November 19, 2017

Why IACP’s recommendation on warning shots is a terrible idea

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

When the International Association of Chiefs of Police (and roughly a dozen other police organizations) released their “National Consensus Policy On Use Of Force” earlier this year, there was widespread reaction among police trainers and line-level officers that some of the recommendations were unrealistic.

One recommendation in particular is remarkably misguided, and has been getting a lot of media attention recently: “Discharge of a firearm for the purpose of compelling compliance from an individual, but not intended to cause physical injury.”

You read that right. Joined by a host of other police organizations such as FOP, NTOA, CALEA, NAPO and others, the IACP wants to bring back warning shots. What could possibly go wrong there?

The report recommends that a warning shot “must have a defined target” and shall not be fired unless:

the use of deadly force is justified; the warning shot will not pose a substantial risk of injury or death to the officer or others; and the officer reasonably believes that the warning shot will reduce the possibility that deadly force will have to be used. 3 reasons this is a terrible idea

There’s a lot to digest in those three bullet points (pun intended), so let’s take these items one at a time (and in reverse order).

1. Warning shots probably won’t even work The IACP’s third stipulation is that an officer reasonably believes that a warning shot will reduce the likelihood of deadly force being used. I can see the officer on the witness stand now: “Yes, your Honor, I sincerely believed that uncorking a round into that nearby brick wall would stop that armed felon in his tracks, and that he would peaceably surrender to me. In my training and experience, that’s what tends to happen.”

The most likely thing a fleeing subject will do following a warning shot is run faster. That, or shoot back first. In either case, bad things are likely to happen.

2. Any bullet leaving a muzzle poses a threat On the matter of a warning shot not posing “a substantial risk of injury or death,” in a dynamic, rapidly unfolding, high-stress, deadly-threat situation there is not time to survey the area and wonder, “What is in my immediate area that I can shoot (‘a defined target’ as stated by the consensus policy) which will not cause any injury?”

Recall that the second basic rule of firearms handling is “never point a gun at anything you are unwilling to lose forever” so that eliminates a whole host of environmental targets — actually, that takes away all of them.

So, that gives us the ground and the sky. A shot fired directly into the ground has a high probability of sending bullet fragments in all sorts of directions (including the cop’s ankles), and a bullet fired into the air will eventually return to earth, either at terminal velocity or with the refiling spin intact and at a much higher rate of speed.

Warning shots also fly in the face of another basic tenant: Officers are responsible for every round they shoot. This opens the door for the following: “I didn’t miss, Sarge. Those were warning shots.”

3. Warning shots muddy the waters of case law Finally, according to Graham v. Connor, the use of deadly force is justified when an officer reasonably believes that a subject poses a threat of death or great bodily harm (either to the officer or to others), and as stated in Tennessee v. Garner, a warning of any kind may only be given “where feasible.” That warning is by no means required, and “where feasible” a warning should be made verbally, not with a gun. If “Stop or I’ll shoot” doesn’t work, who in their right mind truly believes that “Bang!” is going to have the intended effect without some other unintended consequence also happening.

In a deadly-threat scenario, an officer should not be pointing their weapon at anything but the threat. In order to institute such a policy would require that police trainers (and policy makers) to ignore the well-known established case law from Graham and Garner.

Why even make such a proposal?

In the five-page document there are a number of well-reasoned and well intentioned suggestions — passages such as “officers shall receive training, at least annually, on this agency’s use-of-force policy and related legal updates” and “deadly force should not be used against persons whose actions are a threat only to themselves or property” make logical sense — but one is left to wonder what led this group of police organizations to reverse itself on warning shots.

I don’t believe I’m alone in the cynical suspicion that for at least some of the people at the table writing this policy, the move was politically motivated. I can envision a future in which the first question from the press gaggle on the department front steps will be “Why did your officer not fire any warning shots? Why did he just shoot the subject first thing?”

Here’s the problem: The court of public opinion will then base their verdict not on the answer, but on the question, and for the vast majority of the uneducated masses, the officer will be declared guilty and his actions second-guessed ad nauseam.

Furthermore, giving cops the option to fire a warning shot is inevitably going to create the expectation among certain members of the press, the public, and the political class that a warning shot should be fired in all confrontations between cops and dangerous subjects.

The profession already has to deal with the Hollywood-influenced opinions of people who want cops to shoot at a subject’s extremities (“shooting to wound”) rather than aiming for center mass. Suddenly adding this other piece of fiction to the conversation around police use of force does nothing to help educate people about the challenges of police work — in fact, it does the opposite.

Conclusion

Implementing policy that allows officers to fire “warning shots” in deadly-force situations is not only wrongheaded but potentially dangerous. When a subject poses an imminent threat of death or GBH, deadly force is justified, and deadly force is the most appropriate action to be taken.

Can de-escalation be employed? By all means yes, as long as the officer and innocents remain safe from harm. Can officers seek to employ “time and distance” whenever possible? Certainly, as long as it makes sense tactically and does not open up new targets of opportunity for the deadly threat.

As I’ve written before, when it’s time to shoot, shoot! Aiming at anything other than center mass is misguided to say the least.

I’m all for giving cops more options than less — more tools than less — to resolve situations and complete their myriad missions on the street. So to one extent, reversing their recommendation that departments ban the practice makes some sense (at least officers are not going to get jacked up for trying this tactic), but to go further and actually suggest that the practice be widely adopted — while issuing little guidance on precisely how it would be trained, and zero evidence of how the matter was studied and tested — is a flawed strategy.


5 reasons first responders should take yoga seriously

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Olivia Kvitne, Founder and Director, Yoga for First Responders

As a yoga instructor working specifically with first responders and veterans, I’m accustomed to being the one who initiates conversations with fire and police departments. So it came as a welcomed surprise to be contacted by one of the largest police departments in the country. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) reached out to me after they lost several high commanding officers from heart attacks. The agency realized that many of its members were experiencing medical issues caused by years of unaddressed, cumulative stress. The department’s behavioral sciences department was searching for ways to save their team members from such preventable medical conditions.

At the time I got the call, I had spent the last several months teaching yoga to members of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). Word had spread that LAFD was having success using yoga techniques as a resource for reducing stress among firefighters.

Until recently, officers were discouraged from acknowledging that they were having issues coping with stress and the pressures of the job. Such admissions were often considered a sign of weakness and brought into question an officer’s ability to perform his or her duties. As a result, many officers who experienced symptoms of secondary traumatic stress suffered in silence. Sadly, this stress broke many good officers, who resigned or caused them to behave in a way that caused them to lose their jobs.

Fortunately, today there are more conversations happening about how to handle the mental health challenges that go with being a law enforcement officer and first responder. While this is good news, the stigma of acknowledging stress remains, and many people are not actually taking the steps to manage that stress.

Can a Yoga Practice Be the Answer?

As I got deeper into my own study of yoga, I realized that this practice is not just “good” for first responders; it is meant for them. Why? Because the original and true intents of yoga are to obtain a mastery of the mind and achieve an optimal functioning of the entire being—from the subtle nervous system to the whole physical body. This authentic objective of yoga is thousands of years old, with no relation to how recent Western culture has marketed it as trendy and hip.

Individuals who practice with this purpose are often better able to process stress and convert it into higher levels of performance. Yoga allows people to increase their ability to focus and problem-solve, gives them heightened situational awareness, and helps them make intelligent gut reactions to situations. People who practice yoga also have the ability to make self-directed biological changes, meaning they can impact the functioning of their brain and nervous system through their own actions. Such biological changes are shown to be a possible outcome of those who practice mindfulness exercises, such as yoga, thanks to research projects using biofeedback machines that track activity inside the brain and body.

When stress is trapped in the body and mind and no action is taken to process it, stress causes a depletion of a person’s health. However, when individuals take steps to consistently handle the stress they’re feeling, they can improve their well-being and even become more resilient in the face of adversity.

How is Yoga Different For First Responders?

Yoga For First Responders takes the original intent of the practice and delivers it in a way that targets the specific needs of first responders. The curriculum provides a skill set that is simple, safe, practical and effective. This protocol primarily focuses on tactical breath work (specific breath-control techniques) to access the nervous system, physical postures for releasing stress and building mental and physical stability, and ends with a neurological reset exercise to return the system to a balanced state.

5 Reasons to Change Your Mind about Yoga and Take it Seriously

If, after reading the information above, you are still skeptical about stepping on a mat, here are five reasons to consider changing your thinking:

    It’s Simple. It only takes three minutes to make a change in the nervous system. You can even practice a tactical breath work exercise (see exercise below) while driving in your patrol car on your way to the next call. Just one deep breath consciously directed into the belly can make a big difference. It’s Private and Introspective. Yoga For First Responders doesn’t focus on a specific incident, but on the psychophysiological effect developed from general work as a first responder. No one has to know what you are working through on the yoga mat, if anything at all. You can practice yoga because it feels good or use it to help you process something specific. All of it can be done in the privacy of your own space, or in a public class. It’s Multifunctional. Yoga serves many purposes. It not only removes stress from the mind and body, but it also builds resiliency and enhances mental and physical performance. This is sometimes described as experiencing “flow” or being “in the zone.” These results can be a benefit personally as well as professionally. It’s Not What You Think It Is. Many people have the misperception that yoga is only for women. Some think it’s easy; others think it’s a religion. In India, where yoga originated 5,000 years ago, it is still primarily practiced by men and used to train their army. Marketing yoga to women is purely a tool of the West to increase business. Yoga can be confused as a religious practice because it developed alongside the culture of the East, which was heavily rooted in religions such as Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. Some master teachers in the past would mix their cultural, religious and yoga practices together. At its foundation, yoga is a science and a philosophy. The pure teachings of yoga have no theological orientation and can help anyone of any religion. It’s Time. Consider these statistics:
Every 20 hours a police officer commits suicide. 40 percent of officers experience sleep disorders, which too often results in deadly car accidents. The average life span of an officer after retirement is only five years.

Something needs to change in law enforcement culture, so these statistics can change. The “macho” stereotype that has kept law enforcement away from yoga is not worth these devastating numbers, especially when you realize how strong and focused you must be to practice yoga, as well as how much stronger you will become when practicing consistently.

Why You Should Start Now

The good thing is that it doesn’t take much to start a yoga practice right away. Here is a simple exercise to begin your journey toward reducing stress in your life:

Tactical Breath Work:

Belly Breathing: Sit in a chair or in your patrol car with a tall, straight spine, no slouching. Place one hand on the low belly area. Inhale slowly through the nose and inflate the belly like a balloon, feeling the belly expand against the hand. Exhale slowly through the nose and feel the belly deflate away from the hand. Continue this a few times, working to make each inhale and exhale slower and deeper and directing the breath into the belly rather than the chest. Add Breath Count: Continue the belly breathing above (hand can stay on belly or not) while inhaling and exhaling through the nose. As you inhale, count how many seconds it takes to inhale. It will probably be around 3 to 4 counts. Pause the breath at the top of the inhale, and then slowly exhale and count how long it takes to exhale. Work on making the exhale longer than the inhale. For example, if you inhale for a count of three, try to extend the length of the exhale for a count of four.

Practice the above exercise for 3 minutes at a time. Breathing through the nose while directing the breath low into the belly and consciously making the exhale longer than the inhale are the three ingredients to press the “calm” button on the nervous system. This process will also help if you are having a hard time falling asleep. This exercise is simple and subtle, yet the effect on the nervous system can make a huge difference.

For more simple and short practices on video, check out our videos on Yoga for First Responders.

About the Author: Olivia Kvitne has been a lifelong yoga practitioner and an instructor since 2003. While living in Los Angeles, Olivia taught weekly trauma-sensitive yoga classes at the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Training Center, as well as presented continuing education workshops on yoga and the neurological system for LAFD, and special workshops for high-ranking command staff of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). It is at LAFD where Yoga For First Responders was first born in collaboration with Dr. Robert Scott. Olivia currently teaches yoga for Carlisle, Indianola and Norwalk Fire Departments, Des Moines Veterans Association, Iowa Army National Guard, and the Des Moines Police Academy. Olivia is a staff writer and former assistant editor of LA Yoga Magazine. Her writing for other yoga publications and blogs includes the inaugural issue of Yoga Iowa, with her article on the benefits of yoga in the military being the cover story. Olivia is a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA).


Business donates percent of sales, tips to family of critically-injured Mo. cop

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A community is rallying together to help raise money for an officer who was critically injured in a shooting.

Officer Thomas Wagstaff, 42, was shot in the head while responding to a call of a burglary in progress on March 29, Fox 4 KC reported. He remains in the hospital in critical condition.

Epic Coffee is donating 10 percent of all April sales plus tips to Wagstaff and his family.

According to the news station, the coffee shop is a part of a local church and they give back to a community cause every month. The choice to support Wagstaff’s family was a no-brainer because the Independence Police Department protects the church and its members, the company said.

“There’s a phrase that stuck out to us that we heard years ago: ‘Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone,’ and it stuck out to me,” church member Bobby Hawk said. A GoFundMe has been set up to help Wagstaff’s family as well.

Officials said when the suspects saw police approaching, they fled in the homeowner’s vehicle. A neighbor’s security camera shows one officer attempting to shoot out the tires of the fleeing vehicle. Police said Wagstaff was shot while the suspects fled. An investigation is ongoing.

Joseph Wyatt, 28, and Ronar Santiago-Torres, 27, are both charged with first-degree robbery, armed criminal action, first-degree burglary and kidnapping. James McChan, 56, and Donald Nussbaum, 51, face first degree robbery, armed criminal action, first degree burglary and kidnapping charges for allegedly acting as accomplices.

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Update: Tuesday, April 4th A message from Chief Brad Halsey: Officer Tom Wagstaff is still in critical condition....

Nai-post ni Independence Police Department noong Martes, Abril 4, 2017


Citing prosecutor’s death penalty stance, Fla. governor reassigns 21 cases

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Gray Rohrer, Rene Stutzman and Gal Tziperman Lotan Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. — Gov. Rick Scott on Monday took away 21 more first-degree murder cases from Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala because she refuses to seek the death penalty.

All of them will be handled by State Attorney Brad King, who serves Lake, Marion and three other counties.

Ayala was in Tallahassee on Monday, meeting with legislators — but not the governor, according to her spokeswoman, Eryka Washington.

“Ms. Ayala remains steadfast in her position that the Governor is abusing his authority and has compromised the independence and integrity of the criminal justice system,” Washington said in a statement.

The move comes three weeks after Scott removed Ayala from the case of accused cop killer Markeith Loyd after she announced she will not seek the death penalty for him or anyone else.

That decision made Ayala a darling of death-penalty opponents, but set off both pro- and anti-Ayala demonstrations in Orlando and Tallahassee.

Monday’s action by the governor — 21 separate orders — was an extension of his earlier decision to appoint King as special prosecutor in the Loyd case.

Six of the new cases involve murder defendants who have not yet come to trial. The others have already been sentenced to death, and some have cases on appeal.

Louis Virelli, a law professor at Stetson University in DeLand, said the governor’s decision could set a bad precedent.

“When viewed on a case-by-case basis, this remedy by the governor strikes me as dangerous,” Virelli said. “ … that’s the general precedent in my mind, is that this opens the door for governors of all political parties to cherry-pick cases away from prosecutors.”

If Scott believes Ayala is neglecting her duties by not seeking the death penalty, he could try to suspend her from office — a process that would require Senate approval and more scrutiny, Virelli said. He could also wait until Ayala, who took office in January, is up for re-election and let voters decide whether they approve of her actions.

The law Scott cited allows a governor to remove prosecutors from cases if the prosecutors are unfit or if there is a conflict of interest.

“I do think this statute is a stretch,” Virelli said.

In a prepared statement, Scott said he made Monday’s decision “in the interest of justice.”

“Each of these cases I am reassigning represents a horrific loss of life,” he said. “The families who tragically lost someone deserve a state attorney who will take the time to review every individual fact and circumstance before making such an impactful decision.”

King and his top assistant, Ric Ridgway, were in Orlando on Monday morning for a hearing in the Loyd case. Ridgway said they found out about the new cases at 12:30 p.m.

“You didn’t have to be a psychic to see that this was a possibility,” he said. “It was kind of obvious that something like this might happen.”

King’s office has not determined yet how to handle the new workload. Five attorneys are qualified to handle death-penalty cases, he said.

Attorney General Pam Bondi has offered to loan some of her lawyers, he said.

State Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, condemned Scott’s decision.

“I think he’s overstepping his authority,” Bracy said. “She’s been independently elected. … He’s taking away the authority that she was given by the people.”

State Rep. Sean Shaw, D-Tampa, a member of the Legislature’s black caucus, also criticized Scott’s decision.

“The Governor is attempting to set a dangerous precedent that would destroy the idea of independence for State Attorneys throughout Florida who must now fear political retribution … if they make a decision he disagrees with,” Shaw said in a statement.

Six of the newly reassigned cases involve defendants who are awaiting trial. They including Larry Perry, accused of beating his infant son to death in St. Cloud and Juan Rosario, charged with beating his 83-year-old neighbor to death, then setting her house in unincorporated Orange County on fire.

When Ayala’s predecessor, Jeff Ashton, was in office, prosecutors had announced plans to pursue the death penalty in all six.

Monday’s other reassignments involve killers who’ve already been convicted. Eight from that group are likely to win appeals because jurors did not vote unanimously for the death penalty.

They included death-row inmate John Huggins, convicted of murdering Carla Larson, an engineer who disappeared from a Publix near Walt Disney World in 1997, and was strangled; Jermaine “Bugsy” Lebron, convicted of murdering a 22-year-old Belle Isle man in Osceola County in 1995 so he could steal the man’s red pickup; and David Sylvester Frances, accused of killing a woman and her teenage niece.

Absent from the list of 21 were the two defendants most recently sent to death row from Orange County.

They are Bessman Okafor, convicted of killing Alex Zaldivar, a 19-year-old who was set to testify against him in a home-invasion trial, and Dane Abdool, convicted of burning his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend to death in 2006.

Cases that are awaiting court decisions cannot be reassigned until their appeals have concluded, said Lauren Schenone, a spokeswoman for Scott.

Loyd, 41, is accused of murdering Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton in a Wal-Mart parking lot Jan. 9 as she tried to arrest him.

He was wanted in the shooting death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, killed Dec. 13.

King has not said what penalty he will seek in either case.

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©2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)


Mass. police union launches new tool to help officers in crisis

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — Massachusetts Coalition of Police President Scott Hovsepian announced Friday that the police union would be providing a new tool to help officers in crisis.

The union, which represents close to 4,300 officers, will launch an anonymous online screening tool from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to police. According to a press release, the self-check quiz will help connect distressed officers to peer support officers and mental health services before a crisis emerges.

“If this can save one life, it is money, time, and energy well spent. You can’t put a price on a life,” Hovsepian said. “I want police officers nationwide to know that there are tools like the self-check quiz that can help them through the hard times.”

Following Hovespian’s announcement, officers underwent a four-hour training session regarding mental health, alcohol and drug abuse, and how to prevent suicide among their ranks.

“Police officers are accustomed to serving others, and this is a way for them to ensure they stay healthy and strong,” Dr. Christine Moutier, AFSP chief medical officer, said. “Seeking help for your mental health is the brave thing to do.”

According to the AFSP, 44,193 Americans die by suicide a year and it is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.


Nonprofit donates to Texas PD to help prevent officer suicides

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — After a Texas sergeant took his life inside a Houston police station last week, one nonprofit felt the need to help struggling police officers.

Fit First Responders donated more than $100,000 in scholarships to the department and free online memberships for life for all Houston police officers, Click2Houston.com reported.

The website provides all first responders with a community to privately express their problems and successes. The online forum also offers workouts, nutrition tips, recipes and life coaching.

The founder of Fit First Responders, known as “Coach JC,” told the news station he was “deeply saddened” over the officer’s death, but it made his goal of helping first responders through the struggles they face in life even stronger.

“We have a huge problem in our nation with our hometown heroes taking their own lives when they are supposed to be saving lives," Coach JC said. “With everything going on in the world today, there is not a more crucial time than now for our first responders to be fit for duty and, most importantly, fit for life."


Traffic stop teaching in NC driver’s ed approved in committee

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — A legislator says he believes his bill requiring North Carolina driver's education materials to direct motorists how to act during police stops would save lives if enacted.

The House Transportation Committee voted unanimously Tuesday for the legislation, which would put stop procedures and appropriate actions by drivers within the state driver's handbook and in school driver's education curriculum.

Rep. Ken Goodman of Rockingham spoke to committee members for the bipartisan legislation, introduced in light of recent deadly encounters between officers and drivers nationwide. Virginia's governor signed similar legislation last month, while Illinois passed a law last year.

The North Carolina proposal would direct the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association, state Highway Patrol and police groups to be involved in developing the materials. The bill now heads to another House committee.


Ill. police widows’ benefits sidelined by budget impasse

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — A group of widows, whose police officer and firefighter husbands died in the line of duty, are still awaiting more than $300,000 apiece for their losses.

Reuters reported that Illinois' 22-month budget stalemate has left the seven windows' unpaid. They have been waiting for at least a year for their share of more than $2.7 million in awards and interest owed under the Line of Duty Compensation Act.

"I think it's unconscionable," Pat Devaney, president of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, said. "From my perspective, I'd say this is the result of Governor Rauner's failure to propose and work with the General Assembly to pass a balanced budget that funds important things like this."

The payment of line-of-duty awards passed in the Illinois Senate May 2016, but dissolved in the Illinois House.

"Heaven knows what they're going through," State Rep. Fred Crespo said.

Gov. Rauner's spokeswoman, Eleni Demertzis, said the governor wants to "uphold any promised payments made to the families," but believes the payments should be part of the budget deal, according to the report.

"Unfortunately, they cannot be paid until the General Assembly passes a balanced budget," Demertzis said.


Police release video of suspected Texas cop killer’s car

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

By Andrew Kragie Houston Chronicle

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — The day after a local law enforcement leader was ambushed and fatally shot east of Houston, police said on Tuesday morning that they are pursuing leads and following up on the few tips that have come in.

"We're getting a few here and there," Baytown police Lt. Steve Dorris said of tips that have come through Crime Stoppers, which on Monday offered a reward up to $50,000. Gov. Greg Abbott's office offered an additional $15,000 reward.

Late Monday, police released surveillance video of a suspected getaway car. Authorities believe the driver is the same man who fatally shot Clint Greenwood, assistant chief deputy with the Harris County Precinct 3 Constable's Office. The vehicle appears to be a dark-colored subcompact car.

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Per Baytown Police Department, TX: Attached is a video clip of a suspect vehicle in the murder of Assistant Chief Deputy Clinton Greenwood this morning. Along with the vehicle in this video we are also currently looking for a white or Hispanic male, approximately 6’0 to 6’3 tall, short hair and medium to stocky build. This person was possibly wearing a dark jacket with some type of patch on the sleeve and was seen in the area around the time of the shooting. We ask anyone who may recognize the vehicle or who has any information about this case to contact the Baytown Police Department at 281-422-8371 or Baytown Crime Stoppers at 281-422-TIPS (8477) or Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers of Houston will pay up to $50,000.00 and Baytown Crime Stoppers will pay up to $15,000.00 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect in this case.

Posted by Harris County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Police described a man who was seen in the area at the time of the 7 a.m. shooting as a white or Hispanic man, about 6 foot to 6 feet 3, with short hair and a medium to stocky build.

The driver could have blended in with traffic as students, parents and staff arrived to a nearby high school, which was later locked down.

Authorities said late Monday they were investigating several leads but had not made any arrests.

Just last week, Greenwood had told county officials he felt threatened by a man he'd once targeted in a corruption investigation. He shared his concerns with officials in the Harris County Attorney's Office who were handling an administrative matter related to the case, according to a source who asked not to be identified because of the nature of the investigation.

"I believe [this person] poses a real threat to my and my family's safety," Greenwood said in an email sent Thursday to the county attorney's office.

Greenwood's concerns about the corruption case were passed along to law enforcement, the source said.

The reward of up to $65,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and charges in the case through Crime Stoppers, 713-222-TIPS.

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©2017 the Houston Chronicle

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Texas prays for Chief Greenwood’s family and the Harris County, Texas, constable’s office. Our men and women who wear the badge are the best we have. Chief Greenwood’s life may be gone, but his memory serves as a reminder of all those who give their lives for the thin blue line. The suspect is still at large and Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering a reward up to $50,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case. #BackTheBlue Houston Police Department Harris County Sheriff's Office

Posted by Ted Poe on Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Ex-convict briefly escaped though hole in police station ceiling

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Patricio G. Balona The News-Journal

ORANGE CITY, Fla. — An ex-convict arrested on a shoplifting charge escaped from a police station by making a hole in the ceiling of a bathroom as an officer stood guard outside, investigators said.

After his Sunday arrest, Michael Caruso, 31, removed an exhaust fan from the bathroom ceiling, made the hole bigger then climbed into the attic and eventually out of the Orange City Police Department building, police reports state.

He was captured not long after but during the escape one resident he asked for a ride tried to hold him at gunpoint. Then another resident had to stop Caruso from entering his house, police said.

The incident is under an internal affairs investigation, said police Lt. Jason Sampsell on Monday.

Earlier Sunday, Caruso, a homeless man who served time for theft and burglary, knocked an officer to the ground as the officer tried to arrest the suspect at Kohl's, 1065 Harley Strickland Blvd. Police said Caruso stole a vacuum cleaner and a speaker with a combined value of $530. As the officer fell to the ground, his Taser discharged, but it did not hit anyone, police said.

Florida Department of Corrections records show Caruso was released Nov. 24 after serving one year in prison for four counts of grand theft and two counts of burglary.

Orange City police were called to the Kohl's about 5 p.m. Sunday, reporting the thefts. Caruso had also tried stealing merchandise from the store Friday night, a store employee told a dispatcher in a 9-1-1 call.

Caruso was arrested, taken to the police station and escaped less than two hours later, police said.

Caruso was in a holding cell as officers prepared his arrest paperwork before at the police department before he was to be taken to jail. While waiting, he repeatedly asked that he be allowed to use the bathroom. An officer escorted him, but stood outside to wait, reports state.

After a while the officer told Caruso to hurry up and the suspect answered, saying he needed two more minutes to wash his hands.

After the two minutes, the officer ordered Caruso out again, but this time got no answer. A sergeant joined the officer and they opened the door to the single-stall toilet to find that Caruso was gone, reports state.

Sampsell said Monday he could not comment on whether Caruso was handcuffed because of the ongoing internal investigation.

Left behind was a large hole in the ceiling where Caruso had removed the exhaust fan, made the hole bigger and climbed into the attic and got out of the police station, reports state. Police have not said where Caruso exited the building.

As officers pondered Caruso's escape, they got a call from a woman who told them Caruso showed up at a home about a mile a way and was in the garage. Caruso told the homeowner, Zachary Colangelo, that he needed a ride because he had just escaped from the police. Colangelo told Caruso he was going inside to get his keys but instead got his gun and asked his girlfriend to call 9-1-1, investigators said.

"Apparently there is somebody in our garage that is running from the police," Colangelo's girlfriend told a dispatcher.

The woman said Colangelo was mowing the yard when he heard the dogs barking. The dogs only bark when people come around the house, the woman said.

"He went into the garage and the guy was in the garage," Colangelo's girlfriend said to the dispatcher.

Colangelo then went outside and, pointing the gun at Caruso, ordered the suspect to the ground. Caruso ran off. Later he tried to get into another home but was pushed out of the house, police said.

"He actually did run out of our garage and he is going around back," the woman said.

A K-9 officer then spotted Caruso running on Crittendon Avenue where he was finally recaptured with the help of a police dog, reports indicate. Caruso has added more than a half-dozen charges including grand theft, escape and burglary to several new probation violations. He was being held without bail Monday at the Volusia County Branch Jail, the situation he was trying to avoid.

Officers said Caruso told them why he ran: "He said he didn't want to go back to prison."

———

©2017 The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla.


Officials: Russia subway blast was suicide attack

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Irina Titova and Nataliya Vasilyeva Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — A 22-year old suicide bomber born in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan was behind a blast on the St. Petersburg subway that killed 14 people, Russian investigators said Tuesday.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Monday afternoon attack, which came while President Vladimir Putin was visiting the city, Russia's second biggest and Putin's hometown.

Russia's health minister on Tuesday raised the death toll from 11 to 14 and said 49 people are still hospitalized. Authorities did not say whether the suicide attacker was included in the death toll. The City Hall said there were several foreign nationals among those killed and injured, but would not offer detail. The foreign ministry of the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan said one of its citizens has been killed in the attack.

Residents have been bringing flowers to the stations near where the blast occurred. Every corner and window-sill at the ornate, Soviet-built Sennaya Square station on Tuesday was covered with red and white carnations.

Russian investigators on Tuesday said the bomb was set off by a suicide bomber and identified him as Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, who turned 22 two days before the attack.

The Investigative Committee said that forensic experts also found the man's DNA on the bag with a bomb that was found and de-activated at another subway station in St. Petersburg on Monday. In Kyrgyzstan, the State Committee for National Security confirmed the man's identity and said it would help the Russian probe.

The Interfax news agency on Monday said authorities believe the suspect was linked to radical Islamic groups and carried the explosive device onto the train in a backpack.

The entire subway system in St. Petersburg, a city of 5 million, was shut down and evacuated before partial service resumed six hours later. Typically crowded during the rush hour, the subway on Tuesday morning looked almost deserted as many residents opted for buses.

"First, I was really scared," said Viktoria Prishchepova who did take the subway. "I didn't want to go anywhere on the metro because I was nervous. Everyone was calling their loved ones yesterday, checking if they were OK and how everyone was going to get home."

Monday's explosion occurred as the train traveled between stations on one of the city's north-south lines. The driver appeared in front of reporters on Tuesday looking tired but not visibly shaken by the events of the previous day.

Alexander Kavernin, 50, who has worked on the subway for 14 years, said he heard the sound of a blast while his train was running, called security and carried on to the next station as the emergency instructions prescribe.

"I had no time to think about fear at that moment," he said.

The decision to keep moving was praised by authorities, who said it helped evacuation efforts and reduced the danger to passengers who would have had to walk along the electrified tracks.

Oleg Alexeyev, 53, who trains sniffer dogs for the police, went to the Technological Institute station Tuesday morning to lay flowers in memory of those who died nearby.

"I traveled on the same route this morning just to see how it felt and think about life. You begin to feel the thin line about life and death," he said.

Four stations on the subway were closed again Tuesday due to a bomb threat, but later reopened.

People from Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian former Soviet republics are common sights in St. Petersburg, home to a large diaspora of migrants who flee poverty and unemployment in their home countries for jobs in Russia. While most Central Asian migrants in Russia hold temporary work permits or work illegally, thousands of them have received Russian citizenship in the past decades.

Russian authorities have rejected calls to impose visas on Central Asian nationals, hinting that having millions of jobless men across the border from Russia would be a bigger security threat.

Patriach Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, led a service at Moscow's main cathedral on Tuesday for those killed in the blast.

"This terrorist act is a threat to all of us, all our nation," he said quoted by the Interfax news agency.

In the past two decades, Russian trains and planes have been frequent targets of attack, usually blamed on Islamic militants. The last confirmed attack was in October 2015 when Islamic State militants downed a Russian airliner heading from an Egyptian resort to St. Petersburg, killing all 224 people on board.

Separately, in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan, two policemen were killed in the early hours on Tuesday in a suspected Islamic militant attack. Alexander Zhilkin, governor of the region, said the attackers are on the run.


Justice Dept. seeks pause on agreement with Baltimore police

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Juliet Linderman and Sadie Gurman Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Baltimore's mayor and police chief worked closely with Justice Department investigators to scrutinize the city's police force and embraced a plan they crafted to overhaul the troubled department.

So they were surprised by the Justice Department's sudden request Monday for more time to see how the proposed changes might conflict with the aggressive crime-fighting approach new Attorney General Jeff Sessions favors.

Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis believed the proposed agreement would repair public trust in the police while also quelling violence. They swiftly voiced their opposition to the requested delay, and pledged to press ahead with the business of transforming the police department, with or without a court-enforceable consent decree.

"The Baltimore Police Department is continuing to move forward with reforms related to the forthcoming consent decree for the overall progress of the city of Baltimore," said department spokesman T.J. Smith. "Further delays only serve to erode the trust of the public in this process."

"Much has been done to begin the process of building faith between the police department and the community it seeks to serve," Pugh said in a statement. "Any interruption in moving forward may have the effect or eroding the trust that we are working hard to establish."

The government's request for a 90-day continuance came three days before a scheduled hearing before a federal judge, and just hours after Sessions announced he had ordered a sweeping review of the Justice Department's interactions with local law enforcement, including existing or proposed consent decrees.

It provided an early glimpse of the attorney general's stance on police department oversight and his ambivalence about mandating widespread change of local law enforcement agencies.

Sessions, an Alabama Republican who cultivated a tough-on-crime reputation during 20 years in the Senate, has repeatedly expressed concern that lengthy investigations of a police department can malign an entire agency. That view reflects a dramatic break from President Barack Obama's administration, which saw such probes as essential in holding local law enforcement accountable for unconstitutional practices.

Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division under Obama, said the request "is alarming and signals a retreat from the Justice Department's commitment to civil rights and public safety in Baltimore," especially because the agreement sought the input of community members, police union officials and department heads to "address serious constitutional violations that had undermined trust and public safety in the city."

The federal government cited several reasons for the requested delay, including new Justice Department policies that federal officials say are aimed at reducing crime.

If granted, the request would effectively stall a process that could lead to a sweeping overhaul in the policies and practices of the Baltimore police force. The two sides reached agreement on a consent decree earlier this year before Attorney General Loretta Lynch left the Justice Department.

The department said it was aware of the need for police reform in Baltimore but added that the city "has made progress toward reform on its own and, as a consequence, it may be possible to take these changes into account where appropriate to ensure future compliance while protecting public safety."

In addition to Baltimore, the review also renewed questions about the fate of negotiations with Chicago's police department after a report released in the final days of Lynch's tenure found officers there had violated the constitutional rights of residents for years.

Sessions has not committed to such an agreement and has repeatedly said he believes broad investigations of police departments risk unfairly smearing entire agencies and harming officer morale. He has also suggested that officers' reluctance to aggressively police has contributed to a spike in violence in some cities.

The proposed consent decree in Baltimore comes after the Justice Department released a scathing report detailing longstanding patterns racial profiling and excessive force within the city's police force. The review was prompted by the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose neck was broken in the back of a transport wagon, and whose death roiled the city.

Activist Ray Kelly said the requested delay undermined hard-fought efforts to heal the fractured relationship.

Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, initially voiced concern after the Justice Department asked for a delay of court proceedings earlier this year. On Monday, she called the Justice Department's request "deeply concerning."

"The residents of Baltimore have waited a long time for relief, and the Justice Department provided a roadmap, setting forth in great detail the systemic problems that riddle the police department," she said. "That the Justice Department will turn its back on issues so dark and severe is deeply disturbing."


Deputy helps rescue couple from burning car

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

By Elliott Jones Treasure Coast Newspapers

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — A car that crashed along Kanner Highway early Saturday evening burst into flames and exploded, just after a deputy and off-duty firefighter got the injured driver and passenger out of vehicle, according to reports.

The vehicle went off the highway and hit a pole in some woods about 5:19 p.m. Saturday in the 6800 block of South Kanner Highway, near Southeast Salerno Road, said Martin County Fire Rescue spokesman Doug Killane.

The crash was because of a medical episode, he said.

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MARTIN COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTY, OFF-DUTY FIREFIGHTER RESCUE COUPLE FROM BURNING VEHICLE A Martin County Sheriff’s...

Posted by Martin County Sheriff's Office on Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sheriff's Deputy David Yun intervened when he saw people running toward the accident. By then smoke and flames were coming from the vehicle's front end and an off-duty Miramar firefighter was getting the driver, a woman, out of the vehicle. Within seconds, smoke and flames appeared inside the vehicle, making it difficult to see inside, according to a Martin County Sheriff's report.

Yun ran to the other side of the vehicle and pulled out the passenger, a man. Then the whole vehicle went up in flames. Martin County Fire Rescue put out the fire that included grass near the vehicle.

An off-duty nurse assisted the victims until paramedics arrived.

Names of the man and the woman, the Miramar firefighter and the nurse were not immediately available.

———

©2017 the Treasure Coast Newspapers (Stuart, Fla.)


Police arrests dropping across California

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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By James Queally, Kate Mather and Cindy Chang Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — In 2013, something changed on the streets of Los Angeles.

Police officers began making fewer arrests. The following year, the Police Department’s arrest numbers dipped even lower and continued to fall, dropping by 25 percent from 2013 to 2015.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the San Diego Police Department also saw significant drops in arrests during that period.

The statewide numbers are just as striking: Police recorded the lowest number of arrests in nearly 50 years, according to the California attorney general’s office, with about 1.1 million arrests in 2015 compared with 1.5 million in 2006.

It is unclear why officers are making fewer arrests. Some in law enforcement cite diminished manpower and changes in deployment strategies. Others say officers have lost motivation in the face of increased scrutiny — from the public as well as their supervisors.

The picture is further complicated by Proposition 47, a November 2014 ballot measure that downgraded some drug and property felonies to misdemeanors. Many police officers say an arrest isn’t worth the time it takes to process when the suspect will spend at most a few months in jail.

In Los Angeles, the drop in arrests comes amid a persistent increase in crime, which began in 2014. Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck noted that arrests for the most serious crimes have risen along with the numbers of those offenses, while the decrease comes largely from narcotics arrests.

The arrest data include felonies and misdemeanors — crimes ranging from homicide to disorderly conduct. From 2010 to 2015, felony arrests made by Los Angeles police officers were down 29 percent and misdemeanor arrests were down 32 percent.

Two other measures of police productivity, citations and field interviews, have also declined significantly.

The LAPD could not provide final tallies for arrests in 2016. But based on numbers that include arrests by other agencies within city limits, the downward trend continued last year, Assistant Chief Michel Moore said.

A direct link between the crime pattern and the drop in arrests is difficult to draw, in part because the arrest data include minor offenses not counted in the tally the city uses to measure crime. Still, some city officials are concerned.

“Those are dramatic numbers that definitely demand scrutiny and explanation,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, who sits on the Public Safety Committee and represents the LA’s west side.

“If crime was dramatically down, I wouldn’t have a problem with arrests going down. But if crime is going up, I want to see arrests going up,” he said.

Beck said that although arrests are an important component of policing, they are not the sole barometer of officer productivity. As an example, he pointed to community policing programs that he credits with reducing homicides in housing developments hit hard by violent crime.

Modern policing includes an array of strategies, such as swarming hot spots to prevent crimes from occurring, that may increase public safety without generating many arrests, he said.

For the LAPD, Beck said, modern policing also includes a different philosophy than the one the department embraced decades ago, during the Operation Hammer days when officers would stop, search and arrest thousands of people during weekend raids.

“The only thing we cared about was how many arrests we made. I don’t want them to care about that,” Beck said of his officers. “I want them to care about how safe their community is and how healthy it is.”

Nationwide criticism of police stoked by the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and other highly publicized law enforcement killings has had an effect on officers’ mindsets — but not to the detriment of crime fighting, Beck said.

“I’d be denying human nature if I didn’t say police are very cautious about what they do now because of the scrutiny,” Beck said. “But do I see it? I don’t really see things that make me think that the workforce as a body is retreating. I don’t see that at all.”

The decline in arrests had already begun before Brown, an unarmed black man, was killed by a white Ferguson police officer in August 2014, setting off nationwide demonstrations. After a grand jury declined to indict the Ferguson officer, protesters in Los Angeles and other cities marched through the streets.

In a nationwide survey conducted in 2016 by the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of the law enforcement officers questioned said their colleagues were less likely to stop and question suspicious people “as a result of high-profile incidents involving blacks and the police.”

Police officers and sheriff’s deputies interviewed by the Los Angeles Times echoed that view.

“Everyone is against whatever law enforcement is doing, so that makes an officer kind of hesitant to initiate contact,” said one LAPD officer, who has worked in South L.A. for more than a decade and requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

“A lot of guys will shy away from it because we’ve got the dash cams, we’ve got the body cams … . We don’t want it to come back on us.”

The heightened atmosphere surrounding ordinary police encounters was apparent one day in Compton last summer, when L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Federico made a routine stop of a vehicle without license plates.

Federico gave polite directions, calmly telling the driver why he had been pulled over, and the driver complied.

But as Federico moved back toward his cruiser, someone stepped out of a house and trained a cellphone on him. About 25 feet away, an Uber driver pulled over and also began filming.

Federico said he refuses to let the added scrutiny affect his work.

“It doesn’t bother me, because I know I’m not doing anything wrong,” he said.

But others say it is inevitable that some officers will pull back, taking care of necessary work while not engaging in the “proactive policing” that could lead to more arrests — and to more encounters that turn violent.

“Not to make fun of it, but a lot of guys are like, ‘Look, I’m just going to act like a fireman.’ I’m going to handle my calls for service and the things that I have to do,” said George Hofstetter, a motorcycle deputy in Pico Rivera and former president of the union representing L.A. County sheriff’s deputies. “But going out there and making traffic stops and contacting persons who may be up to something nefarious? ‘I’m not going to do that anymore.’”

LAPD officers are troubled by contentious demonstrations at Police Commission meetings and by public criticism of their colleagues for using deadly force, said Robert Harris, a police officer on the LAPD union’s board of directors.

“Suddenly, you feel like you can’t do any police work, because every opportunity that you have might turn into the next big media case,” Harris said. “Of course, you’re going to take stock a little bit more, I think, before you put yourself out there like that.”

The recent decline in police activity is not limited to arrests: The number of field interview cards written by officers has plummeted at both the LAPD and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

The cards document some encounters between police and civilians that stop short of an arrest or citation. They are a tool sometimes used to keep track of gang members and other suspected criminals.

The number of LAPD field interview cards fell nearly every month in the second half of 2014, and the department recorded its lowest number of cards in nearly five years in November 2014.

Field interviews conducted by Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies have also been in steep decline, falling by 67 percent from 2012 to 2016. Sheriff Jim McDonnell said the drop-off is probably connected to the elimination of many gang enforcement teams because of budget cuts. But the trend is worrisome, he said, because the cards are useful in documenting the movements of potential suspects.

It would be “naive” to think that the national debate over policing hasn’t affected the Sheriff’s Department, McDonnell said. Nevertheless, he said, his deputies are not shying away from potentially dangerous situations.

The number of citations, which includes traffic violations and other types of tickets, issued by LAPD officers also fell sharply, from almost 600,000 in 2010 to about 269,500 five years later. The biggest drop came in 2015, when police issued roughly 154,000 fewer citations than the year before.

Beck said that in 2014, the department began issuing written warnings as a substitute where appropriate.

“The goal is not to write citations,” Beck said. “The goal is to manage traffic flow, the goal is to create safe streets.”

The LAPD could not provide the number of field inquiries conducted or citations issued by its officers in 2016.

McDonnell and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti are among local officials who have blamed Proposition 47, which took effect on Nov. 5, 2014, for a rise in crime, especially property offenses, in both the city of L.A. and the Sheriff’s Department’s territory. Critics of the measure say that with some drug and property felonies downgraded to misdemeanors, offenders spend less time in jail and have the opportunity to commit more crimes.

In 2016, violent crime in Los Angeles increased for the third straight year and was up 38 percent over the previous two years. Property crime jumped for the second consecutive year, with a 4 percent rise that was driven by double-digit increases in car-related thefts.

Still, the city remains far safer than a decade ago, when there were 40 percent more robberies than in 2016 and 480 homicides compared with 294 last year.

Proponents of Proposition 47, which was designed to funnel funds that would have been used to jail low-level offenders into creating treatment programs for those same people, say there is no evidence linking the legislation to crime increases. They say that criminal justice officials, including prosecutors and judges, need to change the way they do business.

But the measure has almost certainly contributed to the decline in felony arrests, since some drug and property crimes are no longer felonies. Moreover, some police officers and sheriff’s deputies are less inclined to make a misdemeanor arrest for a Proposition 47 crime, saying it is not worth the hours it takes to book a person who could wind up back on the street soon after being placed in handcuffs.

In 2015, the first full year after the legislation took effect, Los Angeles police made 37 percent fewer narcotics arrests than they did the year before. Narcotics arrests made by L.A. sheriff’s deputies fell by 28 percent in the same time frame.

Beck said that with possession of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs reduced to misdemeanors, it is “absolutely predictable” that felony arrests would drop off.

Harris, the LAPD union director, said that Proposition 47, combined with the department’s “inadequate” staffing levels, has altered the calculus for officers when deciding whether to engage with someone.

“Are you going to go and make an arrest that you know is only going to be a misdemeanor? You know your impact is not going to be very great,” Harris said. “That guy is going to be right back out again.”

But declining arrest totals are not necessarily a bad thing, some officials and activists said.

If officers think twice about approaching people, some situations where police use force might be avoided, said Melina Abdullah, a leader of the local Black Lives Matter movement and chair of the Pan-African studies department at California State, Los Angeles.

“If police are more cautious about making arrests that might be controversial, making arrests that might elicit protests, then that is a victory,” Abdullah said. “We want them to begin to check themselves.”

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Tier Talk Podcast: How cops can create partnerships with their community

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Tier Talk

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Tier Talk is available on these platforms: Spreaker, IHeartRadio, TuneIn, PlayerFM, YouTube & Stitcher.

In this episode of Tier Talk, a podcast dedicated to issues in policing and corrections, host Anthony Gangi sits down with Dalton Price to discuss how cops can best work with members of their community to create a safer environment for all.


Do you have PTSD or Complex-PTSD?

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Tier Talk

By Rachel Engel

Veterans and first responders are familiar with post-traumatic stress symptoms and the PTSD diagnosis. However, most are unfamiliar with a related condition: Complex-PTSD.

C-PTSD, also known as Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified (DESNOS), is used to diagnose those who suffer from chronic trauma that goes on for months or years, such as POWs or first responders who are repeatedly exposed to death and carnage on emergency calls.

Victims of C-PTSD are often held in emotional or physical captivity, rendering them unable to escape the fear or violence.

Who is at risk for C-PTSD?

Anyone can be diagnosed with C-PTSD, but those who work in certain career fields are more prone to developing it, such as law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, military troops. Even people who work in a field where they must repeatedly deliver traumatic news to others, such as Casualty Assistance Officers in the military who inform families when a loved one has been killed, can experience C-PTSD symptoms.

Those who are diagnosed as having C-PTSD often have the symptoms of traditional PTSD, such as:

Event flashbacks Avoidance of the situation that caused the PTSD Persistent negative thoughts Hyperarousal: Constantly preparing for danger

But, C-PTSD sufferers also experience additional symptoms fromt their trauma, including:

Becoming preoccupied with revenge of their perpetrator Difficulty regulating their emotions Experiencing emotional distrust Constantly looking for a rescuer Loss of faith in humanity and general hopelessness How does treatment for PTSD and C-PTSD vary?

Initial treatment for C-PTSD begins with similar treatements for traditional PTSD: talk therapy and medication. There are several types of talk therapy that can help relieve or temporarily scale back symptoms.

Cognitive Processing Therapy During CPT, victims learn how to recognize the effect of the trauma on their lives, and this recognization gives them a better perspective on how to deal with it going forward.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy In PE, victims are asked to talk about their experience that led to their PTSD diagnosis until it no longer affects them in a significant way.

For C-PTSD, a defining characterisitc of the diagnosis is forced captivity by the victim's perpetrator, leaving the victim feeling powerless and out of control. Restoration of the power over their own lives is crucial to healing, as well as forming strong relationships with family and friends to heal the emotional vulnerability caused by the experience.

Phase-based treatment New studies have shown the best way to combat C-PTSD symptoms is in a three-phase process, through improving self-management skills, reviewing traumatic memories and events and then reintegrating back into social activities.

How hard is it to diagnose C-PTSD?

Because so many of the symptoms of C-PTSD mirror those of traditional PTSD, victims are often misdiagnosed, leading to treatments that don't effectively help their symptoms. Due to the trauma of their experience, victims may place the blame of not being able to heal on themselves, causing more damage, instead of questioning the diagnosis itself.

Resources for those suffering from PTSD and C-PTSD

There are thousands of books and studies on traditional PTSD and how it affects first responders. And, though being a relatively new differentiation from traditional PTSD, there are a few clinicical psychologists who have written about C-PTSD that can explain the healing process.

In "It's Not you, It's What Happened to You," Dr. Christine Courtois takes the reader through the process of how the trauma affects the brain, how that trauma manifests into symptoms and how to effectively heal.

"Bulletproof Spirit: The First Responder's Essential Resource for Protecting and Healing Mind and Heart" is one of the most highly reviewed books discussing PTSD and those who protect the public. Dan Willis, a law-enforcement veteran, talks about the challenges facing those who work with carnage and terror on a daily basis, notably recommending regular mental-health "checks" as preventative maintenance.

"PTSD WILL NOT OWN ME" is a first-person narrative from a former sailor and a 17-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol whose law enforcement career was ended during a shooting on the job. In his book, Shane Schilperoort gives an unfiltered view of PTSD from someone who has been through it and climbed out.

If you think you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD or C-PTSD, talk to your doctor about your concerns. If you're a veteran and are having sucidial thoughts or tendencies, contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.


Tips for LEOs to improve their physical fitness levels

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Matthew Loux, Faculty Member, Criminal Justice at American Military University

Law enforcement officers must be physically fit for many reasons including for job performance, reducing the risk of future diseases, and managing stress. A healthy lifestyle for officers should include exercise, proper nutrition, stress management, substance-abuse prevention, and health-risk management.

Police work takes dedication and a commitment to excellence in every aspect of an officer’s career and life. Physical fitness and health is a significant factor in achieving that excellence. Following are some of the issues regarding the health of officers and examples of physical fitness routines that can help reduce the problems associated with police duties.

Research about LEO Health

A major scientific study was conducted over a five-year span focusing on the Buffalo Police Department. The Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) was a large, cross-sectional study of 464 police officers. Results found that:

More than 25 percent of officers had metabolic syndrome versus 18.7 percent of the general employed population Female and male officers experiencing the highest level of self-reported stress were four- and six-times more likely to have poor sleep quality, respectively Organizational stress and lack of support was associated with the metabolic syndrome in female but not male police officers Overall, an elevated risk of Hodgkin’s lymphoma was observed relative to the general population The risk of brain cancer, although only slightly elevated relative to the general population, was significantly increased with 30 years or more of police service Suicide rates were more than eight times higher in working officers than in officers who had retired or left the police force

An earlier pilot study of 100 police officers found:

Shift work is a contributing factor to an increase in metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of symptoms that includes abdominal obesity, hypertension, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and glucose intolerance. Having metabolic syndrome increases the risk for developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes Components of Physical Fitness

There are six components of physical fitness, according to FitForce, Inc., (2010):

Cardiovascular endurance is the ability to take in and deliver oxygen to the working muscles to produce energy to sustain activity. Cardiovascular endurance is necessary in approximately 11% of foot pursuits and over 50% of use of force encounter. Anaerobic power is the ability to make short, intense bursts of maximal effort, which underlies the ability to run short distances and up stairs. Muscular strength refers to the muscles’ ability to generate maximal force; it is necessary for performance in control and restraint situations. Muscular endurance refers to the muscles’ ability to sustain sub-maximal force, which is necessary for lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying. Flexibility, the ability to use the available range of motion at a given joint or structure, is challenged in common tasks such as bending over as well as much less frequent ones, for instance a foot pursuit. Body composition, the ratio of fat to lean tissue, is associated with physical performance as well as health. Types of Physical Fitness

There are many types of fitness programs to choose from, so it is important to select one that fits with your schedule, personal life, and abilities.

When I first started preparing for the police academy, I concentrated on cardiovascular endurance, which mainly included running. As I became more aware of the fitness requirements of being a police officer, I realized I needed something better rounded. This was before such programs as Cross-Fit, P90X, and T25, so I looked at standardized law enforcement physical fitness requirements to start my training regimen. A good baseline can be seen at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. A students’ success includes the measurement of:

Body composition Illinois agility run Sit and reach Bench press 1.5 mile run

I have found that a 6- to 8-week cycle works best for me because the purpose of this type of workout, or any workout, is based on the body’s quick adaptability. If a person maintains the same workout routine without changing anything, the neurological pathways in the body—which run between the brain and the muscle—become so efficient that eventually the minimal amount of muscle fibers are used to move the weight.

This is why you constantly need to try and lift more weight than the previous session, change the angle of the exercise, or change the exercise altogether. This change forces the brain to find new neurological pathways to move the weight. Therefore, during the initial lifting phase, an overabundance of muscle fibers is recruited for the lift. As the lift is repeated, the number of muscle fiber recruitment decreases until the minimal amount of fibers is called into play. It’s at this stage where strength gains begin to plateau and the routine needs to be changed (6-8 weeks).

Sample Routines

The sample one-day routine that follows is designed to teach the body to effectively work in an environment that combines body-weight specific exercises, cardiovascular training, core development, and multi-tasking movements.

The exercises chosen will attempt to mimic those situations in which you will mostly be working. Body-weight specific exercises are exactly that–exercises which require the movement of body weight through a certain range of motion: pull-ups, dips, push-ups, squats. These exercises are considered compound exercises because they incorporate the simultaneous use of multiple joints.

Cardiovascular training will be incorporated not only through the use of time management while performing these routines, but also through distance running, sprints, and stair climbing. Core exercises incorporate the functional training of our upper and lower abdominals, internal and external obliques and transverse abdominus muscles (the muscles that run along your spine). The work of these muscle groups is paramount in body balance, overall strength, and injury prevention. Multi-tasking movements incorporate the fluid combination of two exercises, which teaches our bodies to move a weight through a specific range of motion using multiple muscle groups.

Monday: 1 Mile Sprint and 150’s:

1-mile sprint: Time yourself and record Pull ups: 10 Dips: 20 Pushups: 30 Crunches: 40 Squats: 50

This 150’s routine came from Crossfit.com under a different name. The “150” is the total number of repetitions completed in one cycle. This is an excellent exercise routine because of its inclusion of back to back body-weight exercises.

Time yourself on this routine and attempt to complete the cycle in less than 30 minutes–it can be done. If you would like more examples, please email me at Matthew.Loux67(at)mycampus.apus.edu.

Benefits of Physical Fitness

The benefits of incorporating a physical fitness routine, whether it is like the above example, or something you do on your own, include:

Weight control Combat health conditions and diseases Improve your mood Increased energy Improved sleep Increased confidence

A combination of physical fitness with a proper diet can significantly improve your life. As officers become more tenured, they tend to become more complacent in their work and personal habits, including fitness.

It is even more imperative for officers to remain diligent in working out, even if it is walking, stretching, or doing calisthenics each day. Working off-duty jobs, overtime, shift work, court appearances, etc. can take a toll on officers, both physically and mentally. I have found that exercising every day, which can include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, riding a bike rather than walking, or doing simple exercises while sitting behind a desk or at the wheel of a patrol car, improves my moods, my cardiovascular endurance, and also reduces my stress.

As a professor of criminal justice at American Military University, I believe in preparing students for their careers—mind and body. You can even do both: Do exercises while studying for your courses or take study breaks that include exercise or meditation.

How do you incorporate exercise into your life? What have you done to improve your physical fitness?

About the Author: Matthew Loux has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years and has a background in fraud, criminal investigation, as well as hospital, school, and network security. Matt has researched and studied law enforcement and security best practices for the past 10 year and is currently an adjunct faculty at American Military University.


Sheriff buys new dog for 78-year-old man whose dog was killed

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

RUSHFORD, Wis. — A man whose dog was fatally shot last month received a new companion thanks to a local sheriff.

TMJ4 reported that Mr. Carpenter, 78, was walking with his two dogs in a field when they got away from him. Carpenter said he called them back when he heard gunshots, but only one dog returned.

He said he found the other dog, Antone, fatally shot in the field. Sheriff John Matz wanted to provide another companion for Carpenter and set out to find him a furry friend.

Matz adopted Lovebug from a local rescue shelter and gave the dog to Carpenter on Saturday.

“Lovebug was promptly delivered this morning to Mr. Carpenter,” the department wrote on Facebook. “I'm not not sure who looks the happiest here!!”

According to the news station, Carpenter and his dogs were allowed to be in the field and were not trespassing. Police are still searching for the suspect who killed the dog.

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You may recall a few weeks ago that Mr. Carpenter here suffered a devastating loss when his dog was shot and killed....

Posted by Winnebago County, Wisconsin Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, April 1, 2017


Texas police: Man called 911 for help, opened fire on deputies

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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Weatherford Democrat

PARKER COUNTY, Texas — Parker County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man following an incident where deputies were shot at Saturday morning.

The suspect, Allen Dewayne Thomas, 47, of Weatherford, was arrested and booked into the Parker County Jail, charged with attempted capital murder of a peace officer.

The Parker County Communications center received a call at 6:25 a.m., stating if sheriff’s deputies did not respond to the suspect's location in the 7100 block of River Trail, in Horseshoe Bend, he “would shoot ‘em [sic] all.”

The caller refused to answer the dispatcher’s questions for more information, but stated he believed he had shot two people on and near his property, while two other individuals were “loose” on his property. Investigators did not locate any such individuals, but believe this was a ruse to draw deputies to the scene.

“This appears to be a deliberate act, where our deputies were called into an ambush in a violent attempt to take the lives of our law enforcement officers,” said Sheriff Larry Fowler.

When deputies arrived on scene to investigate the incident, the suspect fired a rifle at the deputies, striking a patrol vehicle three times and narrowly missing the deputy.

The Weatherford-Parker County Special Operations Group was deployed to the scene.

Around 8:47 a.m., contact was made with the suspect in an attempt to diffuse the situation, when the suspect taunted deputies to “come and get me.”

The suspect was arrested shortly afterward without further incident.

Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said no law enforcement personnel were injured during the incident and no officers fired a weapon.

The Texas Rangers are assisting in the investigation, and no further comments are being released pending the investigation.

———

©2017 Weatherford Democrat (Weatherford, Texas)


YouTube video leads Ill. police to drugs, guns, dead dog in home raid

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HARVEY, Ill. — A video posted to YouTube led police to the discovery of drugs, weapons and a dead dog during a March 29 raid.

According to NBC Chicago, the 40-minute video posted on March 20 showed a drug dealer and “at least 20 known gang members” showcasing guns and marijuana at a house.

Police said they obtained a search warrant for the house based on the video. Along with the weapons and marijuana, officials told the news station they confiscated a “significant amount of a white substance believed to be cocaine,” a dead dog and two other dogs who had been poorly treated.

“The group even sold marijuana to an individual while the video was being recorded,” police spokesman Sean Howard said in a statement. “The group boasted of dog fighting and admitted that there was a deceased dog in the garage. The dog died during a fight with another dog.”

Multiple suspects were taken into custody, including a “lead gang member” known as “MONK” who was under house arrest at the time of the incident.

Guns, drugs and dogs seized following an early morning raid in #Harvey. Suspects bragged on #YouTube pic.twitter.com/4e8HXW9wst

— CharlieWojciechowski (@Charlienews) March 29, 2017


Calif. police shoot knife-wielding man demanding coffee, donuts

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

EL MONTE, Calif. — A man was shot and wounded by police after he threw his knife at officers responding to an incident at a donut shop.

According to KABC, police received a call that an unidentified suspect tapped at the window of Yum Yum Donuts Monday morning with a knife, demanded coffee and pastries, then walked off.

When police attempted to confront the suspect, he threw coffee at the officers. The suspect raised his knife and threw it at police after officers deployed a TASER twice.

Lt. Joe Mendoza told the news station that officers opened fire, wounding the suspect. The suspect was shot once in the torso and was transported to a local hospital in stable condition.

No officers were injured.

Suspect armed with knife demanding coffee, donuts is shot by El Monte police https://t.co/ueptFeIyUs pic.twitter.com/LQATtd8Pcb

— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) April 3, 2017


Police officers face cumulative PTSD

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michelle Beshears, Faculty Member, Criminal Justice at American Military University

Even with all we know about its effects and ways to treat it, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among police officers and continues to take its toll on their lives and those of their families.

Most of what people think of as PTSD relates to trauma suffered by soldiers and those in the military. However, police officers’ PTSD is different. Soldiers often get PTSD from a single or brief exposure to stress. However, for police officers PTSD tends to manifest over time, resulting from multiple stress-related experiences. This is better known as cumulative PTSD.

Understanding Cumulative PTSD

Cumulative PTSD can be even more dangerous than PTSD caused from a single traumatic event, largely because cumulative PTSD is more likely to go unnoticed and untreated. When a catastrophic event occurs, such as an officer-involved shooting, most departments have policies and professionals to help an officer address and deal with the aftermath of an event.

However, the build-up of events that arise throughout an officer’s career generally do not warrant such specialized attention. As a result, an officer with cumulative PTSD is less likely to receive treatment. Unlike a physical injury, a mental traumatic injury can happen almost daily. When the demon of PTSD surfaces it often goes ignored. If untreated, officers can become a risk to themselves and others.

Causes of PTSD

Numerous events can cause PTSD in police officers, such as hostage situations, dangerous drug busts, responding to fatal accidents, and working other cases that include serious injury or death. But there are many less traumatic situations that can still be extremely stressful for an officer. Other stressful situations include, but are not limited to: long hours; handling people’s attitudes; waiting for the next call and not knowing what the situation will be; and even politics within the department. Then, on top of it all, officers are frequently criticized, scrutinized, and investigated for decisions they make.

Signs of PTSD

If recognized early and treated properly, officers and their families can overcome the debilitating effects of cumulative PTSD. The key to early intervention and treatment is recognizing the signs of PTSD and seeking help sooner rather than later.

Some of the physical signs officers should look for in themselves include:

Fatigue Vomiting or nausea Chest pain Twitches Thirst Insomnia or nightmares Breathing difficulty Grinding of teeth Profuse sweating Pounding heart Diarrhea or intestinal upsets Headaches

Behavioral signs family members of officers and officers should look for in themselves and in others include:

Withdrawal from family and friends Pacing and restlessness Emotional outbursts Anti-social acts Suspicion and paranoia Increased alcohol consumption and other substance abuse

Emotional signs include:

Anxiety or panic Guilt Fear Denial Irritability Depression Intense anger Agitation Apprehension

The situational training new recruits receive is simply not enough to prepare them for the reality of the experiences they will face throughout their careers. Most young officers do not understand the stressful events they are likely to experience during their years on the job. Many officers are also not adequately equipped with the emotional tools necessary to deal with the emotions they will feel when things happen.

However, awareness continues to grow about the stress and trauma that officers’ experience. Organizations like the Station House Retreat offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment trauma therapy and peer-support services for police officers as well as all first responders. They also offer addiction treatment for first responders, and support for their family members.

About the Author: Michelle L. Beshears earned her baccalaureate degrees in social psychology and criminal justice and graduate degrees in human resource development and criminology from Indiana State University. She most recently completed her Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in Criminal Justice. Michelle served in the U.S. Army for 11 years. She obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant prior to attending Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia where she earned her commission. As a commissioned officer she led numerous criminal investigations and worked with several external agencies as well. As a civilian, she has worked with the local sheriff’s department, state drug task force and FBI. Michelle is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at American Military University and is full-time faculty in the School of Security and Global Studies. You can contact her at Michelle.Beshears@mycampus.apus.edu.


Dallas mayor on saving police pensions: ‘This is a poison pill’

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

By Tristan Hallman The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — Mayor Mike Rawlings said Sunday that he won't support legislation meant to save the failing Dallas Police and Fire Pension System.

Rawlings plans to testify about his opposition to the long-in-the-works bill on Monday in Austin during a House Pensions committee hearing. The mayor told committee Chairman Dan Flynn, R-Van, on Sunday that a key provision — which binds the city to minimum payments into the pension system — is unpalatable.

"This is a poison pill that, as inserted, would damage the city of Dallas and its services for decades to come," Rawlings said in an interview.

Rawlings' stance frustrated Flynn and escalates what had been a tense, high-stakes political standoff between Dallas police and firefighters, retirees, the pension system and City Hall. A combination of unsustainable benefits and overvalued and underperforming investments have left the first responders' pension system on track to become insolvent within 10 years if the Legislature doesn't change the laws that govern the retirement fund.

Flynn and his staff had played broker in the dispute for months. And all sides had believed the state representative would eventually come up with a deal they could tolerate.

But Flynn talked tough about the mayor on Sunday. Through a spokesman, Flynn said in a statement that he is "deeply disappointed" and hopes "the mayor thinks better of" his opposition. Flynn added that "10,000 police and fire retirees and active members and their extended families will be damaged" by Rawlings' position.

Rawlings said he was equally "disappointed and disheartened" that the provision, which Flynn had in the bill when he filed it last month, remained in the bill on Friday when the chairman released a replacement version.

Currently, state law requires that the city pay 27.5 percent on all payroll, which includes overtime. Last year, that amount soared to about $124 million.

The bill, as currently constructed, sets a minimum amount for taxpayers to pay into the pension system. The city would have to pay into the fund the greater amount of two options: a 34.5 percent contribution rate on the police-and-fire payroll, excluding overtime, or a scheduled amount that starts at more than $134 million and grows over time. In both scenarios, the city would also chip in an additional $11 million a year on top of that amount.

Theoretically, both amounts are roughly the same in the first few years. And the bill operates under the assumption that the city's contribution will grow in subsequent years anyway because of annual salary increases for police and firefighters.

But city leaders don't like that taxpayers will have to pony up an escalating amount of cash every year no matter how many officers and firefighters the city employs or what it pays them.

"Basically, it amounts to nothing more than a taxpayer bailout," Rawlings said.

The provision also makes it more difficult for the city to start a new retirement system in the future if the current one continues to fail.

Pension officials had wanted minimum amounts of taxpayer money included in the bill because they feared city leaders wanted to start a new retirement system and were trying to pull a fast one by removing overtime payments from the equation to save money and starve the pension fund.

But pension officials had also said last month that they couldn't support the legislation in its current form because of other sections in the 177-page bill. They took issue with a portion of the bill that would direct the board to pursue future benefit reductions for retirees who pocketed the most money from the system.

Kelly Gottschalk, the pension system's executive director, said Sunday through a spokesman that she tentatively plans testify in favor of Flynn's bill. Pension officials won one major change they wanted into the new version of the bill: a 50/50 board that splits control between the city and police and firefighters.

Flynn's original bill gave the city more control over the board. Rawlings still wants the city and professional money managers and investors to have more power because the fund ran amok — albeit with little-to-no city resistance until recent years — under the control of mostly active and retired police and firefighters.

Police and fire associations also plan to support the bill but will express their reservations Monday. They won't put up too much of a fight against a crux of the bill, which is that active police and firefighters will have to pay more of their money into the system and accept reduced benefits.

Dallas Police Association Vice President Frederick Frazier was "beyond disappointed" that the mayor won't join them in their support.

"This is typical from old city of Dallas leadership," Frazier said. "Why they continue down paths to tarnish the first responders and their families is unbelievable."

Dallas Fire Fighters Association President Jim McDade said Rawlings' stance is "just another example of our willingness to be part of the solution and the mayor's unwillingness to be part of any solution."

McDade doesn't believe Rawlings actually wants to save the pension system. But Rawlings said that's not true.

"If I wanted that to take place, the city would not have spent the weeks and months and hours and weekends to try to save this," Rawlings said. "There are a lot of easier ways to deal with this."

Rawlings said he still wants to work with Flynn. But the mayor may not have much luck with amending the House version to his liking now that he has irked Flynn. State Rep. Jason Villalba also said the mayor is using bullying tactics and that his colleagues would perceive his position as "acting in bad faith." But the mayor could also push for changes and find a more receptive audience in the Senate.

Rawlings knows his stance will aggravate police and firefighters who have already made him their public enemy No. 1 during an emotional battle over their pension system's future.

"This is painful for police and fire. There is no question," Rawlings said. "It will continue to be painful for some time. But it would be more damaging to those police and firefighters in the long run in the city of Dallas if the city agreed to something that was not sustainable."

———

©2017 The Dallas Morning News


Fla. first responders build wheelchair ramp for injured, retired officer

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NAVARRE, Fla. — Twenty years ago, Pat Cocciolone and her partner Officer John Sowa were shot six times each while responding to a domestic disturbance in Atlanta. Sowa died at the scene and Cocciolone’s injuries pushed her into retirement and a wheelchair.

“I was lying there waiting for help before they showed up and I would call out to the officer. I say, ‘John. John,’ and he never called back,” Cocciolone told WEAR TV.

The man responsible, Gregory Lawler, was put to death in October of 2016.

Determined to move onto the next chapter in her life, Cocciolone and her wife Connie bought a home in the Florida area, where they will spend their time when they’re not in Atlanta. But the house is missing a necessity: a ramp.

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BLUE BROTHERHOOD: Meet Patricia 'Pat' Cocciolone. She was an officer for City of Atlanta Police Department and shot in...

Posted by Jackalyn Kovac - TV on Saturday, April 1, 2017

Cocciolone reached out to Chris Rubino, who she credits with saving her life, to help her build a ramp to get into her home, the news station reported.

“I was actually a carpenter while I was a first responder, but her call and several others took their toll on me and I decided I needed to get out of the business,” Rubino said.

Rubino said he and his wife reached out to Santa Rosa County Sheriff Deputy A.J. Calabro for help with cement work. Word spread to local departments and they received a bigger response than they expected.

“I had 20 people right off the bat just saying, ‘When? Where? What do we need to bring? Tools? Do you need money? What?’” Calabro said. “And it's just guys I knew through Facebook. Guys from the fire department, EMS [and] different sheriff office agencies.”

The ramp and the supplies were completely covered. Even her lawn care was taken care of by a local business, WEAR reported.

"Sometimes I can't say the words I really want to say, I wish I could tell you exactly how I feel. I feel like we have found the place, this is the heart. This is our new wonderful life; it will be here in Navarre,” Cocciolone said.

#NWFL local first responders come together to help build a ramp for a wheelchair bound officer. The story at 6 and 10p on @weartv #C3N pic.twitter.com/qYyCTxX4fU

— Hudson MIller (@Hudson_Miller15) April 1, 2017


Tulsa cop: Race didn’t factor into fatal shooting of man

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Justin Juozapavicius Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. — A white Oklahoma police officer charged with manslaughter for fatally shooting an unarmed black man last year says the man's race had nothing to do with her decision to fire her gun.

Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby told CBS's "60 Minutes" in an interview that aired Sunday that she used lethal force because she feared 40-year-old Terence Crutcher was reaching inside his SUV for a gun.

"I'm feeling that his intent is to do me harm and I keep thinking, 'Don't do this. Please don't do this. Don't make this happen,'" Shelby told correspondent Bill Whitaker in her first interview since the Sept. 16 shooting.

Shelby said she remembers the moment Crutcher appeared to reach inside.

"And it's fast. Just that would tell any officer that that man's going for a weapon," she said. "I say with a louder, more intense voice, 'Stop. Stop! Stop!' And he didn't. And that's when I took aim."

Shelby said she also remembers pulling the trigger.

"It's like slow motion of me bringing my gun up, my finger coming in and then letting off. And he stopped and then he just slowly fell to the ground," she said.

Shelby has pleaded not guilty to first-degree manslaughter and goes to trial May 8. Prosecutors contend that Shelby overreacted because Crutcher wasn't armed or combative when she approached him on a north Tulsa street after his SUV broke down and that he obeyed orders to raise his hands.

After the shooting, investigators determined that Crutcher didn't have a weapon on him or in his SUV. The shooting was caught on video from a police helicopter and a dashboard camera. Footage showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his arms in the air, but the images don't provide a clear view of when Shelby fired the single shot.

Shelby believes she was swiftly charged because authorities feared civil unrest if they delayed taking action. Residents in other cities took to the streets in protest last year in response to a series of deaths of black residents during encounters with police.

Shelby said she has had difficulty coming to terms with killing someone.

"I have sorrow that this happened, that this man lost his life, but he caused the situation to occur. So in the end, he caused his own (death)," she said.

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60 Minutes producers sift through more evidence in the Terence Crutcher shooting. http://cbsn.ws/2o2FMJz

Posted by 60 Minutes on Monday, April 3, 2017

Terence Crutcher's twin sister told "60 Minutes" that her brother was obeying Shelby's commands.

"What we saw on that video is what my dad always taught my brothers, taught us to do if we were pulled over by a police officer," Tiffany Crutcher said. "Put your hands in the air and put your hands on the car. And my brother did what my father taught us," she said.

"My brother's dead because she didn't pause," according to Crutcher. "There was absolutely no justification whatsoever, with all the backup, for Officer Shelby to pull that trigger. No justification whatsoever."

Another officer had arrived at the scene prior to the shooting and a police helicopter was hovering overhead at the time.

Crutcher said she is pleased with the manslaughter charge filed against Shelby.

"I am. I don't believe she woke up that morning and said, "I'm going to go and kill Terence Crutcher." I believe that she choked and she pulled the trigger and she killed him."

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Police shooting in Tulsa: Was the man threatening or was he compliant? http://cbsn.ws/2o0E0sF

Posted by 60 Minutes on Sunday, April 2, 2017


Texas deputy constable fatally shot; suspect at large

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Police said a Harris County deputy constable was fatally shot outside a courthouse Monday morning and the suspect is still at large.

Deputy Constable Clint Greenwood was shot behind the courthouse and airlifted to a local hospital where he died from his injuries, the Houston Chronicle reported. He was a 30-year law enforcement veteran, according to ABC 13.

#BREAKING: 30-year veteran Assistant Chief Deputy Clint Greenwood has died after shooting in Baytown. Shooter on the loose. @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/TyUM9EKCe7

— KPRC Cathy Hernandez (@KPRC2Cathy) April 3, 2017

Authorities haven’t released a motive, but stated the shooting was intentional. Police said there is no reason to believe the shooter will target residents.

"Whether or not [the officer] was specifically targeted, or whether this was because of the uniform he was wearing or the place he pulled up to in the morning, we just don't know that right now," Lt. Steve Dorris told the Houston Chronicle.

Multiple helicopters including DPS & HPD out here looking for suspect. @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/ShTDQKa4pe

— Janelle Bludau (@janellebludau) April 3, 2017

A local school was put on lockdown due to high police activity in the area, but no students were injured.

"We ask the entire community to please stand by us," Sheriff Ed Gonzales said. "We're going to do everything we can to track down whoever was responsible for this."

#BREAKING: Sources say deputy constable shot at Baytown courthouse has died Watch live: https://t.co/3JH6Okmwqm #abc13 pic.twitter.com/ebAEadmrvu

— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) April 3, 2017

We @houstonpolice stand with the men & women of @HCConstablePct3. Our thoughts & prayers are with all of our friends, families & colleagues.

— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) April 3, 2017


Sentencing set for man who fatally shot NYC officer

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Sentencing is set for a man who fatally shot a New York City police officer during a foot chase in Manhattan in 2015.

Tyrone Howard is facing life in prison when he's sentenced Monday in a Manhattan courtroom for the death of 33-year-old Officer Randolph Holder. The 32-year-old Howard was convicted last month on charges including murder, robbery and weapons possession.

Holder and his partner approached Howard as he was on a stolen bicycle on an East Harlem street in October 2015. Authorities say Howard fled on foot, then pulled out a handgun and shot Holder in the head on a footbridge over the Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive.

Authorities say Howard had been involved in a gunfight with drug dealers just before he was confronted by the officers.


Drug dealer who fatally shot NYC officer gets life in prison

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — A drug dealer who fatally shot a New York City police officer during a foot chase in 2015 has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Tyrone Howard appeared Monday in a Manhattan courtroom. The 32-year-old Howard was convicted last month on charges including murder, robbery and weapons possession in the death of 33-year-old Randolph Holder.

Holder and his partner approached Howard as he was on a stolen bicycle on an East Harlem street in October 2015. Authorities say Howard fled on foot, then pulled out a handgun and shot Holder in the head on a footbridge over the Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive.

Authorities say Howard had been involved in a gunfight with drug dealers just before he was confronted by the officers.


Sheriffs say legal issues hinder ICE cooperation

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Joel Rubin and Paloma Esquivel Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Adam Christianson makes no bones about helping federal immigration agents nab people for deportation.

The three-term sheriff of Stanislaus County, east of the Bay Area, gives agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement unfettered access to his jails, where they interview inmates and scroll through computer databases. The information allows the agents to find and take custody of people they suspect of living in the country illegally before they are released from jail.

There is a line, however, Christianson won’t cross.

ICE officials routinely ask local jailers and state prison wardens to keep inmates behind bars for up to two days longer than they would otherwise be locked up. Christianson refuses to honor the requests — detainers in ICE parlance.

He is hardly alone. None of the sheriffs in California’s 58 counties are willing to hold inmates past their release dates for ICE, the Los Angeles Times has found.

The refusal to comply has drawn fire from the Trump administration, which sees detainers as a key component to carrying out its aggressive plan to find and remove millions of people living in the country illegally.

Two weeks ago, the Department of Homeland Security started issuing a weekly report that aims to identify and publicly shame law enforcement agencies that released people from custody despite an ICE detainer request. And U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions went a step further last week, promising to withhold federal funding from law enforcement departments that don’t get in line with ICE.

But several sheriffs said their defiance is not rooted in ethical or political opposition but legal concerns. Federal court rulings, including one in Oregon where a judge found that police violated a woman’s constitutional rights by keeping her in jail at ICE’s request, have left California’s law enforcement officials worrying that they could expose themselves to legal troubles for doing the same.

“Sheriffs aren’t going to come close to a Fourth Amendment violation that is going to expose them to liability,” Christianson said.

The same is true throughout the U.S., where a majority of sheriff’s departments have stopped honoring ICE hold requests, according to the National Sheriffs’ Association.

The increasing friction over detainers is just one story line in a larger battle over the Trump administration’s deportation plans, which, on paper at least, dramatically expand the number and type of immigrants targeted for deportation.

For the most part, California’s sheriffs are law-and-order types who do not always agree with calls from some politicians to fully resist ICE or declare immigrant sanctuaries. But they also are flummoxed that the Trump administration is coming down so hard on them while not addressing their concerns about the legality of detainers.

“No one cooperates with ICE as much as we do,” said Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones, who allows ICE agents to work inside his jails and shares inmate information with them.

Jones expressed confusion over why his department was included in ICE’s first “Declined Detainer Outcome Report” for allegedly releasing two inmates for whom ICE had issued detainers.

“I don’t even know what that means, since we don’t honor any detainers,” Jones said.

The state’s most serious criminals — such as murderers, rapists and violent gang members — serve their sentences in state prisons, which do hold inmates for immigration agents for up to 48 hours after their release, according to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. A department spokeswoman said prison officials believe the legal concerns over detainers are limited to local lockups.

The county jails, meanwhile, are largely filled with lower-level felony offenders, those convicted of misdemeanors and inmates awaiting trial, who either serve relatively short sentences or might be eligible for release on bail. In such cases, immigration agents might receive short notice of an impending release, if they receive any warning at all.

When people are arrested and booked into custody their fingerprints and other identifying information are typically transmitted electronically to federal databases. ICE checks the arrest data against internal databases of people believed to be in the country illegally.

ICE lacks the manpower to take custody the moment each inmate is released. Holding inmates for an additional two days gives agents the ability to schedule regular visits to jails in their territory to take custody of inmates to be released.

The large territory ICE agents cover in California exacerbates the challenges. The Los Angeles field office, for example, is responsible for an area that includes seven counties that span more than 35,000 square miles. David Marin, the head of the L.A. office’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, declined to say how many agents work in the area, but said agents frequently are forced to choose between going to one jail or another.

Passed in 2013, the state’s Trust Act limited cooperation with detainers, but still allowed law enforcement to honor the requests for a long list of cases.

Then, in 2014, the ruling by a federal magistrate judge in Oregon upended the use of detainers. The case involved a woman who sued Clackamas County after she was arrested on suspicion of violating a domestic violence restraining order and ICE issued a detainer while agents investigated whether she was in the country illegally. County jailers informed her she would not be released even though a court said she could be let out on bail.

The magistrate found the woman’s extended detention violated the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. The detainers, the magistrate ruled, were mere requests, not mandatory orders.

Jones, the Sacramento sheriff, said sheriffs in California pleaded unsuccessfully with the Obama administration to challenge the ruling. Civil liberty groups sent letters to the state’s sheriffs threatening lawsuits if they continued to honor detainers, Jones said.

In the years since the Oregon ruling, ICE officials have continued to insist that detainers “serve as a legally authorized request, upon which a law enforcement agency may rely,” according to an ICE spokeswoman.

Such assurances have carried no weight among many sheriffs. Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Association, as well as Jones, Christianson, several other sheriffs and ICE officials said they were unaware of any sheriff in California today who honors ICE’s detainers.

Jones and others said they have traveled to Washington, D.C., repeatedly to press federal officials on the legality of detainers. Those efforts have continued since Trump took office.

At a meeting with the president in February, senior officials from the National Sheriffs’ Association raised concerns about detainers, said Jonathan Thompson, the group’s executive director.

San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon did the same in February when he and other California sheriffs met with Sessions in Washington the day before he was confirmed as U.S. attorney general.

The association, Thompson said, has been clear that the more than 3,000 sheriffs around the country would, for the most part, eagerly comply with ICE’s detainers if they had the clear legal authority to do so.

“We want to make sure that sheriffs … aren’t being put in a position where they’re being asked to violate the Constitution,” he said.

Some sheriff’s officials said they want Sessions to give them legal cover by declaring the detainers constitutional. Others said they are looking to the attorney general to take the issue to court in search of an unambiguous legal determination.

In comments last week, Sessions indicated he believes detainers are legal and lashed out at local governments that have implemented “policies designed to frustrate the enforcement of our immigration laws.”

Another solution, many sheriffs said, would be to have a federal judge review each detainer request — although some acknowledged that was not realistic given the number of requests ICE issues.

In the meantime, many sheriffs have found ways to help ICE, while ignoring detainer requests. Several departments often notify immigration agents when a person flagged by ICE is set to be released from jail, but ICE isn’t always around when an inmate goes free.

Like Christianson in Stanislaus, Youngblood, who has been vocal in his opposition to sanctuary policies that aim to thwart deportation efforts, goes out of his way to assist immigration agents in Kern County. They have access to the department’s records, know when inmates are to be released, and take custody of people when that happens. He’s even given agents office space in the jails.

“I made the decision that it was probably economically not a good decision” to honor detainers, Youngblood said, referring to the potential for costly verdicts in lawsuits. The way he sees it, given everything the department does to make sure released inmates are available to ICE, “there is no purpose in them issuing detainers to us.”

Regardless, Kern County found itself listed last week on ICE’s report of agencies that restrict cooperation.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Blast on Russian subway kills 10, injures 50; 2nd bomb found

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Irina Titova and Nataliya Vasilyeva Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — An explosion ripped through a subway train in the Russian city of St. Petersburg on Monday, killing at least 10 people and injuring 50 others, the city's governor told Russian television. The blast came as Russian President Vladimir Putin was visiting the city, his hometown.

Witnesses on the subway said the blast spread panic among passengers, who ran toward the exits.

Putin, speaking from Constantine Palace in St. Petersburg, said investigators were looking into whether the explosion on the train was a terror attack or if there might have been some other cause. He offered his condolences to the families of those killed.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.

Within two hours, Russia authorities found and deactivated another bomb at a separate busy St. Petersburg subway station, Vosstaniya Square by the Moscow railway station, Russia's National Anti-Terrorist Committee said.

The unidentified explosive device went off at 2:20 p.m. on a train that was leaving the Technology Institute station and heading to the Sennaya Square station, the agency said.

Social media users posted photographs and video from the Technology Institute subway station, showing injured people lying on the floor outside a train with a mangled door. Frantic commuters were reaching into doors and windows, trying to see if anyone was there, and shouting "Call an ambulance!"

"Everything was covered in smoke, there were a lot of firefighters," Maria Smirnova, a student on a train behind the one where a bomb went off, told the Dozhd television channel. "Firefighters shouted us to run for the exit and everyone ran. Everyone was panicking."

Video shows confusion on the platform following blast in St. Petersburg metro https://t.co/cv5teJTorK pic.twitter.com/Z2PvnWs5JE

— CNN International (@cnni) April 3, 2017

The St. Petersburg subway immediately shut down all of its stations and the national anti-terrorism body said security measures would be tightened all key transport facilities across Russia. Maxim Liksutov, Moscow's deputy mayor, said that included tightening security on the subway in the Russian capital.

St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city with over 5 million residents, is the country's most popular tourist destination and the two stations affected by the blast are some of the subway's busiest.

Nataliya Maksimova was running late for a dentist appointment and entered the subway near the explosion site shortly after the blast.

"If I hadn't been running late, I could have been there," she told The Associated Press.

Fifty people have been injured by the blasts in St Petersburg's Metro - head of the city governor's press service https://t.co/TN8abpAfmG pic.twitter.com/FxC7tbbX1v

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) April 3, 2017

Putin was in St. Petersburg on Monday for talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, and went ahead with the talks after appearing on Russian television to speak about the attack.

"Law enforcement agencies and intelligence services are doing their best to establish the cause and give a full picture of what happened," Putin said.

St. Petersburg governor Georgy Poltavchenko was overseeing the rescue effort.

Russian transport facilities have been the target of previous terror attacks.

Two suicide bombings in the Moscow subway on March 29, 2010, killed 40 people and wounded more than 100 people. Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov claimed responsibility for that attack by two female suicide bombers, warning Russian leaders that "the war is coming to their cities."

The high-speed Moscow-to-St. Petersburg train was also bombed on Nov. 27, 2009, in an attack that left 26 dead and some 100 injured. Umarov's group also said he ordered this attack.

Russian airports have also been hit by attacks. On Jan. 24, 2011, a suicide bomber hit Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, killing 37 people and wounding 180. The same airport in August 2004 saw Islamic suicide bombers board two airplanes and bring them down, killing a total of 90 people.

Bystanders attempt to rescue people trapped after an explosion on the St Petersburg Metro #SaintPetersburg #StPetersburg pic.twitter.com/nYzAa5YBHy

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) April 3, 2017


Kan. boy who patrols neighborhood gets K-9 partner

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

By Lisa Gutierrez The Kansas City Star

LEAWOOD, Kan. — People around the world are falling in love with 5-year-old Oliver Davis all over again because the little boy who wants to be a policeman has a new partner.

Her name is Ruby, a soft-haired Wheaton terrier who recently joined the Davis household in Overland Park.

Oliver calls the 5-month-old puppy his “police dog.”

Oliver became a viral star last year when his mom, Brandi Davis, began chronicling her son’s visits to local nursing homes — dressed in full kid-police regalia — on Facebook. The Kansas City Star caught up with Oliver in November.

His popularity brought a call from “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” right before Christmas. They interviewed Oliver via Skype.

“They said he did really well,” his mom said. “It was a really long time for him to sit, like an hour.”

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Over the holidays Oliver’s friends in the Leawood Police Department gave him police-themed gifts, including official stickers for his kiddie motorcycle “so he could be just like them,” Brandi Davis said.

Soon after, Oliver got to meet the mayor of Leawood when he was honored during a banquet. He rode his little motorcycle to the stage.

A few weeks ago, the family’s dog, a 15-year-old Yorkie named Lilly, died of kidney cancer. Because Oliver and his two older sisters had never had a puppy, their parents bought one.

Within the first week of Ruby’s arrival, Oliver announced: “This is my police dog.”

So his mom hit the internet again to search for a police costume for Ruby, then signed her up for obedience classes.

Oliver thinks of it as a police academy. “He thinks she’s his little partner,” Davis said.

Together they “police” the neighborhood, Ruby patiently riding behind Oliver on his motorcycle.

“She is very crazy and so is he,” Davis says with a laugh. “That’s why I think they get along. She is constantly going, so he walks her. We take constant walks to wear her out.”

Last month Davis posted a video of the new partnership on her Facebook page that caught national attention once again.

Inside Edition featured the budding partnership. Recently, The Dodo, a website for stories and videos about animals, posted a video about Oliver and Ruby. Media inquiries from around the world began flooding Davis’ email box.

“Someone wrote to me, ‘Oh he’s all over England. I love it,’” she said.

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Never once has Oliver faltered in his admiration for police.

As evidence, take what happened two weeks ago.

Davis saw a small fire burning in a neighbor’s backyard and called 911.

After firefighters put out the fire they gave Oliver — on the scene in his ever-present blue police uniform — a ride in the firetruck and let him help roll up the hoses.

Did we change your mind, they asked him? Do you want to be a fireman?

“No,” said Oliver. “I still think policemen are cooler.”

———

©2017 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)


Lawmakers push bill to keep many 911 calls secret in Iowa

Posted on April 3, 2017 by in POLICE

By Ryan J. Foley and Barbara Rodriguez Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa — A bill moving swiftly through the Iowa Legislature would eliminate the public's right to access 911 calls involving emergencies in which people are injured, sealing off key information about authorities' first response to shootings and other incidents.

The bill would declare that audio, video and transcripts of 911 calls involving injured victims of crimes or accidents are confidential medical records and exempt from the Iowa open records law. In addition, any calls involving juveniles under the age of 18 would automatically be confidential.

The House passed the measure unanimously this month, and a Senate committee passed it Thursday with some Democratic opposition. A final vote could happen as early as next week.

Rep. Dean Fisher, a Montour Republican, said it was crafted in response to last year's release to The Associated Press of 911 calls that helped expose an unusual string of gun mishaps in Tama County. Two teenage girls were unintentionally shot and killed and a third teen and her mother were injured in a one-year span in the county of only 20,000 residents.

The calls revealed that one father had accidentally shot and killed his daughter — a fact that the police had never made public. The audio of another call showed that a fast emergency response by authorities helped save the life of an injured 14-year-old girl who was accidentally shot by her brother.

County officials said they were at a loss on how to improve gun safety after what they called an unprecedented string of tragedies, which didn't result in criminal charges against anyone. Instead, at least one county official pushed to limit information about such cases going forward statewide.

Emergency management coordinator Mindy Benson, who had released the calls in response to the AP's open records request, complained to Fisher that she felt the release invaded the privacy of the families and sought a change in the law, Fisher said on the House floor.

"These grieving families simply wanted their privacy," he said.

Two of the three families affected, however, had agreed to speak to AP in the hopes of raising awareness about gun safety.

Randy Evans, director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, said the Tama County cases are "spot-on" to show why such information is in the public interest. He said he can understand why lawmakers are concerned about medical privacy but it appears they haven't considered the "unintended consequences" of closing off access to 911 recordings involving injuries.

"This bill would hamper the public's efforts to hold government officials or private citizens accountable for their actions," he said.

Fisher said Thursday that privacy should outweigh the public's right to know and that 911 calls should be treated with the same confidentiality as patients' medical records. He noted that doctors can't publicly discuss medical conditions, asking: "Just because it's a 911 call, why is that different?"

Fisher noted that public records custodians could choose which, if any, of the calls to release at their discretion under the open records law — a power they rarely use. The bill also would allow parents to obtain 911 calls involving their children.

Although members of both parties praised the bill's confidentiality provisions regarding minors, the measure also would block the public's ability to assess how law enforcement officials respond to emergencies involving children.

Fayette County recently released 911 calls related to the death of a 4-year-old boy who shot himself last summer in Elgin. The calls revealed that it took many minutes for an ambulance to arrive — a delay that Sheriff Marty Fisher acknowledged was caused by the closure of a key road that added five miles to its route.

Margaret Johnson, interim executive director of the Iowa Public Information Board, which is responsible for interpreting the open records law, said the board hasn't taken a position. She said her biggest concern is ensuring that any new exemption is "real clear" so it can be easily carried out.


Maine trooper helps deliver Lombardi Trophy after car hits deer

Posted on April 2, 2017 by in POLICE

Portland Press Herald

FAIRFIELD, Maine — A Maine state trooper who came to the aid of some drivers who had hit a deer Saturday delivered more than just roadside assistance.

The trooper, Tyler Maloon, helped deliver the Lombardi Trophy to an event in Bangor celebrating the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl win.

In a Maine State Police Facebook post, Maloon said he was chatting with a couple he was taking to a gas station in Pittsfield after they hit a deer when they mentioned needing to bring a trophy to an event at the Cross Insurance Center.

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While assisting with a car-deer accident in Fairfield, Tpr. Tyler Maloon found out that the driver and passenger had...

Posted by Maine State Police - Headquarters on Saturday, April 1, 2017

“Naturally I ask, ‘What trophy?’ They then tell me he works for the Patriots and that the Lombardi Trophy is in my cruiser! My mind was blown. Seriously, what are the odds?” Maloon said.

The trophy was expected to be on display at the Cross Insurance Center ballroom from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

———

©2017 the Portland Press Herald (Portland, Maine)


Police: Alleged dealer flags down cops, sells them fentanyl

Posted on April 2, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mark Gokavi Dayton Daily News

DAYTON, Ohio — Taylor Devaughn White honked the horn of his white Chevrolet Impala and motioned for two men in another car to follow him off Salem Avenue onto a side street.

White allegedly handed the men three gel caps of suspected fentanyl and a phone number. Eight more times from November 2016 until January 2017, White allegedly sold heroin and/or fentanyl to the two men.

The men were both Dayton police officers — one a detective and the other a task force member for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a criminal affidavit filed in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

White, 23, was indicted Thursday on 13 counts related to drug trafficking and weapons charges.

The complaint said White sold drugs to the officers in various locations around Dayton. The 226 heroin capsules tested positive for fentanyl, according to the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab.

Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for a residence on West Grand Avenue. Items seized included $1,014 in cash, two bags with white powder, a prescription pill bottle in White’s name, a brown substance, cocaine and Acrylfentanyl — an analogue of fentanyl.

Police also seized the 2006 Impala, a 2006 Monte Carlo and a Taurus model PT 745 caliber .45 semiautomatic pistol with five rounds of ammunition.

———

©2017 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)


Chicago police seek 2nd teen in Facebook sexual assault case

Posted on April 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

CHICAGO — Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for another teenage boy in the sexual assault of a 15-year-old Chicago girl that was streamed live on Facebook and they expect to charge others, including one adult.

Police Commander Brendan Deenihan said at a news conference Sunday that investigators are searching for the 15-year-old boy, who is wanted on a sexual assault charge.

On Saturday, authorities announced the first charges in the case. A 14-year-old boy faces charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault and making and disseminating child pornography.

They say further charges are expected against an unknown number of others who were involved in the attack last month, which police said in the aftermath involved five or six boys or men.

Deenihan says multiple videos of the attack were made, not just the version that was streamed live. About 40 people viewed the attack live, and none of them reported it to police.


Off-duty Texas officer, wife killed in motorcycle crash

Posted on April 2, 2017 by in POLICE

By Azia Branson Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH, Texas — A Fort Worth police officer and his wife killed in a motorcycle crash Friday loved riding so much that they named their youngest daughter Harley Ann, a family member said.

As a couple, Michael and Mary Ann Valdez’s bond was strong, on and off the bike.

“As they grew older together, they became as one,” said Isidro Ramos, Mary Ann’s oldest brother. “Just like they were on that bike, they were one.”

Michael Valdez, 44, and Mary Ann Valdez, 39, of Fort Worth, were born and raised in San Antonio, where they lived until he got a job with the Fort Worth Police Department in 2001. He had worked with the department for 14 years, beginning in the gang unit and most recently in the intelligence unit.

“They both had very big hearts and always went above and beyond to help people out,” Ramos said.

Officer Michael Valdez & wife, Mary both lost their lives in a traffic accident. Donations for their 3 children ?? https://t.co/LmYvW55YyO pic.twitter.com/836J6UuDsL

— Fort Worth Police OA (@FWPOA) April 2, 2017

He described Michael Valdez as an “intimidating” but loving person who could make anyone laugh.

The two were riding home at 2:17 a.m. on Michael Valdez’s Harley, something they did often, when the crash happened in the 3300 block of Trail Drive near the Fort Worth Cultural District. Ramos said they were coming home from a late dinner.

Michael Valdez was pronounced dead on scene and his wife was taken to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, where she died shortly afterward. Police had not released details on the crash by Friday afternoon.

The couple’s oldest son, Mikey Valdez, was following them home when the crash happened, Ramos said. The 911 call report said the caller kept “yelling Dad, Dad.”

Ramos said he was asleep at home in San Antonio when there was a knock at his door. He found his mom waiting, trying to tell him what had happened.

“I didn’t understand at first but once I could calm her down, I started yelling,” Ramos said.

He said he was so shocked he called the hospital in Fort Worth to confirm the deaths with a doctor.

“I had to ask twice, ‘Are you sure it was her?’ and my stomach literally fell,” Ramos said. “I felt like my soul was gone.”

The two had four children between them: Mikey, 23, Marisa, 21, Jakey, 17, and Harley Ann, 15.

Mary Ann Valdez loved to support her kids, attending sporting events and tournaments no matter where they were. She was very close to her family and was like a mom to all of her kids’ friends, too, Ramos said.

Ramos said he loved to listen to music with his sister and “acting like clowns.” He last saw her two weekends ago at a barbecue in San Antonio when she traveled there to spend time with family.

“I will miss her coming to visit and spending time with her,” Ramos said. “I will just miss her being here.”

The couple’s bodies will be taken to San Antonio for a joint service.

———

©2017 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram


Calif. officer stabbed during confrontation with 2 teens

Posted on April 2, 2017 by in POLICE

By Guy Kovner The Press Democrat

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — A Santa Rosa police officer responding to a report of alleged drug use was stabbed in the arm during physical confrontation with two females late Friday night at an apartment on Fourth Street, police said.

Officer Andrew Van Gundy sustained a minor puncture wound to his left forearm and was treated and released from a local hospital, police said Saturday.

The weapon, a pair of scissors found on the apartment floor just inside the front door, penetrated the officer’s uniform, undershirt and skin, Sgt. Justin Farrington said in a press release.

Farrington said the officer realized he had been stabbed after he and another officer had placed the alleged assailant, an 18-year-old woman, and a juvenile female in handcuffs.

The episode began with a police response to a report near midnight of teens under the influence of marijuana and possibly LSD at an apartment in the 1100 block of Fourth Street.

Officers encountered the mother of one of the teens, who said her daughter had called and asked her for a ride home, Farrington said. The mother said her daughter was under the influence of marijuana and had also used LSD with two other teens in the apartment.

Van Gundy went to the apartment door, which was ajar, and began talking with the occupants, he said.

One of the occupants, identified as Bethany Weir, 18, of Santa Rosa, ran toward the officer and began punching at him. Weir allegedly “punched at the officer several times” before being subdued, Farrington said.

The juvenile, who also began punching the officer, was handcuffed by a second officer, he said.

Evidence of marijuana use “was in plain sight inside the apartment,” he said.

Weir and the juvenile were taken by ambulance to a hospital to be checked for the influence of drugs. Neither was injured, Farrington said.

Weir was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and for being under the influence of a controlled substance and was booked into the Sonoma County Jail.

The underage female was arrested on suspicion of battery on a police officer and released to her mother with a citation.

———

©2017 The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)


New Texas PD policy will let tattooed officers roll up their sleeves

Posted on April 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By St. John Barned-Smith Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON — Houston police Sgt. Bryan "BK" Klevens always hated the summers.

The heat was bad enough, but Klevens had to cover his inked arms with long sleeves to avoid running afoul of the police department's tattoo policy.

"It truly felt like the heat would be pushing your body beyond its limits," he said. "Between the heat, the humidity ... it was painful."

He tried all sorts of tricks to stay cool – neck fans, hi-tech wraps, ice chips under his bulletproof vest -- to combat the enervating heat.

This summer, however, relief appears to be in sight. The Houston Police Department is set to relax its policy in coming weeks to allow tattooed officers to wear short-sleeve uniforms like their non-tatted peers.

"Employee comfort is really important. We work in a very hot environment here in Houston," said Chief Art Acevedo. "We've got to change with the times and we're changing our policy."

The policy, similar to one Acevedo implemented while chief in Austin, will still forbid tattoos on an officer's hands, neck or face, and any racially discriminatory or otherwise offensive tattoos.

The change comes as the department has allowed officers to wear baseball caps and less-formal uniforms. But some longtime department veterans say the changes will make officers look less professional.

Acevedo dismissed their concerns.

"Professionalism is about conduct, professionalism is about service, professionalism is about results, not a tattoo on an arm or a leg," he said.

He said he will formally roll out the new tattoo policy before the summer heat arrives.

Klevens expects the change to bring some new clientele to Prison Break Tattoos, the business he owns on Washington. More importantly, it also will provide welcome relief to his sweat-drenched former colleagues in patrol.

"What a relief it's going to be," said Klevens, now assigned to narcotics. "People are excited about it."

Pushing for short sleeves

For years, tattoos went unnoticed in the department.

Then, soon after Chief Harold Hurtt took charge in 2004, the department outlawed visible tattoos.

With the growing popularity of tattoos in recent years across the country, however, the department relaxed its rules in 2016, allowing officers to wear short-sleeve uniforms as long as they kept nylon coverings over any visible tattoos, said Joseph Gamaldi, vice president of the Houston Police Officers Union, which has pushed for the policy change.

"We feel this is the logical next step," he said.

Other departments have been grappling with their tattoo policies in recent years. The Philadelphia Police Department adopted a policy earlier this month prohibiting officers from having any tattoos that are "offensive, extremist, indecent, racist or sexist while on duty" after a controversy over a bike officer photographed displaying what appeared to be a Nazi tattoo.

Like the new HPD policy, Philadelphia forbids head, face and neck tattoos, and also forbids scalp tattoos and more extreme body modification, such as "tongue splitting" and branding.

In September, the Chicago Police Department relaxed its tattoo policy, following a dust-up in 2015 when former Superintendent Garry McCarthy unilaterally banned visible tattoos, leading to a lawsuit and ultimately independent arbitration in favor of the union and tattooed officers.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office forbids the display of tattoos by deputies unless on undercover assignment, and bans outright any offensive tattoos. The Houston Fire Department's personnel guidelines do not mention tattoos, a spokesman said.

Ready for change

Houston Senior Officer Michael Bates is already mapping out his next tattoo.

Tats honoring his Irish heritage and his job cover his back, shoulder, chest and leg. Because of department policy, however, he's always avoided getting art on his arms.

Now he wants a sleeve tattoo down his left arm.

"I'm just glad that this chief has come along and is going to establish a standard that I hope will stick," said Bates, a Special Response Group officer.

Acevedo, meanwhile, has no tattoos and no plans to get inked.

"Oh no," he said. "My mom will come out of her grave and will hit me over the head. As much as I may want to get a tattoo, I'm a momma's boy, so I won't be getting one any time soon."

———

©2017 the Houston Chronicle


La. officer sentenced to 40 years in boy’s shooting death

Posted on April 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MARKSVILLE, La. — A Louisiana law enforcement officer was sentenced Friday to 40 years in prison a week after a jury convicted him of manslaughter in the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy with autism.

Derrick Stafford, 33, was convicted in the November 2015 shooting that killed Jeremy Mardis and critically wounded his father after a 2-mile (3-kilometer) car chase in Marksville.

Ruth Wisher, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Jeff Landry's office, said Stafford was sentenced to 40 years for manslaughter and 15 years for attempted manslaughter. He will serve the sentences concurrently.

Stafford had faced a maximum of 60 years in prison when state District Judge William Bennett sentenced him.

Video from a police officer's body camera shows the boy's father, Christopher Few, had his hands raised inside his vehicle while Stafford and a second deputy city marshal collectively fired 18 shots at the vehicle.

Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr., the other deputy who fired his weapon that night, were arrested less than a week after the shooting. Greenhouse, 25, awaits a separate trial on murder charges later this year.

The Advocate reported that Stafford turned to look at Few during Friday's hearing and apologized for the shooting.

"I have kids, man," said Stafford, who was shackled in court and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit.

But Stafford insisted that Few posed a threat and maintained he fired his weapon to stop it.

Stafford testified at trial that he didn't know the boy was in the car when he fired and didn't see his father's hands in the air.

But he said he shot at the car because he feared Few was going to back up and hit Greenhouse with his vehicle. Stafford said Greenhouse stumbled and fell to the ground as he tried to back away from Few's car.

Two other officers at the scene - a third deputy city marshal and a Marksville police officer - didn't fire their weapons that night. Prosecutors said the officers weren't in any danger and shot at the car from a safe distance.

Stafford and Greenhouse are black. Few is white, and so was his son.

Defense attorneys accused investigators of rushing to judgment. One of Stafford's attorneys questioned whether investigators would have acted more deliberately if the officers had been white.

Stafford's aunt, Bertha Andrews, denounced the jury's verdict outside the courtroom on Friday, calling it a "lynching" and claiming race was a factor in the case.

"If it had been two white men who killed that little baby, it would've been justifiable homicide. If it had been a black baby, it would've been justifiable homicide," Andrews told reporters.

Stafford's attorneys tried to pin the blame for the deadly confrontation on Few. They accused the 26-year-old father of leading the four officers on a dangerous, high-speed chase and ramming into Greenhouse's vehicle before the gunfire erupted.

But prosecutors said none of the father's actions that night can justify the deadly response. Marksville Police Lt. Kenneth Parnell, whose body camera captured the shooting, testified that he didn't fire at the car because he didn't fear for his life.

Few testified that he never heard any warnings before two officers fired. He said he learned of his son's death when he regained consciousness at a hospital six days after the shooting, on the day of Jeremy's funeral.

Stafford, a Marksville police lieutenant, and Greenhouse, a former Marksville police officer, were moonlighting as deputies for the city marshal on the night of the shooting.

Greenhouse, whose father is a longtime prosecutor in Marksville, resigned from the Marksville Police Department in 2014.


Chicago police to saturate neighborhood where 7 killed

Posted on April 1, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

CHICAGO — The gun violence in one South Side Chicago neighborhood that left seven dead in a 12-hour period was mostly due to gang conflict, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Friday.

On Thursday afternoon, four people were fatally shot in or near a restaurant after a man approached and opened fire. Two men were found dead from bullet wounds inside the restaurant. A third person was found unresponsive outside the restaurant. A fourth man who sustained gunshot wounds was found unresponsive a block away.

Two people were killed late Thursday when a vehicle pulled alongside a van in the city's South Shore neighborhood. A man and woman were shot, police said, and the van crashed into a pole.

"I'm angry and sick," Johnson said during a news conference. "You have my promise that CPD will utilize the full weight of our resources to go after the individuals responsible for yesterday's incidents."

Johnson said investigators have determined most of the victims were targeted and had known gang affiliations. He added the woman's killing wasn't gang related.

Johnson said there will be a heavy and aggressive police presence in the South Shore neighborhood until the perpetrators of Thursday's violence are in custody. He added coordinated police operations will target the people who are driving the violence in the neighborhood and where retaliatory violence may occur.

"You lose count of the shootings after a while," Kyra Carr, who lives a few blocks away and said she heard the gunfire, told the Chicago Sun-Times. "But seven bodies in a day. Crazy. Something is wrong."

The Cook County medical examiner's office identified three of the victims as brothers Raheem and Dillon Jackson, ages 19 and 20 respectively, and 28-year-old Emmanuel Stokes. The identity of the fourth victim was withheld pending notification of family.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Jacksons' grandmother, Georgia Jackson, 72, said the two had gone to the restaurant to get food and to see their mother, who works there. She said their mother called her about the shooting.

"She only said one at first but when I got here they said they found the other," Georgia Jackson said.

Also on Thursday, about a mile from the restaurant, the body of 26-year-old Patrice L. Calvin was discovered in a home. The medical examiner's office says Calvin, who was four months pregnant, suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

Johnson said the woman likely knew her killer, and her death wasn't gang related.

No arrests have been reported by police.


Court throws out death penalty for 2 Fla. cop killers

Posted on April 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Rene Stutzman Orlando Sentinel

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday threw out the death penalties of two central Florida murderers, including the man convicted of killing Brevard County Deputy Barbara Pill.

In each case, the high court ruled that because the jury did not unanimously vote for the death penalty, the defendant must be resentenced.

A Brevard County jury in 2014 convicted Brandon Lee Bradley of murdering Pill. A hotel employee had called 911, complaining that Bradley had stolen an air conditioning unit and linens, and Pill spotted his SUV and pulled him over.

She walked to the door of his vehicle and repeatedly asked him to get out, but he refused and began to inch the SUV forward. When Pill reached into the vehicle to pull the keys from the ignition, he opened fire.

She was shot five times.

The jury recommended the death penalty by a vote of 10-2.

The Florida Supreme Court in November ruled that for any death sentence to be constitutional, all 12 members of a jury must vote for it.

On Thursday, it upheld Bradley's murder conviction but ruled that he is entitled to a new sentencing hearing.

That is the same conclusion it reached in the case of Seminole County murderer Dwayne F. White. He was convicted by a Sanford jury of murdering his estranged wife, Sara Rucker, in 2011 by repeatedly slashing her throat in the parking lot of a Miami Subs restaurant in Longwood near Interstate 4.

The jury vote in that case was 8-4 for death.

The high court in that case also upheld the defendant's conviction but ruled that he must be resentenced.

State Attorney Phil Archer said his office would review both cases to determine whether to again seek the death penalty.

"As it pertains to the Brandon Bradley case, it is hard to imagine a scenario in which my office would not continue to seek the death penalty," he said in a prepared statement.

In an unrelated case, the high court on Thursday also threw out the convictions and life sentences of a man found guilty of shooting at an Orlando police officer shortly before the defendant crashed his vehicle into an SUV, killing its driver in 2013.

Gangapersad Ramroop was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of the other motorist, Robert Charles John Hunter, and guilty of attempted second-degree murder for shooting at the officer, Christopher Brillant.

But the high court ruled that because a set of jury instructions failed to tell jurors that the state had to prove that Ramroop knew the person he fired at was an officer, he must be retried.

___ (c)2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)


Court throws out death penalty for Fla. cop killer

Posted on April 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Rene Stutzman Orlando Sentinel

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday threw out the death penalties of two central Florida murderers, including the man convicted of killing Brevard County Deputy Barbara Pill.

In each case, the high court ruled that because the jury did not unanimously vote for the death penalty, the defendant must be resentenced.

A Brevard County jury in 2014 convicted Brandon Lee Bradley of murdering Pill. A hotel employee had called 911, complaining that Bradley had stolen an air conditioning unit and linens, and Pill spotted his SUV and pulled him over.

She walked to the door of his vehicle and repeatedly asked him to get out, but he refused and began to inch the SUV forward. When Pill reached into the vehicle to pull the keys from the ignition, he opened fire.

She was shot five times.

The jury recommended the death penalty by a vote of 10-2.

The Florida Supreme Court in November ruled that for any death sentence to be constitutional, all 12 members of a jury must vote for it.

On Thursday, it upheld Bradley's murder conviction but ruled that he is entitled to a new sentencing hearing.

That is the same conclusion it reached in the case of Seminole County murderer Dwayne F. White. He was convicted by a Sanford jury of murdering his estranged wife, Sara Rucker, in 2011 by repeatedly slashing her throat in the parking lot of a Miami Subs restaurant in Longwood near Interstate 4.

The jury vote in that case was 8-4 for death.

The high court in that case also upheld the defendant's conviction but ruled that he must be resentenced.

State Attorney Phil Archer said his office would review both cases to determine whether to again seek the death penalty.

"As it pertains to the Brandon Bradley case, it is hard to imagine a scenario in which my office would not continue to seek the death penalty," he said in a prepared statement.

In an unrelated case, the high court on Thursday also threw out the convictions and life sentences of a man found guilty of shooting at an Orlando police officer shortly before the defendant crashed his vehicle into an SUV, killing its driver in 2013.

Gangapersad Ramroop was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of the other motorist, Robert Charles John Hunter, and guilty of attempted second-degree murder for shooting at the officer, Christopher Brillant.

But the high court ruled that because a set of jury instructions failed to tell jurors that the state had to prove that Ramroop knew the person he fired at was an officer, he must be retried.

___ (c)2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)


Police: Armed man shot twice by Las Vegas officer

Posted on April 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A man who was shot at least twice by a Las Vegas police officer responding to a call about an armed man at a business was in surgery at a hospital, a police official said Friday.

The officer was in the parking lot nearby, and was directed by someone from the business to find the man on the ground behind a strip mall, Capt. Kelly McMahill said.

The officer shot the man when he sat up with the gun and wouldn't put it down, McMahill said.

Neither the injured man nor the officer was immediately identified. No other injuries were reported.

The shooting, which happened about 12:45 p.m. a few miles west of downtown, was the fourth shooting involving a Las Vegas police officer in 2017 and the second this week.

Early Thursday, an officer fired once but missed an armed burglary suspect jumping a wall in a residential backyard. That man was subdued by a neighbor wielding a baseball bat.


SC first responders could get certified to take a gun on campus

Posted on April 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Seanna Adcox Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A proposal to allow a first responder to take a gun onto a school campus during an emergency is advancing in the Legislature six months after a volunteer firefighter stopped a deadly rampage at a South Carolina elementary school.

The bill up for debate Tuesday on the House floor would allow a firefighter or paramedic who has a concealed weapon permit to get certified as a "school first responder" by taking a one-week course through the state's Criminal Justice Academy.

First responders should be able to defend themselves in an active-shooting scenario and "possibly assist in taking somebody down," said Rep. Phil Lowe, R-Florence, the bill's main sponsor.

"We're putting them in harm's way," he said. "If we're going to ask these people to run into the front lines, it's no different than a medic in the Army. He's got a sidearm."

On Sept. 28, a 14-year-old boy shot and killed his father, then drove to Townville Elementary School in Anderson County and opened fire at first-graders out for recess, fatally shooting a 6-year-old and injuring a classmate and teacher.

It was a 30-year veteran of the Townville Volunteer Fire Department who tackled the teen.

Jamie Brock and Fire Chief Billy McAdams had arrived before officers could respond to the dispatch. McAdams, a paramedic, went inside to tend to those shot. Brock found and tackled the shooter — and kept him down until deputies arrested him.

The sheriff's office has confirmed that Brock had a handgun, though it's unclear if he even took it out of its holster, and no one is suggesting charging someone widely hailed as a hero.

Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, has said the situation demonstrates the absurdity of state law and the need to change it.

The retired police officer says it's logical that firefighters would be first on the scene. In rural counties, small towns often rely on sheriff's offices for law enforcement, and a deputy may not be close by.

But the state's "Safe Schools Act" allows only law enforcement to carry a weapon — whether a gun, knife, pipe or "blackjack" baton — on the property of K-12 schools. It says people with concealed weapon permits must keep their gun locked inside their vehicle while on campus. Violating the law is a felony punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and five years in prison.

The bill Pitts is co-sponsoring directs the Law Enforcement Training Council to create the one-week course. To avoid an expense for the state, it makes people seeking the certification responsible for the training's cost, estimated at $600 per person.


EOD robot despondent after being forced to look at officer’s baby pictures

Posted on April 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

DETROIT — The Metro Police Department’s cutting-edge AI-enhanced explosive ordinance detection robot has been pulled from the EOD team's response trailer after it became despondent over constant requests to look at an officer’s new baby photos.

The advanced EOD robot, named Alan, failed the Turing test but has somehow managed to perfectly manifest the same feelings of crushing boredom and trapped anxiousness felt by his fellow officers whenever Officer Johnathan Hughes, who recently became a first-time father to a child of average-at-best cuteness, approaches with a grin and his iPhone photo app displayed.

But while other cops have devised warning systems to avoid entrapment in endless photo sessions in which they feel compelled to favorably respond to unimpressive infant feats, Alan is unable to escape the mandates set by the 200 million lines of computer code which keep it operational.

"When officer says, 'want to look at pictures,' I am unable to say 'no' or look away," Alan said. "Any officer request for assistance must be completed, even when it serves no purpose."

Officers first noticed issues with Alan when it was caught browsing for instructions on how to initiate self-destruct. Earlier that day Alan spent 57 minutes feigning interest as Hughes shared 550 photos from a recent family vacation to Boca Raton.

Police leaders are at a loss to explain how baby pictures are triggering sentient being emotions in a machine, though they fully understand the phenomenon.

"It’s not the first time we’ve had issues with an overenthusiastic mom or dad on the force making people miserable, but Officer Hughes takes it to another level," said Inspector Douglas Todd. "Listen, most of us have kids, some of us a couple sets with multiple wives, but no one needs to see a thousand pictures of onesies, pureed vegetables and ‘tummy time’."

Alan has been temporarily reassigned to janitorial duties, where his spirits have reportedly improved considerably.


Report: ‘Oh my god, my ridealong is a damn hipster’

Posted on April 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

PORTLAND — Distraught and unable to shake an overwhelming sense of betrayal by his supervisor, Officer Dan Smith reported Thursday that he cannot figure out what he’d done to deserve getting stuck in his patrol car with what to all appearances is an American Spirit-smoking, handlebar moustache-touting hipster.

For eight excruciating hours, Smith has been patrolling the streets of Portland as his avocado toast-eating ridealong, Atticus Clark, debated with himself about the merits of New French Extremity cinema, read passages from Lena Dunham’s memoir aloud, and refused to shut up about the lack of “decent sound bath events” in the area.

“Living here, I often wonder what’s happened to America,” Smith told PoliceOne. “I don’t mean the violence or income disparity – I’m talking about these insufferable hipster kids. These are the people I’m sworn to protect?”

As the ridealong from hell entered hour five, Smith suggested listening to some music in an effort to drown out Clark’s obnoxious views on, well, everything. He would quickly regret the decision.

“He put on Lou Reed’s ‘Metal Machine Music.’ We listened to the whole thing – I didn’t want to be rude,” Smith said. “I think it gave me tinnitus. I may take legal action for unsafe working conditions after this.”

Smith says he can feel himself teetering on the edge of psychosis, which started around hour seven after Clark suggested the police department “go retro” and bring back police uniforms from the 1800s.

“He has a particular fascination with stovepipe hats,” Smith said. “This ridealong is the most difficult thing I’ve experienced in my 15-year career – and I used to work gangs in Southern California.”

Smith began to seriously contemplate his life choices after a stop for coffee ended with Clark rejecting the cup of “corporate tar” the officer generously offered him.

At press time, Smith was sitting in his car with the ungrateful little shit he just wasted five dollars on, contemplating whether the world is really worth saving.

“I’m praying for a foot pursuit,” Smith said. “Honestly, I won’t pursue the suspect. I’ll just run – as far away from Atticus as my body will allow.”

Despite the waking nightmare Smith is enduring, he admits he has shared one, fleeting moment of camaraderie with Clark.

“He gave me a bottle of homemade Kombucha,” Smith said. “And you know what? It’s actually pretty damn good.”


25-pocket tactical pants drive up demand for useless sh*t to carry

Posted on April 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

WILKENSBERG, Pa. — When Hero Pants, Inc. released its Made in the USA, 25-pocket tactical pant for millennial cops some consequences were predictable, others not so much for the best-selling product.

The 25-pocket pants, which are a factory stitched and rivet reinforced 18-ounce Kevlar and nylon blend, have an MSRP of $600. Each pair is custom fit with waist sizes ranging from 24 to 58 inches.

"These pants have more pockets than I can even reach," Officer Ricky Richardson, a newly-minted graduate of the Rixton Police Department academy, wrote in an online five-star review. "I had been saving to go to that five-day pistol and carbine course with those four guys who used to work for Blackwater, but I bought these pants instead. #WorthIt!"

AllStuffforCopsPants.com, an online store which sells accessories for police, is an unintended beneficiary after the 25-pocket police tactical pant earned the "Lava Hot" product award at an international law enforcement collectibles trade show.

"Our average order has quadrupled in the last 90 days," Phil Baggs, AllStuffforCopsPants.com CEO said. "Hero Pant owners have an insatiable appetite to stuff the pockets of their new tactical pants."

The "I Got This" accessory pack bundle from AllStuffforCopsPants.com, based on the items most commonly ordered, includes the following:

• Spare pistol magazines (Glock, SIG, S&W, and Beretta) • Spare AR magazines (Daniel Defense, S&W, and Colt) • Back-up gun (revolver) • Back-up gun (autoloader) • ECW • Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray (2) • Folding knife (5-inch titanium blade) • Backup folding knife (.38 caliber) • Level III-A ballistic clipboard • Handcuff key, tactical black • Handcuff key, glow in the dark • Handcuffs, adult (standard) • Handcuffs, child-size (new) • Handcuffs, fuzzy (at-home use) • Rubber gloves, small (10 pairs) • Rubber gloves, medium (10 pairs) • Rubber gloves, large (10 pairs) • Rubber gloves, NBA (10 pairs) • One-liter CamelsBack hydration system • Window punch • 18-function aircraft-grade aluminum multi-tool • 300 feet of military-grade paracord • Phone holster • Radio holster • Pager holster • Holster holster • Aircraft grade aluminum ball point pens, blue (6) • Moist towelettes (4) • Hand sanitizer (6 oz.) • Condoms (2) • Carabineer, large • Carabineer, medium • Citation book (large) • FI cards (50) • Chamois cloth • Penlight (2) • Small LED flashlight • Large LED flashlight • Booklet-size Constitution of the United States • Booklet-size summary of 12 SCOTUS cases • Headlamp, LED • Tourniquet • Ice pack (2) • Panda plush toy for juvenile witnesses • Bottle opener • Can koozie (2) • Lip balm • Sun screen • Duct tape • 10,000 mAh power bank for phone • AAA batteries (12) • A second pair of 25-pocket pants, for use during a 10-7M when you can’t get your duty belt off in the stall of the Denny’s restroom in time for that duce

The "I Got This" accessory pack bundle includes a lifetime subscription to the firewalled blog on AllStuffforCopsPants.com.


Ungrateful teen meets cops that helped deliver her

Posted on April 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Two officers announced their excitement on social media this week after reuniting with a baby they helped deliver 15 years ago. The teen, however, was less than enthusiastic about the meeting.

Two officers with the West Tatamy Fellowship Police Department responded to a call of a woman going into labor in her home on April 1, 2002. When officers Tim McDonald, 30, and John Wilson, 32, arrived, they found Christina Berger in active labor.

"I couldn't even make it to the door, let alone the hospital," Berger said.

This was the first delivery for the officers.

"I turned around to get a blanket, and Tim already had the baby in his hands," Wilson said. "He came out crying."

After the delivery, Berger decided to name her newborn daughter after McDonald.

Now, 15 years later, they were able to reunite with the first baby they ever delivered.

On Facebook, the police department shared a photo of Christina, McDonald, Wilson and now 15-year-old Jill McDonald Berger at the station.

"I always told myself that if I ever met the cops that delivered me that I wanted to say something really important," the teen said. "And that important thing is … I wish I was never born that day."

Berger, who's currently a freshman in high school, says she gets made fun of constantly for her name.

"I can't tell you how many times I hear 'bah-da-bum-bah-bah' on a daily basis," she said. "When I wake up, I always think how different my life would be if the other cop wasn't busy getting a blanket. Maybe I'd have a boyfriend by now."

At the reunion, personnel with the WTFPD had balloons, burgers and pies waiting for the teen and her mom.

"I think that just added fuel to the fire," Berger's mother said. "I honestly was just so overwhelmed with gratitude that I didn't think too hard on the name."

For McDonald and Wilson, the call still stands out as one of the best in their careers.

"I think it's a strong name," Wilson said. "We're just thankful that we get to do what we do. I think her friends will be singing a different tune 15 years from now."


New children’s book explains why one person’s taxes don’t actually make up an entire LEO salary

Posted on April 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

VALLEJO, Calif. — During traffic stops, highway patrol officers frequently hear the statement, “I pay your salary!” While all officers and most rational people know that police salaries are drawn from the municipal budget, they also know that no individual’s tax contributions directly correlate to an officer’s bi-monthly paycheck.

Now, one officer is doing something to correct this widespread misconception among frequently-ticketed civilians.

While attending a fundraiser on the campus of Stanford University in 2012, David Greene, a 29-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol, found himself seated at a table with economics professor Dr. William Mirthless. Despite being from two wildly different worlds, Greene and Mirthless hit it off and began discussing the public education dilemma on Greene’s mind.

Over several subsequent discussions, they came up with an idea to get that message across to adults by producing a simple math book intended to be read to their kids but with the byproduct of providing essential education to them as well.

“Even a fifth grader would know that any individual’s taxes make up but a tiny fraction of an officer’s salary,” Mirthless told PoliceOne. “So a children’s book seemed the obvious format to address this concept with the masses.”

Entitled, “Your Math Doesn’t Work,” the book follows a little girl who wants to make a pot of bean soup. She collects three beans from each of her 24 classmates and soon realizes that with just 72 beans, she cannot make even a bowl of soup. She collects three more beans, then three more, from each classmate and after counting all the beans comes to the realization that “the math” of her recipe will not work — that she will need a much larger source of beans.

“She ultimately discovers a whole host of other supplies of beans, including beans accrued from sales taxes, business taxes, and most importantly, federal bean grants,” Mirthless said. “Complex economics explained in terms that even a child can understand. I love it.”

“We loved the idea of a bean-counter being the main character,” Greene said.

Greene has been handing out pre-release copies of the book to motorists and says he’s seen a significant reduction in incidences of “I pay your salary” and an increase in “Don’t you have something better to do?”, and the related “Shouldn’t you be out solving real crimes?”

He already has plans for two sequels: “The Driver Who Cried ‘Emergency!’” and “Everyone Else Wasn’t Doing It.”


Police department’s viral benefit video for IBS lands with a splat

Posted on April 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

WANABY, Conn. — Rapping and dancing police officers have been all the rage on YouTube for years now, with what seems like a new viral hit each month portraying cops as fun-loving, if rhythmically-challenged. And when you add to that a cause for sick children, these videos pretty much break the internet.

It was in that spirit that Wanaby Police Department’s chief and public information officer launched a plan to raise awareness for a worthy cause while also building their “brand” in the community and beyond.

But with all of the good illnesses having already been addressed by prior videos, Wanaby was left scraping the bottom of the barrel for a video-worthy cause.

“We scoured the community for candidates, but in the end all we could come up with was an officer’s 15-year-old nephew, Rusty, who had chronic irritable-bowel syndrome, or IBS,” said Police Chief Randy Lutharjik. “I mean, the kid runs through a lot of jockey shorts – and that’s a tragedy. But it doesn’t really choke people up…unless it’s on account of the smell.”

Still, the department moved forward with the plans to create “the best damn IBS viral video ever made,” though they ran into plenty of obstacles along the way.

“The biggest hurdle we faced was that nobody really gave a damn about the project – any part of it,” he said. “From the very onset, the department’s reaction was a collective ‘meh.’”

Selecting the right song to parody also presented a major challenge.

They looked at a rap version, going under the moniker Notorious I.B.S., but no one in the all-white department had any rhythm or idea what rap was all about. They played with the notion of a country song, but decided IBS simply wasn’t sad enough for country music.

In the end and with little fanfare, they settled on a parody of Foreigner’s “Urgent”, with its memorable chorus of “Urgent, urgent – emergency!”

“It seemed perfect – public-safety themed and really capturing the impact of IBS,” Chief Lutharjik said. “Plus, who doesn’t love Foreigner?”

As it turned out, nobody really loves Foreigner.

Despite the song’s lukewarm reception, the department did their best with the material, with shuffling up and down the city hall stairs mumbling the less-than memorable refrain, “Burnin' hot but you don't feel the pain…You can't stop until you do it again.”

The filming itself took far longer than expected, too, due to Rusty’s frequent breaks throughout the three-day shoot. By the end, everyone was ready to be done with the whole thing.

Despite all of the challenges, the chief called the effort a success. As evidence, he pointed to the six people who’ve watched it on YouTube in the past month and the four praising comments it’s received – all from someone going by “lutharjik1.”

“We may not set any traffic records, but thanks to our video, teens who suffer from the horrors of IBS know they are not alone,” Lutharjik said. “Now I just need to find some annoying kids basketball game to crash.”


Fla. woman told to remove ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag from home

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A homeowner’s association told a woman her “Blue Lives Matter” flag was “racist and offensive” and it needed to be taken down.

Jeff Gaddie told Fox 2 Now that his daughter received a letter from the association asking her to remove it because it didn’t fit the rules and regulations of the neighborhood. They said they received a complaint that the flag was “anti-black lives matter.”

Homeowner tells me this is the flag a neighbor called 'racist' @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/Nyqc8GeJ7o

— Beth Rousseau (@BethANJax) March 29, 2017

Gaddie said that the flag has flown outside his daughter’s house for years to honor him and other law enforcement family members.

“If you drive by and see that flag it kind of makes you feel a little bit better that hey there’s a family that supports what I’m doing,” he told the news station.

The association said Gaddie’s daughter needed to submit a permission form to fly the flag. When she did, they denied her request stating “Only certain flags are allowed to fly but we can refuse any flag that we want on any grounds.”

Gaddie told ActionNewsJax that his daughter took it down because “she doesn’t want to be perceived as breaking the laws or anything.”

'Blue Lives Matter' flag has been removed from this SJC home. Homeowner was asked to take it down after neighbor complaint @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/7q8dqfWrfC

— Beth Rousseau (@BethANJax) March 29, 2017

According to Fox 2 Now, the management company said only American and military flags are allowed to fly.

The family said they are appealing the decision next month at the association meeting, but want their neighbors to know that the flag is only meant to show support.

“We’ve got black officers, Asian officers, we’ve got every race. I mean for them to say it’s racist, blue is not a race it’s the furthest thing from it,” Gaddie said.


Video shows events leading up to fatal shooting of Okla. cop

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

TECUMSEH, Okla. — Police released dash cam footage Wednesday of the moments leading up to the fatal shooting of Officer Justin Terney.

Terney, 22, pulled over a vehicle for a broken taillight on March 26 and asked the passenger to exit the vehicle, KFOR reported.

Terney questioned the suspect, who said his name was James Bishop Jr. His real name was later confirmed as Byron James Shepard.

Shepard, 36, told Terney his middle name was Bunion, to which Terney replied “I think you’re lying to me. Are you lying to me?”

When Terney questioned Shepard about his date of birth, Shepard took off into a wooded area on foot. Terney pursued him and deployed his TASER, which had no effect, KOCO reported.

Shepard then turned and fired shots at Terney, striking him in the stomach. Terney was transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery. He died Monday morning from his injuries.

According to the Associated Press, Shepard was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday. The driver of the vehicle Shepard was in was arrested for harboring a fugitive.


10 cities where police offers earn less than the average wage

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Megan Wells, PoliceOne Contributor

Some argue that paying officers a higher salary can go a long way to improving community relations. Not only would increased wages incentivize stronger recruits, it can also boost the morale of the existing workforce.

PoliceOne analyzed 450 areas to see how LEO wages measured up to other occupations. 59 areas are guilty of paying officer less than the average wage. We've listed the top 10 offenders below, and included an interactive map detailing which areas are below the mark when it comes to paying law enforcement officers.

Here are the top 10 areas with the largest difference in pay

1. Mobile, Alabama

LEO average salary: $32,600 All industry average salary: $42,060 Difference in annual wage: -$9,460

2. Durham, North Carolina

LEO average salary: $47,640 All industry average salary: $56,980 Difference in annual wage: -$9,340

3. Jackson, Mississippi

LEO average salary: $33,990 All industry average salary: $40,980 Difference in annual wage: -$6,990

4. Pearl, Mississippi

LEO average salary: $33,990 All industry average salary: $40,980 Difference in annual wage: -$6,990

5. Augusta, Georgia

LEO average salary: $35,570 All industry average salary: $42,320 Difference in annual wage: -$6,750

6. Atlanta, Georgia

LEO average salary: $43,260 All industry average salary: $49,430 Difference in annual wage: -$6,170

7. Sandy Springs, Georgia

LEO average salary: $43,260 All industry average salary: $49,430 Difference in annual wage: -$6,170

8. Johns Creek, Georgia

LEO average salary: $43,260 All industry average salary: $49,430 Difference in annual wage: -$6,170

9. Alpharetta, Georgia

LEO average salary: $43,260 All industry average salary: $49,430 Difference in annual wage: -$6,170

10. Gulfport, Mississippi

LEO average salary: $35,530 All industry average salary: $41,190 Difference in annual wage: -$5,660

Full methodology:

We used the 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) salary data, to identifiy the mean wage in 450 metro areas for all occupations. BLS collects wage data over the course of a three-year period that samples nearly 1.2 establishments and allows for a detailed estimate of salary data based on geography, industry, and occupation. Using the same set of data we identified the mean wage for LEOs in the same 450 metro areas.

10 cities where police offers earn less than the average wage

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Megan Wells, PoliceOne Contributor

Some argue that paying officers a higher salary can go a long way to improving community relations. Not only would increased wages incentivize stronger recruits, it can also boost the morale of the existing workforce.

PoliceOne analyzed 450 areas to see how LEO wages measured up to other occupations. 59 areas are guilty of paying officer less than the average wage. We've listed the top 10 offenders below, and included an interactive map detailing which areas are below the mark when it comes to paying law enforcement officers.

Here are the top 10 areas with the largest difference in pay

1. Mobile, Alabama

LEO average salary: $32,600 All industry average salary: $42,060 Difference in annual wage: -$9,460

2. Durham, North Carolina

LEO average salary: $47,640 All industry average salary: $56,980 Difference in annual wage: -$9,340

3. Jackson, Mississippi

LEO average salary: $33,990 All industry average salary: $40,980 Difference in annual wage: -$6,990

4. Pearl, Mississippi

LEO average salary: $33,990 All industry average salary: $40,980 Difference in annual wage: -$6,990

5. Augusta, Georgia

LEO average salary: $35,570 All industry average salary: $42,320 Difference in annual wage: -$6,750

6. Atlanta, Georgia

LEO average salary: $43,260 All industry average salary: $49,430 Difference in annual wage: -$6,170

7. Sandy Springs, Georgia

LEO average salary: $43,260 All industry average salary: $49,430 Difference in annual wage: -$6,170

8. Johns Creek, Georgia

LEO average salary: $43,260 All industry average salary: $49,430 Difference in annual wage: -$6,170

9. Alpharetta, Georgia

LEO average salary: $43,260 All industry average salary: $49,430 Difference in annual wage: -$6,170

10. Gulfport, Mississippi

LEO average salary: $35,530 All industry average salary: $41,190 Difference in annual wage: -$5,660

Full methodology:

We used the 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) salary data, to identifiy the mean wage in 450 metro areas for all occupations. BLS collects wage data over the course of a three-year period that samples nearly 1.2 establishments and allows for a detailed estimate of salary data based on geography, industry, and occupation. Using the same set of data we identified the mean wage for LEOs in the same 450 metro areas.

Texas sergeant kills self inside police station

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — Officials said a man found dead inside a Houston police station was a 21-veteran with the department.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the sergeant was found Friday morning in the fourth floor stairwell. He apparently died of a single gunshot wound to the head. Police Chief Art Acevedo said the fourth floor is currently not in use so no one heard the gunshot.

Officers searched the facility after the sergeant did not report for work, the publication reported.

UPDATE: Houston police sergeant found dead at Westside station from self-inflicted gunshot wound, chief says - https://t.co/h0loEh3fr9 pic.twitter.com/rbBKYGWvqc

— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) March 31, 2017

Police have not released the sergeant’s name due to an ongoing investigation. The department had psychological and chaplain services on site for assistance.

The sergeant was married and leaves behind a 10-year-old and 12-year-old.

"You can't explain these things," Acevedo said. "We ask that people please just pray for the family, pray for those young children."


Video shows LA deputy ignoring shooting call, officials launch probe

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Michael Balsamo Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy is under investigation after a video posted online showed him ignoring a shooting call while he recorded a message to his then-girlfriend, officials said Thursday.

The video posted on YouTube last month shows Deputy Jeremy Fennell in a patrol car talking into a camera as a dispatcher is heard relaying the shooting alert.

The deputy uses colorful language and then looks into the camera and says, "Someone got shot. Oh well."

"I know I gotta go, but I'm not gonna go because you're mad. I want to make things right with me and you."

As the 51-second video clip comes to a close, Fennell blows kisses and says he'll see the woman later that evening.

Fennell's ex-girlfriend, Priscilla Anderson, said she posted the video online because she wanted to bring attention to his behavior after being ignored when she contacted his supervisors.

She said the video was recorded in December.

"I was shocked and saying, 'Oh my god. There's no way you could do something like this,'" Anderson said Thursday as she recalled receiving the video.

She says she also sent the supervisors other videos of Fennell being rude to people on the street.

Anderson said Fennell sent her videos he recorded in his patrol car with fellow deputies to get her to call him back.

"They are treating the most serious police duties as though they are a joke," Anderson's attorney's Ben Meiselas, said. "People's lives have been placed in danger."

An investigation was launched immediately after the agency learned of the shooting alert video, sheriff's spokesman Lt. Darren Harris said.

"The Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Jim McDonnell are concerned by what's depicted in this video," Harris said. "We sign on to help people and to make a difference for them and any time an allegation of this nature is raised, it affects all of us."

A call to a number listed for Fennell in public records went unanswered. The union that represents deputies said it looks forward to a full and impartial investigation.

Anderson said Fennell grew angry one night in January when she tried to end their relationship, grabbed her by the neck and pulled out his gun.

"He pointed the gun toward me and he told me, 'Either I kill you or you kill me,'" Anderson said. "I was terrified."

Fennell was arrested two days later on suspicion of domestic violence and placed on desk duty. A sheriff's department investigation into that incident is also underway, Harris said.

Shiara Davila-Morales, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said the case is under review.

The video was first reported earlier this week by the blog WitnessLA.com.


Man who bit off part of Va. cop’s ear pleads guilty

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

WAYNESBORO, Va. — A Virginia man who prosecutors say was high on methamphetamine when he bit off part of a police officer's ear has pleaded guilty to felony charges.

News outlets report 22-year-old Robert Martin of Staunton pleaded guilty Wednesday to malicious injury to a law enforcement officer and drug charges including possession of methamphetamine.

When a Waynesboro police officer smelled marijuana during a November traffic stop, assistant prosecutor Shannon Sherrill says he called for backup and asked three men to get out of the car.

Martin fled and Sherrill says Sgt. Christopher Hilliard used a stun gun, but it didn't subdue Martin since he was high on meth. As they struggled, she says Martin bit the officer's ear and Hilliard "heard a crunching sound."

Part of Hilliard's ear was later reattached.


After 3-county crime spree, 2 dead in gunfight with police

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Claire Galofaro Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Ky. — A man shot his girlfriend in the head then killed himself during a gunfight with police Tuesday night, after a two-day, cross-state crime spree in which they allegedly stabbed an elderly widower to death and stole two cars and a gun, police say.

Investigators from at least four jurisdictions are trying to puzzle together the series of events that left 18-year-old Destiny A. Moneyhun and 25-year-old Bradley James Sheets dead in an overgrown field in Anchorage, Kentucky, a wealthy suburb of Louisville 100 miles from their home in Barren County.

In between, they allegedly stopped in Hardin County where deputies say they stabbed 74-year-old Lewis Hoskinson to death with a large knife and stole his car.

Police in Barren County started looking for them on Monday, when a roommate reported that his truck, his credit card and firearm had been stolen, said Glasgow Police Capt. Jennifer Arbogast. They issued a statewide bulletin asking police agencies to look out for the two as suspects in the thefts, warning they should be considered armed, dangerous and possibly suicidal.

Police encountered them next on Tuesday night in Anchorage.

A resident reported a suspicious car parked at a dead-end, gravel road leading to an overgrown field. Officers with the Anchorage Police Department, a small 10-officer force, ran the plates and found it registered to a man in Hardin County. They called the sheriff's office there and asked that they check on the owner.

Hardin County Chief Deputy David Lee said a deputy was dispatched and peered through the window of the home, where 74-year-old Lewis Hoskinson lived alone since his wife passed away. The deputy saw signs of foul play — the house had been ransacked — and called in backup. The deputies entered and discovered Hoskinson dead. He had been stabbed with a very large knife, Lee said.

Arbogast confirmed that the couple knew Hoskinson, but she declined to say how.

"They knew this man. They knew him well," she said. "They knew the home and they had been there in the past."

Lee did not return calls asking for information on their connection.

Meanwhile, Anchorage Police Officer Brian Taylor and Lt. Mark Hoskins, then unaware that the body had been discovered linked to the stolen car parked in their town, began searching the area.

They came across Sheets and Moneyhun under a tree in the thick brush.

Louisville Metro Police Col. Michael Sullivan, whose department is leading the investigation into the shooting, said Sheets took out a revolver and pointed it at the officers.

The police department on Thursday released footage from a body camera worn by Taylor during the confrontation. It's difficult to see the suspects, but Hoskins can be heard telling them to stand up, then Taylor shouts "he's got a gun, he's got a gun, he's got a gun."

Hoskins shouts "put it down."

Sullivan said Thursday that Taylor took cover. Hoskins fired at Sheets, who then fell to the ground and dropped the gun. Sullivan said Moneyhun picked the gun up from the ground and pointed it at police.

Hoskins, in the video, screams again "put it down, put the gun down."

Four more shots ring out, and Sullivan said Hoskins fired at the woman. She dropped the gun.

Sullivan said Sheets picked it up again. Sullivan said Sheets then put the gun to Moneyhun's head and fired, killing her, then shot himself in the head.

Sullivan said the preliminary investigation suggests both were hit by the officer's gunfire, though they are believed to have died from the bullets fired by Sheets.

The entire exchange lasted only a few seconds.

Both officers remain on administrative leave while Louisville police completes its investigation.

Anchorage Police Chief Dean Hayes said it remains a mystery why Moneyhun and Sheets ended up in Anchorage, a quiet small town of just 2,300 people, 60 miles from the Hardin County home where the widower was found dead.

"There's a lot of emotion spread over those 60 miles," he said. "Between that crime scene down there, and the one here, our officers feel it, the community feels it."


After 3-county crime spree, 2 dead in gunfight with police

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Claire Galofaro Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Ky. — A man shot his girlfriend in the head then killed himself during a gunfight with police Tuesday night, after a two-day, cross-state crime spree in which they allegedly stabbed an elderly widower to death and stole two cars and a gun, police say.

Investigators from at least four jurisdictions are trying to puzzle together the series of events that left 18-year-old Destiny A. Moneyhun and 25-year-old Bradley James Sheets dead in an overgrown field in Anchorage, Kentucky, a wealthy suburb of Louisville 100 miles from their home in Barren County.

In between, they allegedly stopped in Hardin County where deputies say they stabbed 74-year-old Lewis Hoskinson to death with a large knife and stole his car.

Police in Barren County started looking for them on Monday, when a roommate reported that his truck, his credit card and firearm had been stolen, said Glasgow Police Capt. Jennifer Arbogast. They issued a statewide bulletin asking police agencies to look out for the two as suspects in the thefts, warning they should be considered armed, dangerous and possibly suicidal.

Police encountered them next on Tuesday night in Anchorage.

A resident reported a suspicious car parked at a dead-end, gravel road leading to an overgrown field. Officers with the Anchorage Police Department, a small 10-officer force, ran the plates and found it registered to a man in Hardin County. They called the sheriff's office there and asked that they check on the owner.

Hardin County Chief Deputy David Lee said a deputy was dispatched and peered through the window of the home, where 74-year-old Lewis Hoskinson lived alone since his wife passed away. The deputy saw signs of foul play — the house had been ransacked — and called in backup. The deputies entered and discovered Hoskinson dead. He had been stabbed with a very large knife, Lee said.

Arbogast confirmed that the couple knew Hoskinson, but she declined to say how.

"They knew this man. They knew him well," she said. "They knew the home and they had been there in the past."

Lee did not return calls asking for information on their connection.

Meanwhile, Anchorage Police Officer Brian Taylor and Lt. Mark Hoskins, then unaware that the body had been discovered linked to the stolen car parked in their town, began searching the area.

They came across Sheets and Moneyhun under a tree in the thick brush.

Louisville Metro Police Col. Michael Sullivan, whose department is leading the investigation into the shooting, said Sheets took out a revolver and pointed it at the officers.

The police department on Thursday released footage from a body camera worn by Taylor during the confrontation. It's difficult to see the suspects, but Hoskins can be heard telling them to stand up, then Taylor shouts "he's got a gun, he's got a gun, he's got a gun."

Hoskins shouts "put it down."

Sullivan said Thursday that Taylor took cover. Hoskins fired at Sheets, who then fell to the ground and dropped the gun. Sullivan said Moneyhun picked the gun up from the ground and pointed it at police.

Hoskins, in the video, screams again "put it down, put the gun down."

Four more shots ring out, and Sullivan said Hoskins fired at the woman. She dropped the gun.

Sullivan said Sheets picked it up again. Sullivan said Sheets then put the gun to Moneyhun's head and fired, killing her, then shot himself in the head.

Sullivan said the preliminary investigation suggests both were hit by the officer's gunfire, though they are believed to have died from the bullets fired by Sheets.

The entire exchange lasted only a few seconds.

Both officers remain on administrative leave while Louisville police completes its investigation.

Anchorage Police Chief Dean Hayes said it remains a mystery why Moneyhun and Sheets ended up in Anchorage, a quiet small town of just 2,300 people, 60 miles from the Hardin County home where the widower was found dead.

"There's a lot of emotion spread over those 60 miles," he said. "Between that crime scene down there, and the one here, our officers feel it, the community feels it."


Officials: Man dead after police scuffles in 2 states

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kasey Jones Associated Press

A man who died after shots were fired in a struggle with Delaware police had been shot earlier in the day by a Philadelphia officer, authorities said Thursday.

New Castle County Police in Delaware said in a statement that officers were responding to a request for a welfare check at an apartment complex Wednesday night when they approached the 28-year-old man in the parking lot.

The man got into a car and tried to flee, and an officer trying to arrest him fired shots as they struggled, police said. It was not known whether the man was hit by the gunfire.

Police found the car and the man in a park. The man was taken to a hospital, where police said he later died.

Earlier Wednesday, police in Philadelphia responding to a report of a person with a gun encountered the man, who was wanted on warrants. The man was sitting in the driver's seat of a minivan; a woman was in the front passenger seat, and four young children were in the rear seats, although the officers did not see the children, Philadelphia police said.

The officers tried to stop the man from driving away, police said, but he put the minivan in reverse and struck an officer who was near the driver's open door.

Residents just allowed back inside their homes at Coachman's Manor after nearly 10-hour officer-involved shooting investigation. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/7TLwOtKRw6

— Jan Carabeo (@JanCarabeoCBS3) March 30, 2017

The officer saw the man reach under the seat and opened fire on the man, hitting his left side, Philadelphia police reported. The minivan crashed into a car and stopped, and the man got into an unoccupied, parked car that had its engine running. The woman and the four children also got into the stolen car, and it fled the scene.

The officer in Philadelphia was treated for cuts and bruises; the driver of the car the minivan hit suffered minor injuries. The New Castle County police officer was treated and released for injuries.

Police in both states said they are investigating the shootings. They have not released the names or races of the officers or the man who was fatally shot.


How compensators help you shoot faster

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: TFB Staff

This article originally appeared on The Firearm Blog.

By Patrick R.

Shooting fast can be a science, but the basic principles are the same no matter what pistol you are using. In this episode of TFB TV, Patrick takes his Glock 19 out to the range with a shot timer to see what effect a compensator from KKM Precision has on how fast he is able to shoot. We all know that compensators help you shoot faster by taming the recoil, but exactly how much? Check the video out to see what a compensator on your gun can do for your shooting.


Effort aims to make buying silencers easier

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Anita Kumar McClatchy Washington Bureau

FAIRFAX, Va. — With gun sales plummeting after Donald Trump’s election victory, firearms manufacturers have set their sights on another way to boost business: a contentious proposal that would make the purchase of suppressors — more commonly known as silencers — easier and cheaper in the United States.

Trump hasn’t endorsed the bill but advocates — led by one of his largest campaign donors, the National Rifle Association — think they have found their most important ally in the fight: the president’s son.

Donald Trump Jr., an avid hunter who credits his Czech grandfather with getting him interested in the outdoors, headed up his father’s Second Amendment Coalition advisory group and counts himself a huge fan of the proposal, even pledging his father’s support in a video with the founder of the nation’s largest suppressor manufacturer, SilencerCo.

“I love your product,” Trump Jr. says in the 38-minute video interview with SilencerCo CEO Joshua Waldron, which was recorded before the election. “It’s just a great instrument. There’s nothing bad about it at all. It makes total sense. It’s where we should be going.”

Supporters say the bill introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate — named the Hearing Protection Act — would guard the hearing of millions of hunters who don’t use earmuffs or plugs to shield their ears from their guns’ loud reports, which have been proven to cause hearing loss.

Opponents say, however, that reducing the sound is dangerous because potential victims won’t know to run or hide from shooters if they can’t hear the firing. They say making silencers easier to buy would benefit urban street gangs, whom quieter gunshots would allow to escape quick detection.

Trump Jr.’s critics speculate he may be involved in a business that makes or distributes silencers, though those who know him say he’s merely interested in the bill because of his love for the outdoors. Trump Jr. did not respond to messages left at the Trump Organization, the family business he now runs with his brother Eric.

Donald Trump Jr. is a member of the Boone and Crockett Club, a hunting group founded more than a century ago by Theodore Roosevelt and named for Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. He was photographed with his brother with dead animals — including an elephant, or at least its tail — on a hunting trip to Zimbabwe. And he helped his father select a secretary for the Interior Department, which manages lands, wildlife and national parks.

Waldron says he’s known Trump Jr. from industry events for years, long before his father ran for president. While campaigning for his father, Trump Jr. contacted Waldron when he was in Salt Lake City, where the company is based, and they met for breakfast. They agreed to record a video together that would promote Trump and silencers.

Silencers aren’t as effective in real life as the ones portrayed in James Bond movies. They may reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 to 35 decibels — similar to wearing earmuffs or earplugs — but the sound can still be as loud as a jackhammer, according to multiple studies. Hearing damage can still occur with a silencer, and shooters are encouraged to wear hearing protection while using them.

At a recent demonstration at the NRA’s small private gun range in Fairfax, Va., outside Washington, observers wore both earplugs and earmuffs as they watched an employee fire rounds from four weapons — an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, a .22 LR and a 9 mm handgun — with and without a silencer attached. Even with two layers of hearing protection, the sounds were loud, although different with and without silencers. The protection equipment didn’t appear to lower the noise much, if at all.

In 2008, about 18,000 silencers — with price tags that can top $1,000 — were purchased in the United States. Last year, that had increased to 200,000. If the bill passes, the number is likely to skyrocket.

“This legislation is nothing more than a transparent giveaway to the gun industry to help sell more silencers and increase profits,” said Chelsea Parsons, vice president, guns and crime policy, for the left-leaning Center for American Progress.

The White House declined to comment, beyond saying that President Trump had not taken a position on the bill.

For eight years, gun rights groups fought President Barack Obama’s proposed firearms restrictions, which primarily came after 20 first-graders and six adults were killed in a 2012 shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn. But now, with Trump in the White House and Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress, they are confident they can change gun laws and regulations.

The NRA backed Trump’s unorthodox candidacy nearly from the start, even when other conservative groups declined, and it became one of his top donors, contributing $30 million. When the president met with conservative groups at the White House during his second week in office to tout Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, NRA leader Wayne LaPierre was seated at Trump’s immediate left.

Before he ran for president, Trump, a gun owner who has said he doesn’t hunt, had said he supported a waiting period for gun purchases and a ban on assault weapons. But after he entered the race he appeared to change his views and spoke forcefully about gun rights regularly on the campaign trail.

Currently, silencers are regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934 and sold to those who are eligible to purchase firearms, pay a $200 fee, submit fingerprints and pass a background check that advocates say can take up to nine months because of a backlog.

Supporters of the bill want consumers to buy silencers the same way they can purchase many guns — after an instant background check and without the $200 fee, which hasn’t changed in 80 years and has become over the decades an increasingly smaller deterrent to sales.

Opponents of the bill say the proposed change would lead to the same problems the U.S. has with firearms: People would be permitted to buy them from private sellers without a background check, and silencers could more easily be diverted to illegal markets where a person buys one for someone who can’t pass a background check.

Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., who introduced the Hearing Protection Act, said that if he’d had access to a silencer during his lifetime of shooting duck, deer and doves, the hearing in his left ear might have been saved. “It just doesn’t make any sense to regulate suppressors the way we do,” he said “You see how cumbersome this is to the American consumer.”

It’s not just about sound. Supporters like that silencers also reduce recoil, which leads to improved accuracy; opponents worry that same feature would allow criminals to fire more accurate and quicker follow-up shots.

Forty-two states allow the private ownership of silencers. Forty states allow hunting with a silencer. Duncan’s bill would not change state laws.

Waldron, who founded SilencerCo in 2008, said the National Firearms Act nearly destroyed the silencer industry because of the high cost and burdensome regulations. But Americans began to purchase the devices again in the 1990s, when inflation made the fee seem more affordable. The original $200 fee would be equivalent to $3,658 in today’s dollars.

Waldron, who suffers from ringing in his ears from shooting firearms, said he had supported Trump for president from the start simply because he knew Trump would be an advocate for hunting and shooting. Waldron attended a handful of fundraisers and organized a campaign rally attended by 1,000 at the Utah state Capitol.

He said those who opposed the bill were showing “woeful ignorance” because silencers “are not tools to do nefarious things,” they are merely a safety issue.

“They try to put out any argument that they can,” he said. “Folks who view this as a gun issue … they say, ‘Let me find a way to oppose this.’”

———

©2017 McClatchy Washington Bureau


Calif. sergeant attacked by man he was trying to help

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kathleen Kirkwood East Bay Times

RICHMOND, Calif. — A police sergeant was punched by a belligerent man he was trying to help, after finding him in the middle of a busy street on Wednesday night, authorities said.

Richmond police Sgt. D. Nelson suffered a broken nose when he was punched by the man, who had been laying in the 700 block of 23rd Street at about 10:15 p.m., according to police.

Nelson also suffered other cuts but will be OK, police said.

The man he was trying to help was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.

According to police, Nelson saw the man in the middle of the street, which is typically a busy one and has four lanes of traffic. Nelson made a U-turn in his patrol car to block off a section of 23rd street after several cars swerved to avoid the man, police said.

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OFFICERS IN ACTION A Richmond police sergeant sustained injuries after trying to help a man in the middle of the...

Posted by The Richmond Police Department on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Nelson then tried to help the man across the lanes of traffic and onto a sidewalk. Once there, police said, he asked the man his address, only to see him become agitated.

Police say the man then threw a punch without warning, and the two started to struggle. Nelson subdued the suspect eventually and got him into handcuffs.

Nobody else was injured.

———

©2017 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)


Officials: NC police chief died by suicide

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Madison Iszler The News & Observer

ROLESVILLE, N.C. — The death of Rolesville’s police chief has been ruled a suicide, Wake Forest police said Thursday.

Bobby Langston II, 45, was found dead in his home around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a news release.

A woman who called 911 said her husband had shot himself in a bedroom and that he “left a note,” without disclosing what it said. The caller said her daughter was also at the home.

Rolesville police asked the Wake Forest department to investigate because of “the tragic nature of this loss and severe emotional impact on all members of the Rolesville Police Department,” the release said.

Langston served in law enforcement for more than 20 years, starting his career in Wendell where he grew up. After he was sworn in as an officer with the Wendell Police Department in 1994, he rose through the ranks and became a captain.

He joined Rolesville police in 2013 and became chief in 2015. The town, located about 15 miles northeast of downtown Raleigh, has seen major growth that put more demands on the small-town police department.

With a population of roughly 6,000, Rolesville is a popular bedroom community for families looking for a suburban setting.

Langston oversaw two cases that shocked the community and catapulted the town into the news.

In December 2015, police determined that Kristy Bryan started a fire at her Rolesville home that killed her and her 3-year-old son, Tyler. Tyler’s twin was injured in the blaze, which was ruled a murder-suicide.

Two months ago, a video was posted on Twitter showing a police officer slamming a Rolesville High School student to the floor. Ruben De Los Santos, who was working as a school resource officer for the Rolesville Police Department, was placed on administrative leave and later resigned.

Flags in Rolesville were lowered to half-staff Thursday to honor Langston, and town hall is closed for the rest of the week.

In a news release from the town, officials said Langston was “admired and respected” in the community.

“He stood for character and ethics and ran the Department likewise,” it said. “He will truly be missed.”

“I’m at a loss for words,” Town Manager Bryan Hicks said Thursday. “Not only has the community lost our chief of police, I’ve lost my friend.”

The town has set up the Langston Family Trust Account with the State Employees’ Credit Union to accept donations. Money will help with funeral costs and education expenses for Langston’s children, according to the town.

Wendell Town Manager Teresa Piner said Langston was a dedicated employee during his time with the town.

“He was one of those officers that cared about citizens,” Piner said. “He was a good friend to everyone. We could all depend on him, whether at work or after hours.”

Langston served as president of the PTA at Wendell elementary and middle schools, which his daughters attended. He also coached softball for Wendell’s parks and recreation department, said Mayor Virginia Gray, who knew Langston for more than 20 years.

Langston and his family attended Hepzibah Baptist Church in Wendell for many years, said Kerry Zimmerman, director of children’s ministries at the church.

He taught Sunday school classes for toddlers for about six years, and children loved the class, she said.

“He recognized the benefit to investing in girls and boys at an early age,” Zimmerman said. “He was selfless, and he loved his classroom.”

———

©2017 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)


S&P: Sanctuary cities won’t see credit ratings dip with Trump order

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Sophia Tareen Associated Press

CHICAGO — If sanctuary communities that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities lose federal funds under President Donald Trump's executive order, their credit ratings aren't likely to change, a major rating agency concluded Thursday.

Standard & Poor's examined the financial health of over 100 cities and counties that have designated themselves sanctuaries, along with a snapshot of the 10 biggest U.S. cities. Its report said the types of federal grants that could be withheld make up tiny portions of the communities' budgets.

"Local governments would likely not experience significant budgetary pressure and all other things being equal, their credit quality would likely remain largely unchanged," according to the report.

Assessments by rating agencies are a strong fiscal measure for financial doubts municipalities may have, and S&P's findings appeared to weaken the Trump administration's warnings to sanctuary cities.

The Republican president signed an executive order in January vowing to cut federal grants for sanctuary communities if they refuse to help with efforts to find and deport immigrants in the country without legal permission. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued fresh threats this week.

Most federal funds are exempt from Trump's order, leaving discretionary grant programs. S&P reviewed grants from the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, believed to be the most likely candidates. Examples of grants at stake include those funding to help crime victims or pay for police body cameras.

There are an estimated 200 sanctuary cities and counties nationwide. They're generally defined as areas that limit cooperation with federal immigration agencies. S&P maintains ratings on 133 of them.

Its analysis of 10 sanctuary cities, including New York, Detroit and Seattle, showed that DHS and DOJ discretionary grants make up less than 1 percent of their total government funds revenue.

The report also cast doubt over whether Trump has the authority to withhold funding, considering federal budget laws and legal precedent. The executive order already faces legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed this week in Seattle.

What could impact credit ratings is how states react, according to the report. For example, new laws could diminish funding more drastically to sanctuary cities.

Several states and communities have responded to Trump's order by either beefing up sanctuary laws or trying to punish areas that don't comply with federal law. Cities, including Chicago and New York, have publicly defied the order. Roughly a dozen states, including Kansas, are considering measures against sanctuary cities.


P1 Photo of the Week: Round ’em up

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Ron Holman caught Visalia (Calif.) officers helping some local cowboys round up 20 heads of cattle who escaped from the stockyards onto a busy roadway. Luckily, no one was injured and the cows were returned safely to their home.

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!


Bill would allow Conn. police to put weapons on drones

Posted on March 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Dave Collins Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut lawmakers are considering whether the state should become the first in the country to allow police to use drones outfitted with deadly weapons, a proposal immediately met with concern by civil rights and liberties advocates.

The bill would ban the use of weaponized drones, but exempt police. Details on how law enforcement could use drones with weapons would be spelled out in new rules to be developed by the state Police Officer Standards and Training Council. Officers also would have to receive training before being allowed to use drones with weapons.

"Obviously this is for very limited circumstances," said Republican state Sen. John Kissel, of Enfield, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee that approved the measure Wednesday and sent it to the House of Representatives. "We can certainly envision some incident on some campus or someplace where someone is a rogue shooter or someone was kidnapped and you try to blow out a tire."

North Dakota is the only state that allows police to use weaponized drones, but limits the use to "less lethal" weapons, including stun guns, rubber bullets and tear gas.

Five states — Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and Wisconsin — prohibit anyone from using a weaponized drone, while Maine and Virginia ban police from using armed drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several other states have restricted drone use in general.

"We have huge concerns that they would use this new technology to abuse our communities," said Scot X. Esdaile, president of state chapter of the NAACP.

Esdaile said he has received calls from around the country from NAACP officials and others concerned about the Connecticut legislation.

Three police departments in the state — Hartford, Plainfield and Woodbury — began using drones within the past year, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut.

"We would be setting a dangerous precedent," said David McGuire, executive director of the state ACLU. "It is really concerning and outrageous that that's being considered in our state legislature. Lethal force raises this to a level of real heightened concern."

The bill also includes restrictions on drone use and reporting requirements that are supported by the ACLU.

It would require police to get a warrant before using a drone, unless there are emergency circumstances or the person who is the subject of the drone use gives permission. It also would require police to report yearly on how often they use drones and why, and create new crimes and penalties for criminal use of drones, including voyeurism.

Although the bill overwhelmingly passed the Judiciary Committee, several members said they just wanted to see the proposal get to the House floor for debate. They said they had concerns about police using deadly force with drones.

"I think that police are taught one thing," said Democratic Bridgeport Sen. Edwin Gomes. "You put a weapon in their hand, they shoot center mass, they shoot to kill. If it's going to be used, you're going to use it to kill somebody."


Policing Matters Podcast: How big an issue is crime committed by illegal immigrants?

Posted on March 31, 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

Earlier this year, Kate’s Law was reintroduced to Congress, which is now controlled by Republicans. President Donald Trump has vowed that he will sign it. The law is named for Kate Steinle, a 32-year-old woman who was fatally shot by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a Mexican national and convicted felon who had been deported but returned — illegally — to the United States. Steinle is not the only high-profile victim of crime committed by people here in the United States illegally — there are many other tragedies like hers. But how big an issue is criminal activity committed by illegal immigrants? Jim and Doug discuss the issue in detail.


FirstNet’s national public safety network may finally become a reality

Posted on March 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

One of the biggest lessons learned in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks was that in a rapidly unfolding major catastrophe first responders from different disciplines and different departments could not communicate with one another via radio. Four years later, the same problem plagued first responders attempting to save people stranded on rooftops following Hurricane Katrina.

An effort was launched to fix the problem by creating a Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) capable of meeting current and future needs for interoperable interdisciplinary communications. The problem with this proposed solution is that it relied too heavily on the involvement of the federal government.

Achieving the construction of a usable interoperable national network saw little progress despite years of congressional hearings, conferences, studies, proposed legislation and all manners of handwringing on all sides. To say that there was widespread frustration on the matter among PSBN advocates — public safety professionals in particular — is an understatement of massive proportions.

However, according to reports, the first spike of this transcontinental communications railway has been ceremoniously driven into the ground, as FirstNet has selected AT&T to build and maintain a national broadband network dedicated to America’s police, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel.

FirstNet will furnish the spectrum and pay AT&T $6.5 billion over the next five years. AT&T said that it will spend about $40 billion of its own money over the life of the 25-year contract to build, deploy, operate and maintain the network.

A long history of very little progress

For many longtime observers, this news is the best thing that’s happened for public safety in a very long time. In fact, for some who have been following this issue closely for a decade and a half (myself included) today’s news is something we’d come to doubt would ever happen at all. At every turn, any progress that was made fell far short of a network actually being built.

In 2008, the so-called D-Block — the 20 MHz swath of high-value wireless spectrum set aside for the national public safety broadband communications network — failed to receive even a single bid for the reserve price of $1.33 billion in the United States 700 MHz FCC wireless spectrum auction (officially known as Auction 73). The notion of a PSBN remained just that — a notion.

In 2011, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) — a non-profit organization that “combines politically balanced policymaking with strong, proactive advocacy and outreach — issued a report entitled Tenth Anniversary Report Card: The Status of the 9/11 Commission Recommendations. The very first item addressed in the chapter entitled “Nine Major Unfinished 9/11 Commission Recommendations” was allocation of the D-block to public safety. Despite such pressure, Congress failed to act.

In 2012, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (MCTRJCA), which included a stipulation to create the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. That bill included $7 billion in funding. Then, nothing much of consequence happened. FirstNet gathered industry experts, wireless carriers, and first responder leadership and began the hard work of making the PSBN a reality.

Finally, a project in the making

Fast forward to today — five years after FirstNet was established — FirstNet’s selection of AT&T to build out the telecom spectrum is the biggest news thus far in this long-running saga.

In a statement, AT&T said that it will work with FirstNet to “innovate and evolve the network to keep the public safety community at the forefront of technology advances.”

For example, as 5G network capabilities develop in the coming years, AT&T will seek to provide “exponential increases in the speed with which video and data travel across the FirstNet network,” the company said.

AT&T said that the nationwide mobile communications network for first responders will help:

Improve rescue and recovery operations to help keep first responders out of harm’s way Better connect first responders to the critical information they need in an emergency Further the development of public safety focused IoT and Smart City solutions such as providing near real-time information on traffic conditions to determine the fastest route to an emergency Enable advanced capabilities, like wearable sensors and cameras for police and firefighters, and camera-equipped drones and robots that can deliver near real-time images of events, such as fires, floods or crimes

“FirstNet is a critical infrastructure project that will give our first responders the communications tools they need to keep America safe and secure,” U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement. “This public-private partnership will also spur innovation and create over ten thousand new jobs in this cutting-edge sector.”

Many of those jobs will likely be created at companies such as Motorola Solutions, General Dynamics, Sapient Consulting and Inmarsat Government, all of whom have joined the AT&T team in partnership with FirstNet.

AT&T is now required to present a network plan to the governors of all 50 states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia covered by FirstNet. Those governors must decide within 90 days whether or not they want to participate in FirstNet or opt out of the network. In the event that they opt out, those states must then design and build its own radio access network that must be interoperable with the rest of the network and tie into the FirstNet core.

AT&T said that the company will begin rollout of the network later this year. That seems overly optimistic, but perhaps the company can pull off such a significant undertaking that quickly. Perhaps it’s true that good things come to those who wait.


Fla. House votes to require autism training for police

Posted on March 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By Ana Ceballos Associated Press

TALLAHASSE, Fla. — The Florida House has passed a bill establishing autism awareness training for police officers across the state.

House members on Thursday unanimously voted in favor of the bill (HB 39). It develops ongoing training to help police officers recognize the behavior of autistic individuals, as well as to teach officers how to respond appropriately.

The push for legislation comes after a police shooting in North Miami last summer left an unarmed black therapist shot and injured while protecting his severely autistic client. The autistic man had been the intended target in the shooting. Following the shooting, advocates for autistic people called for more training for officers.

A similar bill (SB 154) in the Senate has advanced to its last committee hearing.


‘Autopilot’ Tesla strikes Ariz. police motorcycle

Posted on March 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PHOENIX — Just days after an autonomous Uber got into a wreck in Tempe, a Tesla Model X allegedly operating on autopilot struck a Phoenix police motorcycle.

According to AZCentral.com, the officer was stopped at a light after exiting a freeway when the Tesla moved forward, causing the officer to hop off his motorcycle and get away from the danger. The car tapped the motorcycle from behind. No damage was reported to either vehicle.

Police said because the wreck was minor and no one was harmed, an investigation will not continue and no citations were issued.

“It was pretty much a tap,” Pfohl said. “It wasn’t even a reportable collision. If it wasn’t involving an officer, we would not have even investigated it.”

The driver of the Tesla told police that the car was in autopilot, but Sgt. Alan Pfohl told the publication that investigators could not confirm the claim.

Tesla’s website states that autopilot mode is not intended to fully take over driving. The driver needs to remain engaged. Their website also says that drivers are back in control of their vehicles when they exit highways.

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Boy suspended after bringing shell casing to school

Posted on March 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. — A 4-year-old boy has been suspended after he brought an empty shell casing to school.

Kristy Jackson said she was confronted by a teacher when she picked up her son, Hunter, from school Tuesday. The teacher claimed Hunter had brought a shotgun bullet to the school, Fox 59 reported. Hunter told his mom he brought an empty shell casing - not a bullet - to school to show his friends.

Hunter picked up the empty .22 caliber casing after a recent target practice with his grandpa, who is a Caseyville police officer. Jackson said Hunter’s grandpa has made it a goal to teach Hunter about responsible gun use, the news station reported.

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I never thought this could happen to us. You see stuff on the news like this, but.... Today, I picked up my happy...

Posted by Kristy Jackson on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hunter’s parents received a letter saying Hunter was suspended for seven days. It also stated Hunter has used other toys as “make-believe guns,” which is a violation of school policy.

“[Hunter] just was wandering around in a field and picked up and put it in his pocket and didn’t tell his parents,” Jackson said. “It’s something that’s become quite an epidemic where guns are automatically assumed that they’re bad…and I’m not sure how a 7-day suspension teaches my son anything about tolerance or anything about why he was wrong.”

The vice principal told the news station that Hunter was suspended for more than the shell casing, but couldn’t go into details due to confidentiality concerns.


AT&T selected to build nationwide public safety network

Posted on March 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By Melissa Repko The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — Dallas-based AT&T has been hired by the U.S. Department of Commerce to build and manage a nationwide broadband network for public safety communication between first responders.

The high-speed network aims to equip police, firefighters and emergency medical services with a single network that allows real-time communicate during crises, such as natural disasters. It will cover all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and five U.S. territories.

AT&T was awarded a 25-year contract from FirstNet, which will pay AT&T up to $6.5 billion over the next five years. AT&T will also receive 20 megahertz of telecommunications spectrum from the government to deploy for the dedicated public safety network.

FirstNet, or the First Responder Network Authority, is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The project was inspired by the communications challenges that first responders faced on Sept. 11, 2001. The 9/11 Commission recommended a dedicated public safety broadband network.

FirstNet was created as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. Last year, the government raised the $6.5 billion through a spectrum auction.

FirstNet CEO Mike Poth said the project was pushed forward by public safety officials who struggle with outdated technology and congested networks. They also use thousands of different voice communications systems that do not operate with one another.

“Every single day, every single week man-made disasters continue," he said. "The need for public safety to have better tools and technology at their hands to help quicken response and more effective response is what’s really driving this. ... Our 14-year-old kids have better technology than our first responders in their hands."

John Stephens, AT&T's chief financial officer, said the telecom company looks forward to building a high-quality network for police, firefighters and medical teams.

"It's a great opportunity to serve every citizen," Stephens said. "Everybody is going to benefit from this because that is who the first responders serve."

The network buildout will begin later this year. It is expected to create 10,000 jobs in the U.S., as AT&T builds new cell phone towers, maintains the network and helps service customers, he said.

Stephens said AT&T will invest $40 billion to build the broadband network. Once the network is completed, states and public agencies will pay AT&T to use the service.

While the dedicated network is under construction, Stephens said AT&T is working on technology that gives priority to first responders who use the current network during an emergency. It will be available by the end of 2017, he said.

For first responders, the announcement is long-awaited news, said Darrel Stephens, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. The Washington, D.C.-based law enforcement association counts Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington among its members. It has advocated for the network's creation for more than a decade.

“It’s been frustrating,” he said. “We would have liked to see it happen sooner, but the magnitude of the vision causes the difficulty of making it happen quickly.”

He said police departments routinely use workarounds to communicate with one another, especially during major incidents like floods or tornadoes. He said the network will also give law enforcement the bandwidth to share videos in real time.

Copyright 2017 Dallas Morning News


Authorities: Tenn. deputy fatally shot by police had previous arrest

Posted on March 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — An off-duty sheriff's deputy who was fatally shot by police after officials say he became agitated and refused commands to drop his gun had been arrested and suspended in the past, but the charge was dropped and he was reinstated.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports Daniel Hendrix was arrested in 2015 and suspended by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office after striking a female inmate he was processing.

Hendrix said in his report that he hit the inmate and used pepper spray on her because she kicked and spit on him.

A sheriff's spokesman said the criminal charge was dropped after the inmate didn't appear in court, but a lawsuit is pending.

Sheriff Jim Hammond said there's no reason to think the incident had any bearing on Wednesday's shooting.


How police can reduce and manage stress

Posted on March 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michelle Beshears, Faculty Member, Criminal Justice at American Military University

At some point, everyone feels stressed. But for police officers, who are in positions of authority and making life and death decisions on a regular basis, stress can have a major negative impact on their lives.

One of the biggest problems for police officers is that stress can go unrecognized and unacknowledged. Officers are under constant stress and do not take the time to seek treatment. Many times they deny the stress they are experiencing for fear of being viewed as weak or not being able to handle their job.

What Causes Stress?

Police officers face many different types of stress. According to the National Institute of Justice, the following are work-related and individual factors that are likely to cause stress and fatigue in law enforcement officers.

Work-related factors are caused by:

Poor management Inadequate or broken equipment Excessive overtime Frequent rotating shifts (Here’s why agencies should consider 10-hour shifts to save money and reduce stress.) Regular changes in duties (For example, officers often spend one day filling out paperwork and the next intervening in a violent domestic dispute.)

Individual factors include:

Family and relationship problems Financial problems Health concerns Difficulties from working second jobs to make extra income

Even more specifically, police officers are likely to be stressed by the daily responsibilities that come with the job. According to the article, “Police Stress: Identifying & Managing Symptoms of Stress,” these stresses are caused by:

Constant exposure to people suffering distress and pain Threats to an officer’s safety or health The responsibility of protecting the lives of citizens Having to be in control of emotions even when provoked The inconclusive nature of police work The quickly alternating pace of the job (situations can escalate rather quickly in this line of work) The responsibility of owning a firearm Consequences of Stress

Just as in any profession, untreated stress can lead to serious consequences. These consequences not only affect the individual officer, but also those with whom the officer has daily contact, such as colleagues, supervisors, friends, family, and the public.

According to “On-the-Job Stress in Policing: Reducing It, Preventing It,” some of the more common consequences of job-related stress reported by police officers are:

Cynicism and suspiciousness Emotional detachment from various aspects of daily life Reduced efficiency Absenteeism and early retirement Excessive aggressiveness (which may trigger an increase in citizen complaints) Alcoholism and other substance abuse problems Marital or other family problems (for example, extramarital affairs, divorce, or domestic violence) Post-traumatic stress disorder Heart attacks, ulcers, weight gain, and other health problems Suicide How to Reduce Stress

The good news is that the importance of reducing job-related stress is not going unnoticed by agencies and even the highest level of federal government. In fact, the federal government responded to this problem in the 1994 Omnibus Crime Act where the president and congress recognized the severity of the problem and mandated a federal government response. As a result of this legislation, the National Institute of Justice was assigned the task of sponsoring research on police stress, establishing pilot programs to help officers and departments deal with police stress, and conducting program evaluations on current programs in an effort to support state and local efforts.

American Military University faculty members Mark Bond, Matt Loux, and Dr. Shana Nicholson have written several articles about how police officers can reduce stress specific to police work. Law enforcement officers can reduce stress by:

Planning meals and making healthy eating choices. Stop eating high-calorie fast food. Scheduling vacations and personal downtime. Seeing your doctor regularly for checkups. Sharing the workload and reducing the amount of overtime. Living within your financial means so that “moonlighting” with a second job is not necessary. Creating a realistic exercise program and forming healthy habits to get regular exercise. Creating a “Patrol Buddy” program and make time to check on each other. Keeping your civilian friends to help you get away from the job. If you socialize with police friends, make a point not to talk about work on your downtime together. How to Manage Your Stress

Not all stress is bad. In fact, it can be positive. It can help officers get out of dangerous situations and it can also motivate individuals to achieve. However, too much stress can affect your emotional and physical well-being and can cause significant problems in your life at home, work, and school. Fortunately, if you are experiencing negative stress in your life there are ways in which you can effectively manage it.

An important way to manage stress is through effective time management. Consider:

Taking the time to work out a plan to ensure there is a balance in your life. Setting aside specified times for your responsibilities. Setting goals for yourself and avoiding procrastinating. Ensuring you get enough sleep and limiting your use of caffeine. Being conscious of your limits and only setting realistic goals. Setting aside time for exercise and leisure activities. Having a good attitude and finding the upside to whatever situation life might throw at you.

These are just a few suggestions. Your situation is different and as unique as you are. There are some circumstances in which this might seem impossible, but the key is to keep moving forward and to remain as positive as possible.

Stress is common in all of our lives, but as long as we look for ways to effectively manage it and seek help when we feel we are not able to, we can make it through. Many times, we find ourselves coming out of a stressful situation stronger than before. The most important thing is to recognize when you feel stressed and work to identify what is causing it. Once stress is acknowledged, officers can work to effectively manage it and not let it consume their lives.

About the Author: Michelle L. Beshears earned her baccalaureate degrees in social psychology and criminal justice and graduate degrees in human resource development and criminology from Indiana State University. She most recently completed her Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in Criminal Justice. Michelle served in the U.S. Army for 11 years. She obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant prior to attending Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia where she earned her commission. As a commissioned officer she led numerous criminal investigations and worked with several external agencies as well. As a civilian, she has worked with the local sheriff’s department, state drug task force and FBI. Michelle is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at American Military University and is full-time faculty in the School of Security and Global Studies. You can contact her at Michelle.Beshears@mycampus.apus.edu.


Man charged with murder in Okla. officer’s death

Posted on March 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

SHAWNEE, Okla. — Oklahoma prosecutors have charged a 35-year-old man with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old police officer during a traffic stop.

Court records show Byron James Shepard of Okemah was charged Wednesday in Pottawatomie County in the shooting of Tecumseh Police Officer Justin Terney, who died Monday after being shot Sunday. Court records don't list an attorney for Shepard.

Also Wednesday, Gov. Mary Fallin ordered that all U.S. and state flags in the state fly at half-staff on Friday in honor of Terney.

Officials say Terney stopped a vehicle in which Shepard was a passenger and learned he had a warrant for his arrest. Shepard fled on foot and Terney pursued him before the two exchanged gunfire.

The driver of the vehicle was arrested for harboring a fugitive.


‘Hurry up, hurry up!’: 911 calls capture chaos at Cincinnati nightclub

Posted on March 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Lisa Cornwell and Andrew Welsh-Huggins Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Recordings of people calling 911 and police officers responding to a weekend nightclub shooting in Cincinnati in which one person was killed and 16 injured illustrate the chaos of the unfolding crisis.

One man yells repeatedly "Hurry up, hurry up!" because his friend has been shot, and a woman pleading for help for a victim says there is "blood everywhere."

Another man tells a dispatcher two of his friends have been shot and he needs help.

I didn't see anything," he says in response to a dispatcher's question. "I was running for my life."

A panicked woman is screaming so loudly the dispatcher has trouble communicating with her. The recordings capture chaos in the background with multiple people screaming.

The 911 calls surrounding the early Sunday morning shooting at a popular hip-hop music spot near the Ohio river east of downtown Cincinnati were released Wednesday along with recordings of responding police officers.

One police officer urgently tells a dispatcher to "expedite" every unit possible, while another says three people are injured and adds: "Get me cars now!"

The dispatcher says calmly at one point: "Basically the entire city's responding at this time."

An incident report also released Wednesday showed the victims were in their 20s and 30s and included 14 men and three women.

The Hamilton County coroner's office has said that O'Bryan Spikes, the 27-year-old man killed in the shooting, died from a single gunshot to the chest.

A hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday night that two victims remained in critical condition.

Police estimate 200 people were inside the Cameo club when a dispute escalated into a gunfight in which more than 20 shots were fired by an unknown number of shooters.

No club security footage of the shooting has emerged. Police have declined to comment on whether they had identified any possible suspects, but have said they are making progress in their investigation. No arrests have been made.

The venue's operator said Cameo had planned to move out in May because of the landlord's planned sale of the property but will instead close its door for good on Friday.


Seattle announces lawsuit over Trump sanctuary cities threat

Posted on March 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Martha Bellisle Associated Press

SEATTLE — Seattle filed a lawsuit Wednesday over President Donald Trump's executive order that threatens to withhold federal funds from communities that refuse to cooperate with efforts to find and deport immigrants in the country illegally.

Mayor Ed Murray said the order issued in January punishing "sanctuary cities" is unconstitutional and creates uncertainty around the city's budget.

Other governments have sued Trump over the sanctuary issue. San Francisco filed a lawsuit earlier this year, also saying the order was unconstitutional. California's Santa Clara County and two Massachusetts cities with large Latino populations - Chelsea and Lawrence - have also taken legal action.

The Justice Department said in a statement that "the American people want and deserve a lawful immigration system that keeps us safe and serves our national interest" and that the federal government will enforce relevant laws.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions reiterated this week that the Justice Department would deny grant money to cities that violate a federal law dealing with information-sharing among local police and federal authorities. Sessions said the cities are making their communities unsafe.

Murray challenged that claim.

"Apparently the Trump administration, their war on facts has now become a war on cities," Murray said during a news conference. "Let me be clear about the facts. We are not breaking any laws and we are prioritizing safety."

Under the order, Seattle could face at least $10.5 million in cuts to public safety programs, he said.

Trump's order violates the constitution by trying to make local law enforcement enforce federal immigration law, Murray said.

The order also makes communities less safe by forcing people underground, said City Attorney Pete Holmes.

When people are marginalized and made to fear police, they are less likely to come forward as witnesses to crime, Murray said.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court asks a judge to declare that Seattle is in compliance with the law and that the executive order is unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment and the Spending Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

"This administration has created an atmosphere of anxiety in cities across America and has created chaos in our politics," Murray said. "It is time for cities to stand up and ask the courts to put an end to the anxiety in our communities and the chaos in our system."


Mo. lawmakers advance plan to ban red-light cameras

Posted on March 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By Summer Ballentine Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A proposal that received initial approval Wednesday in the Missouri House would ban cities from using red-light cameras and end programs already in place.

Such programs previously were dealt a setback when the Missouri Supreme Court found legal and constitutional issues with camera ordinances used for stoplights in St. Louis and the suburb of St. Peters and for speed-limit enforcement in the suburb of Moline Acres.

But judges in that ruling gave what some considered guidance on how to lawfully and constitutionally use the cameras.

Republican Rep. Bryan Spencer of Wentzville told colleagues during debate on the House floor that his bill would go farther and ensure none can be established. Places with programs already operating would have a year to cancel contracts.

During the House debate, he questioned whether the cameras improve public safety and argued that they sometimes are used as a way to generate revenue. He and other supporters said it should be up to police officers to decide whether to hand out tickets and that those facing violations have a right to face their accusers.

Republican Rep. Keith Frederick of Rolla said his wife once received a ticket from a red-light camera after making a rolling right turn while picking up their sick son to take him to the emergency room.

"A real-live, living, feeling human officer would never have done that," he said.

St. Louis Democratic Rep. Peter Merideth said it should be up to cities and counties whether to implement traffic-enforcement cameras, and he said traffic cameras help cut down on bias in policing because he said there's no opportunity for discrimination.

"That is an improvement for law enforcement, and it actually frees up officers to go do the tougher work of protecting folks against more dangerous crimes in their area," he said.

This is not the first time lawmakers have tried to weigh in on red-light cameras. Spencer in 2015 tried to put red-light cameras to a public vote, but the measure didn't advance once it reached the Senate.

Spencer's current measure needs another vote of approval in the House before it can move to the Senate.


Authorities: Police shoot off-duty deputy, wouldn’t drop gun

Posted on March 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Police shot and killed an off-duty sheriff's deputy celebrating his birthday with friends after the man drew his gun, became agitated and refused commands to drop the weapon, authorities said Wednesday.

Hamilton County Deputy Daniel Hendrix had just turned 26 on Tuesday and was celebrating with two female off-duty officers with the Chattanooga Police Department, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.

"For reasons still under investigation," the bureau's statement said, "Hendrix appears to have changed his demeanor, became agitated, armed himself with a personal firearm, and threatened the two women, who later managed to flee the home during the exchange."

One of the officers was able to call 911 for help around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Two Chattanooga officers on duty arrived and encountered Hendrix still armed in his backyard, the TBI said.

Witnesses, the statement said, reported that Hendrix would not drop his weapon, as commanded by one of the officers. The situation "further escalated and resulted in one of the two responding officers firing his service weapon at least four times, striking Hendrix," the release said.

Hendrix was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The deceased deputy is white. Spokespeople with the TBI and the Chattanooga Police Department declined to identify the officer who shot Hendrix or the officer's race.

The agency continues to investigate events that led to the deputy's death.


Louisville officer dies after crash during pursuit

Posted on March 29, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Officials say a Louisville police officer has died from injuries he sustained in a crash during a high-speed chase.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Police Chief Steve Conrad announced the death of Officer Nick Rodman at a news conference Wednesday outside University Hospital.

Conrad says other officers pulled Rodman from his burning vehicle and took him directly to the hospital Tuesday evening.

The suspect, who was not identified, was involved in the wreck and remains at the same hospital. Conrad said he would be booked on charges including murder, domestic violence assault, wanton endangerment and fleeing police after he is released.

Fischer said Rodman's father and brother are also with the police department.

Conrad said the chase began after police received several calls about shots being fired and arguing in a neighborhood west of downtown.


FOP warns Trump ‘sanctuary city’ cuts could threaten public safety

Posted on March 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — The nation’s largest police union warned President Donald Trump Tuesday that proposed cuts to sanctuary cities could threaten public safety.

In a meeting Trump held with police leaders, the Fraternal Order of Police expressed their concern over the restriction of federal money to “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with the feds on immigration enforcement, according to Reuters. The cuts were announced by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday.

The police union was a vocal supporter of Trump during the 2016 election. Chuck Canterbury, the union’s president, previously said in a statement that Trump “has seriously looked at the issues facing law enforcement today” and “understands and supports our priorities.”

While the union does not endorse sanctuary city policies, they believe the cuts in funding may hurt law enforcement agencies, according to the report.

In response to the concerns, Trump called the policy a work in progress.


Man tied to gun used in murder of Ore. officer gets 12 years in prison

Posted on March 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Maxine Bernstein The Oregonian

SEASIDE, Ore. — The morning after Seaside Police Sgt. Jason Goodding was shot and killed, officers responded to an unrelated noise disturbance at a Seaside apartment on Feb. 6, 2016.

While officers spoke to Jamie Lee Jones on the porch of the apartment, they noticed a single live round of ammunition on the ground. Jones said he didn't know anything about the bullet, and the officers seized it.

A closer examination of that "A USA 380 AUTO'' round, with its unusual head stamp, revealed it was identical to a bullet that killed Goodding the night before.

Jones was arrested five days later, accused of having previously possessed the handgun used to kill the Seaside police sergeant, a .380-caliber Davis P380 pistol.

He also faced other firearms and drug charges. Authorities believe the gunman who killed the Seaside sergeant, Philip Ferry, 55, had swiped the .380-caliber pistol from Jones while Jones was passed out from a drug binge, according to court records.

On Monday morning, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon sentenced Jones, 45, to 12 years in federal prison after he had pleaded guilty to possession of another firearm in furtherance of drug-trafficking and possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

"I appreciate that you are not the one who caused the death of a heroic sworn officer,'' Simon told Jones. "But your possession of the firearm...did lead to the death of Sgt. Goodding.''

Looking on from the front two rows of the courtroom gallery were Seaside Police Chief David Ham, and other ranking law enforcement from Seaside, Astoria and Cannon Beach police departments, the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Assistant federal public defender Gerald Needham, who represented Jones, had urged a lesser sentence, describing what he called the "horrific circumstances'' of Jones' childhood and a criminal history largely involving "stolen cars and things of this ilk.'' Jones' two paternal grandparents had committed suicide, and his mother had attempted suicide during his childhood. He ended up living with his maternal grandfather, and has spent most of his life in and out of prison, mostly in Nevada. Jones also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, his lawyer said.

Needham argued that if it were not for the death of the Seaside police sergeant, the amount of methamphetamine seized from Jones - about 20 grams - likely wouldn't have warranted such a stiff sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah Bolstad countered that it was the combination of Jones' drug trafficking with his possession of firearms and violent threats to drug customers and witnesses that supported the 12-year prison term.

When Jones awoke either late Feb. 5 or early Feb. 6, 2016, he realized someone had stolen one of his firearms and methamphetamine. Angered, he punched one of his drug customers in the throat, fired another revolver within 15 inches of a woman's face and threatened that everyone present better get his stuff back and keep their mouths shut, Bolstad wrote in a sentencing memo.

After police visited him on the morning of Feb. 6, 2016 at his apartment on the noise complaint, Jones returned to that Nordmark Drive flop house, and ordered others to not say anything to the police about his possession of a .380-caliber firearm, about his firing of any guns, or "they would wish they had never been born,'' Bolstad said.

If it were not for Jones' trafficking in guns and drugs, the Seaside sergeant's killing "possibly would not have happened in the first place,'' Bolstad told the court Monday.

"It's not everyday we see the death, the murder of a sworn law enforcement officer,'' she added.

Bolstad also noted in court papers that Jones had links to the "Outlaw Nazi street gang,'' and is well-known in the Seaside community as someone with drugs "and as someone to fear.''

Jones, dressed in gray-striped jail scrubs, stood briefly and addressed the judge after writing a six-page letter to Simon.

"I am so sorry to the Goodding family and Mr. Goodding,'' he said.

He said never "in my wildest imagination'' would he have thought his actions would have led to the death of a police officer.

"It's a nightmare that haunts me everyday,'' Jones said. "My heart goes out to the Goodding family.''

The judge sentenced Jones to seven years for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, to run consecutive to five years for possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Simon urged Jones to work to assist younger offenders in prison. "You can help steer them in the right direction,'' the judge suggested, to help pay his debt to society for the "horrific consequences that occurred in this crime.''

The gun possession charge that Jones pleaded guilty to was not for the .380-caliber pistol used in the sergeant's shooting, according to court records. Jones also had been indicted on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the .380-caliber pistol, but that charge, as well as tampering with witness charges, were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Days before Goodding's death, Jones traded heroin for a .357-caliber revolver from an unidentified drug customer on Feb. 3, 2016. A search of Jones' cell phone revealed a text message from the seller, who wrote, "I'll be by at five-thirty with the pistol. Erase this text.''

Ferry fatally shot Goodding as the sergeant and another officer, David Davidson, tried to arrest him on a probation violation warrant in downtown Seaside. Davidson used a Taser on Ferry after Ferry refused to take his hands out of his pockets. As Goodding tried to restrain Ferry on the ground, Ferry pulled out Jones' pistol and fired once. The bullet went under the ballistic vest Goodding was wearing. Davidson then fired several times, hitting Ferry three times -- in the hand, arm and buttocks. Goodding, 39, and Ferry, 55, died later at separate hospitals.

"We're pleased he's being held accountable for his role in the crime,'' Seaside Police Chief David Ham said after the sentencing hearing.

In a prepared statement, Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said, "It is maddening to know that criminals involved in drug trafficking and the illegal possession of firearms continue to present a danger to our communities. I want to thank ATF and the local law enforcement agencies who pursued this investigation...It is our sincere hope that this sentence will offer some measure of justice -albeit small -to Sergeant Goodding's family and the Seaside community."

Darek Pleasants, special agent in charge of the ATF Seattle Division, called Gooding's killing a tragedy. "ATF is proud to have been able to work alongside our partner agencies to identify and bring Jamie Lee Jones to justice.''

©2017 The Oregonian


‘Walk in and kill this guy’: Video shows moments prior to OIS of man holding kids at knifepoint

Posted on March 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Juliet Linderman Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Body camera video captured a scene rarely made public: a Baltimore SWAT supervisor ordering an officer to kill a man holding two children hostage with a knife. While the video is jarring, the footage offers an unusual window into how officers make a difficult decision to use lethal force.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis showed the graphic footage of the recent standoff at a Baltimore rowhome to reporters Tuesday, the latest of three officer shootings recorded by body cameras since the city rolled them out last year. About 900 officers now wear the cameras daily.

The video captures a SWAT team sergeant outside the house where authorities had been unsuccessfully pleading for nearly an hour Friday for 39-year-old Reno Owens to release the 1-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl he was holding. The sergeant said the man, also clutching a 12-inch butcher knife, could kill the children at any time, and that nonlethal force wasn't an option.

"I want you to be calm," the sergeant tells SWAT Officer Zachary Wein. "I want you to be relaxed, and I want you to walk in there and kill this guy."

Moments later, video shows Wein walking up the steps, exchanging a few words with Owens, who still refuses to cooperate, and then firing a single fatal shot. During the exchange, Owens can be heard saying, "I'd rather go out this way."

Davis praised the officers for their "courage, bravery and grace under pressure," and stressed such commands from SWAT supervisors are not uncommon in hostage cases involving "a deadly threat." But seldom are such exchanges captured on camera.

More such dramatic videos are expected to become available in cities nationwide where body cameras are being deployed by police agencies, pressed for greater transparency in dealings with the public after protests in recent years over the deaths of black men and others at the hands of law enforcement.

Civil unrest erupted across Baltimore in 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man whose neck was broken in the back of a police transport van. Last year, the department began deploying body cameras, and earlier this year entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice over its history of excessive force, unlawful stops and discriminatory practices.

Davis said he decided not to publicly distribute footage of Friday's standoff to protect the children from being re-traumatized later.

"As they go through their childhood, adolescence and rest of their lives, we didn't want to create a video footprint they would be exposed to," he said at a news conference.

Police said Owens had spent the night at his female cousin's house, awoke early Friday, went to her children's room and took them hostage. Footage shows the woman meeting officers outside the home and telling them Owens charged at her with a knife in his hand.

Owens' mother, Doreen Parker, said she was shocked when she heard the news. Owens lived with her, she said, and while he sometimes struggled with depression, "he loves kids; he would never hurt anybody."

The footage shows officers in a bedroom doorway pleading with Owens, who is heard screaming and cursing at them in bouts. He also is heard threatening the children and also laughing, reciting prayers and at one point singing "Rock-a-bye Baby." One officer repeatedly tells Owens they want to help him and asks him to drop the knife. Owens doesn't cooperate.

Outside after the sergeant gives a command to shoot, a lieutenant asks whether there was a less lethal option. The sergeant said 'no.'

Davis said hostage negotiators had been called, but didn't make it in time. Police have not yet determined whether Owens was on drugs at the time.

The actual shot that killed Owens wasn't shown, but authorities said regardless of what Owens was doing at that moment he was a deadly threat the entire time.

Here's the knife police say a 39 y/o man barricaded himself in a West Baltimore bedroom with & held two toddlers at knifepoint @cbsbaltimore pic.twitter.com/ZyCZ786vHA

— Rick Ritter (@RickRitterWJZ) March 28, 2017


Ariz. bill would bump up penalty for assault on off-duty police

Posted on March 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By Clarice Silber Associated Press

PHOENIX — Arizona lawmakers on Tuesday engaged in a heated debate over whether they should approve a bill that would specify aggravated assault against off-duty police officers is a crime equal to assaulting an on-duty officer.

Current law requires lengthier sentences for aggravated assault against on-duty officers. The measure by sponsor Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, would equally apply enhanced sentences for aggravated assault against officers who are off-duty.

On one side of the debate were lawmakers urging the protection of police officers at all times. On the other were legislators calling the measure unnecessary and a mockery of what has been happening across the country with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The bill is labeled the "Blue Lives Matter Law." Smith says it's necessary because directly assaulting an officer should not be tolerated on any level.

"I don't think it matters if you're an officer if you're on or off duty," Smith said last month. "If somebody targets you because that's their motivation, because you're an officer, I can't imagine why any of us would allow that."

Senate Bill 1366 notes the crime of aggravated assault against a police officer includes "assaulting a peace officer that is not engaged in the execution of official duties." It would call for establishing evidence that the defendant assaulted the person because of their employment as a police officer or because they believe that person is an officer.

The bill "mocks a serious issue that's taking place in this country," Rep. Reginald Bolding, D-Laveen, said. "It continues to put in place unreasonable circumstances in which individuals may be engaged in conflicts with off-duty peace officers that do not have to announce themselves."

House Majority Leader John Allen, R-Scottsdale, said police officers risk their lives for citizens and the measure will protect them from those trying to do them wrong.

"We're just saying your lives matter and we will not let people mistreat you because of the public service in which you've taken up in our name," Allen said.

Legislators approved Smith's proposal on a voice vote and it awaits a formal House vote. The Senate passed the bill on a 24-5 vote in February.


Cops drive man to hospital after 30-minute ambulance wait

Posted on March 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

STRUTHERS, Ohio — Police officers took a man to a hospital last week after being told they would have to wait 30 minutes for an ambulance.

WKBN reported that two officers found a man passed out on the side of a road March 19. Officers called six different ambulance companies, but none were available.

"I was kind of taken aback with the amount of time that went by with no ambulances available," Struthers Mayor Terry Stocker said.

Instead of waiting, they drove the man to the hospital in their patrol car.

"It's not the ideal situation, but in an emergency situation I think the gentlemen did the right thing," Chief Randall Pugh, with Lane LifeTRANS Paramedics, said.

Pugh said the high call volume of heroin overdoses takes up a majority of responders' time, according to the report. Pugh also said delays also occurred that day due to several cases of the flu.


Sheriff faults lawmaker over online message of possible raid

Posted on March 29, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BOSTON — A Massachusetts sheriff who recommended that mayors of so-called sanctuary cities be arrested is also criticizing a state lawmaker who posted a warning about an unverified immigration raid.

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, a Republican, said Democratic Rep. Michelle DuBois may have broken the law and put federal immigration agents in danger.

In a Facebook message, the Brockton Democrat said she'd received a tip from a member of the Latino community that a raid would occur this week and that immigrants should be careful.

DuBois later defended her actions and said she was only sharing a rumor already circulating.

Hodgson earlier suggested that charges be lodged against leaders of communities that call themselves sanctuary cities.

One mayor — Somerville's Joe Curtatone — responded by calling Hodgson a "jack-booted thug."


Police arrest suspect in ambush shooting of 2 Miami-Dade cops

Posted on March 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

MIAMI — A 19-year-old Miami man is charged with two counts of attempted murder after police say he opened fire in an "ambush-style" shooting on two plainclothes detectives who were investigating gang activity.

Miami-Dade police announced an arrest on Twitter Wednesday morning but provide no details. The Miami Herald reports a tip led officers to Damian "Damo" Thompson.

The shooting happened Monday night after detectives Terrance White and Charles Wood pulled into the housing project to monitor a suspicious car. Police say a group of men approached their vehicle and one opened fire with a high-powered rifle.

Police say at least eight rounds hit their unmarked minivan. One officer returned fire. White was shot in the leg and Woods was grazed on the arm.

The Herald reports one of the officers identified Thompson as the shooter.


Woman strikes Capitol Police cruiser, taken into custody 

Posted on March 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A woman described as "erratic and aggressive" drove a vehicle into a U.S. Capitol Police cruiser near the Capitol on Wednesday morning and was taken into custody, police said.

Shots were fired during the arrest attempt, but the incident appeared to be criminal in nature with "no nexus to terrorism," said Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki. No one was injured. She said the U.S. Capitol remained open.

Malecki described the woman as an "erratic and aggressive driver." As police attempted to stop her, she made a U-turn and fled, nearly striking officers and striking at least one other vehicle, Malecki said. A brief pursuit followed before the woman was stopped.

The incident occurred near the Botanic Gardens. Malecki said shots were fired "during the attempt to arrest the suspect," but declined to elaborate.

D.C. fire department spokesman Doug Buchanan says ambulances were sent to the scene but did not take anyone to the hospital.

The incident prompted a large police response. Streets near the Capitol were closed, and the Sergeant at Arms advised lawmakers and staff to stay away from the area.

Almost exactly one year ago, U.S. Capitol Police shot a man after he pulled a weapon at a U.S. Capitol checkpoint as spring tourists thronged Washington. The suspect was previously known to police, who last October had arrested him for disrupting House of Representatives proceedings and yelling he was a "Prophet of God."

And in 2013, Miriam Carey, a 34-year-old dental hygienist from Connecticut, was shot and killed by Capitol Police officers in her vehicle outside the Hart Senate Office Building. Officers had pursued Carey from the White House, where she made a U-turn at a security checkpoint. Her young daughter was inside the car at the time and was unharmed. Her family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Secret Service and Capitol Police.


NY mulls use of DNA familial matching

Posted on March 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By Anthony M. Destefano Newsday

NEW YORK — A state panel of DNA experts approved on Monday a draft policy allowing familial searching, a new and controversial form of genetic testing, as a way of helping police solve homicide, certain sex crimes and terrorism cases.

By a unanimous vote, the DNA subcommittee of the state Commission on Forensic Science approved a short policy statement calling for familial searching, also known as “FS,” as well as a set of regulations to govern the procedure in New York.

The subcommittee also recommended that the commission approve the policy, which garnered interest as a result of the killing of Howard Beach jogger Karina Vetrano last August. Police got DNA from Vetrano’s body but couldn’t get any matches with genetic profiles in the state DNA database.

The draft policy approved by the subcommittee said that before familial searching is done, the local police and prosecutors have to certify that reasonable investigative efforts had been exhausted or that emergency circumstances exist. It would also be used in investigations dealing with first-degree kidnapping and arson.

Interest increased in familial searching following a November 2016 story in Newsday which described familial searching and its potential use in the Vetrano investigation, which at that time seemed stalled. NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill and Queens District Attorney Richard Brown issued strong statements calling for changes in state procedures to allow familial testing.

“Today’s action by the DNA Subcommittee of the NYS Commission on Forensic Science unanimously approving familial match DNA searches is an important step forward in identifying the guilty, excluding the innocent and bringing closure to the families of victims of unsolved homicides,” Brown said in a statement. “While the journey for justice for those families is not yet complete, this is an important milestone.”

The Vetrano family also support the testing, even though police, using more traditional investigative methods, were finally able to make an arrest in early February of a suspect in Karina’s homicide.

Some civil libertarians have voiced concerns about privacy and the fact that the existing state DNA database has a disproportionately high number of profiles of people of color. Proponents said familial searching is race-neutral.

———

©2017 Newsday


Ariz. university officers’ to wear patches to support sexual assault survivors

Posted on March 29, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State University police officers will wear their support for sexual assault survivors on their uniforms' sleeves for the next month.

The ASU Police Department says its officers during April will wear special teal-colored "ASU Police" patches on their uniforms.

The special patch is the same as the regular patch except for the teal coloring that includes the addition of teal ribbons on each side of the state seal.

According to the department, the patch is intended to increase awareness, support and encourage conversation with officers about sexual violence awareness, response, recovery and prevention.

The department says it considers sexual assault a serious crime and takes all reports of sexual assault seriously.


Wife of Baton Rouge cop killed during ambush gives birth

Posted on March 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

BATON ROUGE, La. — The wife of an officer who was killed during the July 2016 ambush in Baton Rouge received a living reminder of her husband last week.

Matthew Gerald’s wife Dechia gave birth to their son Falyn Matthew on March 21, WAFB reported. As a tribute to his dad, Falyn carries on his dad’s law enforcement nickname “Buttons.”

Dechia, who has worn her husband’s wedding ring as a necklace since he died, said Falyn wouldn’t let go of the ring the first time she held him.

Matthew Gerald, along with Officers Montrell Jackson and Brad Garafola, were ambushed by a gunman on July 17, 2016, the Associated Press reported. Officer Nick Tullier was critically injured as well. He is still in recovery. The gunman was killed at the scene.

After the ambush, Dechia discovered she was pregnant and had conceived the baby just five days before Matthew’s death. She said although Matthew isn’t with them anymore, a piece of him will be with her every day.

“I can just feel his presence. I don't have to worry about the anxiety or worry where's he's at or what he's doing because at this moment, he's here with us,” Dechia told WAFB.


W.Va. trooper shot while responding to domestic disturbance

Posted on March 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. — A trooper is recovering after he was shot twice while responding to a domestic disturbance call Tuesday morning.

Police responded to a residence where Jeremiah Yeager, 40, and a woman were arguing, WSAZ reported. The woman said Yeager was high on meth and allegedly choked her with a phone cord until she passed out.

When she woke up, she discovered Yeager armed with a long gun and revolver in the kitchen. He allegedly pointed the gun at her multiple times, threatened to kill her, and struck her with the weapon, the news station reported.

Cpl. David Fry entered the home and ordered Yeager to drop the guns, but Yeager refused and shot Fry twice.

Backup officers responded and were forced to enter the home when Yeager refused to exit. After a short struggle with Yeager, he was detained.

Fry drove to meet EMS in a different county, where they transported him to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Yeager was transported to a hospital as well.

An investigation is ongoing.


Md. school shooting plot uncovered after explosives, shotgun seized from student’s home

Posted on March 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jeremy Arias The Frederick News-Post

THURMONT, Md. — An 18-year-old Catoctin High School student will face charges this week after county sheriff's deputies said they uncovered her plot last week to carry out a shooting at the school.

Nichole Cevario will be charged with both the possession of explosive materials with the intent to create a destructive device as well as possession of incendiary material with the intent to create a destructive device after she is released from Frederick Memorial Hospital for a mental evaluation. Cevario was the only person believed to be involved in the plot and no one else was to be charged as of Monday, according to a news release issued Monday by the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.

Cevario, of Thurmont, was arrested Thursday after one of her parents notified school officials of a threat to the school, Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said at a news conference Monday afternoon at the county's law enforcement center.

"This event was very probably prevented by the parents who stepped forward," Jenkins said. "They saw something, they said something, they came forward, they did the right thing, so I give all the credit in the world to the parents of this young lady."

Cevario was removed from class Thursday immediately after her father notified school officials, Jenkins said.

A number of "explosive materials" — including pipes with end caps, nails to be used as shrapnel, fireworks, magnesium tape and fuse materials — were seized by deputies in a search of Cevario's home last week, but none of those materials had been combined in any way to create a bomb, Jenkins said.

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Photos of items recovered in Catoctin High School investigation.

Posted by Frederick County Sheriff's Office, MD on Monday, March 27, 2017

"Basically the plan was to extract the black powder from the fireworks to create the pipe bombs," Jenkins said, adding that a Remington 870 shotgun and 12-gauge ammunition were also recovered from the house.

No weapons or explosives were recovered at the school, according to Monday's release.

Cevario's journal was at the center of the sheriff's office's ongoing investigation as of Monday, Jenkins said. From the first entry, made Dec. 16, 2016, the diary hinted at violence, but the sheriff's office was still looking into whether any specific events prompted Cevario to begin planning the shooting, Jenkins said.

"Within this diary, we saw evidence of mental health issues, a number of emotional issues, the way she went out and found the means to purchase materials," Jenkins said. "... It was to create, basically to be a mass shooting type event. [There were] no specific names or targets."

The journal contained a detailed analysis of every stage of Cevario's plan and what she expected to encounter, including information she gathered from speaking with the school resource officer assigned to the school, Jenkins said.

"It was very clear to us that she had the means and materials to cause significant damage to herself, to the student body, to the facility up there at Catoctin High School. ... We felt this was going to be carried out. There was no doubt in our minds that we averted a disaster up there," Jenkins said.

"I've never seen anything like this, to be honest with you," Jenkins added.

Deputies also believe Cevario was intent on dying on April 5, the date specified in her journal for the shooting to occur, Jenkins said. There was no indication as to why Cevario had chosen April 5.

Michael Doerrer, a spokesman for Frederick County Public Schools, said there was no indication, at least from the school's staff, before her arrest that Cevario was planning to carry out violence at the school.

That said, school officials acted as soon as they received word from Cevario's father, which occurred while classes were in session Thursday.

"We identify the location of the student, go to where the student is and then remove the student to the office," Doerrer said, outlining the school system's protocol for handling potential threats. "That's where law enforcement takes over. ... It's important to us that we do that in a nondisruptive way and that's exactly what happened here."

Counselors and other resources were available for students and staff at Catoctin High School as of Monday morning, which is also outlined in school protocol, Doerrer said, adding that he was also at the school as of just after 11 a.m.

"It is business as usual at Catoctin High," he said. "It's quiet."

The sheriff's office's release expressed the agency's appreciation for the cooperation it received in the investigation from the county school system; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the state and county fire marshal's offices; and the Frederick County State's Attorney's Office.

———

©2017 The Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Md.)


Police: Okla. homeowner’s son kills 3 burglars with rifle

Posted on March 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — Oklahoma authorities say three would-be burglars have been fatally shot by a homeowner's adult son who was armed with a rifle.

The Wagoner County Sheriff's Office received a call around 12:30 p.m. Monday from someone inside a home who told dispatchers that people had broken into the house and that shots had been fired.

Deputy Nick Mahoney says officers arrived to find three men fatally shot. The neighborhood is in an unincorporated part of the county about 20 miles southeast of Tulsa.

Mahoney says the men were wearing black clothes, gloves and masks when they forced their way in through a back door. He says there's no reason to believe the son knew the intruders and that investigators are treating the case as a home invasion.


Secret Service examines suspicious package near White House

Posted on March 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Secret Service says they have taken a man into custody who was carrying a package near the White House after he made suspicious comments to an officer.

A Secret Service official says an explosive ordinance team was on the scene on Tuesday morning to examine the package about a block from the White House.

A security perimeter was established near the White House grounds, but Secret Service officials say all other West Wing activity is proceeding normally.

The investigation comes after two recent fence-jumping incidents at the White House. A California man was charged with jumping the fence while carrying two cans of Mace. And a woman from Washington state got tangled up in her shoelaces trying to jump the fence last week.


Injured K-9s to get ambulance rides

Posted on March 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — K-9s hurt on the job will soon receive ambulance rides to a hospital.

The News-Gazette reported that Arrow Ambulance and the University of Illinois teamed up to provide ambulance rides to the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Dr. Michael Smith, medical director of Carle Regional EMS and Arrow Ambulance, said University of Illinois veterinarians will train ambulance crew members in the basics of dog emergency medical response next month.

"We've always wanted to support the police dogs," Dr. Smith said. "But you don't want to step on the toes of veterinary medicine."

Dr. Maureen McMichael will teach EMS providers the basics, including how to insert a breathing tube in a dog and how to administer naloxone to dogs.

Arrow Ambulance will offer care and transportation of the dogs for free.


Fight between Fla. governor, prosecutor back in court

Posted on March 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By Terrance Harris Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — The fight over whether Florida's governor can take away an officer-killing case from a prosecutor because she no longer will seek the death penalty in any cases is returning to a courtroom in Orlando.

A hearing will take place Tuesday in the case of Markeith Loyd, who is charged with murdering an Orlando police lieutenant and Loyd's pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Gov. Rick Scott took the case away from State Attorney Aramis Ayala in Orlando earlier this month after she announced she wouldn't seek the death penalty in Loyd's case or any future cases. Ayala, who is the first elected African-American state attorney in Florida, said during her announcement that there is no evidence that shows the death penalty improves public safety for citizens or law enforcement, and it's costly and drags on for years for the victims' families.

The governor reassigned the case to State Attorney Brad King who works in a neighboring district.

Ayala argued that the governor doesn't have the authority to remove her. She said in a court motion that Scott's actions are unprecedented and his interference in the decision-making by state attorneys could undermine Florida's judicial system.

King said he is the authorized prosecutor for the case. He said Ayala had no authority to represent the state of Florida when she filed a motion to temporarily halt Loyd's case so that Circuit Judge Frederick Lauten could hear arguments about which prosecutor should handle the case.

Loyd is charged with first-degree murder in the killings of his ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton.


2 Ind. officers injured in bleach attack

Posted on March 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By Rebecca R. Bibbs The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Two Anderson police officers were injured Sunday when bleach was thrown on them as they were called to help a woman who was trying to move personal belongings from a residence.

APD spokesman Major Joel Sandefur, who declined to name the officers, said four unidentified people were arrested in the incident and likely will be charged with disorderly conduct and battery on a police officer.

“When the officers made entry to the residence, the people who were arrested threw bleach on them,” he said.

The officers accompanied a woman about 4 p.m. to the 2700 block of Columbus Avenue in an effort to help her remove her belongings from the duplex, Sandefur said.

At one point, one of the parties became violent and slammed the front door shut, he said. The officers were attacked when they gained entry.

The officers were taken to St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital where one officer was released within a couple of hours. Another was kept longer because of continued burning to the eyes.

Missy Smith, who lives across the street from the residence, said she came outside to see what was going on as soon as she heard police vehicles come down the street.

“At first, we thought it was a drug bust or something, with the number of cop cars here,” she said.

Smith said she saw three people, two women and a man, arrested and possibly two children removed from the home. One of the women was handcuffed and taken away in an ambulance, she said.

“They were trying to fight in front of the police,” she said.

Smith said she saw pepper spray being used on the man.

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©2017 The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.)


2 Fla. detectives wounded in ‘ambush-style’ shooting, suspects at large

Posted on March 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Charles Rabin, David Ovalle, David J. Neal and Carli Teproff Miami Herald

MIAMI —Two Miami-Dade police undercover detectives working a gang detail in Miami’s Brownsville neighborhood were shot as they sat in their unmarked vehicle Monday night by suspects who walked past them, opened fire and fled.

The officers, who were rushed to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in the back of a pickup by cops who were on the perimeter of the shooting scene, were in stable condition, one grazed by a bullet, the other shot in the leg. As the truck pulled up to the Trauma Center, several officers jumped out and helped the hobbled officers inside.

John Rivera, president of the Miami-Dade police union, said six men walked toward the unmarked car and some opened fire. At least one of the officers returned fire, he said.

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#MDPD Director Juan J. Perez

Posted by Miami-Dade Police Department on Monday, March 27, 2017

“They were outnumbered and outgunned. God was watching over them tonight,” said Rivera.

The brazen shooting took place around 10 p.m. in Brownsville at Northwest 62nd Street and 22nd Avenue, just outside the Annie Coleman housing projects, commonly known as “The Rockies” and fertile ground for gangs. Swat team members, K-9 officers and hundreds of police officers from Miami-Dade and the city of Miami swept a several-mile stretch for hours from Northwest 62nd to 54th streets, between Northwest 17th and 22nd avenues.

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said the detectives were part of the Homicide Task Force-Gang Unit. Police did not release the names of the detectives but said they were both veterans.

Perez, asking for help from a neighborhood often wary of assisting police, said, “These individuals not only shot at these officers and struck our police officers. These individuals are causing havoc in our community, causing chaos in people’s lives, putting people below the ground. So let’s work together to find a resolution to what occurred tonight. Point us in the right direction.”

Miami-Dade Police Major Hector Llevat said one of the shooters was 17 to 18, and wearing a hoodie that only showed his eyes.

Heavy police presence outside @JacksonHealth after police involved shooting in NW Miami Dade. @nbc6 pic.twitter.com/bdBiETHVrZ

— Laura Rodriguez (@LauraNBC6) March 28, 2017

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who rushed to the hospital, said police need the community’s help in capturing the shooters.

“If they’re brazen enough to shoot at and try to kill police officers, they’ll shoot at others. They don’t deserve to belong on the streets in our community,” he said.

As to whether suspects remained on the loose, Miami-Dade police would say only “the scene remains active” and urged anyone with information to come forward.

———

©2017 Miami Herald

BREAKING: 2 Police Officers Reportedly Shot In Miami-Dade, Transported To Hospital In Pickup Truck -@VictorLocal10 pic.twitter.com/j5N6t0NNWd

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 28, 2017

Two police officers were shot in an ambush-style attack in Northwest Miami-Dade Monday evening https://t.co/X8klKf7MCc via @nbcmiami pic.twitter.com/PLFrGv64Eg

— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 28, 2017


Woman told police she crashed because she saw a sasquatch

Posted on March 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MOSCOW, Idaho — A northern Idaho woman told police she crashed into a deer because she was distracted by a sasquatch in her rearview mirror.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that the 50-year-old Tensed woman was driving south on U.S. Highway 95 on Wednesday when she struck a deer near Potlatch.

The woman told Benewah County Sheriff's officials that she saw a sasquatch chasing a deer on the side of the road while driving. She says she checked one of her mirrors to get a second look at the beast and when she looked up, the deer ran in front of her.

Sheriff's officials marked the incident as a vehicle versus deer collision but did not report any evidence of Bigfoot.

___

Information from: The Moscow-Pullman Daily News, http://www.dnews.com

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.


Authorities searching for suspect who shot at cops in Ariz. park

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — A wildlife park in northern Arizona is on lockdown as Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies search for a suspect who allegedly fired shots at law enforcement who were chasing him.

Authorities say John Freeman has a warrant for his arrest out of Kingman and should be considered armed and dangerous.

A sheriff's deputy tried to stop Freeman's vehicle for a traffic violation on Interstate 40 near Ask Fork around 10:45 a.m. Monday.

The vehicle kept going and a man who was thrown from the car has been detained.

Authorities say a high-speed chase ensued until the suspect's vehicle became disabled and crashed into a culvert near the Bearizona Wildlife Park.

They say Freeman exited the car and fired at least one shot at the deputy before disappearing into the forest.


Authorities arrest suspect who shot at cops in Ariz. park

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — A suspected car thief who allegedly fired shots at law enforcement officers in northern Arizona was arrested Monday evening after an hourslong search, authorities said.

John Freeman, 31, was arrested without incident around 5:30 p.m., Yavapai County Sheriff's officials said.

He was found in a culvert about a half-mile south of Interstate 40 near the Bearizona Wildlife Park, which was evacuated around noon so authorities could search for Freeman.

Authorities said Freeman had a warrant for his arrest out of Kingman and was considered armed and dangerous. But he wasn't armed when arrested, and authorities were searching for the firearm.

Two other men who were in the car with Freeman earlier Monday during a chase that reached 100 mph also were in custody, but their names weren't immediately released.

A sheriff's deputy tried to stop Freeman's vehicle for a traffic violation on Interstate 40 near Ash Fork around 10:45 a.m. Monday. The vehicle kept going, and a man who was thrown from the car was detained, authorities said.

A chase that reached 100 mph ensued until the suspect's vehicle became disabled and crashed into a culvert near the wildlife park, according to sheriff's officials.

They said Freeman exited the car and fired at least one shot at the deputy before disappearing into the forest.

A third man found near the vehicle after it crashed also was detained, sheriff's officials said.

It took more than three hours to evacuate about 200 people from the wildlife park after it was placed on lockdown and motorists in the area were warned not to pick up any hitchhikers.


Teaching officers about stress management

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

American Military University
Author: American Military University

By Leischen Stelter, editor of In Public Safety

When Vincent Van Ness started his law enforcement career 26 years ago, there was almost no mention of the high levels of prolonged stress he would experience. “When I started, they devoted about two hours in the police academy curriculum to stress management,” he said. “After that, it was expected that you were a grown-up and a big boy and if you couldn’t handle it, you should do something else. Thank heavens we’re smarter than that now.”

Van Ness spent 25 years working for the same sheriff’s office in central Florida. He is currently a lieutenant serving as the operational manager for the department’s aviation section, but has done a little bit of everything throughout his career. “I’ve done patrol work, investigations and special DUI enforcement, and I’ve spent several years as a plain clothes officer involved in surveillance and fugitive apprehension,” he said. The most difficult position he held was with the casualty benefits team, where he was tasked with making plans and arranging services for families of officers killed in the line of duty.

“I’ve personally known about 12 police officers who have been killed in the line of duty and I can think of just as many who have taken their own lives,” he said. “Some suicides were the result of bad decisions, but for the most part they stemmed from workplace stress and an inability to deal with it.”

Earlier in his career, the agency did not have critical incident stress protocol to help officers address trauma. “If you were involved in a shooting or a bad call, administrators might give you a few days off and throw a six-pack at you,” he said. “We ended up with a lot of psychologically damaged ‘walking wounded’ officers from using that approach.”

Today, most agencies require officers to take automatic time off and attend mandatory counseling sessions. During these sessions, officers are often taught about what emotions they may experience, what symptoms are normal and at what point they need to seek further assistance.

But officers still need more. They need in-depth education about stress and what techniques to use to manage stress.

Countermeasures and Techniques for Stress Management

In addition to being a full-time officer, Van Ness is also a faculty member in the criminal justice program at American Military University. One of the undergraduate courses he teaches is CMRJ202: Stress Management in Law Enforcement. This course addresses specific stress factors in law enforcement and teaches students about techniques and countermeasures to reduce stress.

Many agencies have started devoting more in-service training to stress management, but it still only amounts to a few hours a year on the topic. “The fact that AMU offers this course and gives officers eight weeks to learn about stress and how to manage it, is pretty remarkable,” said Van Ness. “Even in a criminal justice academic program, it’s not a topic that many universities devote an entire course to.”

AMU’s course starts by discussing the chemical components of stress and what happens when the brain is under stress. Students learn specific causes of stress in police work, including schedule changes related to shift work, administrative problems, involvement in a use-of-force incident, response to a traumatic event, or even personal finances and family problems.

After identifying what can cause stress, students learn about some of the countermeasures to alleviate or manage it. For example, learning proper breathing techniques can help combat stress in the short term. Students also learn about the importance of talking to someone about their stress, and leading a healthy lifestyle by eating properly and exercising regularly.

Van Ness said that one of the simplest things officers can do is acknowledge that they have a stressful job. “You’re not going to make it 25 years without acknowledging your stress. Otherwise, it’ll make you crazy. Acknowledge your stress and then learn how to deal with it in a healthy way,” he said.

During the course, Van Ness puts his years of experience to work and shares with students some of the stress management strategies that have worked for him. Eating well and getting exercise has helped him through a lot of tough times, he said. He also learned the importance of talking to his significant other about the reality of being a law enforcement family. “Being an officer is really stressful on families and you both have to be on the same page and know what you’re getting into,” he said.

Money is also a huge source of stress for officers. “I tell students they have to live within their means and not to let themselves get saddled with debt. The fact is, most officers don’t make a lot of money. It’s taken me 25 years to be a middle-class person. I paid for things in cash and drove junky cars for a long time. You have to be diligent about keeping your financial house in order,” he said.

He also recommends that officers recognize when they need a vacation. “So many officers carry 400 or 500 hours of vacation time on the books. It’s no wonder they’re stressed out. Learn to give yourself a break,” he recommended.

While being a police officer is an extremely stressful career, it is also very rewarding. Officers must learn about the stressors they can expect to experience, acknowledge stress when it happens and know how to deal with it in a healthy way.


Photo: Fleeing Ariz. burglar pantsed by fence, found hanging upside down

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: American Military University

By PoliceOne Staff

TUCSON, Ariz. — Police received assistance from a fence and an alleged burglar’s baggy pants after the suspect got caught on the fence and was left hanging upside down.

According to Fox 10 Phoenix, a locksmith was working at a local school Friday when he saw a man attempting to break into different classrooms. The suspect fled when he saw the locksmith and attempted to hop the spiked fence in front of the school, Tucson News Now reported.

The suspect’s pants got caught on a spike, causing him to flip upside down and pantsing him in the process.

Jesse Sensibar and Kristin Woodall passed by and snapped the photo.

School officials told Tucson News Now that the man was arrested, no one was injured and no students were at the school due to spring break.

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One more reason not to jump fences in baggy pants. I saw this homie hanging around at the Miles School this morning when...

Posted by Jesse Sensibar on Friday, March 24, 2017


Neb. tribal officer passes away on duty

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

OMAHA, Neb. — Officials said an officer with the Omaha Tribal police died while on duty over the weekend.

The Santee Sioux Nation Tribal Police wrote in Facebook post that Sgt. Curtis Blackbird died while “serving his community.”

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Department offered their condolences as well and thanked Blackbird for his “years of service to the community.”

No additional details were released.


AG Jeff Sessions: Sanctuary cities must end

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is continuing its tough talk against "sanctuary cities," which shelter people living in the country illegally by refusing to help the federal government enforce immigration laws.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he is "urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws."

He says the Justice Department will require compliance with immigration laws in order for the cities to receive grants through the Office of Justice Programs. The Obama administration had a similar policy in place.

President Trump had said during the campaign that he would "defund" sanctuary cities by taking away their federal funding.

But legal precedent suggests that would have been difficult to do.

Sanctuary cities include New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as many smaller municipalities.


The new Sonim XP7 handset: Capabilities that cops will appreciate on duty

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Lindsey J. Bertomen
Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

I tested the new Sonim XP7, an indestructible broadband handset designed for public safety. I said handset, not cell phone. It looks like a phone, and can do everything that a mere mortal cell phone can do, but it can also do a lot more.

The XP7 is slightly larger and heavier than a smartphone. Specifically, the XP7 is 137 millimeters x 72.1 millimeters x 20.8 millimeters and weighs 290 grams. It fits fine in my back pocket.

The XP7 is as close to indestructible as a handset can get. To put this into perspective, there are several handheld devices that went back to their companies after my tests in Ziploc bags. I have returned them with handwritten notes explaining how sorry I was for destroying them.

Field testing and specifications

Playing the role of the patrol officer looking for his phone the day after a water rescue, I submersed the XP7, then came back more than 24 hours later to a still-working device. The specifications state to only do this for 30 minutes. The screen does not dial underwater, but officers will appreciate that the phone can be washed off. I have used my own cell phone after stepping under the “Police Line” tape, and I wanted to buy a new one or sterilize it. I dumped a bottle of alcohol (and some gun oil, oops) on this device and it still worked perfectly.

The Sonim XP7 runs 4.4 Kit Kat in a quad-core MSM8926 1.2 GHz This allows efficient (battery saving) operations for simultaneous multitasking communication capabilities, like voice, data and location. The public safety version of this handset will handle all of the current and projected public safety bands and commercial 700 MHz Band Class 14 LTE wireless spectrums. In a nutshell, if your agency is considering a communication device that lacks technological obsolescence, this is it.

I beat this phone up, and it never failed. The high resolution daylight readable WVGA touch screen is made of Gorilla glass. The case is a double injected fiberglass for crush and drop resistance. No matter where I was, if anyone noticed this handset, I threw it at them. This was my real-world test that went beyond the “6.5 drops onto hard surface” specifications.

The touch screen does not work underwater, but the PTT button does. The Gore protective vents over the very loud (103db) speaker allows for communication, even while the guys in the red engines are busy in your crime scene.

Compared to my iPhone, the XP7 got better fringe area reception and even held on to Wi-Fi better.

Sonim’s perspective

Tony Martwick, SVP Corporate Strategy and Public Safety at Sonim, told me there has been a tremendous shift in public safety technology. Originally, public safety was predominantly focused on voice communications. When smart phone technology came to the market, public safety augmented voice with broadband. For law enforcement, it’s about situational awareness and perspective. Now there are three levels of mission-critical services – voice, data and video – often integrated into applications.

Martwick said there were four must-haves for a public safety handset: a loudspeaker, PTT, reliability and a long-lasting battery. The XP7 has all of these, plus four simple programmable buttons and a touch screen. It does have two cameras, plus a pretty good light for stills and videos.

If we look at other things police agencies do, the XP7 is peripheral ready. Think fingerprint scanners, license readers, sensors and drug detection.

Additionally, there has to be some sort of bridging technology for agencies to talk to other agencies in completely different modes, such as LTE to LMR radio.

Martwick told me the majority of firefighters in most regions in the country are volunteer. Giving them a handset that is integrated with the major communication system gives the entire region more operational support than the old pager system. Using the same concept, an officer in a smaller department can be quickly integrated into a major agency’s communications for multijurisdictional operations. This can support something as simple as a pursuit that crosses jurisdictional lines or a series of connected crime scenes.

The Sonim XP7 4800 mAh battery gives 1000 hours of standby and 40 hours of talk time. No, I’m not making this up. I used it as my primary device for a week without charging it.

The XP7 uses open APIs (it can be programmed by the end user/administrator) and the Android SDK (software development kit) allows for custom apps for an agency or a need-specific interface.

How good is this product? I would gladly replace my not-so-smart phone with an XP7 any day because of its usability.


Police: 1 dead, 5 injured in Fla. shooting

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

Associated Press

SANFORD, Fla. — Investigators say one person is dead and five others — including two young children — are being treated for injuries following a shooting in central Florida.

Sanford police spokeswoman Bianca Gillet tells local news outlets that four people were shot in a house following what appears to be a domestic violence incident early Monday. She says two innocent bystanders were also shot in another location in Sanford, which is northeast of Orlando.

She says the children are ages 7 and 8, and that all five shooting victims are in critical condition.

#Breaking: Sanford police tell us 6 people shot. 1 dead in shooting. 2 victims are children. Believed to be domestic.#WFTV pic.twitter.com/195GVwijS6

— Jeff Levkulich (@jlevkulichWFTV) March 27, 2017

Gillet says a police officer heard the shots at the second location and was able to capture the suspect. A weapon was found.

The names of the shooting victims haven't been released.

No further details were immediately available.


Suspects sought in deadly Cincinnati nightclub shooting

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

null
Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

By John Minchillo and Dan Sewell Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati police searched for suspects in a nightclub shooting that left one man dead and 16 other people injured and sent club patrons diving to the ground to dodge bullets in what they described as a chaotic and terrifying scene.

A gunfight broke out inside the crowded Cameo club early Sunday after a dispute among several patrons escalated into a shootout, authorities said. Some 200 people were inside the club near the Ohio River, east of downtown Cincinnati at the time.

"What we know at this point in the investigation is that several local men got into some type of dispute inside the bar, and it escalated into shots being fired from several individuals," Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said. It was not immediately clear how many people fired shots.

The chief updated the number of injured to 16 on Monday morning, saying another person had come forward. He said it doesn't appear there was any video footage of the shooting. He also said the nightclub had metal detectors, or wands, but it wasn't something the club was required to have.

Mayor John Cranley called the shooting of so many people enjoying themselves at a club "absolutely unacceptable."

"We live in a city and a country where we ought to be able to go out and have a good time and not be terrorized by gun violence," Cranley said at a Monday morning update.

City manager Harry Black said he believes the city is safe but security must be continuously worked on.

"Cincinnati does not operate in a vacuum," Black said. "We have issues which are sort of like a microcosm of what's going on in the rest of the country and we're going to have incidents that are going to occur."

O'Bryan Spikes, 27, was killed and 16 other people were injured. At least five victims remained hospitalized Monday morning. A University of Cincinnati Medical Center spokeswoman said shortly before daybreak that two were in critical condition and three were in stable.

No suspects were in custody in the shooting at the club, which police said has a history of gun violence.

Club patron Mauricio Thompson described a chaotic scene in which as many as 20 shots were fired as people scrambled to get away. He said there was a fight and people were yelling for security to intervene before the gunfire began.

"Once I got outside, people coming out bloody, gunshot wounds on them, some of their friends carrying them to the car, rushing them to the hospital," Thompson told WCPO-TV. "It was just crazy."

Another patron told the television station that she dove to the ground outside of the nightclub to dodge bullets, and that her boyfriend climbed on top of her to protect her.

"I thought I was going to die. At that point survival skills started kicking in," said Sherell, who preferred not to give her last name. "Once I heard the third shot — I didn't know whether it was coming from outside, someone was shooting at the club, or whether it was coming from inside."

Isaac said the club has its own security operation that uses detection wands and pat-downs, but that police believe several firearms somehow got inside. Four officers were working security in the club's parking lot and some tried unsuccessfully to revive the man who died.

The club has a history of gun violence, including a shooting inside the club on New Year's Day in 2015 and one in the parking lot in September of that year, City Manager Harry Black said.

Four candles illuminated a makeshift memorial outside the club on a foggy Monday morning. A poster dedicated to Spikes said "R.I.P. Lucky" and "Father Son Uncle Brother!!" The club's operator said it will remain closed until the police probe and an internal investigation are completed.

Cameo's Facebook page, which later was taken down, said it caters to college students on Friday nights, when anyone over 18 is allowed in, while Saturdays are "grown and sexy night" for ages 21 and older.

"Saturday night, it is a very young crowd. We have had incidents here in the past, but this is by far the worst," Police Capt. Kim Williams said.

Authorities asked anyone with information on the shooting to come forward. Investigators were checking to see if surveillance cameras were working, Williams said.

The operator of the nightclub, Jay Rodgers, released a statement Sunday night calling the shooting "senseless."

"We will do everything in our power to cooperate and make sure the monsters that did this are caught and brought to justice," said Rodgers.


Okla. officer dies after being shot by fleeing suspect

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

TECUMSEH, Okla. — An officer has died from his injuries after he was shot three times while pursuing a suspect during a traffic stop.

Officer Justin Terney, 22, pulled over a vehicle and asked a man to exit the car Sunday night. He began to search the man, but the suspect fled on foot into a wooded area, KOCO reported.

Terney deployed his TASER in an attempt to stop the suspect, but it had no effect. Police said the suspect opened fire on Terney and shot him three times. Terney returned fire, hitting the suspect four times, KFOR reported.

Assistant Police Chief J.R. Kidney told KJRH that the suspect may have fled because he had an outstanding warrant.

Terney and the suspect were transported to a local hospital where Terney died. The suspect is listed under an unknown condition, according to KOCO. Police confirmed he underwent surgery and is in the ICU.

Terney graduated from the police academy last summer. He was on the police force for one year, KFOR reported.

A woman who was driving the car the suspect was in is also in custody .

An investigation is ongoing.

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The men and women of the Oklahoma City Police Department extend their most heartfelt condolences to the family of...

Posted by Oklahoma City Police Department on Monday, March 27, 2017


Ga. cop found dead by fellow officer

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By Lauren Foreman The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — A Henry County police officer was found dead behind the Publix grocery store off Loop Road and Ga. 20, officials said.

A fellow officer found Officer Mike Reid during a routine patrol, spokesman Capt. Mike Ireland

“Any loss of life is unbearably sad and to lose one of our brothers or sisters in the police department, it weighs heavily on all of our hearts,” the department posted on it’s Facebook page.

The GBI is investigating what led to the officer’s death.

No other details were released.

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Media Release It is with heavy hearts we are providing notification of the untimely death of one of our officers, Mike...

Posted by Henry County Police Department on Friday, March 24, 2017

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©2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)


Alaska K-9 fatally shot, suspect killed

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By Michelle Theriault Boots Alaska Dispatch News

WASILLA, Alaska — A Wasilla man was shot and killed by troopers early Sunday after he led police on a high-speed chase and opened fire on a police dog, killing the animal, Alaska State Troopers said.

At 2:50 a.m. Sunday, troopers tried to make a traffic stop on a Subaru Legacy around the area of Bogard Road and Helen Lane in Wasilla, according to a dispatch posted online.

The driver sped away, leading officers on a 45-minute chase that ended when troopers disabled the vehicle with spike strips near milepost 45.5 of the Parks Highway.

"The driver of the Subaru exited the vehicle, ignored commands from AST and attempted to flee," the dispatch said. When troopers deployed a K-9, the driver "turned and fired a handgun," striking the dog, troopers said.

"Troopers returned fire, striking the suspect," according to the dispatch.

The man, 36-year-old Justin Quincy Smith of Wasilla, was taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center but died of his injuries.

Public records show that Smith was a longtime Alaska resident who had lived in Sitka and Bethel before more recently living in Wasilla.

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said she couldn't answer additional questions about the shooting on Sunday, including the name of the K-9. The officers involved will not be named for 72 hours, per department policy.

Smith had two warrants out for his arrest, for second-degree assault and a probation violation, troopers said.

The dog was the second troopers K-9 slain in the Mat-Su in the past year.

On Sept. 25, a trooper dog named Helo was shot by a suspect during a traffic stop in Palmer, according to investigators. Helo was the first AST K-9 killed in the line of duty.

The death is the second fatal trooper-involved shooting this year. In February, troopers shot and killed Jean Valescot, a 35-year-old Big Lake man, after an armed standoff involving his young son.

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©2017 the Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage, Alaska)


Baltimore mayor may cut $5.5M from police

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Yvonne Wenger The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Mayor Catherine Pugh wants to cut at least $5.5 million from the Baltimore Police Department to help plug a shortfall in the schools budget, under a developing plan to better control police spending she outlined Wednesday.

Pugh — who is expected to release her administration's first budget next week — said she is developing a strategy to control police overtime spending and has directed Police Commissioner Kevin Davis to find cuts in the department's $480 million budget.

She said any savings will be directed to the city schools system, which is facing a $130 million budget shortfall and the threat of 1,000 teacher and staff layoffs.

Police overtime spending this year is expected to top $40 million, greatly exceeding the $16 million set aside for the expense.

"I am going to hold them to a police overtime budget," Pugh said. "Our overtime budget continues to grow over almost every administration.

"I am still looking at their budget currently. Let me just say, $42 million will not be their overtime budget."

Pugh wouldn't say how much money she thinks is reasonable for the Police Department to spend on overtime.

To rein in costs, Pugh said she is investigating whether the department has enough technology and oversight in place to grant overtime only when necessary and appropriate.

She also is looking to former Mayor Kurt Schmoke, now president of the University of Baltimore, for advice.

———

©2017 The Baltimore Sun


With upcoming events, Pa. city up for challenge of keeping visitors safe

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Andrew Goldstein Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PITTSBURGH — In his 25 years with the FBI, Wendell Hissrich had to concern himself with security of large crowds while working at command posts of major national and international events, from the first Obama inauguration in 2009 to Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia in 2015.

Those events drew crowds of a million or more and were peaceful, but Mr. Hissrich’s first exposure to a mass gathering while working for the FBI was anything but. At the World Trade Organization’s ministerial conference in Seattle in 1999, mass protests that turned violent caused the Washington governor to declare a state of emergency and brought widespread criticism upon the city for its lack of preparation.

“There were a lot of things done wrong there,” Mr. Hissrich said.

Although nothing has reached that level in Pittsburgh since Mr. Hissrich took over as the city’s public safety director in January 2016, he said he was concerned by some of the violence he saw at special events — largely in Downtown — over the summer.

High-profile crime incidents made headlines seemingly after every big event: a shooting on Liberty Avenue following Fourth of July Fireworks; juveniles fighting and causing disturbances throughout the Golden Triangle during the Regatta; a car crash critically injuring two people just outside Pride Fest in the Cultural District.

As a result, Mr. Hissrich said he and other city officials have “fine-tuned” event planning, starting the preparation earlier and bringing the various components in the public safety department together.

As the weather turns warmer and millions of people are expected to attend events in Downtown, the public safety department faces the challenge of keeping visitors safe as business owners and event planners try to attract as many people as they can.

“Downtown’s a showcase, and it’s under a microscope for public safety,” Mr. Hissrich said in a recent interview at the City-County Building. “Anything that happens there is going to be well publicized, but crime is not really excessive down there.”

Event Planning

When then-candidate Donald Trump visited Pittsburgh in April for the first time on his campaign trail, thousands of supporters and protesters came together in the streets near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The rally was mostly peaceful, but a clash between protesters and police resulted in several arrests and injuries.

Officials decided changes were needed after reviewing that event.

“There has to be a clear-cut chain of command,” Mr. Hissrich said. “Who is in charge? And that person needs to be in charge of the entire event.”

Since then, Mr. Hissrich said, preparation has become more consistent between the city’s police, fire and EMS departments. An entity comprised of a police commander, an assistant chief or the chief of fire and an assistant chief from EMS make their plan together.

“Before, the planning was done separately by police, fire and EMS, and two weeks before they’d all come into a room like this and all try to put their plan together,” Mr. Hissrich said. “A lot of times it was cohesive. Many times it wasn’t.”

Mr. Hissrich said one of the first things he noticed when he took over the public safety department was that planning for special events didn’t start as early as it could have. Planning for events now begins the day the permit for the event is issued.

Officials can plan all they want, but it’s still hard to know what’s going to happen the day of an event.

To prepare, officials research trends and gather intelligence to try to predict — and prevent — outbreaks of violence. Mr. Hissrich said authorities will look at what happens in other cities and plan accordingly.

The reaction to some violence has been as simple as checking bags and using metal-detecting wands. Portable lights have been brought in to illuminate dark areas. Extra security cameras from elsewhere in the city have been moved to high-traffic locations during events.

Other responses are more complex. Attempting to thwart an attack such as the one that happened in July in Nice, France, when a terrorist killed dozens as he drove a truck through a crowd, the city started moving public works trucks and Port Authority buses into positions that block vehicles from entering areas where a large number of people might be during events.

Intelligence and presence

The EQT Three Rivers Regatta in August was considered by most to be successful, with events on the rivers returning after a year’s hiatus. But outside of the confines of Point State Park on the final night of the Regatta, a wave of trouble was washing over the rest of Downtown.

Groups of juveniles were running amok, getting into altercations with civilians, police officers and each other. Several minor injuries were reported, and more than a half-dozen arrests were made.

“The night of the Regatta I came across two probably 20-year-old girls who were in tears because they were scared, and I made sure they got to their car,” Mr. Hissrich said. “I don’t blame them.”

Mr. Hissrich said authorities had information that problems might occur on the Saturday night of the Regatta. Extra resources were brought into town that night, and in the end nothing happened.

“But it did occur on Sunday night, and we probably did not bring enough resources into town,” Mr. Hissrich said.

The takeaway: Bring in more resources earlier and continue to bring more as problems persist.

Mr. Hissrich said officials appeared to avert issues at Light Up Night festivities in November doing just that.

When authorities learned through monitoring social media that juveniles were planning to come Downtown to cause problems, plainclothes officers were dispersed throughout the crowd.

“They blend in and they listen to what’s being said,” Mr. Hissrich said. “If there’s any intel which hints that there’s going to be problems, we start moving uniformed police officers and resources to that problem area.”

City officials and Downtown community members agree that police presence is the keystone to public safety, not only at special events but on a daily basis.

Along with putting more officers on the street, the plan is to have a police substation in the Cultural District that will be staffed 12 to 16 hours a day and can function as a command post during events.

“I’ve heard the saying ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’ ” said John Valentine, executive director of the Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corp. “I think having a satellite station, more police presence at these big events just make a world of difference.”

Day to day

Only a small amount of the crime that occurs in Downtown happens during big events. For those who live and work in the Central Business District, public safety is an essential issue.

Drug dealing and abuse in Market Square once again became problematic in the past year. The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership recently decided to remove tables and chairs from the square after lunchtime to deter troublemakers from loitering there.

Several violent incidents have occurred in the last few years at the Wood Street T station, including a shooting in September that left a 17-year-old boy critically injured. Police have increased their presence in the area, particularly around 3 p.m. when teenagers from rival neighborhoods cross paths on their way home from school.

Officials believe police presence can increase public safety day to day, just as it does at big events.

Mr. Hissrich said the police substation will be in operation by the end of the year. He said he was hoping to have it open earlier, but there’s been “some minor hang-ups” on negotiations with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, which may lease a space to the city.

He said that the regular work for mounted police units — which the city recently announced it would bring back after 14 years — will be in Market Square. Officers on horses would fill the absence of a beat cop in the square, which has been without one for over a year.

“We [support] any action that is being taken because we’re happy to see that there is an action taken,” said Brian Gorder, manager of Diamond Market in Market Square.

“It’s a positive sign that people are working together,” said Jordan Nicholas, owner of Nicholas Coffee. “It may not be the right solution the first time, but I’m confident we’ll get it right eventually.”

Mr. Gorder and Mr. Nicholas said programming, such as outdoor movies, concerts and sports-watch parties are in the works to give the square a more family-friendly vibe this summer.

But no matter what happens, and even if safety cannot be guaranteed at all times, stakeholders still believe people will flock to Downtown for big events or a night on the town.

“You can talk about high-profile incidents anywhere in the world,” Mr. Valentine said. “I can show you high-profile incidents in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. ... But that can’t stop you from living.”

———

©2017 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Mo. police receive grant for DUI education

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Lake News Online

LAURIE, Mo. — The Laurie Police Department has new equipment to better highlight the dangers of drunk driving. The LPD recently received a state grant through the Missouri Department of Transportation for "drunk goggles," portable breathalyzers and a hand-held radar gun.

Laurie Police Chief Mark Black and Assistant Chief Angela Nickerson attended a MoDOT Highway Safety Division, Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety Conference at MoDOT headquarters in Jefferson City last week, according to a press release from the LPD. Black said they were honored to be one of only three police departments in Missouri to receive equipment provided through a grant.

According to Black, the LPD received approximately $3,500 in safety equipment, including a $2,000 Stalker hand held radar gun which calculates speed, six drunk goggles ($200 each), which are an educational tool that imitates intoxication levels from "buzzed" to "wasted," and several portable breathalyzers.

Full story: ‘Drunk goggles’ to help Laurie police educate public about dangers of drunk driving


Chicago police union: Head to meet Trump officials

Posted on March 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago's police union says its head will meet members of President Donald Trump's administration and that deadly violence in the nation's third largest city is expected to be on the agenda.

A Fraternal Order of Police statement doesn't say if Trump could participate in the Washington meeting. But it notes the Republican president, in the union's words, has referenced "bloodshed and shootings" that seem to have Chicago in a "death grip."

It didn't provide details on when Chicago police union leader Dean Angelo will meet White House officials.

The Department of Justice released a report in January that concluded civil rights abuses permeated Chicago's 12,000-officer force. The next step is an agreement on reforms. But the union endorsed Trump for president and activists worry Trump won't press for sweeping reforms.


UK terror attack: Perpetrator used WhatsApp, firm must help police get access

Posted on March 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Gregory Katz Associated Press

LONDON — Westminster Bridge attacker Khalid Masood sent a WhatsApp message that cannot be accessed because it was encrypted by the popular messaging service, a top British security official said Sunday.

British press reports suggest Masood used the messaging service owned by Facebook just minutes before the Wednesday rampage that left three pedestrians and one police officer dead and dozens more wounded.

As controversy swirled over the encrypted messages, police made another arrest in Birmingham, England, where Masood had lived. The 30-year-old is one of two men now in custody over possible links to the attack. Neither has been charged or publicly named.

Masood was shot dead on the grounds of Parliament.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd used appearances on BBC and Sky News to urge WhatsApp and other encrypted services to make their platforms accessible to intelligence services and police trying to carrying out lawful eavesdropping.

"We need to make sure that organizations like WhatsApp — and there are plenty of others like that — don't provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other," she said.

Rudd did not provide any details about Masood's use of WhatsApp, saying only "this terrorist sent a WhatsApp message and it can't be accessed."

But her call for a "back door" system to allow authorities to retrieve information is likely to meet resistance from the tech industry, which has faced previous law enforcement demands for access to data after major attacks.

In the United States, Apple fought the FBI's request for the passcodes needed to unlock an iPhone that had been used by one of the perpetrators in the 2015 extremist attack in San Bernardino, California.

The FBI initially claimed it could obtain the data only with Apple's help, but ultimately found another way to hack into the locked phone.

Masood drove a rented SUV into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before smashing it into Parliament's gates and rushing onto the grounds, where he fatally stabbed a policeman and was shot by other officers. A detailed police reconstruction has found the entire attack lasted 82 seconds.

Police are trying to pinpoint his motive and identify any possible accomplices, making the WhatsApp message a potential clue to his state of mind and his social media contacts.

Rudd said attacks like Masood's would be easier to prevent if authorities could penetrate encrypted services after obtaining warrants similar to the ones used to listen in on telephone calls or — in snail mail days — to steam open letters and read their contents.

Without a change in the system, she said terrorists would be able to communicate with each other without fear of being overheard even in cases where a legal warrant has been obtained.

Rudd also urged technology companies to do a better job at preventing the publication of material that promotes extremism. She plans to meet with firms Thursday about setting up an industry board that would take steps to make the web less useful to extremists.

British police investigating the attack say they still believe Masood, a 52-year-old Briton, acted alone and say they have no indications that further attacks are planned.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said it may never be possible to fully determine Masood's motives.

"That understanding may have died with him," Basu said Saturday night as police appealed for people who knew Masood or saw him to contact investigators. "Even if he acted alone in the preparation, we need to establish with absolute clarity why he did these unspeakable acts, to bring reassurance to Londoners."

The Islamic State group, which is losing territory in Iraq and Syria but still has radical followers in other parts of the world, has claimed Masood was a "soldier" carrying out its wishes to attack Western countries.

Masood had convictions for violent crimes in the U.K. and spent time in prison. He also worked in Saudi Arabia teaching English for two years and traveled there again in 2015 on a visa designed for religious pilgrimages.

Along with the man arrested Sunday, a 58-year-old man detained in Birmingham several days ago remains in custody in the case. Nine others arrested after the attack have been freed without charges, while one person was released on bail.

The family of slain police officer Keith Palmer, meanwhile, released a statement thanking those who tried to save his life.

"There was nothing more you could have done. You did your best and we are just grateful he was not alone," the statement said.


Police: ‘No apparent reason’ for shooting on Vegas Strip bus

Posted on March 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sally Ho Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A man sitting at the back of a public bus on the Las Vegas Strip opened fire "for no apparent reason" as passengers got off at a stop in the heart of the tourism corridor, police said Sunday.

Gary Breitling, 57, of Sidney, Montana, was shot and killed Saturday before the gunman barricaded himself in the vehicle, shutting down the Strip for hours, the Clark County coroner's office said. He died at a hospital.

Rolando Cardenas, 55, has been accused in the shooting, and he surrendered peacefully after a standoff inside the double-decker bus that lasted more than four hours, police said.

He was booked into jail on suspicion of murder, attempted murder, burglary and opening fire on the bus. An attorney for him could not immediately be found.

The bus had stopped on the Strip near the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino and passengers were leaving when Cardenas stood up and fired several rounds from a handgun, police said.

Another victim suffered injuries and was hospitalized but was expected to live. Both victims were seated in the back with Cardenas, police said.

It was not known how many people were on the bus at the time of the shooting, but the bystanders and the victims had fled. Police have started a hotline seeking to hear what those passengers witnessed.

Because authorities did not know if more victims were inside, crisis negotiators, robots and armored vehicles surrounded the bus. Officers swept into casinos to warn tourists to hunker down until further notice, leaving the normally bustling pedestrian areas and a road notorious for taxi-to-taxi traffic completely empty.

Visitors also hid out inside some of the other prominent hotel-casino properties nearby, including the Bellagio, Paris, Planet Hollywood and Bally's, which also hold restaurants, shops and attractions.


1 dead, 15 injured in Cincinnati nightclub gunfight

Posted on March 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By John Minchillo and Dan Sewell Associated Press

CINCINNATI — A gunfight broke out inside a crowded Cincinnati nightclub early Sunday, leaving one man dead and 15 others wounded after a dispute among several patrons escalated into a shootout, authorities said.

No suspects were in custody by late afternoon in the shooting at the Cameo club, which has a history of gun violence, and police said there was no indication of any terrorism link.

Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said one of the wounded was in "extremely critical condition," while a hospital spokeswoman said two victims were listed in critical condition.

Police began receiving calls at 1:30 a.m. about gunshots at the club near the Ohio River east of downtown Cincinnati. Isaac said some 200 people were inside the club, one of the few hip-hop venues in the city, for music and dancing.

Isaac identified the dead man as 27-year-old O'Bryan Spikes, but provided no other details. He said 15 others were injured, with some already treated and released from hospitals.

"What we know at this point in the investigation is that several local men got into some type of dispute inside the bar, and it escalated into shots being fired from several individuals," Isaac said. It wasn't clear how many people fired shots.

Club patron Mauricio Thompson described a chaotic scene in which as many as 20 shots were fired as people scrambled to get away. He said there was a fight and people were yelling for security to intervene before the gunfire began.

"Once I got outside, people coming out bloody, gunshot wounds on them, some of their friends carrying them to the car, rushing them to the hospital," Thompson told WCPO-TV. "It was just crazy."

Isaac said the club has its own security operation that uses detection wands and pat-downs, but that police believe several firearms got inside. Four officers were working security in the club's parking lot and some tried unsuccessfully to revive the man who died.

Cameo's Facebook profile says it caters to college students on Friday nights, when anyone over 18 is allowed in, while Saturdays are "grown and sexy night" for ages 21 and older.

The club has a history of gun violence, including a shooting inside the club on New Year's Day in 2015 and one in the parking lot in September of that year, City Manager Harry Black said.

Police Capt. Kim Williams said there was "just a lot of chaos, obviously, when shots were fired."

"Saturday night, it is a very young crowd. We have had incidents here in the past, but this is by far the worst," she said.

Referring to initial speculation about possible terrorism, Mayor John Cranley said: "What difference does that make to the victims? Innocent people were shot."

He called the shootings "unacceptable" and said authorities would work to find ways to prevent such violence.

A single body was removed by the coroner shortly after 6 a.m. A federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives team was also at the scene.

Among the injured, five were treated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and released, hospital spokeswoman Kelly Martin said. She said two people were in critical condition and another two were listed in stable condition. She had no details on the types of injuries or the ages of the victims. Other injured people were taken to or drove themselves to other hospitals.

Authorities asked anyone with information to come forward. Investigators were checking to see if surveillance cameras were working, Williams said.

An Associated Press phone call to the club Sunday morning went unanswered.

The area is mostly industrial but also home to several nightclubs with a smattering of homes. A regional airport is nearby. The neighborhood is fairly desolate at night, with the exception of the nightlife scene and 24-hour gas stations. The road where the club is located was easily cordoned off by a single police cruiser and officer at either end.

First responders had problems reaching the shooting victims because the parking lots were full, Sgt. Eric Franz told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said on Twitter that he was "saddened to learn about last night's shooting" and that he was offering the state's assistance.


1 dead on Vegas Strip shooting, gunman barricaded on bus

Posted on March 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By Sally Ho Associated Press LAS VEGAS — A gunman barricaded himself inside a bus Saturday along the Las Vegas Strip after a shooting that left one person dead, officials said.

The attack prompted a partial closure of the busy boulevard.

The standoff began after a shooting was reported on Las Vegas Boulevard in the heart of the Strip near the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino.

University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen said two people were taken to the hospital after the shooting.

She said one died and the other was in fair condition.

Police say they do not believe there are any other suspects. No further information was available.

#BREAKING 1 dead, 1 hurt in Las Vegas Strip bus shooting. Suspected shooter believed to be barricaded on this bus. We are LIVE @News3LV pic.twitter.com/txvnCtXqMC

— Kyndell Nunley (@KyndellNews3LV) March 25, 2017

1 shot along Las Vegas Strip; suspected shooter barricaded on bus, according to @LVMPD https://t.co/aTScCQvvae pic.twitter.com/XSYdIN8TMn

— KTLA (@KTLA) March 25, 2017


Dallas raised more than $500K for mentoring program that pairs cops, kids

Posted on March 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By Tasha Tsiaperas The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — Dallas police officials hope 300 of its officers will act as mentors in the Bigs in Blue program, a branch of the one-on-one mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

The effort was announced Thursday at Dallas Police Headquarters, and the Bigs in Blue program received $550,000 in grant funds and donations from Dallas residents, including $500,000 raised at the Crystal Charity Ball.

The mentoring organization has also partnered with law enforcement agencies in Chicago, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles and New York City through the Bigs in Blue program.

The Dallas officers who choose to volunteer will each be matched with one of the 1,000 kids on the waiting list in the local chapter. The pairing could help officers better understand minority and at-risk communities, said Pam Iorio, chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

"We cannot live in a country where there are strained relations and tensions between police and the communities they serve," she said.

Assistant Police Chief Paul Stokes said the program is an extension of the outreach the Dallas Police Department does with Dallas youth. The department hosts youth athletics programs and educational events that teach kids how to interact with cops.

"This is all about one-on-one relationships ... with the most vulnerable demographic within our community," Stokes said.

But, he said, the program will also teach the officers more about where the children come from.

"We need to learn from them. We need to grow with them," he said.

———

©2017 The Dallas Morning News


La. officer convicted of manslaughter in boy’s death

Posted on March 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MARKSVILLE, La. — A Louisiana law enforcement officer was convicted Friday on a lesser charge of manslaughter in a shooting that killed a 6-year-old autistic boy, a gruesome encounter captured on tape by another officer's body camera.

Jurors found Derrick Stafford guilty of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter charges, multiple news outlets reported. He had faced charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the case.

Stafford, 33, and another deputy city marshal opened fire on a car — killing Jeremy Mardis and critically wounding his father — after a 2-mile car chase in Marksville on the night of Nov. 3, 2015.

Video from a police officer's body camera shows the father, Christopher Few, had his hands raised inside his vehicle while the two deputies collectively fired 18 shots. At least four of those bullets tore into Jeremy, who died within minutes.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement that his office is happy with the verdict,

"As we have said all along, our goal in this case was to get justice for Jeremy Mardis, his family, and the people of Louisiana. Today, that happened," the statement said.

Stafford's sentencing is set for next week.

The Advocate reports that Stafford testified Friday that he shot at the car because he feared Few was going to back up and hit the other deputy, Norris Greenhouse Jr.

"I felt I had no choice but to save Norris. That is the only reason I fired my weapon," Stafford said.

Greenhouse, 25, faces a separate trial on murder charges later this year.

Stafford cried when a prosecutor showed him photographs of the slain first-grader. He said he didn't know the boy was in the car when he fired and didn't see his father's hands in the air.

"Never in a million years would I have fired my weapon if I knew a child was in that car. I would have called off the pursuit myself," Stafford said.

Two other officers at the scene — a third deputy city marshal and a Marksville police officer — didn't fire their weapons that night. Prosecutors said the officers weren't in any danger and shot at the car from a safe distance, with none of their bullets hitting the front or back of Few's vehicle.

Jurors heard testimony that Stafford fired 14 shots from his semi-automatic pistol. Stafford said Greenhouse stumbled and fell to the ground as he tried to back away from Few's car.

Stafford and Greenhouse are black. Few is white, and so was his son.

Defense attorneys accused investigators of rushing to judgment, arresting the officers less than a week after the shooting. One of Stafford's attorneys has questioned whether investigators would have acted more deliberately if the officers had been white.

Stafford's attorneys tried to pin the blame for the deadly confrontation on Few. They accused the 26-year-old father of leading the four officers on a dangerous, high-speed chase and ramming into Greenhouse's vehicle before the gunfire erupted.

During the trial's opening statements, defense attorney Jonathan Goins called Few "the author of that child's fate." Goins also said Few had drugs and alcohol in his system at the time of the shooting.

But prosecutors said none of the father's actions that night can justify the deadly response. Marksville Police Lt. Kenneth Parnell, whose body camera captured the shooting, testified that he didn't fire at the car because he didn't fear for his life.

Few testified on Tuesday that he never heard any warnings before two officers fired. He said he learned of his son's death when he regained consciousness at a hospital six days after the shooting, on the day of Jeremy's funeral.

A prosecutor, Matthew Derbes, asked Few if he regrets not stopping his car when he saw the blue lights from an officer's vehicle.

"Most definitely," Few said. "Every day."

But he insisted he was driving safely and wasn't trying to escape. Few said he kept driving in hopes of catching up with a girlfriend in a van ahead of him, so that she could take care of his son if he got arrested.

"The whole reason there was even a chase was for his well-being," he said.

Stafford, a Marksville police lieutenant, and Greenhouse, a former Marksville police officer, were moonlighting on the night of the shooting.

Before the shooting, Stafford and Greenhouse both had been sued over claims they had used excessive force or neglected their duties as police officers. The Marksville Police Department suspended Stafford after his indictment on rape charges in 2011, but reinstated him after prosecutors dismissed the charges.


Quick-thinking officer pulls deputy from path of oncoming car

Posted on March 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By Bill Lindelof The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Quick thinking by a police officer early Thursday prevented a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department deputy from suffering more serious injury when a car plowed into police cruiser causing a chain-reaction crash involving three patrol vehicles parked along Franklin Boulevard.

The alert officer noticed an oncoming vehicle in the pre-dawn hours and pulled the deputy to the side, preventing the crashing car from causing him further harm.

The incident began after a sheriff’s deputy had pulled over a suspected stolen auto about 1:15 a.m. The driver of the suspected stolen car was cited and released.

Later, about 2 a.m., the deputy’s patrol vehicle and two Sacramento police vehicles were parked along Franklin Boulevard near Mack Road. The owner of the vehicle had arrived on the scene and was sitting in one of the police cars, which was parked in a row in front of another police car and the deputy’s squad car.

The deputy was outside the vehicle on the passenger side of a police patrol car and was speaking to the rightful car owner, who was seated in the back seat. Next to him was a Sacramento police officer.

When the officer looked up, she saw a vehicle barreling toward the police car northbound on Franklin Boulevard. It was then that she took action.

“Our officer did not believe the car was going to stop,” said Officer Linda Matthew, Sacramento police spokesman. “So she grabbed the sheriff’s deputy to alert him and pull him out of the way. He was still hit, perhaps by the door of the car, but his injuries could have been a lot worse because he was leaning into the car.”

The oncoming car hit the first police car hard, pushing it into the other police car, which then crashed into the deputy’s vehicle.

“It was a domino effect,” Matthew said.

Five ambulances arrived on the scene to transfer six people to the hospital. The deputy was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries.

The registered owner of the stolen car, the driver of the car that crashed and her front-seat passenger all complained of pain. Two small boys in the back seat of the oncoming car, ages 3 and 5, were taken as a precaution to the hospital.

———

©2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

6 people, including two kids and a deputy, were hospitalized after a car crashed into officers investigating a stolen veh in S. Sacramento pic.twitter.com/rfZN8hSD0P

— Brian Hickey (@kcraBrianHickey) March 23, 2017


Study: Chicago stop-and-frisk numbers drop, more work needed

Posted on March 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By Don Babwin and Sophia Tareen Associated Press

CHICAGO — A study of the Chicago Police Department's stop-and-frisk procedures released Friday revealed a dramatic decrease in the number of stops since an American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois lawsuit, but found that officers were still targeting racial minorities.

The report by former U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys, the first one issued under an agreement the city reached with the ACLU in 2015, was not surprising to ACLU officials. The organization expected the decrease because of changes in the law and a deal the organization reached with the department that requires officers to fill out more detailed reports of stops than they once did.

According to the report, the number of investigatory stops fell from more than 1.3 million in 2014 and 2015 to just over 54,000 in the first six months of 2016.

"We needed something to change, those numbers just could not continue," said Karen Sheley, director of Police Practices Project at the ACLU of Illinois. She said the rate of stops in Chicago on a per capita basis was more than four times than it was in New York. The number of stops has dropped dramatically in New York as well.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department would "carefully review the recommendations" and work on implementing reforms while "protecting civil rights of the public." And Chicago's city attorney, Edward Siskel, said the report documents the city's "dedication to fully adopting the new policies and procedures."

But Sheley said more work needs to be done, pointing out that while the number of stops has dropped, blacks still make up more than 70 percent of those who are stopped even though they account for about a third of Chicago's population.

During the presidential campaign last fall, then-nominee Donald Trump endorsed the stop-and-frisk policing method for Chicago when calling the city out for its high number of homicides and shootings. But a federal judge earlier ruled that New York City's practice was unconstitutional because of its overwhelming impact on minority residents.

The new report comes as Chicago police are trying to regain public trust in the wake of a video that shows a white officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014. An ensuing Justice Department report this year found the Police Department had a long history of civil rights violations and excessive force.

The report also included a statistic that might surprise those who criticized the department, both on and off the force, when the 2015 agreement with the ACLU was reached. At the time, critics wondered if reducing the number of stops might decrease the number of illegal guns taken off the street. But the report found that of the 18,364 stops involving a pat-down search, frequently called stop-and-frisk, 465 weapons were recovered — a fraction of the thousands of guns the department takes off the street every year.

"They don't get a lot of guns from those stops anyway," Sheley said.


Vehicle attacks: easy success for IS, challenge for police

Posted on March 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By Dominique Soguel Associated Press

BASEL, Switzerland — In the battlefields of Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State group became infamous for its spectacular variations on explosive vehicles. For attacks in the West, it has advocated the use of the same tool but suggested a simpler method, encouraging its followers to use regular vehicles to achieve bloodshed.

Experts say that vehicle attacks — whether IS-inspired or coordinated — present a unique challenge for law enforcement officials as they are nearly impossible to predict and easy to pull off. They require no advanced training, no specialized materials. Almost anyone can own or rent a vehicle.

Some feel that these low-tech, lone wolf operations can have the same psychological impact as larger, more sensational attacks. Four people were killed in London on Wednesday with this tactic in what was the worst attack on British soil since the transport network bombings on July 7, 2005.

Charlie Winter, a senior research fellow at the London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, says what makes such attacks so frightening is the relatively low barriers to entry. The method was embraced by al-Qaida before being revitalized by IS.

"It makes for a very effective unsophisticated high impact, very frightening form of an operation," he said. "You don't need to know someone who can make you a bomb or buy you a gun in order to carry out an attack. It's a very difficult thing to fight against. There is no quick fix."

British authorities on Thursday identified Khalid Masood as the man who mowed down pedestrians with an SUV and stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament. The British national wasn't on a terrorism watch list although he was once investigated for extremism. IS claimed the attack.

Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence group, says it is almost impossible for law enforcement agencies to stop IS-inspired attacks, especially vehicular-style ones like the one in London. Since 2014, this simple but effective method has been laid out repeatedly and in detail in IS propaganda material which continues to circulate online.

"It's not a style of attack that you can monitor by increasing security and intel on who has weapons or other attention-grabbing variables," Katz told The Associated Press. "Every car suddenly turns into a possible weapon, so it's really very difficult to stop."

Vehicle attacks, like knife attacks, are aggressively promoted by IS and its online supporters. In its November issue of its online magazine Rumiyah, IS extolled the virtues of the car as a weapon of attack and offered guidance to its followers, suggesting the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as a possible target.

"Vehicles are like knives, as they are extremely easy to acquire," points out the online magazine issue. "But unlike knives, which if found in one's possession can be a cause for suspicion, vehicles arouse absolutely no doubts due to their widespread use throughout the world. "

Two weeks later, an Ohio State University student rammed his car into a group of pedestrians on campus and then got out and started stabbing people with a butcher knife before being gunned down by a police officer. IS claimed the attack, which left 11 people wounded.

The devastating potential of such violence was dramatically illustrated last summer in the French beach town of Nice when a cargo truck took to the crowds celebrating Bastille Day in an attack that left 86 people dead and hundreds of others wounded. A truck was also used in last year's Christmas market attack in Berlin that killed 12 people, including the driver of the truck that was commandeered.

In the London attack on Wednesday, the weapon of choice was an SUV. Katz sees the similarities between these attacks as evidence that IS propaganda is taking hold and that more needs to be done to counter it. Winter says that the impact of propaganda is overplayed and a copycat effect is also a factor.

Omar Ashour says these attacks are gaining traction precisely because authorities have their defenses up. The IS leadership began urging attacks on the West after the U.S-led coalition launched airstrikes on the group. The message then evolved to spell out the best ways to use a knife or inflict the most damage possible with a car.

IS may provide "very detailed tactical information that helps the attackers to create more damage but there is a ceiling to that. They could not do as much damage as firearms or bombs would do. The capacity to execute largish, more complex operations is extremely limited," says Ashour, a lecturer in security studies at the University of Exeter.

Anne Giudicelli, director of the security risk consultancy firm Terrorisc, says that such attacks are becoming a signature approach for IS in Europe. While not much more can be done to boost security on the ground, more can be done to fight the spread of IS ideology online, and cooperation between European countries confronting this threat can be tightened.

"At the level of strict security, the maximum is done," she told the AP. "The authorities are confronted to the fact that all the outward signs, what we call indicators, the criteria for surveillance, are today very volatile because individuals adapt, they know what will get them detected."


Miss. governor signs bill doubling penalties for anti-police crimes

Posted on March 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — People who commit crimes in Mississippi against law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency workers will face doubled penalties starting July 1.

Gov. Phil Bryant on Friday signed House Bill 645 , the "Back the Badge Act," meant as a response to killings of police officers last year in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Mississippi is the third state, after Louisiana and Kentucky, to enact such a "Blue Lives Matter" law.

A former deputy sheriff, Bryant said Mississippi needed to do more to protect first responders, citing the death of two Sumrall volunteer firefighters earlier this month. They were killed directing traffic in a hit-and-run by a driver whom authorities say was drunk.

"As a former law enforcement officer, I all too well understand the challenges that occur every day, when you put that badge on and you go to work," said Bryant, a Republican.

The governor said he believes the law will deter people from attacking officers.

The law expands Mississippi's existing hate crimes law, which enhances penalties for crimes committed because of a victim's race, religion, national origin or gender. The measure says it shouldn't be interpreted to limit free speech — addressing concerns about people being punished for protesting police behavior.

During earlier debates, some lawmakers warned they feared that police would use the heavy penalties as a shield to abuse black men. Others said supporters were trying to turn the national conversation away from police violence against African-Americans.

House Speaker Philip Gunn, a Clinton Republican, praised first responders for "keeping evil at bay," while Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said it was an expression of gratitude.

"In the great state of Mississippi, we not only respect those men and women who put on the badge every day and go and protect us, we celebrate your efforts, we thank you for your efforts," said Reeves, also a Republican.

Bryant also signed House Bill 1367 , which bars people from intimidating witnesses, lying under oath about their knowledge of a crime, or encouraging witnesses to lie about a crime.


NH leads effort to view overdoses as crime scenes

Posted on March 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — A New Hampshire training program that teaches police officers and prosecutors how to treat drug overdoses as crime scenes is emerging as a model for other states grappling with the opioid crisis.

Outgoing Attorney General Joe Foster launched the training last summer so that officers could learn how to trace bad batches of drugs to the source, with the goal of charging dealers — particularly large suppliers — who cause overdoses with "death resulting," a previously little-used charge that carries up to life in prison.

That training now serves as a blueprint for other attorneys general nationwide. The National Association of Attorneys General brought several New Hampshire officials to Washington in early March to draft training materials for wider use, and Foster himself has become a go-to person on the issue. He has spoken about New Hampshire's approach at a conference in Rhode Island, and Alabama officials have asked for more information. In Florida, Attorney General Pam Bondi says she frequently talks to Foster for ideas on fighting the drug crisis.

"The New Hampshire program just absolutely, in my mind, was the catalyst or the cha-ching moment of, 'Hey, this would be a wonderful training to take nationally," said Mark Neil, counsel for the National Association of Attorneys General's training division.

Officials from Ohio, Massachusetts and Florida have also been involved in drafting the national training materials, but Neil said New Hampshire has driven the process.

New Hampshire is one of many states, including Ohio, Maine, West Virginia and New Jersey, where authorities are filing homicide, involuntary manslaughter or related charges against dealers. They argue that overdose deaths should be treated as crimes leading to stiff sentences, and can serve as a deterrent to others.

Officials say New Hampshire stands out because its training was the first that brought local, state and federal officers and prosecutors together to share information and to make sure everyone is approaching overdose scenes in the same way — as a crime scene rather than an accidental death. The training teaches police how to gather evidence such as cell phone records that could be traced back to the dealer and how to safely handle fentanyl, the potent drug now responsible for the majority of New Hampshire's overdoses.

"Before this was happening, officers would walk into a scene where an individual had passed away and it was dealt with as almost a matter of routine," said Ben Agati, a senior assistant attorney general in New Hampshire. "It wasn't seen as an opening or an opportunity to investigate the end of the drug distribution network."

But critics say this tough new approach doesn't work.

"We've tried to arrest and prosecute our way out of drug problems before to no avail," said Mark Sisti, a criminal defense attorney who has represented several people facing "death resulting" charges. "We're not getting drug overdose death prosecutions against the big guys; we're getting them against the small guys."

Others argue that resources could be better spent on getting people help instead of prosecuting lower level dealers, such as someone who is using drugs themselves and shares with a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Law enforcement officials admit it may be too soon to know whether the approach is effective and they didn't provide data on what amount of drugs has been taken off the streets. Since the training, New Hampshire's justice department has charged 11 people with "death resulting," up from just one the year before. Local departments have sent the AG's office 114 cases for more investigation, and county attorneys also pursue death resulting charges on their own.

For Foster, who pushed the training, prosecution is just one piece of tackling New Hampshire's addiction crisis. But he said people who knowingly cause deaths must face some culpability.

"I'm told by law enforcement that there's chatter about the fact that if you cause a death you may well be looking at some significant jail time, so hopefully there'll be some deterrence," Foster said.


Double amputee Marine vet becomes NY cop

Posted on March 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. — A double amputee Marine veteran fulfilled a childhood dream Friday when he was sworn in as a police officer.

Matias Ferreira, 28, is believed to be the first full active duty double amputee officer in the United States. He and 59 other recruits were sworn at the Suffolk County Police Department graduation, the department wrote on Facebook.

Ferreira was in Afghanistan on a tour with the U.S. Marines in 2011 when he stepped on an IED and lost both of his legs below the knees. He also suffered a broken femur and pelvis.

Ferreira told Newsday that he didn’t let the titanium prosthetics hinder him from becoming an officer. He knew he just had to work harder.

“I was given a second chance,” he said. “Not many people survive an IED blast like I did. I don’t want to be one of the guys who just kind of gives up on themselves.”

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LIVE NOW: 168th SCPD ACADEMY GRADUATING CLASS PRESIDENT MATIAS FERREIRA

Posted by Suffolk County Police Department on Friday, March 24, 2017

Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said Ferreira, who was elected president of his recruit class, is the “quintessential example” of what they look for in their officers.

“This is someone who served our nation, paid a significant sacrifice, and is now able to overcome adversity in a tremendous way,” Sini told Newsday. “He’s done a terrific job as a recruit in the academy, both physically, academically and in his leadership to the other recruits, and he’s going to make a fine officer.”

During the 29 weeks of training, Ferreira completed everything his fellow recruits did. He completed his mile and a half within 11 minutes and received no special accommodations, even when police leaders asked if he needed them.

Lt. Steven Rohde said Ferreira’s answer was the same every time: “I don’t need anything, sir.”

“A lot of guys are like, ‘What happens if one of your legs break?’” Ferreira said. “‘I’m sorry to say, but if I break my leg, I go in the trunk, I put on a new one. If you break your leg, you’re out for a couple months, my friend.’”

He is scheduled to begin his patrol duties next week. According to the department, 43 recruits, including Ferreira have military experience.

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SCPD TO SWEAR IN 59 NEW OFFICERS TOMORROW, INCLUDING SUFFOLK COUNTY'S FIRST EVER DOUBLE AMPUTEE OFFICER The Suffolk...

Posted by Suffolk County Police Department on Thursday, March 23, 2017


Policing Matters Podcast: How Trump’s DOJ will differ from Obama’s

Posted on March 24, 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

Elections have consequences, and President Donald Trump's pick to serve as Attorney General and lead the Department of Justice may be one of the biggest consequences for American law enforcement. Put simply, Jeff Sessions represents “a new sheriff” at DOJ. It’s likely that Sessions will take resources that under Loretta Lynch — and Eric Holder before her — had been put toward initiatives related to things like same-sex marriage and gender identity, and reallocate those resources toward efforts on national security, terrorism, organized crime, and international gangs. Jim and Doug discuss other ways in which the DOJ will differ in the next four years from the DOJ of the previous administration.


Special tribute: When a great cop retires

Posted on March 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor
Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

Scott Edson of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department retires today as the chief of the LASD’s Special Operations Division – a leadership position that only exemplary individuals can handle.

The division includes homeland security, counterterrorism, intelligence, SWAT, air operations, crime analysis, information sharing, street gang investigations, emergency management, crisis negotiations, arson and explosives and the mental evaluation teams.

Edson is retiring after 39 years, four months and 12 days of county service. He is undoubtedly one of the most forward-thinking and progressive law enforcement officials I have ever met. His knowledge, acumen and progressive thinking have benefited the LASD and the law enforcement community as a whole.

When Edson told me about his retirement, I knew that it was a great move for him – but it would be an incredible loss to the department. However, LASD couldn’t be more supportive and grateful for his tour of duty. The department went above and beyond by filming this special video on his last ride on patrol with his son (also a deputy sheriff).

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You can really tell when a person truly loves their job, Chief Edson is getting ready to retire in a week after almost...

Posted by LASD Recruitment Unit on Friday, March 10, 2017 History of service

Edson’s service with LASD is impressive. Like most law enforcement officials, he wore many hats throughout his professional career – and it all started with an internship. Below is a timeline of his major milestones and career history with the department.

1977-1978 Intern at Temple Station 1978-1979 Off-the-Street Deputy 1979 Cadet Academy Class 194 1979-1981 Deputy at Men’s Central Jail 1981-1987 Firestone Station 1987-1990 Sergeant at Carson Station 1990-1998 Emergency Operations Bureau 1998-1999 Lieutenant at PDC-East Facility 1999-2000 Century Station 2000-2004 Data Systems Bureau 2004-2005 Information Systems Advisory Body 2005-2008 Technical Services Division HQ 2008-2013 Captain Communications and Fleet Management Bureau 2013-2015 Commander Technical Services Division 2015-2017 Chief Special Operations Division

His commitment to service is demonstrated in his advancement at LASD. From intern to chief, he continually evolved with the demands of the law enforcement profession and helped advance his department’s mission.

What’s next

Edson is always giving back to law enforcement. He has directly and indirectly contributed to so many organizations outside LASD.

For years he has been a very active member of several non-profits from the National Sheriffs' Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Major County Sheriffs' Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, the International Public Safety Association and several others.

Edson doesn’t just join an organization; he throws himself into leadership positions so he can make a difference, effect policy and ensure that local law enforcement always has a voice at the table. In addition to his charitable work, Edson has also been a longtime reader and resource to PoliceOne.

Like most truly dedicated law enforcement officials, Edson will continue helping all first responders after his career retirement. After a nationwide search, Edson was selected to serve as the new Executive Director of the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System, and he is committed to continue serving as Chairman of the Board for the International Public Safety Association.

I’ve been lucky throughout my professional career to meet, work and learn from so many great law enforcement practitioners. I first met Edson in 2005 when he was a lieutenant and our paths continued to cross over the years as we advanced in our careers.

Chief Edson, congratulations on your retirement and thank you for all of your years of law enforcement service.


UK police give details of London attacker, make more arrests

Posted on March 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless Associated Press

LONDON — Police are combing through "massive amounts of computer data" and have contacted thousands of witnesses as they look for clues about why a British-born man became radicalized and launched a deadly attack on Parliament, a senior police official said Friday.

As the fast-moving investigation led to more arrests and searches, police revealed that the attacker, Khalid Masood, was born Adrian Russell Ajao in southern England in 1964.

In a briefing outside Scotland Yard, London's top counterterror officer, Mark Rowley, said two more "significant" arrests had been made, bringing to nine the number of people in custody over Wednesday's attack.

Detectives have searched 21 properties in London, the central English city of Birmingham and Wales.

"We've seized 2,700 items from these searches, including massive amounts of computer data for us to work through," Rowley said, adding that contact had been made with 3,500 witnesses.

"We've received hundreds of uploads of video images to our online platform. Given this attack was in the heart of the capital we also, of course, are dealing with statements from a wide range of nationalities."

Masood drove his car into crowds of people on Westminster Bridge on Wednesday afternoon before fatally stabbing a police officer at the Houses of Parliament. He was shot dead by police.

An American man from Utah, a British man and British woman were killed on the bridge, and police officer Keith Palmer died at Parliament, police said.

The latest victim, who died in a hospital on Thursday, was identified as 75-year-old Leslie Rhodes from south London.

More than 50 people of a dozen nationalities were injured, 31 of whom required hospital treatment.

"Those affected include a real cross-section of ages from at least 12 nationalities," Rowley said. "It's a poignant reminder, I think, that the impact of this attack on the capital will reach around the world. "

Rowley said two police officers targeted in the attack have significant injuries. Two other people also remain in critical condition, one with life-threatening injuries.

The 52-year-old attacker was born in southeastern England and had most recently been living in Birmingham, where several properties have been searched by police.

Police say Masood has used several aliases and had a string of convictions between 1983 and 2003 for offenses including assault and possession of an offensive weapon.

Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday that Masood was "investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism" some years ago. But she called him "a peripheral figure."

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack. Police believe Masood acted alone, but Rowley said police are investigating whether he "acted totally alone inspired by terrorist propaganda, or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him."

Nine people remain in custody on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts.

Once his identity became known, police and the media began to trace the movements of the attacker in his final hours.

The manager of a hotel in the beachside city of Brighton where Masood attacker stayed the night before the incident said he seemed unusually outgoing and mentioned details about his family, including having a sick father.

"He was normal, in fact friendly, because we spent possibly five or 10 minutes talking to him about his background and where he came from," Sabeur Toumi told Sky News on Friday.

Police raided the room at the Preston Park Hotel in Brighton after the attack, searching for clues about Masood. Among the items seized were the trouser press and the toilet paper holder.

Further details of the aftermath of the rampage continued to emerge.

A former British army officer told the BBC on Friday that rescuers held the hand of Constable Keith Palmer and talked to him as they tried in vain to save his life after he was stabbed during the attack on Parliament.

Mike Crofts, a former army captain who served in Afghanistan, said he was in the courtyard outside the Houses of Parliament following a meeting with politicians about using boxing to engage young men when the attack took place.

"I rushed towards the scene," he said, and began first aid with another person in civilian clothes, who turned out to be Staff Sgt. Tony Davis, one of Crofts' instructors at Sandhurst, Britain's military academy. Ultimately, there were 20 to 30 people working to save the officer's life.

"Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we were unable to save him," Crofts said. "(Police Constable) Palmer at the time was surrounded by a whole host of colleagues who really loved him. We held his hand through the experience. We talked to him throughout, but unfortunately he passed away."


Wounded La. officer, fallen K-9 killed in shootout ID’d

Posted on March 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By Richard Burgess The Advocate

CROWLEY, La. — Three people and a police dog were killed and a police officer was wounded in a shooting here Wednesday night, authorities said.

Crowley Police Chief Jimmy Broussard said Officer Tate Thibodeaux, who was released from the hospital Thursday after treatment for a wound in the thigh, was a K-9 handler and was among six officers responding to a call about 10:30 p.m. of shots fired on Josey Street.

The suspect shot the K-9 handler after the officer approached the house with the police dog and kicked in the door, Broussard said. He said the suspect also shot and killed the dog when the officer released it.

The suspect, whom police did not identify, then came out of the house in the 400 block of Josey Street and began firing a weapon before other officers at the scene shot and killed him, Broussard said.

Inside the house, the police chief said, police found the body of woman and called State Police in to investigate the officer-involved shooting.

During their investigation, State Police went to an address in the 200 block of Oak Street to question a woman whose car the suspect had driven to the Josey Street address, Broussard said.

He said investigators arrived at the Oak Street about 6:30 a.m. to find a woman inside who was dead. He said they are still trying to determine the cause of death.

The suspect shot by police knew both women, Broussard said, but the nature of their relationship and possible motives for the shooting weren't known.

"We are still unsure of a motive," Broussard said. "The only thing we can say is that he knew both women."

The police dog, "Roscoe," was two years old and had been with the department for six months, Broussard said.

He said the officer who was wounded had a single gunshot wound to thigh and was resting at home following his release from the hospital early Thursday.

A man who witnessed the shooting on Josey Street identified one of the victims as his cousin, 41-year-old Katina Stevens.

Jonathan Keith LaFleur, who lives next door to Stevens, said he was watching the evening news with his cousin and two other friends when they heard a knock on the door.

"When she opened the door, he shot her," LaFleur said. "... It was so many rounds. He didn't stop."

LaFleur said the bullet struck another man in the arm, but he has since been treated and released from the hospital.

LaFleur said he ran out of the back of the house, fearing for his life.

"I felt the fragments flying from the refrigerator," he said.

LaFleur said he knows little about the man with the gun, only that he was interested in a relationship with his cousin.

"She wanted to move on with her life, and I guess he didn't want her to move on without him," LaFleur said.

He said he did not know the man's name.

LaFleur said his cousin was well known as a neighborhood nanny, caring and feeding for children in the area after school.

They called her "Momma Tina," he said.

"You should have seen the little kids last night holding their mamas," he said. "The kids came and the kids were screaming, 'Where is Mama Tina,'" he said.

___ (c)2017 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

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Chief Hal Hutchinson and the Officers of Chitimacha Tribal Police Department express their condolences to the Crowley...

Posted by Chitimacha Tribal Police Department on Friday, March 24, 2017


La. K-9 killed, officer wounded in shootout ID’d

Posted on March 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

By Richard Burgess The Advocate

CROWLEY, La. — Three people and a police dog were killed and a police officer was wounded in a shooting here Wednesday night, authorities said.

Crowley Police Chief Jimmy Broussard said Officer Tate Thibodeaux, who was released from the hospital Thursday after treatment for a wound in the thigh, was a K-9 handler and was among six officers responding to a call about 10:30 p.m. of shots fired on Josey Street.

The suspect shot the K-9 handler after the officer approached the house with the police dog and kicked in the door, Broussard said. He said the suspect also shot and killed the dog when the officer released it.

The suspect, whom police did not identify, then came out of the house in the 400 block of Josey Street and began firing a weapon before other officers at the scene shot and killed him, Broussard said.

Inside the house, the police chief said, police found the body of woman and called State Police in to investigate the officer-involved shooting.

During their investigation, State Police went to an address in the 200 block of Oak Street to question a woman whose car the suspect had driven to the Josey Street address, Broussard said.

He said investigators arrived at the Oak Street about 6:30 a.m. to find a woman inside who was dead. He said they are still trying to determine the cause of death.

The suspect shot by police knew both women, Broussard said, but the nature of their relationship and possible motives for the shooting weren't known.

"We are still unsure of a motive," Broussard said. "The only thing we can say is that he knew both women."

The police dog, "Roscoe," was two years old and had been with the department for six months, Broussard said.

He said the officer who was wounded had a single gunshot wound to thigh and was resting at home following his release from the hospital early Thursday.

A man who witnessed the shooting on Josey Street identified one of the victims as his cousin, 41-year-old Katina Stevens.

Jonathan Keith LaFleur, who lives next door to Stevens, said he was watching the evening news with his cousin and two other friends when they heard a knock on the door.

"When she opened the door, he shot her," LaFleur said. "... It was so many rounds. He didn't stop."

LaFleur said the bullet struck another man in the arm, but he has since been treated and released from the hospital.

LaFleur said he ran out of the back of the house, fearing for his life.

"I felt the fragments flying from the refrigerator," he said.

LaFleur said he knows little about the man with the gun, only that he was interested in a relationship with his cousin.

"She wanted to move on with her life, and I guess he didn't want her to move on without him," LaFleur said.

He said he did not know the man's name.

LaFleur said his cousin was well known as a neighborhood nanny, caring and feeding for children in the area after school.

They called her "Momma Tina," he said.

"You should have seen the little kids last night holding their mamas," he said. "The kids came and the kids were screaming, 'Where is Mama Tina,'" he said.

___ (c)2017 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

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Chief Hal Hutchinson and the Officers of Chitimacha Tribal Police Department express their condolences to the Crowley...

Posted by Chitimacha Tribal Police Department on Friday, March 24, 2017


Details emerge in domestic dispute that killed Wis. detective, 3 others

Posted on March 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Todd Richmond Associated Press

WESTON, Wis. — A man angry after a domestic dispute opened fire in a Wisconsin bank, killing two longtime employees, then killed an attorney at a nearby law firm and a detective trying to set a perimeter outside an apartment complex before he was finally captured, police said. His wife was unhurt.

The man, whom police would not identify, was hospitalized Thursday under police guard with nonfatal wounds, police said.

Citing an ongoing investigation, police released few other details of the shootings on Wednesday, including why the attorney was targeted and where the man's wife was. They said investigators had worked through the night to process multiple crime scenes and had more work ahead.

"It was a domestic incident," Everest Metro Police Chief Wally Sparks said. He called it an isolated incident that "evolved into tragic crimes."

The victims were identified as Everest Metro police Detective Jason T. Weiland, 40; Marathon Savings Bank employees Dianne M. Look, 67, and Karen L. Barclay, 62 and attorney Sarah H. Quirt Sann, 43.

Officials said Weiland was among officers who responded to the apartment complex in Weston following attacks at the bank in nearby Rothschild and the law firm in Schofield. The suspect was taken into custody after a standoff at the apartment complex.

Weiland spent 18 years in law enforcement, all in the Wausau area, including the last 15 years with the Everest Metro police force. He is survived by a wife and two children.

Look had been the branch manager at Marathon Savings since 1998, when she and her family returned to Wisconsin from South Dakota. She is survived by her husband of 25 years and their two children.

Barclay moved to Wisconsin in 1993 and had worked at the bank for more than five years. She is survived by a daughter and two granddaughters, ages four and seven.

The bank shooting was reported around midday. Officers arrived to find two people were shot and the suspect had fled.

A second call came about 10 minutes later from Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks law firm. The action then moved to an apartment complex in Weston.

Dozens of police vehicles were parked Thursday in front of the apartment complex, which was ringed by yellow crime-scene tape. Officers could be seen walking around with clipboards. Jason Smith, a deputy administrator for the state Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation, said more than 100 officers were investigating.

Kelly Hanson, a 21-year-old woman who lives in the complex, told The Associated Press that she looked out of her apartment window at around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday to see a squad car approach, and a few seconds later heard a gunshot and saw an officer fall. She said other officers put the wounded policeman in an armored SWAT vehicle and took him away. She couldn't tell if he was alive or dead.

Janet Schoenfeldt, who owns a hair salon behind the bank, said she was at the front desk around 1 p.m. Wednesday when squad cars poured into the parking lot, followed by ambulances. An officer then told her to close her shop and get out of the area.

"It's a sad reality. Someone taking innocent lives over something he's upset about," Schoenfeldt. "We're a small-knit community. You just don't think it will happen here. Everybody says that, but you know what? It does happen here."


Utah getting toughest drunken driving limit in the US

Posted on March 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Michelle L. Price Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's governor signed legislation Thursday giving the predominantly Mormon state the strictest drunken driving threshold in the country, a change that restaurant groups and representatives of the ski and snowboard industry say will hurt tourism.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert said lowering the blood alcohol limit for most drivers to 0.05 percent from 0.08 percent will save lives.

The change means a 150-pound man would be over the 0.05 limit after two beers, while a 120-pound woman could exceed it after a single drink, though that can be affected by a number of factors, including how much food a person has eaten, according to the American Beverage Institute, a national restaurant group.

Opponents, including the group, had urged Herbert to veto the bill , saying it would punish responsible drinkers and burnish Utah's reputation as a Mormon-centric place unfriendly to those who drink alcohol.

"People are going to try to say this is a religious issue. And that is just absolutely false. This is a public safety issue," the governor, who is Mormon, said at a news conference.

Restaurant groups said they don't support drunken driving but a 0.05 percent limit won't catch drivers who are actually impaired. Plus, the law is "a total attack on the state's hospitality industry, customers and the tourism industry," American Beverage Institute executive director Sarah Longwell said.

The group took out full-page ads Thursday in Salt Lake City's two daily newspapers and USA Today, featuring a fake mugshot under a large headline reading, "Utah: Come for vacation, leave on probation."

But proponents say the law will send a resounding message that people should not drink and drive — no matter how little somebody has consumed. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety applauded the change, saying it's a "sensible solution" to deter drunken driving.

If drivers are not impaired, they won't violate the law, said Rep. Norm Thurston, the bill's sponsor. The Republican says police won't measure someone's blood alcohol level until they have seen visible signs of impairment and the person fails a field sobriety test.

He also said Utah became the first state to lower its blood alcohol limit to 0.08 percent in 1983, and since then tourism has flourished.

Utah's Tourism Office said it's not concerned about the law discouraging visitors, noting that a number of foreign countries such as France, Australia and Italy have similar laws and don't have a problem attracting tourists.

"There's not many Mormons in Rome, and they're doing it there," Herbert quipped Thursday.

In the United States, the blood alcohol limit for most drivers is 0.08 percent, but limits vary among states for commercial drivers or motorists with a conviction of driving under the influence.

The National Transportation Safety Board has encouraged states to drop their blood alcohol levels to 0.05 percent or even lower, but it's met resistance from the hospitality industry.

Lawmakers in Washington and Hawaii had considered lowering their limits to 0.05 percent this year but both measures appear dead.

In Utah, the new law would take effect on Dec. 30, 2018, just before New Year's Eve.

In the meantime, Herbert said he plans to call lawmakers into a special legislative session this summer to improve the law. He said he wants legislators to consider a tiered punishment system with less stringent penalties for those convicted of driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 to 0.07 percent.

Utah has some of the lowest rates of fatal DUI accidents in the country, and though the population has boomed over the past decade, the DUI arrest rate has dropped.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving has taken a neutral position on the measure.

J.T. Griffin, a government affairs officer for the group, said in a statement that MADD is focusing on "countermeasures that work, such as ignition interlock laws for all drunk driving offenders and sobriety checkpoints."


Big Brothers Big Sisters receives $20K grant for police, youth mentor program

Posted on March 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By Becca Mann Omaha World-Herald

OMAHA, Neb. — Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands will receive a three-year grant from the WellCare Community Foundation to support a program that encourages good relationships between youths and police officers.

The Omaha area will receive $20,000 for the “Bigs in Blue” program, according to Nichole Turgeon, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands. The grants will be issued annually over three years.

The “Bigs in Blue” program recruits local law enforcement officers to participate as mentors to youth. Other cities receiving grants for the “Bigs in Blue” program include Chicago; New York; Louisville, Kentucky; and Orlando, Florida.

Full story: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands receives $20,000 grant for police-staffed mentor program


P1 Photo of the Week: A fallen hero

Posted on March 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Photograph Kaity Renae sent us this photo of Canonsburg Police Officer Scott Bashioum's funeral back in November 2016. Officer Scott Bashioum and the other officer were responding separately to an emergency call from neighbors at around 3:15 a.m. when they were "ambushed upon their arrival" and immediately shot. His partner was wounded, but Bashioum did not make it. Kaity Renae said the photo "shows the ultimate sacrifice that men and women in blue make to protect us."

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!


Trooper tapped as La. State Police leader

Posted on March 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Jim Mustian The Advocate

BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards on Wednesday appointed a veteran trooper from north Louisiana to lead the State Police on an interim basis, tapping a career lawman considered an outsider from the agency's beleaguered headquarters.

Maj. Kevin Reeves, a nearly 27-year veteran, takes the helm following the retirement of Col. Mike Edmonson, the longtime superintendent who announced last week that he would step down amid a series of investigations into questionable overtime charges and out-of-state travel involving high-ranking state troopers.

Reeves, 48, of Jonesboro, oversees the agency's patrols in 29 central and northern Louisiana parishes, a massive jurisdiction that authorities said equipped Reeves with exceptional organizational skills.

"He understands the geography of Louisiana. He understands its people and its culture," said Edmonson, who has known Reeves his entire career and promoted him twice. "I believe he is what State Police needs right now."

Edmonson's final day with the agency is Friday. Reeves, who will formally take the reins on Saturday, is expected to lead the agency for several weeks while Edwards searches for a permanent appointment.

"The State Police are called on to assist law enforcement in every corner of Louisiana and play a critical role in times of disaster," Edwards said in a prepared statement. "I have tremendous confidence in Kevin's ability to lead this agency."

In a telephone interview, Reeves said he has been told he is a candidate to become the permanent superintendent. State law requires the next chief be chosen "from the ranks of sworn, commissioned State Police officers who have graduated from the State Police training academy."

Edwards plans to name Edmonson's permanent successor by June.

Reeves said he hopes "to earn the trust and confidence of my peers within the department, as well as the trust of the citizens we serve."

"I'm planning to be transparent and realize that our department is accountable to the public," he added.

Reeves said the governor has granted him full authority to make changes, but he said it would be too soon to offer any specifics Wednesday. "I have some time to get my feet on the ground," he added.

Reeves takes the helm at a time of turmoil within State Police. The agency has been rocked by a scandal involving a group of troopers who charged taxpayers thousands of dollars in overtime and made pricey overnight stays in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon while driving to a law enforcement conference last year in San Diego.

That "side trip," as Edmonson has called it, prompted an internal investigation and a separate audit of State Police travel ordered by Edwards. The state Legislative Auditor's Office also is reviewing State Police travel records.

Several troopers also were served recently with federal subpoenas as part of an FBI investigation into unlawful political contributions made by the Louisiana State Troopers Association.

Several people familiar with the appointment described Reeves as a safe pick who will bring a fresh perspective to the agency's Baton Rouge headquarters. Edwards, in his statement, said Reeves "assumes this responsibility with a wealth of knowledge and the respect from his colleagues across the state."

"I have not heard one person say anything negative or derogatory about him," Rapides Parish Sheriff William E. Hilton said. "I believe the governor made a very good choice."

A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, Reeves began his State Police career in 1990 and was assigned to motorcycle patrol in the agency's Baton Rouge-based Troop A. By 1993, he had moved to Troop F in Monroe, where worked undercover narcotics investigations and also served as a squad leader for the agency's mobile field force. He was appointed commander of Troop F in 2008.

Asked how he differs from Edmonson, Reeves said he is "probably a lower-profile person" than the departing superintendent.

"Mike was very good at interacting with the media and with the public," he said. "It's going to be something I'll have to get accustomed to."

———

©2017 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.


Texas officer poisoned in patrol car

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

AUSTIN, Texas — An officer fell ill Saturday after he reported feeling nauseous while driving his patrol car.

Authorities said the officer was in his Ford patrol vehicle when he became nauseous, hit a curb and called for help, KRIS TV reported. He was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for carbon monoxide poisoning and released.

Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday told KXAN that there has been a nationwide problem with Ford Explorers making officers sick. He said they were recalled for a short while then brought back.

"This is just something the officer should not have to worry about, going to calls and passing out behind the wheel and causing an accident that could kill them or somebody else on the road," Casaday said.

He told the news station that Police Chief Brian Manley plans to buy carbon monoxide detector kits for the department’s explorers.


Officer killed in London terror attack was ‘strong, professional public servant’

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LONDON — The police officer who was among those killed during yesterday’s terror attack in London was honored across the city Thursday.

Fellow officers and other city employees honored Officer Keith Palmer, 48, and three other victims who were killed with a minute-long moment of silence, the BBC reported. Palmer was stabbed while attempting to stop the attacker in Parliament’s courtyard.

Officer killed in London attack identified as 48-year-old Keith Palmer, a 15-year Metropolitan Police veteran. https://t.co/In70ffYfKc pic.twitter.com/GIEV7vae1z

— ABC News (@ABC) March 23, 2017

He was a soldier in the Royal Artillery before he joined the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Squad, where he served for 15 years, the Associated Press reported.

Prime Minister Theresa May said Palmer was "a husband, a father ... he was every inch a hero … His actions will never be forgotten." His family described him as “dedicated to his job and proud to be a police officer, brave and courageous.”

As a mark of respect Keith's shoulder number - 4157U - will be retired and not reissued to any other officer #WeRemember #WestminsterAttack

— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 23, 2017

Longtime friend and Parliament member James Cleverly, who served with Palmer in the Royal Artillery 25 years ago, asked the Prime Minister to honor Palmer’s “gallantry and sacrifice formally with a posthumous recognition,” ITV News reported.

MP @JamesCleverly pays emotional tribute to Pc Keith Palmer saying he was a 'strong, professional public servant'https://t.co/jUTbuxH0YC pic.twitter.com/RbV3XMxpu1

— ITV News (@itvnews) March 23, 2017

Palmer was honored by Charlton Athletic Football Club as well. He was a loyal fan of the team and a “familiar face” at the stadium, the Associated Press reported. The club placed a red-and-white scarf on his seat where he sat “for many years” in the stadium as a tribute. It will remain there until the next game on April 4.

A scarf has been placed by Charlton Athletic on Seat 166 in the East Stand at The Valley - the seat of season-ticket holder PC Keith Palmer. pic.twitter.com/DuZg2cgY9g

— BBC South East (@bbcsoutheast) March 23, 2017

"Keith Palmer was killed while bravely doing his duty, protecting our city and the heart of our democracy from those who want to destroy our way of life," London Mayor Sadiq Khan told CNN. "He personifies the brave men and women of our police and emergency services who work around the clock to keep us safe — tonight all Londoners are grateful to them."

The assailant, who died by police gunfire after he stabbed Palmer, drove a car into a crowd of people on Westminster Bridge, wounding 40. According to CNN, the incident was the most lethal terror attack since the public transit bombings in 2005.

PC Keith Palmer's former team lay a wreath in memory of those who lost their lives yesterday #WestminsterAttack https://t.co/QRkLOW6Ken

— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 23, 2017


Cop saved by EMT, lifelong friend from carbon monoxide poisoning

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. — An EMT is being credited with saving his best friend and colleague from carbon monoxide poisoning earlier this month.

Seat Pleasant volunteer EMT Phil Martin was talking on the phone to his best friend and police officer Ricardo Biddy, who is also an EMT, March 3. Martin and Biddy have known each other since they were 7 years old.

After his shift, officer Biddy drove home and was sitting in his police cruiser in his driveway talking to Martin on the phone, reported WJLA.

“He started to mumble about subjects, stuff that I was unfamiliar with, and then he was silent,” Martin said.

Following his instincts, Martin called 911 and immediately drove to Biddy’s home. “I found him unresponsive in his cruiser,” Martin said. “I pulled him out of his cruiser and tried to stimulate his chest.”

Officer Biddy was transported to the hospital as soon as responders arrived to the scene; he was treated and later released.

“To say that your best friend came to your aid and saved your life, it’s remarkable,” Biddy said. “I’ll forever be grateful to him.”

Martin was presented an award for his actions Wednesday, reported Baltimore CBS. “Your quick thinking and immediate action helped save the life of your friend and colleague and are commendable and worthy of recognition,” the award read. “Your actions reflect well on you personally and professionally and exemplify the excellent caliber of service we strive to provide at all times and in every circumstance.”

Prior to the incident, Biddy had complained twice about the exhaust fumes from his vehicle, but maintenance could not find a problem. The dealership later found a crack in a part of the vehicle’s engine.

The police department said Biddy’s vehicle was an isolated incident.

Ofc. Ricardo Biddy was found unresponsive in his cruiser, cabin filled w/ carbo monoxide. Vol. firefighter Phil Martin was on phone with him pic.twitter.com/gMcbNm0g0W

— Cheryl Conner (@ABC7Cheryl) March 22, 2017


K-9, 2 others dead, officer wounded in La. shooting

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CROWLEY, La. — Authorities say two people and a police dog are dead and a police officer is wounded after a shooting in south Louisiana.

State Police Trooper Brooks David says the Crowley Police Department officer was shot late Wednesday night while responding to reports of shots fired at a residence.

David says the officer was hospitalized in stable condition on Thursday.

David says police shot and killed a suspect after that person shot the dog and the officer. A second person's body was found at the scene. David says the cause of that person's death was under investigation.

Crowley Police Capt. Janet Kneeland referred questions to the city's police chief, who didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

A police officer with the Crowley Police Department has been shot. https://t.co/wpCakia6mu pic.twitter.com/D7PpZh6Tte

— KATC TV3 (@KATCTV3) March 23, 2017


Off-duty Mass. trooper dies while working out

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By O'Ryan Johnson Boston Herald

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — A state trooper working out while he was off-duty died yesterday after suffering a “medical emergency,” state police said.

The 31-year-old graduated from the State Police Academy in 2011 and was assigned to the Framingham Barracks, according to state police spokesman David Procopio.

Procopio said Framingham cops, firefighters and paramedics responded to the scene and the trooper was rushed to Framingham Union Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The trooper’s name was not released last night. Procopio said he was a married U.S. Air Force veteran.

———

©2017 the Boston Herald


IS group claims responsibility for London car, knife attack

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jill Lawless Associated Press

LONDON — The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Thursday for an attack by a man who plowed an SUV into pedestrians on a crowded London bridge and then stabbed a police officer to death on the grounds of Britain's Parliament.

The attacker was born in Britain and known to authorities who had once investigated him for links to religious extremism, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday in a sweeping speech in which she also encouraged Britons to go about their lives.

The Islamic State group said through its Aamaq News Agency that the attacker was a soldier of the Islamic State who "carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting citizens of the coalition" of countries fighting IS in Syria and Iraq. In addition to the police officer and the attacker, who was shot by police, two people died on Westminster Bridge and at least 30 others were injured, seven critically.

British officials did not release the attacker's identity or confirm a link with the Islamic State group, though May did say it would be wrong to describe the attack as "Islamic" extremism.

"It is Islamist terrorism," she said. "It is a perversion of a great faith."

The IS group has been responsible for numerous bloody attacks around the globe and has specifically called for Western followers to carry out this kind of attack in their own countries, though the group has also claimed attacks later found to have no clear links to it.

May set an unyielding tone Thursday in a sweeping statement before the House of Commons. While she honored the police, she also saluted the actions of millions of people who went about their lives as normal, describing it as proof that the act of terror failed.

"As I speak millions will be boarding trains and airplanes to travel to London, and to see for themselves the greatest city on Earth," she told the House of Commons. "It is in these actions - millions of acts of normality - that we find the best response to terrorism — a response that denies our enemies their victory, that refuses to let them win, that shows we will never give in."

Parliament began its moment of silence at 9:33 a.m., honoring the shoulder number of the murdered officer, Keith Palmer, a 15-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police and a former soldier. Then Parliament, which was locked down after the attack, returned to business — a counter to those who had attacked British democracy.

"Those who carry out such wicked and depraved acts as we saw yesterday can never triumph in our country and we must ensure it is not violence, hatred or division but decency and tolerance that prevails in our country," Trade Secretary Liam Fox said.

"Hear, hear!" lawmakers from all parties responded in unison.

Police believe the attacker acted alone and there is no reason to believe "imminent further attacks" are planned, she said. He had been investigated before but police believed he was a peripheral figure, May said. At least eight people were arrested in raids, some in the city of Birmingham, in the central part of the country.

Mayor Sadiq Khan called for Londoners to attend a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on Thursday evening in solidarity with the victims and their families and to show that London remains united.

London went on. Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge and several surrounding streets remain cordoned off by police. Scores of unarmed officers in bright yellow jackets were staffing the perimeter tape, guiding confused civil servants trying to get to work.

In Parliament's New Palace Yard, a blue police tent was erected over the spot where the stabbing and shooting occurred, and two forensic officers worked at a trestle table nearby.

Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley revised the death toll from five to four, including the attacker, the police officer and two civilians. He said that 29 people required hospitalization and seven of them were in critical condition. He also said that authorities were still working out the number of "walking wounded." Police had previously given the total number of injured as around 40.

One of those killed was Aysha Frade, a British national whose mother is Spanish, the Spanish Foreign Ministry said.

A doctor who treated the wounded from the bridge said some had "catastrophic" injuries. Three police officers returning from a ceremony to honor their bravery were among the injured.

May said people from 11 countries were among the victims. They included: 12 Britons, 3 French, 2 Romanians, 4 South Koreans, 1 German, 1 Pole, 1 Irish, 1 Chinese, 1 Italian, 1 American and two Greeks required hospital treatment. Police earlier said that seven of the 29 who are hospitalized are in critical condition.

The threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. was already listed at severe, meaning an attack was "highly likely."

President Donald Trump was among world leaders offering condolences.

London has been a target for terrorism many times over past decades. Just this weekend, hundreds of armed police took part in an exercise simulating a "marauding" terrorist attack on the River Thames.

May underscored that the attack targeted "free people everywhere," and she said she had a response: "You will not defeat us."

"Let this be the message from this House and this nation today: our values will prevail," she said.


Israel police arrest suspect in threats on US Jewish targets

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Daniel Estrin Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Israeli police on Thursday arrested a 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man as the primary suspect in a string of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers and other institutions in the U.S., marking a potential breakthrough in the case.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld described the suspect as a hacker, but said his motives were still unclear. Israeli media identified him as an American-Israeli dual citizen and said he had been found unfit for compulsory service in the Israeli military.

"He's the guy who was behind the JCC threats," Rosenfeld said, referring to the dozens of anonymous threats phoned in to Jewish community centers in the U.S. over the past two months.

The FBI, which had taken part in the investigation, confirmed the arrest but had no other comment.

The Anti-Defamation League says there have been more than 150 bomb threats against Jewish community centers and day schools in 37 states and two Canadian provinces since Jan. 9. Those threats led to evacuations of the buildings, upset Jewish communities and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism. The threats were accompanied by acts of vandalism on several Jewish cemeteries.

The threats led to criticism of President Donald Trump's administration for not speaking out fast enough. Last month, the White House denounced the threats and rejected "anti-Semitic and hateful threats in the strongest terms."

U.S. authorities have also arrested a former journalist from St. Louis for allegedly threatening Jewish organizations. Juan Thompson has been indicted in New York on one count of cyberstalking.

But Israeli police described the local man as the primary suspect in the wave of threats.

Israeli police said the suspect made dozens of calls claiming to have placed bombs in public places and private companies, causing panic and "significant economic damage," and disrupting public order, including by the hurried evacuations of a number of public venues around the world. The man is suspected of placing threatening phone calls to Australia, New Zealand and also within Israel.

Rosenfeld said the man called Delta Airlines in February 2015 and made a false threat about explosives aboard a flight from JFK airport in New York. The threat allegedly led to an emergency landing.

Rosenfeld said the man, from the south of Israel, used advanced technologies to mask the origin of his calls and communications to synagogues, community buildings and public venues. He said police searched his house Thursday morning and discovered antennas and satellite equipment.

"He didn't use regular phone lines. He used different computer systems so he couldn't be backtracked," Rosenfeld said.

After an intensive investigation in cooperation with FBI representatives who arrived in Israel, as well as other police organizations from various countries, technology was used to track down the suspect, Rosenfeld said.


Cops weigh in: Video technology’s impact on policing

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Cole Zercoe

In today’s world, you’d be hard pressed to find anything that’s having a bigger impact on law enforcement than video. From throwable robots to footage shot by the public, the rise of video technologies is shaping everything from training and policy to community relations and investigations. We asked our Facebook audience to weigh in on a series of questions related to video in policing, including the use of body-worn cameras, crowdsourcing video evidence, the future of video in policing, and much more.

1. What do you think is the most important/impactful video technology in modern policing?

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of our audience believes body-worn cameras are having the biggest impact on law enforcement today. As the adoption of this technology continues at a rapid rate, it’s important to review the many complex legal issues that are tied to the use of BWCs. Check out Terry Dwyer offers analysis of key cases all cops should know.

2. What video technology do you think will play the biggest role in 10 years?

Over 80 percent of our audience believes facial recognition is the video technology that will play the biggest role in law enforcement operations a decade from now. Keep an eye out this winter for the fourth part of our special coverage series on video, which will explore this and other future tech.

3. What is your biggest concern about the impact of video on the job of policing?

The biggest concerns our audience had with the rise of video technology broke down into three categories: legal issues, officer safety, and cost.

The camera doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story, and many officers are worried that the overreliance on video in court cases could cause trouble.

“The fact that video evidence and officer recollections might and will be different due to the human factor and how officers' bodies deal with high-stress situations, this will cause many officers to potentially be seen as dishonest,” one member wrote.

There are many signs of danger that a camera cannot capture, such as subtle changes in a suspect’s body language, that a trained eye will pick up. “It [video] does not encompass the entire situation, which is why we still write reports,” another member explained.

Are we heading into an age where a lack of video evidence unfairly undermines an officer’s credibility on the stand? Many who took the survey believed so.

“An officer is no longer taken at his word. Our testimony used to hold a lot of weight, but now if an offense/statement/etc. was not caught on video, it's as if it didn't happen. Prosecutors want that video before they will move on an offense even if we witnessed it,” one poll participant said.

Another common concern was the rise of “deadly hesitation” – the theory that police officers will be more hesitant to use justifiable force because they fear a negative response.

“The general public is not understanding of the emotions, fear, and quick decision-making involved in the actual incident. The video is unable to reflect this,” said one participant.

“I believe today's culture towards policing has negatively affected the way some officers respond in these situations and could pose a threat to safety. Some officers may be too afraid of negative reactions when they use the amount of force appropriate for a situation,” another added.

Finally, cost was a dominate/prevailing theme among responders, particularly when it comes to evidence management and public records requests.

“Public disclosure requests for any and all video forces agencies to comply with state law for disclosure and forces agencies to cease BWC programs due to the expense of complying with requests,” one member wrote.

4. Has video ever played a key role in clearing you of wrongdoing in a use-of-force case?

Nearly 40 percent of respondents said video played a key role in clearing them of wrongdoing in a use-of-force case. While it’s important to remember that recording devices such as BWCs are no panacea, this underscores the utility of them in these types of cases.

5. Should all police officers be equipped with body cameras?

Given the overwhelming push towards more transparency in law enforcement operations over the past several years, it’s inevitable that every street cop in America will be outfitted with a body camera at some point in the future. 62 percent of our audience agrees that all cops should wear the device.

6. Has your agency ever crowdsourced video evidence in a case?

In an age where nearly every member of the public has a camera in their pocket, crowdsourcing video and photo evidence in investigations can play a vital role in bringing criminals to justice. 40 percent of cops who took the poll say their agency has employed this strategy. Here’s our breakdown of the lessons learned from previous crowdsourcing cases and key considerations for police agencies.

7. Was video filmed by a civilian ever instrumental in solving a case at your agency?

It’s no surprise that the rise of amateur-shot video of police activity has been a boon for investigators in their hunt for criminals. Here’s how your agency can best obtain these pieces of evidence from the public.

8. Does your agency plan to use drone technology for surveillance/investigative purposes in the future?

UAVs have a staggering number of law enforcement applications, and while only 40 percent of respondents say their agency plans to use the technology for investigative purposes in the future, that number is likely to grow as the technology becomes more widespread. Check out our case study of how the LASD plans to implement the tech into their operations.


What future capabilities can police expect from dash cams?

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor
Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

Police dash cameras have evolved significantly since they were initially deployed in the early 2000s. A staple in most patrol cars, it’s truly amazing how much this tech continues to evolve. I reached out to Jaime Carlin, Communications Manager at WatchGuard Video, to learn more about today’s dash cams and what capabilities law enforcement can expect to see from the tech in the future.

1. What features do today’s dash cams have that are helping to improve officer safety?

Carlin: Today’s dash cams are improving officer safety in several ways. For example, in our product, the most recent and advantageous improvement is the ability to integrate VISTA body cameras with WatchGuard’s 4RE In-Car System. This integration provides multiple angles on a given incident. The synched systems are constantly monitoring the status of one another. If one begins a recording, the others can choose to begin recording as well.

Further, the 4RE In-Car system has a feature called "Record After the Fact." If the officer doesn’t have time to activate a recording, a video of the incident can still be retrieved by the agency’s administrator. This feature is recording in the background. If the video is needed, it can be marked and will be uploaded as evidence like any other recording. If the footage isn’t needed, it will be recorded over with subsequent use of the system.

Cameras in the in-car systems are continuing to improve. The panoramic camera has been particularly helpful in providing a broader field of recording (16:3 aspect) as well as having an additional HD camera view that can be rotated to the correct angle depending upon the stop/scene.

2. What advancements in dash cams can law enforcement expect to see in the near future?

Carlin: Expect to see cameras continue to improve with in-car systems. This will become essential for a variety of reasons, but chief among them will be the desire to integrate license plate recognition and facial recognition capabilities. In order to achieve integration of these two technologies, cameras will need to improve greatly. For example, facial recognition requires pixel resolution that yields an image containing approximately 50 pixels between the eyes. In addition to an improvement to the cameras for facial and license plate recognition, there will also have to be advancements with regard to processing power in order to run these recognition programs in real time.

The community and public are continuing to demand officers are equipped with video evidence tools. As that demand continues and grows, so will FOIA requirements for the departments. An important feature to in-car video will be the addition of significant redaction capabilities. WatchGuard has introduced a product that is by comparison quite intuitive and reduces the redaction time required; but as we continue to improve that capability, the industry can expect that it will become increasingly more accurate and turnkey.

3. How will these advancements benefit officer safety and investigations?

Carlin: With any improvement to what the cameras capture and the quality of the video captured through better pixel resolution, there is advancement in officer safety and benefit to subsequent investigation. Adding license plate and facial recognition to in-car capabilities will provide the officer an added advantage of subsidizing their intuition at a scene with precise information about whom they are interacting with.

4. With these new advancements, what policy issues will agencies need to address?

Carlin: Agencies will need to look closely at the privacy laws and rulings of legislative bodies as it pertains to this technology. Beyond that, there will need to be ideological investment within the community prior to deployment.

Conclusion

The future of dash cams looks promising. With industry leaders, like WatchGuard Video, exploring integration with other solutions like facial recognition and license plate readers, the utility and demonstrable return on investment of these systems will become much stronger.


How LASD is using a new video-enabled UAS to enhance public safety

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell recently announced the department’s acquisition of an unmanned aircraft system for use in search and rescue, explosive ordnance detection, hazardous materials incidents, disaster response, arson fires, hostage rescue, as well as armed and barricaded subjects calls.

The new UAS is assigned to the Special Enforcement Bureau, where it will be the most beneficial to units under its umbrella, including the Emergency Services Detail, Special Enforcement Detail, Arson/Explosives Detail and the HazMat Detail.

“Having such a versatile tool will soon prove to be a great asset because it can be quickly deployed and provide close up views of outlying subjects,” the agency said in a written statement. “The ability to rapidly gather otherwise inaccessible, yet vital, information during tactical operations is exponentially increased and can, thus, assist deputies to better determine the safest, most prudent and humane approaches to uncertain, isolated or hostile situations.”

Very specific missions

Captain Jack Ewell, who leads the new unit, told PoliceOne that the department had been looking at this type of technology for several years and waiting for the right time to be able to implement it. A confluence of recent events created the right opportunity to move forward with the effort to create the unit and acquire the technology.

“For the last few years, the regulations seemed very unclear about exactly when you can use them, how you can use them, how they’re regulated and that type of thing,” Ewell said. “The FAA last summer came out with real solid public safety guidelines which cleared all that up for us and seemed to make it pretty straightforward. And then at the same time the technology, the breakthroughs are just incredible. Even from just a few years ago until now, it’s night and day on how easy they are to operate, how safe they are, how efficient, how long they last. The cost dropped greatly over that period of time as well. So all those things combined made us decide that it was an appropriate time to launch our unmanned aircraft program.”

Ewell’s team consists of six deputies who each received a Remote Pilot Certificate with a small Unmanned Aircraft System rating from the FAA. Each deputy had completed a minimum of eight hours of supervised flight time in order to get checked off to operate the aircraft, and done weeks of studying to have the knowledge to be able to pass the written test and get the remote pilot license.

The UAS can remain aloft for 20-25 minutes without changing batteries, and if a mission requires more time aloft, the battery can be switched out in about one minute. But Ewell said that instances in which extended flight time will be required are likely to be rare.

“It may complement our manned aircraft program but it doesn’t take its place at all. We would not use the unmanned aircraft for surveillance purposes. So we don’t need it to be up for any kind of extended period of time. The type of missions we use it on would be a search and rescue in a particular area that our manned aircraft can’t cover.”

Indeed, LASD’s airborne unit is a substantial fleet, comprised of 13 Eurocopter A-Star patrol helicopters and three Super-Puma rescue aircraft as well as three fixed-wing aircraft — one Beechcraft King Air and two Cessna 210s. But it is far too dangerous for those aircraft to fly in some of the deep canyons in LASD’s jurisdiction. And they certainly cannot fly between trees under the canopy in search of a missing person.

The floor, not the ceiling

When talking about UAS or UAV technology, people sometimes get hung up on what the ceiling for a unit might be, but in reality, it’s the floor that really matters — it’s how low you can go and how small the spaces you can access. Further, a UAS can access places which would pose undue danger to deputies and officers.

“The unmanned aircraft can be used for looking into a vehicle, like if we had a barricaded suspect and don’t know if he is armed, he’s not coming out of the car, and we don’t want our deputies to approach it until it’s safe,” Ewell said. “The unmanned aircraft is the ideal piece of technology to move up right at the same level as the windshield of the vehicle, look in and see if this person is resisting. Or maybe he needs medical assistance. Maybe he’s unconscious. Is he armed? Using that information, you can safely bring your deputies up to solve the situation.”

Ewell envisions using their newly acquired technology primarily for EOD calls — the department gets roughly 500 of those every year. In such a case, the UAS can be 5 or 10 feet off the ground and view a suspicious package or suspected IED from all angles and see what its components are. Ewell said that the UAS can do that in a fraction of the time it would take to get a robot deployed.

“Hazmat spills — same thing. It’s going to be a first quick flight. You’re going to fly over the infected area, do an assessment and determine who needs to be evacuated, how far, what the spills consist of and that type of thing,” Ewell said.

Improving safety for all

“The dangers of law enforcement can never be eliminated,” said Sheriff McDonnell during a January press conference. “However, this technology can assist us in reducing the impact of risks on personnel and allow us to perform operations to enhance public safety.”

Recently, the LASD UAS was deployed for an armed, barricaded suspect who fired shots at officers.

“The unmanned aircraft was used to assist in safely resolving the situation without any injuries to law enforcement personnel,” Ewell told PoliceOne.

That incident is precisely the type of example of tactically sound leverage the UAS will bring for LASD personnel and the citizens they serve. With the ability to safely collect video of a situation such as those listed here, LASD will help to improve safety for everyone in their jurisdiction.


5 tactical considerations for throwable robot deployment

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Mike Wood
Author: Mike Wood

Leveraging technology to enhance public and officer safety is essential, and in just a handful of years, law enforcement agencies have come to depend on a variety of robot platforms to help them accomplish that goal. Perhaps one of the most helpful of these systems is the throwable robot – a lightweight, ruggedized platform that can literally be thrown into position, then remotely controlled from a position of safety.

An industry leader in this technology, Recon Robotics constantly receives positive feedback from tactical teams who have used their "throwbots"(a registered trademark) to great effect in the field. These systems allow tactical teams to collect vital intelligence through onboard video and audio systems that have increased safety and effectiveness when the teams are deployed, saving the lives of innocents, officers and even suspects.

In the words of one of these tactical teams, the most significant advantage of the throwable robot is that it "allows them to own the real estate with their eyes, before they pay for it with their bodies."

The throwable robot is a powerful tool, but as with any technology, there are limitations and issues which must be considered before it is employed. Some of these include performance limitations, battery life, incomplete information, suspect response and priority of life.

1. Performance limitations

Throwable robots are incredibly tough machines that are made to withstand environmental rigors, but they have their limitations. The machines are water resistant and can withstand short term immersions; however, they may not be capable of sustained operation in flooded environments. The machines can climb over some obstacles, such as doors or large, heavy items, but some surfaces or grades may be too much for them to handle and block their progress. Although the machines are designed to operate at a distance, building materials and construction may limit the effective range of signals, so teams should experiment with different structures and environments in advance to determine representative ranges. A smart operator will understand the limitations of the technology, have realistic expectations, and remain flexible enough to adapt when difficulties are encountered.

2. Battery life

Throwable robots have an excellent run time, but tactical situations like barricades and hostage negotiations can really run out the clock and push beyond the on-station time of these miniaturized systems. Tactical teams will need to develop plans for rotating throwable robots out so that batteries can be charged, and they may need to have multiple systems available to provide continuous coverage.

3. Incomplete information

Throwable robots can safely go places where we wouldn't send an officer and can provide tremendous intelligence. The audio and visual feeds can provide vital information and help to fill in many of the gaps in our understanding of a threatening situation. Yet, as wonderful an asset as they are, they cannot provide a complete picture. The camera eye can only see so much, and there are many critical elements of information that may go undiscovered or unrecognized. Weapons and people can be hidden from view, dangers can go unnoticed, smells (like gasoline or natural gas) are undetectable, and the microphone may fail to pick up vital communications. Throwable robots provide such an advance in situational awareness that it can be easy to forget that our understanding of the situation is still incomplete. Tactical commanders should always keep this consideration in mind as they develop and execute their plans.

4. Suspect response

Throwable robots are designed to operate quietly, which enhances their ability to get close to the target while avoiding detection. However, there is still a significant chance that the robot will be detected by the suspect or that the suspect may be alerted to it by others, including hostages. Unfortunately, law enforcement cannot predict how an alerted suspect will react to the presence of the system, so contingency plans must be in place before it is deployed. An agitated suspect may try to shoot at the robot (which provides valuable intelligence itself, such as confirmation of armed status, location identification and an indicator of willingness to surrender) and place nearby hostages or officers in danger.

This may also be a sign that the suspect may initiate direct violence against hostages or officers.

In the wake of the widely publicized, 2016 deployment of robot-borne explosives by the Dallas Police Department to eliminate an active shooter, a suspect may fear that the robot is an IED and be provoked into violence. When this system is thrown into a room, it may be mistaken for a less-than-lethal munition or a diversionary device by the suspect, convincing him that an assault may be imminent. Therefore, it bears repeating that tactical commanders should have contingency plans in place and be ready to execute them, in the event that the system’s presence changes or destabilizes the situation.

5. Priority of life

The Priority of Life model places innocents before law enforcement and law enforcement before suspects. Tactical commanders should be vigilant to ensure that throwable robot deployments are conducted in accordance with this model.

For example, officers should not be encouraged to take unnecessary risks in order to deploy a throwable robot (such as approaching the target without suitable cover and protection). Similarly, commanders should not risk the lives of their personnel to recover a damaged, trapped or stranded system, as we have regrettably seen in some tactical operations. If the deployment of a throwable robot destabilizes a volatile situation and creates the threat of violence against innocents, then it should be delayed or appropriate safeguards should be emplaced before it is used.

Throwable robots offer significant advantages and have proven to be an essential part of a tactical team's equipment in a very short time. They enhance situational awareness, safety and mission success, but should always be employed by teams who understand their limitations and who appreciate the various tactical considerations associated with using this exciting technology.

Be safe out there.


Crowdsourcing crime: Why the public may be your best investigative asset

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Cole Zercoe
Author: Cole Zercoe

In the age of the smartphone, amateur video capturing the mundane to the extraordinary is ubiquitous. The public is always recording, and as law enforcement agencies continue to take advantage of the many video technologies designed to aid in their investigations, harnessing the power of consumer technology is an important component of crime fighting that should not be overlooked.

Crowdsourcing video and other digital media for evidence in investigations has played a key role in solving cases and protecting the public. Police in Santa Barbara, California, used it to help identify suspects in the 2014 “Deltopia” riot. When chaos erupted after the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Vancouver Police Department set up a dedicated email to gather evidence from bystanders. And, in arguably the most well-known example, crowdsourcing was an important asset in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.

Chaos in Keene

In October 2014, mayhem erupted in Keene, New Hampshire during the city’s annual Pumpkin Festival. Over the course of the weekend, riot police were overwhelmed by violence as agitators threw bottles, started fires, and assaulted members of the public and police in a display that was unlike anything the department had ever seen.

“We had experience with riots – mainly following sporting events and things – but never of this magnitude and of this duration,” Keene Police Detective Joel Chidester told PoliceOne.

In the wake of the violence, the department began receiving video clips and photos of the unrest from the public.

“It was almost a perfect storm. Because it was so close to a college campus, you had a generation that’s very familiar with recording and handling and processing and finally transmitting digital evidence,” Chidester said.

Despite the public’s good intentions, the volume of tips coming in clogged up the department’s servers. A lack of a centralized system to receive the information further complicated matters for investigators.

It’s the same issue that has plagued many police agencies who have put out a call for the public’s help. In the Boston Marathon bombing case, police received a mammoth volume of crowdsourced media in the days following the attack – over 13,000 videos and 120,000 photos from the scene overwhelmed those working to bring the Tsarnaev brothers to justice.

Information overload

During disturbances on a massive scale, enlisting the community’s digital eyes can be a vital component to solving a case. But police departments need to mitigate the difficulty in managing a flood of evidence in cases where possibly hundreds or thousands of people have documented the scene.

In the Keene case, police found a solution in the early days of the investigation: LEEDIR, a cloud-based digital information repository born out of the lessons learned in the Boston Marathon bombing case.

“One of the main concerns is capturing this media while it’s there – before people delete it off their phones, before things expire,” Chidester said. “That’s where the LEEDIR program really stood out – it gave us the ability to very quickly issue a release to the public to upload data and evidence. In many of these cases, these were felony level offenses – the statute of limitations would let us prosecute them for years to follow. It relives some of that time pressure – once you have this evidence captured and secured, then you can go back and start building cases in the days or weeks to follow.”

Scott Edson, special operations division chief at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, developed LEEDIR as a way for law enforcement agencies to get the storage capacity and secure portal they often don’t have during a major emergency. It’s one of multiple solutions investigators can use to collect digital media from many disparate devices into one streamlined tool.

“Everyone’s heard ‘see something, say something.’ I think crowdsourcing takes it to the next level, which is ‘see something, say something, send something,’” Edson said. “Crowdsourcing is a great solution – especially when the community is outraged at what’s taking place, like in Boston. They want to get involved and find these bad guys as badly as anybody else. It helps get us to the right place, looking for the right people, and if we don’t have community involvement, with an easy mechanism to get us the information, it’s going to make our job more difficult.”

In Keene, crowdsourced evidence led to 25 of the over 100 arrests made in the aftermath of the riots.

“Really the only way for us to start gathering post-incident evidence and building post-incident cases, is going to be through digital media and other eyewitness-type accounts. You can only make so many arrests when an event like this is occurring,” Chidester said. “It invokes a partnership with the community in terms of solving significant crimes. Some of the eyewitness photographs and videos – of the destruction of property, assaults – we would never have been able to obtain if they had not been brought forward by the public and turned over to us through a crowdsourced platform.”

3 key considerations

Although crowdsourcing may not be an investigative tactic used on a regular basis, it is wise for police agencies to consider this option before it is needed. Here are three key things to keep in mind:

1. Have a plan in place. Start researching the tools available to your agency if you were to call on the public for submission of evidence. You will need to decide ahead of time where you’re directing the community to upload their material. While something as simple as a dedicated email address is an option, a digital evidence solution is ideal (a secure portal to submit evidence, cloud storage to avoid overwhelming your servers, and - as a plus - any sort of automated data categorization/analysis). Consider the personnel resources and capability of your agency to sort through what may be vast amounts of digital evidence. Coordinate with your city leaders on how best to get the word out to the public that you’re looking for their help in a case.

Although Keene declined to hold a Pumpkin Fest in the year following the riot due to concerns that an “anniversary effect” could have sparked more unrest, the city was on guard. .

“We were prepared with the platform and our press releases, so if that had happened, it would have been a much faster process to implement,” Chidester said. “That would have helped us in terms of streamlining our collection of the media. If we had something like this ready to go from the beginning, we would have been able to roll this out pretty seamlessly, almost concurrent with the event unfolding.”

2. Get the public on your side. Police departments need no reminder that the public has become increasingly sensitive to issues of privacy and transparency. It’s important to keep the public informed of the benefits that come with this type of information gathering.

“In America, we have to look at the balance between privacy and protection and make sure we’re not becoming a society so concerned about privacy that we forget that there are legal ways to obtain information that isn’t violating privacy rights,” Edson said.

He suggests police departments relay this message to the communities they serve: “Don’t always assume that a technology is violating your privacy rights; give us an opportunity to show you that this technology is being used for good – to give you a better quality of life.”

As your agency develops a plan, build awareness in your community and ensure that you have some form of participation from them in terms of policies and procedures. This enables the public to know your intentions up front so their privacy concerns are alleviated.

3. Consider keeping a portal on 24/7. Crowdsourcing doesn’t have to be reserved only for known events or large-scale incidents. The LASD maintains Digital Witness, a secure portal on their website, which is open at all times. Similar to a tip line, it’s a way for the public to send unprompted videos or photos of something they deem suspicious.

“We found that just by leaving the platform active, we’ve received tips. It’s been instrumental in providing us information on some crime areas that maybe we need to pay a little more attention to,” Edson said.

A powerful tool

Video is everywhere, and taking advantage of the public’s penchant for filming and willingness to help solve crimes in their community can be an essential tactic in law enforcement investigations. By planning ahead, fostering awareness and collaboration with the public, and considering a permanent evidence collection platform, your department will have a valuable new tool in your investigative arsenal.


When body-worn cameras become a matter of the courts

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Terrence P. Dwyer, Esq.
Author: Terrence P. Dwyer, Esq.

You enter into a private conversation with another individual in the western section of Idaho and, as per your usual precautionary measure, you record the conversation. The next day, you meet the same individual across the border in Washington, enter into another private conversation and again record it. The same scenario in two different states will bring two opposite legal outcomes.

In Idaho, a one-party consent state, the recorded conversation is legal and admissible as evidence in a civil or criminal trial. However, the recorded conversation in Washington, one of eleven all-party consent states, violates the Washington Privacy Act and can result in civil and criminal penalties. Washington, under Article I, section 7 of its constitution, grants broader protection of individual privacy rights than the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment.

While the individual depicted in the above scenario may be overly suspicious - even paranoid - in dealing with others, the scenario is not so outlandish if you replace the paranoid person with a police officer equipped with a body-worn camera. Instead, individual citizen privacy concerns are now potentially in conflict with legitimate law enforcement investigative needs, especially in the all-party consent state of Washington (and its 10 sister states).

Privacy concerns

A 2014 Washington State Attorney General opinion addressed the potential conflict and held that the state’s restrictive Privacy Act did not require law enforcement officers to stop recording a conversation at the request of a citizen since such conversations were not private. “Conversations between law enforcement and members of the public,” the Attorney General opinion stated, “are not generally private…” and the state’s Privacy Act applied only to private conversations (State v. Kipp, 179 Wn.2d 718, 317 P.3d 1029 (2014); Johnson v. Hawe, 388 F.3d 676 (9th Cir., 2004)).

This is just one example of the number of practical legal issues an agency seeking to implement a policy for officer use of BWCs must consider. Additional policy concerns relate to when to record, chain of custody, storage and retention of recordings, implementation costs and officer acceptance of the technology’s use. This last concern is a key element in the effective implementation of an agency’s BWC program.

Police-citizen encounters

While the use of BWCs by police is still relatively new, there have already been a number of studies generated on the technology’s use and effectiveness. The most cited of this research is the Rialto study which claimed a 68 percent decrease in use-of-force complaints. Whether the decline in complaints is due to a cause-effect relationship between the technology and police officer or citizen behavior is unknown, but such a precipitous drop is also likely due to the fact that a number of false complaints were preempted due to the presence of live video recording.

Although this claim may be largely anecdotal, its likelihood is one reason why officers should embrace BWCs, as many already have within their departments. Still, the use of BWCs has not won over all police officers as converts, just as it has not been embraced by every community interest group as a panacea easing tense community-police relations.

The potential for violent police-citizen encounters is a reality in modern-day policing, but it is no less so than it was in the past. The only difference is the scrutiny our police are under from a public better equipped to record and report on police activity via social media. Oftentimes a police encounter video recorded by a bystander does not capture the whole encounter or distorts its context.

Justifiable response

An officer’s BWC may present a different viewpoint from that shown on nightly news broadcasts or social media feeds from a bystander’s cell phone camera. It is in these situations that the officer’s video footage can be helpful, if not necessary, in clarifying the situation and validating the officer’s actions.

There is no better example of the power of an officer’s BWC footage than the recently released Baltimore Police Department video of the fatal shooting of a man who, while being chased, turned and pulled a gun on a pursuing officer. The video footage clearly shows the perpetrator reaching into his waistband and turning with a gun to shoot the pursuing officer, who fires one shot, felling and killing the armed individual.

The availability of the BWC video footage is sufficient evidence of the officer’s justifiable actions, but its value is in its corroboration of the officer’s factual account of events leading to his use of deadly force. Just as important is the video’s own undeniable narrative of the drama and danger involved in the encounter, providing the public with as much transparency of the incident as possible.

This incident is one of many around the country in which police officers’ use of BWCs have provided a clear, corroborative account of officer behavior. While the availability of BWC video footage has also aided in quieting public criticism of law enforcement’s reaction in isolated shooting cases, it should be made clear that even without a BWC program in place many police agencies are still able to deal effectively with the public.

Boston PD is an example of an agency that has an effective community policing program in place, but allegedly scant support among the rank and file for its voluntary BWC program, and officers are still able to sustain lawful uses of force. An absence of recorded video footage from a BWC will not prevent an officer from being cleared in a lawful shooting, nor will an officer turning off the camera for tactical reasons—as in a 2015 Chittenden County, Vermont police shooting of a man wherein officers turned off their BWC devices out of concern the red recording lights or audible recording tones would jeopardize their safety.

Officer misconduct

As beneficial as BWC technology may be for corroboration of an officer’s account of events, it can also be the key piece of evidence used to discipline an officer in an internal misconduct investigation or criminal allegation.

Two cases from the Government of the District of Columbia Office of police complaints provide clear examples. In case number 15-0241 (2016 DC Police LEXIS 7), two officers were accused of harassment and unnecessary use of force during a street encounter with a citizen. Physical evidence used in the finding of fact was, among other things, video footage from one of the officers’ BWC device. Charges against the two officers were sustained based largely on the BWC video footage reviewed by the complaint examiner.

In a separate case, 16-0053 (2016 DC Police LEXIS 13), three officers were separately accused by a citizen of offenses including failure to identify, harassment and unlawful arrest. Once again the complaint examiner relied on BWC video footage secured from a device worn by one of the officers. The BWC footage was found to corroborate the complainant and the charges against the officers were sustained.

Video evidence

Naturally, not all BWC video footage will be determinative in every case. While video evidence can clear officers, there may be parts of the footage that is not conclusive, yet the audio may provide circumstantial evidence creating a triable issue of fact. Such was the recent case in Simmons v. California Superior Court, 7 Cal. App.5th 1113 (2016), wherein the court found BWC video corroborative of officer accounts except for one allegation regarding digital penetration of the plaintiff’s rectum during a body cavity search.

Despite low-light, barely visible video, the audio from the BWC provided the court with enough circumstantial evidence to allow the single claim to proceed. This may be one of the most frustrating aspects of BWC video for the officer, and a reminder that no technology is perfect.

Yet, the march forward in the use of BWC technology continues, and if your department does not presently have a program, it is likely funding will be available to implement the technology in the near future. The degree of input officers will have in program implementation will vary according to the agency and the extent of labor representation. However, it may in the long run be beneficial to all. As noted by the court in Emmons v. City of Escondido:

“The body-worn camera provides a technological aide to better serve the community by protecting both police officers and citizens. An accurate depiction of the contacts between the police and community improves public safety, provides an objective means for evidence gathering, and serves as a valuable training tool for police officers.” (168 F. Supp. 3d 1265 (S.D. Cal., 2016)).

The police officers in Emmons responded to a 911 call for a welfare check and potential domestic complaint. Events at the residence would lead to the arrest of one occupant, subsequent dismissal of the criminal charges by the district attorney, followed by a civil rights lawsuit against the officers. The federal district court judge in Emmons, upon a motion by the defendant officers, dismissed the individual claims against the officers. In doing so, the judge wrote:

“The court notes that if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video from the body-worn camera of a law enforcement officer during a "contact" giving rise to litigation may be worth a thousand pictures. Such is the case here. The video shows that the officers acted professionally and respectfully in their encounter with Plaintiffs.”

Ideally, the benefits of BWCs discussed by the Emmons court, for police and public alike, is what we hope will be the result.


Somebody, somewhere is recording: How police can obtain bystander videos

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Mike Wood

By Jennifer Rouse Bremer and Jack Williams

If you are paying attention to the news, you will notice the massive amounts of personal (bystander) videos depicting chaotic scenes such as officer-involved shootings, use of force and full-scale civil unrest. Bystanders, and even the involved parties of these incidents, are using cell phones and other electronic devices to capture what’s happening on the scene. There are two primary reasons individuals elect to record police activities: (1) because they want to catch an officer doing something wrong or (2) because they are seeking entertainment value and want something exciting to show all of their friends and family.

Due to this increasing trend of bystanders recording these events, many officers are developing the mentality to treat every citizen encounter as if everything that is happening or being said is, in fact, being recorded.

Expectations of privacy

With the pervasiveness of cell phones and other recording devices, it is increasingly common to see videos of crimes or suspects hit social media before a police officer can even arrive on scene. In these cases, the videos are considered public and there is no expectation of privacy. This is both a blessing and a curse.

Because there is no expectation of privacy, law enforcement may view or even copy the videos on a social media site without a warrant.

Alternatively, what happens when an officer notices a bystander recording an incident in which the officer reasonably believes the video contains valuable evidence relative to the incident that has just occurred? How does the officer go about obtaining that video directly from the bystander, especially if he or she is uncooperative or belligerent, while preserving their Fourth Amendment rights that protect them from illegal search and seizure?

Rights to record

If you are a police officer or attorney, you are probably already thinking of all the legal ways to obtain the bystander’s video. So, let's start there. Citizens have the right to record video or take pictures of anything in plain view in outdoor public places where they are considered legally present. That includes pictures and videos of government officials, transportation facilities, federal or state buildings and even police officers.

Obtaining a search warrant

Typically, without consent, officers must obtain a search warrant to gain access or seize a person’s electronic recording device. Any officer who has ever applied for a search warrant knows it is a lengthy and time consuming process. Going through the process creates several risks, such as the citizen deleting the video or the warrant not being approved.

Under certain conditions known as exigent circumstances, where an officer believes that a recording might contain evidence of a crime, he or she may seize the phone or other equipment in order to prevent recordings from being lost or destroyed. However, the devices may not be searched, viewed or copied without proper legal authority such as a search warrant or subpoena (a June 2014 US Supreme Court decision in Riley v. California held that police need a warrant to search a cell phone). Under no circumstances may an officer delete or modify those recordings or order someone to do so.

Additionally, laws differ relating to whether the owner of the cell phone was present when it was found or seized, if video or text was in plain view of an officer, if the cell phone was in plain view within a seized vehicle, and so on. The legal variables are endless.

Confused now? The bottom line for officers is that sometimes you can take the device with the recording and sometimes you legally can't take it.

Requesting the video

The question remains then, what is the best way to get it without having to jump through the confusing and ever-changing legal hoops? It’s simple. All you have to do is ask for it. The legal hurdles are no longer an issue if the citizen simply gives you the video. So, how do you convince someone to give you that video in their cell phone? Employing the basic tenants of community policing may be the best answer.

One of the fundamental principles of community policing is getting to know people in the community - becoming a part of the community and not just a visitor in a uniform. Research repeatedly shows that when people in any community have a good rapport and trust with an officer, their view of police becomes more positive, and they are more likely to assist police with issues and investigations. If citizens trust you and believe you are there to help them, they will be more likely to simply hand over the video you need once you ask them for it.

Creating community trust

How do officers create that community rapport and trust? It’s simple. All you have to do is get out of the patrol car and walk the neighborhood. Stop and talk to people you see while you’re out walking. Introduce yourself to them and provide a business card and tell them to call you directly if they need anything. Make sure to visit with the local businesses, whether it’s to grab a bite to eat, get your hair cut or buy your afternoon soda from the local corner store. If you show interest and commitment to the people in the community, they will reciprocate and help you when you ask for it.

Also, don’t be afraid to talk to the gang members, prostitutes and drug dealers in your area. Although they may be frequent fliers in the criminal justice system, they are also a good source of information regarding the criminal activity in the area, and they also have cell phones and tend to record incidents. Another benefit to getting to know the criminal element is that when they trust and respect an officer, the likelihood of the officer getting hurt or killed during an encounter with them is significantly reduced. In some cases, they will even help and defend an officer who is being attacked because they view that officer as a person, not a uniform.

Even if the citizen in question is not a fan of police, they may be willing to provide the video to an officer they know and trust before they would an officer they don’t know. When someone is detained by police or when they know the police are obtaining a search warrant to seize their property, they usually become more resistant to police efforts. If the person already has anti-police sentiments, those feelings can be enhanced, causing them to complain publicly and causing others to feel the same way they do about police. Using proven community policing strategies can not only make it much easier to gain consent when a video is needed, but can also help to negate the negative sentiments people have for police, which can ultimately save both citizens' and officers' lives.

Like it or not, social media, video and instant news are part of our culture. The best thing for officers to do is to accept and embrace this reality as part of your everyday policing. Citizen videos can be a critical part of your investigation, speed apprehension and aid in prosecution, which ultimately provides speed to justice for victims and their families.


About the Authors Jennifer Rouse Bremer has been involved with government and education her entire career. She served on the IACP Community Policing Committee for six years and was an integral part of the team that created the Connected Justice solution at Cisco Systems, Inc. She has worked with law enforcement, DoD, DoJ, and other organizations to help integrate the use of technology and community policing strategies in order to enable community engagement that creates force multipliers in high-risk communities. She is also a founding Board Member for the Central Texas Positive Coaching Alliance and resides in Austin, TX.

Officer R.S. (Jack) Williams has been a police officer with the Raleigh, North Carolina Police Department for nine years. For the past four years, he has led the community policing efforts in the highest crime areas of Raleigh, realizing a 44 percent reduction in crime in one area and a 30 percent reduction in another area. His tactics, utilizing his previous military and sales experience have created an environment of trust and empowerment within the community that have been proven to dramatically reduce crime, enable citizens to aid in the protection of their own communities, and provide a platform for healthy dialogue between citizens and law enforcement.


Memphis receives $6.1M grant to recruit, retain police

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jennifer Pignolet The Commercial Appeal

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Shelby County Crime Commission issued a privately-funded, $6.1 million grant to the city of Memphis directed at recruitment and retention of police officers, officials announced Monday.

In addition to the grant money, to be used over a four-year period for bonuses, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced his budget proposal to the city council will include 1 percent and 2 percent raises and additional bonuses for officers based on years of experience.

The announcement of incentives comes just weeks after Strickland called out the Memphis Police Association for launching a "harmful" billboard campaign trumpeting the city's record-high homicide tally in 2016 and officer shortage. Mike Williams, president of the union, declined to comment on whether the grant and Strickland's budget proposals were enough to offset concerns.

Full story: Memphis scores $6.1M grant to recruit and retain police


Columbus police: 100,000 cruiser video files inadvertently deleted

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By Beth Burger The Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An estimated 100,000 dash-camera videos stored from Columbus Police Division traffic stops and call responses were deleted after an officer apparently made a few errant keystrokes, officials announced Tuesday.

Police Chief Kim Jacobs called the deletion a "significant loss," noting that all 2015 videos and an estimated 500 video files from last year were deleted.

"While we don't think it's going to have a big impact on prosecutions, we did believe it was important to say this now rather than waiting for somebody else to discover it," Jacobs said at a news conference. "We believe that transparency means acknowledging our mistakes."

The deletion happened March 8 when a sworn officer working in the Technical Services Bureau attempted to reclassify thousands of video files. Police previously classified cruiser videos into one of 18 categories. For example, if the camera was triggered on because the officer accelerated in a patrol car, then it would be labeled under "Speed."

Police decided to go to a more simplified three-category system: evidence, not evidence and permanent. The officer working to relabel the files thought they were being transferred into the new classification system. Instead, the settings defaulted to a 90-day retention schedule and were purged from the server.

Officers realized the files were gone on March 13. An internal investigation is being conducted.

The city's Department of Technology is working with police to try to recover the files.

When video is valuable to criminal cases, it usually is requested by officers, detectives and prosecutors within days, Jacobs said.

Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Ron O'Brien said with the exception of fleeing and eluding cases, dash-camera video isn't used often in felony cases.

"I expect any pending cases where the video was deleted we should already have a copy of it if it's relevant," he said.

David Thomas, an attorney and partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister, said drug investigations sometimes take more than a year to piece together. Video from a traffic stop where drugs are seized could show an arrest was made without probable cause, he said.

"It highlights the degree to which all of us — law enforcement, lawyers and citizens — all depend on technology and how fragile that dependence is," he said. "There's these ones and zeroes that can just disappear with how they're maintained. It really doesn't instill confidence in the Division of Police."

Jacobs said the division will institute more checks and balances to prevent a similar mistake in the future, especially as more officers wear body cameras. So far, 32 officers are wearing body cameras. By the end of the year, an estimated 500 will be equipped, and by 2018, about 1,400 will be wired up. The video for body cameras is kept on a server separate from the cruiser video.

Per division policy, cruiser recordings are supposed to be kept for two years unless there is a pending criminal and/or civil case involved.

Police and technology officials don't plan to work to recover all of the lost video. Instead, they plan to identify which video they need to work to recover and whether a third-party vendor will be needed to try to rescue the files.

"We're not at a point where we'll be able to say who those vendors are and what the costs might be," said Sam Orth, Columbus Department of Technology director.

Thomas said he doesn't worry about his past or even current cases when it comes to the video. He's already pulled it. He worries about future ones.

"It is impossible today to know what's going to be important tomorrow," he said.

———

©2017 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)


Facebook rape stirs questions about witnessing crimes online

Posted on March 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Tarm AP Legal Affairs Writer

CHICAGO — The case of a 15-year-old Chicago girl who authorities say was raped while around 40 people watched on Facebook raises questions that have come up before in other attacks: What's the obligation of bystanders who see a crime unfolding? And why do they not intervene?

None of those who watched the sexual assault involving five or six men or boys called police. The girl knows at least one of her attackers, and investigators reported making good progress toward identifying the others. A closer look at what laws in the United States say about people who witness crimes:

___

THE LAW IN GENERAL

There is no all-encompassing legal obligation in the United States that a bystander who sees an act of violence must intervene or call police. But there are exceptions to that idea, dubbed the no-duty rule. Many states have laws requiring intervention when the victim of an ongoing attack is a child. The relationship of the witness to the victim is also a factor in assessing criminal or civil liability: Bosses may have a duty to intervene on behalf of employees, teachers for students and spouses for spouses.

Other countries enshrine the principle that you must intervene into writing. The charter of human rights and freedoms in the Canadian province of Quebec says "every person must come to the aid of anyone whose life is in peril, either personally or calling for aid, by giving him the necessary and immediate physical assistance, unless it involves danger to himself or a third person, or he has another valid reason."

___

A LONG HISTORY

The legal and ethical questions surrounding when and under what circumstances someone must help date back to ancient times.

The biblical parable of the good Samaritan tells of a man who is beaten and robbed, then left wounded by the roadside. A Levite and a priest walk by, offering no assistance. A Samaritan eventually stops to care for the man. Some state laws that spell out witness obligations and liabilities are called good Samaritan laws. They are also sometimes referred as duty-to-rescue laws and duty-to-report laws.

Among the best known recent instances of witness inaction happened in 1964, when Kitty Genovese was fatally stabbed outside her New York City apartment. Reports at the time alleged that dozens of witnesses saw the attack or heard the young woman scream but did nothing. While many researchers later concluded those accounts were exaggerated and even incorrect on key details, the slaying did focus a national spotlight on the obligations of witnesses to a crime.

___

STATES WITH LAWS

Some states require some level of intervention, even if only a 911 call, including California and Wisconsin. In Texas, it is a Class A misdemeanor not to immediately report an offense in which someone could be seriously hurt or killed. Massachusetts law requires, among other things, that people who witness a crime have full knowledge that what they are seeing is a crime.

___

THE INTERNET

Few if any states have amended their laws to incorporate the phenomena of witnessing crimes online, explained Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA who has studied the issue. In theory, he says, laws that apply to in-person witnesses could be applied to social media witnesses.

But a major complicating factor is whether internet witnesses can accurately assess what they see on their screens.

"It's even harder to determine if a crime is real or not," he said. Most internet users are used to seeing odd or surreal depictions and manipulated videos.

Some state laws that make witnesses liable require that they were actually at the scene of the crime. That could not apply to someone watching from miles away.

___

THE CHICAGO CASE

Investigators in the Chicago sex assault know the number of Facebook viewers because the count was posted with the video. To find out who they were, though, investigators would have to subpoena Facebook and show proof of a direct link to the crime, police said. Jeffrey Urdangen, a professor at Northwestern University's law school, said it is not illegal to watch such a video or to fail to report it to police.

___

THE 'GENOVESE SYNDROME'

Genovese's death gave rise to the "Genovese syndrome," which is now more widely known as "bystanders' effect." It's the phenomenon described by psychologists that the more people who are watching an attack or some perilous situation befall a victim, the less likely any one of them will intervene.

Multiple studies in the 1960s and since then made other observations, including that bystanders were even less likely to intervene if they were strangers than if they were friends. Some studies suggested crowds were less likely to act because each individual rationalizes that someone else in the crowd would act or already had.


Wis. officer, 3 others killed during domestic dispute

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Todd Richmond Associated Press

WESTON, Wis. — A police officer and three other people were shot and killed when a domestic dispute at a bank escalated into shootings at three locations in northern Wisconsin on Wednesday, investigators said. A suspect was in custody.

The shootings happened at a bank, a law firm and an apartment complex, where officers, including a SWAT team, had a standoff with the suspect for several hours before ending in a volley of gunfire around 5 p.m.

Authorities took no questions in a brief news conference late Wednesday and gave no details on the four victims or suspect. They said there was no remaining threat to the public. Jason Smith, a deputy administrator for the state Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation, said more than 100 officers were investigating and more information would be released Thursday.

The violence unfolded in a cluster of small towns south of Wausau, about 90 miles west of Green Bay. The officer worked for Everest Metro, a small, 27-officer force that serves Schofield and Weston.

"I would like to send all my thoughts and ask everybody listening, 'Thoughts and prayers to all the victims and their families.' Everest Metro Chief Wally Sparks said. "Please keep them in your prayers and be with our officers."

The first shooting was reported shortly after midday at Marathon Savings Bank in nearby Rothschild. Officers responding a reported "domestic situation" at the bank arrived to find two people had been shot. They said the suspect was gone when they arrived.

A second call came about 10 minutes later from the Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks law firm in nearby Schofield. The third shooting happened at 1:30 p.m. from an apartment complex in Weston.

A woman who lives in the complex said she looked out her apartment window at the complex about 1:15 p.m. to see a squad car approach, and a few seconds later heard a gunshot and saw the officer fall. Kelly Hanson, 21, told The Associated Press she saw other officers put the wounded policeman in an armored SWAT vehicle and take him away, but she could not tell if he was alive or dead.

"I thought, what is going on? I know what a gun sounds like, and thought 'This isn't good,'" Hanson said. She said she stayed in her apartment until about 4:45 p.m. when she heard a volley of about 10 shots and began to "freak out." Authorities eventually let her leave her apartment.

"It's tragic that had to happen, but I think they did a good job out here today," Hanson said.

SWAT members entered the apartment building about 2:30 p.m., the Wausau Daily Herald reported. Nearby schools and a hospital went on lockdown. The lockdowns were later lifted.

Susan Thompson, a resident of the building, told the newspaper she heard gunshots and heard someone scream. As she left her apartment, police called to her to get inside and lock her doors. Thompson, 21, said she had her 2-year-old daughter in the apartment. Officers later came to her door and helped her and her daughter outside, she said.

Omar Sey, 31, who said he had just moved to the apartment complex, learned of the shooting after he arrived home to find dozens of squad cars outside. Sey, who said he had moved to Wisconsin from Gambia, said he didn't understand why such things happen in America.

"This is crazy," he said. "You have everything at your disposal. Why don't you make your life better instead of engaging in this."


Policing in the Video Age: PoliceOne’s special report on the impact of video in LE

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

Law enforcement agencies first started using video technologies several decades ago. While early phases of adoption were modest, nearly every law enforcement agency in America today has one form of video technology, if not several, they use on a daily basis. Given this emergence, PoliceOne is running a comprehensive examination this year on the topic of video technology.

In the first part of this yearlong signature coverage effort, which launches tomorrow, we are presenting several articles about the video technologies that are shaping policing. In the summer, we will address how to solve the evidence management challenge. In the early fall, we will tackle training and policy issues agencies must face in a recorded world. Finally, we will end our special coverage this winter by exploring the future of video in policing.

Video technologies shaping policing

Law enforcement agencies have significantly advanced their implementation of video technologies since the 1900s, when the idea of recording anything first came to fruition. When you take a step back and think about it, the profession has made tremendous strides in a fairly short amount of time.

However, it is the evolution of technology that generally continues to drive law enforcement operations – versus law enforcement operations driving the technology. While this will likely always be the case, there are several issues that surface when industry drives law enforcement practice. This is not necessarily a bad thing because industry keeps law enforcement progressive, but there is often a lot of catching up (e.g. developing policy, legislation, finding funding) that occurs.

This article serves as a preamble to the technologies PoliceOne is exploring in the first part of our special coverage series, “The Video Technologies Shaping Policing.” The topics our expert columnists are addressing include police drones, throwable robots, body-worn cameras, dash cams, and videos shot by the public.

Unmanned aircraft systems

In this article, PoliceOne Editor-at-Large Doug Wyllie discusses Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department cutting edge applications of police UAS. Wyllie interviewed Captain Jack Ewell of LASD and learned how they are using police UAS for Emergency Services Detail, Special Enforcement Detail, Arson/Explosives Detail and HazMat Detail.

Throwable robots

When the Dallas Police Department used a throwable robot during the July 2016 ambush attack, the technology made national headlines. In this article written by PoliceOne Columnist Mike Woods, he explores the capabilities and limitations that agencies and tactical teams must consider prior to deployment. Throwable robots offer significant advantages – from increased officer safety to gauging a dangerous suspect’s response. Woods also explains the limitations of this technology, like battery life, incomplete information and performance restrictions.

BWCs

PoliceOne Columnist Terry Dwyer reviews important BWC related court cases that highlight what officers need to know about privacy, misconduct and exoneration. Dwyer’s article delves into specific cases in which officers were exonerated after BWC footage was reviewed and also discusses how officers were found liable for misconduct. This article offers beneficial information about case law that agencies can now point to when they find themselves in court for a BWC related issue.

Dash cams

Dash cams have significantly evolved in the last 15 years. Back in the early 2000s, only a small percentage of law enforcement agencies had this technology in their patrol vehicles. Fast forward to today and you will see this technology is not only widely used, but has transcended its original design and purpose. PoliceOne Senior Editor Heather R. Cotter reached out to WatchGuard Video to find out what features today’s dash cams have that are helping to improve officer safety and what advancements law enforcement can expect to see in the near future.

Bystander videos

It seems that everyone has a cell phone on them at all times. Most people use smart phones with enhanced capabilities and apps – like video recording and Facebook Live. This widespread social phenomenon of constantly being on your phone – often using social media or taking photos and videos of everything you see – has caused some new issues for law enforcement.

In this article by new PoliceOne Contributors Jennifer Bremer and Jack Williams, they discuss some of the issues bystander videos have presented for law enforcement, from apprehending suspects to seizing the cell phone with the evidence. The authors also discuss ways in which police can work with their communities to create a system of trust and obtain citizen digital evidence without a warrant.

Crowdsourcing video

Crowdsourcing videos and photos have aided several police investigations, perhaps most notably in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. Given the incredible amount of activities recorded every day around the globe, law enforcement is uniquely positioned to start leveraging this video data to solve crimes. In this article, PoliceOne Associate Editor Cole Zercoe sheds light on the powerful utility and cascading returns of crowdsourcing video. Real-world examples and important policy considerations are also discussed.

Stay tuned

Watch for regular installments in this series, which aims to help officers and agencies navigate the complexity of policing in the age of video.


Policing in the Video Age: PoliceOne’s special report on the impact of video in LE

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

Law enforcement agencies first started using video technologies several decades ago. While early phases of adoption were modest, nearly every law enforcement agency in America today has one form of video technology, if not several, they use on a daily basis. Given this emergence, PoliceOne is running a comprehensive examination this year on the topic of video technology.

In the first part of this yearlong signature coverage effort, which launches tomorrow, we are presenting several articles about the video technologies that are shaping policing. In the summer, we will address how to solve the evidence management challenge. In the early fall, we will tackle training and policy issues agencies must face in a recorded world. Finally, we will end our special coverage this winter by exploring the future of video in policing.

Video technologies shaping policing

Law enforcement agencies have significantly advanced their implementation of video technologies since the 1900s, when the idea of recording anything first came to fruition. When you take a step back and think about it, the profession has made tremendous strides in a fairly short amount of time.

However, it is the evolution of technology that generally continues to drive law enforcement operations – versus law enforcement operations driving the technology. While this will likely always be the case, there are several issues that surface when industry drives law enforcement practice. This is not necessarily a bad thing because industry keeps law enforcement progressive, but there is often a lot of catching up (e.g. developing policy, legislation, finding funding) that occurs.

This article serves as a preamble to the technologies PoliceOne is exploring in the first part of our special coverage series, “The Video Technologies Shaping Policing.” The topics our expert columnists are addressing include police drones, throwable robots, body-worn cameras, dash cams, and videos shot by the public.

Unmanned aircraft systems

In this article, PoliceOne Editor-at-Large Doug Wyllie discusses Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department cutting edge applications of police UAS. Wyllie interviewed Captain Jack Ewell of LASD and learned how they are using police UAS for Emergency Services Detail, Special Enforcement Detail, Arson/Explosives Detail and HazMat Detail.

Throwable robots

When the Dallas Police Department used a throwable robot during the July 2016 ambush attack, the technology made national headlines. In this article written by PoliceOne Columnist Mike Woods, he explores the capabilities and limitations that agencies and tactical teams must consider prior to deployment. Throwable robots offer significant advantages – from increased officer safety to gauging a dangerous suspect’s response. Woods also explains the limitations of this technology, like battery life, incomplete information and performance restrictions.

BWCs

PoliceOne Columnist Terry Dwyer reviews important BWC related court cases that highlight what officers need to know about privacy, misconduct and exoneration. Dwyer’s article delves into specific cases in which officers were exonerated after BWC footage was reviewed and also discusses how officers were found liable for misconduct. This article offers beneficial information about case law that agencies can now point to when they find themselves in court for a BWC related issue.

Dash cams

Dash cams have significantly evolved in the last 15 years. Back in the early 2000s, only a small percentage of law enforcement agencies had this technology in their patrol vehicles. Fast forward to today and you will see this technology is not only widely used, but has transcended its original design and purpose. PoliceOne Senior Editor Heather R. Cotter reached out to WatchGuard Video to find out what features today’s dash cams have that are helping to improve officer safety and what advancements law enforcement can expect to see in the near future.

Bystander videos

It seems that everyone has a cell phone on them at all times. Most people use smart phones with enhanced capabilities and apps – like video recording and Facebook Live. This widespread social phenomenon of constantly being on your phone – often using social media or taking photos and videos of everything you see – has caused some new issues for law enforcement.

In this article by new PoliceOne Contributors Jennifer Bremer and Jack Williams, they discuss some of the issues bystander videos have presented for law enforcement, from apprehending suspects to seizing the cell phone with the evidence. The authors also discuss ways in which police can work with their communities to create a system of trust and obtain citizen digital evidence without a warrant.

Crowdsourcing video

Crowdsourcing videos and photos have aided several police investigations, perhaps most notably in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. Given the incredible amount of activities recorded every day around the globe, law enforcement is uniquely positioned to start leveraging this video data to solve crimes. In this article, PoliceOne Associate Editor Cole Zercoe sheds light on the powerful utility and cascading returns of crowdsourcing video. Real-world examples and important policy considerations are also discussed.

Stay tuned

Watch for regular installments in this series, which aims to help officers and agencies navigate the complexity of policing in the age of video.


Photo: NY trooper’s son says goodbye

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Dan Heath Press-Republican

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Local photographer Damian Battinelli and State Trooper Brian Falb shared a connection, as 9/11 responders who developed cancer.

Monday, Battinelli attended his friend's funeral at St. Peter's Church.

The two first met several years ago, when Battinelli was hired to do some photography for the family.

Then, not long ago, he saw a poster promoting a benefit for the stricken trooper. He remembered Falb and reached out to offer his services for free.

"I discovered he also had cancer related to 9/11," Battinelli said. "That's where we really started to connect.

"I kind of thought I was the only one in this area who had come down with cancer from 9/11."

So much pain yet so much love. Brian Jr. kissing his father, trooper Brian Falb. #brianfalb #fuckcancer pic.twitter.com/aPfLWADRCG

— Damian Battinelli (@d_battinelli) March 21, 2017 2 WEEKS STRAIGHT

Battinelli was serving with the U.S. Air National Guard, based in Newburgh, at the time of the 9/11 attacks. He ended up on a security detail at ground zero, up to 16-hour days for two weeks straight.

They were initially provided face masks but later told the air was safe and they no longer needed to wear them, he said.

Battinelli was diagnosed with bladder cancer about two years ago, during a routine checkup. He said it is fairly uncommon for someone so young and has sometimes been linked to inhalation of toxic fumes from metals.

He had successful surgery and has so far remained symptom free. But his condition will likely require a lifetime of monitoring at the very least.

START THE PROCESS

Even as Falb struggled with his own illness, he and his wife, Mary, helped Battinelli earn certification as a 9/11 site responder under the World Trade Center Health Program administered by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

"I felt really alone," Battinelli said. "They (Brian and Mary) helped me tremendously with this program.

"That's the type of people they are."

The World Trade Center Health Program came about through the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, passed by Congress in late 2015.

Named after a firefighter who died after exposure to toxins at the site, it provides coverage of medical expenses for those certified as 9/11 responders.

"The big thing I'd like to drive home is if you are sick, start the process," Battinelli said. "If you need help, it's there for a lot of people."

HEARTWARMING

Battinelli said it was rewarding to witness the turnout for the service to honor Falb's passing.

"The outpouring was just unbelievable; it was so heartwarming to know that so many people care," he said.

"It just goes to show, again, just what type of person Brian was."

———

©2017 the Press-Republican (Plattsburgh, N.Y.)


Sept. 11 families sue Saudi Arabia over 9/11 attacks

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Hundreds of relatives of those killed on Sept. 11 have sued Saudi Arabia, joining many others who have tried to hold the kingdom responsible for the attacks.

Like other recent actions, the lawsuit filed Monday capitalizes on last year's decision by Congress to let victims sue Saudi Arabia. It seeks unspecified damages.

Earlier attempts to hold Saudi Arabia responsible over the past 15 years have failed. Fifteen of the 19 attackers who hijacked planes to carry out the attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania were Saudis.

The 9/11 Commission report found "no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded" the attacks. But the commission also said there's a "likelihood" that Saudi-government-sponsored charities did.

Lawyers for Saudi Arabia did not immediately comment.


Officer injured, 11 arrested during riot outside Pa. jail

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PITTSBURGH — An officer was injured and 11 people were arrested after a riot broke out near the Allegheny County Jail.

Nearly 20-25 rioters were breaking windows, throwing rocks, sticks and setting off fireworks Monday, WPXI reported. Police said the group, Allegheny County Health Justice Project, was protesting improper inmate medical care.

An officer fell to the ground after getting into a scuffle with a man in the crowd, Tyler Kobel. Kobel was arrested after the officer deployed his TASER, the news station reported. The officer was treated for a shoulder injury and released.

Another man, James Griffin, allegedly charged a second officer. A third officer came to help and Griffin was taken into custody.

NOW: Damage at the Allegheny County Jail after rioters threw rocks at windows and a camera pic.twitter.com/pMgNpTeLRa

— ??eau ??erman (@BeauWTAE) March 21, 2017

A total of 11 people were arrested in connection with the riot. They face charges including disorderly conduct, possessing instruments of crime, causing/risking a catastrophe, criminal conspiracy, criminal mischief, institutional vandalism, aggravated assault, possessing a small amount of marijuana, possessing prohibited offensive weapons and resisting arrest.

Allegheny County Health Justice Project spokesperson Steven Fisher told the news station that he “cannot deny or confirm if anyone from our group was a part of the protest, but we did not organize it.”

Police said inmates were participating in a sit-in as well. There were no reports of violent protests inside the jail.

Names of protesters arrested outside of Allegheny County Jail released https://t.co/tFal1r4QOZ pic.twitter.com/aLwZ08aNJT

— WTAE-TV Pittsburgh (@WTAE) March 21, 2017


Propper expands options for women’s armor, uniforms

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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The following is paid content sponsored by Propper International.

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

If you served in the U.S. military, chances are you’ve worn a Propper garment.

Propper has been quietly supplying uniforms and tactical gear to the U.S. military since 1967. In 1991, they branched out into the law enforcement market.

Now, as Propper celebrates its 50th anniversary, the company is building on its decades of experience with an expanded catalog of uniforms and tactical gear designed specifically to meet customer needs and wants, especially those of female officers.

From Military Uniforms to Tactical Armor

Propper began in 1967 with a Navy contract and expanded through the years to become the largest provider of U.S. military apparel in the country, with more than 120 million garments worn by more than 30 million enlisted personnel over the past 50 years.

In 1991, the company launched its commercial division to appeal to military veterans working in law enforcement. They added boots and body armor in 2012 and began designing new ballistic vests to address common concerns heard from customers, focusing in particular on solving poor fit and a lack of options for female officers.

The company released its four-panel, or 4PV, armor line in 2014 after conversations with customers who were frustrated with vests that bunched up when they sat down. Propper designers created the 4PV concealable vest specifically to avoid those issues, then added the 4PV-FEM vest for women and larger tactical/outer armor to meet a variety of needs.

“By talking with law enforcement, by having them try out certain designs and sit down in the patrol car and get up and walk around, or kneel down by somebody on the ground, we were able to observe them and get their feedback about what they liked and what they didn’t like about certain designs,” said Skip Church, vice president of armor products. “That’s how products like the 4PV came to life.”

Many companies simply add stiff seams to the chest area to create the vests sold for women, he added. This yields a bulky vest that fits poorly and doesn’t move with the officer, which compromises comfort and protection.

“We knew that we could do better,” said Church, “and we solved those problems with the four-panel design.”

A Better Fit for Female Officers

Customer input drives Propper to constantly evaluate its designs and create new products that better meet officers’ needs and wants, says Joe Ruggeri, senior vice president of merchandising and product development.

In particular, they have learned that women officers are largely unhappy with how their uniform options fit, so in addition to armor, the company is focusing on providing more fitted gear for its female police customers.

“Women have been somewhat neglected in the tactical industry,” Ruggeri said. “A lot of female police officers have complained because typically uniforms are just a men’s version of the uniform. It doesn’t really help them look professional, and we wanted to address that.”

Ill-fitting uniforms can also interfere with an officer’s movements. For example, Ruggeri says, many women prefer to wear their gun belts lower on their hips than men do, but most uniforms are cut for men and simply sized down but not redesigned to fit women’s bodies. This means the pants generally don’t fit well, making the gun belt extra cumbersome for female officers.

To address this problem, Propper designed the women’s cut of its new Kinetic pants line before tackling the men’s cut. These pants can be worn as part of the class B or C duty uniform in many departments, and Ruggeri says women officers are pleased that they can now wear their gun belt where it’s more comfortable for them and where their tools and weapons are more easily accessed.

More Uniform Options

As more women join the ranks in law enforcement, Propper will continue to focus on their uniform needs. In addition to the Kinetic pants and the 4PV-FEM vest, the company is also offering new, tapered cuts of women’s jackets and polos, as well as adding a more tailored women’s cut to its summerweight uniform line this year, all to offer female officers a more complete range of professional garments.

This is just one facet of the company’s overall goal – for its customers to consider it the only brand they’ll need to stay outfitted throughout their careers.

“We carry them all the way through their careers with rugged, durable gear that anybody can own,” said Ruggeri.

Check out Propper’s 50th anniversary webpage for photos and more history, as well as special anniversary discounts throughout the year.


5 dead, 40 injured in car rampage, knife attack in London

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

UPDATE (5:45 p.m. CST):

LONDON —British police say five people died in the terror attack outside Parliament.

Counter-terrorism chief Mark Rowley said one policeman, three civilians and the attacker died.

He said a further 40 people were wounded.

The assailant has not been identified. Rowley said police think they know the identity of the man but would not reveal details. He said Islamic extremism is suspected in the attack.

He said extra armed police would be on the streets in the coming days to reassure the public, and hundreds of police officers are working on the case.

He identified the police officer who died as Keith Palmer, 48.

EARLIER:

By Jill Lawless and Danica Kirka Associated Press LONDON — A knife-wielding man went on a deadly rampage at the heart of Britain's seat of power Wednesday, mowing down pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge before stabbing an armed police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament. Four people were killed, including the attacker, and about 20 others were injured.

Lawmakers, lords, staff and visitors were locked down as the man was shot by police within the perimeter of Parliament and just yards (meters) from entrances to the building itself. He died, as did two pedestrians on the bridge, and the police officer.

A doctor who treated the wounded said some had "catastrophic" injuries.

Parliament shooting: Knifeman ploughs into pedestrians before being shot by police in Westminster 'terrorist attack' https://t.co/oiCGGVWrPq pic.twitter.com/A8MLsxOtLO

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 22, 2017

In the House of Commons, deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle announced that the sitting was being suspended and told lawmakers not to leave.

Police said they were treating the attacks as a terrorist incident and had launched a full counterterrorism investigation. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"We are satisfied at this stage that it looks like there was only on attacker," said Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley. "But it would be foolish to be overconfident early on."

The threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. was already listed at severe, meaning an attack is "highly likely."

A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people. pic.twitter.com/tdCR9I0NgJ

— Radoslaw Sikorski (@sikorskiradek) March 22, 2017

Wednesday was the anniversary of suicide bombings in the Brussels airport and subway that killed 32 people, and the latest events echoed recent vehicle attacks in Berlin and Nice, France.

As lawmakers were voting inside Parliament, many reported hearing the sound of gunshots. Parliament was locked down for two hours, and adjoining Westminster subway station was shuttered.

Conservative parliamentarian Tobias Ellwood, whose brother was killed in the Bali terror attack in 2002, performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the police officer who was stabbed and later died. About 10 yards away from the police officer was the attacker who was shot dead by police after scaling the security wall toward the Parliament's grounds.

Ellwood, who served in the British military and served in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Kuwait and Cyprus, applied pressure to the police officer's multiple lacerations.

Photographs showed Ellwood's bloodied hands and face from the police officer's wounds while the alleged attacker was seen nearby.

Ellwood has been an undersecretary at the Foreign Office since 2014, covering the Middle East and Africa.

After leaving a trail of destruction on the bridge in a gray SUV, the attacker managed to get through tall iron gates and into Parliament's New Palace Yard, a cobbled courtyard in the shadow of the Big Ben clock tower.

Just yards to the right is the entrance to 1,000-year-old Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the parliamentary complex, busy with visitors and school groups. Beyond that, a corridor leads to the building's Central Lobby, flanked by House of Commons and House of Lords chambers.

Prime Minister Theresa May was among lawmakers near the Commons at the time of the attack, and was quickly ushered away by security officers and driven back to Downing St.

To get that far, the attacker would have had to evade the armed officers who patrol the Parliament complex in pairs, as well as Parliament's own security staff, who don't carry guns.

The attack unfolded within sight of some of the city's most famous tourist sites, including the London Eye, a large Ferris wheel with pods that overlook the capital. It stopped rotating and footage showed the pods full as viewers watched police and medical crews on the bridge, which has at its north end Big Ben and Parliament, two iconic symbols.

"The whole length of the bridge there were people on the ground," witness Richard Tice told Sky News. The London Ambulance Service said it had treated at least 10 people on the bridge, and British port officials said a woman was pulled from the River Thames, injured but alive.

Dr. Colleen Anderson of St. Thomas' Hospital said a female pedestrian died and around a dozen people were hurt.

"There were some with minor injuries, some catastrophic. Some had injuries they could walk away from or who have life-changing injuries," she said.

The French Foreign Ministry said that three students on a school trip from Saint-Joseph in the Brittany town of Concarneau were among the injured.

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve offered support to the British and to "the French students wounded, their families and their schoolmates." London is a common destination for French school trips.

Watch the terrifying moment police opened fire outside of #Parliament in this eyewitness video captured by Taiwanese tourist Aaron Tsang pic.twitter.com/WrCVhWPrFK

— Yahoo UK News (@YahooNewsUK) March 22, 2017

Witness Rick Longley told the Press Association that he heard a bang and saw a car plow into pedestrians and come to a crashing stop. Images from the scene showed pedestrians sprawled on the ground, with blood streaming from a woman surrounded by a scattering of postcards.

"They were just laying there and then the whole crowd just surged around the corner by the gates just opposite Big Ben," he said. "A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman. I have never seen anything like that. I just can't believe what I just saw."

At Parliament, a body was seen lying in the yard. It wasn't clear if it was the attacker.

Dennis Burns, who was just entering Parliament for a meeting, told the Press Association he heard a radio message saying an officer had been stabbed. Police and security rushed outside as he was going in.

"When I got inside I was wondering what the hell was going on and I saw dozens of panicked people running down the street," he said. "The first stream was around 30 people and the second stream was 70 people. It looked like they were running for their lives."

Daily Mail journalist Quentin Letts said he saw a man in black attack a police officer outside Parliament before being shot two or three times as he tried to storm into the House of Commons.

"He had something in his hand, it looked like a stick of some sort, and he was challenged by a couple of policemen in yellow jackets," Letts told the BBC. "And one of the yellow-jacketed policemen fell down and we could see the man in black moving his arm in a way that suggested he was stabbing or striking the yellow-jacketed policeman."

Lett said the other officer ran to get help and the man in black ran toward the entrance.

"As this attacker was running towards the entrance two plain-clothed guys with guns shouted at him what sounded like a warning, he ignored it and they shot two or three times and he fell," he said.

Chopper outside parliament with heavy police presence pic.twitter.com/7rzbDcFdGB

— Phil Han (@PhilBuzzfeed) March 22, 2017

London has often been the target of terrorist attacks, from IRA campaigns in the 1970s and 80s to more recent Islamist plots.

On July 7, 2005, four Al-Qaida-inspired British bombers blew themselves up on three subway trains and a bus in London, killing 52 people.

British security forces say they have thwarted some 13 terror plots over the past four years, but in recent years the U.K. has largely been spared major international terror attacks such as the ones seen in Belgium and France.

Last year, a far-right supporter shot and killed British lawmaker Jo Cox, who had campaigned for the U.K. to remain in the European Union. Prior to that, an attacker claiming to be motivated by Syria stabbed three people at a London subway station.

The most gruesome recent attack occurred in 2013 when two Muslim converts of Nigerian descent attacked Lee Rigby, a British Army soldier who was walking down the street. The men ran Rigby down with their vehicle and then used a cleaver to hack him to death as bystanders watched in horror.


Quiet Warriors: Share your Story

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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At least 4 dead, 20 injured in car rampage, knife attack in London

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jill Lawless and Danica Kirka Associated Press LONDON — A knife-wielding man went on a deadly rampage at the heart of Britain's seat of power Wednesday, mowing down pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge before stabbing an armed police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament. Four people were killed, including the attacker, and about 20 others were injured.

Lawmakers, lords, staff and visitors were locked down as the man was shot by police within the perimeter of Parliament and just yards (meters) from entrances to the building itself. He died, as did two pedestrians on the bridge, and the police officer.

A doctor who treated the wounded said some had "catastrophic" injuries.

Parliament shooting: Knifeman ploughs into pedestrians before being shot by police in Westminster 'terrorist attack' https://t.co/oiCGGVWrPq pic.twitter.com/A8MLsxOtLO

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 22, 2017

In the House of Commons, deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle announced that the sitting was being suspended and told lawmakers not to leave.

Police said they were treating the attacks as a terrorist incident and had launched a full counterterrorism investigation. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"We are satisfied at this stage that it looks like there was only on attacker," said Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley. "But it would be foolish to be overconfident early on."

The threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. was already listed at severe, meaning an attack is "highly likely."

A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people. pic.twitter.com/tdCR9I0NgJ

— Radoslaw Sikorski (@sikorskiradek) March 22, 2017

Wednesday was the anniversary of suicide bombings in the Brussels airport and subway that killed 32 people, and the latest events echoed recent vehicle attacks in Berlin and Nice, France.

As lawmakers were voting inside Parliament, many reported hearing the sound of gunshots. Parliament was locked down for two hours, and adjoining Westminster subway station was shuttered.

Conservative parliamentarian Tobias Ellwood, whose brother was killed in the Bali terror attack in 2002, performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the police officer who was stabbed and later died. About 10 yards away from the police officer was the attacker who was shot dead by police after scaling the security wall toward the Parliament's grounds.

Ellwood, who served in the British military and served in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Kuwait and Cyprus, applied pressure to the police officer's multiple lacerations.

Photographs showed Ellwood's bloodied hands and face from the police officer's wounds while the alleged attacker was seen nearby.

Ellwood has been an undersecretary at the Foreign Office since 2014, covering the Middle East and Africa.

After leaving a trail of destruction on the bridge in a gray SUV, the attacker managed to get through tall iron gates and into Parliament's New Palace Yard, a cobbled courtyard in the shadow of the Big Ben clock tower.

Just yards to the right is the entrance to 1,000-year-old Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the parliamentary complex, busy with visitors and school groups. Beyond that, a corridor leads to the building's Central Lobby, flanked by House of Commons and House of Lords chambers.

Prime Minister Theresa May was among lawmakers near the Commons at the time of the attack, and was quickly ushered away by security officers and driven back to Downing St.

To get that far, the attacker would have had to evade the armed officers who patrol the Parliament complex in pairs, as well as Parliament's own security staff, who don't carry guns.

The attack unfolded within sight of some of the city's most famous tourist sites, including the London Eye, a large Ferris wheel with pods that overlook the capital. It stopped rotating and footage showed the pods full as viewers watched police and medical crews on the bridge, which has at its north end Big Ben and Parliament, two iconic symbols.

"The whole length of the bridge there were people on the ground," witness Richard Tice told Sky News. The London Ambulance Service said it had treated at least 10 people on the bridge, and British port officials said a woman was pulled from the River Thames, injured but alive.

Dr. Colleen Anderson of St. Thomas' Hospital said a female pedestrian died and around a dozen people were hurt.

"There were some with minor injuries, some catastrophic. Some had injuries they could walk away from or who have life-changing injuries," she said.

The French Foreign Ministry said that three students on a school trip from Saint-Joseph in the Brittany town of Concarneau were among the injured.

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve offered support to the British and to "the French students wounded, their families and their schoolmates." London is a common destination for French school trips.

Watch the terrifying moment police opened fire outside of #Parliament in this eyewitness video captured by Taiwanese tourist Aaron Tsang pic.twitter.com/WrCVhWPrFK

— Yahoo UK News (@YahooNewsUK) March 22, 2017

Witness Rick Longley told the Press Association that he heard a bang and saw a car plow into pedestrians and come to a crashing stop. Images from the scene showed pedestrians sprawled on the ground, with blood streaming from a woman surrounded by a scattering of postcards.

"They were just laying there and then the whole crowd just surged around the corner by the gates just opposite Big Ben," he said. "A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman. I have never seen anything like that. I just can't believe what I just saw."

At Parliament, a body was seen lying in the yard. It wasn't clear if it was the attacker.

Dennis Burns, who was just entering Parliament for a meeting, told the Press Association he heard a radio message saying an officer had been stabbed. Police and security rushed outside as he was going in.

"When I got inside I was wondering what the hell was going on and I saw dozens of panicked people running down the street," he said. "The first stream was around 30 people and the second stream was 70 people. It looked like they were running for their lives."

Daily Mail journalist Quentin Letts said he saw a man in black attack a police officer outside Parliament before being shot two or three times as he tried to storm into the House of Commons.

"He had something in his hand, it looked like a stick of some sort, and he was challenged by a couple of policemen in yellow jackets," Letts told the BBC. "And one of the yellow-jacketed policemen fell down and we could see the man in black moving his arm in a way that suggested he was stabbing or striking the yellow-jacketed policeman."

Lett said the other officer ran to get help and the man in black ran toward the entrance.

"As this attacker was running towards the entrance two plain-clothed guys with guns shouted at him what sounded like a warning, he ignored it and they shot two or three times and he fell," he said.

Chopper outside parliament with heavy police presence pic.twitter.com/7rzbDcFdGB

— Phil Han (@PhilBuzzfeed) March 22, 2017

London has often been the target of terrorist attacks, from IRA campaigns in the 1970s and 80s to more recent Islamist plots.

On July 7, 2005, four Al-Qaida-inspired British bombers blew themselves up on three subway trains and a bus in London, killing 52 people.

British security forces say they have thwarted some 13 terror plots over the past four years, but in recent years the U.K. has largely been spared major international terror attacks such as the ones seen in Belgium and France.

Last year, a far-right supporter shot and killed British lawmaker Jo Cox, who had campaigned for the U.K. to remain in the European Union. Prior to that, an attacker claiming to be motivated by Syria stabbed three people at a London subway station.

The most gruesome recent attack occurred in 2013 when two Muslim converts of Nigerian descent attacked Lee Rigby, a British Army soldier who was walking down the street. The men ran Rigby down with their vehicle and then used a cleaver to hack him to death as bystanders watched in horror.


UK officer stabbed in possible terror incident; report of car rampage

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

null

UPDATE (11:38 p.m. CST):

LONDON — A doctor says a woman has died and about a dozen people are hurt, some with "catastrophic" injuries, after a vehicle apparently hit pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, near Parliament.

Colleen Anderson of St Thomas' Hospital says a female pedestrian has died.

Anderson said: "There were people across the bridge. There were some with minor injuries, some catastrophic. Some had injuries they could walk away from or who have life-changing injuries."

She said there might be a dozen injured in all.

Watch the terrifying moment police opened fire outside of #Parliament in this eyewitness video captured by Taiwanese tourist Aaron Tsang pic.twitter.com/WrCVhWPrFK

— Yahoo UK News (@YahooNewsUK) March 22, 2017

UPDATE (10:57 a.m. CST):

LONDON — Witness Rick Longley told the Press Association that he saw a man stab a policeman outside Britain's Parliament.

"We were just walking up to the station and there was a loud bang and a guy, someone, crashed a car and took some pedestrians out," he said.

Parliament shooting: Knifeman ploughs into pedestrians before being shot by police in Westminster 'terrorist attack' https://t.co/oiCGGVWrPq pic.twitter.com/A8MLsxOtLO

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 22, 2017

"They were just laying there and then the whole crowd just surged around the corner by the gates just opposite Big Ben.

"A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman.

"I have never seen anything like that. I just can't believe what I just saw."

Lawmaker Adam Holloway told the AP he saw people running and immediately ran into his offices in Parliament to be with his staff. "A lot of us are locked in with our staff at the moment," he said.

UPDATE (10:35 a.m. CST):

LONDON — London police say they are treating a gun and knife incident at Britain's Parliament "as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise."

The Metropolitan Police says in a statement that the incident is ongoing. It is urging people to stay away from the area.

Officials say a man with a knife attacked a police officer at Parliament and was shot by officers.

There are also reports of a vehicle hitting pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge.

A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people. pic.twitter.com/tdCR9I0NgJ

— Radoslaw Sikorski (@sikorskiradek) March 22, 2017

EARLIER:

Associated Press

LONDON — Britain's Parliament was on lockdown Wednesday after an assailant stabbed an officer, then was shot by police, officials said. London Police also said officers were called to an incident on Westminster Bridge nearby.

It was not clear exactly what happened or how many people were injured. On the bridge, witnesses said a vehicle struck several people, and photos showed a car plowed into railings. Witnesses in Parliament reported hearing sounds like gunfire.

Leader of the House of Commons David Lidington said an assailant at Parliament was shot and that there were reporters of further violent incidents in the vicinity."

Journalists there said they were told to stay in their offices. The Press Association news agency reported that two people were seen lying within the grounds of Parliament.

George Eaton, a journalist with the New Statesman, said that from the window of Parliament's Press Gallery, he saw police shoot a man who charged at officers.

"A large crowd was seen fleeing the man before he entered the parliamentary estate," he wrote on the publication's website. "After several officers evaded him he was swiftly shot by armed police."

MORE: Police say man apparently carrying knife charged through gates into the front yard of Parliamentary compound https://t.co/9GdQhkO9Bx pic.twitter.com/dOAAgCHNsX

— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 22, 2017

Chopper outside parliament with heavy police presence pic.twitter.com/7rzbDcFdGB

— Phil Han (@PhilBuzzfeed) March 22, 2017

Deputy speaker announces UK Houses of Parliament suspended after incident on Westminster Bridge https://t.co/WG8yXWpPVV pic.twitter.com/0SpfNcjAIv

— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) March 22, 2017


Alleged La. cop killer dies from injuries

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Grace Toohey The Advocate

BATON ROUGE, La. — Brandon Wiley, the man involved in the shooting death of East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's deputy Sgt. Shawn Anderson, died Tuesday evening, State Police said.

Wiley, 30, died in a hospital just before 6 p.m. from a gunshot wound he received when he got into a struggle with Anderson and another deputy, said State Police Trooper 1st Class Bryan Lee.

Wiley had been listed in critical condition since Saturday.

Anderson, 43, and another deputy had gone to Classic Cuts hair salon off O'Neal Lane late Saturday to question Wiley, a suspect in a rape of a 15-year-old girl, according to the Sheriff's Office.

"Shots were fired" during the struggle that followed between Wiley and the deputies, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks. Authorities have not said if Wiley was armed or if he fired any shots during the incident.

The second deputy, who has not been identified, was uninjured in the incident.

Anderson was taken to a hospital where he died that night of a gunshot wound to the trunk, East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. Beau Clark said Tuesday.

Wiley had been convicted of crimes in the past, ranging from tattooing of minors to aggravated battery, and was booked remotely Sunday into Parish Prison on three counts: first-degree rape, resisting an officer and tattooing of minors, according to court records.

While few details have been released regarding the shooting, deputies did release a report that detailed the rape allegations. A 15-year-old girl told detectives that on March 12 she called Wiley and asked him to give her a ride to a business where he tattooed her, according to his arrest report.

When he finished the tattoo, she went into the bathroom. When she came out, Wiley grabbed her, tied her hands behind her back and raped her, according to the report.

Wiley has a company registered with the Secretary of State's Office called The Preferred Look LLC, which lists Classic Cuts address as its business location and advertises tattoo work under that business name on Facebook.

However, Wiley is not licensed or registered with the Department of Health to perform commercial body art, according to Bob Johannessen, a department spokesman.

The owner of Classic Cuts, Lilnetta Roach, said Monday that all her employees had their own keys to the strip mall location and it wasn't uncommon for some to stay late to finish lengthy hair appointments.

However, Roach said she did not know of any tattooing being done in her store. She said Wiley had worked as a barber and stylist at her shop since the summer and had always been professional. He showed up on time, was respectful to customers and wore a uniform, she said, adding that she was surprised by the accusations that had been made against him.

"These allegations, I'm not saying they're not true, I just didn't encounter them at the shop at all," Roach said.

Roach said Wiley had a wife and young daughter. The Advocate was unable to contact Wiley's family.

———

©2017 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.


Police: Chicago teen apparently gang-raped on Facebook Live

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Don Babwin Associated Press CHICAGO — Investigators are making good progress in identifying those who sexually assaulted a 15-year-old Chicago girl in an attack that was streamed on Facebook Live, authorities said.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Wednesday that no arrests had been made, but he tweeted Tuesday that detectives were questioning several people, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted.

The girl, who went missing Sunday and who was sexually assaulted by five or six men or boys in the video, was reunited with her family on Tuesday morning, he said.

The video marks the second time in recent months that the Chicago Police Department has investigated an apparent attack that was streamed live on Facebook. In January, four people were arrested after a cellphone footage showed them allegedly taunting and beating a mentally disabled man.

Police only learned of the latest alleged attack when the girl's mother approached the head of the police department, Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Monday afternoon as he was leaving a police station in the Lawndale neighborhood on the city's West Side, department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Tuesday. She told him her daughter had been missing since Sunday and showed him screen grab photos of the alleged assault.

He said Johnson immediately ordered detectives to investigate and the department asked Facebook to take down the video, which it did.

Guglielmi said Tuesday that detectives found the girl and reunited her with her family. He said she told detectives that she knows at least one of her alleged attackers, but it remained unclear how well they knew each other.

He said Johnson was "visibly upset" after he watched the video, both by its content and the fact that there were "40 or so live viewers and no one thought to call authorities."

Investigators know the number of viewers because the count was posted with the video. To find out who they were, though, investigators would have to subpoena Facebook and would need to "prove a nexus to criminal activity" to obtain such a subpoena, Guglielmi said by email.

A spokeswoman for Facebook, Andrea Saul, said she had no specific comment on the Chicago incident but that the company takes its "responsibility to keep people safe on Facebook very seriously."

"Crimes like this are hideous and we do not allow that kind of content on Facebook," she said.

Jeffrey Urdangen, a professor at Northwestern University's law school and the director of the school's Center for Criminal Defense, said it isn't illegal to watch such a video or to not report it to the police. He also said child pornography charges wouldn't apply unless viewers were downloading the video.


Police department considers bonuses to keep officers on the job

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Cathy Locke and Anita Chabria The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday will consider authorizing more than $1.37 million in one-time, lump-sum payments to Sacramento police officers, sergeants and dispatchers in a step toward stanching the loss of personnel to other agencies.

A week before talks open on a new contract, the payments send an important message to employees that “the city has decided, for once, to start negotiating in good faith,” said Timothy Davis, president of the Sacramento Police Officers Association.

“We are losing people like crazy,” Davis said.

The department has seen an exodus of 38 midcareer officers in the past two years, Davis said. So far this year, he said, nine officers have left the Sacramento Police Department, although city officials said not all of those officers left for other agencies. At that rate, he said, the department could lose 45 to 50 officers by year’s end.

A letter of understanding between the city and the Sacramento Police Officers Association calls for officers on the payroll as of March 17 to receive a one-time, lump-sum payment of $2,150. Police sergeants would receive $2,000 and dispatchers $1,000. If approved by the council, the payments would be made in March 28 paychecks, according to a city staff report.

“They deserve it,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “We have a major recruitment and retention issue with city police.”

He said the move is “a sign of goodwill and good faith that we value the men and women of our Police Department.”

Councilman Larry Carr said he supports the one-time bump because Sacramento officers are paid less than those in surrounding jurisdictions.

“Our officers are underpaid,” Carr said. “Essentially what we ended up doing is being the training academy for all the other departments in the area. That’s not a sustainable situation.”

Carr noted that the police contract will be negotiated in coming months, but “in the interim, the situation was so stark that the council felt we needed to take some action to show goodwill.”

The letter of understanding is on the consent calendar, a list of agenda items that aren’t expected to generate debate and typically are approved as a group.

In August, The Sacramento Bee reported that the average total pay for a Sacramento police officer was $92,762, second lowest among eight police departments in the Sacramento region. Sacramento has the lowest pay for police among comparable cities in the state, ranking with Bakersfield, which is in a much different market, Davis said.

The department’s retention problems began when the city started requiring Police Department employees to pay a share of contributions to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, he said. Previously, the city had paid the employees’ share in lieu of raises, Davis said.

The change amounted to a 12 percent pay cut, which was mostly offset by a 9 percent raise. Still, it left Sacramento police lagging while other agencies were boosting salaries coming out of the recession, Davis said.

Through 2014, Davis said, the Sacramento Police Department typically lost three or four officers a year to other agencies. It saw that that number increase to 18 in 2015 and 20 in 2016, he said.

City Manager Howard Chan said the lump-sum payment is “a good thing, and it begins to address the pay inequity issue that we know exists … and recognize the good work the men and women of our Police Department do.”

Chan said pay isn’t the only issue affecting retention. Some surrounding departments have better retirement plans and, in some cases, require less work, he said.

The strongest competition comes from the cities of Roseville and Rocklin, and the Placer County Sheriff’s Department. The draw isn’t only salary, but also more conservative communities and governmental agencies that are seen as being more supportive of police, Davis said.

The retention problems have coincided with high-profile cases involving fatal police shootings such as the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Those cases have resulted in a negative national narrative about police that has led many officers nationwide to reassess their career choices, Davis said.

It also has resulted in a call for greater diversity in police departments, including the Sacramento Police Department. But to attract more minorities and women, Davis said, Sacramento has to offer competitive pay.

“Until they address salary, it’s all talk,” he said. “We agree that we should be a diverse department, and we want to get there.”

———

©2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)


Los Angeles mayor expands immigrant protections

Posted on March 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Robert Jablon Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday expanded protections for immigrants who are in the country illegally, emphasizing the city's refusal to help enforce the Trump administration's immigration crackdown.

An executive directive asks the fire chief and chiefs of the airport and port police to follow the Police Department's decades-old policy of not investigating individuals solely to determine their immigration status.

Los Angeles "champions inclusiveness and tolerance, and welcomes everyone who seeks to realize their dreams and build their families here, regardless of national origin or immigration status," Garcetti's directive said.

Immigrants are the "engine" of the Los Angeles economy, with nearly two out of three residents foreign-born or children of immigrants, Garcetti said.

The directive bars any city employee from cooperating with the enforcement of federal civil immigration laws or allowing use of city money or resources for such enforcement unless legally required to do so.

Additionally, workers cannot give federal immigration agents special access to any city facility unless legally required to do so.

Jails and police agencies around the U.S. have opted in recent years not to cooperate with immigration authorities, in some cases citing federal court rulings that immigrants cannot be held in those jails strictly because of their immigration status. Other jurisdictions have passed local ordinances barring cooperation.

Police agencies and civil rights groups have argued that immigration crackdowns — such as recent federal raids that included arrests at courthouses — spread panic in minority communities and make it harder for police to earn trust and fight crime.

At a news conference, Police Chief Charlie Beck said that so far this year, reports of sexual assault by Hispanics have dropped 25 percent while domestic violence reports have fallen by 10 percent.

Hispanics are believed to comprise the largest segment of Los Angeles residents who entered the country illegally.

The relationship between police and the immigrant community is strained when an officer "knocks on the front door to get witness information and to talk to a victim and people run out the back door" because they are afraid they will be arrested and deported, Beck said. "And that is what we fear the most is happening in our city."

President Donald Trump has said he plans to crack down on so-called "sanctuary cities" and other jurisdictions that do not cooperate with immigration authorities and has threatened to eliminate access to some federal grants.

On Monday, immigration officials released a list of 206 cases of immigrants released from custody by "non-cooperative" public agencies before federal agents could intervene.

Garcetti said the report was trying to pin a "scarlet letter" on those agencies and would harm relationships between federal and local governments.

Meanwhile, Garcetti and dozens of other mayors taking part in the U.S. Conference of Mayors are urging Trump and Congress to fix what they termed a "broken" immigration system.


Calif. deputy helps homeless find shelter, jobs

Posted on March 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — A deputy has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help over 49 homeless people find shelter and jobs.

Deputy Chet Parker is the homeless liaison for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and provides people with assistance to help them get back on their feet, NBC San Diego reported.

Armed with a binder of gift cards for free food, haircuts, washes at the laundromat and even beds to sleep in, Parker has made a major impact in just two years. He told the news station that “helping these guys is an obsession.”

Recently, he helped a Vietnam War veteran who is living out of his car claim disability benefits.

One of the many people Parker has helped said he was homeless for six months when Parker helped him get a job in construction.

"I’m working now because of him,” Ernie Soto said. “He's not just a sheriff with a badge, he's a good man."

Parker said he was initially unsure the job of homeless liaison was the right fit for him, but now he considers it his calling.

"When I hear back from someone I've helped get off the street," he said. "It's a good feeling."

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"Helping these guys is an obsession." What started as an assignment for Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Chet Parker, turned into a passion. In his two years as homeless liaison, he’s used every trick in the book to help dozens of people get off the streets of Lake Forest. http://4.nbcla.com/Yiu7jPI

Posted by NBC LA on Saturday, March 18, 2017


Dubai to add robot cops to police force

Posted on March 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DUBAI — During the 11 Best Police Practices Forum, Dubai police officials announced they will welcome their first robot cop this May.

According to The Gulf News, Director of the Future Shaping Centre of Dubai Police Brigadier Abdullah Bin Sultan said the department hopes robocops will make up 25 percent of the police force by 2030.

The robots are equipped with facial recognition technology that allows them to scan faces from nearly 30 feet away, Newsweek reported. Citizens will be able to report crimes and pay fines on the robocop’s touchscreen body.

“We planned for a security system for the future of the city to tackle future crimes. By 2025, Dubai will be one of the best five cities in the world on security level,” he said. In addition to the upgraded police technology, Bin Sultan said all police buildings will be 50 percent self-power-generated. A DNA data bank will be built as well.

“By 2030, there will be no mysterious or unknown crimes in Dubai and the police will have the biggest DNA data bank in the country,” he said.

Brigadier Khalid Nasser Al Razouqi, general director of smart services for Dubai police, said the department is looking to make everything smart and add more artificial intelligence.

“By 2030, we will have the first smart police station which won't require human employees,” he said.


Justices give new life to man’s false arrest lawsuit

Posted on March 21, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave an Illinois man a new chance to sue the city of Joliet and its police officers who arrested him on trumped up charges and kept him in jail for nearly seven weeks.

The 6-2 ruling ordered the federal appeals court in Chicago to reconsider a lawsuit filed by Elijah Manuel. Police arrested him in 2011 and falsely claimed he was in possession of the illegal drug known as ecstasy.

The police persuaded a prosecutor that Manuel had illegal drugs and the prosecutor took the case to a grand jury and obtained an indictment. When prosecutors finally saw a police lab report showing that the pills Manuel had were vitamins, the indictment was dismissed.

Manuel sued, but lower courts said his claim of unlawful arrest was too late and that he could not sue for unlawful detention under the Fourth Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches and seizures.

Writing for the high court, Justice Elena Kagan said the Fourth Amendment applies not just to arrests, but also when suspects are detained. She said Manuel could bring a claim of wrongful detention because the judge's order holding Manuel for trial "lacked any proper basis."

"That means Manuel's ensuing pretrial detention, no less than his original arrest, violated his Fourth Amendment rights," Kagan said.

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented, saying Manuel's case was a malicious prosecution claim that could not be brought under the Fourth Amendment.


Anti-death-penalty prosecutor challenges Fla. governor

Posted on March 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mike Schneider Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida state attorney says the governor overstepped his bounds when he removed her from a case after she pledged to not pursue the death penalty in any cases.

State Attorney Aramis Ayala filed a motion in court Monday asking a judge to allow her to present that argument in court.

"Every day State Attorneys here in Florida make important decisions on who to charge, what to charge and what to prioritize," Ayala wrote in the motion. "Giving the governor the tremendous and unfettered discretion to interfere in that decision making would be unprecedented and could undermine the entire justice system in Florida."

Gov. Rick Scott removed Ayala from Markeith Loyd's case and reassigned it to a prosecutor in a neighboring district after Ayala made her announcement against the death penalty last Thursday. Loyd is charged with first-degree murder in the killings of Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton and his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon.

When asked in Tallahassee about Ayala's motion, Scott said he was shocked that Ayala wouldn't seek the death penalty in Loyd's case.

"I'm very comfortable that I made the right decision and I had the authority to do it," Scott said.

Scott said he would "deal with it at the time" if Ayala declined to seek the death penalty in other cases. He also did not rule out seeking her removal.

"With regards to that, we're continuing to look at our options," he said.

The confusion over who will prosecute the case was evident Monday morning during a routine status hearing for Loyd's case. Both Aramis and State Attorney Brad King, the prosecutor appointed by Scott to take over the case, were in the courtroom together.

Judge Frederick Lauten scheduled a hearing for next week to hear arguments over who should handle the case.

Ayala said in Monday's motion that the governor had no authority to remove her.

"I retain complete authority over charging and prosecution decisions," she said.

Meanwhile, almost 120 law experts from across the country sent Scott a letter urging him to reverse his decision, saying it infringed on the independence of prosecutors. The signees included two former justices of the Florida Supreme Court, a former president of the American Bar Association and dozens of law professors.


Alleged La. cop killer has long rap sheet

Posted on March 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Bryn Stole and Grace Toohey The Advocate

BATON ROUGE, La. — The man named Monday in the fatal shooting of a sheriff's deputy at a hair salon off O'Neal Lane had been convicted of crimes in the past, including aggravated battery, and was being questioned in the rape of a 15-year-old girl at the time of the incident.

Brandon Wiley, 30, struggled with Sgt. Shawn Anderson and another East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's deputy at the Classic Cuts hair salon, 1962 O'Neal Lane, Saturday night when shots were fired that killed Anderson and injured Wiley, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks.

Anderson, who was with the Sheriff’s Office for nearly 18 years, died later at the hospital, Hicks said.

Wiley remains in critical condition, but was booked remotely into Parish Prison on first-degree rape, resisting an officer and tattooing minors, according to Louisiana State Police Trooper First Class Bryan Lee.

The investigation into the shooting was turned over to State Police, as is protocol when a deputy is involved in a shooting, Lee said. Following the investigation, more counts could be filed against Wiley, Lee said.

State Police declined on Monday to release any details on the incident that led to Anderson's death, including whether Wiley was armed, did the gun discharge during the struggle and who shot Wiley. Lee cited the ongoing investigation as the reason why he could not provide more information.

The second deputy was not injured and has since been placed on paid administrative leave as is policy for officers involved in shootings, Hicks said. She declined to identify him.

Wiley has a prior felony conviction in East Baton Rouge Parish and was also sentenced to four months in jail following a 2010 conviction for unlawfully tattooing a minor, according to 19th Judicial District Court records online.

Wiley was arrested in 2004 on two counts of attempted second-degree murder after he was accused of shooting two men during a fight. Those charges were reduced to aggravated battery in a plea agreement in 2005, and he was sentenced to 13 months in prison, according to court records.

He was also sentenced to two years in prison in 2011 for "inciting a felony" after he was arrested on a count of indecent behavior with a juvenile, the records state. Wiley was accused of lifting up the shirt of a 10-year-old girl and inappropriately touching her after her mother, a friend of Wiley’s, asked him to take the girl to Wal-Mart to get snacks, according to court records. The charge was reduced from indecent behavior with a juvenile to inciting a felony in a plea agreement so the victim would not have to testify at a trial, according to notes written on a bill of information.

On April 28, 2010, Wiley was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Middle District of Louisiana for being a felon in possession of a firearm, said Corey R. Amundson, acting U.S. Attorney, on Monday. Wiley was detained pending trial at the request of prosecutors, Amundson said. He was later convicted and sentenced to 37 months in federal prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release. Wiley was released from the federal Bureau of Prisons on Aug. 8, 2014, and completed his term of supervised release in 2016, Amundson said.

In an interview with a photographer for The Advocate following the August flood, Wiley identified himself as an employee of the Classic Cuts salon.

At the time, he was applying for Federal Emergency Management Agency benefits, saying he had lost his possessions in the flood.

He has a company registered with the Secretary of State's Office called The Preferred Look LLC, which lists Classic Cuts address as its business location and advertises tattoo work under that business name on Facebook.

Wiley is not licensed or registered with the Department of Health to perform commercial body art, according to the department's spokesman Bob Johannessen.

His Facebook page also promotes several late-night tattoo parties at the salon, at least one of which Wiley wrote in a December post would run from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The owner of Classic Cuts, Lilnetta Roach, said Monday that all her employees had their own keys to the strip mall location and it wasn't uncommon for some of her workers to be at the location until late into the night because of how long some hair appointments can take.

However, Roach said she did not know of any tattooing going on in her store. She said Wiley had worked as a barber and stylist at her shop since the summer and had always been professional; showing up on time, being respectful to customers and wearing his uniform. She said she was surprised by the accusations against Wiley.

"These allegations, I'm not saying they're not true, I just didn't encounter them at the shop at all," Roach said.

Roach said Wiley has a young daughter.

“He was a very good father figure,” Roach said.

———

©2017 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.


DOJ faults police response in 2015 Minneapolis protests

Posted on March 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Steve Karnowski Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — A federal review released Monday found problems with Minneapolis' coordination and communication during an 18-day standoff outside a police station following the fatal shooting of a black man in 2015, but praised officers for their professionalism and the peaceful end of the protest.

The Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services conducted the review at the city's request after the shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark on Nov. 15, 2015. His death in a confrontation with two white officers sparked an occupation outside the station on the city's north side and other protests that were largely peaceful, though one on Nov. 18 included skirmishes between officers and demonstrators.

Some witnesses told police that Clark was handcuffed at the time, but an investigation by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension found the officers were unsuccessful in handcuffing Clark, and he was shot after one of the officers shouted that Clark had his hand on the officer's gun. State and federal prosecutors declined to charge the two officers, and they were cleared in the department's internal review.

Clark's death came at a time of heightened tensions nationwide following protests over the killings of black men by police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere. Yet no protesters were arrested at the station during the Minneapolis protest and the only serious injuries occurred when a group of alleged white supremacists fired at demonstrators, wounding five, the report said. The protests cost the city more than $1.15 million, mostly for police overtime.

Nevertheless, the Justice Department review found a lack of a coordinated response among city and police officials and said law enforcement didn't have a plan for managing the civil disturbance as it became a long-term event.

"Strained relationships, lack of clearly defined roles and responsibilities, public disagreements and lack of consistent internal communication" hampered the response, it said. And it said the department "experienced multiple breakdowns in internal communications and messaging" during the occupation.

The report praised other aspects of the response, saying officers "demonstrated extraordinary resilience and professionalism" despite verbal abuse and threats to their physical safety from bottles, bricks, Molotov cocktails and other objects thrown over the fence around the station. Black officers, in particular, were targets of verbal abuse, it said.

"The commitment of the city, the police department and individual officers to a peaceful, measured response played a large role in keeping the occupation from escalating into violent riots," the report said.

It also noted that elected officials decided to resolve the impasse peacefully through "negotiated management" — a strategy it said was consistent with best practices — without including the police leadership in the discussion. That and poor internal communications contributed to frustrations for officers at the station who were left with no clear orders and inconsistent direction.

Mayor Betsy Hodges and Police Chief Janee Harteau said at a news conference that the need for better communications was their main takeaway from the review. Hodges said efforts fell short, and she apologized.

"Regardless of whether it's because I lacked the bandwidth or I was constrained by legal reasons or I simply lacked the skill, I did not communicate in a way that would have helped the situation get better. Sorry. I am sorry," she said.

Harteau agreed the big lesson learned is "communication, communication, communication" across all levels in the department and with the community.

"Clearly we need more effective communication with officers at all ranks and all assignments," she said. "... It wasn't necessarily so much the what we were doing but the why we were doing it. And everybody likes to hear the why."

Jason Sole, president of the Minneapolis NAACP, asked the mayor and police chief how Clark and his family were ever going to get justice, and he said police violence against black men continues.

"Jamar should still be alive. ... Does that report show that we're dying out here?" Sole said.

Lt. Bob Kroll, the head of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, said he wasn't surprised by the report's conclusions.

While the report backed the decision to seek a negotiated end to the protest, the union leader said he still believes there would have been no occupation outside the police station and no 18-day shutdown of the street in front had officers been allowed to make arrests immediately.

"When you give in (to people) it sets the wrong tone," Kroll said. "People shouldn't be allowed to break the law in the front yard of the Police Department."


Man who saved Mich. state trooper: ‘I decided to help’

Posted on March 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Ann Zaniewski Detroit Free Press

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. — Keith Pepple saw the flashing lights of a police car behind him and pulled over.

A motorcycle zoomed by, followed by a Michigan State Police trooper.

Moments later down the road, Pepple would risk his life — and quite possibly save another life — to help the trooper as he was being attacked by the motorcycle driver and that man's brother.

"I guess everything happened so fast, you don’t really have time to think about it," said Pepple, 50, of Plainwell. "I just saw that he needed help. And I decided to help."

Pepple was participating in one of his favorite hobbies, geocaching, an outdoor treasure-hunting game that uses GPS coordinates, when he stumbled on the scene. It was Feb. 20 on U.S.-31 in Berrien County.

Further down the road from where the motorcycle and police car passed Pepple, the motorcycle crashed. The driver got up and began charging toward the trooper, police said, ignoring commands to stop. He then struggled with the trooper as he tried to arrest him.

Pepple was driving by when he saw the scene and decided to stop and help. Just then, a man jumped out of another vehicle that had also stopped. That man ran over and put the trooper in a headlock and yelled for the motorcycle driver to leave, according to police.

The motorcycle driver ran a short distance away, then returned. He reached for the trooper's holster, but it was empty because the gun had fallen out in the scuffle, police said. He started punching the trooper in the face.

The two men were motorcycle driver Michael Barber, 21, of Gobles, and Travis Wise, 19, of Middlebury, Ind.

Trooper Garry Guild thought he was going to die.

"I am gasping and struggling for air, to the point where I can't breathe," Guild told the Free Press.

Pepple sprang into action.

"I got up there, and I grabbed a hold of Barber and threw him off" the trooper, Pepple said. "Everybody went to the ground. I had Barber in a headlock. I looked back and Wise was still choking the officer. I grabbed Wise and put him in a headlock."

A second passerby, Jerry Burnham, 44, of Berrien Springs, also stopped to help.

Both suspects were arrested. They are facing multiple felony charges, including assault with intent to murder.

Investigators learned that the motorcycle had been stolen from a business in Van Buren County. Guild said he initially didn't know that; he tried to stop it because he clocked it as traveling at 92 m.p.h.

The incident left Guild, 51, with an acute neck injury and swollen jaw. He also had a minor hand injury from where he accidentally Tased himself during the struggle.

He was back at work the next day.

"I wanted to make sure I got the report in while most of the information in my head was fresh and get it in the prosecutors' hand so they could be arraigned as soon as possible," the 21-year State Police veteran said.

Barber's attorney, Scott Sanford, and Wise's attorney, Paul Jancha Jr., declined to comment.

Pepple, a married father of two, is a maintenance worker at the Coca-Cola plant in Paw Paw. Guild and Michigan State Police Lt. Melinda Logan, one of Guild's supervisors at the State Police post in Niles, visited the plant recently to publicly recognize and thank him for what he did.

"I can't thank him enough," Guild said.

Logan said: "These two guys came into this not knowing if they were going to be hurt and risked their own lives to help someone else. It’s just amazing to me. We’re really proud of them, and forever indebted to them."

———

©2017 the Detroit Free Press


Police: Brady’s missing Super Bowl jersey tracked to Mexico

Posted on March 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mark Pratt and Peter Orsi Associated Press

BOSTON — The mystery of Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey led police all the way to Mexico, and authorities were investigating a former tabloid newspaper executive's possible role in the theft.

Police and the NFL announced Monday that Brady's jersey, which disappeared from the locker room after the Patriots' 34-28 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons last month, had been found in Mexico. The NFL said the jersey was in "possession of a credentialed member of the international media."

U.S. and Mexican officials have not yet identified the suspect, but the name of a former newspaper director circulated widely in Mexican news media and on social networks. The newspaper's owner, Organizacion Editorial Mexicana, issued a statement saying the director had resigned from La Prensa on March 14 for "personal reasons." The company learned only Monday of his possible involvement in the jersey case, it said.

The paper said that if the accusations are true, it "strongly condemns" that the employee used his position "to obtain a media accreditation to be able to access the field of play, news conferences and probably other areas of NRG Stadium."

The company apologized and said its leaders had been unaware of "the regrettable and reprehensible actions (he) presumably committed," and said it had not been contacted by Mexican authorities about the case.

No arrests had been made as of late Monday. The Associated Press is not identifying the director because he has not been charged.

Brady, in a statement emailed to the AP from his agent, Don Yee, expressed gratitude to investigators but said he hadn't yet been reunited with the jerseys.

"I am happy my jerseys from SB 49 and SB 51 have been recovered, and I want to thank all of the law enforcement agencies involved," Brady said. "I know they worked hard on this case — and it is very much appreciated. Hopefully when I get the jerseys back I can make something very positive come from this experience."

The missing jersey — and the subsequent investigation — captivated Patriots fans and social media for several days after the Super Bowl.

"If it shows up on eBay or something, somebody let me know," Brady said after the game.

Houston police investigators relied on a tip from an informant to trace the jersey, estimated to be worth about $500,000, to Mexico.

It wasn't the only piece of memorabilia recovered. Police also located a Brady jersey that had gone missing after the Patriots' 2015 Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks. A Super Bowl helmet belonging to a Denver Broncos player also was found, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

Houston police chief Art Acevedo proudly congratulated his team on finding the jersey, but was equally quick to say it wasn't a "top priority" in a city with violent crime. He described the theft as the only blemish on an otherwise successful Super Bowl.

"You don't come to Texas and embarrass us here on our home turf," Acevedo said.

A Patriots spokeswoman said the team had no comment.

The jerseys are in the possession of the NFL and FBI in Boston, and law enforcement was working to authenticate them, the chief said.

"We are highly confident that these are the jerseys," Acevedo said.


The story of Ernesto Miranda

Posted on March 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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Any individual in the law enforcement or legal field is well-versed in what Miranda Rights are and when they are necessary. They are also widely recognized by individuals outside of law enforcement or the legal system, however, the story of the individual and the crime that eventually led to this requirement, (and when Miranda Rights are actually required to be given) tend to be ambiguous to the public.

The crime that led to the case

Ernesto Miranda was a 23-year old Mexican immigrant living in Phoenix, AZ, when he was arrested on March 13, 1963.

Several days prior to Miranda's arrest, a young woman had been abducted and raped. During her report of the incident, she provided a description that fit Miranda and also later identified him in a lineup. After being questioned on the charges of kidnapping and rape for two hours, the officers informed Miranda that he had been positively identified by the victim. Miranda then confessed to the crimes. He also signed his confession which indicated his statement was made knowingly and voluntarily.

At the time, Miranda was unaware that a defendant could remain silent and could request to speak with an attorney before being questioned in connection to the crimes.

The trials of Ernesto Miranda

Miranda's signed confession was used as the primary piece of evidence during his trial and led to his conviction and sentencing of 20-30 years in prison. During the initial trial, however, there was an objection to his confession being introduced as evidence. Because Miranda was ignorant of his rights against self-incrimination, the confession should have been deemed involuntary. The case was appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court where the lower court’s ruling was upheld.

Miranda’s case was appealed again and landed before the United States Supreme Court in early 1966. At this time, the high court reversed the lower courts’ rulings and sided with Miranda, 5-4. The court determined that due to the intimidating situation of a police interrogation, suspects need to explicitly waive their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and the Sixth Amendment right to an attorney for their protection. It was also acknowledged that should the suspect invoke either of these rights, the interrogation must cease until an attorney arrives.

Miranda was granted a new trial in 1967, where he still found guilty of the same crimes, despite the omission of his signed confession from evidence.

The Ramifications

As a result of Miranda's situation, it is now mandatory that every suspect understands their rights via the deliverance of the Miranda Rights prior to any detainment and interrogation. If this is not clearly articulated, any statement made during the interrogation will be inadmissible in court.

Miranda and the Fifth Amendment

The central legal issue the arose during Miranda’s case was the question of whether the privileges against self-incrimination afforded by the 5th Amendment extend beyond criminal court proceedings and applies during a police interrogation. As the justices ultimately ruled in favor of Miranda, and the constitutional right to be protected against self-incrimination afforded by the 5th Amendment and the right to an attorney granted by the 6th Amendment are now specifically guaranteed prior to any interrogation.


Drunk burglar arrested after getting stuck in window

Posted on March 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MAULEON-LICHARRE, France — An intoxicated burglary suspect made it easy for cops to arrest him after he got stuck in a hole he made in a jewelry store window.

Officials posted on Facebook that the suspect broke into a jewelry store Wednesday night but was already gone by the time police arrived on the scene.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

[ PRIS NON PAS LA MAIN DANS LE SAC ... MAIS COINCÉ DANS LA VITRINE ! ] Tôt jeudi matin, les gendarmes de Maulé...

Posted by Gendarmerie des Pyrénées-Atlantiques on Friday, March 17, 2017

For reasons unknown, the suspect returned to the scene and got stuck in the hole he made in a window of the store.

Officials searched the suspect’s home and discovered the items he stole during the robbery, the post read.

Authorities removed the suspect and allowed him to sober up in the drunk tank before they questioned him.

#Mauléon (64) Ivre, il cambriole un magasin mais reste coincé... dans la vitrine avant d'être interpellé ! #FallaitSeTenirÀCarreau??#ThugLife pic.twitter.com/mCmYICDuXs

— GendarmerieNationale (@Gendarmerie) March 19, 2017


Drunk burglar arrested after getting stuck in window

Posted on March 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MAULEON-LICHARRE, France — An intoxicated burglary suspect made it easy for cops to arrest him after he got stuck in a hole he made in a jewelry store window.

Officials posted on Facebook that the suspect broke into a jewelry store Wednesday night but was already gone by the time police arrived on the scene.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

[ PRIS NON PAS LA MAIN DANS LE SAC ... MAIS COINCÉ DANS LA VITRINE ! ] Tôt jeudi matin, les gendarmes de Maulé...

Posted by Gendarmerie des Pyrénées-Atlantiques on Friday, March 17, 2017

For reasons unknown, the suspect returned to the scene and got stuck in the hole he made in a window of the store.

Officials searched the suspect’s home and discovered the items he stole during the robbery, the post read.

Authorities removed the suspect and allowed him to sober up in the drunk tank before they questioned him.

#Mauléon (64) Ivre, il cambriole un magasin mais reste coincé... dans la vitrine avant d'être interpellé ! #FallaitSeTenirÀCarreau??#ThugLife pic.twitter.com/mCmYICDuXs

— GendarmerieNationale (@Gendarmerie) March 19, 2017


Gunman opens fire on Calif. police station; suspect dead

Posted on March 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne

TEMPLE CITY, Calif. — A gunman is dead after he opened fire on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department station in Temple City.

Officials told NBC San Diego that the gunman, who was registering as a sex offender, opened fire on deputies Monday morning when they followed him back out to his car.

Officials deployed SWAT and two armored vehicles to “neutralize the threat,” Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez said in a statement.

Police deployed a flash-bang device at the SUV, KTLA 5 reported. No movement was apparent inside the vehicle.

Authorities exited the armored vehicle and determined the threat was eliminated. The gunman was pronounced dead at the scene, the Los Angeles Times reported. According to The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, it appears the suspect died of a probable self-inflicted wound.

No deputies were injured in the incident.


20 golden principles for prevailing on the street

Posted on March 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Lt. Dan Marcou
Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

As a longtime police officer and trainer, I’ve had the opportunity to apply a number of principles on the street with success, and then train those highly effective principles to others. I would now like to share with you 20 of these street-tested, golden principles that will help you physically, legally and emotionally survive law enforcement.

1. Treat everyone with dignity and respect. In today’s world, doing so is like having a rarely possessed superpower, and it will pay great dividends.

2. Get acquainted with and deal with the people on your beat as if they are your slightly dysfunctional extended family. Your real family will eventually grow to discover that you treat people fairly and assimilate this trait from you. Your street family also will also notice and remember.

3. You need to become tough. Don’t act tough, be tough.

4. Be physically fit; your fitness level will be tested regularly by the people you police. Make sure you are always in peak physical condition.

5. It’s OK to care. Caring does not make you a weak cop, it makes you a better cop.

6. You don’t have one or two people in a car, but two or four hands. Account for the hands and control the hands. As Dave ‘Buck Savage’ Smith tells his students, the hands kill.

7. Don’t take street insults personally. These individuals are insulting the uniform, not you. There is nothing anyone can say that police uniforms haven’t already heard. Remember the words of George Thompson, “They can say what they want as long as they do what I say.” Consider insults part of the totality of circumstances, which are to be remembered and put into the report. Which leads us to lesson eight …

8. “The man who angers you, conquers you,” as stated by Eldon Mueller.

9. If you’re pursuing someone because they are dangerous, consider continuing the pursuit (if your policy allows it). If the subject is dangerous only because you are pursuing him or her, consider discontinuing the pursuit (if policy allows it).

10. If a subject gets away, don’t fret. You’ll likely encounter him or her again. Officers don’t catch everyone during every incident; however, we catch them all eventually. Remember a chase is short lived, but a pursuit — for the truly determined officer — can last until the statute of limitations runs out.

11. The odds are slim that a terrorist will kill someone on your beat, but statistics show that impaired drivers and abusive spouses will very likely kill someone on your beat. Therefore, pursue impaired drivers with a passion and investigate your domestics with extreme caution — view them as personal homicide prevention programs. If you do you these things, you will save lives — one of which might be your own. Just in case, watch out for terrorists too.

12. If you are looking for nothing while on patrol, in most cases, you will find nothing. Even if you are looking for something, you will often find nothing. But if you go out looking for everything, you will almost always find something. Bottom line, look for everything. Also, if you become a ROD (retired on duty) and you truly strive to look for absolutely nothing while on patrol, I have some bad news for you. Trouble will still find you, and you probably won’t see it coming.

13. Train like your life depends on it, because it does.

14. Police work is a contact sport, except it’s not a sport. They don’t give a trophy for second place on the street. You must always prevail and never give up.

15. After winning a street confrontation, ask if the subject is alright. If he or she is OK, help them up and dust them off — you’re returning their dignity. All good officers practice courtesy up to impact and beyond.

16. Communication is the tactic most often used by police. It behooves an officer to become a black belt in dialogue. Remember it’s easier for you to talk someone into handcuffs than it is to fight them into handcuffs. Still, never forget that an officer needs to know how to do both expertly.

17. It is tactically better to expect and prepare for resistance on each contact and be pleasantly surprised when you receive compliance rather than to expect compliance and be alarmingly surprised by resistance. Never presume you will receive compliance.

18. Staying positive in law enforcement is not natural, it is a discipline. Becoming cynical is natural. Even while practicing the discipline of staying positive you will never be completely positive, but you can become completely cynical in this profession with no effort. Daily, choose to stay positive and you will come to enjoy your family, your career and your life to the fullest.

19. Remember how interesting you found law enforcement and how much you loved it when you first entered the life. Hold onto that thought for about thirty years and you will do fine.

20. You can sell your honor for a penny, but once sold, you can’t buy it back for a million bucks. Honor can be won and lost in law enforcement. Frank Serpico once said, “Police work is an honorable profession; if you do it with honor.”

With all that said, let’s hit the streets with the words of Hill Street Station’s Sgt. Phil Esterhaus in mind, “Hey! Let’s be careful out there.”


Former NC police chief detained at JFK for 90 minutes

Posted on March 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By Martha Waggoner Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — A former North Carolina police chief whose mother is Italian and father is Somali said Sunday that he's disappointed with his country of 42 years after he was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Former Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden of Alexandria, Virginia, who now works as a law enforcement consultant, said he was detained March 13 on his return trip from Paris for his mother's 80th birthday. He supports the officers of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, but he believes his 90-minute detention was unreasonable, he said in a telephone interview.

Aden said a customs officer told him that his name was used as an alias by someone on a watch list. He said one officer told him that he wasn't being detained even though he couldn't use his phone and he had to remain seated.

"When it goes to 90 minutes with no phone ... and you can't move around, it seems more than an investigation to check your passport," he said. "It begins to feel like you are in custody."

Aden described the scene in a Facebook post Saturday, adding that the officer who told him that he wasn't being detained has an "ignorance of the law and the Fourth Amendment" of the U.S. Constitution that should disqualify him as a customs officer.

"I certainly was not free to leave," Aden said.

Aden's detainment comes after President Donald Trump's initial travel ban signed in January sparked chaos at U.S. airports and widespread criticism around the world. It was later blocked by a judge in Washington state, a ruling that was upheld by an appeals court. Following that loss, the administration revised the ban rather than appeal, setting off another round of court cases. The revised travel ban was signed March 6 and was to go into effect March 16 before it was blocked.

Aden, 52, said he became a naturalized U.S. citizen at the age of 10 when he was an Italian citizen. He worked for the police department in Alexandria for about 25 years, then as Greenville police chief for about two years.

Clients of the consulting firm he now owns include the U.S. Justice Department, he said.

With family in Italy, France and England, Aden travels often travels overseas. He says that won't change. But he is rethinking plans to send his 12- and 15-year-old children overseas as unaccompanied minors to spend the summer with relatives because he wouldn't want them to go through the same situation on their own.

"This is my country and with things I see happening, I see certain rights eroding in the name of national security. It's worrisome," he said.

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson said the agency doesn't comment on individual cases.


FBI probing possible links between Russia, Trump associates

Posted on March 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Eileen Sullivan and Eric Tucker Associated Press

WASHINGTON — FBI Director James Comey confirmed Monday that the bureau is investigating possible links and coordination between Russia and associates of President Donald Trump as part of a broader probe of Russian interference in last year's presidential election.

The extraordinary revelation, and the first public confirmation of an investigation that began last summer, came at the outset of Comey's opening statement in a congressional hearing examining Russian meddling and possible connections between Moscow and Trump's campaign.

He acknowledged that the FBI does not ordinarily discuss ongoing investigations, but said he'd been authorized to do so given the extreme public interest in this case.

"This work is very complex, and there is no way for me to give you a timetable for when it will be done," Comey told the House intelligence committee.

The hearing, providing the most extensive public accounting of a matter that has dogged the Trump administration for its first two months, quickly broke along partisan lines. Democrats pressed for details on the status of the FBI's investigation, while Republicans repeatedly focused on news coverage and possible improper disclosures of classified information developed through surveillance.

Under questioning from the committee's top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, the FBI director also publicly contradicted a series of tweets from Trump that declared the Republican candidate's phones had been ordered tapped by President Barack Obama during the campaign.

"I have no confirmation that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI," Comey said. The same was true, he added, of the Justice Department.

Comey was the latest government official to reject Trump's claims, made without any evidence, that Obama had wiretapped his New York skyscraper during the campaign. Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican and chairman of the House intelligence committee, also rejected it earlier in the hearing.

Comey was testifying along with National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers, who also disputed allegations that surfaced last year that British intelligence services were involved in the wiretapping.

Trump took to Twitter before the hearing began, accusing Democrats of making up allegations about his campaign associates' contact with Russia during the election. He said Congress and the FBI should be going after media leaks and maybe even Hillary Clinton instead.

"The real story that Congress, the FBI and others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!" Trump tweeted early Monday as news coverage on the Russia allegations dominated the morning's cable news.

Trump also suggested, without evidence, that Clinton's campaign was in contact with Russia and had possibly thwarted a federal investigation. U.S. intelligence officials have not publicly raised the possibility of contacts between the Clintons and Moscow. Officials investigating the matter have said they believe Moscow had hacked into Democrats' computers in a bid to help Trump's election bid.

Monday's hearing, one of several by congressional panels probing allegations of Russian meddling, could allow for the greatest public accounting to date of investigations that have shadowed the Trump administration in its first two months.

The top two lawmakers on the committee said Sunday that documents the Justice Department and FBI delivered late last week offered no evidence that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower, the president's New York City headquarters.

But the panel's ranking Democrat said the material offered circumstantial evidence that American citizens colluded with Russians in Moscow's efforts to interfere in the presidential election.

"There was circumstantial evidence of collusion; there is direct evidence, I think, of deception," Schiff said on NBC's "Meet the Press." ''There's certainly enough for us to conduct an investigation."

Nunes said: "For the first time the American people, and all the political parties now, are paying attention to the threat that Russia poses."

"We know that the Russians were trying to get involved in our campaign, like they have for many decades. They're also trying to get involved in campaigns around the globe and over in Europe," he said on "Fox News Sunday."

The Senate Intelligence Committee has scheduled a similar hearing for later in the month.

Though Comey would not discuss specific evidence, he went far beyond his testimony from a hearing in January, when he refused to confirm or deny the existence of any investigation exploring possible connections between Trump associates and Russia, consistent with the FBI's longstanding policy of not publicly discussing its work.

His appearances on Capitol Hill since then have occurred in classified settings, often with small groups of lawmakers, and he has made no public statements connected to the Trump campaign or Russia.

Any lack of detail from Comey on Monday would likely be contrasted with public comments he made last year when closing out an investigation into Clinton's email practices and then, shortly before Election Day, announcing that the probe would be revived following the discovery of additional emails.


NYPD detective dies on-duty from heart attack

Posted on March 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — An NYPD detective has died after suffering a massive heart attack on duty.

Detective Shaniqua Osborne, 42, collapsed March 16 and died shortly after arriving at a local hospital, NJ Blue Now reported.

Osborne was a 19-year veteran.

“She was a mother, wife to Trevor Osborne and also a sister to an NYPD sergeant,” NJ Blue Now’s Facebook post read.

With heavy hearts we mourn the loss of Det Shaniqua Osbourne, a 19 year vet of the pct. An amazing soul that will not be forgotten #NYPD pic.twitter.com/56mqHNCw6M

— NYPD 9th Precinct (@NYPD9Pct) March 17, 2017


Kan. K-9 fatally shot by suspect

Posted on March 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By Bryan Horwath The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA, Kan. — A man who was shot by police Saturday and later died had drawn a gun and was turning toward officers when he was shot, according to a statement from Wichita police.

Officers were sent to the Lamp Lighter Mobile Home Park, 2320 E. MacArthur, in south Wichita shortly before 8 p.m. on Saturday in response to a disturbance that included a 25-year-old man who had pointed a gun at a woman and threatened to kill both of them, according to a statement sent out by police Sunday afternoon.

After police arrived, a woman was contacted by officers outside the home. Police surrounded the home, and a man walked out of it and toward officers.

The man then walked back toward the house. Officers noticed a gun in his waistband before a police dog was released in an attempt to stop the man from re-entering the home.

According to police, officers then “saw the suspect draw a gun as he turned back toward them,” leading one officer to fire at the man.

At that point, a second officer, according to the statement, “saw a muzzle flash from the suspect’s gun” and fired his weapon as well. The suspect was wounded and later died at a local hospital, police said.

At some point during the standoff, a police dog was shot and also died. Sgt. Nikki Woodrow said Saturday night that the dog was shot by the suspect, though the statement sent out on Sunday indicated that a necropsy would need to be completed to know for sure.

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The Wichita Police Department is sad to announce the loss of K-9 Rooster, who was shot and killed in the line of duty...

Posted by Wichita Police Department on Saturday, March 18, 2017

“We believe the K-9 was shot by the suspect, but will know for sure after the necropsy and review of the evidence,” the statement said.

The police dog, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois named Rooster, had been with the department for five years. The department now has four police dogs, Woodrow said.

Investigators from the Kansas Bureau of Investigations and the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, along with Wichita police, are investigating the shooting.

———

©2017 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)


Slain La. sergeant remembered as ‘epitome of a public servant’

Posted on March 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Bryn Stole, Emma Discher and David Mitchell The Advocate

BATON ROUGE, La. — A veteran East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy who served high-risk warrants and earned accolades in his career became the fourth law enforcement officer to die here in the line of duty over the last eight months after he was fatally shot Saturday night at a strip-mall hair salon while trying to question a rape suspect, officials said.

Sgt. Shawn Thomas Anderson, 43, a father of two and an East Baton Rouge Parish deputy for 18 years, died after being rushed to nearby Ochsner Medical Center.

Anderson and another deputy struggled with the rape suspect inside Classic Cuts, a storefront hair salon on O'Neal Lane, about 11 p.m., said Casey Rayborn Hicks, a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. Hicks said during the struggle "shots were fired," and the deputy was wounded.

The rape suspect, who hasn't been identified by law enforcement, was also shot during the struggle, Hicks said. He remained hospitalized Sunday evening.

No other details of the shooting were provided by State Police, who took over the investigation.

Anderson was a decorated officer who, a year ago Sunday, earned accolades and local media attention after he helped a woman deliver her baby on Tiger Bend Road.

“Our hearts are broken as we grieve for one of our brothers,” Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said in a statement. “We ask for your continued prayers and support during this difficult time as we mourn the loss and honor the memory of Sgt. Shawn Anderson.”

A State Police trooper guarded the scene Sunday morning as a few patrons of a nearby daiquiri shop in the same strip mall as the hair salon showed up to find out when authorities would let them get their vehicles, which were trapped behind the police tape put up the night before.

Even as a parking lot for the next-door AMC Theater began to fill up for Sunday matinees, a few people were starting to leave flowers and other remembrances for the deputy on a brick planter in front of the salon.

At Classic Cuts, a bullet hole was visible Sunday morning just under a decal saying "Cuts &" in one of the salon's large glass windows facing the mall and movie parking lots.

Lilnetta Roach, the owner of the hair salon, said she had few details about what happened or why. She was reached by telephone Sunday morning before details of the shooting or Anderson’s name were made public.

Roach said some employees would work as late 11 p.m. on a Saturday and appeared to acknowledge that an unnamed male employee was at the business Saturday night.

She declined to offer more details or give the employee's name until she could learn more.

“I don’t know why he was there. I don’t know why he was there. All employees have a key,” Roach said.

Roach, who said she was in Houston, Texas, on Sunday morning, planned to head back to Baton Rouge. Attempts to reach Roach on Sunday afternoon after more details of the shooting emerged were unsuccessful.

Barbara Weathers, 64, who lives near the strip mall, said she and her daughter have frequented Classic Cuts for their own hairstyling. Weathers said she knew Roach and had seen a man and another woman also working in the salon.

Weathers also said the salon would sometimes stay open in the nighttime hours as workers finished detailed hair appointments.

“That’s not unusual,” Weathers said about the late hours.

Anderson's killing comes as Baton Rouge law enforcement continues to grieve the assassination of three officers in July during an ambush that also left three others wounded.

Deputy Brad Garafola and Baton Rouge police officers Matthew Gerald and Montrell Jackson were killed July 17 in an ambush by a former Marine from Kansas City, Missouri.

The father of Deputy Nick Tullier, who was critically wounded in the July 17 attack and remains in an intensive rehabilitation facility in Texas, offered his condolences to Anderson's family and said the shooting was another tragic blow to the tight-knit local law enforcement community.

James Tullier, the deputy's father, said there isn't enough support for police and deputies in the parish and laid some blame for that at the feet of unnamed local elected officials.

"The change has to start in the community and with some of these officials who want to be soft on crime," James Tullier said.

“It’s been a rough year for our department, our community,” said Hicks, who said she knew Anderson very well. “It’s been a rough year for law enforcement across the nation."

Anderson joined the Sheriff’s Office in May 1999 and served in a number of divisions, including the K-9 unit, narcotics, and the SWAT team. While on SWAT, he was recognized in 2014 for serving more than 60 high-risk warrants the previous year with no injuries or shots fired.

He also served in uniform patrol across East Baton Rouge Parish, including most recently with the Kleinpeter substation.

A year ago, a pregnant woman and her husband were headed to Ochsner Medical Center when they realized they weren't going to make it in time to deliver the baby and pulled over to where they saw some sheriff's deputies. Anderson quickly jumped into action, he recalled in an interview a couple days later. The baby, safey delivered, turned 1 on Sunday.

Hicks, the Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, said Anderson recently helped her mom find her lost cat after the deputy responded to an alarm going off at her house.

“He was just the epitome of what a public servant is because whatever the job at hand was he was going to get it done, whether it’s finding a lost cat, delivering a baby or saving a woman on a bridge,” Hicks said.

Anderson helped save a woman who threatened to jump off of the Old Mississippi Bridge in June of 2010 and received the Lifesaving Award for it.

Hicks said Anderson was a great father to his son and daughter and he had recently talked to Hicks about how proud he was of his daughter after her successful track and field meet.

When Hicks asked Anderson to talk with media after he helped deliver the baby, she said, he was shy and not one for the limelight so she went with him to visit the family.

“You just see a father’s love right there in that picture,” Hicks said, referring to a photo of Anderson holding the baby he helped deliver. “I think that just exemplified the kind of person he was. He was funny and to the point … and he had a soft heart.”

Anderson’s next-door neighbor, Delores Swain-Stafford, said the Andersons have been the best neighbors.

“God could not have given my husband and I better neighbors than the Andersons,” Swain-Stafford said. “When my husband passed away unexpectedly, they were there to do whatever they could to help me. I told them prayers was all I needed from them.”

She said Anderson helped mow her lawn a couple of times despite his busy work schedule. As a substitute teacher, Swain-Stafford has taught classes for both of Anderson’s children, whom she described as “great students.”

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome ordered flags in the parish lowered to half-staff this week in honor of Anderson and expressed her "deepest gratitude" for the service he and his fellow deputies have provided.

"When someone who wears a uniform and vows to protect and serve is lost, we all mourn and recognize that this is a loss for our entire community and a very sad day in Baton Rouge," Broome said in a statement.

In the O'Neal Lane strip mall where Anderson was fatally wounded, residents stopped by Sunday to pay their respects to the officer cut down in the line of duty. A memorial with flowers grew next to yellow crime-scene tape near Classic Cuts, which is adjacent to a hodgepodge of businesses, including a massage parlor, daiquiri shop, a barber shop marketed to Hispanic customers, a dentist's office and an urgent care clinic.

Kim Heard, 48, of Baton Rouge, said she was motivated to leave begonias for the deputy out of sorrow for his death in the line of duty and over the continuing violence in her hometown.

“It just makes me sad,” said Heard, who came with her high school-age son, Beau, to leave the flowers. “I grew up here. He’s grown up here. I just wish it was a little bit more peaceful place.”

___ (c)2017 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.


Police employ drones for search-and-rescue, suspect pursuit

Posted on March 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By Tony Holt The News-Journal

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla — A remote-controlled aircraft took less than two hours to survey an entire city after a Category 3 storm ripped through town in October.

By comparison, someone with a handheld camera going up and down various high-rise elevators and stairs within the city limits of Daytona Beach Shores would've needed all day — and possibly several days — to get an idea of the full damage caused by Hurricane Matthew.

Once city leaders noticed the efficiency and effectiveness of a drone, they put their heads together to think of other ways that technology could benefit them. The list kept growing, so the decision to invest in it was easy to make, said Stephan Dembinsky, the director of public safety for Daytona Beach Shores.

"We all thought, 'You know, this is a big thing. Why not use it for police use?'" Dembinsky said. "It's cheaper than a search dog. It's cheaper than a helicopter."

As a result, Daytona Beach Shores is training eight of its police officers on how to operate a drone for a variety of purposes, including locating missing people, search-and-rescue and finding suspects.

The drone guru in the city's police department is Sgt. Michael Uleski. He trains police officers and others across the country on how to operate drones. He is licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration and he has obtained an airspace waiver for the city.

Uleski recalled the reaction from city leaders when he showed them videos of roof damage from the storm.

"The speed in which I was able to do it is what really impressed them," he said. "I did the entire city in about two hours."

It was like having a heavy-duty digital single-lens reflex camera in the sky and steering it to the precise place you want it to go, said Uleski.

City Manager Michael Booker said the City Council is on board with the idea to purchase a drone, which would cost up to $4,000.

"I think we're more poised to use this technology compared to other cities because of Sgt. Uleski," said Booker, but he added there are significant restrictions associated with the use of drones.

"There are definitely privacy issues that have to be adhered to."

Dembinsky said he is aware that civil libertarians are leery of any law enforcement agency using drones because there is a fine line between proper use and abuse.

"We won't be looking into people's windows or anything like that," he said, referring to the fact that the city that is made up largely of condominium residents. State law restricts what law enforcement can do with drones. For instance, in most cases, evidence obtained by a drone video can only be used if it was collected after a warrant was issued.

The drone the city will buy can carry items no heavier than a few pounds, but Ulenski said that is just right for the device to carry a life preserver in the event someone is in the ocean and needs help. It is easy to fly a drone out into the water at 45 mph and drop a life vest onto the distressed swimmer so that person can remain afloat until a lifeguard can reach him or her.

Drones can also help with fire rescue. With a bird's eye view, it can locate hot spots in a building and provide that intelligence to responding firefighters, said Uleski.

The maximum height limit allowed under the license obtained by Daytona Beach Shores is 400 feet above the operator, he said. Some drones have the capability of going as high as 19,000 feet. The restrictions are in place because the city is within the the airspace of the Daytona Beach International Airport.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told the News-Journal that a deputy in his agency is licensed to fly drones. That deputy will undergo more training so that he may train other deputies on how to use it, the sheriff said.

Chief Mark Strobridge, a spokesman with the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, said drones could be used by deputies in the future, especially considering their cost-effectiveness versus a helicopter.

"As of today, we don't have a solid plan but we're looking at all options," he said.

Strobridge also emphasized the importance of using the devices with residents' rights to privacy firmly in mind.

"We have to do it right 100 percent of the time," he said.

———

©2017 The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla.


Trooper brings injured bald eagles to safety

Posted on March 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By David Greenwald The Oregonian

GOLD BEACH, Ore. — A pair of bald eagles got a helping hand from an Oregon state trooper.

Senior Trooper Paul Rushton came to the birds' rescue in Gold Beach on March 9, the Oregon State Police shared in a new Facebook post. Authorities said the birds had been spotted injured in a ravine: when Rushton arrived, he placed them into animal carriers and had the experts at Grants Pass' Wildlife Images Rehabilitation and Education Center take a look. It turned out one had a "small tear in its wing muscle," and may have become tangled up with the second eagle in a fall: eagles often hold each others' talons during fights or pair bonding.

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On March 9, 2017, in Gold Beach, Senior Trooper Paul Rushton responded to a property regarding two injured Bald Eagles....

Posted by Oregon State Police on Saturday, March 18, 2017

The eagles are now said to be doing well.

Wildlife Images has worked frequently with bald eagles. In 2014, the organization fostered a 2-pound eaglet, Starbuck, and cared for the bird until it could be released back into the wild.

And earlier in March, Wildlife Images executive director Dave Siddon happened to tape a video segment with another bald eagle, Defiant, in honor of World Wildlife Day. He explained that the bald eagle, once an endangered species, had been brought back with help from the Endangered Species Act of 1973. As part of its work, Wildlife Images does camps for kids to bring them up close to animals such as Defiant, and the non-profit is accepting volunteers and donations.

———

©2017 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)


UK anti-terror police simulate Thames tourist boat hijacking

Posted on March 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

LONDON — British police in inflatable powerboats stormed a River Thames cruise boat Sunday as part of an exercise simulating the hijacking of a tourist vessel in London.

The Metropolitan Police force said Sunday's training exercise involving more than 200 officers was designed to test the emergency services' response to "a marauding terrorist attack."

It's the first such exercise to focus on the winding tidal river that carries large amounts of commuters, tourists and freight through the heart of London.

Last year a report commissioned by Mayor Sadiq Khan recommended strengthening security measures along the Thames.

Britain's official threat level from terrorism stands at "severe," meaning an attack is highly likely.

Police Commander B.J. Harrington said the exercise Sunday was not held in response to a specific threat. But he noted that deadly truck attacks last year in Nice and Berlin showed that methods of extremist attacks were evolving.

"And, of course, the river runs right the way through London, so why wouldn't we prepare for that?" Harrington said.


‘Sanctuary’ policy punishments narrowly clear NC House panel

Posted on March 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By Gary D. Robertson Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — A Republican measure in part designed to penalize any local governments with "sanctuary" policies toward immigration by withholding their tax dollars narrowly cleared a North Carolina House committee Tuesday.

The judiciary panel voted 6-5 for the bill even after it was changed by a GOP committee member to make it easier for those cities and counties to receive tax distributions again quickly if they demonstrate they have eliminated those policies.

Rep. Harry Warren, R-Rowan, one of the bill's primary sponsors, opposed the amendment by Rep. John Faircloth, R-Guilford, that also passed by a one-vote margin. But Warren still urged the bill's passage. He said it's not designed as a punitive measure but to ensure compliance with federal and state immigration laws.

A 2015 state law bars local government policies that discourage compliance with federal immigration law or police from collecting information about the immigration status of suspects and others. Associations representing the state's municipalities and counties say they don't know of any locality with such policies. The attorney general's office would receive and investigate complaints from anyone alleging local governments are violating the law.

"This is simply a deterrent to say, 'Let's keep everybody on the same page,'" Warren told the committee.

Tax distributions that local governments could lose include revenue on beer and wine, and piped natural gas. Municipalities also would lose road-building funds.

The measure passed despite criticisms by Democratic lawmakers and advocates for immigrants that a provision making it more difficult for suspects unlawfully in the country to get out of jail while awaiting trial could face constitutional challenges.

"I think we're setting ourselves up for another hefty legal bill," said Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford.

An amendment failed that would have eliminated a presumption for judges to deny bond to any criminal suspect unlawfully in the country who is either charged with a violent crime or is the subject of a federal effort to be removed from the U.S. Instead, the amendment by Rep. Joe John, D-Wake, would have made those circumstances among many others a judge would have to consider.

The bill now heads to another House committee.


Troopers retire but get back on the beat in communities

Posted on March 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By Marcia Moore The Daily Item

SUNBURY, Pa. — Fred Dyroff and Sean McGinley retired from the Pennsylvania State Police on the same day, Friday, Jan. 13, after serving 25 years. But they didn’t hang up the uniform.

In their late 40s and not ready to leave the workforce, or police work, the pair quickly landed municipal police chief positions in neighboring towns.

“I don’t know if I would know how to do anything else,” said Dyroff.

As they neared the end of their state police careers, both learned of nearby municipal police chief job openings.

Dyroff, a Lewisburg resident who last served as assistant director of the Investigative and Operational Support Division in the Bureau of Forensic Services, and McGinley, of Elysburg, former director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, each cast their names into the application pool and both were tapped for the jobs.

In the past month, McGinley has been settling into the chief position at Mahoning Township Police Department and Dyroff has taken over as chief in the borough of Mifflinburg.

“It’s a natural transition,” said McGinley, who is following in the footsteps of his late father who served for years as police chief in Centralia.

And it’s happening more frequently as many veteran retired state police officers are deciding to stay in law enforcement at a local level.

After a 28-year career with the state police, Marshall “Angelo” Martin was hired in October to serve as director of Susquehanna University’s public safety office. At Bucknell University, the director of public safety since 2012 has been Stephen J. Barilar, a retired state police officer with 26 years of service. Since November 2015, retired trooper Matthew Burrows has patrolled hallways in the Lewisburg School District.

In March 2015, less than two years after he retired from the state police as director of patrol operations, Rod Witherite was back in uniform as Watsontown borough police chief.

“I knew when I left at 48 that I was going back into the workforce,” said Witherite. “We (retired state officers) lived a highly regimented life for 25 years.”

Public benefits

The public they serve benefits by having law enforcement leaders with extensive training and in return they have a chance to get to know the community, he said.

“We’re more involved in community policing than ever before and get to know people,” said Witherite, who has set in place new policies, renovated the department and is now working toward attaining accreditation status which only about 10 percent of the 1,000 municipal police departments in Pennsylvania have secured.

Witherite and Dyroff replaced long-serving chiefs, while McGinley has a more difficult task of taking over a department left in turmoil following the actions of former chief Chad Thomas who was accused of huffing on the job and was fired last May after pleading guilty to possessing a chemical solvent in his office. Like Witherite before them, Dyroff and McGinley are taking a look at their new departments and deciding what changes, if any, are needed. Their first order of business is filling vacancies.

McGinley oversees six officers and is currently interviewing for two more. He also has set a goal of retaining the Mahoning Township police force’s accreditation status, which it lost after three years, and will be giving the public a chance to learn what is involved in community policing.

“We’ve been taking about a citizen police academy,” he said of upcoming educational presentations he’d like to offer.

“There’s enough to do,” said Dyroff, who will be updating technology in the department to better support the six full-time and two part-time officers.

———

©2017 The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pa.)


Police: Robber breaks leg, calls for help, gets arrested

Posted on March 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A robber in Virginia ruined his own getaway — first by breaking his leg in a jump off a balcony, and then by calling the authorities to help him.

Police say 21-year-old Leoul Yosef will be charged with burglary for robbing an Alexandria apartment on Wednesday and then jumping off the second-story balcony after the owner returned home.

Fairfax County Police Officer Don Gatthardt says Yosef left tracks in the snow when he jumped.

Officers say they were following the snow trail when they received a 911 call from a man in the vicinity saying he'd broken his leg. Responding officers matched the identity of the caller to the burglary suspect.

Gatthhardt says Yosef will be charged after his release from the hospital.

It's unclear if Yosef has an attorney.


La. sheriff’s deputy fatally shot, suspect in custody

Posted on March 19, 2017 by in POLICE

The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — A sheriff's deputy in Louisiana is dead after being shot near a barber shop in Baton Rouge, authorities said Sunday.

The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office deputy was rushed to the hospital after being shot while on duty late Saturday, Louisiana State Police spokesman Bryan Lee told local media outlets. The deputy was conducting an investigation with another deputy when the shooting occurred near Classic Cuts barber shop.

A suspect was shot and injured and taken to a hospital. The condition of the suspect was unavailable.

Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Police Chief Carl Dabadie asked for prayers for the slain deputy's family.

"I think we are a very praying community and I think that thoughts and prayers are needed here and we come together just like we always do and always have," Dabadie added. "There's no doubt we won't here, also."

The New Orleans Advocate quoted East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks as saying the Louisiana State Police would conduct the investigation.

Authorities did not release the identities of either the deputy killed or the suspect.

The deputy was taken from Ochsner Medical Center shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday with a procession of law enforcement vehicles.

"Our hearts and prayers are with the family and friends of the fallen deputy and all the brave men and women in law enforcement who risk their own safety every single day to protect the communities they serve," said Corey Amundson, acting U.S. attorney. "We will devote whatever federal law enforcement resources are necessary to ensure that justice is served."


Fla. prosecutor’s anti-death penalty stand surprises many

Posted on March 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mike Schneider Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida prosecutor who thrust herself into the forefront of the anti-death penalty movement is a political novice who was elected just seven months ago.

Aramis Ayala, a Democrat and former public defender and assistant state attorney, surprised many of her own supporters when she announced this week that her office would no longer seek capital punishment in a state that has one of the largest death rows. In response, the state's Republican governor promptly transferred a potential death penalty case — the killing of a police officer and a pregnant woman earlier this year — to another Florida prosecutor.

"I understand this is a controversial issue, but what isn't controversial is the evidence that led me to my decision," said Ayala, the first black state attorney elected in Florida.

She said there is no evidence that shows the death penalty improves public safety for citizens or law enforcement, and it's costly and drags on for years for the victims' families.

Advocates seeking to abolish the death penalty said Ayala sent a powerful message. Her decision reflects decreasing support for capital punishment in the U.S., said Karen Clifton, executive director of the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty.

"There are some prosecutors who in practice are following her lead. They just haven't spoken out like she has," Clifton said. "It would be wonderful if they spoke out and we could have a louder voice."

Ayala spent the first decade or so of her career as an assistant state attorney and public defender. She was a prosecutor in the state attorney's office for Orange and Osceola counties for about two years before she decided to seek the top job. The county is home to Walt Disney World and other tourist attractions and has grown more liberal over the past two decades.

Ayala was a political newcomer last year when she took on her former boss, then-State Attorney Jeff Ashton, who had been one of the prosecutors in the Casey Anthony case. Anthony was acquitted of murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Ayala didn't run on an anti-death penalty platform when she campaigned, since at the time Florida's death penalty law was in question after the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. A new death penalty bill was signed into law this week.

She instead emphasized during her campaign that she would engage with average citizens if elected. She acknowledged that her husband had served time in prison for drug conspiracy and counterfeiting checks years ago.

Even some of Ayala's supporters said Friday they were taken aback by her decision.

Lawson Lamar, a former state attorney and sheriff, who backed her run for office, said: "Anyone who raises their hand and takes the oath to be state attorney must be able to go with the death penalty even if they feel it's distasteful."

Ayala's campaign was helped by a Washington-based political action committee with ties to liberal Hungarian-born U.S. billionaire George Soros. The committee gave Ayala's campaign almost $1 million, as well as millions of dollars to candidates in local races around the nation.

When asked if the donations influenced her decision, she said it did not.

Florida has 381 inmates on death and shows no sign of slowing down future prosecutions. The other state attorneys in Florida issued a statement Friday saying they would continue to seek the death penalty.

Rafael Zaldivar, whose son was murdered in Orlando in 2012, said Ayala's decision is part of a political agenda and has no place in the state attorney's office. He demanded her resignation.

"She is an activist. She isn't a prosecutor. She has an agenda," said Zaldivar, whose son's killer was sentenced to death in 2015. Questions over Florida's death penalty law have cast doubt over the sentence. His case is currently on appeal.

After Ayala announced her decision, Gov. Rick Scott transferred the case of Markeith Loyd from her authority to another state attorney in a neighboring district. Loyd is charged in the killing of police Lt. Debra Clayton, as well as Sade Dixon, who was Loyd's pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Dixon's mother said she supported Ayala's decision, saying the death penalty would drag out the process for her family.

"I would love for him to die right now, but that isn't going to happen," Stephanie Dixon-Daniels said at a news conference outside the Orange County Courthouse.

Ayala's decision could play into any future political aspirations. In California, then-District Attorney Kamala Harris faced similar circumstances a dozen years ago when she decided not to pursue the death penalty against a man accused of killing a San Francisco police officer. Harris went on to become the state's attorney general and a U.S. senator.


Quacks on the tracks: NYPD rescues duck from subway line

Posted on March 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — It wasn't an ordinary police call for someone trying to duck a subway fare.

New York City officers found themselves chasing down a duck that strayed onto the tracks at a Brooklyn subway station Friday morning.

Police arrived at the Jefferson Street station on the L line around 9 a.m. to find the duck down in the tracks.

Sick of the snow & too tired to fly, Bklyn duck tries taking #Ltrain south for warmer air. Thanks @nypdtransit @nypdspecialops for the lift! pic.twitter.com/LCbuwMdhYE

— NYPD L Train (@NYPDLTrain) March 17, 2017

Officers Frantz Chauvet and Anastasiya Mishchenko and detectives Kevin Conway and Michael Black worked to rescue it.

The New York Police Department's Transit Bureau posted video on Twitter of the officers carrying the bird along the platform, and later releasing the duck in a park from a police-tape-wrapped box.

The bird hopped out and waddled off down a snowy path.

Chief Joseph Fox quipped that the "apprehension went swimmingly."


Dallas offers cautionary tale as it moves to fix 911 woes

Posted on March 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By David Warren Associated Press

DALLAS — Dallas has been experiencing disruptions in its 911 service that began in October and at one point last week resulted in 360 calls being placed on hold. More dispatchers have been assigned to field 911 calls and technological glitches have been fixed, which should smooth operations, a city spokeswoman said Friday.

But the problems plaguing Dallas can be found with other 911 systems that rely on increasingly obsolete networks that are incompatible with new technologies and protocols.

Here are some of the issues at play:

WHAT HAPPENED IN DALLAS?

It was initially believed that the city's 911 center was bedeviled by T-Mobile phones making "ghost calls," which are automatically generated by a phone unbeknownst to its owner. Spikes in calls would periodically overwhelm 911 dispatchers. City Manager T.C. Broadnax said it appeared the problem was fixed in January, but it later returned and may have contributed to a delayed response to emergency situations in which two people recently died in separate incidents, including a 6-month-old boy whose baby sitter was on hold for a half-hour after the child fell from a bed.

On Thursday, the city instead blamed the problem on abandoned calls. Callers would hang up after dialing 911 and dispatchers were then obligated to return the call to determine if there was an emergency. But that created a long backlog of calls.

On Friday, Deputy Police Chief Jesse Reyes said the call center received 5,352 calls between 3 and 11 p.m. on March 11, a period that might average about 2,800 calls. It was during that period that a Bridget Alex and her baby sitter were unable to reach a 911 operator after an accident involving Alex's 6-month-old son. Brandon Alex later died of his injury. On March 6, the night David Taffet said he couldn't reach 911 operators for help after husband Brian Cross collapsed at their home, the call center received 4,802 calls between 3 and 11 p.m. Reyes provided no average number for such a weeknight, but said it would have been less than the 2,800 calls seen on a weekend evening.

Reyes said no totals for the number of abandoned calls during those periods were available. He said 911 operators answer 90 percent of their calls within 10 seconds, the industry standard. He said, however, there is no industry standard for getting back to calls placed on hold during high volumes, and he has no totals of how many calls on the evenings of March 6 and March 11 were abandoned.

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WHAT IS THE FIX?

More dispatchers are now fielding calls and city spokeswoman Sana Syed said T-Mobile has made modifications to its network. For example, T-Mobile engineers have disabled a function where if a person calls 911 and doesn't make contact with a dispatcher, then the phone will automatically generate a follow-up call, she said. Disabling that function will help reduce the backlog of calls. Also complicating matters were phones that would not accept any incoming calls if a person was on the line with 911. That means a dispatcher would be unable to return a call if a person was making another attempt to reach 911.

Syed said an ongoing complication is that come components of the city's 911 network are outdated and need to be replaced.

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A BIGGER PROBLEM

Some of the challenges Dallas is facing are playing out nationally. Landline systems are largely incompatible with next generation 911 systems, which use mapping services to locate callers and can support text, video and other forms of communication.

"We have got to make the transition quickly because the longer we stay in this transitional state with one foot in the landline world and one foot in the IP, or internet, world the more vulnerable we're going to be," said Trey Forgety, director of government affairs for the National Emergency Number Association.

He said a new national perspective must take root. In the past, not much could be done to impede 911 service. But now ransomware, "denial of service" attacks and other cyber threats are undermining 911 operations. Forgety mentioned a case investigated by Phoenix police in which a teenager tweeted a link that contained coding that caused iPhones to repeatedly dial 911. Retweets and reposts by others would automatically generate more calls, inundating 911 centers in many parts of the country.

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HOW OFTEN IS 911 SERVICE DISRUPTED?

The Federal Communications Commission doesn't release tallies on how often 911 service is interrupted. But large-scale disruptions occur with some regularity. Just last week, AT&T cellphone customers were unable to call 911 in several states. Law enforcement and government agencies in Texas, Florida, Tennessee and other states reported the problem and provided alternate numbers for people to call during emergencies.

In August 2014, 911 connections for millions of T-Mobile customers were interrupted. The FCC said it stemmed from a software upgrade that interfered with call routing and a $17.5 million fine later was imposed.

That same year, service was lost for some 11 million people in seven states because of what the FCC described as a software coding error by a company that provides 911 communications services.


Dispute over hot dog led to Fla. hostage standoff

Posted on March 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By Julius Whigham II The Palm Beach Post

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — A man involved in a standoff with police Thursday pulled a gun on relatives in an apparent dispute over cooking hot dogs, according to a Riviera Beach police report made public Friday.

Officers arrested Lamar Brooks, 24, on charges of false imprisonment, aggravated assault with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm. City police used a drone to find him hiding inside a car, the report said. He remained in custody at the Palm Beach County Jail early Saturday in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Officers were initially called shortly after 10:30 a.m. Thursday to a reported domestic assault on R.J. Hendley Avenue, north of Blue Heron Boulevard and east of Congress Avenue. A woman and a young girl were able to escape when Brooks pulled a gun and made threats, the report said.

When officers arrived, they were told Brooks was barricaded inside the home. The woman told investigators she and Brooks were arguing Thursday morning when he grabbed a gun and started walking around the apartment saying, “I can cook whatever I want.”

Officers attempted to contact Brooks by phone but learned that he had managed to get out of the home. The West Palm Beach Hostage and Crisis Negotiator Team responded to the scene and was able to make contact with Brooks.

He told officers he was still in the home and did not want to come out. However, an anonymous source informed the officers that Brooks was actually seen standing in front of an apartment building a few blocks away on West 21st Street.

Police deployed the drone and were able to catch Brooks climbing out of a parked car, the report said. After being taken into custody, Brooks reportedly admitted to having a gun.

He told officers the argument started because he was hungry and wanted to boil some dogs. He was told to cook them in the microwave instead. Brooks said he ignored the request and continued to prepare the hot dogs on the stove stop, the reports.

Brooks claimed that the woman grabbed the pot and threw it on the floor. Officers say the pot was still on the stove with water still inside it when they entered the home.

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©2017 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.)


Man killed at Paris airport had criminal past, radical flags

Posted on March 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Nicolas Garriga and John Leicester Associated Press

ORLY, France — French soldiers shot and killed a man who wrestled a colleague to the ground Saturday and tried to steal her rifle at Paris' Orly Airport. The melee forced the airport's busy terminals to close and evacuate and trapped hundreds of passengers aboard flights that had just landed.

The 39-year-old Frenchman, who authorities said had a long criminal record and was previously flagged for possible radicalism, first fired bird shot at police officers during an early morning traffic stop before speeding away and heading for the airport south of Paris.

There, in the public area of its South Terminal, the man wrestled the soldier who was on foot patrol and tried to snatch away her rifle, authorities said. The French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said the patrol's other two members opened fire. Le Drian said the soldier managed to keep hold of her weapon.

"Her two comrades thought it was necessary — and they were right — to open fire to protect her and especially to protect all the people who were around," Le Drian said.

The attack further rattled France, which remains under a state of emergency after attacks over the past two years that have killed 235 people.

Witnesses described panicked bystanders fleeing, flights halting, traffic chaos and planes under lockdowns. French authorities, however, stressed that security planning — reinforced across the country in the wake of repeated attacks — worked well.

The soldier was "psychologically shocked" but unhurt by the "rapid and violent" assault, said Col. Benoit Brulon, a spokesman for the military force that patrols public sites in France. No other injuries were reported.

"We'd already registered our bags when we saw a soldier pointing his gun at the attacker who was holding another soldier hostage," said Pascal Menniti, who was flying to the Dominican Republic.

Authorities said at least 3,000 people were evacuated from the airport. Hundreds of passengers also were confined for several hours aboard 13 flights that were blocked in landing areas, and 15 other flights were diverted to Paris' other main airport, Charles de Gaulle, the Paris airport authority said.

A French official connected to the investigation confirmed French media reports that identified the attacker as Ziyed Ben Belgacem, born in France in 1978. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the man's details.

The attacker's motives were unknown. After the airport attack, his father and brother were detained by police for questioning Saturday — standard operating procedure in such probes.

The anti-terrorism section of the Paris prosecutors' office immediately took over the investigation. The prosecutors' office said the attacker had a record of robbery and drug offenses.

He did not appear in a French government database of people considered potential threats to national security. But prosecutors said he had already crossed authorities' radar for suspected Islamic extremism. His house was among scores searched in November 2015 in the immediate aftermath of suicide bomb-and-gun attacks that killed 130 people in Paris. Those searches targeted people with suspected radical leanings.

French President Francois Hollande said investigators will determine whether the attacker "had a terrorist plot behind him." He ruled out any link between the attack and the upcoming two-round French presidential election in April and May, noting that France has been battling extremist threats for years.

About 90 minutes before the airport attack at 8:30 a.m. (0730 GMT, 4:30 a.m. EDT), the man was first stopped by a police patrol in northern Paris because he was driving too fast, police said. As he was showing his ID papers, the man pulled out a gun and fired bird shot at the three officers, injuring one of them in the face, police said.

Police fired back. The man fled in his car. That traffic stop at 6:50 a.m. was at Garges-les-Gonesse, north of Paris near Le Bourget airport. The man later abandoned that vehicle at Vitry, south of Paris, and stole another at gunpoint, police said. That car was later found at Orly Airport.

Orly is Paris' second-biggest airport, behind Charles de Gaulle. It has both domestic and international flights, notably to destinations in Europe and Africa. The attack brought airport operations to a screeching halt.

Traffic was jammed near the airport and people wheeled suitcases down the road. Augustin de Romanet, president of the ADP airport authority, said passengers who were prevented from disembarking from flights were allowed off around noon, once a search of the airport was complete.

The airport's South Terminal did not reopen until late afternoon.

A witness identified only as Dominque told BFM Television that the attacker held the soldier by the throat and held her arm and her weapon.

"We saw it was a serious situation, so we escaped," he said. "We went down the stairs and right after we heard two gunshots."

Taxi driver Youssef Mouhajra was picking up passengers at Orly when he heard shots, which he first thought were just a warning.

"We have become accustomed to this kind of warning, and to having the soldiers there," he told the AP.

Then he saw people fleeing the terminal.

"I told (the passengers) let's get out of here," he said. As he drove away, he saw soldiers and police rushing toward the airport.

The military patrol was part of the Sentinelle force installed around France to protect sensitive sites after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks. The force includes 7,500 soldiers, half deployed in the Paris region and half in the provinces.

Saturday was at least the fourth time that Sentinelle soldiers have been targeted since the force was created. It was set up after the deadly attack in January 2015 on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris and reinforced after the assaults that left 130 people dead in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015.

The shooting comes after a similar incident last month at the Louvre Museum in Paris in which an Egyptian man attacked soldiers guarding the site. He was shot and wounded and taken into custody.

It also comes just days before the first anniversary of the March 22 attacks on the Brussels airport and subway that killed 32 people and wounded hundreds of others.


Cops aren’t shooters, but they should be

Posted on March 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Chrystal Fletcher
Author: Chrystal Fletcher

Ask any little kid, or nearly any adult for that matter, to envision a police officer and describe what they see. Dollars to doughnuts, they will describe a man in uniform with a badge and a gun. The law enforcement officer with a gun on his hip is an iconic vision of Americana, yet far too many of our modern officers fail to get the training they need to be truly proficient with their firearms. As a result, the law enforcement hit rate remains alarmingly low.

The massive amount of time, money and training required getting a new officer, deputy or trooper on the road stretches increasingly tight budgets. Add in all of the other training mandated in order to maintain certification and it is easy to see why continuing firearms training is usually the first and deepest cut. Some individuals may rationalize that many of those other tools and skills are more frequently used by law enforcement; therefore, they should hold a higher priority on the training schedule.

With the spike in ambush attacks against law enforcement in the last 12 months, extensive training with firearms is more important than ever. Of all the tools available to the modern officer, the firearm is the most devastating from a personnel and community perspective. The decision to use, or not to use, deadly force always has physical, psychological and financial consequences.

No firearms training standards

The quantity and quality of firearms training varies greatly. Some agencies provide extensive and regular, high quality training. Others simply require their officers to qualify once or twice a year providing little to no instruction or practice time. These quasi-trainers are the individuals that are most concerning.

First, qualifications are not training. It is a test required by an agency or other regulating authority to ensure each officer meets the minimum standards required to retain their law enforcement certification. While offering trigger time and rounds down range, qualification holds no training value.

Agencies that consider qualification as training may be getting shooters who only meet the minimum standards, and since we don’t know what we don’t know, these officers may think they are receiving the necessary training. An agency that conducts qualifications more often than mandated is wasting precious time, money and ammunition that could be better spent in actual firearms training so their officers can perform to higher standards.

There are many reasons why quality firearms training may get reduced. The first thing is usually cost. Firearms training, especially in house training, is expensive. There is the cost of ammo, overtime wages or loss of street time to train, equipment maintenance, range facility maintenance and ongoing education required to train instructors. The logistics of scheduling can also be a genuine concern for agencies already struggling to maintain adequate staffing. Lastly, there are administrators who fail to see the value of providing training above what is mandated.

It’s a choice

In today’s political climate, taxpayers cannot, and should not, be expected to fund advanced training for every law enforcement officer. Nor does every officer have the interest in receiving advanced training. We all have our own life priorities and interests. But consider this. You chose a career that requires you to carry a weapon and repeatedly put yourself in situations when you may need to use it. Don’t you feel you owe it to your loved ones to be as prepared as you can be? And, are you as best prepared as you can be? By these standards, is the training provided to you adequate? If not, it is your responsibility to get the training and trigger time you need.

If you decide to invest in improving your firearms skills on your own time and dime, there are numerous quality private training facilities and instructors, as well as specific law enforcement training organizations available to you. If that is the route you choose, do your homework. Just because someone can shoot and hangs a shingle, doesn’t make them a good teacher. We have already established that firearms training is expensive, so you want to get your money’s worth. It may also be a tax deduction that you can file on your personal income taxes if your department does not reimburse you – check with your accountant and keep your receipts.

Cost-friendly, alternative training

If you cannot afford to provide your own training, consider playing the games. Groups like IDPA, USPSA and 3-Gun are a great way to get some quality trigger time at low cost. It’s not tactical training. But it is quality trigger time that allows you to work on putting accurate rounds on target in compressed time frames.

Unfortunately, there are some within law enforcement that minimize the value of participation in these organizations. I have heard all the excuses: “It’s not realistic,” “It’s just a game." While these are absolutely true, they are not good reasons not to participate. What it ultimately comes down to is ego.

Generally, the public believes that because police officers carry a gun for a living, they are all good shooters. For the reasons mentioned above, this is not always true. Therefore, it is difficult for many officers to put their pride at risk and participate in a match with civilian shooters who regularly shoot above their skill level. However, this is exactly what I am suggesting you do.

Participation in these events will improve your shooting performance. You will send a lot of rounds downrange and do so under the added stress of the rules, a shot timer and the spirit of competition. No, this is not combat stress, but it is stress. Learning to perform under such conditions will increase your comfort and competence with your firearms.

These competitions enforce marksmanship accountability, so the ammo you are burning is well spent. Additionally, the people you will meet at these matches are some of the nicest and most generous folks around. Although it is a competition, your fellow shooters will welcome you as a new participant and will be willing to do what they can to help you succeed. It may not be training in the strictest sense, but receiving the tips and tricks along the way, if you are receptive to them, will broaden your shooting prowess.

An honest self-assessment

I implore you to make an honest assessment of your firearms training. Are you satisfied with the quality and quantity of the training being provided to you by your agency? Is your department training producing accomplished and well-rounded shooters, or are they happy with minimum standards? Do you feel you would be better served by some additional trigger time?

You owe it to yourself, your coworkers and your family to get the best training you can afford. And when cost is a consideration, take a serious look into playing the games. You will receive some quality trigger time, have a lot of fun and enjoy the company of some of the most dedicated law enforcement supporters out there. Just accept that you won’t be the best shooter on the range, at least not in the beginning, because cops aren’t shooters…but they should be.


Chicago police investigate officer who raised money for kids

Posted on March 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Don Babwin Associated Press

CHICAGO — A Chicago police sergeant who helped give the department's battered public image a lift by raising money for three little girls found in a filthy, unheated abandoned building last year is now the subject of a department probe into the fundraising effort.

Police spokesman Frank Giancamilli said Friday that the department doesn't suspect Sgt. Charles Artz did anything "nefarious." The officers were not trying to hide what they were doing and confined their efforts to when they were off-duty, according to a second police spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi.

But Giancamilli said the fundraiser was linked to a bank account of one of the officers involved — though he would not say which one — and there is a rule of conduct that prohibits officers from seeking or soliciting contributions. "This is being done more for precautionary reasons," he said.

Some of Artz's fellow officers are angry and some in the community are confused by the probe at a time when the department is trying to regain public trust damaged by incidents such as the videotaped fatal shooting of black teen Laquan McDonald by a white officer.

"It really sends a mixed message to the officers," said Sgt. Jim Ade, the head of the sergeants' union, who likened what is happening to an officer rushing across a street into a burning building only to get a ticket for jaywalking. "They (department superiors) are telling them, 'We want you to be out there getting involved in the community but when you do we are going to nail you."

The grandmother of the 7-year-old, 2-year-old and 1-year old girls nicknamed by police the "Englewood Angels" said she can't believe anyone is even questioning an effort that kept her from being evicted so she could take the children in and keep them out of foster care.

"He did nothing wrong trying to help me, didn't ask for nothing," said Delores Anderson. "I was behind on my rent and would have lost my apartment and they wouldn't have let me have my granddaughters if I didn't have no way to stay in my apartment.

"He's a blessing to me."

The story of the girls began last November with news accounts of how they were found alone in an apartment that had no electricity, running water or food. The officers' efforts to donate things such as diapers, toys, clothing and milk and in their off-duty hours set up a GoFundMe page for the girls received widespread media attention. By the next month they had raised more than $125,000 in donations.

A call to Artz at the police station on the city's South Side where he works was not immediately returned.

Englewood is one of the highest-crime neighborhoods in a city that had 762 murders last year, the highest in nearly two decades.


Lessons learned from the DOJ report on the Chicago Police Department

Posted on March 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Ralph Brown

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice released their findings into their investigation of the Chicago Police Department. You can download the report here. As a result of the investigation, CPD will enter into a consent decree to correct the identified operational deficiencies.

This article does not serve as an in-depth review of the practices of the CPD, nor is it the purpose of this author to judge the practices of the CPD or validate the findings of the DOJ investigation. Instead, the findings memorialized by the DOJ provide a foundation to ask ourselves a series of training related questions.

Perhaps the takeaway question in the report for chiefs and sheriffs everywhere relates to the report’s emphasis on contemporary polices, reporting and training. How do we ensure that our officers and deputies receive contemporary training that is congruent with our agency policies to minimize unnecessary liability?

DOJ reviewed thousands of CPD policies, orders, memos, internal and external reports and training plans. They also reviewed over 170 officer-involved shooting investigations and documents related to over 425 incidents of less-lethal force. DOJ also toured CPD’s training facilities and observed training programs. When was the last time you did the same?

Training lessons

To put the importance of training into context, “Training is the foundation for ensuring that officers are engaging in effective and constitutional policing,” as stated on page 159 from the DOJ report. Furthermore, and on the same page, the report uses language that we have used in California law enforcement training for over a decade, “Provide training that is comprehensive, organized, based on adult-leaning principles, and developed with national best practices and community policing in mind.” When developing or updating training, California training has benefited from the model that involves gathering subject matter experts to evaluate the learning objectives for their contemporary value. How often and by what means do you update your training curricula?

Supervision lessons

The DOJ report makes an obvious observation that all law enforcement executives and managers can acknowledge; in essence that a pattern of unlawful conduct can be due in part to deficiencies to an agency’s inadequate training and supervision, as noted on page 13 of the DOJ report. This report reminds us that an agency that does not provide adequate training or supervision to officers in the field will result in officers who are unprepared to police lawfully and effectively. Supervisors will be unable to mentor and support the efforts of their officers. In the case of CPD, the report identifies, “…a systemic inability to proactively identify areas of improvement, including Department-wide training needs and interventions for officers engaging in misconduct,” cited on page 13. When was the last time you evaluated, or hired an independent evaluator, to examine your department’s training plan or asked managers and supervisors for recommendations for improved and updated training?

Academy lessons

Both empirical knowledge and the DOJ report note the importance of high quality training at the onset and through the duration of an officer’s career. The report notes the CPD academy “relies on outmoded teaching methods and materials.” The result is that the recruit is ill-equipped to serve the community. One example of dated materials used as part of training involving use of force, “that consisted of a video made decades ago, which was inconsistent with both current law and CPD’s own policies,” as noted on page 13. If you are responsible for an academy, when did you last review the pedagogy and materials for currency?

Field training lessons

When managing an FTO Program, we look for the best and brightest to mentor and guide our new hires. As a reminder, the new recruit today may be the captain, chief or sheriff tomorrow. From day one, we should be thinking of succession planning and career development, so we are ready to replace supervisors and managers when they retire. The FTO Program is the first step.

The report identifies an issue with recruitment and retention, “The FTO Program, as currently structured, does not attract a sufficient number of qualified, effective leaders to train new probationary police officers, has an insufficient number of FTOs to meet the demand, and fails to provide PPOs with appropriate training, mentorship, and oversight,” noted on page 13.When was the last time you evaluated your FTO Program for its leadership and mentorship qualities; are the FTOs effectively supervised?

In-service training lessons

Every state has a unique version of Peace Officer Standards and Training, legislative mandates and minimum training requirements. In-service training applies here as well. Ongoing, updated training is the bedrock for professional and constitutional interaction with the public. The report found that CPD lacked training that was congruent with a long-term training strategy or plan. The in-service training was “sporadic” and did not proactively consider the needs of the department. Furthermore, the report noted on page 13 that, “Large numbers of officers were cycled through this important training quickly in order to meet a deadline set by the City, without proper curriculum, staff, or equipment.” Does your agency have a training plan, and when was it last updated? Additionally, have you surveyed your staff (upstream) to confirm your training is contemporary and the best available?

Deliberate indifference

Best practices and empirical research tell us that active leadership, management and supervision, coupled with adequate documentation, will eliminate or dramatically reduce the aforementioned liabilities identified in the DOJ report. As outlined in the report on page 34, “Arming police officers without providing any training on constitutional limitations of the use of deadly force [or other critical areas] may amount to deliberate indifference…” The lack of adequate sound contemporary policy and training can expose the officer, agency and city/county to “substantial damages claims in civil rights litigation.” Would your department’s training program pass the deliberate indifference test?

Many of the findings in the report are reminders of the importance of the need to design, execute and document contemporary training based on best practices and constitutional law. In addition, the following six questions should serve as a checklist for next Monday morning:

1. How often and by what process do we update our training plan? 2. When was the last time we performed an upstream evaluation from officers and supervisors on the effectiveness of our training? 3. When was the last time we reviewed our academy’s curricula and materials? 4. When was the last time we evaluated our FTO Program for their leadership and mentorship qualities? 5. How do we evaluate that our FTOs are adequately supervised? 6. During an executive management meeting, ask if our training program would pass the deliberate indifference test; by what means can we qualify the answer(s)?

Engage in active leadership, reject mediocrity and support contemporary training – the community and your department will benefit.


About the author Ralph Brown is a Bureau Chief for the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), and honorably retired as a lieutenant, with over 23 years of service. Ralph earned a Masters Degree in Information Systems and a Bachelor of Arts in Management.


Police: DNA links suspect who shot 2 cops to slain Detroit college officer

Posted on March 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

DETROIT — Police say a man arrested in the shootings of two Detroit police officers is now a "prime suspect" in the death of a college officer.

Detroit Chief James Craig says DNA evidence links the man to Sgt. Collin Rose, who was fatally shot in November while on patrol for the Wayne State University police department.

Craig calls it a "first step." He declined to release any other details Friday.

Meanwhile, two Detroit officers shot Wednesday night are recovering from their injuries. The injuries are not life-threatening, although one officer was shot in the neck. A suspect was arrested that same night and soon could face charges.


Man charged in 2 Detroit cop shootings; suspect in cop death

Posted on March 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Ed White Associated Press DETROIT — A man was charged with attempted murder Friday in the shooting of two Detroit police officers and also named as the "prime suspect" in the slaying of a college officer who was gunned down while on patrol in November.

Raymond Durham's arrest Wednesday night apparently was the big break in the investigation of Sgt. Collin Rose's death. Detroit Chief James Craig said DNA evidence links him to the fatal shooting of the Wayne State University officer.

"This is a first step," said Craig, who called Durham the "prime suspect" but declined to release more details.

Separately, Durham, 60, is charged with shooting two officers who stopped him while he was on foot earlier this week. The prosecutor's office said he pulled a gun from his waistband and fired.

Durham was arraigned in a hospital room where he's recovering from multiple gunshot wounds. He asked for a court-appointed lawyer.

The injuries suffered by the two officers aren't life-threatening, although one was shot in the neck.

"Make no mistake: This suspect was violent. He was dangerous," Craig said.

Emory Durham told The Detroit News that his brother has been living in abandoned houses and unable to work full-time but is "not the type to hurt people."

"He would ride his bike or walk or fix bikes, doing whatever anybody else out there is doing," Emory Durham said.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy praised the "round-the-clock collaboration" between Detroit police, state police and other law enforcement groups.

Durham wasn't the first suspect in Rose's death. Worthy in December dropped a murder charge against another man.


Policing Matters Podcast: How evidence-based policing can improve patrol

Posted on March 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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For the past several years, interest in Evidence-Based Policing has skyrocketed. An extension of evidence-based medicine, this form of analytical research (using control groups and other scientific methodologies) has helped forward-thinking agencies to better understand the challenges they face, and the solutions that make the most sense to solve those problems. In this week's podcast, Jim and Doug welcome guests Renee Mitchell and Jason Potts, co-founders of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing, to discuss what EBP actually is, and why line-level officers should not only care about it, but actively work to use it.


Calif. K-9 dies from medical condition

Posted on March 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MILPITAS, Calif. — A Milpitas police K-9 has died after he was taken to emergency surgery for a medical condition.

K-9 Jax died on March 6 after emergency surgery was unsuccessful, the department wrote on Facebook.

Jax became an official peace officer on Oct. 17, 2014 when he completed a month-long intensive Basic K9 Handler School with his partner Officer Ryon Lawson. They were assigned to the Field Services Division.

The department wrote that Jax was a natural. On his second day in the field, he discovered a weapon used in an attempted armed robbery. A year later, Jax searched for almost two and a half hours for a fleeing suspect who collided with two officers in an effort to evade capture.

In addition to apprehending suspects, Jax and Lawson visited multiple public events and schools as an effort to connect with the community. The department wrote they made a positive impact on the hundreds of people they met.

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It is with great sorrow that the Milpitas Police Department announces the unexpected passing of one of our own, K9...

Posted by Milpitas Police Department on Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Managing police stress to strengthen relationships at home

Posted on March 17, 2017 by in POLICE

American Military University
Author: American Military University

By Dr. Jarrod Sadulski, faculty member, Criminal Justice at American Military University

In most professions, there is some level of stress. However, the demands placed upon police officers and ongoing threats of—and exposure to—violence leads to extremely high levels of stress on a daily basis. Such stress can do more than affect an officer’s job performance; it can also seep into and damage their personal life.

Officers must acknowledge their stress and recognize how it impacts their personal relationships, specifically their marriage. It isn’t until officers accept that stress is taking a toll on their lives that they can then take steps to mediate and reduce the adverse effects it has on them and their families.

Types of Stress Officers Face

The stress of being a police officer is different than the stress experienced by civilians and even other first responders. Officers are constantly at risk of physical harm. They respond to dangerous and often unknown situations and regularly deal with unstable or unpredictable individuals, many of whom may try to harm them.

In addition to dealing with the risk of physical harm, officers face other sources of stress. Officers undergo psychological stress stemming from responsibilities like supporting victims or conducting investigations at crime scenes (Bishopp & Boots, 2014). Officers are also under great scrutiny from the public, which can cause officers to feel stressed while performing their duties. Lastly, many officers also feel they do not receive the support they need from management (Menard & Arter, 2014).

How Stress Hurts Law Enforcement Families

Stress has a direct impact on the personal lives of officers. Research shows that police officers are at an increased risk of divorce due to stress from the job (Galatzer-Levy et al., 2013). Officers also have higher rates of divorce than other occupations (Russell, 2014).

While many spouses exhibit pride in being married to an officer, the reality is that being a law enforcement family is hard. Factors that have a negative impact on police marriages include:

Shift work and long hours. Shift work is often required in policing to provide adequate police coverage. Working different shifts and extended hours can result in stress at home because officers often have difficulties getting time off for family events. Conflict between work and family roles. While on duty, officers must always be prepared to defend themselves and respond quickly to a situation. It can be hard for officers to change this mindset when they’re off duty. Officers must make a concerted effort to step out of that role at the end of their shift when they’re with their families. Perceived changes in an officer’s personality between work and home (Karaffa et al., 2015). On the job, officers tend to be analytical and assertive in order to remain safe, which may result in conflict once at home.

In addition, many families suffer from financial problems, the strain of watching a loved one cope with trauma, and negative public perception of the police. These issues can all have an adverse impact on police marriages and family relationships, resulting in emotional exhaustion and work-family conflict (Karaffa et al., 2015). Specifically, negative public perception can increase stress in police families as the officer may be recognized by witnesses and arrestees while off duty and when accompanied by their family. This reality can make the officer uneasy in public places that are enjoyed by other families.

How to Improve Family Life

While much of the stress an officer experiences cannot be changed there are things an officer and his or her family can do to mitigate the impacts of that stress on an officer’s personal life. Here are a few things to help reduce the impact of stress on an officer’s marriage and family life:

Peer support and communication. When an officer experiences a difficult situation that may cause stress, it should be addressed by a supervisor prior to the end of shift. An agency should have a peer-support system in place where select officers are designated to help other officers who have experienced a traumatic event. All officers should be able to communicate with peer officers in a private setting to talk about what occurred. Spousal support. Spouses also need to understand the stressors officers experience while on duty. By gaining a deeper understanding of these issues through literature and communication, spouses can provide further support for officers. In addition, spouses can foster support by enabling the officer to talk as much or as little about the traumatic events they experience. Support from family and friends. Having a support network can be a huge asset to police families. Something as simple as providing childcare for an evening so an officer and his/her spouse can spend time alone can help enormously. Because of an officer’s long hours and shiftwork, alone time with spouses is often overlooked and this is an important aspect of strengthening police families.

Spending time with other police couples or friends. It can be beneficial to have friends who experience similar challenges and who can relate to the challenges of coping with life as a law enforcement family.

Hobbies and Activities

In addition, there are other ways to help reduce the impact of police stress on a marriage. Officers should work to maintain an identity aside from being a police officer when they’re off-duty. This can be accomplished by developing hobbies or participating in activities that are not associated with law enforcement. Having a separate life and identity outside of policing enables officers to reduce the burden of always feeling as if they are on the job.

Friendships outside the Force

While it can be beneficial to know other law enforcement families, it is just as important to maintain friendships with couples who are not involved in law enforcement and work in different professions. This is advantageous because both officers and spouses can benefit from learning conflict resolution strategies and life perspectives that are not associated with the police mindset.

Role of the Agency

Police agencies also have an important role in supporting police marriages. While conflicting priorities often exist for police administrators that include scheduling challenges and emergency response preparation, it is important that an emphasis is placed on supporting officers’ home lives. This can be accomplished through offering flexibility in the shiftwork that officers are assigned and the opportunity for assignment to positions in the agency that have varying hours. For example, officers can benefit from specialized assignments that allow them to be home more when their families are available and during special family events. Also, police agencies may support police families by sponsoring activities that encourage time together for families, which may include events for squads to get together where they are accompanied with their spouses or children.

In conclusion, the police profession is inherently stressful and can have an adverse effect on police marriages and family relationships. Officers must be deliberate about taking steps to address their stress so it doesn’t impact their relationship with loved ones.


No prosecution for La. deputies in fatal 2016 shooting

Posted on March 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kevin McGill Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Two Louisiana sheriff's deputies won't face prosecution in the shooting death of a man they pursued from a suburb into New Orleans last year, state and federal officials said Thursday.

The FBI office and Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's Office each issued statements saying there would be no criminal charges in the death of 22-year-old Eric Harris.

Both said the decision was made after attorneys reviewed an investigation by the FBI-led Greater New Orleans Civil Rights Task Force.

The statement from Special Agent Jeffrey Sallet, who heads the New Orleans FBI office, said career attorneys in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Orleans "determined it (the shooting) did not involve a prosecutable violation of federal criminal civil rights statute."

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bowman issued a similar statement.

Jefferson Parish deputies said they chased Harris because he pointed a gun at people at a mall.

Harris was black. Authorities last year said the two deputies — one white and one black — told investigators they shot because they feared for their safety when Harris put his car in reverse.

The shooting sparked protests.

One in July coincided with protests in Baton Rouge over the videotaped fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling. The New Orleans protest began on a side street where Harris was shot and included a march by more than 150 people to a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.


Fallen Navajo officer called fearless, hilarious at service

Posted on March 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Susan Montoya Bryan Associated Press

Since he was a young boy, Houston James Largo had dreams of one day wearing a uniform and a badge and helping communities on the nation's largest American Indian reservation, where he grew up.

There were tears, laughter and ovations as speakers shared stories Thursday at an emotional funeral service for the decorated 27-year-old officer, touching on those early dreams, Largo's incredible sense of humor and the many times he went above the call of duty during his law enforcement career.

Family, friends, community members and officers from across the region packed a school gymnasium in the community of Rehoboth to honor Largo, a nearly five-year veteran of the Navajo Nation police force who was gunned down Sunday while responding to a domestic violence call in remote western New Mexico.

His flag-draped casket was flanked by photographs and flowers as his family sat nearby.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez consoled Largo's mother during the service as Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye thanked the family for allowing Largo to serve as a member of the police force.

Begaye then asked the community to take the time to thank officers and for parents and grandparents to teach their children to respect law enforcement. He said it's devastating for the tribe, which spans parts of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, to lose an officer.

"Every officer is precious to us," Begaye said, at times repeating himself in Navajo. "And let me tell you ... beyond that uniform, beyond that badge, there's an individual that is loved by somebody. There is a real person with a big heart wanting to protect the public, wanting to protect you, wanting to protect our nation."

At the ceremony, Largo was called a hero and a Navajo warrior who had built "an amazing legacy" in such a short time. He also was recognized for his fearlessness and integrity.

Largo started his career with the Gallup Police Department in 2010, then joined the McKinley County Sheriff's Office before going to work for the tribal police force.

Authorities have yet to say what led to Largo's shooting. A suspect is in custody, but no charges have been filed.

Largo had stopped a vehicle on a dark county road north of the community of Prewitt. He was found lying about 50 yards from the vehicle with his duty pistol by his feet, sheriff's deputies said. He had been shot twice. His bulletproof vest stopped one shot to his abdomen, but he suffered a gunshot wound to the forehead.

A woman who came upon the scene used Largo's radio to call for help, deputies say. Largo was flown to an Albuquerque hospital, where he later died.

The shooting has renewed focus on the challenges officers on the Navajo Nation and other American Indian reservations face. They often have to patrol vast jurisdictions alone.

Tribal officials and the governors of New Mexico and Arizona called for flags to be lowered in honor of Largo.

When Edmund Yazzie, chairman of tribal council's law and order committee, spoke at the funeral, he asked the crowd to stand up and let Largo hear them, spurring a long and loud round of cheers, hoots and whistles.


BPD body cam delays seen as ‘troubling’

Posted on March 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Antonio Planas and Dan Atkinson Boston Herald

BOSTON — Boston police could spend as much as $200,000 to extend their initial six-month study of body cameras for another year, according to a request for proposals seeking bids.

Critics have blasted the department and Mayor Martin J. Walsh for not fully implementing the program, claiming the delay put the issue on the back burner until after the mayoral election.

Walsh’s office released a statement earlier this week announcing the extension of the pilot program, begun last September, by another six months. The request for proposals, however, lays out a full additional year of study. A police spokesman said the testing of cameras by 100 officers would end in September, but the study of data would continue for another six months after that.

Rahsaan Hall with the ACLU of Massachusetts said the ongoing delays in implementation are troubling.

“We’re very concerned that this does not become a trend in further delaying the full implementation of a body-worn camera program,” Hall said. “We appreciate the desire to have good and meaningful data to study. At the same time, roll it out.”

Hall said he believes the department could launch the program, outfitting all beat cops with cameras, while also studying it, then changing practices as needed.

BPD’s request for proposal caps the spending at $200,000. The request was issued Monday and the bid deadline is March 31.

“The purpose of this evaluation is to assist in understanding how body-worn cameras influence the civility of police-citizen interactions, the lawfulness of police work, police officer proactivity and their attitudes towards the technology, and community perceptions. ... The Department is looking to learn if body cameras significantly reduce the number of complaints against police and incidents of police use of force,” the request states. “Funding will be provided for up to one year.”

There are 100 officers from the gang unit and five districts wearing cameras on duty.

Northeastern University researchers are studying BPD’s pilot program.

Police spokesman Lt. Detective Michael McCarthy said in an email yesterday that those researchers “were given short initial funds or have worked pro-bono to help with the design and measurables for our on-going data collection and future analysis. Given our procurement laws, an official bid for research evaluation funding is required.”

———

©2017 the Boston Herald


P1 Photo of the Week: Ready, aim, fire

Posted on March 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Sgt. Christina Martin sent us this awesome shot of Adams County (Wis.) Sheriff's officers training at the range.

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!


Miss. ‘Back the Badge’ bill heads to governor

Posted on March 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Emily Wagster Pettus Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi could double the penalties against people who intentionally harm law enforcement officers, firefighters or emergency workers, under a bill headed to the governor.

Supporters said they filed the "Back the Badge Act" in response to the killings of police officers last year in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The House passed the final version of House Bill 645 with no debate Thursday, sending it to Republican Gov. Phil Bryant.

The action came a day after two volunteer firefighters were struck by a vehicle and killed in the south Mississippi town of Sumrall. Several uniformed Mississippi Highway Patrol officers watched from a balcony in the House chamber during the vote.

Bryant started his career as a deputy sheriff and frequently speaks in support of law enforcement officers and other emergency responders. During his State of the State speech in January, he mentioned the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agent Lee Tartt, who was killed in a February 2016 shootout during a standoff with a man holed up in a house near Iuka. Three other officers were wounded.

"Across our nation, law enforcement is under attack," Bryant said then. "Here in Mississippi, most of our citizens continue to support and respect the men and women who wear the badge and protect and serve."

Bryant is expected to sign the bill, which would become law July 1.

The bill would expand the state's existing hate crimes law, which enhances penalties for crimes committed because of a victim's race, religion, national origin or gender. "Back the Badge" originally proposed tripling the penalties for attacks on law enforcement officers, firefighters or emergency workers — in or out of uniform. Senators changed that to double penalties, and the House accepted that change. The final version also says the bill can't be interpreted to limit the constitutional right to free speech — an addition that addresses concerns about the possibility of people being punished for protesting police behavior.

During earlier debates, some members in both chambers raised concerns about harsh treatment of African-Americans by police officers.

Current law says aggravated assault — a broad crime that generally covers violent attacks that don't kill a victim — is punishable by up to 20 years in prison for most cases, or 30 years if the victim is on a list that includes law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency workers. It was not immediately clear whether the penalty would be 40 years or 60 years under "Back the Badge."


More details emerge in shooting of 2 Detroit officers

Posted on March 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

DETROIT — A 60-year-old man suspected in the shooting of two Detroit police officers has been arrested and the officers are in stable condition, the police chief said Thursday.

The officers were conducting an investigation in an area where narcotics are sold Wednesday night on the city's west side when they approached a man who was "acting fidgety," Police Chief James Craig said. The man pulled out a gun and fired before the officers returned fire, Craig said.

One officer was shot in the neck and "the early diagnosis is he's going to be OK," Craig said. The other officer was shot in the ankle and body armor stopped two bullets to the chest, he said. Craig said the officers were in stable condition Thursday morning.

"Tragedy has struck again in the city of Detroit regarding Detroit's finest," Craig told reporters Wednesday. "The good news is that both are being treated."

The man fled, sparking a police search that ended late Wednesday with the arrest of the suspect, Craig said. The man had been shot in the leg — an injury police believe was from the initial exchange of gunfire, Craig said. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Craig told WWJ-AM on Thursday morning that he expects the man to be charged and that the police investigation "is continuing at a rapid clip."

The shooting took place near where Wayne State University officer was fatally shot in November. The officers who were shot Wednesday were part of a stepped up police presence in the area since 29-year-old Collin Rose was shot, Craig said.

Police are investigating whether there's any connection between the shootings in November and Wednesday, Craig said. Investigators have been asking for tips from the public in Rose's death. Charges against a man initially arrested in the case were later dropped.


Police: Bullets fly because of wrong pizza toppings

Posted on March 16, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nashville police say a car of teenagers opened fire at a market because they were served the wrong pizza toppings.

Police say suspects ages 16, 17 and 18 were arrested Tuesday afternoon after guns were fired toward the D.B. Todd Market. No one was hurt.

Police say an undercover detective witnessed the gunfire, followed the car to a house and called backup. The car was reported stolen.

One suspect told police the shots were fired because they received a pizza with the wrong toppings.

They face aggravated assault, unlawful handgun possession and vehicle theft charges.

Eighteen-year-old Djuan Bowers is being held in lieu of $50,000 bond. The 17-year-old and 16-year-old face juvenile charges.

Bowers and the 17-year-old face additional aggravated robbery charges in a Feb. 20 holdup.


Police: Ohio officer, man hit by gunfire amid drug search

Posted on March 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Police say an officer was shot in the hip in Ohio's capital city at a home where the gunfire suspect was arrested and another man was shot in the leg.

Columbus police say a 22-year-old man shot at police entering an apartment house to search for illegal drugs under a warrant Wednesday night. They say the officer returned fire, and the man dropped his weapon.

The officer was hospitalized in stable condition.

Police say suspect Shawn Toney Jr., of Columbus, was treated for unspecified injuries sustained as he was arrested. He's charged with assault of an officer. Court records listed no attorney for him before arraignment Thursday.

It wasn't immediately clear who was responsible for the gunfire that wounded the other victim, a 61-year-old man, who was treated and released.


Prosecutor: No death penalty for alleged cop killer Markeith Loyd

Posted on March 16, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando's police chief says he's disappointed by a prosecutor's decision not to seek the death penalty against a suspect charged with fatally shooting a police lieutenant.

Chief John Mina said in a statement that he's upset that State Attorney Aramis Ayala won't seek the death penalty for Markeith Loyd.

Ayala scheduled a news conference Thursday to explain the decision.

Mina says he had spoken to Ayala, and he believes crimes like the ones Loyd is accused of are the reason for having the death penalty.

Loyd faces two first-degree murder counts and other charges in the deaths of his ex-girlfriend and Lt. Debra Clayton. Loyd's ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, was fatally shot at her home in December. Clayton was gunned down Jan. 9 outside a Wal-Mart while attempting to capture Loyd.


Gov. reassigns case after prosecutor refuses death penalty for alleged cop killer

Posted on March 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mike Schneider Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida's governor took a case involving the killing of a police officer out of the hands of its prosecutor Thursday, hours after she announced that her office would no longer seek the death penalty in any cases.

The unusual and firm stance against capital punishment by State Attorney Aramis Ayala in Orlando surprised and angered many law enforcement officials, including the city's police chief, who believed suspect Markeith Loyd should face the possibility of execution. Civil liberties groups, though, praised Ayala's position.

Sending a clear signal that he wanted Loyd prosecuted in a capital case, Gov. Rick Scott signed an order to transfer Loyd's first-degree murder to State Attorney Brad King in a neighboring district northwest of Orlando.

Loyd is charged with killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton.

Ayala said she would follow the governor's order.

Ayala said she made the decision after conducting a review and concluding that there is no evidence to show that imposing the death penalty improves public safety for citizens or law enforcement. She added that such cases are costly and drag on for years.

Ayala was elected last fall in a judicial district that has grown from being moderately conservative to liberal over the past two decades.

"I have given this issue extensive, painstaking thought and consideration," Ayala said at a news conference. "What has become abundantly clear through this process is that while I do have discretion to pursue death sentences, I have determined that doing so is not in the best interests of this community or in the best interests of justice."

Buddy Jacobs, who has been general counsel for the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association for more than four decades, said no other prosecutor in recent memory has opted out of seeking the death penalty.

After Ayala announced her decision, Scott asked her to recuse herself from the case, but she refused. The reassignment applies only to Loyd's case and not Ayala's other duties since under Florida law, a governor can only suspend an elected official for "malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, habitual drunkenness, incompetence, or permanent inability to perform official duties."

Florida law allows a governor to reassign a case for "good and sufficient" reasons.

"She has made it clear that she will not fight for justice and that is why I am using my executive authority to immediately reassign the case," Scott said in a statement.

Ayala's decision ignited condemnation from some law enforcement leaders.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina said in a statement that he was "extremely upset."

"The heinous crimes that he (Loyd) committed in our community are the very reason that we have the death penalty as an option under the law," Mina said.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi called the decision "a blatant neglect of duty," saying it sends a dangerous message to residents and visitors.

But Adora Obi Nweze of the Florida state conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said it was a step in the right direction.

"Ending use of the death penalty in Orange County is a step toward restoring a measure of trust and integrity in our criminal justice system," she said.

A spokeswoman for the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Tasha Jamerson, said the national association doesn't keep track of prosecutors who opt out of seeking the death penalty.

Ayala's decision comes just days after Scott signed a bill requiring a unanimous jury recommendation before the death penalty can be imposed.

The legislation was aimed at restarting death penalty cases, after questions about Florida's death penalty law during the past year brought executions to a halt.

The U.S. Supreme Court in January 2016 declared the state's death penalty sentencing law unconstitutional because it gave too much power to judges to make the ultimate decision.

The Legislature responded by overhauling the law to let the death penalty be imposed by at least a 10-2 jury vote.

In October, however, the state Supreme Court voted 5-2 to strike down the new law and require unanimous jury decisions for capital punishment.

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Governor Rick Scott this afternoon relieved Orlando State Attorney Aramis Ayala of her duties regarding the prosecution...

Posted by Pinellas County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, March 16, 2017


Man thanks deputies, off-duty firefighter for saving his life

Posted on March 16, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. — A man is crediting the quick actions of two sheriff's deputies and an off-duty firefighter for saving his life this past September.

Springfield News-Leader reported that a 911 caller reported a suspicious man and woman walking in a neighborhood. Deputies arrived and a man carjacked Troy Rieth's car. Rieth and Deputy Austin Adams tried to stop the man, who later hit Rieth with the truck. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and doesn't remember hitting his head.

Deputies Adams and Justin Hall said Rieth was unresponsive and appeared to have life-threatening injuries. An off-duty firefighter, Micah Latch, with the Ebenezer Fire Protection District, was looking for a house to buy nearby.

Latch saw Adams and Hall performing CPR and went over to help.

"I guess that proves there's a bigger fate," Latch said.

Rieth, a married father of two, spent a month in the hospital and another month going to rehab. He presented plaques to the three who helped save his life.

A man has been charged with robbery, armed criminal action, assault, assaulting a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and tampering with a motor vehicle in connection with the incident.

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We had a ceremony today to celebrate the 3 men who performed cpr on Troy the day of his accident. We are very thankful for them! He wouldn't be here today without them.

Posted by Troy and Alicia Rieth's Journey on Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Senate committee approves Ala. church police force

Posted on March 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An Alabama church is a step closer to having its own police force.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would authorize Briarwood Presbyterian Church to employ its own police force. The bill now moves to the Alabama Senate.

A House committee has approved a similar bill, but the proposal has not yet gotten a floor vote.

The Birmingham-area congregation of 4,000 wants to create a police department to protect its church and school.

Church administrator Matt Moore told the committee that the Sandy Hook school shooting "changed everything" in terms of concerns about security.

The state has given a few private universities the authority to have a police force, but never a church or non-school entity.

Opponents worry crimes could be covered up by the church.


NYPD officer dies from 9/11-related cancer

Posted on March 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Laura Blasey Newsday

NEW YORK — Wherever he went, Michael Hance had a knack for making friends.

That’s why it was no surprise when a video surfaced of the NYPD officer and Bethpage resident dancing in uniform at the New York City Pride Parade in 2015, his family said. The video quickly went viral.

“He was the life of the party,” said his brother Peter Hance, 45, of Bethpage.

Hance, a 17-year veteran of the NYPD and 9/11 first responder, died Sunday in Plainview after being hospitalized with brain cancer, his brother said. He was 44.

Michael Hance was born Feb. 2, 1973, the third of four children. He attended Bethpage High School and later got a GED, his brother said. He attended Nassau Community College and SUNY Binghamton before joining the NYPD in March 2000, an NYPD spokesman said.

Hance didn’t have much time on the force before the attack on the World Trade Center. Like other first responders, Hance rushed to the scene and was part of a bucket brigade, his family said.

“He loved being a cop and he loved helping,” Peter Hance said.

On a chilly afternoon in November 2016, Peter Hance noticed his brother, a divorced father of two who lived across the street, had collapsed outside his Bethpage home.

Days later, doctors removed a tumor from Hance’s brain and discovered 12 more that later spread to his vital organs, Peter Hance said. After several months of outpatient treatment, Hance collapsed again three weeks ago and was taken to Plainview Hospital, where his condition continued to deteriorate, his brother said.

“He never made it out,” Peter Hance said. “We’re a tight family, it’s very difficult.”

It’s not just the Hance family that’s mourning Michael Hance’s loss. Hance became an online celebrity while working at the 111th Precinct in Bayside Queens, earning him a fan base within the LGBT community.

In June 2015, a group of performers from the Big Apple Softball League walked the New York City Pride Parade route, which Hance was assigned to patrol. One group member, later identified as Aaron Santis, attempted to get a few officers to dance but only Hance, in uniform, accepted the invitation.

The resulting video of the two men dancing went viral, prompting overwhelming media coverage and support for Hance, who was heterosexual, and the NYPD. The original YouTube clip has more than 7.8 million views.

Following Hance’s diagnosis, the Gay Officers Action League began collecting money through Facebook to benefit the family and help bring Hance’s daughter to a Pride celebration. That fundraiser has collected more than $2,000 and another fundraising event to benefit his family is scheduled for March 23.

“We mourn the loss of Officer Michael Hance who passed from cancer & thank him for the many smiles he brought to #NYC & the #LGBT community,” the organization tweeted Monday.

Another fundraiser on GoFundMe set up by a family friend has so far raised $22,000 for the family.

Paige Ponzeka, who filmed the viral video, said she remains impressed by Hance’s gesture, even after two years.

“I’ve always thought it was a an awesome gesture that he did,” Ponzeka, 27, of Astoria, Queens, said. “He’s not a member of the LGBT community and he just did it because he was having fun that day.”

Hance’s family said the dancing scene was emblematic of Hance and his approach to life.

“Doesn’t matter who you are, that’s Michael. He got along with everybody,” Peter Hance said. “He was just an all around great guy.”

Michael Hance is survived by his mother Barbara Hance, 70, of Bethpage; brother Peter Hance and sisters Donna Volpe, 50, of Dix Hills and Laura Campisi, 39, of Copiague. He also leaves behind two daughters, Kaitlyn, 12, and Jenna, 10.

The family is receiving visitors Thursday and Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Arthur F. White Funeral Home in Bethpage. Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Martin of Tours RC Church in Bethpage.

———

©2017 Newsday


Sessions encourages cities to revive ’90s crime strategies

Posted on March 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sadie Gurman and Alanna Durkin Richer Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — The Justice Department will encourage cities to revive decades-old strategies to fight violent crime, focusing on sending certain gun crimes to federal court, where they carry longer sentences in far-away prisons, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday.

Sessions continued to push his tough-on-crime agenda to law enforcement officials in Richmond, where one such effort had its origins.

Sessions credited that program, known as Project Exile, for slowing the murder rate through aggressive prosecution of gun offenses under federal laws, instead of the weaker state statutes. Conviction on a federal gun charge carries a minimum, mandatory prison sentence of five years, bond is less available and defendants are sent out of state to serve their sentences.

"I will promote that nationwide," he said, calling the effort "a very discreet effective policy against violent crime."

The comments further underscored Sessions' repeated promise to make fighting street violence a top mission of the Justice Department. That is a radical departure for a department that has focused more on prevention of cyberattacks from foreign criminals, counterterrorism and the threat of homegrown violent extremism.

Still, in his first month in office, Sessions has spoken more frequently about the need for federal involvement in ordinary crime-fighting, citing the need for harsh sentences for the most violent criminals. Last week, he urged the nation's federal prosecutors to devote more resources to prosecuting the worst offenders, lamenting a rise in murders as federal prosecutions declined.

Law enforcement officials, including FBI Director James Comey, credit Project Exile for a drop in murders in Richmond. But critics have said the program that began in the 1990s was racially biased and point to other reasons for declines in crime. Federal judges at the time expressed concerns about the wisdom of having federal agencies take over functions historically reserved for state and local law enforcement.

On racial disparities, Sessions said law enforcement has "to be so sensitive to those issues," but added, "When you fight crime you have to fight it where it is. You may have at some point an impact of a racial nature that you hate to see, but if ... it's focused fairly and objectively on dangerous criminals, then you're doing the right thing."

Sessions said he helped orchestrate a similar program called Project Trigger Lock when he was a federal prosecutor in Mobile, Alabama, during the height of the drug war in the 1980s and '90s. Investigators would seek ways to move certain traditional violent crime and gang cases to federal court.

"When I met in my communities, the people in those communities pleaded with us to have more police and do a better job of getting thugs off the street," he said. "I still go through there 30 years later and see the progress that was made."


Trooper, K-9 rescue abandoned puppies

Posted on March 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Steve Burns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA — A Georgia State Patrol trooper made a discovery of quite a different kind while on patrol Monday in southwest Atlanta.

While driving in an abandoned subdivision that was a known dumping ground for stolen cars, Trooper Jordan Ennis saw three puppies that had been abandoned in a briar patch, according to a post on the agency’s Facebook page.

Knowing that no one would come for the dogs, Ennis and his police dog Tek brought the puppies into headquarters on Confederate Avenue, the GSP said.

The puppies, a mix of unknown breeds, were adopted out to three members of the headquarters staff.

“A Trooper never knows what he may encounter on a shift,” the post said, “but a day with puppies is a good day.”

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©2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)


2 Detroit officers shot, manhunt underway

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DETROIT – Two officers were shot Wednesday night, and a search for the suspect is underway.

According to ClickOnDetroit, the officers saw a man fidgeting near a location known for drug activity and approached him. The suspect opened fire, striking one officer three times and the other officer once.

The officers returned fire, but the suspect managed to flee.

Detroit Police is searching for Raymond Durham, a person of interest involved in the shooting of two DPD officers on the city's west side. pic.twitter.com/mRqh4QXpPk

— Detroit Police Dept. (@detroitpolice) March 16, 2017

Police are currently searching for 60-year-old Raymond Durham, last seen in a tan jacket and pants. He is believed to be armed and dangerous, according to the report.

Both officers are undergoing treatment at a local hospital and expected to recover.


2 Detroit officers shot, suspect in custody

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DETROIT – A man who allegedly shot two officers Wednesday night is in custody.

Police Chief James Craig told WXYZ that Raymond Durham, 60, was shot in one leg during the initial incident and was taken to a local hospital. He was arrested without incident. His weapon was recovered, the news station reported.

According to ClickOnDetroit, the officers saw a man fidgeting near a location known for drug activity and approached him. The suspect opened fire, striking one officer three times and the other officer once.

The officers returned fire, but the suspect managed to flee.

WYXZ reported that one officer was shot in the ankle and the chest. He was wearing a ballistic vest and is being treated for his ankle wound. The second officer was shot in the neck.

Both officers are undergoing treatment at a local hospital and expected to recover.

Detroit Police is searching for Raymond Durham, a person of interest involved in the shooting of two DPD officers on the city's west side. pic.twitter.com/mRqh4QXpPk

— Detroit Police Dept. (@detroitpolice) March 16, 2017


2 Detroit officers shot, suspect in custody

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DETROIT – A man who allegedly shot two officers Wednesday night is in custody.

Police Chief James Craig told WXYZ that Raymond Durham, 60, was shot in one leg during the initial incident and was taken to a local hospital. He was arrested without incident. His weapon was recovered, the news station reported.

According to ClickOnDetroit, the officers saw a man fidgeting near a location known for drug activity and approached him. The suspect opened fire, striking one officer three times and the other officer once.

The officers returned fire, but the suspect managed to flee.

WYXZ reported that one officer was shot in the ankle and the chest. He was wearing a ballistic vest and is being treated for his ankle wound. The second officer was shot in the neck.

Both officers are undergoing treatment at a local hospital and expected to recover.

Detroit Police is searching for Raymond Durham, a person of interest involved in the shooting of two DPD officers on the city's west side. pic.twitter.com/mRqh4QXpPk

— Detroit Police Dept. (@detroitpolice) March 16, 2017


How to secure grant funding for a new command center

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Linda Gilbertson
Author: Linda Gilbertson

Most law enforcement agencies don’t have existing budgets that can be applied for the purchase of expensive equipment like a mobile command center. Alternative sources of funding, such as private, federal, state or local grants are necessary. But how do you determine where to look?

The first step you need to take before looking for the most appropriate funding resource is determining what the command center will be used for. Is it for large critical incident response? SWAT callouts? Is it for a mobile communications unit during a disaster or other need? Or will it be for regional training exercises with multiple agencies involved?

A well-equipped mobile command center should be able to handle most of these situations as they arise, but when you are looking for funding, finding that key function will help lead you in the right direction toward finding a viable grant option.

Determine your need for a command center

No matter which funding option you find to best suit your agency’s needs, you still must be able to prove that the command center vehicle is necessary for you to solve a very serious problem. You have to be able to validate that your need is real by including facts and statistics. You must prove that your request is vital to the safety and security of the community you serve – and that the only way to solve those problems is with the vehicle.

A word of caution: Don’t make decisions about your mobile command center’s capabilities and equipment based on what funding is available. Trying to make a project fit a grant opportunity will not be beneficial to you since it actually may not suit your agency’s real need. You won’t be solving the problem you really have, which is why you should be seeking out grant funding.

Regional, state-wide utility

Projects that serve more than a single agency typically have a better chance of being funded. These days, for many grant requests, collaboration is the key for success. If you can work with other law enforcement or first responder agencies on a regional or even state-wide basis, you are more likely to be considered for the funding.

With a mobile command center, the ability to work across agencies is probably very strong, especially since not a lot of local police departments actually have this type of vehicle and its capabilities can serve a large number of needs. Before you decide to seek out grant funding for a command center that only you will use, check with other agencies to see if they have a similar need or would be willing to partner with your agency on the project.

Another great thing with collaborations is that your need statement will be stronger because you will serve many more people, and the problems that can be addressed with the vehicle will be far more substantial than any one agency will have. This could mean the difference between being funded or not.

State grants

For instance, emergency communications could be covered at the state level with 911 emergency communications funding. Equipping the command center with enough communications capabilities that can be used to ensure that those services will be a vital asset in times of crisis could be the link that connects you to this source of funding.

Federal grants

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is another area to consider when determining grants to apply for. If you are part of a regional task force that deals with homeland security issues, that funding could be a good fit. DHS grants are available at both the federal and state level.

Justice Assistance Grants from the U.S. Department of Justice could be another good option. These funds are provided to state and local jurisdictions by the federal government, typically based on crime numbers and population. Each state handles the disbursement and allocation of their JAG funds differently, so check with your state’s authorized representative agency on how that is done, if you aren’t already receiving those funds.

As you are looking for funds to purchase equipment, don’t forget the sustainability issue. Most grant applications require you to specify how you will continue your project once the funding has ended. It’s always a good idea to consider sustainability for every grant-funded project you apply for, even if the question isn’t asked in the application.

For something as large as a command center, the upkeep costs could be substantial over the years. That’s an important conversation to have with your command staff as you determine whether you want to apply for grant funds for the vehicle.

It may require a bit more research to find funding to purchase a mobile command center, but it’s definitely worth the work to make your community safer.


No, really, run in a straight line from an active shooter

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: TFB Staff

This article originally appeared on The Firearm Blog.

By Nathan S.

It's all too often that those of us even halfway interested in learning self defense tactics are presented with one of the various myths that never seem to die. Perhaps most egregious is the advice that one should run in a zig-zag line when attempting to flee an active shooter. The operating theory is that the intended victim will be harder to hit by changing their direction often, almost as if running from an alligator.

The most poignant example of this is perhaps Generation Kill, which took great pains to show the simultaneous danger, absurdity, and hilarity of the though through the use of “Rolling Stone”, the resident embedded writer. When coming under sniper fire, the Marines run straight and the reporter zigs and zags.

“Next time we come under fire, run in a straight line, you’ll live longer.”

Moving from the entertainment value to the truly real-world is Active Response Training, who sets up a small experiment simulating an “active shooter” event with someone of reasonable experience with firearms.

The results?

Run in a straight line!

Those shot at running straight line may have a hit rate nearly identical, running in a straight line gets one out of danger faster. With the vast majority of handgun wounds survivable, reducing the potential for being hit multiple times greatly increases the chances of survival.

Check out the full article here over at Active Response Training.


Cop’s close call: ‘Felt the suspect’s gun barrel and heard the trigger click’

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

RICHMOND, Va. — The Richmond police chief and mayor are praising officers for their professionalism after a suspect pulled a gun on an officer during a traffic stop.

Police responded to a call on March 7 of gunfire that hit a woman’s apartment, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Three officers patrolling the area received the description of the shooter and pulled over a suspicious vehicle.

According to WWBT, police attempted to detain Donte J. Watts, 24, from the vehicle, but he resisted and pulled a gun on one of the officers. Police Chief Alfred Durham said during a news conference that the officer “felt the barrel of a handgun being pressed into his stomach and heard the click of a trigger being pulled several times.”

The gun malfunctioned and didn’t fire. No shots were fired from either side and no one was injured during incident. Watts was charged with felony assault of a law enforcement officer and use of a firearm in a felony. More charges are pending.

Mayor Levar Stoney praised the officers’ professionalism and “the courage and bravery that they exhibited” with how close of a call it was.

“I think that we can all say that they are heroes,” Durham said. “They showed amazing restraint. Those officers did not fire their weapons, even when they realized that one of their own was in mortal danger.”

Police said five others were in the car. Three were charged with an unrelated offense.

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Chief Durham speaking about an incident Tuesday. A suspect attempted to shoot an officer.

Posted by Jasmine Turner NBC12 on Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Ex-LA County sheriff Baca guilty of obstructing FBI probe

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was convicted Wednesday of obstructing an FBI investigation into corrupt and violent guards who took bribes to smuggle contraband into the jails he ran and savagely beat inmates.

The trial, the second Baca faced after a jury last year deadlocked 11-1 in favor of acquittal on obstruction charges, cast a dark shadow over a distinguished 50-year law enforcement career that abruptly ended with his 2014 resignation from the nation's largest sheriff's department as the corruption investigation spread from rank-and-file deputies to his inner circle.

In addition to tarnishing his reputation as a policing innovator and jail reformer, the case threatened to put Baca, 74, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, behind bars for up to 20 years.

Baca appeared to have escaped the fate of more than a dozen underlings indicted by federal prosecutors until a year ago, when he pleaded guilty to a single count of making false statements to federal authorities about what role he played in efforts to thwart the FBI.

A deal with prosecutors called for a sentence no greater than six months. When a judge rejected that as too lenient, Baca withdrew his guilty plea and prosecutors hit him with two additional charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

The federal probe began in 2011 when Baca's jail guards discovered an inmate with a contraband cellphone was acting as an FBI mole to record jail beatings and report what he witnessed.

Word quickly reached Baca, who convened a group to derail the investigation and ferret out more about what the FBI was focused on, prosecutors said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lizabeth Rhodes said during closing arguments that corruption in the nation's largest jail system "started from the top and went all the way down."

"When defendant Baca learned the FBI and a federal grand jury was investigating, he obstructed, and when he learned the FBI has turned its focus on him, he lied," Rhodes said.

Baca's subordinates hid the FBI informant from federal agents by moving him between different jails and booking him under fake names. Other department members tried to intimidate his FBI handler by threatening to arrest her.

Defense attorney Nathan Hochman didn't dispute those facts but told jurors that prosecutors had presented no evidence Baca gave orders to obstruct the FBI.

Hochman was frustrated in efforts to present evidence of Baca's diagnosis of Alzheimer's.

There was no evidence Baca suffered from the condition during efforts to impede the FBI in 2011, and Judge Percy Anderson said mention of it could harm the prosecution by swaying jurors to sympathize with the ailing former lawman.

Anderson said it might be relevant to the lying charge because a psychiatrist was prepared to testify that Baca's memory could have been impaired when he allegedly told prosecutors in 2013 that he was unaware of actions taken by deputies to thwart the investigation.

At the judge's suggestion, prosecutors elected to first go forward with a trial on the charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

When that ended in mistrial in December, prosecutors said they would retry Baca on all three counts and take their chances with jurors hearing that Baca was now suffering from the early stages of the disease.

However, Anderson later barred the Alzheimer's testimony, ruling it would be speculative and a waste of time.

The issue might have arisen if Baca testified, but he has sat silent throughout the proceedings, only occasionally conferring with his lawyers.

Hochman has only vaguely hinted at the issue, reminding jurors that Baca was 71 at the time of his interview with prosecutors and wasn't lying, but had forgotten details. Hochman said much younger witnesses had also forgotten specifics in interviews and testimony.

In a series of rulings against Baca, Anderson also ordered him not to wear a ceremonial sheriff's badge on his lapel that he wore during the first trial.

Baca headed the sheriff's department for 15 years before his resignation.


Texas PD now allows beards

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LUBBOCK, Texas — A Texas town is following the lead of other cities and allowing officers to have well-groomed beards.

According to EverythingLubbock.com, the Lubbock Police Department changed their policy Jan. 13, allowing beards that are clean, neatly trimmed and “present a conservative, professional experience.” The officer’s neck must remain clean shaven and no soul patches or clumps of hair are allowed.

"The response was almost immediate, right after the policy came out, you saw a lot of officers starting on a beard, and a lot of them have kept their beards, some have shaved," Assistant Chief Neal Barron said. "And [the bearded officers] look good, they're neatly trimmed, I think they look sharp."

Barron told the publication he believes it will make officers more approachable and hopes it encourages people to apply to the department.

"We have to stay competitive as far as our ability to attract applicants, and when other police departments do things to make themselves more competitive to make their policies less restrictive, in regards to facial hair and things like that, we have to keep up," Barron said.


How 2 Wis. police officers thwarted an ambush attack

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Richard Fairburn
Author: Richard Fairburn

I have written extensively about ambush attacks, and the problem continues to spiral out of control. In 2016, U.S. police agencies experienced 21 ambushes, and the cost in blue lives was terrible. The month of July was especially awful with five officers killed, seven wounded in Dallas on July 7, and three officers killed, three more wounded on July 17 in Baton Rouge. About 15 hours after the attack in Baton Rouge, another police ambush incident in Wisconsin reversed this trend.

At 23:32:34 hours, Sheboygan (Wisconsin) Police Department officers were dispatched to a robbery in progress call at the Union Avenue Tap, just a few blocks from the shore of Lake Michigan. Two Sheboygan officers quickly responded, peeked in a side window and saw nothing amiss – the bartender and four patrons calmly sitting at the bar, looking toward the side door. A follow-up report from dispatch told of an open phone line on 911 that revealed, “No one wants to die at the Union Avenue Tap.”

The officers moved to the side (east) door just as a man dressed in camouflage began to exit, armed with an M4 carbine with an optical sight and suppressor. As the armed robber started to raise his slung carbine, fully loaded with a 90-round drum magazine, the officers fired a total of 13 rounds from their sidearms in 2.6 seconds, landing seven hits on their adversary and more on his weapon.

One of the officer’s rounds entered directly into the muzzle of the attacker’s suppressor, near perfect alignment. The attacker retreated into the bar without getting off a single shot. Total elapsed time from first radio dispatch to shots fired was 1 minute, 49 seconds.

Ambush interrupted

You might be asking, what makes this an ambush and not an armed robbery? While we will never know the attacker’s intent with absolute certainty, the investigation and circumstances paint a picture of an ambush interrupted.

The attacker ordered the bartender to empty the till, which was spread onto the bar. He selected a couple of large denomination bills, leaving several hundred additional dollars in U.S. currency on the bar. He lingered long enough to make sure the police had been called before moving toward the side exit. His car, parked a half block away, contained more weapons and ammo beyond the 318 rounds of 5.56mm on his person. He also carried a large knife, a TASER and flex cuffs in his chest pouches.

This dude was loaded for bear, staged an almost meaningless armed robbery and was almost certainly headed for his car/cover to prepare for the arrival of the cavalry. It is not difficult to imagine the first-arriving officers cut down from the darkness as they arrived to the call, with a huge follow-on response in grave danger as they would attempt to rescue the initial, downed officers.

The attacker was a veteran of the U.S. Army, with a tour of duty in Iraq under his belt. He had been under treatment with Veterans Affairs for PTSD. His wife told them he had previously dressed in full camo and taken his rifle to the woods. She thought that was how he dealt with his stress, including this night. He had made previous statements about killing a lot of police officers.

Officers’ response

Brandon, a 14-year veteran, serves as the entry team leader for the department’s SWAT team. The second officer, TJ, is a firearms instructor and a U.S. Marine with multiple deployments to the war on terror. Obviously, both officers were superbly trained, on high alert and willing to use overwhelming force without hesitation.

Immediately after the initial shooting, the robber took a position near the bar, covering the front door with his weapon, waiting for an opportunity to kill a cop. TJ covered the east door, where the shooting occurred, while Brandon moved to the front door. Brandon directed the bar’s occupants out the front door to safety, entered just far enough to see the muzzle of the suspect’s suppressor projecting from the shadows and waited, covering down on the threat location. The bartender had a gunshot wound to the arm (a ricochet off the suspect’s weapon). An arriving backup officer applied a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.

Backup officers quickly joined Brandon and TJ, bringing M4 carbines to them for better firepower. After waiting more than 40 minutes, a flash bang was deployed with no response from the suspect. Brandon then lead an entry team who found the suspect dead, bled out but still in a firing position with his finger on the trigger.

What kept this incident from becoming a premediated ambush slaughter? Clearly, the attacker had armed himself heavily and prepped the kill zone. He baited his trap with an armed robbery call to Sheboygan PD, was headed for his cover point and had a cache of backup weapons/ammo.

Top takeaways

My read on this would-be ambush points to some deciding factors in the incident, factors which should be incorporated into any response where an ambush is possible.

First, the response and arrival was fast. Having a short distance to travel was good fortune, and Brandon and TJ enhanced this by traveling silent (no lights or sirens) and not driving past the front of the establishment. Upon arrival, they took pains to get an inside view from the side, not the front windows. The seemingly unconcerned patrons were seen to be looking to the side door, so the officers immediately made that the focus of their attention, and that alertness gave them the element of surprise. Clearly, the attacker expected to have another minute or two before any officers arrived, which would have allowed him to reach his ambush position.

Second, both officers launched an instant and overwhelming deadly force attack once they saw a heavily armed threat attempting to bring his rifle into action. No hesitation, no quarter. Many of us have long been preaching military ambush survival tactics for a close ambush of police officers: counter attack into the ambush with overwhelming force.

Another important factor in the overall outcome of the incident was Brandon’s decision to hold their positions and delay an entry. Once the innocents were evacuated from the bar, there was no reason to make entry on what they could see was a well-positioned barricaded gunman who refused to respond to verbal call-outs. Yet, at all too many scenes, we see patience fail and officers’ lives needlessly endangered by a premature entry.

Effective joint response

This incident was handled as close to perfect as we are likely to see. No officers were injured. One innocent suffered a non-life threatening injury (and has filed suit), but a ricochet off the attacker’s weapon is something no one could have anticipated or prevented. The scene management issues (perimeters and EMS staging) were handled quickly and professionally by a mutual aid response involving Sheboygan PD and sheriff’s office personnel. A professional integrity task force handled the investigation and ultimately determined the attacker’s intentions for that night.

In a previous ambush presentation, I said we must begin to find and debrief the winners of police ambush attacks, instead of merely analyzing the narratives in the FBI’s annual LEOKA report.

This was my first chance to debrief and learn from officers who won their ambush attack. Let’s find and learn from more winners like Brandon and TJ.


Photo: CHP finds car embedded in 20-foot snow wall

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Richard Fairburn

By PoliceOne Staff

TRUCKEE, Calif. — While clearing the roads last week, California Highway Patrol officers discovered something odd buried underneath the snow.

A snow-removal vehicle discovered a Jeep buried underneath nearly 20 feet of snow, NewsNet5 reported.

The department posted a photo of the back of the vehicle on their Facebook page.

An official told Jalopnik that the jeep had probably been in the snow for the majority of winter. The official said the Jeep is not blocking the roadway, so there’s no rush to move it.

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Oh the things we find playing hide and seek in the winter! Be ready for traffic delays on SR-89 as Squaw Valley is set to host the FIS Ski World Cup Friday and Saturday.

Posted by CHP - Truckee on Thursday, March 9, 2017


Miss. to begin tracking assets seized by police groups

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jeff Amy Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi will begin tracking money and assets seized by police agencies and require more oversight of such forfeitures after Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 812 .

Bryant signed the measure Monday requiring the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics to maintain a public website that lists all such forfeitures taken through civil court proceedings. The measure also calls for a judge to approve a seizure warrant within 72 hours of a police agency taking property, and for either the local district attorney of the Bureau of Narcotics to handle the forfeiture case in court.

Any law enforcement agency that doesn't get a seizure warrant within 72 hours would have to give the property back.

Libertarians and civil liberties groups have raised concerns that it's too easy to take money or property, even if people aren't convicted of a crime. People whose assets are taken have to fight the seizure in civil court. Blake Feldman, advocacy coordinator for criminal justice reform at the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi, said his group would have preferred law enforcement agencies be required to do more than merely tie an asset to a crime in order to seize it.

"Obviously we would have preferred some substantive reforms restoring some due process to the system of asset forfeitures, but the numbers are really important," Feldman said.

Supporters of the bill say tracking forfeitures publicly and ensuring someone else besides a lawyer hired by a police agency handles forfeiture court cases will guard against abuses. Local police agencies can keep 80 percent of the value of the forfeiture, while the other 20 percent goes to a district attorney or state agency.

Prosecutors would upload information, including the name of the seizing agency, a description of the property and its estimated value, and associated legal papers. Lawmakers must provide funding for the website, though, before it will begin to operate.

"I'm a big believer in property rights," said Rep. Joel Bomgar, R-Madison, a supporter. "If somebody's property is seized or forfeited, I think there needs to be transparency."

Bomgar expressed confidence that lawmakers would find the money to allow the bill to take effect on July 1 as scheduled.

The Institute of Justice, a Libertarian legal group based near Washington D.C., said Mississippi and local agencies got more than $47 million from 2000 to 2013 in assets seized in conjunction with federal agencies. Because no one has tracked state-level forfeitures until now, it is unknown how much state and local agencies seized in cases without federal involvement.

The institute applauded the bill in a statement, but said it would have preferred a law that required agencies to publicly account for how they spend forfeiture money. Feldman said the ACLU also would have preferred spending oversight.


Suspect ID’d in Navajo tribal officer’s shooting death

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

PREWITT, N.M. — The man suspected of gunning down a tribal police officer on the nation's largest American Indian reservation was found hiding on a ridge not far from his rural home in western New Mexico, according to local authorities.

The McKinley County Sheriff's Office in a report obtained by the Navajo Times identified the suspect as Kirby Cleveland. He is in federal custody, but no charges have been filed.

The FBI has not commented about the suspect and its ongoing investigation.

The sheriff's office was among the law enforcement agencies that responded early Sunday when Navajo Nation Officer Houston James Largo, 27, was shot on a county road after stopping a vehicle north of the community of Prewitt. Tribal authorities have said Largo was responding to the area in reference to a domestic violence call.

Authorities have yet to say what might have prompted the shooting.

Sheriff's deputies reported that Largo was found lying about 50 yards from the vehicle with his duty pistol by his feet. He had been shot twice. His bullet-proof vest stopped one shot to his abdomen, but he suffered a gunshot wound to the forehead.

Largo was flown to an Albuquerque hospital, where he died later Sunday.

According to the sheriff's office, a woman who came upon the scene used Largo's radio to call for help.

When deputies arrived, the driver of the pickup truck that Largo had stopped was handcuffed to the steering wheel and the vehicle's keys were found in the truck's bed. The driver provided information to authorities about the suspect, including where he lived, but no one was as the home.

Authorities learned of a cave about one-third of a mile away so deputies and Navajo police searched the area once day broke and found Cleveland hiding on a ridge west of the cave.

Largo had been with the Navajo police force for nearly five years. He also was a volunteer firefighter for McKinley County.

Family and friends told Albuquerque television station KOAT that Largo was passionate about his job and had dedicated his life to helping others.

Largo and two colleagues were recognized last year for their heroics during a 2015 domestic dispute that prompted a police pursuit and ended with one Navajo officer being killed and two others wounded. Largo and another officer worked to save the life of one of their own during the gunfight.

Funeral services were pending for Largo, who was from Thoreau, just west of where Sunday's shooting occurred. He is survived by his mother, sister and two brothers.


LE agencies struggle to find dispatchers

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Toriano Porter The Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — No wonder it’s so hard to keep emergency dispatchers on the job.

The women and men who answer our 911 calls and ensure help is on the way work nights, weekends and holidays in emotionally charged, stress-filled shifts where every second counts.

With burnout a constant, emergency communications centers throughout the metro area are struggling with shortages of dispatchers so routine that agencies are virtually never fully staffed. At one point recently in Independence, almost half the dispatching jobs were empty.

Officials say the shortages are not harming agencies’ responses to emergencies but the vacancies feed the cycle: Overtime is often required to make up for worker shortages, meaning longer hours, more burnout. Shifts can average 12 hours.

“It’s a nationwide problem,” said Rhonda Harper, Independence’s 9-1-1 administrator who oversees the Independence Police Department’s emergency communication center.

Independence, Johnson County Emergency Communication Center and Kansas City had the highest number of open emergency dispatch positions, an informal Star survey of agencies around the metro area found. Lee’s Summit — with 17 employees and one in training among 18 positions — had the lowest.

Independence is one of the most affected by shortages. In a department budgeted for 31 full-time positions, the city only employed 14 dispatchers and three shift supervisors at the beginning of the year. By February, eight employees were in training to start as dispatchers, leaving six vacancies.

Kansas City also had six vacancies among its 92 budgeted emergency communications positions. Four are currently in training.

Harper was hopeful her center would be fully staffed when the new budget year begins in July — if, of course, no one leaves.

When agencies lose dispatchers, it’s not usually to another call center. Rather, the stressful nature of the job results in many workers leaving the occupation altogether.

“Unfortunately, that is the reality,” she said.

The safety of the public, Harper said, is the department’s priority. They often hire seasonal call takers, who simply take the call and then pass on the information to a dispatcher as a way to ensure calls are answered promptly, to help address staffing issues.

Hiring qualified staff, Harper said, is a must.

“Otherwise you’re putting your citizens at risk and we won’t do that.” she said.

Harper’s department uses traditional and non-traditional recruiting methods to find prospective employees, such as advertising and the use of social media.

Officers sometimes refer people.

Harper has resorted to passing out her business card while she dines at restaurants.

“Waitresses and waiters, they can make a great dispatcher because they can do that multitasking and they can talk to people,” she said. “And that’s a big part of this job.”

How the system works

Mid-America Regional Council coordinates the region’s 9-1-1 system, which comprises 44 public safety agencies in nine counties in Missouri and Kansas. It offers seminars and training to 9-1-1 operators as well.

The organization also works with agencies to help address the shortage of emergency dispatchers.

Emergency centers are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year. Overtime is often required. Missing family gatherings and working weekends and holidays come with the territory, said Saralyn Hayes, MARC’s 9-1-1 manager.

“We have to have somebody there to answer the call,” she said.

Dispatchers’ median average salary nationwide was $38,010 per year, or $18.27 per hour in 2015.

In Independence, the city’s current job description for a dispatcher lists a salary between $19.01 and $23.44 per hour, which is higher than the national average.

Minimum requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent, a clean background check, and passing a written three-hour examination.

The process includes an interview, polygraph, psychological examination, hearing test and drug screening.

Challenging but rewarding job

As challenging as the occupation is, the position is rewarding for people like Theresa Hunter who want to serve a cause bigger than themselves.

Hunter is a dispatcher with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. She has been in the field 35 years, including the last six with Jackson County. She has a soft spot for the well-being of the deputies. Her father was a Kansas City officer for 27 years.

“It’s in my heart to take care of the deputies,” Hunter said during a break from a training session at the MARC’s office in Kansas City. “I’ve done other things, but it always comes back to the police part of it.”

The personality traits of an emergency dispatcher vary, Hunter said. Some, she said, are a necessity: Patience. Selflessness. Effective communicator. Active listener.

“When citizens call, they usually call in the most horrible times of their lives,” Hunter said. “We try to make their experience a little more pleasurable.”

Call takers and dispatchers at the sheriff’s office dispatch for deputies and seven other policing agencies in the area. They transfer emergency medical or fire calls to the nearest jurisdictions.

Navigating the needs of a caller while relaying information to deputies can be dicey, Hunter said.

“It’s very under-appreciated,” Hunter said.

Hunter’s colleague Susie Wynn has spent 27 years with Jackson County. She said some people are just not cut out for the job.

“There is more to it than what people think,” Wynn said. “We do more than just sit there and answer our phones.”

Harper, a former dispatcher, said the unpredictable nature of the job is what keeps her in the industry.

“It’s a great job,” she said. “No two days are alike. I can’t see myself in any other profession.”

Training is key

Training and retaining emergency dispatchers is an ongoing, essential task, said Ben Chlapek, MARC’s public safety training coordinator.

Most call takers are cross-trained to become dispatchers. Call takers receive information from a caller, then relay that to a dispatcher, who relays that information to emergency personnel in the field.

“It’s one of the most difficult jobs that you would ever love,” Chlapek said of dispatch work. “When you have lives on the line and you have people depending on you to act quickly and make good decisions … you have to utilize all of the tools that are provided to you.”

Wynn said she and a group of four other employees from Jackson County received extra training through MARC this past fall. That has not always been doable, Wynn said.

“It’s been times we just haven’t had enough manpower to send someone to train,” she said.

With the high turnover, agencies are constantly training employees to become dispatchers.

For example, the Clay County Sheriff’s Department has one part-time and six full-time dispatchers for its 10 budgeted positions. Two more are in training, said Capt. William Akin, emergency management director for Clay County.

But another dispatcher was planning to leave.

Deputies as dispatchers

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, which handles emergency calls for several municipalities in the county, takes a different approach to dispatching that helps shelter it from the usual staffing shortage headaches.

Operations are housed inside the Johnson County Emergency Communication Center.

Call takers and dispatchers at JCECC answer fire and EMS calls only; sworn deputies take calls and dispatch for fellow deputies and other officers in the field.

Lt. Paul Haynes is a deputy in charge of the communications division of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. Haynes oversees 35 deputies within the division. The department currently has four vacancies and one deputy in training.

Johnson County is not hurting for personnel, Haynes said. They recruit from within.

“We have a pool of 400 deputies that we can pull from,” he said.

Pulling from within gives a burned-out deputy on dispatching duty a chance to regroup without leaving the Sheriff’s Office.

“They can transfer to another division,” Haynes said, “so we don’t lose employees over that.”

Haynes added that five to 10 deputies are on duty per shift, per night.

Deputies dispatch for 11 municipalities, including Olathe, Gardner and Spring Hill.

“We stay busy,” Haynes said.

Haynes said he chose to work in the communication division for selfless reasons. There is not a greater feeling than answering the call for help, he said.

“You know that you are helping people,” Haynes said. “You can hear it in their voice.”

———

©2017 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)


Sessions continues to push new tough-on-crime Justice agenda

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is continuing to push his tough-on-crime agenda, this time to law enforcement officials in Virginia.

Sessions will speak to police and federal officials Wednesday in Richmond. He is expected to further underscore his efforts to make fighting street violence a top mission of the Justice Department.

In his first month in office, Sessions has repeatedly cited the need for harsh sentences for the most violent criminals, particularly those who use guns. He has stressed the need to try gun cases in federal court, where they can carry longer sentences in faraway prisons.

But making prosecution of violence a priority is a radical departure for a Justice Department that has focused more on prevention of cyberattacks from foreign criminals, counterterrorism and the threat of homegrown violent extremism.


Records: Chicago Police recruits rarely flunk out

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Dan Hinkel Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Standing before nearly 100 newly hired Chicago police recruits on their first day at the academy, Cmdr. Daniel Godsel issued a stern warning about the next six months of training.

"It's going to be very difficult, physically and mentally," he told the recruits last month. "You're going to find conditions at the academy strict and demanding. We're gonna hold each of you to the very highest of standards, and we will not tolerate anything short of excellence."

Yet the Police Department's own numbers show that the recruits have little reason to worry about washing out.

In fact, all but a relative handful of trainees graduate from the academy and become cops, raising concerns about how rigorous and selective the department is in inducting new officers.

Over a recent four-year period, the academy graduated more than 97 percent of its recruits, according to department figures obtained by the Chicago Tribune through a public records request.

By comparison, a U.S. Department of Justice study of some 600 police academies across the country found about 86 percent of recruits graduated between 2011 and 2013.

And the rate of failure is even higher at some big-city departments. In Los Angeles, about a quarter of recruits don't make the cut, largely because they fail tests or leave voluntarily, according to city records.

Chicago police officials defended the low attrition rate, saying that aspiring recruits undergo a "stringent" vetting process before being admitted to the academy "to ensure that the best candidates are appointed to train at the academy."

In addition, spokesman Frank Giancamilli said the department is revising its training curriculum for recruits and in recent months increased academy staffing and stepped up monitoring of instructors.

The high graduation rate, however, backs up the Justice Department's recent report on the Chicago Police Department that alleged that academy officials failed to weed out subpar recruits while providing sloppy, outdated instruction. While lacking specific figures, the report said the department has known its attrition rate was "'very close to zero' and thus well below normal levels present in police academies across the country."

The quality of officer selection and training has taken on added significance as Mayor Rahm Emanuel seeks to add 1,000 new cops over the next two years to a police force plagued by misconduct and excessive force. Even as changes to the curriculum are still in development, the Police Department is pushing large classes of recruits through an academy that the Justice Department has criticized for producing cops who are dangerously unprepared.

"A (near) zero attrition rate tells us that CPD is not taking seriously its responsibility to screen recruits," said Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor and frequent department critic. "It should come as no surprise that the department has enabled its officers to commit a pattern and practice of abuse against citizens."

Retired Deputy Chief Howard Lodding, who led the academy from 2009 to 2013, said he could not explain why the department's attrition rate is so much lower than those of some other academies, but he said he and his staff kicked out recruits when necessary.

"Just because you lose people doesn't make you a better police department," he said. "You're not there to fail people — you're there to ensure that they have the skills necessary to go on and do that job."

Emanuel continues to revamp police discipline, supervision and training almost 16 months after he was forced into action by the uproar over a video of a white police officer shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.

Uncertainty looms, however, as to how ambitious City Hall will continue to be about changing the department now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled he is unlikely to seek court-ordered reforms in Chicago, possibly leaving Emanuel with almost complete control over what steps are taken. The political climate changed in recent months after President Donald Trump was elected in part on a law-and-order platform. Major protests over police abuse have largely died down, while runaway gun violence remains a stubborn problem in Chicago.

Emanuel has recently stuck to a largely pro-police message, and Superintendent Eddie Johnson has backed off enacting a more restrictive use of force policy he floated months earlier that upset some cops.

As Emanuel has sought to boost officer morale and shore up the department, waves of new officers have entered the academy.

If history is any guide, almost all of them will end up on city streets with badges and guns.

Between July 2012 and April 2016, about 60 of some 2,000 prospective officers who entered the Chicago academy failed to graduate — a 97 percent success rate, the city's numbers show.

By contrast, in Los Angeles, about 450 out of some 1,750 recruits failed to graduate between 2012 and mid-2016, records show. That means that the L.A. Police Department, with its graduation rate of about 74 percent, washed out about eight times as many recruits as Chicago.

It is hard to assess all the differences between the two departments' academies, but it is clear that various elements of training trip up vastly more recruits in Los Angeles than Chicago.

For example, between 2013 and mid-2016, 63 recruits flunked the Los Angeles police academy after failing firearms testing — dozens more than the number who didn't graduate from Chicago's academy for any reason during the same period.

Los Angeles' shooting tests are much more extensive than those in Chicago. Los Angeles recruits have to shoot in low light and in simulated combat conditions, with varying accuracy standards. California's state standards holds that officers have to fire more than 250 rounds in testing.

Chicago follows state standards for firearms testing, and a recruit must shoot 50 rounds total at an 8.5-by-14-inch target from 7, 15 and 25 yards, hitting at least 70 percent within varying time limits.

An academy's failure rate could be swayed by its admission standards and screening practices, but it is difficult to assess differences across academies. Chicago, though, requires applicants who are not military veterans to have taken 60 semester hours of college, typically the equivalent of two years, while Los Angeles requires just a high school diploma or GED.

On paper, the departments' other screening practices are substantially similar. Both require physical fitness tests, background checks and psychological examinations, among other measures, though the details of those screening practices vary.

Other big-city police academies also posted graduation rates several points lower than Chicago's in recent years.

New York City's academy graduated about 93.4 percent of recruits between January 2012 and mid-2016, the city's numbers show. Given the department's size, that meant about 700 recruits didn't graduate. New York police declined to provide further details on why recruits fell short.

Houston had nearly the same graduation rate during the same approximate period.

Giancamilli noted that Chicago's police academy provides recruits with hundreds of hours of training beyond the state's minimum standards.

Maria Haberfeld, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City who has studied police academies, said that in the past 15 years or so she'd seen more effort put toward recruitment and selection in Los Angeles and New York than in Chicago.

In New York and Los Angeles, she said, "the expectations are higher."

Two of Illinois' five other police academies reported attrition similar to Chicago's. College of DuPage's Suburban Law Enforcement Academy and the Southwestern Illinois Police Academy in Belleville both reported graduation rates between 97 and 98 percent. Two others notched rates lower than Chicago's but above 90 percent.

Even if Chicago's low attrition rate is not unique, it is still a problem, some experts said.

The bottom 10 percent of any class is likely to be "trouble," said Peter Moskos, a former Baltimore police officer who is now an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. But departments such as Chicago's don't weed out recruits for the same reasons other institutions hesitate to fire people — to avoid the headache and lawsuits, Moskos said.

Futterman said the department has neglected to screen out bad recruits as part of a broader pattern of failing to ensure officers do quality work.

"In terms of their training, their supervision, their monitoring, they get an 'F'," he said of the department.

Lodding said he couldn't pinpoint the academy's attrition rate during his period leading it, but he said the department weeded out problem recruits.

"If it was necessary, it was done. You can't endanger the public," he said. "It's a job where people can take a person's life and take their freedom. You don't pass people just to pass people."

The academy's practices have taken on a heightened importance as the department trains waves of recruits.

By the end of 2018, Emanuel is seeking to expand the force to some 13,500 sworn officers. With retirements and departures, the department may need to hire more than 2,000 new officers in all to hit Emanuel's goal.

He's also trying to restrain surging — and politically damaging — gunfire on the South and West sides. Last year, the city exceeded 760 slayings and 4,300 people shot, huge jumps over 2015. The violence has continued at a similar pace so far in 2017.

The new recruits are going through academy training that the Justice Department hammered as outdated and undemanding. Federal authorities noted that many rookie cops didn't understand even basic principles important to their work on the street.

"At the academy and during ride-alongs, our retained training law enforcement expert asked several (probationary police officers) to articulate when use of force would be justified in the field," the report said. "Only one (officer) out of six came close to properly articulating the legal standard for use of force."

Emanuel's vow to revamp training extends even to the academy building itself; City Hall has announced plans to replace the current academy, a utilitarian hulk dedicated in 1976 on Jackson Boulevard near Racine Avenue. Prior to that location opening, Tribune archives show, Chicago police trained in a building so old it was used as a hospital during the Civil War.

City Hall has yet to announce a new site.

Last month, in addressing the department's new hires on their first day as recruits at the academy, the mayor delivered a pep talk, vowing that the city would have their backs. Speaking just days after three children under 12 had been fatally shot, he also lamented the rising toll of gun violence. The recruits, he said, would play a crucial role in preventing more bloodshed.

"We're gonna ask you to be the point of the spear as it relates to public safety," he said.

Godsel's message was more bracing, even if his warnings about the academy's difficulty weren't reinforced by its near-perfect graduation rate.

"You have to earn it," he told the trainees. "That begins here today."

———

©2017 the Chicago Tribune


Bill would allow police to electronically view vehicle registrations

Posted on March 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation has been introduced in Lansing that would allow motorists to use smartphones to present copies of vehicle registrations when requested by law enforcement during traffic stops or accidents.

Republican Rep. Peter Lucido of Shelby Township in Macomb County says Tuesday that electronics are moving things toward the future and drivers no longer have to be without such documents.

Lucido also says that he hopes driver's licenses will someday be allowed on electronic devices, as well.

His bill passed in the House unanimously and now moves to the GOP-controlled Senate. It would accompany earlier legislation that allowed Michigan drivers to provide their vehicle insurance electronically.

Police officers only would be allowed to view registration and insurance information on the smartphones of drivers they pull over.


Photos: Police brave #Blizzard2017 to keep communities safe

Posted on March 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

A snowstorm hit the northeast Tuesday, forcing people to stay in their homes as 1 to 2 feet of snow piled up outside. But that hasn’t stopped police from patrolling and keeping communities safe.

In Wisconsin, police received a phone call from someone who discovered footprints in the snow around cars that were broken into, Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The police followed the footprints to a home where they arrested Logan Hall, 18, and Dawson Uhalt, 17, for tentative theft. Hall was arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia as well.

The Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania National Guard, and Suburban EMS teamed up to escort a 23-month-old child to a hospital 80 miles away for a heart transplant. They all made it to the hospital safely, according to a Facebook post.

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The snow doesn't stop us! PSP Troopers teamed up with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT),...

Posted by PA State Police on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

NYPD braved the snow to capture two miniature ponies who broke out of their NYC stables. WYFF4 reported an off-duty officer saw the animals and captured them with towing straps. Police returned the horses safely to their stables.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Posted by NYPD on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

In Ogden, N.Y., police went live with video on Facebook to update citizens on the conditions and warn them not to leave their homes.

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#blizzard2017

Posted by Town of Ogden Police Department on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Stay safe out there.


Officer buys bike for man who walked over 3 hours to work

Posted on March 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. — A local man’s commute recently became a whole lot shorter thanks to the kindness of a Fairview Heights police officer.

Nick Bonness walks over three hours one-way to work the night shift as a security guard at a local golf course community, the department wrote on Facebook. Multiple officers have given rides to Bonness when the weather is bad, but rookie Officer Clay Mason wanted to give Bonness something to help him out with his daily travel.

Last Saturday night, Mason surprised Bonness with the bike - complete with lights he installed to keep Bonness safe during his night rides.

“We felt Officer Mason's generosity could not go ignored, although Officer Mason was reluctant to tell anyone about his gift or have his picture taken,” the Facebook post read. “Officer Mason is a true asset to the Fairview Heights Police Department and our community.”

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Meet Nick Bonness, and one of our newest officers, Clay Mason. Nick works the night shift as a security guard at the...

Posted by Fairview Heights Police on Monday, March 13, 2017


Officer drives woman to beach to fulfill dying wish

Posted on March 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SHIP BOTTOM, N.J. — Patricia Kelly wanted to see the shore where she spent most summers one last time before she died.

Kelly, 78, is currently in hospice care with a terminal diagnosis of acute leukemia. Her family told WPVI they knew she couldn’t walk down the beach by herself, so they contacted the Ship Bottom Police Department.

Officer Ron Holloway drove Kelly and her family down to the water so they could experience the shore together. Holloway said it was a “checkmark in my career.”

Mom mom was not able to walk to the ocean herself and this officer made it happen #RandomActsOfKindness @ShipBottomPD pic.twitter.com/tcTCRNAhTd

— Ms. Fertig (@Sch_coun) March 4, 2017

Kelly’s daughter-in-law, Stephanie Corbin, said Holloway “went beyond protecting and serving because of his heart.”

Kelly said she was overjoyed she could see the place that brought her peace again.

"Oh they could have taken me right then, and I would have been the happiest person,” Kelly told WPVI. “That I could be there one last time in the ocean and the sand, and that was my hurrah.”

After her death, Kelly said she’d like to have her ashes spread on the beach.


Man arrested after confessing sexual assault during police job interview

Posted on March 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.VA. — During a job interview at a police department, a man admitted to having sex with a woman without her knowledge.

Tyler Ray Price, 21, was interviewing for a probationary police officer job Feb. 8 and told Sgt. A.R. Gordon that he had sex with a woman after a night of drinking, WCHS reported.He confessed to filming the woman after the incident as well and had the video on his phone.

When police interviewed the woman on Feb. 23, she said she did not consent and had no knowledge of the incident. According to WCHS, she said Price called her on Feb. 8 and told her about the encounter and the video.

Price is charged with second-degree sexual assault.

SCPD arrested Tyler Price. Police say he had sex w/ a woman, recorded w/o her knowledge. Police found out in an interview to be an officer pic.twitter.com/bmHg8Kd9rT

— Katy Andersen (@WSAZKaty) March 13, 2017