identified as 22-year-old Daniel Khalil Clary, of Effort, who remains hospitalized. He's charged with attempted homicide and other offenses. He doesn't have an attorney who can comment on the case.


Police: Pa. trooper saves own life with tourniquet

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — A Pennsylvania State Police trooper who was shot several times during a traffic stop remained hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday as authorities released more details of the violent confrontation along a busy highway.

Cpl. Seth Kelly, a 13-year veteran, likely saved his own life by applying a tourniquet after he was hit by gunfire Tuesday morning in Plainfield Township, north of Philadelphia, state police Capt. Richard D'Ambrosio said at a news conference.

Kelly, 39, suffered wounds to his neck and shoulder area and to his leg in the close-quarters gunfight, and was set to undergo another surgery to remove a bullet.

"He's battling. He's certainly not out of the woods by any means, but ... he is a very strong individual and he displayed a will yesterday that he wanted to live and get through this," D'Ambrosio said.

The suspect, 22-year-old Daniel Khalil Clary, of Effort, faces charges that include attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault. Clary, who was shot and remains hospitalized, has given a statement to police.

"He's not denying his involvement," said Lt. Joseph F. Sokolofski.

Kelly was helping another trooper arrest Clary, whom they suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana, when Clary began fighting with the troopers, police said. The struggle lasted nearly two minutes, and at one point all three men were "wrestling and rolling around" the right lane of busy Route 33 as cars and trucks whizzed by them on the left, D'Ambrosio said.

Despite being hit with a stun gun, Clary managed to break free, retrieved a semi-automatic pistol from his car and opened fire on Kelly and Trooper Ryan Seiple, authorities said. Both troopers returned fire, hitting Clary several times. Clary then fled, driving himself to a hospital where he was taken into custody.

Seiple, 31, received a minor injury during the scuffle but was not shot. Officials credited emergency medical workers at the scene and staff at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill, where Kelly was flown, for saving his life.

Officials are awaiting the results of a blood test to see what Clary had in his system.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said Wednesday he will seek a "very, very, very long jail sentence" for Clary.


2 Calif. officers end nearly 30-year partnership

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By Cinday Chang Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — The cops have patrolled together for more than 28 years, one behind the wheel, the other riding shotgun, scanning the streets of northeast Los Angeles for signs of trouble.

Both are bald with mustaches, as set in their ways as a married couple. Duarte, the smoother talker, is first to approach a suspect or defuse a tense situation. Marinelli, whose “aw shucks” demeanor masks a sly wit, hangs back to stand guard.

They are friendly or fearsome, depending on what they think you deserve. Homeless people and street vendors get a pass. Car thieves do not. Their adversaries call them Los Dobermans, the Doublemint Twins, Heckle and Jeckle.

In the Los Angeles Police Department, partners typically last a year or two in the same car. Sometimes, working styles clash. More often, someone gets transferred or promoted. A decade together is long, three unheard of.

Patrolling in Cypress Park on a late afternoon last fall, they recall the tragedy and mayhem they have seen on these streets. They point to the alley where Marinelli fatally shot an armed man in 1993. Around the corner on Bank Street two years later, a 3-year-old girl was killed by gang members.

This is one of the last days Harold Marinelli and J.C. Duarte will work together. Marinelli is leaving for knee surgery, then retirement.

“I’m always right, and he’s always wrong,” Marinelli says.

“I always let him think he’s right — just like my wife,” Duarte responds.

In June 1988, when the two young police officers climbed into a black-and-white for the first time, their chemistry was immediate. They were the same kind of cop, itching for a caper, obsessed with catching car thieves. No need for promotions or to check out other stations. All they wanted was to work Northeast Division together.

Supervisors tried to break them up. They resisted. Once, they joined a vice squad to avoid being paired with novice cops. When they returned to patrol, they took a demotion, losing two stripes and 5% of their pay to stay together.

Spending all day, every day cooped up in a car with the wrong person can be hellish. One officer wants to run after a suspect while the other insists on summoning reinforcements. One may power through a whole shift without a break, while the other gets cranky without his customary burger stop. In a dangerous situation, partners move in an improvised choreography, wordlessly reading each other’s intentions.

“If you don’t gel, you can hardly wait for that day to get done,” says Jack Richter, a sergeant in media relations, whose longest pairing lasted two years.

Like a good marriage, a good police partnership can thrive off differences. Duarte, 53, speaks Spanish and is better at writing reports. Marinelli, 58, is the quiet one who notices the detail others miss — the one that leads to the bad guy.

Duarte is a meticulous record-keeper, jotting down every hour of overtime the partners have worked. A black binder holds mug shots of every person they have arrested — page after page of scowling photographs, a rogues’ gallery of northeast Los Angeles.

There was the suspected robber who led them on a car chase in 1998; the woman they arrested almost a dozen times for drug offenses in the early 2000s before she turned her life around; the boxer known as “Eddie the Animal,” whose freedom ended when the partners spotted him in Highland Park on Jan. 3, 2006, and arrested him on a burglary and robbery warrant.

At the station, they are the Baldies, who pepper roll calls with jokes and are admired for their old-fashioned “obs skills” — the ability to size up a situation at a glance.

A few years ago, the partners were driving around Cypress Park, looking to pick up some overtime, when they spotted a man molesting his niece in a parked car. They later took the girl to Disneyland.

Before their second-to-last shift together, Duarte produces a worn, folded paper from his shirt pocket — a list of suspects wanted for crimes ranging from drinking in public to carjacking. They hardly need the list. They know the career criminals, and the criminals know them. Through a combination of cajoling, joking and toughness, they have forged wary but friendly ties.

“We have a decent relationship with everyone on that list,” Duarte says.

They chased Alan Ferguson for years. Now, Alan Jr. is on the list. Same goes for Nick Placentia Sr. and Jr. One of their most-wanted has been homeless for nearly 30 years.

They know who the suspects are dating, where they buy their beer — where they are likely to be.

In 2005, Duarte was patrolling solo and stopped in a parking lot to do some paperwork. He glanced up and saw a woman wanted as an accomplice to a murder. He knew her from the days when she was homeless and using drugs. He addressed her by name.

“Hey, Kerry, how are you? I’d like to talk to you, but I need to put handcuffs on you first,” he remembers saying as he arrested her.

As they drive across the Metro train tracks in Highland Park, they reminisce about a recent encounter there.

A man on the train was suspected of stealing a cellphone. They positioned their car to block the train, which was moving slowly before it stopped.?????? The man ran, and Duarte wrestled him down on the tracks.

The victim got her phone back, and the suspect went to jail. Duarte hurt his knee and missed months of work.

“We don’t charge over multiple fences anymore, but we’re still as eager and anxious to make that outstanding arrest, to catch that car thief,” Duarte says.

In their patrol SUV, papers containing details on suspects and stolen cars are jammed into the passenger side sun visor. An automatic license plate reader pings like ice cubes clinking in a glass.

On his right hip, Duarte’s gun flashes in a gleam of silver. It is a six-shot revolver, a relic from generations ago.

The streets are not as rough as they once were. A rainy Sunday can go by without a single 911 call. Rents are up. The new residents are more likely to pay $8 for a fresh squeezed juice than to gang bang.

For a few hours each day, they walk a foot beat between Avenues 50 and 60 on Figueroa Street. They remember when La Cuevita, a Mexican-themed lounge, was Richard’s Hofbrau and attracted members of the Vagos motorcycle club.

The liquor store with the landmark “Coldest Beer in Town” sign recently became a high-end deli. The shelves are stacked with kale chips, wheat crackers and organic bourbon. A roast beef sandwich with yuzu kosho dressing sells for $15.

Duarte and Marinelli have been dropping by the liquor store since 1997. But they are not wedded to the past.

“I like the way Fig is going,” Marinelli says to the new owner.

Back on Figueroa, they greet a homeless man with wild hair.

“Your feet are pretty clean for being barefoot,” Marinelli says.

The man makes an observation of his own, pointing to the six stripes on Marinelli’s sleeve. Each represents five years on the force, Marinelli explains.

“Wow, I respect that. I bet you’ve seen some [things],” the man says, using a profanity.

They used to reward themselves with a cinnamon roll for each stolen car arrest, until they racked up 14.

“We stopped that destructive tradition,” Duarte says.

But a treat is still in order, Marinelli says. “Ice cream?”

“Italian doughnuts,” Duarte suggests.

“Let’s change the subject. You’re killing me,” Marinelli responds.

They have stuck to the same routine for over two decades.

Tuesdays: their favorite taco truck in Eagle Rock. Wednesdays: split pea soup at Astro. Thursdays: pizza at Palermo’s.

Their home lives are as stable as their work partnership.

Duarte has been married for 30 years, Marinelli for 28. Each man has two grown daughters. They own dogs from the same litter. Both favor Hawaiian shirts on special occasions.

Marinelli always had a mustache. Duarte eventually grew one. First Duarte shaved his head, then Marinelli followed suit.

“I was going bald anyway. I save so much money on hairspray,” Marinelli says.

They are a dying breed — cops who worked the 1992 L.A. riots, before some rookies were born, who used the now-forbidden chokehold to subdue suspects, who lived by their wits, not by computerized deployment plans.

“I’m still doing the same thing — playing cops and robbers, getting the bad guy. All I ever wanted to do was work the street,” Marinelli says.

Marinelli has no second thoughts about the fatal shooting in Cypress Park more than 20 years ago. The 26-year-old man pointed a handgun at him, and “it was either him or me.”

“The rule is you go home alive,” Marinelli says.

While their peers graduated to desk jobs and higher salaries, the partners stayed put. In their world, the street cop reigns supreme.

“You do this job, you either like it or you don’t,” Duarte says. “The people who don’t like it promote.”

To the end, Duarte and Marinelli remain as hungry as ever. Their technique involves a dose of obsession — a daylong stakeout for a car thief, or driving by a stolen vehicle five or six times to capture a suspect.

“They’re the last of how old-fashioned police work was done — not new technology or gadgets but years of field training and observation,” says Gina Paialii, a senior lead officer in Northeast Division.

Capt. Arturo Sandoval, who leads the division, has known the partners since he was a sergeant there in the 2000s. In their last year together, they are still among the hardest working officers at the station and among the leaders in arrests. Their commendations for arresting car thieves number in the hundreds.

“They could have been detectives, sergeants, all of that,” Sandoval says. “They were happy just working Northeast, especially as partners.”

At Marinelli’s retirement party in March, Duarte emcees in a “Los Dobermans” baseball jersey.

A cartoon of the partners, titled “The Los Angeles Police Department’s Longest Working Partners ‘Ever,’” lists some of their achievements in recent years: 16 homicide arrests, 76 robbery arrests, 199 grand theft auto arrests. There is no official confirmation that they have been together the longest. But LAPD veterans are hard-pressed to name a partnership that lasted more than a decade or so.

Cmdr. Bob Lopez, one of their supervisors in the early 1990s, wanted to break them up so each could train a younger officer. They fled to vice. Lopez now admits he was mistaken.

“I realized their partnership was magic,” he says.

Duarte will finish his career next year. In the meantime, he has a new partner.

©2017 the Los Angeles Times


Canada officer killed in shootout with suspect

Posted on November 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

ABBOTSFORD, B.C., Canada — A Canadian police officer was killed during a shootout with a suspect that occured at a strip mall on Monday.

The Vancouver Sun reports that Abbotsford PD Const. John Davidson was hit during a shootout at the mall’s parking lot and died shortly after arriving at the hospital. Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich hailed the officer’s actions.

“The officer who gave his life today is a hero,” Rich said. “He was protecting this community."

The shooting started when police received a call about a stolen vehicle being spotted in the mall’s parking lot. The suspect, who has been identified as 65-year-old Oscar Arfmann, reportedly came into a car dealership Saturday and asked to test drive a black Ford Mustang before taking off with it.

The dealership's fleet manager said one of his employees spotted the car and attempted to block it while waiting for police to arrive when the suspect “came back with a rifle and decided he wanted the car back.”

Police arrived and exchanged gunfire with the gunman when Davidson was hit. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Arfmann fled in the vehicle and was pursued by police before he was eventually apprehended.

Arfmann has been charged with first-degree murder, Global News Canada reports.


Police: Md. Officer shot driver who was ramming vehicle

Posted on November 7, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Authorities say a police officer in suburban Washington shot and wounded an SUV driver who had been ramming a vehicle that someone else was in.

Police in Montgomery County, Maryland, said in a statement that a man called 911 Sunday evening, saying someone was ramming his car with an SUV at a Silver Spring shopping center.

Police say a responding officer shot the unidentified SUV driver. The driver was taken to a hospital in serious condition. No other injuries were reported.

Investigators did not immediately release the races or identities of those involved in the shooting.

Police say the officer has been with the department for 10 years and, per standard procedure, is on paid administrative leave as the shooting is investigated.

It is unclear what prompted the initial altercation.


Md. police launch plainclothes ‘decoy unit’ after robberies and assaults by youths

Posted on November 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jessica Anderson The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore police department has created a plainclothes unit of young officers and increased uniformed patrols in response to recent crimes by juveniles in South Baltimore.

Commissioner Kevin Davis announced the plainclothes decoy unit Monday night during a monthly public safety walk held by the Riverside Neighborhood Association, which drew more than 200 residents to Riverside Park after several recent robberies and assaults involving juveniles were reported in the area.

The new unit will be made up of young, trained police officers deployed to specific areas where there's violent, repeat juvenile offenders, Davis said. The department has also doubled the number of officers assigned full time to South Baltimore neighborhoods and increased holiday deployments with administrative sworn officers in neighborhoods near the Inner Harbor, he said. The recent police academy class is also walking in the area.

"For the rest of the year, you will see an enhanced police presence, and that is not going to go away,” Davis said as the crowd applauded.

Councilman Eric T. Costello, who represents the neighborhood, said the recent crimes, which include juveniles assaulting victims with wooden boards and bats are “completely unacceptable.”

One woman who was attacked by several juveniles with wooden boards on Halloween night attended the walk. She still had black eyes and large bandages over her knees.

“I think it’s good people want to make a change. I don’t know if it will happen,” she said. She declined to give her name.

Her boyfriend, Jeff Brown, who lives in the neighborhood, said her attack and the attention given to her case “really put a lot of energy into stopping this.”

Police said a 15-year-old has been charged in four of seven incidents on Halloween.

Davis said much of the recent juvenile crime in the area is caused by several known offenders.

"We have a number of juveniles who have introduced themselves to this community,” Davis said. “They are small in numbers but they have committed the same crime again, again and again. We've arrested them again, again and again. We just have to hold onto them, detain them until they change their behavior."

Davis said he had the records of 10 juveniles who were recently arrested pulled and found that collectively, the groups has been previously charged with more than 60 offenses.

While the department has beefed up patrols in the area, Davis said there needs to be more accountability by the courts, at home and in school. He said many juvenile offenders also likely come from troubled backgrounds.

One resident asked what’s causing the crime trend.

"They probably think that nobody gives a damn about them,” Davis responded. But also, he said “because they think they can get away with it."

Lisa Urso and her husband Matthew have lived in the neighbohood for eight years and have noticed an increase in crime. The couple said they regularly attend crime walks, but Monday was by far the largest. They haven’t been victimized but said they have known people in the community who have.

Matthew Urso said he doesn’t want the recent incidents to deter people from moving to the neighborhood where he and his wife have decided to make their home and raise their two daughters. He said the health of the neighborhood and others are important to the future of the city, and “you can’t let a neighborhood with a tax base fall apart.”

Resident James Gray, a civil engineer, said until recently he never thought twice about visitors walking to his house from a parking space.

“Now it’s like, don’t walk alone at night at all,” he said. He hopes the momentum from Monday night will continue.

©2017 The Baltimore Sun


Va. officer in critical but stable condition after being shot by teen

Posted on November 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A Virginia police officer is in critical but stable condition after she was shot by a juvenile suspect Monday afternoon.

WVEC reports that the Portsmouth officer got out of surgery and is in stable condition after being shot multiple times. Police took the 15-year-old male suspect into custody a short time after the shooting.

Police said the officer encountered the teenager after he was reported to be a runaway. The officer was attempting to detain him when the suspect shot her. She was rushed to a local hospital.

The suspect was later found with the officer’s handcuffs on his wrist.

Charges against the suspect are currently pending.


Man charged in collision that led to SC trooper’s death

Posted on November 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Noah Feit The State (Columbia, S.C.)

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. — The Simpsonville man involved in a traffic collision that resulted in the death of a South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper has been charged with a crime by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Monday.

Tuan Quoc Trinh, 33, has been charged with Failure to Maintain Lane, according to multiple reports that said he fell asleep before the collision.

Trooper Daniel Keith Rebman, Jr. died after his patrol vehicle was struck while he was on duty early in the morning on Oct. 24. Rebman, who lived in Taylors, died of blunt force trauma, Greenville County Coroner Parks Evans said.

Rebman, 31, was stationary in his patrol vehicle in the emergency lane of I-385 near Bridges Road when his Ford Taurus Patrol car was struck from behind by Trinh’s pick-up truck around 12:23 a.m., according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Deputies say Trinh’s 2003 Dodge Ram pickup truck was traveling at 66 mph in a 65 mph zone when drifted out of the lane of traffic and hit the back of Rebman’s vehicle, according to wyff4.com.

An investigation indicated that Trinh fell asleep right before the collision, according to wspa.com.

Deputies administered field sobriety tests on Trihn and didn’t find any evidence of impairment, according to wyff4.com.

Funeral services for Rebman were held on Oct.29 and he was laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery. Rebman is survived by his wife, Michelle, and three young daughters – Olivia, Charlee, and Kennedy.

Members from more than 15 state patrols from as far away as California came to pay their respects along with hundreds of state and local officers.

©2017 The State (Columbia, S.C.)


Gunman checked each aisle, shot babies at point-blank range

Posted on November 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jim Vertuno, Will Weissert and Paul J. Weber Associated Press

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — The gunman who killed 26 people at a small-town Texas church went aisle to aisle looking for victims and shot crying babies at point-blank range, a couple who survived the attack said.

Rosanne Solis and Joaquin Ramirez were sitting near the entrance to the First Baptist Church on Sunday when they heard what sounded like firecrackers and realized someone was shooting at the tiny wood-frame building.

In an interview with San Antonio television station KSAT, Solis said congregants began screaming and dropped to the floor. She could see bullets flying into the carpet and fellow worshippers falling down, bloodied, after getting hit.

For a moment, the attacked seemed to stop, and worshippers thought that police had arrived to confront the gunman. But then he entered the church and resumed "shooting hard" at helpless families, Solis said.

The gunman checked each aisle for more victims, including babies who cried out amid the noise and smoke, Ramirez said.

The couple survived by huddling close to the ground and playing dead. Solis was shot in the arm. Ramirez was hit by shrapnel.

About 20 other people were wounded. Investigators collected at least 15 empty magazines that held 30 rounds each at the scene, suggesting the assailant fired at least 450 rounds.

The gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, had a history of domestic violence that spanned years before the attack and was able buy weapons because the Air Force did not submit his criminal history to the FBI as required by military rules.

If Kelley's past offenses had been properly shared, they would have prevented him from buying a gun, the Air Force acknowledged Monday.

Investigators also revealed that Kelley had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, a member of the church, before the attack, and that sheriff's deputies had responded to a domestic violence call in 2014 at his home involving a girlfriend who became his second wife.

Later that year, he was formally ousted from the Air Force for a 2012 assault on his ex-wife in which he choked her and struck her son hard enough to fracture his skull.

At a news conference in South Korea, President Donald Trump was asked if he would support "extreme vetting" for gun purchases in the same way he has called for "extreme vetting" for people entering the country. Trump responded by saying stricter gun control measures might have led to more deaths in the shooting because a bystander who shot at the gunman would not have been armed.

"If he didn't have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead," Trump said.

In the tiny town of Sutherland Springs, population 400, grieving townspeople reeled from their losses. The dead ranged from 18 months to 77 years old and included multiple members of some families.

"Our church was not comprised of members or parishioners. We were a very close family," said the pastor's wife Sherri Pomeroy, who, like her husband, was out of town when the attack happened. "Now most of our church family is gone."

The couple's 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy, was among those killed.

Kelley's mother-in-law sometimes attended services there, but the sheriff said she was not at church Sunday.

The massacre appeared to stem from a domestic situation and was not racially or religiously motivated, Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said. He did not elaborate.

Based on evidence at the scene, investigators believe Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he was chased by bystanders, one of whom was armed, and crashed his car.

The 26-year-old shooter also used his cellphone to tell his father he had been shot and did not think he would survive, authorities said.

While in the military, Kelley served in logistics readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his 2014 discharge, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.

He was discharged for the assault involving his previous wife and her child and had served a year of confinement after a court-martial. Under Pentagon rules, information about convictions of military personnel for crimes such as assault should be submitted to the FBI's Criminal Justice Investigation Services Division.

Stefanek said the service is launching a review of its handling of the case and taking a comprehensive look at its databases to ensure other cases have been reported correctly.

A few months before he received the bad-conduct discharge, sheriff's deputies went to his home to check out the domestic violence complaint involving him and his then-girlfriend. People in the house said there was no problem, and no arrests were made. Kelley married the girlfriend two months later.

Also in 2014, he was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty in Colorado after a neighbor reported him for beating a dog. Kelley initially refused to speak with officers about the incident. He denied abusing the animal but complied with an order to pay almost $370 in restitution. He was also the focus of a protective order issued in Colorado in 2015.

Kelley lived in New Braunfels, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of the church, and had recently started a job as an unarmed security guard at a nearby resort.

As he left the church, the shooter was confronted by an armed resident — later identified as Stephen Willeford — who had grabbed his own rifle and exchanged fire with Kelley.

Willeford had help from another local resident, Johnnie Langendorff, who said he was driving past the church as the shooting happened. The armed resident asked to get in Langendorff's truck, and the pair followed as the gunman drove away.

"He jumped in my truck and said, 'He just shot up the church. We need to go get him.' And I said 'Let's go,'" Langendorff said.

The pursuit reached speeds up to 90 mph (145 kph). Willeford told Arkansas TV stations KHBS/KHOG that he kept a 911 operator advised of the situation during the chase. The gunman eventually lost control of his vehicle and crashed.

Willeford walked up to the vehicle with his gun drawn, and the attacker did not move. Police arrived about five minutes later, Langendorff said.

The assailant was dead in his vehicle. He had three gunshot wounds — two from where the armed man hit him in the leg and the torso and the third self-inflicted wound to the head, authorities said.

"There was no thinking about it. There was just doing. That was the key to all this. Act now. Ask questions later," Langendorff said.


Texas gunman checked each aisle, shot babies at point-blank range

Posted on November 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jim Vertuno, Will Weissert and Paul J. Weber Associated Press

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — The gunman who killed 26 people at a small-town Texas church went aisle to aisle looking for victims and shot crying babies at point-blank range, a couple who survived the attack said.

Rosanne Solis and Joaquin Ramirez were sitting near the entrance to the First Baptist Church on Sunday when they heard what sounded like firecrackers and realized someone was shooting at the tiny wood-frame building.

In an interview with San Antonio television station KSAT, Solis said congregants began screaming and dropped to the floor. She could see bullets flying into the carpet and fellow worshippers falling down, bloodied, after getting hit.

For a moment, the attacked seemed to stop, and worshippers thought that police had arrived to confront the gunman. But then he entered the church and resumed "shooting hard" at helpless families, Solis said.

The gunman checked each aisle for more victims, including babies who cried out amid the noise and smoke, Ramirez said.

The couple survived by huddling close to the ground and playing dead. Solis was shot in the arm. Ramirez was hit by shrapnel.

About 20 other people were wounded. Investigators collected at least 15 empty magazines that held 30 rounds each at the scene, suggesting the assailant fired at least 450 rounds.

The gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, had a history of domestic violence that spanned years before the attack and was able buy weapons because the Air Force did not submit his criminal history to the FBI as required by military rules.

If Kelley's past offenses had been properly shared, they would have prevented him from buying a gun, the Air Force acknowledged Monday.

Investigators also revealed that Kelley had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, a member of the church, before the attack, and that sheriff's deputies had responded to a domestic violence call in 2014 at his home involving a girlfriend who became his second wife.

Later that year, he was formally ousted from the Air Force for a 2012 assault on his ex-wife in which he choked her and struck her son hard enough to fracture his skull.

At a news conference in South Korea, President Donald Trump was asked if he would support "extreme vetting" for gun purchases in the same way he has called for "extreme vetting" for people entering the country. Trump responded by saying stricter gun control measures might have led to more deaths in the shooting because a bystander who shot at the gunman would not have been armed.

"If he didn't have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead," Trump said.

In the tiny town of Sutherland Springs, population 400, grieving townspeople reeled from their losses. The dead ranged from 18 months to 77 years old and included multiple members of some families.

"Our church was not comprised of members or parishioners. We were a very close family," said the pastor's wife Sherri Pomeroy, who, like her husband, was out of town when the attack happened. "Now most of our church family is gone."

The couple's 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy, was among those killed.

Kelley's mother-in-law sometimes attended services there, but the sheriff said she was not at church Sunday.

The massacre appeared to stem from a domestic situation and was not racially or religiously motivated, Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said. He did not elaborate.

Based on evidence at the scene, investigators believe Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he was chased by bystanders, one of whom was armed, and crashed his car.

The 26-year-old shooter also used his cellphone to tell his father he had been shot and did not think he would survive, authorities said.

While in the military, Kelley served in logistics readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his 2014 discharge, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.

He was discharged for the assault involving his previous wife and her child and had served a year of confinement after a court-martial. Under Pentagon rules, information about convictions of military personnel for crimes such as assault should be submitted to the FBI's Criminal Justice Investigation Services Division.

Stefanek said the service is launching a review of its handling of the case and taking a comprehensive look at its databases to ensure other cases have been reported correctly.

A few months before he received the bad-conduct discharge, sheriff's deputies went to his home to check out the domestic violence complaint involving him and his then-girlfriend. People in the house said there was no problem, and no arrests were made. Kelley married the girlfriend two months later.

Also in 2014, he was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty in Colorado after a neighbor reported him for beating a dog. Kelley initially refused to speak with officers about the incident. He denied abusing the animal but complied with an order to pay almost $370 in restitution. He was also the focus of a protective order issued in Colorado in 2015.

Kelley lived in New Braunfels, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of the church, and had recently started a job as an unarmed security guard at a nearby resort.

As he left the church, the shooter was confronted by an armed resident — later identified as Stephen Willeford — who had grabbed his own rifle and exchanged fire with Kelley.

Willeford had help from another local resident, Johnnie Langendorff, who said he was driving past the church as the shooting happened. The armed resident asked to get in Langendorff's truck, and the pair followed as the gunman drove away.

"He jumped in my truck and said, 'He just shot up the church. We need to go get him.' And I said 'Let's go,'" Langendorff said.

The pursuit reached speeds up to 90 mph (145 kph). Willeford told Arkansas TV stations KHBS/KHOG that he kept a 911 operator advised of the situation during the chase. The gunman eventually lost control of his vehicle and crashed.

Willeford walked up to the vehicle with his gun drawn, and the attacker did not move. Police arrived about five minutes later, Langendorff said.

The assailant was dead in his vehicle. He had three gunshot wounds — two from where the armed man hit him in the leg and the torso and the third self-inflicted wound to the head, authorities said.

"There was no thinking about it. There was just doing. That was the key to all this. Act now. Ask questions later," Langendorff said.


Pa. trooper shot during traffic stop

Posted on November 7, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NAZARETH, Pa. — A Pennsylvania State Police trooper has been shot during a traffic stop, and a suspect is believed to be in custody.

State police say the trooper was shot Tuesday on state Route 191 in Plainfield Township, Northampton County, about 65 miles north of Philadelphia.

The trooper's condition was not immediately known.

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State Police Corporal Shot During Traffic Stop Plainfield Township, PA – A Pennsylvania State Police corporal was shot...

Posted by PA State Police on Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Citing emergency radio reports, local media reported the suspect is in custody at Easton Hospital. Asked to confirm, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli told The Associated Press, "I believe that to be the case."

There's a heavy police presence at the hospital. A car with its back window shot out that matches the description of the suspect's car is in the parking lot, marked with police tape.

Gov. Tom Wolf tweeted that he is "praying for this trooper and their family."

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BREAKING: Pennsylvania State Police said a trooper was shot during a traffic stop. An ambulance is now transporting the trooper to a hospital. LATEST: http://bit.ly/2m2iswk Courtesy: WTXF

Posted by FOX 13 News - Tampa Bay on Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Pa. trooper ‘extremely critical’ after traffic stop shooting

Posted on November 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By Michael Rubinkam Associated Press

FOUNTAIN HILL, Pa. — A Pennsylvania State Police corporal clung to life Tuesday after he was shot three times during a gunfight with a motorist he'd tried to arrest for driving under the influence, authorities said.

The trooper underwent surgery and was in "extremely critical" but stable condition after a routine traffic stop escalated into a violent altercation on a highway in Plainfield Township, Northampton County, about 65 miles (104 kilometers) north of Philadelphia, said state police Capt. Richard D'Ambrosio.

He said he is "very hopeful" the trooper will survive.

"He's a warrior. He went through a heck of a fight out here along the side of the road. He has a will to live, and, God willing, he is going to pull through this," D'Ambrosio told reporters outside a hospital in Fountain Hill, where the trooper was flown for treatment.

The trooper works at the Belfast barracks. His name was not immediately released.

He had ticketed the motorist for speeding Tuesday morning and was about to pull away when the motorist flagged him down, wanting to discuss the citation and how he would pay it, authorities said.

The corporal began to suspect the motorist was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, called for backup and performed a sobriety test. The troopers then tried to arrest the motorist, who began resisting, D'Ambrosio said.

"The troopers were in a knock-down, drag-out fight along the side of the road with vehicles speeding by them, and it got very, very violent," said D'Ambrosio, who viewed video of the altercation.

At some point, the suspect broke free, ran to his car, retrieved a gun and began shooting, striking one of the troopers, he said. Both troopers returned fire, hitting the suspect several times.

The motorist fled in a blue Pontiac sedan and drove himself to Easton Hospital. He was later transferred to another hospital, where he underwent surgery.

The suspect's name was not released. Authorities planned to release more information on Wednesday.

State police gathered evidence from suspect's car, which was parked near the emergency room entrance of Easton Hospital and appeared to have its rear window shot out. It was later put on a flatbed and driven away.

Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement that he and his wife were "praying for this trooper, the family and every member of the Pennsylvania State Police."

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BREAKING: Pennsylvania State Police said a trooper was shot during a traffic stop. An ambulance is now transporting the trooper to a hospital. LATEST: http://bit.ly/2m2iswk Courtesy: WTXF

Posted by FOX 13 News - Tampa Bay on Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Autopsy shows Ill. officer died of blunt force trauma

Posted on November 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

ROCKFORD, Ill. — Autopsies have revealed that a northern Illinois police officer died of blunt force trauma and a pickup driver was shot to death during an early morning traffic stop.

A spokeswoman for the city of Rockford says 30-year-old officer Jaimie Cox's injuries may have been caused when the pickup crashed.

A separate autopsy shows that 49-year old Eddie Patterson Jr., is believed to have been shot by Cox. Patterson also was injured when the pickup crashed about 1 a.m. Sunday.

State police Sgt. Sam Thomas said Monday that Patterson's driver's license had been revoked and that Cox may have pulled him over after noticing license plates on the pickup "didn't match the vehicle."

Cox was found near the truck and pronounced dead at a hospital. Patterson's body was inside the truck.

Visitation is scheduled from 3-9 p.m. on Friday at First Free Evangelical Church for Cox, the city of Rockford said in a news release. A police funeral service will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the church.


Police: Ill. teen accidentally kills accomplice while shooting at house

Posted on November 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mary Cooley and Dana Rieck Belleville News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — A 16-year-old charged with murder in the shooting death of a Belleville 18-year-old was trying to fire shots into a house when a bullet hit the older teen, police said Friday.

The 16-year-old, Quantez Jones, has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm, Belleville Police Capt. Matt Eiskant and St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly announced at a news conference Friday.

Deveon Hunt was shot and killed a little after 10 p.m. Sunday evening in an alley behind West Main Street in Belleville. Police were nearby and responded to multiple 911 calls of gunshots within a minute, Eiskant said earlier this week.

Eiskant said the suspect and Hunt were friends, and were walking in the alley behind the 7600 block of West Main after 10 p.m. Sunday. The two decided to fire upon a home there, he said.

“Our victim and suspect were walking down the alley, walked up on a house unknown to them, and committed a crime,” Eiskant said, by firing multiple rounds into the home. The home was occupied at the time, but no one inside was injured.

The teens were “staggered in their stances,” Eiskant said, with Hunt somewhat in front of the suspect.

“And the suspect, Quantez Jones, struck the victim, Deveon Hunt, with a round of ammunition resulting in his death,” Eiskant said.

The shooting death appears accidental, Eiskant said.

Kelly, the prosecutor, said that although Jones may not have been trying to shoot Hunt, he still can be charged with murder under Illinois’ felony murder law. Under that law, a person can be charged with first-degree murder if he or she commits a felony, and a person dies during the commission of the felony. In this case, Kelly said, Hunt died while Jones was committing a felony — shooting at the house.

Eiskant said some details, such as where the teens acquired the guns, why they decided to shoot at that particular house, and what kinds of weapons they used, would be saved for trial.

Kelly declined to say more about the suspect.

“If he had a record, we could not talk about it. And if the victim had a record (as a juvenile), we could not talk about it,” Kelly said.

Although Jones is 16, he has been charged as an adult. Defendants ages 16-18 who are charged with certain crimes, including murder, automatically have their cases handled in adult court.

The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis was activated the night of the shooting, and announced on Thursday morning that a suspect was in custody and the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office was reviewing a “lengthy” case.

“We dig into everything. It generates a lot of leads and a lot of reports,” Eiskant said on Thursday. He said the public, including local businesses, had been very helpful during the investigation.

Hunt’s father, Eric Deboe, earlier this week said his eldest son had worked at the KFC on West Main for two years. He had played football and ran track at school, but had stopped attending Belleville West.

“He started getting in trouble... with the law,” his brother Sir Deboe told reporters earlier this week.

Hunt was on probation for the beating of a man in O’Fallon, for which he’d been found guilty of aggravated battery and mob action.

“I try to push all the kids to go into the military and get out of here,” Eric Deboe said.

Hunt’s killing was the first homicide inside Belleville city limits in 2017, according to police.

©2017 the Belleville News-Democrat (Belleville, Ill.)


Police: Mich. girl who was with her dad yelled ‘stranger danger’ over hat

Posted on November 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

SOUTHFIELD, Mich — A child screaming “stranger danger” while being pulled out of a store wasn’t being abducted - she was just upset over a hat her father had purchased for her.

WTCF-TV reports that on Halloween, police received a number of calls from people, including the child’s mother, who were concerned for a 7-year-old girl after she was seen visibly upset and yelled “stranger danger” at a store. A store surveillance photo circulated on social media before police were able to confirm the identities the man and child in the photo.

Police said the man in the photo is the child’s father and that she did not like the hat he bought her. They said they have spoken to the child about the consequences of yelling “stranger danger” when there’s no emergency.


Texas LEO dies from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound

Posted on November 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Rashda Khan San Angelo Standard-Times, Texas

SAN ANGELO, Texas — A veteran officer shot and killed himself Monday at the San Angelo Police Department headquarters.

Sgt. Freddy Dietz Jr., 53, had been with SAPD since 1983. Fred Dietz Sr. also was an SAPD officer, beginning in 1966 and retiring as a lieutenant in 1997.

His father confirmed that Dietz had died and said he was struggling to understand the situation. He said his son loved being a police officer and helped a lot of people during his career.

"He started out when he was just 19 years old," Dietz Sr. said. "I was real proud of him being a police officer. He did a lot of good."

The San Angelo Police Department issued the following news release about 4:10 p.m.:

At approximately 10:41 a.m., San Angelo Police responded to a private office within Police Headquarters where they located the body of Sergeant Freddy Dietz Jr., who was deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Justice of the Peace Eddie Howard responded to the scene and formally pronounced Sgt. Dietz deceased.

Texas Ranger Todd Reed of the Texas Department of Public Safety is assisting with the investigation.

Sgt. Dietz’s body will be transported to the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy. There is no further information available at this time.

The Department is asking the members of the community to keep the Dietz family and Police Department in your thoughts and prayers and to respect their privacy during this difficult time.

A plaque at SAPD headquarters shows Dietz was Officer of the Year in 2016.

Dietz once was a D.A.R.E. officer, speaking to local students to help prevent drug and alcohol use, according to Standard-Times archives.

Dietz underwent surgery after an on-duty vehicle crash in April 2016 left him with severe injuries.

He was remembered as a good man and good officer in Facebook messages Monday:

Pete Flores wrote: "I was in the inaugural D.A.R.E program in 5th grade at Reagan Elementary. He and Officer Ruiz were the two officers who came to our classroom. I could never forget them and their leadership. My heart aches for the loss to the San Angelo Community."

Chelsea Kading wrote: "Our hearts break with this tragic news. Freddy was such a kind man with a wonderful sense of humor. I? hope he has found the peace he was looking for."

Tino Rojas wrote: "My condolences to his parents. Freddy and I had been friends for many years. R.I.P my brother. May you rest in the arms of our Father."

Sally Hagen wrote: "This is just heartbreaking, I'm so sad about this tragic loss. Officer Dietz was my DARE officer and such a great person and friend! My prayers are with him and his family."

This is a developing story. More information will be added as it becomes available.

©2017 the San Angelo Standard-Times (San Angelo, Texas)


Calif. LEO cleared in fatal shooting of mentally ill man, video released

Posted on November 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jenna Lyons San Francisco Chronicle

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A Santa Clara police officer lawfully shot and killed an unarmed 24-year-old mentally ill and suicidal man in March, suspecting the man had a handgun and would use it, the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office said Thursday.

The shooting occurred March 9 after Jesus Alberto Geney-Montes’ parents called 911 four times during the day to report that their son was behaving erratically, was armed and threatening his stepfather.

Each time, officers arrived at the home and left after determining there was no cause to make an arrest, although at one point, police said, he threatened to shoot the officers if they came into his bedroom. The officers were leaving the fourth time, when Geney-Montes’ mother stopped them to say her son had stabbed himself.

They returned and confronted Geney-Montes, who by then was in the yard and told the officers once again he had a gun. Police said he kept his hand in his pants pocket, despite orders to show his hands.

“Show me your hands. Get down. You’re not going to die today. You’re not going to die,” an officer was heard saying on body-camera video.

After a period of negotiation, Geney-Montes threatened to shoot himself in the head and began counting down, according to police accounts. At that point, a video taken by Officer Colin Stewart’s body camera shows the officer jumping a wall behind the house and running toward Geney-Montes.

Police say Geney-Montes charged at Stewart, although the video does not make that apparent.

“Seeing Geney-Montes charging towards him and believing his life was in danger, Officer Stewart chose to defend himself by discharging his weapon,” Prosecutor Carolyn Powell wrote in a 53-page report released Thursday. “Under the facts, circumstances and applicable law in this matter, Officer Colin Stewart’s use of force was in response to an objectively reasonable belief that he was facing an immediate threat of great bodily injury or death.”

During the investigation, Stewart was put on administrative leave, but returned to work about two to three months ago, said Lt. Dan Moreno, a Santa Clara Police Department spokesman.

“We agree with the D.A.’s findings,” he said, declining to comment further.

©2017 the San Francisco Chronicle


2 men in a truck chase down Texas church shooter: ‘Let’s go’

Posted on November 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Will Weissert and Jim Vertuno Associated Press

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — A former National Rifle Association instructor who grabbed his rifle and ran barefoot across the street to open fire on the gunman who slaughtered 26 people at a small-town church was hailed as a hero Monday, along with the pickup truck driver who helped chase the killer down.

Stephen Willeford, 55, said he was at his Sutherland Springs home Sunday when his daughter alerted him that she'd heard gunfire at the First Baptist Church nearby. Willeford said he immediately retrieved his rifle from his weapon safe.

"I kept hearing the shots, one after another, very rapid shots — just 'Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!' — and I knew every one of those shots represented someone, that it was aimed at someone, that they weren't just random shots," Willeford said Monday during an interview with television stations KHBS/KHOG in Fort Smith and Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Willeford said he loaded his magazine and ran barefoot across the street to the church where he saw gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, and exchanged gunfire.

"He saw me and I saw him," Willeford said. "I was standing behind a pickup truck for cover. I know I hit him. He got into his vehicle, and he fired another couple rounds through his side window. When the window dropped, I fired another round at him again."

As Kelley sped away, Willeford said he ran to a pickup truck stopped an intersection and told the driver, "That guy just shot up the Baptist church. We need to stop him."

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Johnnie Langendorff was driving near First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs when he saw the gunman exchanging fire with another man. Hear what happened next. https://usat.ly/2AbIOxY

Posted by USA TODAY on Monday, November 6, 2017

The driver, Johnnie Langendorff, said he had been driving to Sutherland Springs on Sunday to pick up his girlfriend when a man who'd been exchanging gunfire with Kelley suddenly landed inside his truck.

"He jumped in my truck and said, 'He just shot up the church, we need to go get him.' And I said, 'Let's go,'" Langendorff, a 27-year-old Seguin resident, told The Associated Press on Monday, adding that the ensuing pursuit eventually clocked speeds upwards of 90 mph.

Willeford said he and Langendorrf kept a 911 operator advised as the high-speed pursuit continued. He said Kelley ultimately hit a road sign and flipped his vehicle into a roadside ditch.

Willeford said he then exited Langendorrf's pickup, perched his rifle on the rooftop and trained it on the Kelley's vehicle. He then yelled: "Get out of the truck,! Get out of the truck!" But Kelley did not move.

Langendorff said police arrived about five minutes later. Based on evidence at the scene, investigators believe Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"There was no thinking about it," Langendorff said. "There was just doing. That was the key to all this. Act now. Ask questions later."

Asked if he felt like a hero, Langendorff said: "I don't really know how I feel. I just hope that the families and people affected by this can sleep easier knowing that this man is not breathing anymore and not able to hurt anyone else. I feel I just did what was right."

Though he did not identify Willeford by name, Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said at a news conference Monday that the armed resident who confronted Kelley was toting an "AR assault rifle and engaged" the shooter.

Stephen Willeford, the man who shot church gunman, breaks his silence https://t.co/ABFdugXC8w

— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) November 7, 2017

Martin later praised Willeford and Langendorff: "The number one goal of law enforcement is to neutralize the shooter. In this situation, we had two good Samaritans who did that for law enforcement."

Julius Kepper, Willeford's next-door neighbor for the past seven years, described Willeford as a gun and motorcycle enthusiast who regularly takes target practice at property out in the country, and has as many as five Harley Davidson motorcycles.

"Avid gun collector, a good guy," Kepper said.

Kepper and other neighbors said Willeford's family has been in the Sutherland Springs area for at least three generations, including a father and grandfather who were in dairy farming. Stephen Willeford is married with two grown children and works as a plumber who installs lines on major projects such as hospitals, Kepper said.

He called Willeford a "free spirit" sort who loves motorcycles despite losing both parents to a motorcycle crash when he was a young adult. "It was almost the same spot where they ran (the shooter) off the road," Kepper said.

Kepper said he's not surprised Willeford would exchange gunfire with the church gunman. Others in the neighborhood would have done the same if they knew what was happening, he said.

"Just like everybody else around here. He was just the first one there," Kepper said.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday praised Willeford's actions, after talking to law enforcement officials and visiting the church in Sutherland Springs. He lauded the "ordinary citizen" who engaged the gunman.

"One individual demonstrated bravery and courage. We need to be celebrating that bravery and courage," Cruz said.

Still, Willeford proved a reluctant hero.

"I didn't want this and I want the focus to be on my friends," Willeford told The Dallas Morning News for a story published Monday that also confirmed he was the first person to confront Kelley. "I have friends in that church. I was terrified while this was going on."

No one answered the door at the Willeford residence Monday. Food that had been delivered to the house was stacked up on the front porch.


Va. officer shot multiple times, suspect in custody

Posted on November 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A suspect is in custody after a Virginia police officer was shot multiple times Monday afternoon.

WAVY-TV reports that a juvenile male is in custody in connection with the shooting. The female officer was rushed to a local hospital for treatment. The extent of her injuries are unknown at the time.

Nearby school buses were rerouted after the shooting.

This is a breaking news story. Watch this page for updates.

Look at the scene right now - looks like police has taped off High St & parts of the London Oaks Apartments. Told officer shot. #13NewsNow pic.twitter.com/zOhzUTSGSo

— Chenue Her (@ChenueHer) November 6, 2017

UPDATE: A juvenile male is in custody in connection with the shooting of a female Portsmouth Police Officer this afternoon. #ThinBlueLine

— PortsmouthPD (@PortsmouthPD) November 6, 2017


White House releases first responder fentanyl safety recommendations

Posted on November 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — The White House released their official guide to first responder safety in cases of fentanyl exposure.

The White House said in an announcement that the Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders “provides unified, scientific, evidence-based recommendations to first responders so they can protect themselves when the presence of fentanyl is suspected during the course of their daily activities such as responding to overdose calls and conducting traffic stops, arrests and searches.”

The recommendations consist of three categories:

Actions first responders can take to protect themselves from exposure Actions first responders can take when exposure occurs Actions first responders can take when they or their partners exhibit signs of intoxication

The announcement added that the recommendations do not address all scenarios with equal comprehension, and other incidents may require additional protection, such as executing search warrants, field testing and storing evidence.

Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders by Ed Praetorian on Scribd

&amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_155S--&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;!--cke_bookmark_155E--&amp;amp;amp;gt;


Quiz: Fact vs. fiction on fentanyl exposure

Posted on November 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

Earlier this year, the American College of Medical Toxicology and American Academy of Clinical Toxicology released a position statement on transdermal fentanyl exposure. The position, based on the opinion and clinical experience of ACMT and AACT task force members, states "the risk of clinically significant exposure to emergency responders is extremely low."

The position statement received extreme criticism as well as support from law enforcement professionals around the country. Recently, the Office of Health Affairs and the Occupational Safety and Health Program compiled information on fentanyl facts and myths for the DHS workforce.

Take this quiz to see if you can separate fact from myth on fentanyl exposure, protection and treatment.


Knowledge is power: How intelligence sharing assists investigations

Posted on November 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Tyson Howard, P1 Contributor

“As a former attorney general, I have the greatest respect for the criminal justice system. But it is not good at intelligence gathering.” – Former Attorney General New Hampshire and U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte

It is a given that law enforcement, probation and parole officers, and correctional officers have contact with individuals involved in criminal activity every day.

During these encounters we conduct intelligence gathering, whether it’s in the street or the prison, and sometimes this process overlaps. We interview witnesses and suspects, collect evidence and review any material we feel may aid criminal investigations.

Continual breakthroughs in technology and science are allowing us to solve crimes in ways officers never dreamed possible 20 to 30 years ago. Criminals are also getting savvier and constantly adapting. They continue to come up with more sophisticated ways of committing crimes and covering their tracks.

We try to stay current on crime trends so we can use preventive measures to stop the crime before it is committed, but sometimes we find ourselves two steps behind. This is why we must develop and share intelligence information with our peers.

What is intelligence information?

The gathering of intelligence information is a never-ending process based upon criminal predicate.

Unlike evidence from investigations, intelligence information remains confidential and is protected under state and federal laws. The utilization of this information can take a seemingly small investigation and turn it into a multi-jurisdictional investigation crossing several counties, states and sometimes even countries.

It helps officers identify specific crime trends, criminal organizations and, most important, suspects who pose a significant community or officer safety threat.

Case Study: Jaycee Dugard

The Jaycee Dugard case demonstrates how intelligence gathering can be critical to investigations.

Dugard was kidnapped in 1991, sexually assaulted and held captive for 18 years by Phillip Garrido, a convicted sex offender on parole.

When many of us heard about this case, we asked the same question: How could probation/parole and law enforcement officials have missed this for 18 years?

The answer is simple: There were several missed opportunities to share intelligence during that 18-year period that could have potentially brought the case to closure much sooner.

In his report into the case, Inspector General David Shaw of the California Office of Inspector General’s Office detailed that after Dugard was kidnapped, Garrido had contact with state parole agents, federal parole agents, law enforcement officers, fire department officials and prison officials. However, parole agents failed to contact local public safety agencies to share information regarding contact they had with Garrido.

Garrido was a registered sex offender on parole for kidnapping and sexual assault. He was convicted in both Nevada state court and federal court. Appendix B of Shaw’s report provides a summary of significant contacts Garrido had with public safety agencies, which included:

Garrido was on parole at the time he kidnapped Dugard in South Lake Tahoe, NV. Garrido’s first conviction had ties to South Lake Tahoe. Garrido resided in Antioch, Calif., prior to and after kidnapping Dugard and there was a possible sighting of Dugard in Antioch, Calif., which was reported to local law enforcement. Garrido was arrested on a parole violation by federal authorities and spent approximately four weeks in prison after he kidnapped Dugard. Local law enforcement went to Garrido’s residence to check compliance with the sex offender registry. Starting in 1999 and every year up to his arrest, Garrido updated his sex offender registry with law enforcement. Garrido was stopped several times by law enforcement for traffic violations. Neighbors called and reported to local law enforcement that Garrido had several tents in his back yard with people living in them. The neighbor advised there were children and they were concerned because Garrido had a sexual addiction. During a home visit, a parole officer observed a 12-year-old girl at Garrido’s residence. Garrido had 60 home visits conducted by parole agents. Garrido was being monitored on GPS, which showed points in the far back of his yard near where he was keeping Dugard. The fire department was dispatched to Garrido’s residence on several occasions for an elderly female and one time for a juvenile with a shoulder injury that occurred in a swimming pool. A search warrant was executed at Garrido’s residence by a sex offender task force during part of a sweep on registered sex offenders. Electrical wires were running across Garrido’s back yard, through the fence to the shed in the hidden area, which could indicate some type of criminal activity was taking place. Garrido had his back yard fenced off into two separate areas but officers never searched the second section that was fenced off. Garrido’s name was queried in a law enforcement database on several occasions.

It wasn’t until August 24 and 25, 2009, when Garrido took two young females to the University of California, Berkeley Police Department to obtain a permit for a campus event, that his activity sparked suspicion.

The employee who had contact with Garrido was concerned by Garrido’s behavior and the girls’ conditions. They discovered that Garrido was a registered sex offender who was currently on parole. An officer with the police department later contacted Garrido’s parole officer and advised that Garrido had been at their campus. UC Berkeley is approximately 40 miles from Garrido’s residence and Garrido had a 25-mile travel restriction placed upon him.

Because this officer shared this information, Dugard was located the following day and Garrido placed under arrest. The case of a child missing for 18 years was solved in two days after an officer reached out and shared information considered suspicious. This case was solved without any of the bulleted information above.

How Intelligence is Used and Gathered

Ask most civilians what comes to mind when they hear the words "intelligence gathering" and you may get a story of Starsky and Hutch entering a bar and asking their trusted source of information, “Huggy Bear,” what the word on the street is. Most of us would agree that sometimes it really is just that easy! Other times we have to work for intelligence and put ourselves in a position to uncover the information.

Each section of the criminal justice system plays an important role in developing and sharing intelligence information. However, before we can collect and share intelligence information, we have to make sure there is some type of criminal element. We are not in the business of collecting information on law-abiding citizens and all information needs must meet the requirements of Federal Code 28 CFR Part 23.

The Role of the Corrections Officer in Intelligence Gathering

Correction officers interact with inmates every day. This interaction can provide valuable information. Correction officers can identify gang members and gang hierarchy, as well as which offenders are associating with each other. They can develop confidential sources that will provide information into criminal activities other inmates are engaged in.

They have access to inmate records, which can include visitor logs, phone call logs, letters, e-mails, and details or friends or family who put money on their books.

The Role of the Probation/Parole Officer in Intelligence Gathering

Like the corrections officer, the probation/parole officer works closely with offenders.

Probation/parole officers can help identify offenders who are using drugs and, through good interviews with the offender, they may be able identify the source and where the offender hangs out.

They have all of the offender’s information, which can include addresses, phone numbers, employment information, people they are residing with, people they are associating with and what their schedule is.

Probation/parole officers regularly conduct home visits on offenders. This allows the probation/parole officer to go into the residence and identify possible problems that would be difficult for a law enforcement officer to have easy access to.

The Role of the Law Enforcement Officer in Intelligence Gathering

Regardless of the position or agency, all law enforcement officers can provide valuable intelligence information.

Officers can gather intelligence information through interviews, contact with community stake holders, traffic stops, calls for service, confidential sources or possibly just by walking into their favorite convenience store at 3 a.m.

Random situations occur all of the time during which officers can gather intelligence.

The Role of Community Members in Intelligence Gathering

We are not going to share intelligence information with community members, but we can listen to what they have to say. Community members want us to keep our communities safe and will offer help. The benefit of this interaction is twofold: The officer gets information to further a criminal case and the boss is happy because the officer was engaged in community policing. It’s a win, win.

Ways to Collaborate

Officers from all levels and jurisdictions should work together on developing and sharing intelligence information. Ways we can accomplish this are:

Conduct monthly or weekly meetings. This can be local, regional or statewide. Push out bulletins to an officer from each agency where the information can be used. That officer can then forward it out to the rest of their department. Build relationships through networking at trainings. Get to know resources and skills that other agencies have and can be utilized by your department. Get the information into the right hands. Follow right to know, need to know: If you have intelligence information that is highly sensitive, it is okay to protect that information, and only share it with other officers directly involved in the case. If your state has a Fusion Center or Intelligence Center, provide your information to them. This is probably one the best ways to ensure the information will get to the right people. And, most important, work together. We are better when we do! Conclusion

Intelligence information sharing involves trust and cooperation. As a corrections, probation/parole or law enforcement officer, our jobs may be different, but we all want to stop criminal activity from destroying our communities.

It is amazing how insignificant one piece of information can be to an officer, but when that officer shares that information with peers from several jurisdictions, it can be like opening a flood gate.

Intelligence gathering and sharing is one the most important tools we have in combating crime within our communities. It helps identify suspects, keep informed about new and evolving criminal trends, and makes our communities safer.


About the author Tyson Howard is a probation/parole officer with the 4th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services in Iowa, assigned to the High Risk Unit. He is a current member and coordinator for the Iowa Law Enforcement Intelligence Network and a member of the Iowa Narcotics Officer Association. Previously, he held the rank of officer and then sergeant with the Centerville (IA) Police Department for 6½ years. In addition, he was assigned to the South Central Iowa Drug Task Force Special Operations Group for 5 years. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Buena Vista University.


City mourns Ill. officer killed during traffic stop

Posted on November 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kayli Plotner and Kevin Haas Rockford Register Star

ROCKFORD, Ill. — Police, friends and family are mourning the death of a 30-year-old Rockford police officer who died early Sunday after a scuffle with another man during a traffic stop.

Police said the officer, Jaimie Cox, 30, became entangled with the man's pickup truck during the scuffle and later died at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center. The traffic stop occurred near East State Street and Dawn Avenue shortly after 1 a.m. The man in the truck, 49-year-old Eddie Patterson, also died.

Cox, a Hononegah High School graduate, joined the department in December 2016. He previously worked for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Law Enforcement Division and had served in the U.S. Army National Guard.

Police Chief Dan O'Shea said it is believed that Cox fired his weapon during the scuffle, but exactly how he and Patterson died is unclear. Police are releasing few details during the course of the investigation, which is being handled by the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force. The task force is made up of police agencies from Winnebago and Boone counties and is charged with probing officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths.

"As soon as we can release details of what happened, we will," O'Shea said. "I don't want to give information erroneously."

What is clear, police said, is that shortly after the traffic stop occurred, a brief radio transmission was made calling for assistance. Officers who responded found Cox and a single-vehicle crash at Unitarian Universalist Church, 4848 Turner St., about two blocks north of the initial stop. Patterson was found dead inside the truck, which had struck a tree on the church property.

Autopsies of both men are pending.

Access to the church was blocked Sunday morning. Senior Minister Matthew Johnson said about 140 parishioners worshiped at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd on Rockton Avenue.

O'Shea said he and his officers are grieving Cox's death, and the outpouring of support from police agencies across the country is humbling. In social media posts on Facebook and Twitter, police departments in Chicago, McHenry County and many other places offered condolences to Cox's family and messages of solidarity with Rockford police.

"Pray for his wife, his family and us as we get through this difficult time," O'Shea said.

A procession of police squads crawled through the early morning drizzle to escort Cox's body from OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center to the Winnebago County Coroner's Office. The line of blue-and-red flashing lights stretched down State Street as area law enforcement officers paid tribute to Cox.

Retired Rockford officer Aurelio DeLaRosa said Cox was a "loving officer" and was "respected by his peers."

"He was also a (military) veteran," DeLaRosa said. "So he encompassed that whole picture of a hero, someone who served his country and community."

Cox is the seventh Rockford police officer killed in the line of duty going back to 1917, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. The six other officers were killed by gunfire.

Police initially tweeted that they were on the scene of a shooting involving an officer, but O'Shea would not say whether Cox had been shot.

Mayor Tom McNamara called it the "worst day you can imagine."

"It shakes you to your core," said McNamara, who expressed his appreciation for the work officers do and the risks they take to protect the public. "On a day like today, it's crushing. The violent crime has to end. The total lack of regard and respect for our officers has to end."

O'Shea asked anyone with information to call police at 779-500-6551 or Rockford Area Crime Stoppers at 815-963-7867.

©2017 Rockford Register Star, Ill.


Police nationwide work on tactics for far-right rallies

Posted on November 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Erik Schelzig and Michael Kunzelman Associated Press

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. — Snipers perched on rooftops. Police helicopters and drones hovered overhead. Officers in riot gear lined the streets. White nationalists and counterprotesters screamed at each other from fenced-off pens, but the tactics employed by law enforcement at the "White Lives Matter" rally last month in Tennessee might have prevented the kind of mayhem that had erupted at earlier rallies in other states.

Several weeks earlier, police in Richmond, Virginia, banned bats, bricks, flag poles and any other items that potentially could be used as weapons at a rally held by a Confederate heritage group. Police in Berkeley, California, employed similar tactics this year after a hands-off approach failed to prevent a series of violent clashes.

At the heart of the changes is a determination to prevent a repeat of the bloodshed resulting from a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, when a woman was struck and killed by a car that plowed into a group of counterprotesters.

Since then, law enforcement agencies around the country are honing their responses to an increasing number of rallies held by far-right groups, trying to balance free-speech rights with public safety and comparing notes to see which tactics work best.

Preparing for a speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer on its campus last month, the University of Florida sent a contingent of police officers to Berkeley to learn from the city's experiences.

"We have to be the mediator (for) people's ability to have free speech. But ... what we took away from Berkeley was to act quickly if something violent arose," University of Florida police Chief Linda Stump-Kurnick.

Josh Bronson, training director for the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, began developing a new training program for campus police within days of the Charlottesville violence. One of Bronson's primary messages is that meeting with group leaders on opposing sides of the barricades — before the rallies even begin — can help police avoid violence.

"The more communication that occurs, the more positive the outcome," he said.

At the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, white nationalists and counterprotesters converged at an intersection that remained unblocked by barriers or police tape. Officers largely stood and watched as people threw punches, beat each other with clubs, set off smoke bombs and unleashed chemical spray.

The response led to reports that officials had given an explicit "stand-down" order not to intervene, something authorities have vehemently denied. Charlottesville police Chief Al Thomas said white nationalists didn't comply with a security plan that police had devised to keep them separated from counterprotesters. Virginia's governor and other officials defended the response, saying police had to show restraint because the crowd was heavily armed.

A consultant hired by the state to review the day's events, however, issued a preliminary report last month that said the city "placed minimal/no restrictions on the demonstrators." It also found that many recommendations the state made to the city ahead of the event "were not accepted."

The police response in Richmond, Virginia, was strikingly different about a month later, when an out-of-state Confederate heritage group announced plans for a rally there in September. Virginia allows residents to openly carry guns, but Richmond police banned other items that could be used as weapons, including bats, bricks and flag poles. The department also implemented parking restrictions and road closures and used public works trucks as barricades to keep vehicles out of pedestrian areas.

Police Chief Alfred Durham said authorities had learned from Charlottesville and would quickly step in to break up any violence.

"We will not allow things to get out of hand," Durham said before the rally, where seven people were arrested but nobody was injured.

The list of items banned from last month's rally in Shelbyville, Tennessee, included weapons, bottles, backpacks, purses, masks, sticks and poles. A new Tennessee law enacted this year at the behest of the National Rifle Association prohibits local governments from banning people with state-issued handgun carry permits from being armed at any site that does not screen with metal detectors. To comply with that law while trying to ensure public safety, officials herded white nationalists and counterprotesters through airport-like security checkpoints staffed by an officer with a handheld metal detector.

White nationalist blogger Brad Griffin, who helped organize the rally, said the measures delayed the event's start by more than an hour but probably prevented violence.

"I'm not going to complain," Griffin said. "I'd much rather have to deal with that than what we did in Charlottesville."

Only minor skirmishes were reported on the University of Florida's Gainesville campus when Spencer spoke there last month. But three of his supporters were arrested on attempted-murder charges after an off-campus shooting later that day.

Alex Vitale, a Brooklyn College sociology professor who has studied the policing of protests for two decades, said law enforcement authorities need a "flexible, mobile response" that allows officers to prevent or quickly end clashes on the outskirts of rally sites.

"Police need to have a presence in these groups as they're moving around," he said.


Relative: Pregnant woman, 3 children, in-laws slain in Texas

Posted on November 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jim Vertuno and Frank Bajak Associated Press

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — A mother's pride had lit up Crystal Holcombe's Facebook page. Daughters Emily and Megan had finished third and first in their respective categories in a 4-H bakeoff and displayed their handiwork in posted photos.

But on Sunday afternoon, the page went grim.

"Keep the Holcombe family in your prayers," a friend posted.

Crystal Holcombe, who was eight months pregnant, was among the 26 people killed by a lone gunman wielding an assault rifle, most inside the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, according to her cousin, Nick Uhlig.

Uhlig told The Associated Press that Holcombe's in-laws were killed, and he told the Houston Chronicle that three of Holcombe's children also died.

"She doesn't even drink, smoke or nothing," he told the newspaper. "She just takes care of kids; she raises goats and makes homemade cheese. That kind of thing, you know? They don't go out dancing or anything like that. They're real old-fashioned, down-to-earth."

The father-in-law, Bryan Holcombe, had done prison ministry, Uhlig said. "He would go up to the prison with a ukulele to sing."

The massacred churchgoers ranged in age from 5 to 72, state police said. About 20 others were wounded.

One local man, 68-year-old Earl Good, told the San Antonio Express-News that a good friend had lost eight relatives in the shooting.

It's not clear whether the Holcombes were that family.

Another victim was 14-year-old Annabelle Pomeroy, daughter of the church's pastor, Frank Pomeroy. Both he and his wife were out of town, in different states, on Sunday.

"Heaven truly gained a real beautiful angel this morning along with many more," the girl's uncle, Scott Pomeroy, lamented on his Facebook page, posting a picture of the smiling girl poolside in a bathing suit. All those robbed of life in Sunday's bloodbath, he wrote, "have taken their last breath of dirty air and took their first breath of heavenly air with new bodies with no pain and suffering."

Another of those killed was the 13-year-old goddaughter of Amanda Mosel, she told the Express-News.

Hank Summers, a local who had moved to San Antonio, told the AP via text message that his uncle, David Colbath, survived five gunshots that required extensive surgery and skin grafts to save an arm.

Sutherland Springs is a tiny town where everyone knows each other, said L.G. Moore, who runs the Holiday RV Park, which is ¼ mile from the church.

Everyone in town was apt to know someone who was killed, he ventured.

"They say the population is 400 and that's if you count every dog, cat and armadillo. It's more like 200 people," the 75-year-old Moore said by phone.


Texas deputy shot multiple times, suspect arrested

Posted on November 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Lindsay Ellis and Jasmine Davis Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON — A Precinct 4 deputy constable is stable after a shooting on Sunday when he suffered multiple gunshot wounds, officials said.

The precinct's official Twitter account said on Sunday evening that the deputy constable is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

He was using a taser while attempting to arrest a suspect as he responded to a call reporting a home disturbance just before 6 p.m. Sunday, Constable Mark Herman said.

The suspect, identified as Constantine Argyriou, then opened fire, he said.

Argyriou, 38 years old, faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, a first-degree felony, for the alleged attack, Herman said. He was taken into custody just before 7 p.m.

The deputy was transported via LifeFlight to Memorial Hermann, Herman said.

Multiple emergency vehicles blocked off the street, the 9000 block of Walnut Glen Drive in Northwest Harris County, on Sunday night.

"Please keep our brother in your prayers," the precinct's official Twitter account posted.

Deputy Justin Gay is under going an 18 hour surgery at this time. Thank you for your continued prayers during this difficult time.

— Precinct 4 Constable (@pct4constable) November 6, 2017

©2017 the Houston Chronicle


Viral video shows struggle between cop, unruly fan at football game

Posted on November 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By David Neal and Charles Rabin Miami Herald

MIAMI — A video shared on social media shows a Miami-Dade police officer punching a woman who had slapped him twice as officers ejected her from Hard Rock Stadium during the University of Miami football game against Virginia Tech.

Saturday night’s incident at the nationally televised game was posted on the Instagram account The 5th Year/Barstool Sports.

The U is back @BarstoolUMiami pic.twitter.com/MI96aa4zh4

— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) November 5, 2017

Bridget Freitas, 30, was arrested on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct. The Pembroke Pines woman, a registered nurse, bonded out Sunday morning.

In the video, four Miami-Dade uniformed officers, three men and one woman, attempt to remove Freitas, who appears to be lolling in a barely conscious state. She was in a stairway between rows, hanging onto a man’s shirt with her right hand.

As the officers hoist her above them and begin moving up the stairs, Freitas swings twice at Miami-Dade police detective Douglas Ross, who was holding her right leg — a forehand that grazed the back of his head and a backhand swing that caught him on the left side of his face.

Ross responded with a right hook to Freitas’ face.

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said as of Sunday, Ross’ standing with department hasn't changed. They are reviewing the video and “immediate chain of command will address the concerns.”

Police union President John Rivera said from what he has seen of the video, Ross was justified in striking the woman.

“All he did was react to her actions,” said Rivera, president of Miami-Dade's Police Benevolent Association.

Herald attempts to reach Freitas Sunday were unsuccessful.

As for what happened before the video, according to the arrest report, Ross went to Section 129 after a disturbance was reported there. The disturbance Ross found was Freitas arguing with other fans while “using profanity in a loud and boisterous manner.”

After officers couldn’t get Freitas to exit the section calmly, the report says, she planted herself on the stairs. Two officers tried to get her up and out. Two other officers, of which Ross was one, joined to help.

That’s when the video starts.

The report describes “Upon lifting (Freitas), (Freitas) swung and struck (Det. Ross) in the face while attempting to get away, causing this Det. (Ross) to strike (Freitas) in the face to gain compliance and control.”

Miami-Dade police issued a statement about the incident on Sunday afternoon: “Promoting a safe and secure environment during any special event is our primary concern. After responding to a disturbance, the person in the video was being removed from the event by our officers for being disorderly. She was subsequently arrested for Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Disorderly Conduct/Breach of the peace.

“Supervisory personnel are aware of the video and are reviewing the incident to ensure compliance with our policies and procedures.”

Freitas was one of 23 ejections and two arrests Saturday night, according to Miami-Dade police. The other arrest was also for battery.

©2017 Miami Herald


Sheriff: Suspect who killed 26 at Texas church believed to have shot himself

Posted on November 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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UPDATE: 10:10 a.m. (CST)

Authorities believe the man suspected of killing 26 people and injuring about 20 others at a Texas church shot himself following a car wreck.

Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. tells CBS News that police found Devin Patrick Kelley dead inside his vehicle Sunday shortly after the shootings in Sutherland Springs.

Tackitt says Kelley was being pursued by two community members and investigators believe gunfire was exchanged before Kelley's vehicle crashed.

The sheriff says investigators believe Kelley shot himself after the wreck.

EARLIER:

By Jim Vertuno Associated Press

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — A gunman dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside a small South Texas church, killing 26 people in an attack that claimed tight-knit neighbors and multiple family members ranging in age from 5 to 72 years old.

Once the shooting started Sunday at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a town of about 400 people, there was likely "no way" for congregants to escape, said Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. Officials said about 20 others were wounded.

"He just walked down the center aisle, turned around and my understanding was shooting on his way back out," said Tackitt, who said the gunman also carried a handgun but that he didn't know if it was fired. Tackitt described the scene as "terrible."

"It's unbelievable to see children, men and women, laying there. Defenseless people," he said.

Tackitt told CNN on Monday morning that the gunman's former in-laws attended services at the church "from time to time" but weren't in attendance Sunday.

Texas officials confirmed the suspect as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26. They said he lived in New Braunfels, which is about 35 miles north of the Sutherland Springs church. Sutherland Springs

A U.S. official told The Associated Press that Kelley didn't appear to be linked to organized terrorist groups. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to discuss the investigation.

Investigators were looking at social media posts Kelley made in the days before the attack, including one that appeared to show an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon.

Kelley received a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force for assaulting his spouse and child, and was sentenced to 12 months' confinement after a 2012 court-martial. Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his 2014 discharge, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.

At the news conference, the attacker was described only as a white man in his 20s who was wearing black tactical gear and a ballistic vest when he pulled into a gas station across from the church, about 30 miles (48.28 kilometers) southeast of San Antonio, around 11:20 a.m.

The gunman crossed the street and started firing the rifle at the church, said Freeman Martin, a regional director of the Texas Department of Safety, then continued firing after entering the white wood-frame building, where an 11 a.m. service was scheduled.

As he left, the shooter was confronted by an armed resident who "grabbed his rifle and engaged that suspect," Martin said. A short time later, the suspect was found dead in his vehicle at the county line.

Federal agents, including ATF investigators and the FBI's evidence collection team, swarmed the small rural community of just hundreds of residents.

Several weapons were found inside the vehicle and Martin said it was unclear if the attacker died of a self-inflicted wound or if he was shot by the resident who confronted him. He said investigators weren't ready to discuss a possible motive.

Martin said 23 of the dead were found in the church, two were found outside and one died after being taken to a hospital.

The man who confronted Kelley had help from another local resident, Johnnie Langendorff, who told KSAT TV that he was driving past the church as the shooting happened. He didn't identify the armed resident but said the man exchanged gunfire with the gunman, then asked to get in Langendorff's truck and the pair followed as the gunman drove away.

Langendorff said the gunman eventually lost control of his vehicle and crashed. He said the other man walked up to the vehicle with his gun drawn and the suspect did not move. He stayed there for at least five minutes, until police arrived.

"I was strictly just acting on what's the right thing to do," Langendorff said.

Among those killed was the church pastor's 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy. Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, were both out of town when the attack occurred, Sherri Pomeroy wrote in a text message.

"We lost our 14-year-old daughter today and many friends," she wrote. "Neither of us has made it back into town yet to personally see the devastation. I am at the charlotte airport trying to get home as soon as i can."

Church member Nick Uhlig, 34, who wasn't at Sunday's service, told the AP that his cousin, who was 8 months pregnant, and her in-laws were among those killed. He later told the Houston Chronicle that three of his cousin's children also were slain.

President Donald Trump, who was in Japan, called the shooting an "act of evil," later calling the gunman "a very deranged individual."

Sunday evening, two sheriff's vans were parked outside the gate of a cattle fence surrounding the address listed for Kelley on the rural, western outskirts of New Braunfels, north of San Antonio.

Ryan Albers, 16, who lives across the road, said he heard intensifying gunfire coming from that direction in recent days.

"It was definitely not just a shotgun or someone hunting," Albers said. "It was someone using automatic weapon fire."

The church has posted videos of its Sunday services on a YouTube channel, raising the possibility that the shooting was captured on video.

In a video of its Oct. 8 service, a congregant who spoke and read Scripture pointed to the Oct. 1 Las Vegas shooting a week earlier as evidence of the "wicked nature" of man. That shooting left 58 dead and more than 500 injured.

Gov. Greg Abbott called Sunday's attack the worst mass shooting in Texas history. It came on the eighth anniversary of a shooting at the Texas' Fort Hood, where 13 people were killed and 31 others wounded by a former U.S. Army major.

The previous deadliest mass shooting in Texas had been a 1991 attack in Killeen, when a mentally disturbed man crashed his pickup truck through a restaurant window at lunchtime and started shooting people, killing 23 and injuring more than 20 others.

The University of Texas was the site of one of the most infamous mass shootings in modern American history, when U.S. Marine sniper Charles Whitman climbed the Austin campus' clock tower in 1966 and began firing on stunned people below, killing 13 and wounding nearly three dozen others. He had killed his wife and mother before heading to the tower, one victim died a week later and medical examiners eventually attributed a 17th death to Whitman in 2001.