September 23, 2017

I just designed my dream, custom Glock

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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Travis Pike, PoliceOne Contributor

I was recently asked what my dream, custom Glock would look like. Sparing no cost. I knew I would start with the Glock 19 Gen 4 because the size and popularity make it possible to customize the weapon extensively. And, like the AR-15, the Glock 19’s popularity has spawned a massive market for customization, so my options are endless.

After pondering the accessory opportunities for a while, I determined these seven additions would be a part of my imaginary, custom Glock.

1. Zev grip service

The first step is to send my Glock to Zev to remove the finger grooves and have the grip stippled. I prefer a straight grip on my Glock and the standard stippling creates enough grip texture to hold onto my gun regardless on the conditions.

2. Zev dimpled threaded barrel replacement

The Zev replacement barrel is a drop-in upgrade I can do at home. This drop-in upgrade is a dimpled, match-grade barrel that is threaded to accept a compensator, a muzzle brake, or a suppressor on the end.

These barrels have an incredibly precise fit that aids in accuracy. The dimples reduce weight and improve cooling without lowering the barrel’s strength. The threading is a standard ½ x 28 pitch.

3. Zev Hexagon with RMR cut

The Zev Hexagon slide is cut with a grip surface on the front and rear of the slide. It’s pre-cut for a Trijicon RMR and features an option for suppressor height sights. These slides are cut for tighter tolerances that increase your Glock’s accuracy. The finish is tough as nails and comes in a variety of color options. I would select the titanium gray for my custom Glock.

4. Trijicon RMR Dual Illuminated

The Trijicon RMR is one of the strongest miniature red dots on the market. It fits perfectly on the Zev slide mentioned above. The dual illuminated nature means it will never need a battery. Instead, a combination of fiber optics and tritium absorbs light to power the system. I’d prefer the 9-MOA green dot reticle.

5. Lone Wolf Alpha Wolf Compensator

I won’t let the end of my Zev threaded barrel go to waste. Even though a muzzle brake is an option, I’d prefer a compensator. The Alpha Wolf Compensator by Lone Wolf will turn the 9mm Glock 19 into a kitten. Recoil and muzzle rise is almost completely eliminated. The 9mm Alpha Wolf compensators are threaded to ½ x 28 so it matches the barrel perfectly.

6. Haley Strategic Skimmer Trigger

Travis Haley is famous for his contributions to Magpul and the AR-15 platform. The new Skimmer Trigger is designed for 9mm Glocks in both Gen 3 and Gen 4 platforms. The Skimmer Trigger has a pre-travel reduction mod. Once you move past the first stage the trigger breaks cleanly and is very crisp. This is a drop-in kit I can install at home in less than 20 minutes. It’s also made entirely from Glock factory parts, which means no compromise in quality. This is the best Glock trigger in my opinion.

7. Selecting an extended magazine

Standard Glock magazines are pretty good and do not need to be replaced, however, it’s not about need with this customized Glock – it’s all about fantasy. I’d throw ETS magazines into my dream Glock 19. They are translucent and look amazing. They are also reliable and more varied than standard Glock magazines. ETS offers a variety of extended magazines. You have options for 31 rounds, 27 rounds and 21-round in the extended magazine category.

ETS also offer standard capacity magazines in 15 and 17 rounds. The translucent nature makes it easy to see your ammo count and the type of ammo loaded in the magazine.

This is the custom Glock I would design. This is only one configuration of literally hundreds available. One of the Glock's strengths as a series of firearms is their aftermarket support. You purchase triggers, grip frames, lasers, magazines, slides, optics, iron sights, and just about anything else you’d ever need to build a dream gun. With Glock’s aftermarket, you can create a truly unique piece of gear.

How would you customize your Glock?


Denver transit security officer fatally ambushed by suspect on terror watch list

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DENVER — A contract transit security officer is dead after a suspect approached him from behind and shot him in the neck.

Police told The Denver Channel that suspect Joshua Cumming, 37, fatally shot Officer Scott Von Lanken, 56, at Union Station Tuesday night.

An investigation found two witnesses were talking to Von Lanken when Cummings attacked. Denver Police Commander Barb Archer told The Denver Post the witnesses heard Cummings say “something to the effect of, ‘Do as I tell you,’ and then he shot the officer.”

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According to an RTD news release, Von Lanken died on his way to the hospital. Von Lanken was a contract RTD security officer through Allied Universal. He was armed, but did not have official arresting powers.

The Denver Post reported Cummings was arrested within 20 minutes near the crime scene. He is currently being held for investigation of first-degree murder. Police recovered a gun from the suspect.

Cummings has an out-of-state criminal history and is on the federal terror watch list. Further information regarding why he is on the list was not available.

Authorities sent out a warning to officers after the shooting asking them to be vigilant because they don’t know the motive behind the shooting, the Associated Press reported.

Detectives said, as far as they know, the shooting was unprovoked. They are currently investigating if Cummings shot Von Lanken for a personal reason.

Von Lanken is survived by his wife and twin daughters.

Members of Denver Police's motorcycle unit roll out from 16th & Wynkoop, leaving a sign and flowers as memorial for shooting victim pic.twitter.com/TvxBFRPCWy

— Jason Gruenauer (@JGonTV) February 1, 2017


Denver transit security officer killed by suspect on terror watch list

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DENVER — A contract transit security officer is dead after a suspect approached him from behind and shot him in the neck.

Police told The Denver Channel that suspect Joshua Cumming, 37, fatally shot Officer Scott Von Lanken, 56, at Union Station Tuesday night.

An investigation found two witnesses were talking to Von Lanken when Cummings attacked. Denver Police Commander Barb Archer told The Denver Post the witnesses heard Cummings say “something to the effect of, ‘Do as I tell you,’ and then he shot the officer.”

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According to an RTD news release, Von Lanken died on his way to the hospital. Von Lanken was a contract RTD security officer through Allied Universal. He was armed, but did not have official arresting powers.

The Denver Post reported Cummings was arrested within 20 minutes near the crime scene. He is currently being held for investigation of first-degree murder. Police recovered a gun from the suspect.

Cummings has an out-of-state criminal history and is on the federal terror watch list. Further information regarding why he is on the list was not available.

Authorities sent out a warning to officers after the shooting asking them to be vigilant because they don’t know the motive behind the shooting, the Associated Press reported.

Detectives said, as far as they know, the shooting was unprovoked. They are currently investigating if Cummings shot Von Lanken for a personal reason.

Von Lanken is survived by his wife and twin daughters.

Members of Denver Police's motorcycle unit roll out from 16th & Wynkoop, leaving a sign and flowers as memorial for shooting victim pic.twitter.com/TvxBFRPCWy

— Jason Gruenauer (@JGonTV) February 1, 2017


How cops can combat cyberbullying

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jenny Holt

The massive increase in the use of digital devices in recent years has led to a corresponding rise in issues concerning technology and remote communication. One of the most significant of these is cyberbullying, a widespread problem that can have all the same effects as “traditional” bullying: depression, anxiety, loneliness, insomnia, lack of interest in daily life, physical health issues, decreased academic engagement and achievement. It also creates the risk of more extreme outcomes like violent retaliation and suicide.

The CDC estimates that 15 percent of students have been cyberbullied in the last year, with a heavy weighting toward older children and teenagers. Law enforcement has an important role to play in cracking down on cyberbullying, at the community level through education and awareness and on a criminal level through dealing with infractions promptly and correctly.

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is officially defined as willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones and other electronic devices. Because of the intangible nature of digital evidence, the growing acceptability of anti-social online behavior among teens, and the difficulty in pinpointing an exact point of departure for unacceptable online habits, cyberbullying is notoriously tricky to address.

Yet the relentless nature of cyberbullying makes it one of the most oppressive and aggressive forms of bullying around. Even in the safety of their own bedrooms, teenagers can be targeted by their persecutors with harmful messages or images, leaving them no respite from the torment.

How does ‘sexting’ fit in?

“Sexting” or ”sex texting” is the sending or receiving of sexually explicit or sexually suggestive nude or semi-nude images or video, generally via cell phone, with estimates of prevalence ranging from 4 percent to a worrying 31 percent. Often initiated as a seemingly affectionate interaction between couples, the images can then later be used in cyberbullying attacks, stepping up the intensity and severity of the bullying, and the criminal implications of the situation.

How are officers responding to cyberbullying?

A survey undertaken by the FBI uncovered some interesting information about how law enforcement officers feel about the issue of cyberbullying. Approximately 82 percent of participants felt that cyberbullying was a significant issue which required police involvement. But one of the most striking outcomes of the research was the range of responses from officers. The bottom line is that opinions on the severity of cyberbullying, the need for intervention by officers and the point at which police intervention was appropriate or necessary varied massively. Officers who had children under eighteen or were female reported earlier intervention rates and believed in officers taking a more active role.

There was a consensus that the issue of how to deal with cyberbullying needed to be addressed. Survey participants called for eliminating the gray area between the role of administrators and officers in handling cyberbullying, and the establishment of clearer initiatives. Over 80 percent of study participants believed they needed further training on how to respond to and prevent cyberbullying, with around 30 percent being unaware of their own state’s laws on the issue.

What can law enforcement do?

The first step in countering cyberbullying is to get a thorough understanding of the scope and nature of the problem. If you’re unfamiliar with the type of interactions that can go on, read a thorough factsheet on cyberbullying and speak to someone with direct experience. Crucially, you also need to be aware of your own obligations and authority on the issue, which vary from state to state. While some incidents may be an infraction of policy, others may be addressable by federal law, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Civil Rights Act of 1964; or Education Amendments of 1972. Consult with your district attorney liaison to determine which existing criminal statutes apply, and keep in mind that criminal law often applies to any issues concerning stalking, coercion, sexually explicit images or the sexual exploitation of youth.

Work with others

Collaborate with school administrators to help them understand their own power in disciplining students involved in cyberbullying attacks. In most states, administrators have the right to exercise their power over students who take part in bullying outside school time if their actions are affecting the school environment in some way. Advise your local schools to adopt stringent anti-cyberbullying policies that have a clear line of consequences that correspond to the severity and frequency of the infractions. Establishing a relationship with the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force in your area is a good way to get assistance related to electronic devices, Electronic Service Providers and websites or apps that are common channels for cyberbullies.

Educate others

Encouraging your community toward a greater understanding of the issues and risks involved in cyberbullying can create a culture of transparency and compassion that helps victims of cyberbullying speak out and educates parents and caregivers about the dangers, as well as letting the bullies know that their actions haven’t gone unnoticed. Police officers should advise schools to create methods by which students can report cyberbullying without fear of reprisal, make sure there’s a clear system in place for managing these complaints and organize talks and education sessions to spread awareness.


Official: COs taken hostage by inmates at Del. prison

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By Randall Chase Associated Press SMYRNA, Del.?? — At least four guards and a counselor were taken hostage by inmates Wednesday inside a Delaware prison, according to a union attorney, and all the state's prisons were put on lockdown as police swarmed the facility.

Bruce Rogers, counsel for the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, told The Associated Press that inmates had taken control of one building at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center. Injuries to both officers and inmates were reported, he said.

In a brief statement, the Department of Corrections said DOC Response Teams and Delaware State Police were on the scene responding to a hostage situation.

A DOC spokeswoman said an emergency situation was reported at the Smyrna prison late Wednesday morning. The facility was placed on lockdown, as were all prisons in the state per DOC policy. Spokeswoman Jayme Gravell provided few details but described the situation as an isolated incident, adding that there was no threat to the public.

Rogers said he'd been briefed on the situation by the union president, who was talking to officials at the scene.

He described the building under inmate control as housing between 120-150 inmates. The population is considered medium to maximum security, he said.

There has been very little communication between inmates and those on the outside, and no demands have been communicated to the union, according to Rogers.

Video from above the prison shows uniformed officers gathered in two groups along fences near an entrance to the prison. Later, video showed several people surrounding a stretcher and running as they pushed it across the compound. It wasn't clear if a person was on the stretcher. People could be seen standing near a set of doors with an empty stretcher and wheelchair.

Gravell said firefighters were called to the scene after reports of smoke and were being held on standby.

According to the department's website, the prison is Delaware's largest correctional facility for men, housing about 2,500 inmates. It houses minimum, medium, and maximum security inmates, and also houses Kent County detainees awaiting trial. It is also the site of the state's death row and where executions were carried out. The prison opened in 1971.

In 2004, an inmate raped a counselor and took her hostage for nearly seven hours at the Smyrna prison, according to an Associated Press report at the time. A department sharpshooter later shot and killed 45-year-old Scott Miller, according to the report, ending the standoff.

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Associated Press writer Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Virginia, contributed to this report.

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#LIVE: Chopper 3 is over a hostage situation at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware. FULL STORY: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2017/02/01/delaware-prison-lockdown/

Posted by CBS Philly on Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Union-backed Ronald Vitiello named to lead Border Patrol

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Elliot Spagat Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — A career Border Patrol official who was backed by the agents' union has been named chief of the agency, less than a week after his predecessor resigned under pressure.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Ronald Vitiello was appointed Tuesday to lead the agency at a time when President Donald Trump has pledged to erect a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico and add 5,000 agents from the current level of about 20,000.

The National Border Patrol Council — an early and outspoken backer of Trump's presidential bid — openly supported Vitiello for the job and pushed for the ouster of his predecessor, Mark Morgan, who resigned Thursday at the request of the new administration. Morgan stepped down only seven months after being named the first outsider to run the agency since it was created in 1924.

Vitiello, who was most recently CBP's executive assistant commissioner for operations support, was acting Border Patrol chief when Morgan was appointed last year and had been considered a leading contender for the job then. He joined the Border Patrol more than 30 years ago and served as deputy chief in the administration of President Barack Obama.

Brandon Judd, the union president, said in an interview days before Trump took office that Morgan never had the support of agents.

"(Vitiello) and I do not see eye to eye on a great, great many things but we were always able to keep it respectful, always," Judd said. "Morgan and I have not been able to do that."

The union said Tuesday that Vitiello's experience will be invaluable for executing Trump's plans.

"The previous administration's attempts to treat the Border Patrol like any law enforcement agency resulted in leadership that was reactive and in constant crisis," it said in a statement.

Morgan's abrupt departure alarmed advocacy groups that criticized the Border Patrol for lack of oversight of agents and what they consider a culture that condoned abuse and misconduct.

"We look forward to working with Chief Vitiello to ensure that Border Patrol operates with the highest professional policing practices by implementing sorely needed transparency, oversight, and accountability reforms," said Christian Ramirez, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition.

Morgan was briefly CBP's internal affairs chief in 2014 while on loan from the FBI, where he worked for 20 years and climbed the ranks to assistant director for training. During his first stint at CBP, he oversaw an extensive review of complaints of excessive use of force and employee misconduct.

Ronald Colburn, who preceded Vitiello as deputy chief and recommended him as his replacement, said Vitiello brings experience and a mild-mannered temperament to the job.

"He's a bootstraps leader, raised up the rough the ranks, tested by fire," Colburn said. "If I were picking among (the Border Patrol's) 20,000 employees, he's the first one I would think of."

The leadership change comes a week after Trump issued an executive order to build a wall on 2,000-mile border with Mexico, extending it from about 700 miles currently, much of it in California and Arizona. Vitiello also faces a tall order in hiring more agents. CBP says about two-thirds of job applicants fail a required lie detector, causing the Border Patrol to recently fall below 20,000 agents for the first time since 2009.

CBP did not make Vitiello available for an interview Tuesday and declined to comment beyond the announcement on Twitter, which was signed by Kevin McAleenan, CBP's acting commissioner.

The appointment is not subject to Senate confirmation.


Jaw-dropping biometric advancements for law enforcement are coming sooner than you think

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Megan Wells, PoliceOne contributor

The practice of identification based on human physical variation has been studied since the 1700s. In 1891, the classification system and method to individualize prisoners using fingerprints was first unrolled. This was considered the first use of fingerprint science by law enforcement.

It’s unbelievable how far technology has come since then.

Behavioral biometrics will help paint a more accurate picture.

Humans are creatures of habit. Soon, identifying characteristics not of what you are, but of what you do will find their way into law enforcement biometrics. These include:

Signature recognition Typing pattern recognition How a person selects and reads information (verbs and predicates used) Eye movement tracking Reading speed

We may not pay close attention to each of these habits, but they can be analyzed to paint a more robust picture of an individual.

Other non-traditional biometrics could include gait analysis (how an individual walks). For example, a woman in Ontario, Canada was identified as the winner of a lottery prize from video surveillance, and behavioral biometrics (such as gait).

Olfactory analysis – the use of a person’s odor to identify him or her is another possibility. Research has shown that body odor patterns remain constant enough over time to allow people to be identified with an accuracy rate of 85 percent – think a high-tech version of the old bloodhound.

Facial recognition libraries will be filled with social media data.

In 2007, the FBI created the Biometric Center of Excellence to continue fine-tuning biometrics programs for law enforcement. Since 2011, the FBI has been actively growing its facial recognition database, used for several purposes, including comparing the faces of suspected criminals to their driver’s license and ID photos.

According to the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology, the FBI database is currently up to 117 million American faces, meaning “one in two American adults [are] in a law enforcement face recognition network.”

It’s not just the FBI taking advantage of increased biometric data: “Across the country, state and local police departments are building their own face recognition systems, many of them more advanced than the FBI’s,” according to the Georgetown Law Center.

Although they are becoming more accurate, current facial recognition systems still have issues with minor differences like poses, resolution and wardrobe changes that can impact reliability. But technology will inevitably advance, and the abundance of available data will improve existing systems.

Facebook and Google already have collected enough data and perfected algorithms to distribute information that can fill in missing faces in the FBI and local department facial recognition library; however, privacy concerns have limited the collection of information to date.

As improved facial recognition for law enforcement moves full speed ahead, the next five to 10 years will bring near-perfect and robust facial recognition abilities, along with laws that accommodate the use of data for law enforcement purposes.

Gaining awareness of potential terrorist threats will become easier.

As biometrics become more fine-tuned, optimists believe potential terrorism will be easier to spot before tragedy strikes.

Lie-detecting robots using biometric sensors have already begun to pop up in airport kiosks. They are called Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessment in Real Time, and you can spot them at the Canadian Border Services Agency.

The robot uses eye detection software along with an array of sensors to pick up on the physiological signs that indicate a person is lying, and once it becomes suspicious, it can flag the passenger for further inspection.

In January, Donald Trump signed an executive order addressing refugee admissions to the U.S., which included a note to expedite biometric exit-entry screening for U.S. travelers.

DNA shaming will be mainstream.

DNA shaming, or using someone’s DNA to link them to a crime and bringing them shame for their missteps, could be a reality for law enforcement.

Maybe you missed the “Face of Litter” ad campaign that went viral a couple of years back. As a way to crack down on litter, Hong Kong partnered with Ogilvy advertising and Parabon Nanolabs (using technology developed in partnership with the Department of Defense) to deploy technology that identified physical characteristics of a litterbug. The technology took a two-dimensional look at DNA, and without identifying a person specifically, extrapolated portraits using DNA found on pieces of litter and posted the images in public places to shame the litterbugs. This technology was crude in 2015 and purposely limited, but it is just the beginning of what DNA shaming can lead to.

University of Calgary Prof. Thomas Patrick Keenan points to a more recent case of DNA shaming. In Florida, residents were required to submit their dog’s DNA, and owners who did not pick up after their dogs were sent a bill.

DNA is only as good as the database matches. We’ve already used technology like Passive Start and Entry, or PASE, while collecting fingerprints to help broaden the available data for law enforcement. Now, companies like TouchDNA have made it easier to collect and analyze DNA left behind, such as a few cells left on a pen or water glass. LEOs can use DNA shaming to deter criminal actions.

Heartbeats could be used for identification.

We already know that facial, iris and ear prints, as well as body odor and vein pattern recognition, have been tested for human identification but biometric identification could become as individualized as a heartbeat.

Traditional security measures like cryptography or encryption can be expensive, time-consuming and resource-intensive. Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York, have devised a new way to protect personal electronic health records using a patient's own heartbeat.

The researchers encrypted patient data using a person's unique electrocardiogram (EKG) – a measurement of the electrical activity of the heart measured by a biosensor attached to the skin – as the key to lock and unlock the files.

While heartbeats may not be an absolute biometric, when combined with other biometrics, LEOs can get a unique signature for a person that can't be concealed.

VAWD engineering is a company actively working on ways to use this unique signature. They believe a heartbeat biometric can improve disaster relief and medical care by providing a "reliable, real-time medical status equal to or better than the current devices while increasing the mobility and comfort of the patient." But they are also using the technology as a part of their “automated human life-form target tracking" system, which has already been explored by the United States Army.

Essentially, they’ve developed a technology that deploys Doppler radar technology to find “Human” signatures. They can detect heartbeats, breathing, postural sway and speech at standoff ranges behind walls/obstructions. LEOs may soon be able to use this technology in situations like police pursuits, or standoff situations – identifying a mark based on their biometric signature.

Advanced biometrics will be connected to body-worn cameras.

The current landscape of biometric measurement in law enforcement is primitive at best, yet as the technology develops in sophistication, the implications will be of high importance.

Imagine if police officers could get real-time facial recognition data through their body-worn cameras: Instead of taking a photo or video and passing it from agency to agency to identify an individual, facial recognition systems will be able to analyze video captured by body-worn cameras, checking faces against databases in real time.

With faster, more accurate facial recognition, police may be able to scan faces the way license plates are scanned now. In the longer term, some futurists predict that real-time iris recognition could replace facial recognition as a key identification mechanism.

Missing persons cases will be easier to solve.

Most police are familiar with the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS database, which can identify and compare DNA profiles electronically. In the future, this database will be enhanced by newer tools such as kinship analysis software that will help to identify missing persons.

By using kinship software, which examines DNA profiles of those related to the missing person, and analyzing metadata police will be better able to identify a missing person’s whereabouts.

The FBI has already stated that efforts to enhance kinship analysis for missing persons data is a top priority for them.

Undercover police officers and agents will need robotic assistance.

The challenge of building a persona for an undercover officer has become much more difficult in recent years. There is far too much information online to ensure anyone’s privacy.

It’s already common practice to create false social media profiles to help advance a persona, but biometrics will work both for and against law enforcement. Many points of entry are employing facial recognition and iris scanners to link eyeballs irrevocably to a particular name. Biometric passports and microchips are also widespread.

Without the ability to travel undetected, undercover missions will become impossible. Employing the use of robotics or tackling matters completely through digital means will be the only ways to remain anonymous in pursuits.

Laws will change to address biometric crime-fighting tools.

As the technology to collect and analyze DNA and other biometric data continues to become cheaper and easier to use, laws about evidence, how it can be collected and what’s admissible in court will certainly need to be addressed.

The substantial advancements in biometric crime-fighting tools are very real and happening in a quick period of time, and the possibilities astounding.


Texas governor blocks sheriff funds over ‘sanctuary cities’

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has blocked funding for the first time over so-called "sanctuary cities" after Austin's sheriff stopped complying with all federal immigration detainers.

Abbott spokesman John Wittman said Wednesday that $1.5 million in previously approved criminal justice grants will no longer go to Travis County.

The move follows Sheriff Sally Hernandez announcing after President Donald Trump's inauguration that she would stop honoring all immigration holds in her jails.

The blocked funding in Texas' fifth-largest county is only a fraction of Hernandez's budget but funds programs such as crime victim services and drug treatment courts.

Abbott has asked the Texas Legislature to prioritize a "sanctuary city" law between now and June. The Republican wants the power to remove locally elected officials and block a wider array of funds.


DOJ: Reforms in Baltimore will withstand presidential change

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BALTIMORE — The U.S. Justice Department assured a federal judge Wednesday that a proposed agreement to reform Baltimore police practices will withstand the change in presidents.

Civil Rights Division lawyer Timothy Mygatt said the agreement with the city was negotiated cooperatively and outlines a proven process for achieving its goals.

"It endures over administrations. It endures across shifting political winds," he said. "It allows there to be surety for all parties involved that there's going to be consistency."

U.S. District Judge James Bredar said political winds change, but orders of the court do not.

"In this courtroom we don't operate on a four-year cycle," he said. "I know that's clear, but I wanted to say it."

Once the judge is satisfied that the agreement's sweeping reforms are fair, adequate and reasonable and enters the decree, it becomes court-enforceable.

Mayor Catherine Pugh told the judge she's confident Baltimore can afford to implement the reforms. She didn't provide dollar figures, but she told reporters later that she has put money in the city budget for implementation, expects a Ford Foundation grant and is seeking state funds.

"I'm really confident that we'll be able to get this done," she said. "I want to get this signed so we can move forward."

The judge has asked about any conflicts between the proposed agreement and the police union contract, and about timelines and compliance measurements under the decree.

Former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake asked the Justice Department to launch its investigation to rebuild public trust after the 2015 death of Freddie Gray, a young black man injured in a police van.


Calif. police fatally shoot suspect in stabbing rampage

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

LOS ANGELES — A knife-wielding suspect was fatally shot by police Tuesday after he stabbed three people.

According to Fox News, police received reports of a man with a knife at a local Jack in the Box and responded to the scene.

The suspect’s rampage left two people in critical condition and one with non-life-threatening injuries.

Described as a man in his 30s, the suspect stabbed a bicyclist then ran down the street, the LA Times reported.

A CNN building is on the same block as the restaurant. CNN reporter Maeve Reston tweeted that before police responded, the suspect "tried to come into our fave coffee place w/ his knife, but customer held glass door shut, blocking him.”

After unsuccessfully entering the coffee shop, the man ran into the Jack in the Box where he stabbed another man, according to the LA Times.

Police rushed into the fast-food restaurant as the suspect stabbed a third person.

Officers attempted to use a TASER before opening fire.

Police do not know the motive behind the stabbings, but witnesses said the suspect appeared mentally unstable, according to the report.

An investigation is ongoing.


What Trump’s selection of Neil Gorsuch means for police

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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

Many of the people who voted for Donald Trump had just one issue on their minds when they cast their ballots: the United States Supreme Court seat made vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. With the election of the Republican candidate, the balance of the Court would likely remain the same. A victory by the Democratic side would almost surely swing the Court to the left.

During the campaign, Trump promised that — should he be elected to the presidency — the ninth seat would be filled by someone who closely mirrors Scalia’s ideological philosophy. On the final day of January 2017, President Trump publicly announced his nominee for the high court.

Trump’s pick is 49-year-old Judge Neil Gorsuch, who in his career has served at the Department of Justice and clerked for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. Gorsuch is a professor at the University of Colorado Law School. In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed the Denver native to the 10th Circuit Court, which covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming. Perhaps most interestingly, Gorsuch is a former classmate of Barack Obama — both studied at Harvard Law School, each graduating in 1991.

Who is Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch?

During his remarks at the White House announcement ceremony, Gorsuch revealed his tendency as a textualist and originalist in his interpretation of the Constitution, saying that “it is for Congress, and not the courts, to write new laws.”

One remark in particular might be incredibly telling about his likely performance as a Supreme Court Justice. “It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people’s representatives,” Gorsuch said.

This statement indicates that Gorsuch’s addition to the court will keep Scalia’s seat solidly conservative.

However, Gorsuch’s track record also indicates that — like Justice David Souter and Chief Justice John Roberts, both of whom have disappointed conservatives in some of their decisions — the nominee has an independent streak which may provide some surprising opinions. Gorsuch even foreshadowed this in his comments at the White House.

“A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge, stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands,” Gorsuch said.

Indeed, Gorsuch has shown a willingness to side with both police and defendants in criminal law cases, depending entirely on the merits of the case, not on political ideology.

Decisions indicate a reasonable, level-headed jurist

In the case of United States v. Rodriguez, Gorsuch sided with a law enforcement officer’s felony arrest of a New Mexico man carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Gorsuch did not write the opinion in the Rodriguez case, but he sided with it, choosing the law enforcement position and the precedent of Terry v. Ohio. That case certainly gives legally-armed citizens and Second Amendment advocates reason for concern, but there’s little doubt that it was a decision that favored the police.

On the other side of the ledger, Gorsuch has been praised by a prominent plaintiff’s attorney from Denver named David Lane who called Gorsuch “fair and open-minded” with regard to cases between police and citizens, according to the Associated Press.

Lane told the AP, “He is a very, very smart man. His leanings are very conservative, but he’s qualified to be on the Supreme Court. I don’t know that Judge Gorsuch has a political agenda and he is sincere and honest and believes what he writes.”

For example, Gorsuch sided with a New Mexico seventh-grade student who was arrested by an SRO. In that case, the boy had been making burping noises in gym class. The teacher called the administration, and the administration called the SRO. The boy was arrested, and the mother sued on the basis of excess force and unlawful arrest.

The 10th Circuit’s Chief Judge Timothy Tymkovich and the opinion’s author, Judge Jerome Holmes held in favor of the school and the police. Gorsuch wrote a four-page dissent disagreeing with colleagues who ruled that that Principal Susan LaBarge, Assistant Principal Ann Holmes and school police officer Arthur Acosta were entitled to qualified immunity.

Gorsuch wrote, “If a seventh-grader starts trading fake burps for laughs in gym class, what’s a teacher to do? Order extra laps? Detention? A trip to the principal’s office? Maybe. But then again, maybe that’s too old school. Maybe today you call a police officer.”

Plain-spoken and straightforward prose like that is reminiscent of Scalia, whose writing has been lauded as being among the most eloquent in the history of the Court. Further, these examples reveal that as a justice, Gorsuch would base his decisions not on loyalty to an ideology, but a devotion to the Constitution.

Gorsuch’s nomination means that if confirmed, law enforcement cases that reach the Supreme Court will be judged on the merits and the facts. This means that cops will have neither an ally nor an opponent on the bench. They will have an objective arbiter, and that is good news indeed.

A pitched political battle is really just beginning

For the better part of a year, the Court has remained in a four-to-four deadlock. Following Scalia’s death, President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland for the Court. Senate Republicans stonewalled, saying that the American people should make the decision on the next justice, effectively making the 2016 presidential campaign a referendum on Scalia’s vacant seat.

Ironically, Republicans invoked an unlikely ally in their argument. In 1992 while serving as a fourth-term senator from Delaware, Joe Biden was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Biden then called for a block on Supreme Court nominees in an election year.

Based on Gorsuch’s career, Democrats will have a difficult time mounting a case against Gorsuch. He has a record of accomplishment and non-partisan decisions based on his evaluation of cases measured against a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

However, early indications are that the opposition will be intense. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi joined a vocal group of demonstrators on the steps of the Supreme Court decrying the nomination. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a statement — literally seconds after the announcement — indicating that the Democrats in the Senate would entertain the idea of a filibuster to block Gorsuch’s confirmation.

Democrats may want to keep their powder dry. The filibuster — the so-called nuclear option — could potentially result in some very messy consequences for Democrats, especially if Trump gets the chance to name another justice to the court. The fact is, the naming of Gorsuch to the bench does not change the balance of power — he is as close to a mirror image of Scalia as one might imagine.

With the advancing years of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (83) and Justice Stephen Breyer (78), there is a high probability that Trump will have the opportunity to add at least one more justice to the Court. This almost certainly would change the balance of power and shape SCOTUS rulings for a half century. And with Republican control of the Senate, the filibuster may have been removed as an option by the time that fight happens, thus opening the door for a very different type of appointment.

We shall soon see what we shall see.


NYPD deputy chief dies from 9/11-related cancer

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — An NYPD deputy chief died Monday after a long battle with brain cancer.

Deputy Chief James Molloy, 55, died at a local hospital surrounded by his family Monday night, the NY Daily News reported. Molloy led search efforts at Ground Zero for six months following the terror attacks.

“Deputy Chief Molloy is as courageous a guy as you can find,” Roy Richter, head of the Captains Endowment Association, said. “He led search efforts tirelessly at Ground Zero. His dry wit and get-it-done attitude can always be counted upon to effectively respond to constant dangers he and his command faced. All in the department who knew or worked with him held Jim in the highest regard.”

Yesterday, the #NYPD lost a great leader. Deputy Chief James Molloy, former #ESU C.O. succumbed to 9/11 related illnesses.#RIP #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/IvresOvXtW

— NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops) January 31, 2017

On Sept. 11, 2001, Molloy was driving to work when he was stopped in the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel by authorities as the towers fell, the publication reported. Molloy’s wife said he went straight to Ground Zero to work, still covered in dust.

Just over two years ago, Molloy began having vision problems and doctors discovered a brain tumor. Doctors performed surgery, and it appeared to be successful, but his cancer later returned.

In 1989, at age 28, he became the youngest captain in the NYPD. He commanded the same precinct his grandfather had in the 30s, according to the publication.

“Being a cop wasn’t just an occupation for him,” his brother, John Molloy, said. “He was completely devoted to his work and his family. Many a night, he would get a call in the middle of the night. He was committed 100 percent.”

Molloy is survived by his wife and two daughters.


NY detective’s death classified as homicide

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Anthony M. Destefano Newsday

NEW YORK — NYPD Det. Steven McDonald’s death last month from an apparent heart attack has been classified as a 2017 homicide, even though he survived being shot by a teenager in Central Park in July 1986, officials said Tuesday.

The NYPD’s classification of McDonald’s death as a homicide decades after he was injured is often done in cases where crime victims die as a result of assaults and shootings that take a toll later in life, a police spokesman said.

McDonald, of Malverne, was shot by Shavod Jones and left a quadriplegic, though a wheelchair gave him mobility and a respirator he used to breathe allowed him to talk. He was an active member of the NYPD until he died at age 59.

McDonald, who was stricken Jan. 6, was taken off life support Jan. 10. His funeral Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan on Jan. 13 drew thousands of mourners.

Jones, who was sent to prison for attempted murder and was released in 1995, died in a motorcycle accident a few days after being freed.

McDonald’s death has been factored into 2017 NYPD crime data. Through Sunday, there have been 17 killings for the year, compared with 22 in the same period in 2016.

Copyright 2017 Newsday


Bill mandates Baltimore police report surveillance tactics

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By Carrie Snurr Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland House Judiciary Committee heard arguments for and against a bill that would require the Police Commissioner of Baltimore City to notify the city council, mayor and delegation about the development of new tactics and use of specific enforcement zones within 30 days of their use.

The bill requires the police commissioner to submit a report explaining the potential establishment of "high crime" or "stop and frisk" zones in Baltimore and the use of surveillance devices or "innovative tactics," according to a state document.

Delegate Frank Conaway, D-Baltimore, the sponsor of the bill, said in an interview with Maryland's Capital News Service that it is in reference to a Department of Justice report that said the Baltimore Police Department was designating certain areas of the city as "high crime" or "stop and frisk" zones, which violated civil rights.

Conaway introduced several bills based on a January Baltimore City consent decree, which enforces reforms to the Baltimore Police Department, and a Department of Justice report. A federal judge still needs to sign off on the agreement before the requirements of the decree go into effect.

The Department of Justice opened an investigation into the Baltimore police in 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered an injury while being transported in a police van and later died. Gray's death sparked protests and riots in the city.

Conaway testified that he believed the people living in zones designated as "high crime" should be informed of that designation.

Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger testified in opposition to a similar statewide bill that would also require all police departments in the state notify local officials of the use of new technologies -- it does not include "high crime zone" language.

He expressed concerns that the language of the bill was too vague and that the reports would be subject to public information requests, even if the notification was for an active investigation.

License plate readers and wiretap technology, which he said are used by police several times a day as forms of electronic surveillance, may be subjected to the statute, Schellenberger testified. He expressed concern that the reports could compromise active investigations.

The Baltimore consent decree includes language that requires the city police to notify the local government when it uses new technologies.

The state does not have power to appoint the Baltimore police commissioner nor is it responsible for funding police operations. However, the state can write laws to implement policy changes in the police department.

Conaway added that the Baltimore police used aircraft for aerial surveillance of the city without notifying Baltimore City officials.

In August 2016, it was revealed that the Baltimore Police Department authorized a private firm to use cameras mounted on a small plane for aerial surveillance of Baltimore City. The program began in early 2016, according to a state document.

The bill requires that once the Baltimore police begin using new technologies, such as drones or cell-site simulators, they notify the Baltimore City Council, mayor and state government delegation within 30 days.

Cell-site simulators are devices that act like cell-phone towers but allow police to track and collect information from nearby phones.

Then-Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the Baltimore City Council and state officials were not initially made aware of the program and were not notified until months after it began.

"They need to have some kind of transparency or accountability beyond themselves," Conaway told Maryland's Capital News Service.

Conaway said that he has gotten negative feedback from law enforcement officers who have told him that the requirement to update Baltimore officials on new technology used by the police is too broad. He added that the police only have to notify city officials when that technology is deployed, not when the city police acquire the technology.

Proponents of the program said that the cameras do not capture high resolution images and it is very hard to personally identify people. However, privacy advocates argue that the market for the technology would accelerate development of more high-resolution cameras.


Dallas police receive $1M grant for ballistic vests, helmets

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By Fox 4 News

DALLAS — The Dallas Police Department received a $1 million-plus grant Thursday to go toward new ballistic helmets and bullet proof vests.

Governor Greg Abbott announced the Homeland Security Grants Division funds for the city and cited the deadly July 7 ambush in downtown Dallas as the reason.

"What the attack in Dallas last year showed us is that more needs to be done to protect the brave men and women who run into danger and not away from it,” Abbott said in a statement. “I hope that these grants will help address some of the needs of our men and women in blue, and look forward to doing even more this legislative session that shows Texas has their back."

Read more: Dallas police get $1 million grant for new helmets, bullet proof vests


Okla. sheriff seeking body cameras after fatal 2015 OIS

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By Justin Juozapavicius Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma sheriff's agency where an ex-reserve deputy fatally shot an unarmed black man in 2015 is applying for federal money to outfit 50 of its deputies with body-worn cameras, the sheriff said Tuesday.

If the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is approved for its 50 percent match grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the county would have to come up with roughly $50,000 of the equipment cost. The sheriff's office has 250 deputies.

With the deaths of about two-dozen black people following police encounters in the past several years, civil rights groups have called on law enforcement agencies to outfit officers with more body cameras and other technology to show transparency in their dealings with the public.

The Tulsa Police Department received about $600,000 from the DOJ in 2015 for body cameras and announced a plan in November to distribute the first 40 to officers who frequently interact with the public.

"It's a tool that will provide for better accountability," Sheriff Vic Regalado said Tuesday. "Body cameras are not the cure-all, but they are certainly a big step in alleviating a lot of those issues." If the agency receives the grant, Regalado said deputies will begin field-testing the equipment in the fall.

Two of the fatal shooting incidents happened in Tulsa. In September, a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black man. Officer Betty Jo Shelby has pleaded not guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher.

The shooting was captured on video from a police helicopter and a dashboard camera, but the images don't offer a clear view of when Shelby fired the single shot because she wasn't wearing a body camera.

In April 2015, ex-volunteer sheriff's deputy Robert Bates, who is white, fatally shot an unarmed Eric Harris in a city street. Part of the incident was captured on a camera mounted in a pair of a deputy's glasses, but it was his personal device.

The Harris shooting drew thousands of county residents to petition for a grand jury to investigate allegations that Bates was unqualified to serve as a deputy but was kept on the force because of his friendship with indicted ex-Sheriff Stanley Glanz. Bates was convicted of second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison last year.

Regalado, who replaced Glanz after he retired in November, said the public fallout from the Harris shooting spurred the agency into seeking the technology.

"That was part of it," he said. "We certainly need to catch up and jump on board with that technology. It's a priority here."

Community activist Marq Lewis, a founder of We the People Oklahoma, the group that lobbied for a grand jury to investigate the sheriff's office in 2015, welcomed the potential investment as one way to heal "the divide in the community" after the Harris and Crutcher shootings.

"They have a lot of repairing to do," Lewis said Tuesday. "They have to repair the community by saying, 'trust us, I'm there for you.'

"But (the cameras have) to be backed by action and policies; it can't be a buzzword."


How to mitigate the dangers of TASER deployment against armed subjects

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Duane Wolfe
Author: Duane Wolfe

There are two popular videos showing police officers dealing with subjects armed with contact weapons. One, here in the U.S., involves a man with a knife. Because the suspect is outside the range of the TASER, the device does not work and the officers are, unfortunately, forced to shoot him. The other in England involves a man armed with a hammer. Officers do not use lethal force cover and the TASER fails due to the suspect’s clothing. Both of these videos serve as reminders of the considerations that officers must make when attempting to deploy a TASER against an armed subject.

Lethal, then less lethal

In any situation with an armed subject, the primary officer should always arm themselves with a firearm in order to be ready to deal with the deadly force threat. When a decision to attempt to have a less-lethal option is made, the second or third officer on scene should take that role.

TASER vs reaction/response time

The TASER is a very common less-lethal option. Typical ranges for the cartridges are 15 and 25 feet. To effectively use them you must be closer than the length of the wires.

In 1983, Dennis Tueller devised a drill to demonstrate reaction/response time. Reaction time is the time it takes for the brain to recognize a threat and formulate a response. If you apply it to the OODA Loop, reaction time is the first three steps – observe, orient and decide. Response time is the time it takes to complete the physical motions required. In this case, drawing and firing a pistol once—or action. The Tueller Drill demonstrated that police officers could draw and fire one round, on average, in 1.5 seconds. Tueller then determined that people could travel, on average, 21 feet in 1.5 seconds.

What a lot of people don’t seem to realize is that if someone is armed with a knife and charges from 21 feet away, and both the officer and the suspect are average, the suspect will stab the officer before he or she can draw his or her weapon. Why? Because in a real situation, the officer will have a delay because he or she has to determine what the suspect’s actions mean and then make the decision to draw. In other words, during a drill all officers already know what they need to do – draw and fire on a signal. Drills often eliminate the need to observe, orient and decide before acting.

That additional reaction time, during a real situation, will add about a half second before the officer can start to draw and fire the weapon. Some people refer to the Tueller Drill as the “21- foot rule” and some have come to believe that 21 feet from an armed subject is a safe distance to deploy. It isn’t. Taking a step back to 22 feet doesn’t make you any safer. Research by Force Science takes into account the reaction/response time coupled with an understanding about the movement of any suspect who is attacking an officer. This often results in misses and multiple rounds that may be required to stop a subject. Therefore, I suggest a distance of 30 feet as the minimum from an armed subject, and a greater distance is advised whenever possible.

30 foot recommendation

Compare the 30 foot recommendation to the 15 or 25-foot cartridges you currently carry or even the 35-foot cartridges. Consider that any time you get close enough to deploy your TASER, you are close enough for an armed subject to fatally attack you. The TASER is a great tool, and I wished I had it for my entire career. However, for the TASER to be effective, both probes must strike, they must penetrate through clothing far enough for the electrical current to reach the skin, the circuit cannot be broken for the duration of the cycle(s), the probes must be far enough apart, they must be in the proper muscle groups for effective results and the suspect has to be someone who is affected by the electrical current.

Those are a lot of “if’s,” and that is why it is strongly suggested that anyone employing a TASER against an armed subject should be working in tandem with an officer armed with a firearm. Officers also need to understand that in real situations suspects may have to be shot multiple times before they stop. Those rounds will take time to take effect. Until the suspect stops, they can cause death and injury. In other words, while an officer may be armed with a gun, he or she is in the same danger at the same distances.

With that understanding, I strongly suggest against standing within TASER range for long periods of time while talking with suspects. If the suspect charges with deadly intent, both lethal and less lethal measures may fail to stop the homicidal assault.

Instead, stay at a minimum of 30 feet away, with cover/concealment whenever possible. Move to TASER range only when the decision has been made to attempt a TASER deployment.

The desired outcome in any armed/barricaded subject call is to take the suspect into custody alive. A plan, professionally executed with good teamwork and an understanding of the limitations of technology and human performance (both officer and suspect), is essential for the safety of the subject, community and officer(s). Realistic expectations lead to realistic training. Keep it real.


How to mitigate the dangers of TASER deployment against suspects

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Duane Wolfe
Author: Duane Wolfe

There are two popular videos showing police officers dealing with subjects armed with contact weapons. One, here in the U.S., involves a man with a knife. Because the suspect is outside the range of the TASER, the device does not work and the officers are, unfortunately, forced to shoot him. The other in England involves a man armed with a hammer. Officers do not use lethal force cover and the TASER fails due to the suspect’s clothing. Both of these videos serve as reminders of the considerations that officers must make when attempting to deploy a TASER against an armed subject.

Lethal, then less lethal

In any situation with an armed subject, the primary officer should always arm themselves with a firearm in order to be ready to deal with the deadly force threat. When a decision to attempt to have a less-lethal option is made, the second or third officer on scene should take that role.

TASER vs reaction/response time

The TASER is a very common less-lethal option. Typical ranges for the cartridges are 15 and 25 feet. To effectively use them you must be closer than the length of the wires.

In 1983, Dennis Tueller devised a drill to demonstrate reaction/response time. Reaction time is the time it takes for the brain to recognize a threat and formulate a response. If you apply it to the OODA Loop, reaction time is the first three steps – observe, orient and decide. Response time is the time it takes to complete the physical motions required. In this case, drawing and firing a pistol once—or action. The Tueller Drill demonstrated that police officers could draw and fire one round, on average, in 1.5 seconds. Tueller then determined that people could travel, on average, 21 feet in 1.5 seconds.

What a lot of people don’t seem to realize is that if someone is armed with a knife and charges from 21 feet away, and both the officer and the suspect are average, the suspect will stab the officer before he or she can draw his or her weapon. Why? Because in a real situation, the officer will have a delay because he or she has to determine what the suspect’s actions mean and then make the decision to draw. In other words, during a drill all officers already know what they need to do – draw and fire on a signal. Drills often eliminate the need to observe, orient and decide before acting.

That additional reaction time, during a real situation, will add about a half second before the officer can start to draw and fire the weapon. Some people refer to the Tueller Drill as the “21- foot rule” and some have come to believe that 21 feet from an armed subject is a safe distance to deploy. It isn’t. Taking a step back to 22 feet doesn’t make you any safer. Research by Force Science takes into account the reaction/response time coupled with an understanding about the movement of any suspect who is attacking an officer. This often results in misses and multiple rounds that may be required to stop a subject. Therefore, I suggest a distance of 30 feet as the minimum from an armed subject, and a greater distance is advised whenever possible.

30 foot recommendation

Compare the 30 foot recommendation to the 15 or 25-foot cartridges you currently carry or even the 35-foot cartridges. Consider that any time you get close enough to deploy your TASER, you are close enough for an armed subject to fatally attack you. The TASER is a great tool, and I wished I had it for my entire career. However, for the TASER to be effective, both probes must strike, they must penetrate through clothing far enough for the electrical current to reach the skin, the circuit cannot be broken for the duration of the cycle(s), the probes must be far enough apart, they must be in the proper muscle groups for effective results and the suspect has to be someone who is affected by the electrical current.

Those are a lot of “if’s,” and that is why it is strongly suggested that anyone employing a TASER against an armed subject should be working in tandem with an officer armed with a firearm. Officers also need to understand that in real situations suspects may have to be shot multiple times before they stop. Those rounds will take time to take effect. Until the suspect stops, they can cause death and injury. In other words, while an officer may be armed with a gun, he or she is in the same danger at the same distances.

With that understanding, I strongly suggest against standing within TASER range for long periods of time while talking with suspects. If the suspect charges with deadly intent, both lethal and less lethal measures may fail to stop the homicidal assault.

Instead, stay at a minimum of 30 feet away, with cover/concealment whenever possible. Move to TASER range only when the decision has been made to attempt a TASER deployment.

The desired outcome in any armed/barricaded subject call is to take the suspect into custody alive. A plan, professionally executed with good teamwork and an understanding of the limitations of technology and human performance (both officer and suspect), is essential for the safety of the subject, community and officer(s). Realistic expectations lead to realistic training. Keep it real.


Quiz: Can you talk like a cop?

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Uniform Stories Staff

By Uniform Stories Staff


What can law enforcement expect from Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch?

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Terrence P. Dwyer, Esq.
Author: Terrence P. Dwyer, Esq.

The pick is in and President Donald Trump has nominated Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch as the replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch, considered an exceptional writer and an interpretive textualist, is the youngest Supreme Court nominee since Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991. He holds a Ph.D from Oxford University, with a law degree from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree from Columbia University. Clearly the judicial nominee is well-educated and intelligent, but a quick review of some of his Tenth Circuit opinions shows that he writes very clearly and directly, often cutting right to the core of the issue in a case.

Professional experience

As a Supreme Court nominee he follows the familiar path of many of his predecessors—he clerked for a sitting Supreme Court Justice. Gorsuch first clerked for fellow Coloradoan Justice Byron White and then for Justice Anthony Kennedy, after White’s retirement. If confirmed by the Senate, Gorsuch will re-join Justice Kennedy in the Supreme Court.

Prior to his Supreme Court clerkships, Gorsuch clerked for District of Columbia Circuit Court Judge David B. Sentelle. He later entered private practice as an attorney where he remained for ten years before joining the Justice Department as a principal attorney to the associate attorney general and then as the associate attorney general. In 2006, after two years in the Justice Department, he was appointed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush.

Judicial philosophy

As a judge who has spent just over a decade on a federal appeals court, there is plenty of written work available to gauge his judicial philosophy. Much has already been written about his conservatism and the potential impact he might have on the Supreme Court in case dealing with the Establishment Clause and reproductive rights. Speculation has also begun on the effect his prior relationship as a law clerk may have on Justice Kennedy, who is often a “swing vote” in many close cases, in voting as well as on his possible decision to retire.

However, not much has been written on Judge Gorsuch’s criminal law decisions. In a March 2016 dissent, Gorsuch disagreed with a majority decision siding with law enforcement officers who ignored “No Trespassing” signs and entered the curtilage of a home to knock and inquire about a complaint of an individual possessing a gun. The investigation led to drug and weapons charges against several individuals. Judge Gorsuch’s dissent took issue with what he viewed as the majority’s strained reasoning.

Much like Justice Scalia’s majority opinions in Kyllo v. United States (2001) and Florida v. Jardines (2013), Gorsuch’s dissent argued for constitutional protection around the home from overt government intrusion in line with the guarantees of the Fourth Amendment. A few months later, writing for the majority, Gorsuch issued an opinion which found that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was a governmental actor and that a search warrant should have been obtained to secure internet material from AOL through its Image Detection Filtering Process. Since the government preserved its third-party doctrine argument, the district and circuit court reserved decision on that issue. However, it is clear from these two 2016 case that Gorsuch takes as clear and straight-forward view of the protections of the Fourth Amendment as Justice Scalia.

Qualified immunity

On a separate subject, that of qualified immunity, recently addressed by the Supreme Court in White v. Pauly, Gorsuch was the author of a series of opinions from January 2012 to February 2013 which sided with law enforcement officers and their municipal employers in civil rights claims brought against the officers and their agencies. In one case, Hernandez v. Story, et al., Gorsuch, writing for a three judge panel, reversed the lower district court’s denial of summary judgment for two police officers sued under 42 USC §1983 for malicious prosecution.

The plaintiff in the case sued after he was arrested, but was not convicted for battery during a drunken bar brawl. Gorsuch wrote that the plaintiff “failed to carry his burden of establishing that his arrest and prosecution clearly lacked probable cause under existing law…” The Hernandez opinion and other Gorsuch opinions concerning qualified immunity show him to be in line with Supreme Court decisions over the past six years which have dealt with police officer qualified immunity.

Time will tell how the new Supreme Court nominee will turn out, if confirmed, as a Justice upon the nation’s highest court. There is nothing in the tea leaves to suggest Gorsuch will be antagonistic toward our nation’s law enforcement, in fact the opposite appears to be in evidence. However, he will expect the values and protections of the Constitution to be adhered to and applied, which is nothing less and nothing more than anyone who puts on a uniform can expect.


6 strategies for preventing radicalization in US jails and prisons

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Eugene Atherton

Since 9/11, Orlando, and other attacks in the U.S. and abroad, we have experienced heightened concern over terrorist violence. This article offers recommended strategies for the mitigation of the radicalization of inmates in American jails and prisons. Before discussing mitigation strategies for radicalization, the academic community strongly suggests the discussion is assisted by adopting a common, standard language to ensure an equal understanding among all readers. I offer the following definitions for that purpose:

Radicalization: A process by which inmates adopt extreme views, including beliefs that violent measures need to be taken for political and/or religious purposes. Terrorism: Symbolic, politically motivated acts of violence with specific targets and/or generally targeting civilians or non-combatants. Terrorist inmate: An inmate who is radicalized and serving a sentence for being convicted for acting as a terrorist in violation of criminal law. Deradicalization: A process whereby individuals (or groups) cease their belief in organized violence and/or terrorism. Disengagement: A process whereby individuals (or groups) cease their active involvement in terrorist organizations.

The following are six strategies to mitigate against the radicalization of inmates.

1. Strong corrections management

Research shows that bad things happen in ineffectively managed prisons. The Jam'iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh, or JIS, case in a U.S. prison is often used as an example of a prison environment where a terrorist cell was allowed to develop and find its way into the surrounding communities. Fortunately, it was detected and neutralized by law enforcement before an attack was successful.

At the time of the incident, I visited the facility for security assessment training. There is no question it was one of the most violent and tense correctional environments I experienced in my career. It was the perfect storm to breed radicalism towards terrorist acts. While these conditions are a major concern among European nations, they must also be a concern in U.S. jails and prisons.

Again, effectively managed prisons are the best strategy to mitigate inmate tendency to radicalize.

2. Comprehensive policy

This section assumes compliance with policy is the standard practice in a corrections facility. Disciplinary policy is very important in managing inmates who wish to radicalize others towards terrorist behavior. It is further enhanced by the myriad of advantages in being an American Correctional Association standards compliant system. Florida Department of Corrections, as an example, has a policy that prohibits inmates from proselytizing.

Most corrections agencies have policies that manage inmates’ ability to form in groups and to use prison resources for activities associated with membership in a group. In very good religious service programs in corrections, policy includes selection criteria for staff and standard curriculum for training and certification. Good policy prohibits inmates from possessing literature that proposes violence and hatred, which often are seen as important to the character of a terrorist inmate. Ineffective prison management typically does not have or enforce such policies.

3. Programs with cognitive restructuring

Prison environments that are program-rich provide hope for inmates. This hope makes the decision to radicalize towards violence less attractive. At minimum, a multitude of programs act against the old adage that the idle hands are the devil’s workshop. However, the greatest potential for all classification of inmates lies in the program known as cognitive restructuring.

Cognitive restructuring is based upon the notion that if someone changes the way they think, it will change the way they behave. Two popular programs implemented in the U.S. are 7 Habits on the Inside and Thinking for a Change. Having been an instructor for the 7 Habits on the Inside program, I have witnessed changes in inmate participant behavior and attitude that have been profound and extremely effective in every aspect of their lives.

For an inmate involved in such programs, I expect there is very little chance of being radicalized towards terrorist conduct.

4. Effective religious services

In Mark Hamm’s survey of United State Prison systems, he focuses on the role of the religious service provider as central to knowing and influencing an inmate’s tendency towards radicalization. I recognize the value of an effective coordinator of the religious services in the correctional populations. Some are priceless and have very positive influence on those inmates wishing to pursue a spiritual path. I have also experienced those that are of little value or a potential negative influence, as was the chaplain in the JIS case.

Hamm’s survey findings suggest we need more religious service providers for all faiths in correctional systems. I don’t disagree. However, the emphasis ignores the potential good that could be done by helping all other staff with regular inmate contact to exhibit similar interpersonal skills.

5. Prisoner intelligence systems and surveillance

Prisoner intelligence systems must provide accurate, current, quality information that identifies inmates who have high potential to radicalize towards violent behavior.

During the JIS incident, I personally witnessed a facility overwhelmed with violent gang activity. The gang activity was to the extent that staff seemed to have little time or resources to tend to less obvious social developments. This included the radicalization that was occurring in the prison chapel with the support of the chaplain who was providing literature that embraced violence as imperative in the terrorist struggle.

The days are gone in which staff could walk the yard and speak to each inmate by name and be familiar with who they are. The overall numbers of inmates has grown dramatically, and they are frequently transferred among facilities.

Because of this, all prisons need to have intelligence systems. The historical information may not be very telling. However, information produced by staff observing on the front lines and interacting with inmates may be extremely valuable toward recognizing potential problems before they arise and skillfully intervening before harm is done. Such information reported and analyzed through carefully designed software systems can give staff the advantage as inmates contemplate radicalization or consider deradicalization and disengagement from their group.

Very often the information is available, but the challenge that corrections agencies have is how to get it packaged, maintain its quality and integrity and swiftly move it to those who should know.

The Colorado Department of Corrections and the Florida Department of Corrections are outstanding examples of sophisticated incident reporting systems. These systems begin with the officer managing inmates on the shift where a critical incident occurs. The circumstances are documented and submitted to a digital report which is submitted to a higher level of processing. There, it gets considered as impacting multiple areas of concern.

After analysis, the information is further elevated where all is prioritized and high level supervision can formulate action plans. Some portions of the Florida system perform data analysis automatically. In both systems leadership can identify an issue by a general label and then drill down through layers of data that provide information that is extremely important. Such analysis can help prevent escapes, inmate violence and can provide information that resolves problems before radicalization appears.

In the last decade, camera systems have become more affordable and an integral part of the prison and jail operation. More advanced technology offers software that includes facial identification of inmates under view of the camera. The cameras have become the eyes and ears of staff confined to duty stations. Cameras can often detect movement and inmate behavior that indicates a pattern of inmate social behavior that would identify potential for radicalization.

6. Staff and inmate training

Training for staff and inmates in order to prevent and dissolve radicalization toward terrorist inmate behavior can take many forms. It can emphasize effective relationships between inmates and staff as would be an outcome of 7 Habits on the Inside for graduates of the course. The results can build trust and confidence in relationships which serves as pathways to solving issues surrounding radicalization.

Training can emphasize behavior observation and intervention by staff. Under a great deal of public concern over terrorist gangs on the streets and in prisons, European nations have taken the initiative in preparing front line staff to be effective in responding to radicalization. Both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have produced training programs for frontline staff on the streets and in prisons. This training prepares staff to recognize the behavior as a sign of radicalization and to effectively intervene to resolve the problem.

In every correctional system there are hot button issues that negatively impact relationships among staff and inmates. Some examples are attitudes concerning gender with respect to staff and inmates. Another is when, for example, a white, male, Christian officer supervises an inmate who worships Islam. He/she may believe that all worshipers of Islam hate and would do violence to non-believers. Training could replace dangerous mythology with accurate, factual information. Another example could be when that same officer supervises an inmate who worships as a Native American. When mated with a policy emphasis on religious tolerance, the effect can dramatically improve relationships between inmate and staff. It is the relationship between front line staff and inmates that counts the most, and effective training can give them the tools to be successful.

There are three things to remember as a leader in your corrections organization.

First, there is no one magic formula or strategy for success. Each corrections agency must have a plan to successfully manage radicalization of inmates. The plan toward success must implement numerous strategies.

Second, leadership in corrections is most often challenged with achieving a balance between competing influences. On the one hand, it is everyone’s job to achieve safety and control toward a humane environment. Sometimes that pursuit requires the imposition of rules and sanctions. There are times where many are unhappy with the rules. On the other hand, it is important to allow inmates to participate in activities that promote personal growth towards an effective, non-criminal life experience. There is clear evidence that many religious conversions support character development among inmates that leads to productive, non-criminal behavior in the prison populations.

It is balance that achieves success. Implementation of multiple strategies and achieving a balance on critical issues is the hallmark of an effectively managed prison environment. Such an accomplishment is the most important force in managing inmate radicalization in prison.


DA: No charges against NC trooper in fatal shooting of deaf driver

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Michael Gordon The Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Mecklenburg District Attorney will not bring charges against a state trooper who fatally shot a deaf driver in Charlotte last August after a high-speed chase.

District Attorney Andrew Murray announced Monday that Trooper Jermaine Saunders had legal justification to fire the shot that killed Daniel Harris not far from his north Charlotte home.

Murray’s findings were included in a 122-page report that included details on the chase and other events leading up to Harris’ killing, including a statement that Harris ran at the trooper with a metal object in his hand. Saunders told investigators he thought Harris was carrying a weapon. It turned out to be a metal carabiner key ring.

Murray also raised the possibility that Harris was undergoing a “mental health crisis” during the confrontation.

Prosecutors said Harris had a history of mental illness and had been in a psychiatric hospital in Florida for seven years. In 2015, after Harris was arrested in Kansas for fleeing a police traffic stop, a psychological assessment said Harris regularly “perceives something telling him to stab himself or someone else,” the report states.

“Given the choices faced by Trooper Saunders, the compressed window of time in which he had to evaluate the situation and act, along with the stress of the situation, I have concluded it was not unreasonable for Trooper Saunders to fire his weapon,” Murray wrote.

Jay Harris, the dead man’s brother, said the family disagrees with Murray’s decision and allege that “relevant information was excluded from the report.” According to Jay Harris, Saunders told several people on the scene that he could not see what Harris was carrying in his hands, and only mentioned the metal object in later interviews with the State Bureau of Investigation.

Charlotte attorney Will DeVore, who is representing the family, took particular exception of prosecutors’ release of Daniel Harris medical information, which he said had no relevance to the criminal case or any civil action the family might bring because Saunders was not aware of Harris’ past mental problems at the time.

“The District Attorney did not ask for the family’s consent to publish any of Daniel’s medical information,” DeVore said, “and it is my belief that this information (was used) to justify a conclusion.”

“While we will never know why Daniel fled from the police over a traffic violation, his actions toward Officer Saunders did not warrant the taking of his life,” DeVore said.

Murray said he included Harris’ mental history in the report not to disparage him but “so people might understand how this could happen.”

The chase

Criminal charges in police use of deadly force are rare in Mecklenburg County. In the past 35 years, only one officer – Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Randall “Wes” Kerrick in 2013 – has been charged in connection with an on-duty shooting. That case ended in a mistrial, and the manslaughter charge against Kerrick dismissed.

The legal standard for the use of deadly force is what is known as “objective reasonableness,” meaning would a reasonable officer in the same circumstances have responded the same way. Officers have the right to fire their weapons if they have a reasonable fear of death or serious injury for themselves or others.

Murray says witness accounts and physical evidence show “that Trooper Saunders retreated from Harris before firing the shot that killed Harris,” Murray wrote. “There is no evidence that Harris being deaf played any role in this incident.”

Jay Harris singled out that that comment is a “red flag for the extreme miscommunication and disconnect between the deaf community and law enforcement. Police must receive appropriate training for interacting with a large part of our population.”

The chase between Harris and Saunders began the evening of Aug. 18 when Saunders reported that a blue Volvo passed him going 88 mph. The chase appeared to escalate from there. Murray said multiple witnesses on Interstate 485 reported the Volvo swerving in and out of traffic, at speeds reaching 100 mph.

Harris, according to prosecutors, lost control of his car once during the chase. Saunders “spun the Volvo out on two occasions.” After one of the times Saunders tried to run Harris off the road, a witness described Harris as appearing “confused” as he sat in his car, gesturing with hands up in the air “as if asking what was going on,” the report says.

Another witness to the chase said Harris’ car came within a few feet of his as it sped up the off ramp to Rocky River Road.

Harris, he said, made a “goofy, almost laughing expression” that led him to believe he was on some kind of drug. Harris, according to this witness, “seemed not to care how reckless he was being ... and was acting bat-s*** crazy.”

According to Murray’s statement, after spinning Harris out, Saunders approached the Volvo with his gun drawn, banged on the vehicle and ordered Harris to get out. Saunders, however, took cover when he said Harris appeared to be reaching for something in the car, prosecutors say.

Harris sped off, leading the trooper into the Seven Oaks neighborhood where his family lived. A neighbor, according to prosecutors, saw Harris’ approach. He told authorities that two of the Volvo’s tires were blown and that he feared the car was going to strike him as it passed.

In the neighborhood, Saunders exited his car with his gun drawn and his left arm raised in a “stop” gesture. He told prosecutors that he yelled at Harris several times to “Stop, let me see your hands” before firing a shot into Harris’ chest when the driver was 2 to 4 feet away, Murray says.

Saunders told state investigators that “I was in fear for my life” and that he thought Harris intended to assault him with a metal weapon. “It was clear to me that he wasn’t going to give up for anything,” Saunders said, according to the report.

One witness, described in the report as a former law enforcement officer now working as a security guard, followed the chase into the neighborhood. According to Murray, the witness told authorities that Harris ran screaming at the trooper “with his hands spread and his eyes and mouth wide open,” Murray said.

The neighbor added: “It looked like he was coming for the cop.”

Two experts in law enforcement training told the Observer last year that Saunders’ decision to mount a high-speed chase may have escalated the incident beyond what was needed to make a safe arrest.

———

©2017 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)


IACP ‘strongly opposes’ use of local, state police to enforce Trump immigration mandate

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The International Association of Chiefs of Police released a statement Monday in reaction to a series of executive orders on immigration signed by President Donald Trump.

Since President Trump signed Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States and Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States there has been a growing concern about the requirements and roles of local and state law enforcement in carrying these out to the satisfaction of the new administration.

The IACP’s statement highlights the importance for law enforcement agencies to develop strategy, tactics and impact assessments to carry out these policies identified in Trump’s “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” order.

Regarding “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” the IACP pointed out that this “only directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to use his existing authority under Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to enter into voluntary agreements with state and local agencies to perform immigration enforcement duties,” which is consistent with previous administrations.

The IACP also reiterated their opposition to any initiative that mandates local and state law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law, stating that decisions to enforce such laws should be made by locally and independently.

The IACP's full statement reads:

On January 27th, U.S. President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” While recognizing that the measures outlined in the executive order were implemented so to enhance the security of the United States, the IACP believes that to minimize confusion and ensure the effectiveness of these changes, it is critically important that they be implemented in a carefully thought out and structured fashion. Both law enforcement officials in the United States, and their international partners, need clear guidance on the impact that these adjustments will have on their daily operations and the changes that may be required to their policies and procedures.

There have also been recent reports that the Trump Administration is considering using state and local law enforcement agencies in the apprehension and removal of illegal aliens in the United States. To be clear, President Trump’s January 25th Executive Order (Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States) only directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to use his existing authority under Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to enter into voluntary agreements with state and local agencies to perform immigration enforcement duties. This approach is consistent with the efforts of previous administrations and is dependent upon the consent of the state or local entity.

However, the IACP has, and will continue to strongly oppose any initiative that would mandate that state and local law enforcement agencies play a role in the enforcement of federal immigration law. The IACP believes that the issue of state, tribal, or local law enforcement’s participation in immigration enforcement is an inherently local decision that must be made by law enforcement executives, working with their elected officials, community leaders, and citizens.


Chicago cops create ‘Be The Change’ recruitment program

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — With police struggling to overcome the violent crime in Chicago, the department is looking for citizens to join the force and “Be The Change” in their communities.

A group of “ambassador” officers took to the streets Monday to recruit new cops, an effort the department has coined the “Be The Change” program, Fox 32 reported.

“I was one of those guys that grew up in a communities just like this one, and one of the things that happened was I realized that not a lot of people in my community that were the police, looked like me,” Officer Tim Crawford said. The officers said the only requirements are recruits have to be 21 and have 60 credit hours. Officers receive full health care coverage, tuition benefits and a retirement plan.

“You'd be surprised to find out that most officers go their whole career without ever having to shoot their weapon, other than to qualify,” Crawford said. “It’s not as bad as people think. This is a great career. ”

The program is a part of a two-year hiring process that will add almost 1,000 new officers to CPD.


Woman calls Australian police over drug dealer’s prices

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NORTHERN TERRITORY, Australia — Australian police received a call Saturday that topped their unusual grievance list.

A woman called police because she was upset after her drug dealer increased the price of marijuana.

She demanded police investigate the “outrageous” price hike, the department wrote on Facebook.

“If you know a drug dealer who is ripping you off, give us a call, we’d love to help,” the department wrote.

When asked for more details, she hung up.

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Is your drug dealer ripping you off? A call to police yesterday had to top the list of ‘unusual’. A woman called...

Posted by Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services on Sunday, January 29, 2017


Tenn. firefighter shot by deputies outside home

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A firefighter was shot outside his home Monday evening after a confrontation with deputies.

Cheatham County Sheriff's Office deputies initially responded to reports of a woman who was almost run off the road near the home of firefighter Charles Holland, 44. They arrived to the scene and attempted to speak to a vehicle’s driver that was backing out a driveway nearby.

While deputies were speaking to the driver, Holland came out of his home wielding a gun and walked toward them, reported the Tennessean.

Holland was then shot and transported to the hospital. It was not immediately clear how many deputies fired at Holland or how many times we was hit, Josh DeVine, Tennessee Bureau Investigation spokesman, told the publication.

Holland was reported to be in stable condition. The incident remains under investigation.

AT 11: Father of #Nashville firefighter shot by deputies in #CheathamCounty last night says son was being a "Good Samaritan". @WKRN pic.twitter.com/4hSjClvTVV

— Josh Breslow (@JoshBreslowWKRN) January 31, 2017


Confrontation between Ohio cop, EMT goes viral

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — A video capturing an aggressive confrontation between a police officer and EMT surfaced over the weekend, prompting an internal police review.

The video was taken by a bystander, who shared the video on Facebook.

Witnesses said they were leaving a bar Saturday night when police and EMS responded to a call of a man who was knocked unconscious during a fight. Witness Trevor Conley told WSAZ that when the man regained consciousness he was not calm; he then stated the police officer used a TASER on the man.

An EMT on scene attempted to intervene.

“The EMT said, ‘You can’t be tasing this guy, he’s bleeding, got head problems,’” witness Josh Journey said. “Then after that [the officer] grabbed the EMT, took him across the street, and I saw him have his hands on this throat all the way across the road and had him up against that cruiser.”

Journey said once the officer saw that he was being recorded, he attempted to confiscate the phone.

Portsmouth Police chief said the incident is under administrative review, which will conclude Wednesday. The chief also said that he has seen the video and stated that it only captures part of the incident.

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A Facebook video appears to show a Portsmouth police officer with his hand on or around a medic's neck and throat at the...

Posted by WSAZ NewsChannel 3 on Monday, January 30, 2017


Black Panthers pledge legal action after NC cops disarm them during march

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Makenzie Holland and Tim Buckland Star-News

WILMINGTON, NC — The Revolutionary Black Panther Party pledged legal action Sunday against local officials for their response to a planned armed march at a news conference interrupted when law enforcement officers arrived to remove their weapons.

The news conference was taking place on the steps of the New Hanover County Courthouse when members of the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office and the Wilmington Police Department arrived. New Hanover County Sheriff's Office Lt. Donald Warnick told party leader Dr. Alli Muhammad they were not allowed to have their weapons on courthouse property.

Tensions heightened when some party members noticed officers with the Wilmington Police Department, dressed in tactical gear, aiming weapons toward the group.

“Can you tell them to lower their weapons,” one of the party members asked Warnick. “They need to lower their weapons.”

Warnick responded, “We’re just being ready, sir.”

Warnick continued to ask members to put their weapons on the courthouse steps, as well as remove any facial coverings. At the direction of Muhammad, party members voluntarily put their weapons down.

Members of the party were in violation of a local county ordinance prohibiting the display of firearms and possession of concealed handguns on courthouse property, as well as a state law that prohibits wearing masks at meetings or demonstrations, according to a New Hanover County Sheriff's Office news release.

On Sunday, the Revolutionary Black Panther Party was disarmed, but not deterred in Wilmington #ilm #RBPP => https://t.co/zU4kwjHbz1 pic.twitter.com/r68y2MX0AN

— Port City Daily (@PortCityDaily) January 30, 2017

Sheriff’s deputies then picked up the weapons, two revolvers, five semi-automatic pistols and three shotguns, and began unloading them before taking them to be inventoried. All of the weapons were loaded and some had bullets in the chamber.

“We just want justice,” said Wilmington resident Sheila Haskins, who was observing the event. “This looks like terrorism to me. Why can’t we have a peaceful march?”

The news conference stemmed from a legal entanglement involving the cancellation of a tribunal event that was supposed to be held Saturday in the Creekwood community, as well as an armed march that was supposed to take place Sunday.

"Law enforcement officers went to the Creekwood community. … They went there and frightened these people,” Muhammad claimed. “Because of the intimidation of law enforcement they wouldn’t open their doors. ... That is a form of terrorism.”

Muhammad contended that the group’s right to bear arms, peacefully assemble and equal protection of the law are “under siege.”

Members of the Revolutionary Black Panther Party had their weapons seized. They have not picked them up yet > https://t.co/4w7r5TmHW5 pic.twitter.com/rvHhjopqLV

— Ashlea Kosikowski (@AshleaOnAir) January 30, 2017

While planning legal action against the Wilmington Police Department, Police Chief Ralph Evangelous and District Attorney Ben David, Muhammad said he is planning to gather more people for an even larger armed march in the Wilmington area.

Despite having several of their guns taken Sunday, which Muhammad said the group will be able to retrieve Monday morning, the group carried on with planned events the rest of the day at the intersection of 12th and Dock streets. A significant police presence followed the group, as several WPD vehicles could be seen on streets at and around the intersection and a helicopter hovered above both the news conference and the intersection.

The event drew hundreds, and Black Panther members had rearmed themselves, saying they had a constitutional right to bear arms.

"You have the right to open carry in the state of North Carolina," Muhammad said.

The event was wide-ranging, with Muhammad speaking about injustice against blacks, including slavery, police persecution, economic suppression and, locally, the shooting of Brandon Smith, who was unarmed when he was killed by police in Wilmington in 2013. Police said Smith was suspected of shooting a police detective days earlier and, on the night he died, raised a dark object, later identified as a cellphone, following a chase.

Smith's relatives spoke during the event.

"I wish they could feel what I feel inside," Paula Davis, Smith's mother, said of law enforcement. "They'd never kill anyone again."

Denise Barnes, who lives on Dock Street near the site of the event, said she welcomed the Panthers' presence.

"I'm not really worried with them having the guns," she said. "I'm fine with them having this protest."

Wilmington resident Gwendolyn Allen said she appreciated the Panthers being in the area because it "starts to open dialogue."

"It is a global movement toward equality for everybody," she said.


Baltimore police launch mobile app for submitting tips, receiving alerts

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kevin Rector The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Police Department on Monday launched a mobile app that allows residents to submit crime tips, receive alerts and peruse other department data and information — calling it a "one stop shop" for city residents looking to engage with the department.

"We think that this will assist in both the crime fight and our interactions with everyday citizens," said Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. "Our goal is to make it easy and simplistic for people to connect."

Through the app, residents will be able to make anonymous tips, and even engage in dialogue with an officer. Davis said the app will be constantly monitored, and tips related to homicides or nonfatal shootings will be given priority.

He said tips to the department increased 174 percent in 2016 over 2015 after the launch of an anonymous text-to-tip line — 443-902-4824 — and he hopes the app will continue growing the amount of information the department receives from the community.

The app also provides access to the department's Facebook and Twitter pages, the state's court records page, city crime data, the department's website and other information.

The Police Department recently agreed with the U.S. Department of Justice to usher in sweeping reforms, including to its communications with the public. Officials did not link the launch of the app to the federal consent decree process, though they touted it using the catchphrase "Transparency at Your Fingertips."

The app, available for download on Apple and Android devices, was developed for the department by the company Mobile PD, which works with about 100 other agencies across the country and in Canada, officials said. The department paid the company $10,000 to develop the app and $20,000 for a two-year subscription to the software, said T.J. Smith, a police spokesman.

Smith cautioned that the app is not intended to replace 911, which residents should still call immediately if there is an emergency or a crime in progress.

After the first two years, the department will pay the company $15,000 a year. It will also pay $99 and $25 annually for the app to appear in the Apple and Android app stores, respectively, Smith said.

Davis said the administration of Mayor Catherine Pugh is fully behind the launch of the app and the drive toward greater transparency. He cited studies that have shown more Americans are getting more of their news from mobile phones.

Kushyar Kasraie, CEO of Mobile PD, said versions of the app are being used by police departments in Austin, St. Louis, Toronto and elsewhere. But Baltimore — which has the eighth-largest police department in the country — is "by far the largest police force in the country launching this application, and we believe this will spur many other law enforcement agencies to follow their lead."

He said the app is "all about improving transparency" and has led to positive results in other cities, including assisting in finding missing people and in solving major drug cases.

"I really look forward to seeing the same positive results here," he said.

Smith said the department would "continuously evaluate" how the app is working for the department.

Some users expressed concerns Monday about prompts in the Android app asking for access to their pictures, location and other data. Smith said such access is routinely requested by mobile apps to support their features, such as the one in the police department app that allows users to send police pictures within their phones.

Smith said there is "no monitoring going on by the department to anyone that downloads the app."


Calif. officials search for escaped inmate

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By C1 Staff

HAYWARD, Calif. — Authorities are searching for an inmate who escaped from deputies Tuesday morning.

The inmate was being transferred from Kentucky to California, possibly for extradition, when he escaped from police custody, ABC 7 reported.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office tweeted a photo of Shawn New, 27, and reported he is wanted by Kentucky authorities for fraud and ID theft.

The Sheriff’s Office has joined the search for the inmate.

Escaped prisoner: Shawn New, age 27, wanted by Kentucky authorities for fraud and ID theft. Escaped from their vehicle 880@ A St 0945. #BOLO pic.twitter.com/ZuNs8BHaGG

— Alameda Co. Sheriff (@ACSOSheriffs) January 31, 2017


Neb. police officer, suspect wounded in shootout

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

OMAHA, Neb. — A police officer and a suspect were wounded Monday after an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and officers.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, police were investigating a report of a suspicious person looking into vehicles and checking for unlocked doors when they saw a man who matched the description of the suspect.

Witness Greg Powell said he saw Officer Jill Schillerberg tell the suspect, Monroe G. Evans III, to sit on the curb and put his hands behind his back; Powell said Evans pulled something out of his jacket or backpack instead.

Police told the publication that Evans opened fire on officers and a handgun was recovered at the scene. Officers returned fire, wounding Evans.

Schillerberg suffered a leg wound and was treated and released from the hospital. Evans was taken to the hospital in critical, but stable condition where he underwent surgery.

An investigation is ongoing.

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NC police release video from fatal 2012 shooting

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Police in Charlotte, North Carolina, have released two dash camera videos from the shooting death of a black man by a white officer in 2012.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's released the material Monday evening on a judge's order.

The video from the lead car shows two officers chasing Michael Laney on a following on a motor scooter for more than a minute and a half at about 20 mph. Laney pulls into his mother's yard. The officers were looking for a robbery suspect.

Police said the officers tackled Laney outside the view of the cameras.

A prosecutor ruled that officer Anthony Holtzhauer was justified in shooting Laney as he struggled with another officer, who yelled that Laney had a gun.

Laney's brother, Antoine Laney, said he was disappointed the videos don't show what happened. He thinks the shooting was unjustified.

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Wash. lawmakers weigh police deadly force bills

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Alexis Myers Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Lawmakers in Washington state are weighing bills that would raise the bar on when an officer can use deadly force.

Current law shields officers from prosecution unless they acted with malice and without good faith. That could change with new legislation proposed in the House and the Senate this year.

The House Committee on Public Safety is scheduled to hear public testimony on two bills Tuesday related to recommendations from a task force created by Gov. Jay Inslee to reduce the number of violent interactions between law-enforcement and the public.

Democratic Rep. Cindy Ryu from Shoreline, the lead sponsor of House Bill 1529, said in an interview the most crucial part of this process will be to find a balance and to create a feasible budget for the recommendations.

Ryu estimates it will cost at least $60 million to implement the task force's recommendations, which include police training and data collection.

"It's not going to be a quick fix," she said. "We are going to have to spend a lot of time discussing the best ways to handle these situations, and meet somewhere in the middle."

The task force voted 14-10 to remove the phrases "malice" and "good faith" from the current law, which makes it difficult to charge an officer for wrongfully killing a person. Ryu said if nothing else the word "malice" should be removed from the law immediately.

Rep. Roger Goodman, who is the co-chair of the task force and also the sponsor of the second bill being discussed at the hearing, said some of the language should be tweaked and some should be removed altogether.

"That (malice) is too high of a bar, there is no state in the country that prevents prosecution for manslaughter," he said. "So that is language I would prefer to see removed."

However, Goodman said he believes prosecutors need "good faith" to prove to a jury that a crime was committed.

"You need to prove intent, and good faith is a reasonable standard," he said. "We would just want to articulate what good faith means ... We also need to protect law enforcement, not only through the language, but through generous support for their training and their other operations - it's a package deal."

Goodman's bill implements some of the task force's recommendations, including the collection of data when deadly force is used, funding for advanced training programs and grant proposals to obtain less lethal weapons for primary responding - all of which he hopes to combine with Ryu's plan down the line.

Advocacy groups including the Olympia Coalition to Reform Deadly Force — which formed as a result of the task force last year — want to eliminate the language and create better policing practices, while still protecting and respecting the work of law enforcement.

"We believe police officers should be held accountable for unlawful use of deadly force," said Leslie Cushman, co-founder of the group.

James McMahan, policy director for the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, said in an interview removing "good faith" from the current law is 100 percent nonnegotiable, but mentioned they are "open" to having a discussion about removing the word "malice" from the current state law.

"We fundamentally believe that any bill that attempts to eliminate good faith from the standard on police officer's use of deadly force is not a negotiable thing for us," McMahan said.

McMahan said the WASPC supports Goodman's bill and any measure aimed to reduce the number of violent interactions between law enforcement and the public. The "no brainer" part of this legislation he said is to create a statewide uniform standard to track and collect data relating deadly force.


Some LA officers not eager to help Trump enforce immigration laws

Posted on January 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Cindy Chang, Kate Mather and Nicole Santa Cruz Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — A day after Donald Trump was elected president, two detectives walked up to a building site in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. The pair was hoping to find someone who might have witnessed a motorist intentionally knocking down a construction worker.

They introduced themselves to a group of Latino workers. The workers got up and walked away.

“Trump is coming,” one of them said as he left.

To Detective Brent Hopkins, the scene was a stark illustration of the difficulties he could face depending on how far President Donald Trump goes in enlisting local law enforcement to rid the country of people who are in the U.S. illegally.

“It is my job to investigate crimes,” said Hopkins of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire Division, who also serves on the police union’s communications committee. “And if I can’t do that, I can’t get justice for people, because all of a sudden, I’m losing my witnesses or my victims because they’re afraid that talking to me is going to lead to them getting deported.”

After Trump’s unveiling last week of two executive orders that called for empowering local law enforcement officers to take on the duties of immigration agents, police officers and sheriff’s deputies across the Los Angeles area said in interviews that enforcing immigration laws is not in their job descriptions. Many expressed concerns that immigrants already wary of reporting crimes or being interviewed as witnesses will retreat further into the shadows.

“They should be running to us, not away from us,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Arcos of Central Bureau, which includes Boyle Heights, MacArthur Park, Chinatown and other areas with many immigrant residents. “We are here to be their protectors.”

Besides, some officers said, they are too busy answering 911 calls, arresting robbers, stopping erratic drivers and solving homicides to add federal immigration enforcement to their to-do lists.

“We have enough issues just trying to keep the peace anyway,” said J.C. Duarte, a veteran LAPD officer in Northeast Division. “It’s just going to create a wedge between immigrants and law enforcement. Whether they’re here legally or not, there’s going to be a fear generated.”

Many officers said they believe their bosses will resist Trump’s directives, despite the president’s threat to withhold federal funding.

The LAPD has long had a policy that forbids officers from initiating contact with a person solely to ask about immigration status.

On Wednesday, hours after Trump unveiled his executive orders, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck reiterated that his officers would continue to focus on building relationships with city residents, regardless of where they were born. L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said his deputies do not ask anyone about their legal status and that immigration enforcement remains a federal responsibility.

In the state Legislature, Senate leader Kevin de Leon is championing a measure that would prohibit California police officers from engaging in immigration enforcement.

“We’re not going to be enforcing any immigration laws whatsoever,” said Cmdr. Keith Swensson, who oversees the Central Patrol Division, which includes Compton and parts of East and South L.A., for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. “The whole concept seems to be overpoliticized, when in fact we’re going to be doing the same thing we’ve always been doing.”

The racial demographics of L.A County’s two largest law enforcement agencies reflect those of the region as a whole. In both the LAPD and the county’s Sheriff’s Department, nearly half of the sworn officers are Latino. It is not uncommon for a police officer or sheriff’s deputy to be an immigrant or the child of immigrants. Duarte, the Northeast Division officer, came to the U.S. legally from Guatemala at age 2.

During the presidential election, Trump found support among some law enforcement officers who viewed him as more pro-police than his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. But locally, even some officers who privately said they voted for him are not eager to help with his immigration agenda.

Trump’s executive orders call for the resurrection of Secure Communities, a program from earlier in Obama’s administration that asked jail officials to hand over inmates to immigration authorities, including inmates who had no criminal records and were guilty only of immigration violations.

But Trump has not spelled out any specific plans to enlist street officers in apprehending immigrants without legal status. The executive orders say that local law enforcement agencies will be empowered “to perform the functions of an immigration officer … to the maximum extent permitted by law” but provide no detail.

An Arizona law, Senate Bill 1070, tested the legal limits of what immigration enforcement duties police officers could perform. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down most of the Arizona law but let stand a provision that required police to check the immigration status of someone they had already stopped if there was “reasonable suspicion” the person was in the country illegally.

If Trump asks police agencies to perform immigration checks along the lines of the Arizona law, participation would have to be voluntary, because the federal government cannot coerce local governments to do its work, constitutional law scholars say.

The funding component of Trump’s executive orders, which involves withholding federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities, could face legal hurdles, because courts could view it as an underhanded way to force cooperation, said Hiroshi Motomura, an immigration scholar and professor at UCLA School of Law.

“If the LAPD doesn’t want to be involved in immigration checks, the feds can’t force the LAPD to do that,” Motomura said.

Still, the specter of police officers checking residents’ legal status has stirred anxiety among some immigrants.

At roll calls, Capt. Martin Baeza of the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Division has been reiterating to his officers that their job is enforcing state laws, not federal immigration laws.

At community meetings, he tries to tamp down fears, answering questions that included one about whether internment camps, such as those used to imprison Japanese Americans during World War II, might arise again.

“I completely understand the anxiety that our community is having, because I’ve lived that as a child,” said Baeza, who came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 2.

Baeza’s parents had green cards, but they still viewed the police with fear. His parents would tell him not to get into trouble and not to have anything to do with the police, he recalled.

After the presidential election, the LAPD’s Central Division, which includes Hollenbeck, held a series of community meetings to reassure immigrants that police officers are there to help them, not deport them.

But comforting words can only go so far when people fear being separated from their families and livelihoods.

At a community meeting in South Los Angeles on Thursday night, a man asked if he could be deported for a traffic ticket. LAPD Officer Marcela Garcia assured him that would not happen.

Inglewood Police Officer Chris Beckman said that when he investigated sex crimes, he had a hard time getting some Spanish-speaking victims to come forward because they feared being deported.

If police officers do take a role in immigration enforcement, some victims “are not going to want to deal with the police whatsoever,” Beckman said.

Some police officers and sheriff’s deputies said that if their bosses tell them to ask people about immigration status, they will have to obey the orders.

But Duarte, the LAPD officer in Northeast, said he would “flat-out just refuse.” He plans to retire next year and has little to lose.

“At this point in my career, I’d take whatever consequence came down the pipe,” he said. “So what? Go ahead and suspend me for 10 days. I’m not going to do it.”

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Fla. mayor apologizes for police ‘pig’ comment

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jim Hayward The Palm Beach Post

STUART, Fla. — Stuart Mayor Eula Clarke apologized for saying, "What are we serving, pig today?" within earshot of a Stuart police officer in a grocery store, according to Palm Beach Post news partner WPTV NewsChannel 5.

Clarke sent a letter to the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association asking for forgiveness for the Jan. 11 incident, union president John Kazanjian told WPTV. "The poor guy walked out, you know, hurt," Kazanjian said. "That's coming from the mayor of the city?"

Clarke told WPTV that she apologized to the officer. "I have met with him and I have expressed to him how sorry it is that this unfortunate event happened," she said.

Kazanjian called the letter "a first step," adding that Clarke needs to meet with the entire police force in person.

Clarke said she's willing to do that. "I want to move on. I want the officers to work for our community," she told WPTV. "I want them to believe in what I do as mayor. To believe in what they do for their jobs. I just want to make sure that they know I have their backs

See more from WPTV


Kan. PDs respond to Tostitos chips bag ‘breathalyzer’

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By Stan Finger The Wichita Eagle

KANSAS — If you’re half-convinced the world has been turned upside down, here’s further proof: Agencies in the homes of Kansas and Kansas State actually getting along well with each other.

The Lawrence Police Department and Riley County Police Department launched into a humorous thread on Twitter on Thursday about the new Tostitos bags that developers say can detect if someone may have had too much to drink.

Twitterdom gave approval in its unique way, with gifs and sharing.

If you’re looking for one of the bags, good luck: Frito-Lay manufactured only 1,000 of them.

If you have to blow into a Tostitos bag to know if you're intoxicated, for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT DRIVE https://t.co/gnTcIIL7Oj

— Lawrence Police (@LawrenceKS_PD) January 26, 2017

@LawrenceKS_PD “I’m fine to drive, officer. The chip bag told me I was under the limit.” “Sir, I’m going to need you to step out of the car"

— RCPD (@RileyCountyPD) January 26, 2017


Va. cops decompress in ‘quiet rooms’

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HAMPTON, Va. — To help officers decompress and refocus on the job, the Hampton Police Department has created “quiet rooms” in the city.

Sgt. Matt Bond told 13News Now he got idea from a Nevada police department. The rooms provide a quiet space for them to relax while on-duty.

“There is another department that's currently out in Las Vegas that’s using the same tactic, and they've had great success with it,” Bond said.

The rooms are furnished with recliners, futons and televisions. Only one officer can use a room at a time and they may only use it during their lunch break.

“For the designated amount of time, they can come in, take their belt off, turn their radio off, close the door, turn off the lights, and just get some rest,” Crp. Reggie Williams told the news station. “Sometimes people would just elect to come in here and eat, or come in here and quietly meditate.”

Officers must contact their supervisor and indicate they are using the quiet room. If their radio is turned off, the officer’s phone must be nearby.

Bond said that the rooms will help officers refocus, decompress and relax. Their hope is that it will reduce fatigue and help officers have a clearer mind on duty.

“Eighty percent of decision-making errors and accidents in police work are a result of fatigue, so that’s something we took into account when we came up with this idea,” Bond said.


Texas cop fired over feces sandwich fired again

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

SAN ANTONIO — A Texas cop fired in October for giving a homeless man a feces sandwich a few months prior has been given a second indefinite suspension, MySanAntonio.com reported.

According to the publication, Matthew Luckhurst defecated in the women’s bathroom at the department and spread a brown substance with the consistency of tapioca on the toilet seat, giving the appearance that there was feces on the seat. The incident occurred a month after the sandwich incident.

Officer Steve Albart was also involved in the prank. He was originally given an indefinite suspension as well, but the police chief reduced it to 30 days without pay. Albart finished his suspension Jan. 19.

KSAT reported Albart is a two-year veteran of the department.

Luckhurst was originally given an indefinite suspension for giving a fecal sandwich to a homeless man in October.

He is appealing both suspensions.


DOJ’s Chicago PD report reveals agency’s alarming suicide rate

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — The Department of Justice released a report Jan. 13 revealing institutional problems regarding use of force and police training in the Chicago Police Department. It also revealed a high suicide rate among CPD officers.

The report states the rate of suicide within the department is 60 percent higher than other police departments.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, 13 officers have been killed in the line of duty in the past decade. Close to twice as many died by suicide in the same time span.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 estimates that out of the 10,000 CPD patrol officers, an average of three will take their lives each year.

“There is a problem, and nobody’s doing anything about it,” Ron Rufo, former officer and peer support counselor, told the publication. “Supervisors don’t talk about it. The rank-and-file don’t talk about it. And it’s like the administration does not want to admit it’s a problem.”

Due to the rising violence in the city, psychologist Alexa James says that Chicago officers have a difficult job that differs from their fellow big-city officers.

“When you have 760 homicides in the city in a year, that’s a war zone — and that’s where [police] are working every day,” James told the Sun-Times. “It is a hard, hard job, and police officers get very little support.”

But experts said Illinois officers may be reluctant to seek mental help because it could put them at risk of losing their job.

The state permanently prohibits anyone who has been involuntarily committed to an in-patient mental health treatment facility from receiving a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.

Psychologist Marla Friedman said officers wrongly believe that if they seek help from a therapist, take psychiatric medication, or receive outpatient treatment, they could lose their FOID card.

“This is a real problem,” Friedman said. “Police officers are the only class of citizen in the U.S. who is going to lose their job for seeking mental health care.”

James said something that would help would be creating a “culture of care” within the department. Supervisors would watch for signs of depression or trauma and let their officers know they are there to help.

“We want police to be out there with the clearest head, we want people with a strong constitution,” she said. “ Then, they can be thinking clearly in a job where they make quick decisions.”


DOJ’s Chicago PD report reveals alarming suicide rate

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — The Department of Justice released a report Jan. 13 revealing institutional problems regarding use of force and police training in the Chicago Police Department. It also revealed a high suicide rate among CPD officers.

The report states the rate of suicide within the department is 60 percent higher than other police departments.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, 13 officers have been killed in the line of duty in the past decade. Close to twice as many died by suicide in the same time span.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 estimates that out of the 10,000 CPD patrol officers, an average of three will take their lives each year.

“There is a problem, and nobody’s doing anything about it,” Ron Rufo, former officer and peer support counselor, told the publication. “Supervisors don’t talk about it. The rank-and-file don’t talk about it. And it’s like the administration does not want to admit it’s a problem.”

Due to the rising violence in the city, psychologist Alexa James says that Chicago officers have a difficult job that differs from their fellow big-city officers.

“When you have 760 homicides in the city in a year, that’s a war zone — and that’s where [police] are working every day,” James told the Sun-Times. “It is a hard, hard job, and police officers get very little support.”

But experts said Illinois officers may be reluctant to seek mental help because it could put them at risk of losing their job.

The state permanently prohibits anyone who has been involuntarily committed to an in-patient mental health treatment facility from receiving a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.

Psychologist Marla Friedman said officers wrongly believe that if they seek help from a therapist, take psychiatric medication, or receive outpatient treatment, they could lose their FOID card.

“This is a real problem,” Friedman said. “Police officers are the only class of citizen in the U.S. who is going to lose their job for seeking mental health care.”

James said something that would help would be creating a “culture of care” within the department. Supervisors would watch for signs of depression or trauma and let their officers know they are there to help.

“We want police to be out there with the clearest head, we want people with a strong constitution,” she said. “ Then, they can be thinking clearly in a job where they make quick decisions.”


DC police: Cyberattack affected surveillance cams before inauguration

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Police surveillance cameras stationed around D.C. were unable to record days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, authorities said Friday.

The Washington Post reported that the hackers targeted the surveillance system’s storage devices with ransomware. The attack affected 123 of 187 video cameras, leaving them unable to record between Jan. 12 and Jan. 15.

On Jan. 12, police noticed that four of the sites weren’t functioning correctly and reported it to authorities. After an investigation, they found more infected camera sites.

Archana Vemulapalli, D.C.’s Chief Technology Officer, told the publication that they are investigating the source of the hacking, but the cyberattack was confined to the police CCTV cameras. It did not extend deeper into the computer networks.

Vemulapalli said although the hack appeared to be an extortion effort, the city paid no ransom and no criminal investigations were affected.

A Secret Service official said the public’s safety was never jeopardized.


DC police: Cyberattack affected surveillance cams before inauguration

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Police surveillance cameras stationed around D.C. were unable to record days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, authorities said Friday.

The Washington Post reported that the hackers targeted the surveillance system’s storage devices with ransomware. The attack affected 123 of 187 video cameras, leaving them unable to record between Jan. 12 and Jan. 15.

On Jan. 12, police noticed that four of the sites weren’t functioning correctly and reported it to authorities. After an investigation, they found more infected camera sites.

Archana Vemulapalli, D.C.’s Chief Technology Officer, told the publication that they are investigating the source of the hacking, but the cyberattack was confined to the police CCTV cameras. It did not extend deeper into the computer networks.

Vemulapalli said although the hack appeared to be an extortion effort, the city paid no ransom and no criminal investigations were affected.

A Secret Service official said the public’s safety was never jeopardized.


10 lessons learned from the 2012 Sikh temple terror attack

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Lt. Dan Marcou
Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

Domestic terrorism can occur any time at any place. There are no geographic or location constraints. Since 2001, we have seen acts of domestic terrorism on military bases, at places of worship, in workplace environments, in major cities – the reality is that no place is exempt. The lessons learned from the attack at a Sikh temple in 2012 should be adopted by officers and every police department.

1. Be prepared for a potentially life changing/ending call anytime, anywhere.

On August 5, 2012, at approximately 10:30am, the founder of the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, 65-year-old Satwant Singh Kaleka, was preparing the temple for services. Wade Michael Page, the assailant, invaded this house of worship and opened fire. Six individuals died from this act of domestic terrorism.

Someone reported the disturbance and officers from the Oak Creek Police Department were dispatched.

2. Stopping or impeding an active killer takes a deliberate act of courage.

As the assailant sought out victims, the 15 children inside the temple were led into a kitchen pantry in hopes of saving them from the rampage. Kaleka bravely and deliberately placed himself between the assailant and the hidden children armed only with his kirpan, a ceremonial knife carried by Sikhs.

There is no nobler deed than to sacrifice one’s life in the defense of innocents as Kaleka did on this day. While there were no witnesses to the struggle waged between Kaleka and Page, it is safe to speculate his efforts ensured that his was the last innocent life lost that day. The children were spared.

3. Immediate engagement by initial responding officers saves lives.

Lt. Brian Murphy was the first Oak Creek police officer to travel down the blind drive into the parking lot of the Sikh temple. He immediately discovered two deceased victims. Murphy exited his squad and scanned the area for threats. Luckily for the 15 children in hiding, Murphy’s arrival distracted the assailant.

4. Prepare for highly trained adversaries.

As Murphy drew his weapon, the assailant, dressed in a white T-shirt and black fatigues, exited the front door of the temple and began walking calmly toward him. As Murphy radioed this fact to the dispatcher and responding units, the assailant suddenly broke into a run laterally across the parking lot while bringing his 9mm semi-automatic pistol to bear on Murphy.

The assailant was U.S. military trained in combat tactics, and he employed those skills. Murphy immediately recognized the assailant’s lateral movement as an attempt to make himself a hard target. Murphy radioed while firing at him, “Man with a gun, white T-shirt.” The shots went over the radio and alerted Officer Sam Lenda, who was a short distance away.

5. Wear a bullet resistant vest.

Murphy would later say, “I missed. He didn’t.”

The lieutenant was hit initially in the throat and chin. Unfazed, he moved to cover and tried to re-acquire the assailant. The assailant had executed a flanking maneuver and came up behind Murphy. When Murphy spun to re-engage, the assailant shot him, knocking Murphy’s gun out of his right hand and blowing apart his right thumb.

As a result of this confrontation, the assailant continued to fire and bullets rained down on Murphy. To stay as safe as possible during this gunfight, Murphy moved under a car he was next to in order to protect his vitals, while keeping his vest toward the suspect and making himself a small target.

In short order, Murphy was hit fifteen times by the assailant, but because he practiced these tactics and wore his vest that day, he survived the horrific attack.

6. Train for the sudden patrol rifle dismount.

As Lenda arrived in the midst of the attack, the assailant directed his fire frantically in two directions, causing him to miss.

Lenda found himself having to operate the mechanical release on the patrol rifle-mount and his seat belt simultaneously, while the window of his squad was being shattered by gunfire.

Both Lenda and Murphy were SWAT trained, and Lenda was a well-respected firearms instructor in Wisconsin. He would later encourage all officers to not only practice drawing their sidearm, but also practice for the sudden patrol rifle dismount.

7. Ignore the pain until the fight is over.

The shattered glass of his windshield slapped Lenda’s face as it embedded into his flesh. He deliberately decided to ignore the pain and finish the fight. He moved quickly to the “V” between his open squad door and the door frame and prepared to engage the assailant as rounds zipped past him.

8. Use long guns for accuracy over long distances.

Lenda fired his patrol rifle at the moving assailant, but his first shot missed. The officer took careful aim and fired a second time. The assailant instantly went down and rolled into some shrubs.

While hidden in the shrubs, the assailant realized he had been mortally wounded by Lenda and deduced his murderous rampage was over. The gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

9. Always choose life.

Murphy believes that he survived the barrage directed at him because he consciously told himself he was not going to die in that parking lot. He now gives presentations to officers on survival, and tells them that they will increase their odds of surviving a life or death encounter when they deliberately choose life.

10. Never give up.

Murphy believes his mantra before the Sikh temple attack kept him alive. It is simple, but powerful: Never give up.


Pa. man admits he conspired to help ISIS

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mark Scolforo Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A 20-year-old Pennsylvania man faces the potential of a lengthy federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to conspiring to help the Islamic State group and tweeting out a list that identified and targeted people serving in the U.S. military.

Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz pleaded guilty Monday in Harrisburg federal court to the conspiracy count and to transmitting a communication containing a threat. Both are felonies.

Aziz is a natural born American who was arrested in Harrisburg in December 2015.

The offenses carry a maximum total sentence of 25 years and a $500,000 fine.

His defense lawyer says Aziz is very sorry and calls him a "young kid who was tweeting from his bedroom."

Federal officials say the service members on the list were notified and appropriate security measures were taken.


Off-duty Chicago deputy wounded in triple shooting

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By Elvia Malagon Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — An off-duty Cook County deputy was one of three people who were wounded in a shooting early Saturday in the city's Gold Coast neighborhood, officials said.

The shooting happened about 3:30 a.m. in the 1200 block of North State Street. Police did not release details about what led to the shooting.

Sophia Ansari, spokeswoman for the Cook County sheriff's office, said an off-duty Cook County courts deputy was wounded in the shooting. He has worked for the sheriff's office for 11 years.

She did not have additional information about the deputy's involvement in the shooting, and she said the investigation was being handled by Chicago police.

Jeff Lyle, deputy district chief for the Fire Department, said three people were taken in serious condition from the scene.

Ansari said the off-duty officer was grazed in the head. Police previously said a 39-year-old man had been grazed in the head.

A 33-year-old man was shot in the leg. Both men were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where their conditions were stabilized.

A 30-year-old man was shot in the lower back and was listed in good condition at Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

One of the wounded men was carried out on a stretcher past a crowd that had gathered at the corner of State and Division streets.

Officers patted down a man dressed in all black before placing him in the backseat of a police car. Bouncers from area bars and clubs huddled on the corner and watched as the man was placed into the car.

Officers later walked a man in handcuffs out of the crime scene. Police said detectives were questioning a person of interest in the shooting.

Officers blocked with police tape a public parking garage on State. Officers could be seen talking to several people inside the first floor of the garage and they were looking at a car. It was across the street from McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon, which also was taped off by police.

Men who had been speaking to officers inside the parking garage declined to comment.

The area where the shooting happened has several popular bars and clubs. As officers interviewed witnesses, people continued walking in and out of the bars. Flower petals could be seen along Division.

Hector Cruz, 23, was among those who watched the aftermath of the triple shooting. He had traveled from Romeoville to go to Detention Nightclub with friends.

He said he was smoking a cigarette outside the nightclub when he heard two gunshots and then saw people running.

Down the street, a man, who did not want to be identified, was on his phone perplexed by the shooting.

"What the (expletive)," he said.

The man moved to Chicago about two months ago. He was at a nightclub around the corner from where the shooting took place, and he said he would think twice before spending another night out in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

"I'm from Kentucky," he said. "I don't see this."

As the crowd of bar patrons left the neighborhood, officers continued to guard the crime scene. Along Divison, a man waved a large sign at motorists in the area. It read: "President Trump Will Stop Chicago Carnage."

———

©2017 the Chicago Tribune


Off-duty Ill. deputy wounded in triple shooting

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By Elvia Malagon Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — An off-duty Cook County deputy was one of three people who were wounded in a shooting early Saturday in the city's Gold Coast neighborhood, officials said.

The shooting happened about 3:30 a.m. in the 1200 block of North State Street. Police did not release details about what led to the shooting.

Sophia Ansari, spokeswoman for the Cook County sheriff's office, said an off-duty Cook County courts deputy was wounded in the shooting. He has worked for the sheriff's office for 11 years.

She did not have additional information about the deputy's involvement in the shooting, and she said the investigation was being handled by Chicago police.

Jeff Lyle, deputy district chief for the Fire Department, said three people were taken in serious condition from the scene.

Ansari said the off-duty officer was grazed in the head. Police previously said a 39-year-old man had been grazed in the head.

A 33-year-old man was shot in the leg. Both men were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where their conditions were stabilized.

A 30-year-old man was shot in the lower back and was listed in good condition at Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

One of the wounded men was carried out on a stretcher past a crowd that had gathered at the corner of State and Division streets.

Officers patted down a man dressed in all black before placing him in the backseat of a police car. Bouncers from area bars and clubs huddled on the corner and watched as the man was placed into the car.

Officers later walked a man in handcuffs out of the crime scene. Police said detectives were questioning a person of interest in the shooting.

Officers blocked with police tape a public parking garage on State. Officers could be seen talking to several people inside the first floor of the garage and they were looking at a car. It was across the street from McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon, which also was taped off by police.

Men who had been speaking to officers inside the parking garage declined to comment.

The area where the shooting happened has several popular bars and clubs. As officers interviewed witnesses, people continued walking in and out of the bars. Flower petals could be seen along Division.

Hector Cruz, 23, was among those who watched the aftermath of the triple shooting. He had traveled from Romeoville to go to Detention Nightclub with friends.

He said he was smoking a cigarette outside the nightclub when he heard two gunshots and then saw people running.

Down the street, a man, who did not want to be identified, was on his phone perplexed by the shooting.

"What the (expletive)," he said.

The man moved to Chicago about two months ago. He was at a nightclub around the corner from where the shooting took place, and he said he would think twice before spending another night out in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

"I'm from Kentucky," he said. "I don't see this."

As the crowd of bar patrons left the neighborhood, officers continued to guard the crime scene. Along Divison, a man waved a large sign at motorists in the area. It read: "President Trump Will Stop Chicago Carnage."

———

©2017 the Chicago Tribune


Details emerge in Canadian mosque shooting

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Tracey Lindeman and Rob Gillies Associated Press

QUEBEC CITY — A shooting at a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers left six people dead in an attack that Canada's prime minister called an act of terrorism. Police arrested two suspects.

More than 50 people were at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre when the shooting erupted Sunday night. Five are in critical condition and 12 others suffered minor injuries, University of Quebec Hospital Centre spokeswoman Genevieve Dupuis said Monday. The dead ranged in age from age 35 to 70.

One suspect was arrested at the scene and another nearby in d'Orleans, and police said they did not believe there were other suspects but were investigating. Police didn't release names of the suspects or give a possible motive.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard both characterized the attack as a terrorist act, which came amid heightened tensions worldwide over President Donald Trump's travel ban on several Muslim countries.

"We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge," Trudeau said in a statement. "It is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear.

"Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country," he said.

Canada is generally very welcoming toward immigrants and all religions, but the French-speaking province of Quebec has had a long-simmering debate about race and religious accommodation. The previous separatist government of the province called for a ban on ostentatious religious symbols such as the hijab in public institutions.

In the summer of 2016 a pig's head was left on the doorstep of the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in the middle of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Practicing Muslims do not eat pork.

"The Muslim community was the target of this murderous attack," Couillard said at an early morning news conference. He said solidarity rallies would be held across Quebec on Monday.

Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume, appearing shaken, said, "No person should have to pay with their life, for their race, their color, their sexual orientation or their religious beliefs," Labeaume said.

Cultural Centre President Mohamed Yangui said the shooting in occurred in the men's section of the mosque. He said he wasn't at the center when the attack occurred, but he got some details from people on the scene.

Ali Hamadi said he left the mosque a few minutes before the shooting and said a friend, Abdelkrim Hassen was killed. He said Hassen, who worked in information technology for the government, had three daughters and a wife, whom he had to notify of the death.

Quebec City police spokesman Constable Pierre Poirier said the mosque had been evacuated and the situation was under control.

Trudeau had earlier reacted to Trump's visa ban for people from some Muslim-majority countries by tweeting Saturday: "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada."

Trudeau also posted a picture of himself greeting a Syrian child at Toronto's airport in late 2015. Trudeau oversaw the arrival of more than 39,000 Syrian refugees soon after he was elected.

The mayor of Gatineau, Quebec, near Canada's capital of Ottawa, said there would be an increased police presence at mosques around his city following the attack.

The New York Police Department also said it was stepping up patrols at mosques and other houses of worship.

"NYPD is providing additional protection for mosques in the city. All New Yorkers should be vigilant. If you see something, say something," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter.

"Our prayers tonight are with the people of Quebec City as they deal with a terrible attack on a mosque. We must stand together," de Blasio said in another tweet.

Canada's public safety minister, Ralph Goodale, said on Twitter Sunday that he was deeply saddened by the loss of life. His office said no motive had been confirmed.

Francois Deschamps, an organizer of a refugee-support group in Quebec City, said the motive for Sunday's attack was unknown, but right-wing groups are very organized in Quebec City, distributing fliers at the university and plastering stickers around town.

Deschamps said he has received death threats after starting a refugee support group on Facebook and people have posted his address online.

"I'm not very surprised about the event," Deschamps said.

The Canadian Council of Imams said in a statement that "Islamophobia has killed innocent Canadians."

"We ask all decent people to stand against hatred of Islam and Muslims in any forum," the statement read.

"Our message to anyone in the Canadian Muslim community who may experience Islamophobia is not to suffer in silence."

___

Associated Press writer Sean Farrell in Montreal contributed to this report. Rob Gillies reported from Toronto.


Suspects named after 6 killed in Canada mosque shooting

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Tracey Lindeman and Rob Gillies Associated Press

QUEBEC CITY — A shooting at a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers left six people dead in an attack that Canada's prime minister called an act of terrorism. Police arrested two suspects, including one who called 911 to say he was armed but ready to give himself up.

More than 50 people were at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre when the shooting erupted Sunday night. In addition to the six who died, five were in critical condition and 12 others suffered minor injuries, University of Quebec Hospital Centre spokeswoman Genevieve Dupuis said Monday. The dead ranged in age from 35 to 65.

Quebec City court clerk Isabelle Ferland identified Alexandre Bissonnette and Mohamed el Khadir as the suspects.

One was arrested at the scene and another nearby, in his car on a bridge near d'Orleans where he called 911 to say he wanted to cooperate with police. Police said they did not believe there were other suspects but were investigating.

Police didn't give a possible motive for the suspects, who they said were in their late 20s or early 30s and had no prior police records.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard both characterized the attack as a terrorist act, which came amid heightened tensions worldwide over President Donald Trump's travel ban on several Muslim countries. Neither leader specified who carried out the attack or what the motive might be.

"We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge," Trudeau said in a statement. "It is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear.

"Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country," he said.

Trudeau will make a statement in Parliament before travelling to Quebec City, his office said.

Canada is generally very welcoming toward immigrants and all religions, but the French-speaking province of Quebec has had a long-simmering debate about race and religious accommodation. The previous separatist government of the province called for a ban on ostentatious religious symbols such as the hijab in public institutions.

In the summer of 2016 a pig's head was left on the doorstep of the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in the middle of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Practicing Muslims do not eat pork.

"The Muslim community was the target of this murderous attack," Couillard said at an early morning news conference. He said solidarity rallies would be held across Quebec on Monday.

Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume, appearing shaken, said, "No person should have to pay with their life, for their race, their color, their sexual orientation or their religious beliefs," Labeaume said.

Cultural Centre President Mohamed Yangui said the shooting in occurred in the men's section of the mosque. He said he wasn't at the center when the attack occurred, but he got some details from people on the scene.

Ali Hamadi said he left the mosque a few minutes before the shooting and said a friend, Abdelkrim Hassen was killed. He said Hassen, who worked in information technology for the government, had three daughters and a wife, whom he had to notify of the death.

Quebec City police spokesman Constable Pierre Poirier said the mosque had been evacuated and the situation was under control.

UPDATE: RCMP spokesperson says second suspect in #QuebecCity mosque shooting called 911, identified himself to police pic.twitter.com/yfc4eTiu5f

— Global Montreal (@Global_Montreal) January 30, 2017

Trudeau had earlier reacted to Trump's visa ban for people from some Muslim-majority countries by tweeting Saturday: "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada."

Trudeau also posted a picture of himself greeting a Syrian child at Toronto's airport in late 2015. Trudeau oversaw the arrival of more than 39,000 Syrian refugees soon after he was elected.

The mayor of Gatineau, Quebec, near Canada's capital of Ottawa, said there would be an increased police presence at mosques around his city following the attack.

The New York Police Department also said it was stepping up patrols at mosques and other houses of worship.

"NYPD is providing additional protection for mosques in the city. All New Yorkers should be vigilant. If you see something, say something," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter.

"Our prayers tonight are with the people of Quebec City as they deal with a terrible attack on a mosque. We must stand together," de Blasio said in another tweet.

Canada's public safety minister, Ralph Goodale, said on Twitter Sunday that he was deeply saddened by the loss of life. His office said no motive had been confirmed.

Francois Deschamps, an organizer of a refugee-support group in Quebec City, said the motive for Sunday's attack was unknown, but right-wing groups are very organized in Quebec City, distributing fliers at the university and plastering stickers around town.

Deschamps said he has received death threats after starting a refugee support group on Facebook and people have posted his address online.

"I'm not very surprised about the event," Deschamps said.

The Canadian Council of Imams said in a statement that "Islamophobia has killed innocent Canadians."

"We ask all decent people to stand against hatred of Islam and Muslims in any forum," the statement read.

"Our message to anyone in the Canadian Muslim community who may experience Islamophobia is not to suffer in silence."

___

Associated Press writer Sean Farrell in Montreal contributed to this report. Rob Gillies reported from Toronto.


6 counts of murder for Quebec mosque attack suspect

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By Tracey Lindeman and Rob Gillies Associated Press

QUEBEC CITY — A French Canadian known for far-right, nationalist views was charged Monday with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder over the shooting rampage at a Quebec City mosque that Canada's prime minister called an act of terrorism against Muslims.

Suspect Alexandre Bissonnette made a brief court appearance and did not enter a plea in the attack that left six people dead during evening prayers Sunday. Wearing a white prisoner jump suit, his hands and feet shackled, he stared down at the floor and fidgeted, but did not speak.

The 27-year-old suspect, who has espoused support for the French far-right party of Marine Le Pen and had liked U.S. President Donald Trump on his Facebook page, was known to those who monitor extremist groups in Quebec, said François Deschamps, an official with a refugee advocacy group. "It's with pain and anger that we learn the identity of terrorist Alexandre Bissonnette, unfortunately known to many activists in Quebec for taking nationalist, pro-Le Pen and anti-feminist positions at Laval University and on social media," Deschamps wrote on the Facebook page of the group, Bienvenues aux Refugiés, or Welcome to Refugees.

An anthropology and political science major at Laval University in Quebec City, Bissonnette had also expressed support on his Facebook profile for "Génération Nationale," a group whose manifesto includes the rejection of "multiculturalism."

More than 50 people were at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre when the shooting erupted. In addition to the six dead, 19 people were wounded — all men. Of the five victims who remained hospitalized, two were in critical condition, authorities said. The dead ranged in age from 39 to 60.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard both characterized the attack as a terrorist act, which came amid heightened tensions worldwide over Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim countries. Le Pen, leader of the National Front in France, is known for her anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant positions and has won the endorsement and admiration of white supremacists.

Canada is generally welcoming toward immigrants and all religions, but the French-speaking province of Quebec has had a long-simmering debate about race and religious accommodation. The previous separatist government of the province called for a ban on ostentatious religious symbols, such as the hijab, in public institutions.

Trudeau said in Parliament the victims were targeted simply because of their religion and spoke directly to the more than 1 million Muslims who live in Canada, saying, "We are with you."

"Thirty-six million hearts are breaking with yours," Trudeau said. "Know that we value you."

The prime minister later attended a vigil outside the mosque.

The suspect was arrested in his car on a bridge near d'Orleans, where he called 911 to say he wanted to cooperate with police. Authorities, who initially named two suspects, said the other man taken into custody was a witness to the attack and was released earlier Monday. They said they did not believe there were other suspects but were investigating.

Police did not give a motive for the attack.

Trump called Trudeau to express condolences to the Canadian people and to offer any assistance that might be needed.

The White House pointed to the attack as an example of why Trump's policies were needed. "We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. It's a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be pro-active, rather than reactive when it comes to our nation's safety and security," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

The victims were businessmen, a university professor and others who had gathered for evening prayers, said Mohamed Labidi, the vice president of the mosque.

"'It's a very, very big tragedy for us," Labidi said tearfully. "We have a sadness we cannot express."

He said the victims were shot in the back. "Security at our mosque was our major, major concern," he said. "But we were caught off guard."

The shooting took place just before 8 p.m. Sunday. Witnesses described chaos as worshippers scrambled to find friends and loved ones, as police responding to the scene called for backup.

Couillard said he would "not go there" when asked if he blamed recent rhetoric in in the U.S. for the attack.

"Quebec is a good, generally loving society, but we have these devils as other societies have. We have to recognize that and fight them," Couillard said at a news conference in Quebec City at which he and Muslim leaders held hands in a display of solidarity.

"The Muslim community was the target of this murderous attack," Couillard said, adding that solidarity rallies would be held across Quebec later Monday.

The mosque has been a target of hate crimes in the past, including last summer when pig's head was left on its doorstep during Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Practicing Muslims do not eat pork.

Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume, appearing shaken, said: "No person should have to pay with their life, for their race, their color, their sexual orientation or their religious beliefs."

Worshipper Ali Hamadi said he left the mosque a few minutes before the shooting and a friend, Abdelkrim Hassen, was killed. He said Hassen, who worked in information technology for the government, had three daughters and a wife, whom he had to notify of the death.

Majdi Dridi of the Muslim Association of Canada said he knew two of the victims. One was a work colleague who was a father of three little girls, he said.

"I don't know what to say, I just hope that his family and his children can have the patience to accept what happened," Dridi said

Trudeau had earlier reacted to Trump's visa ban for people from some Muslim-majority countries by tweeting Saturday: "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada."

Trudeau also posted a picture of himself greeting a Syrian child at Toronto's airport in late 2015. Trudeau oversaw the arrival of more than 39,000 Syrian refugees soon after he was elected.

The mayor of Gatineau, Quebec, near Canada's capital of Ottawa, said there would be an increased police presence at mosques around his city following the attack. The New York Police Department also said it was stepping up patrols at mosques and other houses of worship.


After Trump criticism on Chicago violence, Emanuel touts police smarts

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Bill Ruthhart, Jeremy Gorner and Hal Dardick Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Two days after President Donald Trump told a national television audience that Mayor Rahm Emanuel needed to "smarten up and toughen up" on fighting gun violence, the mayor held a carefully orchestrated news conference to discuss Chicago's "smart-policing strategy."

As Emanuel summoned a swarm of cameras to the 7th District police station in Englewood on Friday to highlight new police cameras and gunshot tracking technology, sources said the Police Department's top brass was busy carrying out an order to flood the city's most violent neighborhoods with extra officers this weekend.

In a Tuesday night tweet in which he said he "will send in the Feds!" if the city doesn't fix its violent crime problems, Trump cited Chicago Tribune crime data that showed January homicides up 24 percent compared with 2016, a year marred by the highest number of killings in two decades. Trump again criticized Emanuel and the city's handling of gun violence in his first television interview as president Wednesday night, describing Chicago's rampant shootings as "horrible carnage" and "a problem that is very easily fixable."

Now, hundreds of additional Chicago police officers assigned to tactical, gang, saturation and mission teams have had their regular days off canceled from Friday through Sunday, according to police sources familiar with the change that was announced during a meeting at police headquarters. The city's beat officers also were given the option of earning overtime by working weekend days off, the sources said.

Adding so many officers to the street on their day off is more typical during hot summer months or special occasions such as when the president is visiting the city; is unusual for a cold-weather month such as January. This month has been marked by weekends with dozens of shootings, including 54 people shot last weekend alone.

Through Thursday, there had been 42 homicides so far with five days left in the month. In January 2016, there were 50 homicides. If the number of killings for January were to come in lower than last year, that would allow Emanuel to try to counter Trump's narrative of this year being off to an even worse start.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the staffing adjustment was unrelated to recent attention paid to Chicago's gun violence by the Republican president.

The mayor did not bring up the weekend staffing increase at his Friday news conference, instead focusing on technological advances the department is making in its two most violent police districts on the South and West sides -- including the expansion of a gunshot detection system and crime cameras on the street along with new surveillance centers and new cellphones with software to instantly inform officers of shootings.

The mayor's announcement came to an abrupt end when police Superintendent Eddie Johnson grew faint and had to be helped to a chair, leading officers to call paramedics and escort reporters out of the room. On Friday night, Johnson said he had become lightheaded earlier in the day after taking blood pressure medication on an empty stomach, but he confirmed he's had a kidney disease for more than 30 years and is on a list waiting for a transplant.

While Johnson's health episode Friday came as a surprise, the rest of Emanuel's policing message for the day was scripted for public consumption.

Before Emanuel's arrival at the Englewood district, six police officers already were stationed at computers in a small, windowless room that featured four large flat-screen TVs on the wall. While a sign proclaimed the spot as a "viewing room," the Police Department's brass and the mayor's office called it the "Strategic Decision Support Center," which is staffed by a district intelligence officer who will incorporate the new technology with offender criminal history and crime data.

"The mayor is 10 minutes out, so if everyone could stage and get ready, all right? No pressure," Jonathan Lewin, CPD's deputy chief of bureau support services, told the room. "I need the officers who are going to meet the mayor in the lobby."

About 15 minutes later, Emanuel arrived through the station's back door and greeted the officers who were staffing the new "nerve center," as the mayor called it. "I'll be back," he told them. "They want me to do something."

Emanuel then made his way to the lobby, where 17 television cameras were recording as Emanuel and Johnson greeted the four officers -- one each African-American, Asian, Latino and white -- who had been waiting to participate in the prearranged shot.

After that photo op, the crush of cameras followed Emanuel into the tiny surveillance room, where Lewin walked Emanuel through the new technology as officers remotely zoomed in street cameras on license plates and explained how the gunshot tracking technology would allow officers to respond to a scene five minutes faster than from a 911 call.

"You can control the cameras from here?" Emanuel asked. "Yes," Lewin responded. "This is real time?" the mayor inquired. "Yes," was the answer again.

Much of what was discussed was difficult to hear, as the Police Department's media handlers barked orders to the TV photographers, who were being directed in and out of the room in shifts to record Emanuel's interest in the effort.

"Which screen are you looking at?" a photographer asked the mayor at one point.

"The one on the far left," Emanuel responded, pointing to a map of the 7th District that had labels for territory covered by various gangs, including the Gangster Disciples, Conservative Vice Lords, Mickey Cobras, Black P Stones, Black Disciples and Latin Kings. A second screen showed a "heat map of homicides." A third was streaming live street surveillance footage.

As Lewin explained how all the technologies eventually will be merged into one cohesive software system, Emanuel stopped him. "Do that again for me," the mayor said as the cameras rolled. "I'm slow."

Once Lewin finished his presentation, Emanuel headed upstairs to the district's roll call room, where he lauded the new technology, which he's paying for with money from unclaimed property tax rebates aimed at easing the pain from the record property tax increase he and aldermen approved.

"This allows our police officers to be all that much smarter and more effective in using technology and command ability to make sure people are in the right place at the right time to prevent a shooting in the first place," Emanuel said.

In a news release, Emanuel's office described the technology as part of the city's "smart-policing strategy," a term that had not been used in previous mayor's office announcements.

Less than 48 hours earlier, Trump had called Emanuel out on needing to run a smarter policing effort.

"It has been going on for years," Trump said of Chicago's rash of shootings and homicides. "So, all I'm saying is, to the mayor, who came up to my office recently, I say you have to smarten up and you have to toughen up, because you can't let that happen. That's a war zone. I want them to straighten out the problem. It's a big problem."

At the news conference, Emanuel was asked if there "was any coincidence" that his Friday announcement came after Trump's recent criticism.

"You don't put something like this together overnight," Emanuel replied. "It's about what's right for the future, not about any current event."

Chicago Tribune's Rosemary Regina Sobol contributed.


Can Baltimore address intense violence and police reform simultaneously?

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kevin Rector The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Days into 2017, as Baltimore's historic spike in homicides stretched into a third calendar year, Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis announced the latest approach to violence.

They would reassign 100 officers from mostly administrative posts to join street patrols.

They did not say where they would find the officers. But according to transfer documents obtained by The Baltimore Sun, nearly half were members of the Police Department's Community Collaboration Division — the unit that was expanded after the unrest of 2015 to rebuild relations with the community.

The reassignments slashed the unit by more than 80 percent.

A week later, Pugh and Davis appeared again in the same ornate room in City Hall to announce the agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to reform the department. Among the requirements: to "develop and implement community-engagement plans" to create opportunities for "routine and frequent positive interactions between officers and community members."

The debate around resources and budgets, and whether the need to protect lives and property is in conflict with the march toward justice, isn't new. But analysts say it has become more complicated.

"It's not that you're just taking on a new challenge," said Samuel Walker, a professor emeritus of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. "You're taking on a whole new approach to policing.

"We are going to have to go the extra mile here to get over this initial learning process, this steep learning curve."

Justice Department investigators concluded that police in Baltimore routinely violated residents' constitutional rights, and most often in poor, predominantly black neighborhoods; used excessive force; dismissed sexual assault complaints improperly; and engaged improperly with protesters, youths and those with mental disabilities.

Under the consent decree, officers will be required to contact a supervisor before making arrests for minor crimes such as resisting an officer or disorderly conduct. They will be barred from using restraints such as chokeholds, unless deadly force is authorized, and from stopping and detaining people who are in the company of others suspected of a crime without being able to make a case that they have committed a crime or are about to themselves.

They will be required to undergo new training. Techniques that have in recent decades become staples of the Baltimore police officer's tool kit — such as indiscriminately "clearing corners" in trouble spots — would be prohibited.

Meanwhile, violence in the city has grown in the 21 months since the death of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old Baltimore man died in April 2015 after sustaining a severe spinal cord injury in police custody. On the day of his funeral, the city erupted in arson, looting and riots.

Homicides in Baltimore jumped from 211 in 2014 to 344 in 2015 — the most, per capita, in city history. There were 318 more killings in 2016, the second deadliest year.

And with 28 homicides in the first 27 days, 2017 is now on pace to surpass both.

The Police Department — it's the eighth-largest in the nation, in the 29th-largest city — routinely blows through a $480 million budget before spending millions more in overtime.

The police union says the department has too few officers. Many activists think it has too many. Some residents complain of a constant, harassing police presence in their neighborhoods. Others say they don't see officers often enough.

The collective bargaining agreement between the city and the union controls the shift structure under which officers work. City officials have said the system presents a staffing problem, and low recruitment and retention have exacerbated the issue.

Pugh, who took office in December, has unfrozen 100 police officer positions to help address the violence. But the timeline for when those positions will be filled is unclear.

Early city estimates have put the cost of complying with the consent decree in the millions.

Other cities that have entered into similar agreements have underestimated the eventual cost.

The federal government does not pay for the reforms it mandates.

U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar, whose approval is required to make the consent decree binding, has scheduled a preliminary hearing this week to discuss his concerns about the deal.

He has cited a lack of clarity around the cost, the city's ability to comply, deadlines for specific initiatives and the interplay between the deal, the police union's collective bargaining agreement, and judicial precedent around standard policing actions such as stopping a person on the street.

While the administration of President Donald Trump is seen as skeptical of federal oversight of local police departments, analysts expect the deal to move forward in some form.

Baltimore is not the first city to attempt consent decree reforms while battling high crime. Analysts say other jurisdictions — from Los Angeles to Camden, N.J. to Prince George's County — have handled it successfully.

Many see the reforms proposed for Baltimore as part of the public safety solution, rather than as a competing draw on limited funding.

In order for the reforms to be successful, analysts and activists say, the city will have to be smart about tackling inefficiencies identified in the consent decree quickly in order to redirect the savings — in time and money — toward reforms and the crime fight.

Some savings, they say, will come through improvements to technology, such as the purchase of mobile computers for patrol vehicles. Some will come from redirecting resources away from street enforcement of minor infractions and toward violent offenders, gangs and the drug trade.

More, they say, will come from the "comprehensive staffing study" required by the consent decree to assess the appropriate number of sworn and civilian personnel needed "to perform the functions necessary for BPD to fulfill its mission."

Jonathan Smith oversaw consent decrees as chief of special litigation for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division under President Barack Obama. Pitting reform against public safety, he said, is a "false choice."

Relations between police and the community in Baltimore have deteriorated to the point that victims and witnesses aren't willing to come forward and police are left without tips in some of the most violent neighborhoods in Baltimore, Smith said.

"We know the strategies and tactics being used until now have not worked to reduce crime and are not going to work to reduce crime," Smith said. "That makes the reforms all the more urgent."

He said implementing the reforms could exacerbate staffing shortages, in part because training pulls officers off the streets and into classrooms, and backfilling shifts can become difficult.

But there are also opportunities, he said. New officers brought in to fill empty positions receive training on new policies from the start. And training everyone properly will reduce the need for specialized units.

For example, he said, the reduction of the community collaboration division could be cause for concern now, but at its core, the consent decree requires that "engagement be part of what every officer does, not just part of what some officers do."

Once engaging community members in a friendly way is part of every officer's job, Smith said, there won't be a need for a collaboration division.

Davis said he believes the reforms will help the department reduce crime — in part because he has already experienced the consent decree process as a commander in Prince George's County.

He noted the decline in violent crime in Prince George's County since it came out from under the nearly decade-long decree in 2009.

"It's all doable," he said. "Change is hard, and people have anxiety when change is afoot. All I have been saying to police officers is, 'Listen, we're going to get better training, better technology, better equipment and better help in the crime fight from the community.'"

Ganesha Martin, chief of the Police Department's compliance division, has said unilateral efforts by the department to implement reforms have primed it to hit the ground running under the consent decree.

But the deal cannot jeopardize public safety, she said, and officials overseeing the consent decree — from the judge to the yet-to-be-selected federal monitor — must recognize that Baltimore is burdened by a high rate of violent crime and be willing to work with the department as it tries to right it.

"I want them to be able to take high-level concepts and be able to break them down into a mechanism and manner that is easily translated to the streets, and to not get in the way of officers who have to do really hard jobs every day," she said.

Lt. Gene Ryan, president of the police union local in Baltimore that represents rank-and-file officers, said there are "definitely going to be some challenges and a conflict" in Baltimore between the reforms and the crime fight.

"Some of the stuff that the DOJ recommended we think is unconstitutional, and the police commissioner already put into place some policies that we think are overreaching," he said.

He cites the department's new use-of-force policy, which imposes new limits on the circumstances under which officers can use weapons.

"It's going to restrict the police officers from actually being able to do their jobs," Ryan said.

Others — including law enforcement analysts and civil liberties advocates — disagree. They say past concerns that reforms would undermine the crime fight proved unfounded.

David Rocah, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Maryland, said there is "an inherent difficulty" in introducing reforms and dealing with high crime rates at the same time.

But there will never be a time when that isn't the case, he said, and allowing unconstitutional policing to continue indefinitely is not an option.

"There are precisely zero police departments in this country that have gone through consent decrees that haven't had to fight crime at the same time," he said.

Rocah said arguments against reforms were made in Baltimore a decade ago, as well, when the ACLU of Maryland sued the city over its "zero tolerance" policing strategy.

The advocacy group won, and the city saw a dramatic decline in arrests.

The decline coincided with a drop in crime, he said, not an increase.

"Everyone who I have heard advocating for police reform in Baltimore, including myself, wants a safe city, wants people to feel safe and to be safe," he said. "Changing the culture of policing in Baltimore and changing the way police officers are perceived by significant segments of the city's population is a necessary condition for that."

David Harris, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh who studies policing and consent decrees, pointed to New York City.

For years, police in New York relied on controversial stop-and-frisk policing, and crime fell. Civil liberties advocates challenged the practice, it was ruled unconstitutional because it was directed disproportionately at minorities, and police dropped it.

Some law enforcement officials warned of a new wave of crime. But that never happened.

Instead, Harris said, crime continued to fall. He said the same thing can happen in Baltimore.

"The idea of addressing violence and public safety is not at war with the idea of reforming the Police Department," he said. "They do not contradict each other."

Ray Kelly, a community organizer with the No Boundaries Coalition, said the "time is ripe" to implement reforms.

Community members and police officials are finally agreeing in large part on what needs to be done, he said, and that will pave the way for cooperation to stop the violence where it never could have existed before.

"The parties involved in our city all recognize that these reforms need to happen, and since we've agreed, we need to put them in place as soon as possible," Kelly said. "We can actually create a safer environment by working together, and not pointing out the deficiencies in each other."

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this article.


Chicago police expand tech to curb shootings

Posted on January 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Bill Ruthhart, Jeremy Gorner and Hal Dardick Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Two days after President Donald Trump told a national television audience that Mayor Rahm Emanuel needed to "smarten up and toughen up" on fighting gun violence, the mayor held a carefully orchestrated news conference to discuss Chicago's "smart-policing strategy."

As Emanuel summoned a swarm of cameras to the 7th District police station in Englewood on Friday to highlight new police cameras and gunshot tracking technology, sources said the Police Department's top brass was busy carrying out an order to flood the city's most violent neighborhoods with extra officers this weekend.

In a Tuesday night tweet in which he said he "will send in the Feds!" if the city doesn't fix its violent crime problems, Trump cited Chicago Tribune crime data that showed January homicides up 24 percent compared with 2016, a year marred by the highest number of killings in two decades. Trump again criticized Emanuel and the city's handling of gun violence in his first television interview as president Wednesday night, describing Chicago's rampant shootings as "horrible carnage" and "a problem that is very easily fixable."

Now, hundreds of additional Chicago police officers assigned to tactical, gang, saturation and mission teams have had their regular days off canceled from Friday through Sunday, according to police sources familiar with the change that was announced during a meeting at police headquarters. The city's beat officers also were given the option of earning overtime by working weekend days off, the sources said.

Adding so many officers to the street on their day off is more typical during hot summer months or special occasions such as when the president is visiting the city; is unusual for a cold-weather month such as January. This month has been marked by weekends with dozens of shootings, including 54 people shot last weekend alone.

Through Thursday, there had been 42 homicides so far with five days left in the month. In January 2016, there were 50 homicides. If the number of killings for January were to come in lower than last year, that would allow Emanuel to try to counter Trump's narrative of this year being off to an even worse start.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the staffing adjustment was unrelated to recent attention paid to Chicago's gun violence by the Republican president.

The mayor did not bring up the weekend staffing increase at his Friday news conference, instead focusing on technological advances the department is making in its two most violent police districts on the South and West sides -- including the expansion of a gunshot detection system and crime cameras on the street along with new surveillance centers and new cellphones with software to instantly inform officers of shootings.

The mayor's announcement came to an abrupt end when police Superintendent Eddie Johnson grew faint and had to be helped to a chair, leading officers to call paramedics and escort reporters out of the room. On Friday night, Johnson said he had become lightheaded earlier in the day after taking blood pressure medication on an empty stomach, but he confirmed he's had a kidney disease for more than 30 years and is on a list waiting for a transplant.

While Johnson's health episode Friday came as a surprise, the rest of Emanuel's policing message for the day was scripted for public consumption.

Before Emanuel's arrival at the Englewood district, six police officers already were stationed at computers in a small, windowless room that featured four large flat-screen TVs on the wall. While a sign proclaimed the spot as a "viewing room," the Police Department's brass and the mayor's office called it the "Strategic Decision Support Center," which is staffed by a district intelligence officer who will incorporate the new technology with offender criminal history and crime data.

"The mayor is 10 minutes out, so if everyone could stage and get ready, all right? No pressure," Jonathan Lewin, CPD's deputy chief of bureau support services, told the room. "I need the officers who are going to meet the mayor in the lobby."

About 15 minutes later, Emanuel arrived through the station's back door and greeted the officers who were staffing the new "nerve center," as the mayor called it. "I'll be back," he told them. "They want me to do something."

Emanuel then made his way to the lobby, where 17 television cameras were recording as Emanuel and Johnson greeted the four officers -- one each African-American, Asian, Latino and white -- who had been waiting to participate in the prearranged shot.

After that photo op, the crush of cameras followed Emanuel into the tiny surveillance room, where Lewin walked Emanuel through the new technology as officers remotely zoomed in street cameras on license plates and explained how the gunshot tracking technology would allow officers to respond to a scene five minutes faster than from a 911 call.

"You can control the cameras from here?" Emanuel asked. "Yes," Lewin responded. "This is real time?" the mayor inquired. "Yes," was the answer again.

Much of what was discussed was difficult to hear, as the Police Department's media handlers barked orders to the TV photographers, who were being directed in and out of the room in shifts to record Emanuel's interest in the effort.

"Which screen are you looking at?" a photographer asked the mayor at one point.

"The one on the far left," Emanuel responded, pointing to a map of the 7th District that had labels for territory covered by various gangs, including the Gangster Disciples, Conservative Vice Lords, Mickey Cobras, Black P Stones, Black Disciples and Latin Kings. A second screen showed a "heat map of homicides." A third was streaming live street surveillance footage.

As Lewin explained how all the technologies eventually will be merged into one cohesive software system, Emanuel stopped him. "Do that again for me," the mayor said as the cameras rolled. "I'm slow."

Once Lewin finished his presentation, Emanuel headed upstairs to the district's roll call room, where he lauded the new technology, which he's paying for with money from unclaimed property tax rebates aimed at easing the pain from the record property tax increase he and aldermen approved.

"This allows our police officers to be all that much smarter and more effective in using technology and command ability to make sure people are in the right place at the right time to prevent a shooting in the first place," Emanuel said.

In a news release, Emanuel's office described the technology as part of the city's "smart-policing strategy," a term that had not been used in previous mayor's office announcements.

Less than 48 hours earlier, Trump had called Emanuel out on needing to run a smarter policing effort.

"It has been going on for years," Trump said of Chicago's rash of shootings and homicides. "So, all I'm saying is, to the mayor, who came up to my office recently, I say you have to smarten up and you have to toughen up, because you can't let that happen. That's a war zone. I want them to straighten out the problem. It's a big problem."

At the news conference, Emanuel was asked if there "was any coincidence" that his Friday announcement came after Trump's recent criticism.

"You don't put something like this together overnight," Emanuel replied. "It's about what's right for the future, not about any current event."

Chicago Tribune's Rosemary Regina Sobol contributed.


Quebec police report fatalities in mosque shooting

Posted on January 29, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

QUEBEC CITY — People have died in a Sunday evening in a shooting at a mosque in the provincial capital of Quebec City, police say.

Authorities did not specify the number of fatalities

JUST IN: Video shows police in Quebec City responding to reports of deadly shooting at Mosque. https://t.co/OfIp2Nx1u9 pic.twitter.com/KPeDuZD4V4

— ABC News (@ABC) January 30, 2017

Quebec City police spokesman Constable Pierre Poirier said two suspects were arrested.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard termed the act "barbaric violence" and expressed solidarity with victims' families.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said on Twitter Sunday that he is deeply saddened by the loss of life. His office says no motive has been confirmed.


Canada PM says mosque attack that killed 6 is terrorism

Posted on January 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Tracey Lindeman and Rob Gillies Associated Press

MONTREAL — Six people were killed and eight were injured in a shooting at a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers. Authorities reported two arrests in what Canada's prime minister called an act of terrorism.

Quebec provincial police spokeswoman Christine Coulombe said early Monday that some of the wounded were gravely injured. She said the deceased were approximately 35 to 70 years of age. Thirty-nine people were unharmed. More than 50 were at the mosque at the time of the attack.

One suspect was arrested at the scene and another nearby in d'Orleans, Quebec. Police did release their names.

Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre President Mohamed Yangui said the shooting in the provincial capital happened in the men's section of the mosque. He said he wasn't at the center when the attack occurred, but he got some details from people on the scene. "We are sad for the families," he said.

Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard characterized the attack as a terrorist act, which came amid heightened tensions worldwide over U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban on certain Muslim countries.

"We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge," Trudeau said in a statement. "It is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear.

"Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country," he said. "Canadian law enforcement agencies will protect the rights of all Canadians, and will make every effort to apprehend the perpetrators of this act and all acts of intolerance."

Quebec City police spokesman Constable Pierre Poirier said two suspects were arrested. Police said the mosque had been evacuated and things were under control.

Trudeau said on Twitter that he spoke to Quebec's premier and was being briefed by officials. The prime minister said the government had offered "any & all assistance needed."

Trudeau had earlier reacted to Trump's visa ban for people from certain Muslim-majority countries by tweeting Saturday: "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada."

Trudeau also posted a picture of him greeting a Syrian child at Toronto's airport in late 2015. Trudeau oversaw the arrival of more than 39,000 Syrian refugees soon after he was elected.

Couillard termed the Sunday mosque attack as "barbaric violence" and expressed solidarity with the victims' families.

The mayor of Gatineau, Quebec, near Canada's capital of Ottawa, said there would be increased police presence at mosques around his city following the attack.

The New York Police Department said it was stepping up patrols at mosques and other hours of worships in its city.

The NYPD issued a statement Sunday night saying Critical Response Command personnel had been "assigned to extended tour coverage" at certain mosques.

"NYPD is providing additional protection for mosques in the city. All New Yorkers should be vigilant. If you see something, say something," New York City Mayor Bill Blasio said on Twitter.

"Our prayers tonight are with the people of Quebec City as they deal with a terrible attack on a mosque. We must stand together," Blasio said in another tweet.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said on Twitter Sunday that he was deeply saddened by the loss of life. His office said no motive had been confirmed.

In the summer of 2016 a pig's head was left on the doorstep of the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre.

The incident occurred in the middle of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Practicing Muslims do not eat pork.

Francois Deschamps, an organizer of a refugee-support group in Quebec City, said the motive remains unknown, but right-wing groups are very organized in Quebec City and distribute fliers at the university and plaster stickers around town.

Deschamps said he has personally received death threats after starting a refugee support group on Facebook and people have posted his address online.

"I'm not very surprised about the event," Deschamps said.

Canada is generally very welcoming toward immigrants and all religions, but it's less so in the French-speaking province of Quebec.

JUST IN: Video shows police in Quebec City responding to reports of deadly shooting at Mosque. https://t.co/OfIp2Nx1u9 pic.twitter.com/KPeDuZD4V4

— ABC News (@ABC) January 30, 2017


NFL, legal future for Bengals’ Adam Jones under review

Posted on January 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Dan Sewell Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones is trying to prove to the people who will determine his future that he's making up for his latest mistakes in a career marked by legal troubles.

His team, the NFL and a county prosecutor all have decisions to make about how to discipline Jones, who is getting treatment for alcohol and anger issues as he stands accused of scuffling with a security guard and police and spitting on a jail nurse. Authorities say the confrontation started when Jones started pounding on doors at a hotel near the Bengals' stadium.

One factor to consider is Cincinnati police video released this week that shows Jones swearing at police after his Jan. 3 arrest on charges including assault, disorderly conduct and obstructing official business. The video prompted apologies from the Bengals and Jones, whose attorney Timothy Schneider said the 2014 All-Pro kick returner was getting professional care.

"These are difficult situations," Schneider said, declining to discuss details of Jones' care.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters earlier this month raised some eyebrows by saying he wanted to know how the NFL plans to discipline Jones before deciding what to do.

Deters has said showing remorse and getting help could affect his decision.

"If he gets suspended for four games, he loses $2 million," Deters told The Cincinnati Enquirer earlier this month. "We have drunken idiots every night that don't get fined $2 million."

Deters is also waiting for information on Jones' treatment efforts, Deters' spokeswoman Julie Wilson said Thursday.

Jones said as he left jail Jan. 4 that he shouldn't have been arrested and expected to have charges dropped.

The NFL has said only that it is reviewing the case under its personal conduct policy. The league can suspend or otherwise discipline Jones even if he isn't convicted in court.

Some fans are calling for the Bengals to sever ties with Jones, who is 33 and has two years left on his contract. The Bengals' statement said the team was "extremely disappointed" with Jones' behavior, but didn't comment on his future.

The Bengals gave Jones the opportunity to resurrect his career by signing him in 2010 after Jones missed a year following a series of arrests and suspensions with the Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys. He became a starting defensive back and kicker returner, making the 2015 Pro Bowl team.

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AP Sports Writer Joe Kay in Cincinnati contributed to this report.


Chicago police chief says he’s had kidney transplant offers

Posted on January 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says some of his own officers and citizens alike have offered to donate a kidney to him since he disclosed that he's on a kidney transplant waiting list.

After nearly fainting at a Friday news conference, Johnson announced that he's had a kidney condition for decades and is now awaiting a transplant.

He said Saturday that since he made that disclosure, citizens have called 911 to give their information for possibly becoming a kidney donor for him.

The Chicago Tribune reports Johnson says those kind offers have given him "a humbling, humbling feeling."

Johnson says he was diagnosed with an ailment that causes an acute inflammation of the kidney at age 25 when he underwent testing while applying to become a Chicago police officer.


Videos: Protests erupt at airports following Trump travel ban

Posted on January 29, 2017 by in POLICE

The Associated Press

President Donald Trump's travel ban barring citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations entry into the U.S. has sparked protests around the country Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

A look at what is happening:

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SEATTLE

Individuals who were detained at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as a result of President Trump's executive order have been released by the Department of Homeland Security, a Port of Seattle spokeswoman said Sunday.

Kathy Roeder said DHS told port officials the individuals can continue their travels. She didn't know how many people had been released.

About 3,000 protesters holding signs and chanting "no hatred, no fear, immigrants are welcome here" and "let them in" gathered Saturday evening and continued demonstrating into early Sunday morning.

Roeder said the crowd dispersed shortly after midnight, but that about 30 to 35 were arrested during the demonstration and face various misdemeanor charges. She said there were no injuries or damage to the facilities.

The Port of Seattle Commissioners, which oversees the airport, issued a statement criticizing the executive order.

Live stream Seattle Airport protest. https://t.co/QpsDcQi5Ye

— Toon The News! (@Santiagojjjr) January 29, 2017

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NEW YORK

Cries of "Let them in!" rose up from a crowd of more than 2,000 people protesting at John F. Kennedy Airport, where 12 refugees were detained Saturday. Celebrities including "Sex and the City" actress Cynthia Nixon joined the demonstration. "What Donald Trump did in the last 24 hours is disgusting, disgraceful and completely un-American and I'm here in protest," said protester Pamela French. The agency that runs the airport tried to restore order by shutting down the train that runs to airport terminals. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, reversed that decision, saying people had a right to protest. "The people of New York will have their voices heard," he said in a statement.

Protest at JFK Airport #NoBanNoWall #JFKTerminal4 https://t.co/W8xZZQBUkC

— Kamil Abbas (@KamilChachu) January 29, 2017

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NEWARK, NEW JERSEY

More than 120 people clutching signs denouncing the Trump immigration orders gathered at Newark Liberty International Airport. NorthJersey.com reports that they joined lawyers who'd rushed to the airport to defend the rights of refugees and immigrants who were being detained and denied entry.

Immigration ban, Protests, legal defense, online disagreement & lost reunions all @ 10PM @News12NJ @PhotogAlex Newark Airport pic.twitter.com/wxQ8jbJHts

— Ranji Sinha (@ranjisinha) January 29, 2017

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FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA

Dozens of protesters inside Washington Dulles International Airport chanted "Love, Not Hate, Makes America Great" and "Say It Loud, Say it Clear, Muslims Are Welcome Here," as travelers walked through a terminal to a baggage claim area to collect luggage and greet their loved ones. There was a heavy police presence during the peaceful protest. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said during a press conference at Dulles that he has asked Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to look into "all legal remedies" available to help individuals who may be detained in Virginia.

Dulles airport protest! https://t.co/nzZJUvRw6a

— Aaron Bland (@dcdoubleaa) January 29, 2017

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DENVER

Dozens of people converged on Denver International to show their support for refugees. Standing in the main terminal Saturday, they sang "Refugees are welcome here." Some held signs declaring their identity, such as Jew or Christian, and the phrase "I come in peace." Denver has some direct international flights but it wasn't clear whether anyone has been detained under the president's executive order.

Watch on #Periscope: denver airport trump protest https://t.co/kGf2o5IFT2

— Deborah (@devora11dog) January 29, 2017

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CHICAGO

A crowd of demonstrators held a rally at O'Hare International Airport. The Chicago Sun-Times reports protesters blocked vehicle traffic to O'Hare's international terminal for a time. The newspaper says some arriving travelers joined the protest, while others were upset by the demonstrations.

Lawyers working with the International Refugee Assistance Project tell the Chicago Tribune that 17 people who had been detained at O'Hare all released by late Saturday.

Among those released before the federal judge's order was Hessan Noorian, a suburban Park Ridge resident returning with his family from Iran, the Tribune reported.

Noorian, who is of British and Iranian citizenship and has a green card, was detained at O'Hare after he and his wife, Zahra Amirisefat, a U.S. citizen, arrived from Tehran, the newspaper said.

The couple, who told the Tribune that they work at a community college in the Chicago area, said they were questioned for five hours.

After Noorian was released, his wife told the Tribune: "I can't believe something like this can happen to someone with a green card."

Great turnout at Chicago's O'Hare airport. Lots of people were still showing up at the time the protest was scheduled to end. #NoBanNoWall pic.twitter.com/ZFskSHlI6H

— Taniel (@Taniel) January 29, 2017

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DALLAS

Protesters who gathered at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Saturday evening voiced their displeasure with Trump's executive order. The crowd of a few dozen ballooned into hundreds of demonstrators who frequently chanted "Set them free!" At times, cheers erupted from the crowd as those who were detained got released.

Among those still held at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport at midnight Saturday was a 70-year-old Iranian widow, Shahin Hassanpour, whose son said she suffers from high blood pressure and had breast cancer surgery four years ago. She obtained an immigrant visa in November on her son's petition.

Bahzad Honarjou, a 43-year-old network engineer, said he spoke twice to his mother by phone after her 9 a.m. arrival, but that they hadn't talked since courts stayed the executive order, meaning she should have been released.

Hundreds of protesters stood in the waiting area and chanted "This is what democracy looks like."

Immigration agents were not being very communicative, Honarjou said.

"They were like a machine when I talked to them today," he said. His mother only speaks a few words of English and a fellow passenger was translating for her from her native Farsi as no immigration agents spoke the language, he said.

Hassanpour was originally going to be deported on a Sunday flight, she informed her son the first time they spoke.

"She was about to cry," he said. "She is not able to take (tolerate) a 20-hour flight back to Iran."

Honarjou said he is a U.S. citizen, obtained entry in a lottery, and has been in the country for seven years. Why did he come?

"To have a better life and to make more money," he said. "And, you know, for the freedom."

Watch on #Periscope: Dallas airport protest https://t.co/4pN7riSQJ7

— MissTweak2003 (@MissTweak2003) January 29, 2017

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PORTLAND, OREGON

A protest by several dozen people in and around Portland International Airport briefly disrupted light rail service at the airport. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the demonstrators carried signs and chanted "Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here" and "No ban no wall America is for us all."

Protest at Portland Intl Airport https://t.co/CsCLhrJGzu

— mike popovic (@mikepop) January 29, 2017

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LOS ANGELES

About 300 people expressed their displeasure with the ban at Los Angeles International Airport Saturday night. Protesters entered the airport's Tom Bradley International Terminal after holding a candlelight vigil.

Avriel Epps held a candle and a large photo a drowned 3-year-old Syrian boy who washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015 and became a haunting symbol of the Syrian refugee crisis.

People continue to protest President Trump’s travel ban at the Tom Bradley Terminal at LAX on January 29, 2017. pic.twitter.com/2Qrp969Gjd

— Genaro Molina (@GenaroMolina47) January 29, 2017

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SAN FRANCISCO

Hundreds of protesters blocked the street outside at San Francisco International Airport's international terminal to express their opposition to the barring of some people from Muslim-majority nations.

.@califmartini is on #Periscope: #MuslimBan protest in San Francisco airport SFO ?? https://t.co/1TiZcKiZ14

— CE (@demopinions) January 29, 2017

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SAN DIEGO

As motorists honked their support, demonstrators outside San Diego International Airport chanted "No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here."

#sandiego #san #sd airport protest @ international terminal earlier tonight against #MuslimBan #NoBanNoWall pic.twitter.com/O21qDhqOoN

— clinton tolley (@clintontolley) January 29, 2017


New charges filed against suspected Fla. cop killer

Posted on January 29, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida man suspected in the killing of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police officer is being charged with additional crimes.

Markeith Loyd was back in an Orange County courtroom on Saturday regarding three charges of aggravated assault with a firearm.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that this time Loyd's court appearance went smoothly. During a court appearance earlier this month Loyd cursed and shouted at a judge.

The Sentinel reported that the new charges are related to an August incident that occurred nearly four months before Loyd was accused of killing 24-year-old Sade Dixon.

Loyd is facing two first-degree murder counts and a host of other charges related to the deaths of his ex-girlfriend and Lt. Debra Clayton.


Trump wants to enlist local police in immigration crackdown

Posted on January 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jacques Billeaud and Amy Taxin Associated Press

PHOENIX — To build his highly touted deportation force, President Donald Trump is reviving a long-standing program that deputizes local officers to enforce federal immigration law.

The program received scant attention during a week in which Trump announced plans to build a border wall, hire thousands more federal agents and impose restrictions on refugees from Middle Eastern countries.

But the program could end up having a significant impact on immigration enforcement around the country, despite falling out of favor in recent years amid complaints that it promotes racial profiling.

More than 60 police and sheriff's agencies had the special authority as of 2009, applying for it as the nation's immigration debate was heating up. Since then, the number has been halved and the effort scaled back as federal agents ramped up other enforcement programs and amid complaints officers weren't focusing on the goal of catching violent offenders and instead arrested immigrants for minor violations, like driving with broken tail lights.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio used the program most aggressively in metro Phoenix, and he became arguably the nation's best-known immigration enforcer at the local level in large part because of the special authority. In a strange twist, he was thrown out of office in the same election that vaulted Trump to the presidency, mostly because of mounting frustration over legal issues and costs stemming from the patrols.

In his executive order this week, Trump said he wants to empower local law enforcement to act as immigration officers and help with the "investigation, apprehension, or detention" of immigrants in the country illegally.

The move comes at a time when the country is sharply divided over the treatment of immigrants. Cities such as Chicago and San Francisco have opposed police involvement in immigration while some counties in Massachusetts and Texas are now seeking to jump in.

Proponents say police departments can help bolster immigration enforcement and prevent criminals from being released back into their neighborhoods, while critics argue that deputizing local officers will lead to racial profiling and erode community trust in police.

Cecillia Wang, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney, said police bosses who want to get into immigration enforcement should consider what happened when 100 of Arpaio's deputies were given the federal arrest power.

The longtime sheriff used the authority to carry out traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. The patrols were later discredited in a lawsuit in which a federal judge concluded Arpaio's officers had racially profiled Latinos. The lawsuit so far cost county taxpayers $50 million.

"There are people like Joe Arpaio who have a certain political agenda who want to jump on the Trump bandwagon," Wang said, adding later that the Arizona sheriff was "most vocal and shameless offender" in the program.

When asked to comment on Trump's effort to revitalize the program, a Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman said the executive orders would speak for themselves.

Traditionally, police stayed out of immigration enforcement and left those duties to federal authorities. But a 1996 federal law opened up the possibility for local agencies to participate in immigration enforcement on the streets and do citizenship checks of people in local jails.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement trained and certified roughly 1,600 officers to carry out these checks from 2006 to 2015.

The Obama administration phased out all the arrest power agreements in 2013, but still let agencies check whether people jailed in their jurisdiction were citizens. If they find that an inmate is in the country illegally, they typically notify federal authorities or hand them over to immigration officers. Today, more than 30 local agencies participate in the jail program.

Alonzo Pena, a retired deputy director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement who once oversaw such agreements with police agencies, said some officers were using the authority in ways that didn't match the agency's enforcement priorities.

He said federal officials need to closely monitor participants to ensure their actions don't veer away from the goal of catching violent offenders and confronting national security threats. "It's hard to regulate to make sure it's followed," Pena said.

In California, three counties nixed the program after state legislation and a federal court ruling in nearby Oregon limited police collaboration with immigration enforcement. Orange County still makes the immigration checks inside its jail and flags inmates for deportation officers, but won't hold anyone on behalf of federal authorities out of legal concerns.

"The window has narrowed to a large extent," said Orange County sheriff's Lt. Mike McHenry.

With Trump in office, the program has new life.

Even before the change in administration, two Republican county sheriffs in Massachusetts said they were starting programs. In Texas, Jackson County sheriff A. J. "Andy" Louderback said two officers will get trained to run immigration jail checks this spring and nearby counties want to follow suit.

Louderback said teaming up with federal agents will cost his agency roughly $3,000 — a small price to pay to cover for officers while they're on a four-week training course, especially in an area struggling with human smuggling. Once the program is underway, he said immigration agents will send a daily van to pick up anyone flagged for deportation from jail.

"It just seems like good law enforcement to partner with federal law enforcement in this area," he said. "It takes all of us to do this job."

Experts said Trump's outreach to local law enforcement will create an even bigger split between sanctuary cities that keep police out of immigration enforcement and those eager to help the new president bolster deportations.

"There is no question that in order to do the type of mass deportation that he promised, it will require him conscripting local law enforcement agencies," said Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. "It is going to balkanize things ... and we're going to see more of the extremes."


NYC to pay $6.9M to man shot by off-duty officer

Posted on January 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — New York City on Friday agreed to pay $6.9 million to a man shot six times by an off-duty police officer who had consumed 10 drinks before getting in his car to drive home.

A spokesman for the city law department said Friday's settlement in the shooting by former officer Brendan Cronin was in the best interests of the city.

Joseph Felice and Robert Borrelli sued the city after Cronin fired a barrage of bullets into their car in suburban Pelham on April 29, 2014. Borrelli was not hit and was able to drive his wounded friend to the hospital.

Friday's settlement awards $6.9 million to Felice and $1.275 million to Borrelli.

The two men were driving home from a recreational hockey game when Cronin opened fire on them without provocation. Cronin told Pelham police that he had downed 10 drinks at a bar after spending the day training at an NYPD shooting range.

He pleaded guilty to attempted murder and other charges and is serving a nine-year prison sentence.

An attorney for Felice and Borrelli, Debra S. Cohen, said the plaintiffs hope that the settlement demonstrates "the beginning of a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol abuse" by police officers.


NH bill would require body cams for cops with complaint history

Posted on January 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — The debate over whether the police should wear body cameras is back before New Hampshire lawmakers.

A bill up Tuesday for a hearing would require any officer who is the subject of a "substantiated complaint" based on their job conduct to wear a body camera. The cameras would be paid for by upping the penalty assessment on court fines to 27 percent.

New Hampshire doesn't require police to wear body cameras. But there are guidelines and procedures in place if local departments choose to use them. The debate over body cameras has heated up nationwide as the focus on officer-involved shootings increases.

The New Hampshire State Police use dashboard cameras in some of their vehicles.


Chicago police chief discloses he needs kidney transplant

Posted on January 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Caryn Rousseau and Herbert G. McCann Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson disclosed after a public dizzy spell on Friday that he has battled a kidney condition for more than three decades and is on a waiting list for a transplant.

Johnson said his dizziness at a news conference announcing a crime initiative was due to taking blood pressure medication on an empty stomach. He was taken to a suburban Chicago hospital for several hours of evaluation and later released.

"For 32 years I've been treating a kidney condition that hasn't interfered with my ability to lead a normal life or be your police superintendent," he said at a news conference later in the day. "I don't require dialysis nor do I have diabetes."

Johnson said that once a donor is found and the operation takes place he should be back to work after three to five weeks. Johnson said that he informed Emanuel of his kidney condition before he was appointed superintendent in March.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel expressed "absolute confidence" that Johnson can run the department and his deputies can run the department in the event Johnson had to take leave.

Earlier Friday, Johnson appeared dazed and had to sit down while Emanuel was announcing an initiative to reduce homicides and shootings.

While Emanuel was speaking at the podium during the news conference, he stopped suddenly and turned to the police superintendent, asking "Are you OK?"

People then surrounded Johnson and several shouted: "Call 911." Emanuel handed Johnson a bottle of water and the superintendent drank from it after sitting down in seats reserved for reporters.

Dr. Paul Crawford, a nephrologist, said Johnson's test results did not contain anything that would require admission. He also stressed that one of every nine people in the U.S. has high blood pressure

Johnson and the mayor were announcing technological advances for police at a station on the city's South Side. Chicago police and city officials are under tremendous pressure to curb a rash of homicides and shootings in recent years.

Chicago ended 2016 with 762 homicides — or an average of two people killed per day, a rate that was widely reported at year's end. It was the highest number of homicides in the city in two decades and more than Los Angeles and New York combined. Last year, there were 3,550 shootings, a nearly 50 percent increase over 2015.

Three days ago, President Donald Trump tweeted that he would "send in the Feds" if the city couldn't fix the problem.

Johnson told the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday that Trump's tweet baffled him.

"The statement is so broad. I have no idea what he's talking about," Johnson said.

Johnson replaced former Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who was fired following the release of dashcam footage showing a white police officer fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager 16 times. He didn't apply to be the city's top police officer. Emanuel chose Johnson for the job in March 2016, after rejecting three finalists recommended by the city's police board.


Ferguson missed deadlines in consent decree with DOJ

Posted on January 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jim Salter and Eric Tucker Associated Press

FERGUSON, Mo. — Ferguson officials have missed critical deadlines in the early stages of an agreement with the Justice Department, but the manager of the beleaguered Missouri city said the process is now moving "in the right direction."

Clark Ervin, a Washington lawyer monitoring the consent decree involving the St. Louis suburb that has been under Justice Department scrutiny since the fatal 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown, told The Associated Press this week that Ferguson has missed some 120- and 180-day deadlines in crafting new policies and procedures on basic policing practices.

The missed deadlines underscore the challenges police departments can face complying with the sweeping overhauls mandated by the Justice Department, particularly when the troubles are as deeply-rooted as in Ferguson. The progress in Ferguson will be under particular scrutiny given how the city emerged as a flashpoint in the national debate over race and police use of force, and because of the city's initial resistance last year to signing a federal agreement that local officials feared would be too costly.

"While a number of deadlines have been missed, and deadlines are important, that does not mean that the city is not working hard both in terms of police reform and court reform," said Ervin, who is responsible for ensuring the city's compliance with the agreement.

He said the city was working in "good faith" toward meeting the procedures required by the federal government.

"This is difficult work," Ervin said. "Needless to say, there's a lot to be done, but progress is being made."

City Manager De'Carlon Seewood acknowledged that U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry, at a status hearing last month, felt the city was behind. But Seewood said the judge "also recognized we are further ahead than a lot of other places with similar consent decrees."

"It's moving and I think we're moving in the right direction and I see a positive outcome," Seewood said.

Ervin said one problem early on was that the city did not have a designated employee focused specifically on the consent decree. The city hired Frank McCall, formerly the police chief in neighboring Berkeley, Missouri, in October as a police commander tasked with shepherding the agreement. Ervin, Seewood and Justice Department attorneys are confident that will help expedite the process.

Ervin noted that the city had passed an ordinance to set up a civilian review board to handle allegations of police misconduct. Some revised policies, including on the duty to report use of force, have already been judged to comply with the consent decree. Others, including on accountability, are in the process of being reviewed.

The shooting of Brown, 18, who was black and unarmed by white officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014, resulted in an examination of Ferguson's criminal justice system that led to a March 2015 Justice Department report citing racial bias. Perry signed off an agreement between the city and the Justice Department last April that called for significant changes in police and court procedures.

Wilson resigned in November 2014, although a St. Louis County grand jury and the Justice Department found no evidence that he committed a crime.

The city's agreement with the Justice Department, expected to cost about $2.3 million over three years, requires diversity training for officers, body cameras for police and jail workers, dashboard cameras for squad cars, establishment of a civilian police oversight board, municipal court reforms and other changes.

The agreement spelled out a series of deadlines for compliance, including that the city within 120 days develop a process for reporting and investigating use of force incidents and provide crisis intervention training within 180 days to call-takers, dispatchers and their supervisors.

A key provision requires community policing, which relies on officers getting involved in neighborhood groups, meeting with people, and generally being pro-active, rather than simply responding to crime. But the city hasn't been able to fully implement community policing because the Ferguson Police Department is so short-staffed: Nearly one-third of the 49 police jobs are vacant.

As a result, Seewood said the city has re-prioritized its goals to put police recruitment — with a special focus of bringing in more minority officers — at the top of the list.

"You can do community policing with our current staff, but you can't do it at the higher level that you want because you are taking care of the day-to-day operations of the police force," Seewood said. "They're going on calls, they're handling those type of services."

Emily Davis, a member of a consent decree-mandated steering committee tasked with helping the city implement community policing, said she's been disappointed by the city's effort so far.

"The city has been so resistant to change because they didn't believe they'd ever done anything wrong," Davis said. "Community policing has not gotten implemented the way it needs to be because they've been dragging their feet."

Ervin said Ferguson officials are contemplating ways to free up officers to do more community policing.

Given the negative publicity surrounding the Ferguson Police Department, the city does face challenges in bringing in new officers.

On the other hand, Ervin said, "An officer could look at it as an opportunity to join a police department that's in the process of reforming itself and is in the national spotlight."


Fashion police: Cops ease rules on tattoos, turbans, beards

Posted on January 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Colleen Long Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Joe Friday look is out. Tattoos, turbans and beards are in.

Police departments, compelled by a hiring crisis and eager for a more diverse applicant pool, are relaxing traditional grooming standards and getting away from rules that used to require a uniformly clean-shaven, 1950s look.

More officers are on the job with tattoos inked on their forearms, beards on their chins or religious head coverings like hijabs and turbans in place of — or tucked beneath — their blue caps.

"My turban is a part of me," said Mandeep Singh, among 160 Sikhs in the New York City Police Department who last month were allowed to wear navy blue turbans in place of the standard-issue police caps. "This opens a gate for other potential candidates who felt they could not be a police officer because they would have to choose either the job or their faith."

That followed a 2014 move by the St. Paul, Minnesota, police to create a special hijab for its first female Somali Muslim officer.

Muslim NYPD officer Masood Syed, who grows a beard for religious reasons, was suspended for its length and sued his department last year over a rule requiring beards to be trimmed to within a millimeter of the skin. As a result, the department changed the length to a half-inch and reinstated him. Syed's suit is still pending, though, because he said the length is arbitrary and it should be case by case, depending on the officer's needs.

"It's 2017," Syed said. "The police department is supposed to reflect the community that it's policing."

Many departments say it's tougher to attract candidates to a physically demanding job that offers low pay and is under increasingly intense public scrutiny. That has led many to make a nod to shifting fashion trends, particularly among millennials, and ease longstanding bans on beards and visible tattoos.

New Orleans; Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; and Pinellas Park, Florida, are among the departments that look the other way if a recruit comes in with visible tattoos.

"Modern practice is colliding with dress codes," said Will Aitchison, an attorney who represents police unions during labor-related disputes. "And what police departments really should be focused on is how the officer performs his or her job, as opposed to how they look."

In Kansas, state police did a public survey on whether officers should be allowed to have tattoos to help determine whether to change their policy after they couldn't fill about 100 trooper jobs.

Half of the nearly 20,000 respondents had tattoos themselves. Sixty-nine percent said the department shouldn't have a policy prohibiting visible tattoos.

"We were surprised by the response," said Lt. Adam Winters. "It just doesn't seem to bother people."

Still, the department's prohibition on visible tattoos has stayed in place, in part because of the potential challenge of regulating the content of tattoos that might be offensive.

In Philadelphia, the department is considering tightening its policy after photos surfaced last fall of an officer in uniform with a tattoo on his forearm showing a Nazi symbol: a spread-winged eagle under the word "Fatherland."

In Chicago, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit filed by tattooed officers — all military veterans — who objected to a new requirement that they wear long sleeves to cover up their inked arms during a sweltering Midwestern summer. The judge argued it would be too difficult for departments to determine what would be considered offensive and need to be covered.

But, the police brass recently started allowing them again — they said as a morale booster for a beleaguered force.


Why cops should focus on the lone-actor domestic terrorist

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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

The FBI defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

Stated simply, a terrorist wants to change the behavior of a targeted group, and uses violence — or the threat of violence — in order to accomplish the objective. Radicalized Islamist terrorists have been increasingly active in Europe in the past eight years, and of course have laid waste to large swaths of territory in the Middle East.

At present, terrorist attacks happening in the United States have been different from what typically occurs overseas.

Overseas — where large volumes of unexploded ordinance and other explosives are readily available — attacks can be relatively large in scale, leaving scores dead and injured from an improvised bomb. Due to the nature of the battlefield in Syria and Iraq especially, terror groups are able to operate largely in the open with little fear of arrest or other consequence. Terrorists can form fairly large groups and conduct somewhat complicated operations. With the exception of suicide bombers, they commit attacks and retreat into the shadows, intending to live to fight another day.

None of this is the case here in the United States.

Because of the difficulty in covertly planning and executing a large-scale attack involving a significantly sized “cell” of like-minded terrorists and utilizing explosives as weapons, the most common type of terrorist attack in the U.S. is now committed by “lone actors” who have become radicalized by online propaganda from groups like ISIS. Their weapons of choice are small arms, edged weapons and vehicles. Their plans are uncomplicated — they can barely even be called plans in many cases. They sometimes include their own deaths in their tactics.

Consider this list of terrorist attacks conducted by radical Islamic jihadists since Sept. 11, 2001. Recall these incidents and think for a moment on their commonalities.

2002 — Shooting at El Al ticket counter at LAX — 2 dead 2002 — D.C. Beltway sniper killings — 10 dead 2006 — Shooting at the Seattle Jewish Federation — 1 dead 2009 — Shooting at Fort Hood — 13 dead 2009 — Shooting at a Little Rock military recruiting office — 1 dead 2013 — Boston Marathon Bombing — 5 dead 2014 — Beheading in an Oklahoma food processing plant — 1 dead 2015 — Shootings at two military facilities in Chattanooga — 5 dead 2015 — The San Bernardino shooting — 14 dead 2016 — The Orlando nightclub shooting — 49 dead

In all but two of those attacks, the weapons used were small arms — the outliers were a pair of homemade bombs and a blade. In all but three of those 10 attacks, the terrorists were lone actors. In the three instances in which more than one terrorist was involved, one pair was virtually father and son (D.C. Beltway), one pair were brothers (Boston), and one pair a married couple (San Bernardino).

Three may keep a secret ...

Benjamin Franklin once famously said, “Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.”

The plotters who work in groups larger than two have a much higher probability of being detected by police. A Sept. 11-type attack has become monumentally more difficult to successfully commit. The level of preparation necessary for the 9/11 attacks was unprecedented. According to the Sept. 11 Commission Report, the attacks committed by those 19 foreign-born jihadis cost somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000 to execute and was more than five years in the planning phase. An operation of that scope today would very probably be seen by a much more watchful security apparatus.

A lone actor is far more difficult to discover before they launch an attack. They are, however, often less lethal than a large group working in concert. Sept. 11 cost more than 3,000 lives. While horrible, deplorable and tragic, the most deadly attack by a lone actor has taken the lives of 49 innocents.

It is important to note that lone actors are generally not “loners” who feel detached from society. Contrary to common opinion that lone actors suffer from social isolation, self-radicalized jihadi lone actors tend to be fairly well connected with their community, especially to their friends at their place of worship, whether that is online or in the real world.

This is why one of the most important elements in preventing lone actor attacks is the engagement of the non-radicalized majority of Muslims. They will have the highest likelihood of seeing behavior that might foretell the desire to commit a violent terrorist attack.

Agencies that serve even the smallest community of Muslims should make every effort to make a positive connection with elders and leaders of those houses of worship. It will take a period of time to establish the necessary levels of trust, but that is true of police establishing trust with any community. Police need to build those bridges to allow for the exchange of information that can prevent an attack by a lone actor.

Online propaganda and recruiting

ISIS has stopped publishing Dabiq, but that doesn’t mean they’re out of the online recruitment and propaganda game. The group is now putting out a magazine called Rumiyah, which is Arabic for Rome. The name refers to an Islamic prophecy that tells of the downfall of Rome and calls for killing infidels.

The new publication is meant to be easier to read and digest by the potential recruits in the western world. Dabiq — which was named for the location of apocalyptic battle in Muslim mythology — was heavily theological. Rumiyah is written in straightforward “how to” style, which closely mirrors Inspire, the online propaganda magazine published — on and off — by al Qaeda.

For example, the latest issue of Rumiyah contains an article which instructs potential terrorist recruits on how to commit an attack with a fixed-blade knife. It advises, “ When carrying out a knife operation, it is not advised to target very large gatherings or overly crowded areas, as this presents a disadvantage and only increases the likelihood of being prevented from achieving kills.”

Jihadi rhetoric in online videos and recruiting magazines has for some time called for attacks on military and police. In fact, one issue of Dabiq said, “You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawaghit. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Ruin their sleep. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves … kill them in any manner possible.”

These two passages form an important nexus. We have already seen self-radicalized jihadi attackers come at police with edged weapons — recall the machete-wielding man who attacked four NYPD officers.

Police should pay attention to the online rhetoric put out by groups like ISIS and AQAP. The fact is those groups have specifically targeted the mentally unstable in their recruitment efforts. They would far rather have American citizens carry out attacks on Americans than have to send fighters from the battlefields of the Middle East to commit terrorism here.


Policing Matters Podcast: Technology and social media in 21st century policing

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

In December 2014, President Barack Obama signed an executive order establishing the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The president charged the task force with identifying best practices and offering recommendations on how policing practices can promote effective crime reduction while building public trust. The task force released its final report in May of 2015. In it was what the task force called the “Six Pillars of 21st Century Policing.” In this week’s podcast, Jim and Doug discuss the third pillar — Technology and Social Media — and in coming weeks will tackle each subsequent pillar in turn.


NYC challenges lawsuit targeting NYPD use of ‘sound weapon’

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By John Riley Newsday

NEW YORK — In one of the first legal challenges over police use of a so-called “sound weapon” against protesters, a New York City lawyer argued on Thursday that deploying the “Long Range Acoustical Device” at a 2014 march over the Eric Garner case did not violate demonstrators’ constitutional rights.

“In order to make the street safe for protesters and provide for the flow of traffic, the use of the LRAD was justified and not arbitrary,” city lawyer Ashley Garman told Manhattan U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet, arguing for dismissal of the case.

But lawyers for six plaintiffs — including protesters, bystanders and members of the news media — said the device’s high-pitched tone amounted to using “pain compliance” that indiscriminately affected law-abiding citizens and forced them to leave places where they were entitled to be.

“Sound waves by operation of physics can constitute uses of force and can cause injury,” said lawyer Gideon Oliver. “ . . . The NYPD is treating an LRAD as if it’s just a bullhorn, when it clearly is not.”

The portable LRAD, court papers say, serves two functions — amplifying sound like a super-megaphone to make police orders intelligible up to 600 meters, and emitting a targeted beam of high-decibel noise to cause ear discomfort and modify behavior for crowd control or “area denial.”

The NYPD has had the devices since the 2004 Republican Convention in New York City, when they were used to make announcements. The lawsuit targets the use of the crowd control function at a Manhattan intersection on Dec. 5, 2014, to break up a protest over a Staten Island grand jury’s failure to indict a cop for Garner’s death during his arrest for selling loose cigarettes.

Although the plaintiffs in the case contend they suffered “incredible pain” and injuries ranging from migraines and dizziness to vertigo, Garman said the police were justifiably responding to a chaotic scene of bottles and garbage being tossed into the street at 57th and Madison.

The 2016 lawsuit only alleges that the “deterrent tone” was activated for three minutes, she argued, and videos suggested the noise wasn’t that bad. “People were walking away casually,” Garman said. “They’re not running, not screaming, not covering their ears.”

Oliver said the LRAD’s manufacturer uses the term “pain compliance” in its literature, but since the 2014 incident, the NYPD has steadfastly refused to adopt use-of-force policies on LRADs, and there are no court precedents setting standards for when their use constitutes excessive force.

He also complained that — like tear-gas — the device doesn’t affect only protesters or wrongdoers, but also deprives others of their rights by forcing them to move.

“If you’re a photojournalist and the police force you to move to location B, you’re prevented from reporting what’s occurring at location A,” he said.

The lawsuit is seeking both damages and an injunction limiting the use of LRADs. Sweet has to first decide whether the allegations if proved, would make out a valid legal claim. He did not indicate when he may rule.

©2017 Newsday


NY cops rescue 103 puppies after delivery van crashes

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Associated Press

AVOCA, N.Y. — An animal welfare group is caring for the scores of puppies that were being transported in a box van when it crashed and overturned on an upstate New York highway.

State police say the vehicle crashed Tuesday on Interstate 86 in the Steuben County town of Avoca,, 50 miles south of Rochester.

Troopers say a Missouri woman was driving the van carrying 103 puppies when she lost control of the vehicle, causing it to hit a ditch and overturn.

Troopers and employees of a towing company helped rescue the puppies, which were being delivered to pet stores. Five of the puppies sustained minor injuries.

The local SPCA's website says it's caring for "a large number of puppies" from the accident. The puppies are expected to be returned to their out-of-state owner.

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A few more pictures of the rescued puppies, and Andrea Williams, L.V.T., who was on the scene to triage. Way to go Andrea!!!

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UPDATE ON ACCIDENT INVOLVING PUPPIES On 1/24/17, Finger Lakes SPCA (FLSPCA) was contacted by the New York State Police...

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White paper: Guidelines for Evaluating and Implementing eCitation Systems

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

The following is paid content sponsored by Thin Blue Line Reporting.

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

New eCitation systems have evolved to replace inefficient handwritten citation processes, offering higher efficiency and productivity. With less time devoted to manually issuing and recording tickets, officers can cover more ground when on duty while enhancing both their and the public’s safety by spending less time on dangerous roadsides. Digital data entry and automatic formatting produce organized, legible and accurate citations with fewer errors and fewer dismissals in court. This leads to both the recapture of revenue that is currently lost to errors common to handwritten tickets and the additional benefit of faster revenue collection for the issuing jurisdiction.

However, there are many factors to consider when procuring or upgrading an eCitation system. The eCitation Coalition has assembled this white paper to help law enforcement agencies learn:

The value of eCitation systems How to choose an eCitation system compatible with an agency's available technology options How to choose between a government-developed or private sector-developed eCitation system How to measure ROI for eCitation systems

You can download the white paper for free by clicking the link below:

Download: eCitation Coalition: Guidelines for Evaluating and Implementing eCitation Systems


Thin Blue Line Reporting White Paper: Guidelines for Evaluating and Implementing eCitation Systems

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Thin Blue Line Reporting

Over the past two decades, the emergence of electronic citation (eCitations) technology has represented a breakthrough in law enforcement technology. By transforming traditional hand written citations into digital documents that can be quickly populated and accurately issued, eCitation has significantly helped enhance the effectiveness and safety of law enforcement officers in the field.

With more than twenty years of experience, the adoption of eCitation systems is expanding across the country. There are many software and hardware options that must be taken into consideration when a law enforcement agency is considering the procurement of a new (or upgrading an existing) eCitation system. This White Paper is designed to help decision makers make a more informed choice.

Read the complete white paper


Videos: Charlotte police fatally shoot bus gunman

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By Fred Clasen-Kelly and Mark Washburn The Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Body and dashboard camera video showing police killing an armed teenage suspect in a June 2016 confrontation near University City was released Thursday under the first test of a new state law for making public such material.

Footage matched the narrative given by authorities after the shooting: That Rodney Rodriguez Smith, after wounding a rival aboard a CATS bus, fired at responding officers while fleeing from them, and they fired multiple shots in return.

From different vantage points, the six videos showed the search for a man who’d fired aboard the bus.

From his body camera, Officer Garret Tryon can be seen searching in the dark for a suspect, then pulling in and calling out seven times, “Drop the gun!” A fusillade of shots follow, then Tryon orders the man four more times to drop the gun. Then came four more shots.

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Tryon tells another officer at the scene, “He shot at me.”

Release of the video reflected the policy declared by CMPD Chief Kerr Putney in September toward more transparency in conflicts between police and the public.

It also represented a legal milestone in the public’s right to gain access to police video because it was the first time a court approved a petition under North Carolina’s new law requiring judicial approval to release police dashcam and body camera video.

Legal milestone

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and the city of Charlotte did not oppose the request this month for release of the video, brought by WFAE-FM (NPR, 90.7) reporter Lisa Worf.

But attorneys for the two officers in the shooting – Michael Bell and Tryon, who were cleared of criminal wrongdoing by prosecutors and are back at work – argued this month in court that the footage should not be released because of the possibility of inflaming the public and inciting someone to seek revenge.

“Another person killed by police – that’s the narrative,” said attorney Jeremy Smith, who represented Tryon. “They could seek retribution. Officers have enough to deal with.”

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But Superior Court Judge Jesse Caldwell ruled Jan. 12 that there was a compelling public interest in demonstrating how the officers handled the circumstances and ordered the tapes to be released.

He said the nation’s attention is focused on the killings of minorities at the hands of police officers. He said he strongly doubted the release of the video posed a threat to the officers safety since so much time had passed since the shooting.

Shooting on bus

After an investigation into the shooting, authorities gave this account of what happened:

Police were alerted to a shooting aboard at CATS bus on the night of June 2, 2016. Officers Tryon and Bell arrived in separate cars at the scene on North Tryon Street near University City.

Tryon told investigators he saw Smith walking along the street holding something in his waistband. Tryon said he repeatedly ordered Smith to show his hands.

Smith clutched something from his waistband, Tryon said. Bell, who had just arrived, said he saw Smith holding a handgun. Smith fired at Tryon, police said, and both officers returned fire.

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“I got out of the car I went to about the front bumper of my own car and drew my weapon and focused on him,” Bell told investigators. “I took two or three breaths just to gather myself and steady my aim and I remember thinking the whole time, ‘Tryon, if you don’t shoot him you’re gonna die.’ And as I’m getting out of the car I looked at Tryon, Tryon’s pointing at him, yelling at him, ‘Show me your hands.’”

Smith ran up an embankment after the officers fired, an investigative report said. He raised his right hand, which Tryon said was still gripping the weapon, and Tryon fired three to four more shots. An image from Bell’s body camera showed Smith pointing what the report said was a gun at Tryon.

Smith was shot five times. District Attorney Andrew Murray concluded that deadly force was justified because the officers were defending themselves.

An image recovered later from a camera on the CATS bus shows a man identified as Smith seated with a handgun. A second image shows him pointing a gun before the passenger, a man with whom Smith had a long-term dispute, was shot from behind.

Family questions

Though not a party to the court action to release the video, Smith’s grandparents have said they had unresolved questions: Why did police shoot Smith so many times? Was he threatening officers with a gun or was he holding a cellphone or something else? They said wanted to see the video to erase those doubts.

They raised Smith and said he had trouble in school. He suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder and mental illness.

Woodard said she questioned the official account because word had spread that Smith sent his girlfriend a text about the same time as the shooting.

“How could all this be going on if he’s texting his girlfriend?” Woodard asked.

Legal challenge

On Oct. 1, a new state law regulating release of police videos went into effect. It called for police to get a court order to release video from dashboard cameras or body cameras and allowed courts to deny such requests for a number of factors including potential interference to an active investigation or disclosing information that could “harm the reputation or jeopardize the safety of a person.”

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Supporters of the law say it balances citizens’ right to know with the interest of police. Opponents say the added restriction undermines transparency and public accountability.

A request from Worf and WFAE for police video in the Smith case was denied by Superior Court Judge Eric Levinson in November because it was before the district attorney’s office resolved whether the shooting was justified. Murray announced Dec. 12, 2016 that a review by his office found the officers had acted in self defense, and Worf returned to court this month seeking the video.

Unlike the first time she requested the video, CMPD supported its release. Mark Newbold, a CMPD attorney, said there was no longer a need to keep the video sealed from public view since prosecutors had finished reviewing evidence.

Newbold indicated CMPD would be supporting the release of other videos in the future because, he said, the need for transparency trumps other concerns. He said releasing video could dispel rumors and misinformation, which many blame for the protests that roiled the city following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in September 2016.

“In keeping with department protocol, we do not oppose the release of video evidence after a case has been thoroughly investigated and adjudicated,” CMPD said in a statement Thursday with the video release. “Our preference is to always allow for a thorough investigation with the intent to have all sides presented.”

More transparency

Greg Collard, WFAE’s news director, said he hopes the case will encourage other judges to lean toward transparency in future cases.

Collard said the Smith case stood out from other police shootings because officers fired more than 20 shots from different angles. Release of the videos would help the public understand Murray’s decision to not pursue charges against the officers, Collard said.

“Part of our job is to advocate for the public,” he said. “That’s the role of journalism.”

Balance of protection

Sponsoring the new law on release of videos was state Rep. John Faircloth, R-High Point. He said the intent of the law was to protect police videos for evidential reasons in active cases and protect those recorded on the tapes.

Before the law, release of such material was left to the discretion of various law enforcement agencies. Under Faircloth’s measure, anyone recorded in a law enforcement video can ask to see it and, if denied, to appeal to the decision to Superior Court.

As the bill moved through committee in the General Assembly, a provision was added that allowed anyone to seek release of a video if there is a “compelling public interest” in it, which was the argument in the WFAE case.

In a parallel case, Superior Court Judge Lisa Bell on Monday ordered the release of video in another police shooting requested by The Charlotte Observer. It is expected to be made public soon.

Faircloth said there have been few cases under the new law and legislators may look at it during the next session to see whether further tweaks are needed.

Jonathan Jones, director of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition and Sunshine Center based at Elon University, said he is troubled by the law’s provision for “compelling public interest.”

“It’s a very high standard,” Jones said, making it more difficult for the public to gain access to the videos. “If they were looking to make it easier for the public, they would have made the law say that videos are taken in a place where there’s no presumption of privacy.”

©2017 The Charlotte Observer


Videos: Charlotte police fatally shoot bus gunman

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By Fred Clasen-Kelly and Mark Washburn The Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Body and dashboard camera video showing police killing an armed teenage suspect in a June 2016 confrontation near University City was released Thursday under the first test of a new state law for making public such material.

Footage matched the narrative given by authorities after the shooting: That Rodney Rodriguez Smith, after wounding a rival aboard a CATS bus, fired at responding officers while fleeing from them, and they fired multiple shots in return.

From different vantage points, the six videos showed the search for a man who’d fired aboard the bus.

From his body camera, Officer Garret Tryon can be seen searching in the dark for a suspect, then pulling in and calling out seven times, “Drop the gun!” A fusillade of shots follow, then Tryon orders the man four more times to drop the gun. Then came four more shots.

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Tryon tells another officer at the scene, “He shot at me.”

Release of the video reflected the policy declared by CMPD Chief Kerr Putney in September toward more transparency in conflicts between police and the public.

It also represented a legal milestone in the public’s right to gain access to police video because it was the first time a court approved a petition under North Carolina’s new law requiring judicial approval to release police dashcam and body camera video.

Legal milestone

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and the city of Charlotte did not oppose the request this month for release of the video, brought by WFAE-FM (NPR, 90.7) reporter Lisa Worf.

But attorneys for the two officers in the shooting – Michael Bell and Tryon, who were cleared of criminal wrongdoing by prosecutors and are back at work – argued this month in court that the footage should not be released because of the possibility of inflaming the public and inciting someone to seek revenge.

“Another person killed by police – that’s the narrative,” said attorney Jeremy Smith, who represented Tryon. “They could seek retribution. Officers have enough to deal with.”

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But Superior Court Judge Jesse Caldwell ruled Jan. 12 that there was a compelling public interest in demonstrating how the officers handled the circumstances and ordered the tapes to be released.

He said the nation’s attention is focused on the killings of minorities at the hands of police officers. He said he strongly doubted the release of the video posed a threat to the officers safety since so much time had passed since the shooting.

Shooting on bus

After an investigation into the shooting, authorities gave this account of what happened:

Police were alerted to a shooting aboard at CATS bus on the night of June 2, 2016. Officers Tryon and Bell arrived in separate cars at the scene on North Tryon Street near University City.

Tryon told investigators he saw Smith walking along the street holding something in his waistband. Tryon said he repeatedly ordered Smith to show his hands.

Smith clutched something from his waistband, Tryon said. Bell, who had just arrived, said he saw Smith holding a handgun. Smith fired at Tryon, police said, and both officers returned fire.

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“I got out of the car I went to about the front bumper of my own car and drew my weapon and focused on him,” Bell told investigators. “I took two or three breaths just to gather myself and steady my aim and I remember thinking the whole time, ‘Tryon, if you don’t shoot him you’re gonna die.’ And as I’m getting out of the car I looked at Tryon, Tryon’s pointing at him, yelling at him, ‘Show me your hands.’”

Smith ran up an embankment after the officers fired, an investigative report said. He raised his right hand, which Tryon said was still gripping the weapon, and Tryon fired three to four more shots. An image from Bell’s body camera showed Smith pointing what the report said was a gun at Tryon.

Smith was shot five times. District Attorney Andrew Murray concluded that deadly force was justified because the officers were defending themselves.

An image recovered later from a camera on the CATS bus shows a man identified as Smith seated with a handgun. A second image shows him pointing a gun before the passenger, a man with whom Smith had a long-term dispute, was shot from behind.

Family questions

Though not a party to the court action to release the video, Smith’s grandparents have said they had unresolved questions: Why did police shoot Smith so many times? Was he threatening officers with a gun or was he holding a cellphone or something else? They said wanted to see the video to erase those doubts.

They raised Smith and said he had trouble in school. He suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder and mental illness.

Woodard said she questioned the official account because word had spread that Smith sent his girlfriend a text about the same time as the shooting.

“How could all this be going on if he’s texting his girlfriend?” Woodard asked.

Legal challenge

On Oct. 1, a new state law regulating release of police videos went into effect. It called for police to get a court order to release video from dashboard cameras or body cameras and allowed courts to deny such requests for a number of factors including potential interference to an active investigation or disclosing information that could “harm the reputation or jeopardize the safety of a person.”

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Supporters of the law say it balances citizens’ right to know with the interest of police. Opponents say the added restriction undermines transparency and public accountability.

A request from Worf and WFAE for police video in the Smith case was denied by Superior Court Judge Eric Levinson in November because it was before the district attorney’s office resolved whether the shooting was justified. Murray announced Dec. 12, 2016 that a review by his office found the officers had acted in self defense, and Worf returned to court this month seeking the video.

Unlike the first time she requested the video, CMPD supported its release. Mark Newbold, a CMPD attorney, said there was no longer a need to keep the video sealed from public view since prosecutors had finished reviewing evidence.

Newbold indicated CMPD would be supporting the release of other videos in the future because, he said, the need for transparency trumps other concerns. He said releasing video could dispel rumors and misinformation, which many blame for the protests that roiled the city following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in September 2016.

“In keeping with department protocol, we do not oppose the release of video evidence after a case has been thoroughly investigated and adjudicated,” CMPD said in a statement Thursday with the video release. “Our preference is to always allow for a thorough investigation with the intent to have all sides presented.”

More transparency

Greg Collard, WFAE’s news director, said he hopes the case will encourage other judges to lean toward transparency in future cases.

Collard said the Smith case stood out from other police shootings because officers fired more than 20 shots from different angles. Release of the videos would help the public understand Murray’s decision to not pursue charges against the officers, Collard said.

“Part of our job is to advocate for the public,” he said. “That’s the role of journalism.”

Balance of protection

Sponsoring the new law on release of videos was state Rep. John Faircloth, R-High Point. He said the intent of the law was to protect police videos for evidential reasons in active cases and protect those recorded on the tapes.

Before the law, release of such material was left to the discretion of various law enforcement agencies. Under Faircloth’s measure, anyone recorded in a law enforcement video can ask to see it and, if denied, to appeal to the decision to Superior Court.

As the bill moved through committee in the General Assembly, a provision was added that allowed anyone to seek release of a video if there is a “compelling public interest” in it, which was the argument in the WFAE case.

In a parallel case, Superior Court Judge Lisa Bell on Monday ordered the release of video in another police shooting requested by The Charlotte Observer. It is expected to be made public soon.

Faircloth said there have been few cases under the new law and legislators may look at it during the next session to see whether further tweaks are needed.

Jonathan Jones, director of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition and Sunshine Center based at Elon University, said he is troubled by the law’s provision for “compelling public interest.”

“It’s a very high standard,” Jones said, making it more difficult for the public to gain access to the videos. “If they were looking to make it easier for the public, they would have made the law say that videos are taken in a place where there’s no presumption of privacy.”

©2017 The Charlotte Observer


5 programs actively reducing recidivism rates

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Megan Wells, PoliceOne Contributor

The United States has the highest population of incarcerated individuals in the world, and as you can imagine, the cost of maintaining a prison population of this size is massive.

For the year 2015, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that an estimated 6,741,400 total persons were supervised by the US adult correctional system or approximately 1 in 37 adults. The budget to maintain the prison population is around $74 billion. Unfortunately, the data indicates that individuals who have been released often end up being incarcerated again.

A comprehensive study conducted in 2005 found that over two-thirds of released prisoners were arrested again within 3 years and over three-fourths were arrested again within 5 years.

With statistics like these, it is increasingly important to get creative in order to reduce recidivism. Reducing the recidivism rate nationally could offer numerous benefits. Here are five programs that succeed in guiding released prisoners to new paths.

1. Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP)

The Prison Entrepreneurship Program is a nonprofit organization that connects released felons with executives and entrepreneurs. This re-entry program focuses on teaching leadership and innovation skills. Since the program began in 2004, there have been over 1,300 graduates who begun careers with starting wages 60 percent higher than the minimum wage and almost 100 percent are still employed 12 months after their release.

Most importantly, the recidivism rate for graduates is below 7 percent, which is far below the national average.

2. Community Bridges FACT Team

Statistics show that up to half of our prison population suffers from mental illness. Community Bridges in the Phoenix area offers help to individuals in a variety of ways like coordinating treatments plans and/or locating housing options. the FACT team also helps their clients secure benefits and employment.

The program has reduced in the number of arrests, incarceration days and hospitalizations of participants. As of January 2015, the program had an 85 percent success rate in preventing its clients from returning to jail.

3. Delancey Street Foundation

The Delancey Street Foundation is a residential self-help program dedicated to assisting drug addicts, ex-convicts, ex-gang members, and homeless individuals. Delancey Street provides residents with skills that can be used in a job market and education that makes employment possible. Since its founding 40 years ago, over 10,000 men and women have graduated into society as taxpaying citizens leading successful lives. Along with recidivism, other risk factors have been substantially reduced for participants, including drug use, and overall well-being.

4. SAFER Foundation

The Safer Foundation has been operating for over 44 years in the state of Illinois and has always focused on helping individuals with criminal records and reducing recidivism. According to Loyola University in Chicago, participants in the program that have achieved employment upon re-entering society are 58 percent less likely to return to prison than without the help of SAFER.

Through their programs, SAFER helps over 300 individuals earn their GED annually; they have a network of over 400 employers that hire participants and they were able to match 4,200 individuals to positions in 2014.

Their PACE Program begins by offering a curriculum within the Cook County Department of Corrections and upon release; SAFER provides housing, training and employment assistance.

5. The Last Mile

This program is based out of San Quentin State Prison in California. The Last Mile teaches prisoners about technology, digital commutation, and business. The Last Mile offers a program called Code.7370 where students are taught computer code. In 2015, the inmates were offered actual entry-level front-end coding positions from companies outside the prison walls. Programs like the ones San Quentin prison leads have as low as a 7.1 percent recidivism rate.

Recidivism comes with a high price tag. Lessening our prison population by lowering recidivism rates has the potential to decrease the current cost of the prison system.


5 programs actively reducing recidivism rates

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Megan Wells, PoliceOne Contributor

The United States has the highest population of incarcerated individuals in the world, and as you can imagine, the cost of maintaining a prison population of this size is massive.

For the year 2015, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that an estimated 6,741,400 total persons were supervised by the US adult correctional system or approximately 1 in 37 adults. The budget to maintain the prison population is around $74 billion. Unfortunately, the data indicates that individuals who have been released often end up being incarcerated again.

A comprehensive study conducted in 2005 found that over two-thirds of released prisoners were arrested again within 3 years and over three-fourths were arrested again within 5 years.

With statistics like these, it is increasingly important to get creative in order to reduce recidivism. Reducing the recidivism rate nationally could offer numerous benefits. Here are five programs that succeed in guiding released prisoners to new paths.

1. Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP)

The Prison Entrepreneurship Program is a nonprofit organization that connects released felons with executives and entrepreneurs. This re-entry program focuses on teaching leadership and innovation skills. Since the program began in 2004, there have been over 1,300 graduates who begun careers with starting wages 60 percent higher than the minimum wage and almost 100 percent are still employed 12 months after their release.

Most importantly, the recidivism rate for graduates is below 7 percent, which is far below the national average.

2. Community Bridges FACT Team

Statistics show that up to half of our prison population suffers from mental illness. Community Bridges in the Phoenix area offers help to individuals in a variety of ways like coordinating treatments plans and/or locating housing options. the FACT team also helps their clients secure benefits and employment.

The program has reduced in the number of arrests, incarceration days and hospitalizations of participants. As of January 2015, the program had an 85 percent success rate in preventing its clients from returning to jail.

3. Delancey Street Foundation

The Delancey Street Foundation is a residential self-help program dedicated to assisting drug addicts, ex-convicts, ex-gang members, and homeless individuals. Delancey Street provides residents with skills that can be used in a job market and education that makes employment possible. Since its founding 40 years ago, over 10,000 men and women have graduated into society as taxpaying citizens leading successful lives. Along with recidivism, other risk factors have been substantially reduced for participants, including drug use, and overall well-being.

4. SAFER Foundation

The Safer Foundation has been operating for over 44 years in the state of Illinois and has always focused on helping individuals with criminal records and reducing recidivism. According to Loyola University in Chicago, participants in the program that have achieved employment upon re-entering society are 58 percent less likely to return to prison than without the help of SAFER.

Through their programs, SAFER helps over 300 individuals earn their GED annually; they have a network of over 400 employers that hire participants and they were able to match 4,200 individuals to positions in 2014.

Their PACE Program begins by offering a curriculum within the Cook County Department of Corrections and upon release; SAFER provides housing, training and employment assistance.

5. The Last Mile

This program is based out of San Quentin State Prison in California. The Last Mile teaches prisoners about technology, digital commutation, and business. The Last Mile offers a program called Code.7370 where students are taught computer code. In 2015, the inmates were offered actual entry-level front-end coding positions from companies outside the prison walls. Programs like the ones San Quentin prison leads have as low as a 7.1 percent recidivism rate.

Recidivism comes with a high price tag. Lessening our prison population by lowering recidivism rates has the potential to decrease the current cost of the prison system.


Man fights speeding ticket with deer defense

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. — A Massachusetts man fighting a speeding ticket in court had a unique explanation — the officer's radar gun may have picked up a deer.

The Newburyport Daily News reports that Dennis Sayers, of Haverhill, was clocked going 40 mph in 30 mph zone in West Newbury in November.

He got a $105 ticket.

He appealed in court on Thursday, asking Officer Royster Johnson if he was 100 percent sure his radar captured Sayers' speed or the speed of a deer that could have been in the vicinity.

When confronted by the skeptical judge, Sayers replied that anything was possible.

The fine was upheld.

Deer, by the way, can run approximately 30 mph.


Want to track cellphones? Get a warrant, lawmakers say

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Dave Collins Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — Law enforcement cellphone tracking devices are coming under scrutiny in several states, where lawmakers have introduced proposals ranging from warrant requirements to an outright ban on the technology.

Privacy and constitutional concerns, including Fourth Amendment search and seizure violations, are being cited with the proposed laws on cell-site simulators.

The suitcase-size devices, widely known under the brand name Stingray, mimic cellphone towers and allow law enforcement to collect unique subscriber numbers and other basic data from cellphones in a particular area. The data can help police determine the location of a targeted phone — and phones of innocent bystanders — in real time without the users even making calls or sending text messages.

Law enforcement officials say the devices are vital in helping to find suspects and victims, and to solve crimes.

At least 13 states already require warrants to track cellphones in real time: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Utah and Virginia.

Federal law enforcement officers also must get warrants, under policies put in place in 2015 by the departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

Courts around the country, meanwhile, have issued conflicting opinions about whether warrants are needed for cellphone location data, leading to a hodgepodge of rules.

Bills addressing use of the devices are now pending in at least eight states, according to a review by The Associated Press. Most of them would require police to get warrants. One bill, introduced by South Carolina state Rep. J. Todd Rutherford, would ban the purchase and use of cell-site simulators by law enforcement.

"I think most people would be offended if they knew exactly how much surveillance the government is doing," said Rutherford, a Democrat from Columbia who is the House minority leader and a criminal defense lawyer. "It's got to stop somewhere."

Rutherford isn't even sure if any police agencies in his state are using the simulators. Many state and local law enforcement agencies sign nondisclosure agreements with the device manufacturer.

The American Civil Liberties Union says it has identified 70 law enforcement agencies in 23 states and the District of Columbia that own cell-site simulators. But the actual number may be much higher because many agencies keep their use of the devices secret, the ACLU said.

This year, lawmakers in at least six states are proposing bills to require warrants to use cellphone surveillance devices: Connecticut, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York and Oregon. A California bill would require local governments to approve the use of cell-site simulators and other surveillance technology.

In Connecticut, state Rep. Rob Sampson introduced a bill to require warrants, with exceptions for terrorism and other life-and-death situations.

"A cellphone is an individual's private property and law enforcement has no right monitoring activity on these devices unless there is strong reason to believe the individual is engaging in illegal activity," the Wolcott Republican said.

It also isn't clear whether any police agencies in Connecticut are using cell-site simulators. State police, Hartford police and New Haven police say they don't use the devices. Police in Bridgeport said they do not comment on their surveillance technology.

Last month, the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a report calling for clearer guidelines.

"There's still a real pressing need for states to regulate this technology," said Nathan Freed Wessler, staff attorney for the ACLU's speech, privacy and technology project. "These devices are extraordinarily powerful and invasive. They can very precisely track where people's phones are, and knowing where someone's phone is can tell you a lot about them."


Suspect in Orlando officer’s death will act as own lawyer

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mike Schneider Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — A man suspected in the killings of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police officer is insisting on defending himself against murder charges. Markeith Loyd made the decision in court on Thursday despite repeated warnings from a judge that it's a bad idea.

Judge Frederick Lauten warned Loyd that it's almost always unwise to represent oneself, and said Loyd would have only limited legal resources available while awaiting his trial in jail on no bond.

However, the judge said Loyd appeared competent to make that decision.

Loyd is facing two first-degree murder counts and a host of other charges related to the deaths of his ex-girlfriend and Lt. Debra Clayton.

He cursed and interrupted judges in three previous court appearances from jail, but appeared subdued during Thursday's hearing.


Spotlight: Thin Blue Line Reporting creates cutting-edge mobile solutions for the LE community

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Sponsors

Company Name: Thin Blue Line Reporting Headquarters: Claremont, Calif. Signature Product: A mobile app officers can use to create reports and issue citations on tablet devices Website: http://www.thinbluereports.com/

1. Where did your company name originate from?

Thin Blue Line Reporting (a TBL Systems company) was conceived by DOD systems integration engineers and Law Enforcement professionals.

2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?

The Law Enforcement professionals were frustrated by the many expensive and difficult to deploy technologies available to them. The engineers came up with a solution that we are excited to be a part of.

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

eCitation, Mobile Reporting and Digital Evidence.

An application can be downloaded on an iPhone or iPad. Modules such as eCitation, Crash Reporting, Tow Forms, Case Reporting and/or Digital Evidence Management are distributed to each account as needed. A CJIS compliant web-based database (cloud or on-premise) is then created to house and disseminate all repot data using TBL’s proprietary RESTful API. Reports can also be generated, edited, quality controlled and reviewed in the portal allowing for rapid creation of reports and adjudication of cases. Courts and Prosecuting Attorneys can also access appropriate information in the portal.

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

Law Enforcement technology is comprised of many types of technologies that don’t communicate well or at all. Additionally, mobility has been limited historically, due in large part to CJIS Security Policies prior to 2013. Many Law Enforcement activities are mobile in nature and require more nimble and scalable tools that are newer and easier to deploy.

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

The biggest challenge has been the reluctance of some in the LE community to consider the significant benefits of updated mobile platforms. There are, however, a very large number of leaders within the law enforcement family that see the benefits and have adopted the TBL platform.

6. What makes your company unique?

We have a unique mix of capabilities that derive from within law enforcement as well as a very talented technical team. We also look at our work as a calling and are not simply here to make a living. We are passionate about truly enabling officers with better tools to protect the public, increase officer safety and reduce data errors.

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

Ease of use and simple, yet robust interfaces. Traffic and Patrol officers tell us all the time that they like the ability to clear accidents and create reports faster than before.

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

The most rewarding part of our jobs is interacting with law enforcement professionals, from officer to Chief, on a daily basis. We are heartened to be providing the best available technology to our first responders!

9. Do you support any charitable organizations within public safety?

We support the 100 Club and various First Responder charities across the country. We believe in giving back to the officers and families that sacrifice so much.

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

We are working on a program to bring autonomous drones from DOD only to the civilian law enforcement community. It’s a very interesting project and we are excited about it.

11. What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?

We just launched the iPhone version of the app which lowers the cost of deployment for departments and allows leverage of a tool that we all use. We will be announcing an embedded MDC hardware platform with the leading police vehicle manufacturer in the U.S. Stay tuned for details!


Va. GOP proposes ‘enormous’ raise for state police

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Sponsors

By Travis Fain Daily Press

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Legislative budget writers will include $6,000 raises for Virginia State Police and a 3 percent pay bump for general state employees in their budget rewrite, they announced Wednesday.

The police increase will address concerns that the agency has been losing troopers to better paying local police jobs. Wayne Huggins, head of the Virginia State Police Association, called the raises "enormous."

Local deputies will also get pay increases aimed at addressing compression issues in sheriff's office pay scales. Local teachers will not be included in the legislature's plans for raises, though local systems may get funding with enough flexibility to use state funds to help cover raises already paid out of local funds, House Appropriations Chairman S. Chris Jones said.

All but about a dozen systems in the state have already boosted teacher salaries, said Jones, R-Suffolk. Teachers from across the state demonstrated at the statehouse earlier this week, though, calling for state raises.

Jones and other budget writers, including Senate Finance Co-Chairmen Thomas K. "Tommy" Norment and Emmett Hanger, acknowledged that there will be cuts elsewhere in the state budget to pay for these raises, but those details may not be released for another week and a half. The boosts won't rely on tax increases, and the state won't raise it's annual revenue estimate to inflate the budget beyond totals Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced in Virginia, Republican budget writers said.

Rising monthly revenues, after tax collections last year came in lower than expected, have boosted confidence in the overall health of the state's two year spending plan, though.

The raises will be paid with the first paychecks of July, Jones said. Unlike raises placed in the budget last year, then cut, there's no trigger rolling back these raises if the state doesn't hit revenue targets.

Addressing state police pay was a top issue for the Republican majority in the legislature, and providing a pay increase for other state employees was a priority as well. McAuliffe had proposed a one-time bonus in December, but that was rejected in favor of the permanent increases.

Law enforcement salary issues are coming to a head for state leaders, even as budget writers look for the cuts to fill a revenue hole.

The head of the Virginia State Police has told legislators that troopers are leaving the force in big numbers for better paying jobs, including jobs at local departments.

The starting salary for state police, now about $36,200 a year, will increase to $43,000. Pay steps above that will also increase about $6,000, with the 3 percent raises added in on top of that.

Legislation that would have increased annual vehicle registration fees by $1.25, with the money earmarked for state police, has been killed off as a result.

Hanger, R-Mount Solon, said there will be "unmet needs" in the budget, in part because of efforts to identify funding for raises, but funding for mental health reform will remain a priority.

Hanger also said that the legislature will stick with the governor's schedule for the state's Accelerated Sales Tax program, which requires businesses to remit sales taxes early each June, the last month of the fiscal year. That gives the state an end-of-the-year revenue boost, but is widely considered a budgeting gimmick and is not popular with retailers.

Other details of the budget House and Senate leaders have been crafting will be rolled out February 5, commonly referred to as "Budget Sunday" at the statehouse. ___ (c)2017 the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Calif. police see dangers in Trump’s immigration plan

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Cindy Chang, Paloma Esquivel and Maya Lau Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — President Donald Trump’s plan to enlist local police and sheriff’s departments in immigration enforcement has set the stage for a pitched battle with California officials who have long prioritized building ties with immigrant communities.

Trump’s plan, which was issued Wednesday as part of a pair of executive orders, seeks to broaden the reach of federal immigration authorities into county jails.

It also calls for empowering police officers and deputies to act as immigration enforcers, leaving open the possibility that they would be required to inquire about the immigration status of the people they encounter on the streets.

Such a regime could conflict with the Los Angeles Police Department’s decades-old policy that prohibits officers from initiating contact with a person solely to ask about whether he or she is in the country legally.

Local governments that defy the Trump administration’s immigration policies by acting as “sanctuary cities” could be denied federal funding, one of the executive orders states.

More than 400 jurisdictions across the country, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and about 40 others in California, have such policies protecting immigrants.

California state officials have signaled that they will put up a fight. The California Legislature has selected former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to serve as outside counsel on the state’s legal strategy for dealing with the incoming administration.

The state’s new attorney general, former congressman Xavier Becerra, said at his swearing-in Tuesday that he will form a united front with officials from other states to defend their policies against any federal challenges.

Hours after Trump signed the executive orders, Los Angeles leaders suggested they would mount a legal challenge if funding is taken away.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters Wednesday that he doesn’t believe the federal government can cut off funding to Los Angeles, citing the 10th Amendment, which addresses the powers of state and federal governments.

“We feel very strong the legal case is clear,” Garcetti said.

The particulars of Trump’s orders are still being dissected by Los Angeles leaders. But City Council President Herb Wesson told reporters that “the city is going to continue to operate the way it operates.”

Los Angeles will receive about $500 million this fiscal year from the federal government to pay for an array of services, including port security, anti-gang programs and services for senior citizens.

That doesn’t include federal funding that flows to entities such as the Los Angeles Unified School District or Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

“It would be folly for any administration to take away funds to protect America’s port,” Garcetti said. “Or take away vouchers that help get veterans who have fought for our country off the street.”

Shortly after Trump’s election, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced that he would not work with federal authorities on deportation efforts.

“We have built relationships by effective law enforcement that doesn’t focus on where a person was born or the color of their skin. And we don’t intend to change that,” Beck said Wednesday.

Trump’s plan for local jails involves reinstating a program called Secure Communities, which asks jail officials to hand inmates over to federal immigration authorities up to 48 hours past when the inmate would otherwise have been released. Federal authorities can ask for inmates who have committed only immigration violations, in addition to those with serious criminal records.

In 2013, California passed the Trust Act, which limited jail officials’ ability to cooperate with federal immigration requests to only those inmates who have been convicted of “serious” or “violent” crimes.

In 2014, after a federal court held an Oregon county liable for damages for holding an inmate beyond her release date at the request of immigration authorities, hundreds of cities and counties around the country stopped complying with many immigration hold requests.

Later that year, then-President Barack Obama ended the Secure Communities program, creating a new jail program that focused only on inmates convicted of “significant” criminal offenses or who posed a danger to public safety.

The return of Secure Communities could mean that California sheriffs would have to choose between state law and federal law.

Los Angeles County and Orange County sheriff’s officials said Wednesday that the president’s executive order likely won’t have any immediate effect on how they do business.

Federal immigration agents are inside the Los Angeles County jails “almost on a daily basis,” said Assistant Sheriff Kelly Harrington, head of the Sheriff’s Department’s custody division, speaking to the county Board of Supervisors earlier this month.

If the agents want access to an inmate, sheriff’s officials vet the name to ensure that the person has been charged with or convicted of a serious or violent crime, in accordance with the Trust Act, Harrington said.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a statement Wednesday that Trump’s order would not “change the mission” of his department, which he said would continue to follow the Trust Act and other state immigration law.

“Our department policy clearly states that our deputies do not ask for one’s immigration status,” he said. “Immigration enforcement remains a federal responsibility.”

At the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, officials are conferring with attorneys to figure out the new landscape

“What the future looks like a few weeks out, we will talk to county counsel about. But today, nothing is changing,” said Lt. Mark Stichter, public information officer for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Neither the L.A. County nor Orange County sheriff’s departments permit their deputies to initiate contact with anyone solely on the basis of a suspected immigration violation.

Deputies cannot question a suspect about immigration status even if the person was stopped for another reason, officials from both agencies said.

“We do not conduct or participate in any immigration enforcement,” Stichter said.

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, a critic of the Trust Act who once vowed to defy the law, said in an interview Wednesday that he was still reviewing the administration’s orders and that it would take some time to sort out the implications. But he is concerned about a possible clash between the state and federal governments over immigration enforcement.

When state and federal laws aren’t in sync, he said, law enforcement is “in the crosshairs.”

“We’re trying to avoid being in the middle,” he said.

Youngblood, who worked around limits on immigration holds by letting federal immigration agents into his jails and giving them access to arrest records, said his deputies are not immigration agents and “are not in the business of immigration.” They do not ask about immigration status after an arrest.

Hiroshi Motomura, an expert in immigration law at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that despite the tough rhetoric in Wednesday’s White House announcement, there are constitutional and other legal limits on how much the federal government can punish states and cities that don’t go along with its priorities.

“The federal government can’t take over state and local governments,” Motomura said. “You have a lot of federal vehicles to facilitate cooperation by state and local governments. But there are limits on the federal government’s ability to force cooperation.”

Chris Newman, an attorney for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, was involved in legal challenges to oppose Secure Communities under the Obama administration.

He said the policies announced by Trump sounded “eerily similar” to those enacted in the first years of Obama’s presidency. Those policies, he said, led to a backlash in many communities in California, which eventually adopted the Trust Act.

Newman predicts a similar backlash in response to Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

“The idea of a return to Secure Communities combined with Trump’s racist rhetoric will likely inspire more sanctuary policies,” he said.

(Times staff writers Dakota Smith and Ruben Vives contributed to this report.)

Copyright 2017 Los Angeles Times


P1 Photo of the Week: Going above and beyond

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steven Tood snapped this photo of Officer Wayne Tolbert. Tolbert stopped to help a stranded driver in -18 degree weather with a 37 degree windchill.

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. senate passes ‘Blue Lives’ bill, House eyes alternate plan

Posted on January 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Jeff Amy Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — A bill that would double penalties for crimes targeting police officers, firefighters and medics passed the Mississippi Senate by a 37-13 vote Thursday, despite impassioned cries against it from African-American senators.

Senate Bill 2469, a "Blue Lives Matter" proposal that moves onto the House, says any crime committed against emergency personnel because of their status as police officers, firefighters or emergency medical technicians would be a hate crime. State law currently doubles penalties for targeting people because of race, ethnicity, religion or gender.

Though there have long been enhanced penalties for certain crimes against police and others, the idea that a hate crimes law could cover someone because of their occupation and not because of intrinsic qualities is a new innovation that only sprung up after shootings of police officers last year in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

"This is a response to law enforcement being shot down for nothing more than putting on their uniform and wearing the badge," said Sen. Sean Tindell, R-Gulfport, the bill's lead sponsor.

The measure drew opposition from African-American senators. Some warned they feared that police would use the heavy penalties as a shield to abuse black men.

"If we pass this law, it will only embolden those law enforcement officers who hold a grudge, who don't like people," said Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson.

There was also a general concern that supporters were trying to change the terms of the national conversation from police violence against African-Americans to supporting police.

"I think this bill is another way that you can target black males," said Sen. Barbara Blackmon, D-Canton.

She said her two teenage sons had been stopped unreasonably by police, just because they were young, black and driving nice vehicles. She said she and her husband, Rep. Ed Blackmon, had to teach their sons to be submissive to police.

"You haven't walked in our shoes," Blackmon told white senators. "You haven't experienced that. Our concern is our child making it home after having been stopped by law enforcement."

The House Judiciary B Committee sent a separate proposal to the full House Thursday. House Bill 645 would triple penalties against anyone who commits a violent crime against emergency personnel. Unlike the hate crime bill, it doesn't require prosecutors to prove intent. However, it wouldn't apply to crimes that some skeptics of the bills had worried could be used to impose harsh penalties on protesters, such as resisting arrest.


How responding officers are affected by terrorist attacks

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

Olivia Johnson
Author: Olivia Johnson

September 11, 2001, marked the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil. Since this date, attacks like the Boston Marathon bombing, the Orlando nightclub shooting, and the San Bernardino attack were so horrific we remember them like yesterday.

These domestic terror attacks are fresh in our minds because of the continual reporting of stories, sharing of graphic images, and because we are still seeking to learn from these horrific attacks to prevent future occurrences. Images capturing desperate people jumping from the Twin Towers to escape immense heat and flames to lifeless children carried from the rubble of the Murrah Federal Building in the arms of first responders can never be forgotten. They are permanently etched in our minds.

Side effects of exposure

Despite how disturbing these incidents are to those who observe from afar, these graphic images do not affect the casual viewer the same way they do those who viewed these incidents on the front lines. A once peaceful world is quickly brought into focus once an officer graduates the academy and hits the street. This reality was seen during the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013 and during the subsequent shootout with the attackers on April 19, 2013.

It is impossible to predict how the aftermath of this type of attack will affect first responders on an individual level – everyone reacts to trauma differently – but there are both short and long-term effects that can occur. These effects are physical, emotional and psychological. In fact, 20 years after the Oklahoma City Bombing, survivors are still coming forward for mental health assistance and “…nearly one in four survivors has markers for PTSD.”

The critical incident

Critical incidents are major stressors for law enforcement, according to a 2002 study on “Routine Occupational Stress and Psychological Distress in Police.”.

Yet, many officers believe they are fully prepared for whatever the streets throw at them. The truth, however, remains that there is no amount of training, education or life experience that can fully prepare an officer for critical incidents which are, according to Kulbarsh, those “… abrupt, powerful events that fall outside the range of ordinary human experiences.” These incidents have such a dynamic impact that regular coping skills no longer suffice, leaving an officer in a downward tailspin. This can seem like a dark, lonely place and can lead some to believe they are losing it or that they may never get better. Often, the officer tries desperately to fix him or herself, often believing they are suffering alone.

First responders are required to deal with death, destruction and human misery. However, there is a difference between dealing with natural versus manmade events, even if both have life-changing outcomes. Terrorists hide behind false narratives, anti-terroristic slogans and deceptive rhetoric. They believe taking the lives of the innocent is justified because of social, religious and/or political injustice. Officers, like many first responders and survivors of these attacks, are left to pick up the pieces. Sadly, many of our heroes are unaware at that moment that their own lives have been shattered in some way.

The aftermath

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the aftermath of the critical incident can present in numerous ways and in varying degrees and severities. This chart below is a compilation of common signs and symptoms associated with critical incident stress. However, this is not an exhaustive list.

Physical

Cognitive

Emotional

Behavioral

Fatigue

Uncertainty

Grief

Inability to rest

Chills

Confusion

Fear

Withdrawal

Unusual thirst

Nightmares

Guilt

Antisocial behavior

Chest pain

Poor attention and decision making ability

Intense anger

Increased alcohol consumption

Headaches

Poor concentration, memory

Apprehension and depression

Change in communications

Dizziness

Poor problem solving ability

Chronic anxiety

Loss/increase appetite

The majority of first responders exposed to a critical incident experience signs and symptoms within the first 24 hours. However, about half will not experience immediate symptomology. Rather, these officers may see noticeable changes days or even weeks after the incident. Some will even experience symptoms years after the initiating event. The lack of immediacy in symptomology can leave many confused as to what is happening or perplexed by the actual cause of the signs being presented.

The sad reality remains that even one event, like that of 9/11, leaves thousands to suffer. The aftermath still reverberates today. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, in the 15 years since the 9/11 attacks, 181 officers have lost their lives. Of these, 72 were killed at Ground Zero and 109 have passed away due to 9/11 related illnesses. The number of deaths due to 9/11 related health issues is expected to rise.

Combating terrorism is a huge undertaking and a fight that will continue for many years. However, we must not forget to protect our first responders in any way we can. Harmful exposure to these attacks can be limited by sound mental health prior to events, training in disaster preparedness, limiting on-scene exposure, maintaining adequate sleep and limiting work shifts, providing critical incident stress debriefings, and most importantly providing adequate availability to mental health practitioners and resources.


Philly mayor: Trump’s murder surge claim is insult to cops

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Larry Rosenthal Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — President Donald Trump made a misleading claim when he told Republican lawmakers Thursday that Philadelphia's murder rate has been "terribly increasing."

Last year, the city logged 277 homicides. That was a slight decline from 2015, when the city had 280 homicides.

The numbers were up from 2013 and 2014. But in previous decades the homicide totals nearly always exceeded 300, and reached 500 in 1990. The city's population has remained relatively stable over that time.

Trump's full comments at the GOP meeting were: "Here in Philadelphia, the murder rate has been steady — I mean just terribly increasing."

It is true that the 27 homicides recorded for the month through Wednesday were the highest total for January since 2012. But a single month's numbers can't be used to predict how a year will end up.

Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, called the president's statement "an insult to the men and women of the Philadelphia police force."


Trump’s tweet sends Chicago police scrambling to figure out its meaning

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jason Meisner, Annie Sweeney and Jeremy Gorner Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — The roots of Chicago's gun violence epidemic are so deep and multifaceted that experts have long said law enforcement alone can't solve it.

But in 24 characters of a tweet sent Tuesday night, President Donald Trump proposed his solution if Chicago can't reduce the violence.

"I will send in the Feds!" Trump, who campaigned on a law-and-order platform, tweeted Tuesday night in a post that also quoted data on Chicago shootings published by the Tribune this week.

What exactly the president meant by the vague missive was a matter of open debate for hours Wednesday as law enforcement agencies scrambled to read between the lines and decide how — or even if — to respond.

Was Trump talking about delivering more federal aid to the Chicago Police Department? Would he send more resources to the FBI or other federal agencies that already have been working on the problem for years? Or did he intend to send in the National Guard?

"The statement is so broad. I have no idea what he's talking about," Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.

At the White House daily briefing Wednesday afternoon, press secretary Sean Spicer sought to clarify Trump's remark, telling reporters that the president was upset about "turning on the television and seeing Americans get killed by shootings."

But Spicer gave no indication the president was close to ordering in troops.

"What he wants to do is provide the resources of the federal government, and it can span a bunch of things," Spicer said. "There's no one thing. There can be aid, if it was requested up through the governor, through the proper channels, that the federal government can provide on a law enforcement basis."

The Tuesday tweet was not the first time Trump had used his favorite social media platform to jab at Chicago's homicide rate or imply that Mayor Rahm Emanuel needed help. But it was the president's first direct comment on the issue since a stinging report from the U.S. Department of Justice released Jan. 13 that found Chicago police routinely used excessive force and violated the civil rights of citizens, particularly in the mostly minority communities that are hardest hit by violence.

In fact, the report specifically said that overly harsh policing tactics did more harm than good, making residents feel like the police were an "occupying force."

Jonathan Smith, former head of special litigation for the Justice Department, told the Tribune on Wednesday that in Chicago and other cities, federal help to combat gun violence has come in the form of a "surge" of federal agents to work on task forces with local police. But those are short-term solutions at best, he said, and bringing in the National Guard would be even more unsustainable.

"To solve a public safety problem, troops are not the answer," Smith said. "Is (Trump) going to put National Guard troops on every corner for the next two years? It's a long-term problem that needs long-term solutions."

Trump's tweet came just four days after he took the oath of office and referred back to a line from his inaugural address Friday citing the "American carnage" left behind by crime, gangs and drugs.

Last year, Chicago experienced its worst violence in two decades — with more than 4,300 people shot and 762 killed, according to official Police Department statistics. And the violence has continued at comparable levels so far in January.

The issue was being debated in a Fox News segment Tuesday night that cited numbers from a Tribune analysis of homicides and shootings. Less than an hour later, Trump tweeted: "If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible 'carnage' going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!"

The chain reaction Trump's words set off illustrated how even from the Oval Office he has continued to use social media to set his agenda, regardless of the complexity or sensitivity of the subject matter.

It seemed to catch police brass in Chicago off-guard. In an exclusive telephone interview with the Tribune on Wednesday morning, Johnson said he was baffled by the meaning of the president's words.

If it meant a mobilization of National Guard troops, Johnson said he would be opposed.

"They're not trained for this type of action," he said, noting in addition that federal troops may not have the power to make arrests.

Johnson said he does not oppose increased assistance from the federal government — whether that would mean more agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or more help geared toward youth living in Chicago's most violent neighborhoods.

"We would use (federal funding for) mentorship programs, after-school programs," he said. "Those are the things I think we can use."

Trump's tweet also prompted phones to light up Wednesday at the Chicago FBI office and the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago, where national reporters were calling seeking reaction.

In response, the Chicago FBI put out a general statement saying the agency "works closely" with state, local and federal partners "to combat violent crime."

The U.S. attorney's office had no comment.

The tweet was also being talked about Wednesday in some of Chicago's hardest-hit communities. The Rev. Marshall Hatch, who heads New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in West Garfield Park, said he'd welcome any kind of help kick-starting economic recovery. But adding more military-style policing to a neighborhood where Chicago police are already seen as aggressive and disconnected from residents would be a recipe for disaster, he said.

"We don't want martial law," Hatch said. "If the president means more resources to deal with some of the socio-economic issues, if the president means more resources with the plan to hire more police that could be part of the community, then that is the kind of help that could make sense. But not sending in the National Guard."

Although it's difficult to pull context out of a 140-character tweet, Trump's words, to some, belied the fact that "the Feds" have been deeply involved in the gun violence issue for years.

Agencies like the FBI, ATF and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration devote significant resources to going after gun offenders, often partnering with Chicago police in task forces designed to get the most violent criminals off the streets. In recent years, federal prosecutors have stepped up collaborative efforts with the Cook County state's attorney's office to determine where certain gun cases should be brought to maximize potential sentences.

But many experts warned that while smart and aggressive policing can help stem the tide for a time, in the end it's a complex social justice problem entrenched in neighborhoods where joblessness and hopelessness have existed for generations.

Since taking over as Chicago's top federal prosecutor in 2013, U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon has repeatedly tempered expectations about how much of a dent federal authorities can make with limited resources.

"We're not going to arrest our way out of the gang problem that we have in the city of Chicago," Fardon said.

Meanwhile, a report released this week that surveyed police chiefs across the country found that a "surge" of federal agents is low on the list of help they want to address violent crime. In the report, released by the Police Foundation and Major Cities Chiefs Association, "short-term surges of federal law enforcement staffing" was ranked second-to-last in a list of 17 ways the federal government could help local cops fight gun violence.

Instead, the chiefs were looking for more tools — like ballistics imaging and gun tracing — to fight crime, the report said.

The report also noted that budgets and salaries for the agencies charged with fighting crime — including the DEA and ATF — have "only grown modestly" since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, while Immigration and Customs Enforcement resources have grown considerably.

Though the White House seemed to tamp down any immediate plan to put boots on the ground in Chicago, it wouldn't be the first time that calling up the National Guard has been discussed in the face of the city's persistent gun violence.

In 2008, Gov. Rod Blagojevich said violent crime was "out of control" and "reaching epidemic proportions" in certain neighborhoods while suggesting the National Guard and Illinois State Police could help.

Two years later, when the city's homicide rate rose slightly over the previous year, two Democratic state legislators suggested Gov. Pat Quinn dispatch the National Guard to Chicago, even though the number of shootings was actually down from earlier in the decade. Quinn downplayed the idea, saying it could be counterproductive to police efforts and that local law enforcement was trained differently than military personnel.

Then-Mayor Richard M. Daley also shot down the suggestion as too simplistic.

More recently, in the wake of the brutal 2015 killing of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee, an online petition to call up the National Guard was circulated on the grass-roots website change.org that garnered thousands of signatures.

The issue was again in the news last August, the city's deadliest month in 23 years. South Side Rev. Michael Pfleger called for Gov. Bruce Rauner to declare a state of emergency due to the violence. But when a reporter suggested to Rauner that residents were in favor of troops being deployed, the governor ruled out the idea, saying that doing so would be an "emotional" reaction that "wouldn't make sense."

There's also a question of how such a deployment would take shape. Although the National Guard is deployed during natural disasters or in the event of civil unrest, it's typically at the invitation of local officials.

If Trump were to deploy troops to address Chicago's gun violence, it would be "highly unusual and almost surely unconstitutional," said Ronald Allen, a law professor at Northwestern University.

©2017 the Chicago Tribune


Secret Service agent suggests she wouldn’t ‘take a bullet’ for Trump

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By Geoff Herbert Syracuse Media Group

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Secret Service is investigating an agent who suggested she wouldn't "take a bullet" for President Donald Trump if someone tried to assassinate him.

CNN reports Kerry O'Grady, a senior agent in Denver field office, said in a series of since-deleted Facebook posts that she supported Hillary Clinton, violating a federal law that bars agents from sharing political beliefs in public.

"As a public servant for nearly 23 years, I struggle not to violate the Hatch Act. So I keep quiet and skirt the median," she wrote. "To do otherwise can be a criminal offense for those in my position. Despite the fact that I am expected to take a bullet for both sides..."

"But this world has changed and I have changed. And I would take jail time over a bullet or an endorsement for what I believe to be disaster to this country and the strong and amazing women and minorities who reside here. Hatch Act be damned. I am with Her."

According to the Denver Post, O'Grady's comments were made in October, shortly after a tape leaked with audio of Trump making lewd remarks about women. The social media posts were published by the Washington Examiner Tuesday and removed quickly afterwards from her personal page.

The Secret Service said Tuesday it was "aware of" the situation and "taking quick and appropriate action." A person familiar with the matter told CNN they were trying to determine if her comments were made while working.

"All Secret Service agents and employees are held to the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct," the agency said in a statement. "Any allegations of misconduct are taken seriously and swiftly investigated."

It's unclear whether O'Grady was ever assigned to protect Trump or anyone in his family or campaign. Secret Service agents memorably rushed to protect Trump during a speech in Reno on the final weekend before Election Day.


Border Patrol chief out day after Trump border fence decree

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Elliot Spagat and Alicia A. Caldwell Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Border Patrol chief is leaving the agency on the heels of President Donald Trump's announcement of an ambitious plan to build a massive wall at the Mexican border and hire 5,000 Border Patrol agents.

It was not immediately clear whether Mark Morgan resigned or was asked to leave.

Customs and Border Protection said Thursday that Morgan's last official day in office will be Tuesday. But a U.S. official and a former official said Border Patrol agents were told Thursday that Morgan was no longer with the agency.

The U.S. official wasn't authorized to discuss the move before a public announcement and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The former official asked not to be identified before a government announcement.

Morgan was named to the post in June and took office in October. The former FBI agent briefly led the internal affairs department at the Border Patrol's parent agency before heading the agency of roughly 20,000 agents.

Morgan leaves office only seven months after being named the first outsider to lead the agency since it was founded in 1924.

From the start, he clashed with the Border Patrol's union, which endorsed Trump early and forcefully during the presidential campaign. The National Border Patrol Council had advocated for an insider to lead the agency and sharply criticized Morgan at almost every turn.

The former official said Morgan was not at work yesterday and did not attend a gathering at the Homeland Security Department with Trump and newly appointed Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

During that visit Trump singled out the union's president, Brandon Judd, while pointedly avoiding mention of Morgan. Judd served on Trump's transition team.

The union was incensed when Morgan told a Senate hearing Dec. 1, in response to a question from Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., that he supported a comprehensive immigration overhaul, which is often interpreted to include a path to citizenship for people who are in the country illegally. Morgan clarified his remarks in a note to Border Patrol staff the following week.

"I want to be clear what my position is regarding immigration reform," Morgan wrote. "I do not, as some have suggested, support what is often referred to as 'blanket amnesty.' This assertion could not be further from my position. I encourage everyone to listen to my testimony."

Despite pressure from the union, many agency officials said Morgan appeared to embrace the job. Less than a week ago, the first message on his new Twitter account read, "Chief Morgan here -- excited to use this account to share the latest news and events of the #BorderPatrol with followers."


Top court reviews free speech case of man’s anti-police rap

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mark Scolforo Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania's highest court is reviewing the conviction of a Pittsburgh man for making threats against police in a rap song after he was charged with drug offenses.

The Supreme Court on Monday said it would take up an appeal by Jamal Knox, who argues his song, which was briefly posted online, is protected by the right to free speech. Knox wants the court to set aside his convictions for witness intimidation and making terroristic threats.

"Just because a police officer arrests you, doesn't mean you are stripped of any free speech ability to say, 'Wait a minute, that officer did me wrong, and here's why I think so,'" Knox's lawyer Patrick K. Nightingale said Tuesday.

The Allegheny County district attorney's office, which declined comment for this story, told Superior Court last year the song "was not mere political hyperbole but, rather, the sort of 'true threat' that is not protected by the First Amendment."

The case began with an April 2012 traffic stop in the city's East Liberty section, when Knox, now 22, drove away after telling an officer he did not have a valid driver's license. Following a chase in which he hit a parked car and a fence, police found 15 bags of heroin and $1,500 on Knox and a stolen, loaded gun in the vehicle.

Seven months later, an officer came across the video online, performed by Knox under the name "Mayhem Mal" of the "Ghetto Superstar Committee" with co-defendant Rashee Beasley — and accompanied by photos of them both. Knox and Beasley posted another video in which they said they wrote the song.

The title is a vulgar three-word phrase that ends, "the Police."

A transcript shows the lyrics taunt two officers involved in Knox's arrest and bring up the name of Richard Poplawski, who's currently on death row for the shootings deaths of three Pittsburgh police officers in 2009.

The song starts with "If y'all want beef we can beef/I got artillery to shake the ... streets," and uses the two officers' last names. A verse sung by Beasley says he has a "clip filled to the tippy top wit some cop killas," and boasts that "like Poplawski I'm strapped naste."

Knox's lawyers argued that he did not post it online himself nor did he intend for it to be published. The video was taken down from YouTube after three days.

The two officers identified in the song were provided with additional security protections.

Knox's lawyers argued to Superior Court that the question of whether the song is protected free speech or a criminal threat "could hardly be of more substantial importance; it is perhaps the most salient issue of our time."

They said Knox's objective in creating the song, which they described as "political hyperbole-laced," was not to intimidate the police officers. Rather, they said, he was trying to engage in therapy for anger management, to express political speech in protest of social injustice, to spread news to the community and to advance his artistic career.

A judge convicted Knox, in relation to the video, of two counts of witness intimidation and two counts of terroristic threats. His sentence on all counts, including drug charges, was two to six years in prison. He was paroled from state prison last month.

Prosecutors have dismissed the argument that Knox and Beasley were engaged in works along the lines of Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes.

"He does not ... cite to any works of Ms. Angelou or Mr. Hughes — or any other artist, for that matter — in which they threatened to murder in his home a named police officer who had a pending a case against them," the DA's office told Superior Court.


Mont. panel changes bill to restrict release of mug shots

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By Matt Volz Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. — A Montana legislative panel on Wednesday took a bill backed by police and news media to clarify that mug shots are public information and amended it to do just the opposite.

The House Judiciary Committee changed the measure to bar the release of booking photographs until a person is convicted of a crime. The photos could be released before conviction only if a judge considers it necessary or the accused consents to the release, according to the amendment.

Committee Chairman Alan Doane, R-Bloomfield, compared the release of mug shots when a person is arrested to "revenge porn," or the dissemination of sexual images without consent.

"I've seen people's lives ruined over this," Doane said. "I think it goes against the whole concept of innocent until proven guilty. We do have that concept of freedom of the press, but I don't think we're suppressing that."

The committee approved the amendment by a 14-5 vote, then tabled the measure to give interested parties a chance to weigh in on the change.

Originally, the bill sought to change state law to include booking photographs as public criminal justice information along with arrest records, court proceedings and other information.

Current law is unclear as to whether mug shots are public information or confidential criminal justice information, which has resulted in a patchwork of policies by law enforcement agencies across the state. Until a court decision in 2015, some routinely released the photos to the media, while other did not.

In the 2015 decision, District Judge Jon Oldenburg ruled that booking photos can be released as public information. After the ruling, Gallatin County's attorney asked Attorney General Tim Fox to issue an opinion on the matter.

Fox's office declined to do so, citing the judge's ruling.

Montana Newspaper Association executive director Jim Rickman said the vast majority of counties now release booking photos, and the bill was meant to update the law for consistency.

"This amendment does entirely the opposite of the intent of the legislation and we will oppose it," Rickman said in a statement.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Frank Garner, R-Kalispell, said he also opposes the change made by the committee.

"I brought the bill because it was supported by press organizations and law enforcement," Garner said. "This definitely changes the intent. I wouldn't be able to support it."


Miss. panel advances ‘Blue Lives Matter’ bill on targeting police

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jeff Amy Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — A bill to double penalties for crimes targeting police officers, firefighters and medics — in or out of uniform — is moving ahead in the Mississippi Senate.

The Judiciary A Committee decided with a voice vote over some opposition Tuesday to send Senate Bill 2469 to the full Senate.

The proposal says any crime committed against emergency personnel because of their status as police officers, firefighters or emergency medical technicians would be a hate crime, under the same state law that already doubles penalties for targeting people because of race, ethnicity, religion or gender — but does not cover crimes targeting gay, lesbian or transgender people.

Committee Chairman Sean Tindell, R- Gulfport, said the "Blue Lives Matter" measure is needed after police were shot in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, apparently by people aggrieved over how police were treating African American men.

"I think this is the perfect avenue to protect our law enforcement and tell people that it you target them, we're going to come down on you," Tindell said.

Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, both Republicans, support the measure.

After the meeting, Tindell said he didn't know of any incidents where police had been targeted in Mississippi.

The committee rejected an amendment by Sen. Chad McMahan, R-Guntown, which would have limited the enhanced penalties to crimes committed against personnel in uniform, which he said would prevent off-duty officers from abusing the law, say, if they simply get into a fist-fight with someone.

The committee also rejected an amendment by Sen. Barbara Blackmon, D-Canton, which would have made it a hate crime for a police officer to kill someone in violation of official procedures. Blackmon argued that Mississippi needs to do more to protect black people from being targeted by police.

"We want to give them, under color of law, enhanced protection," Blackmon said of police officers. "But when they do wrong, under color of law, we won't penalize them."

Erik Fleming, chief lobbyist for the Mississippi chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the group wants to make sure people won't be subject to enhanced penalties for verbal disputes with police during protests.

"It's unnecessary, but if it's going to pass, it should have First Amendment protections and it should be only for uniformed officers," Fleming said.

Tindell said political protesters will be able to show juries they had no hateful intent, limiting its use by prosecutors in such cases.


Fla. woman accused of throwing tampon at cop

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A Florida woman has been charged after police say she hit an officer with a tampon.

Local news outlets report that 28-year-old Tacora Fields was arrested and charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.

A police report says Fields was involved in a fight when a St. Petersburg police officer responded.

Police say Fields threatened to hit the officer with her tampon. Authorities say Fields then removed the feminine hygiene product and threw it at the officer, hitting him in the shoulder.

Police say Fields tried to flee the scene, but the officer used a stun gun on her and she was taken into custody. It's unclear if she has an attorney.


Bond set for driver in Cleveland officer’s hit-and-run death

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mark Gillispie Associated Press

CLEVELAND — The driver accused in the fatal hit-and-run of a Cleveland patrolman kept his hands clasped in front of his face Thursday while a judge set a $500,000 bond in Cleveland Municipal Court.

Israel Alvarez, 44, of Lorain, is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and failing to stop after a fatal accident in the death of 39-year-old Patrolman David Fahey. Fahey was struck Tuesday morning while setting down flares to close lanes on Interstate 90 after an earlier fatal accident.

Alvarez did not enter a plea Thursday. It's expected that he'll be assigned an attorney at a hearing next week. A public defender in the courtroom on Thursday said Alvarez has five children, including a 10-day-old, and has worked as a construction laborer the last five years.

A prosecutor asked the judge for a high bond because of Alvarez's criminal past, noting that Alvarez had just been released from probation in Lorain County in December. Court records show he pleaded guilty in 2015 to drug trafficking, heroin possession and other charges.

A court affidavit filed in court Wednesday by a Cleveland police accident investigator said Alvarez disregarded emergency lights on numerous vehicles when he struck Fahey at more than 60 mph in the high-speed lane of the interstate. Alvarez's badly damaged car was found several hours later by a Department of Homeland Security agent in the rear driveway of Alvarez's father's home in Lorain, about 30 miles west of Cleveland. He was arrested outside the home at gunpoint.

Cleveland police officers brought Fahey's handcuffs from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office to use on Alvarez.

Fahey joined the Cleveland police department in July 2014. His Facebook page says he previously served in the U.S. Navy as an aviation boatswain mate and then worked as an emergency medical technician for a private ambulance company and a technician at the Cleveland Clinic. Fahey's mother and stepfather are retired Cleveland police officers. His brother joined the department in 2013.

Cleveland.com has reported that Fahey's father was killed by a hit-and-run driver on a highway exit ramp near downtown Cleveland in 1978. The news site reported that the 21-year-old David Fahey Sr. had stopped to help a co-worker change a tire when he was struck by a motorist who sped off.

A viewing for Fahey is scheduled Friday at Chambers Funeral Home in North Olmsted. A funeral Mass is scheduled for Saturday at Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church in Cleveland.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has ordered flags flown at half-staff at the Statehouse and Cuyahoga County buildings on Saturday to honor Fahey.


Attorneys release body cam footage of viral Texas incident

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Claudia Lauer Associated Press

DALLAS — Bodycam footage from a white Fort Worth police officer who was suspended for wrestling a black woman and her daughter to the ground appears to show the officer using his foot to push a 15-year-old girl into a police car.

The footage was provided Thursday to The Associated Press from attorneys representing Jacqueline Craig, who had called police last month to report that a neighbor choked her 7-year-old son for allegedly littering in his yard. One of her daughters videoed the interactions between Craig and Officer William Martin and posted it online. The neighbor was not charged in the incident.

The Fort Worth Police Department has denied media requests to release Martin's bodycam footage, and a department spokesman didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday morning. But the audio of the bodycam video, reviewed by The Associated Press, matches the audio of the Facebook video posted by Craig's family.

Craig's attorney, Lee Merritt, said in an email that he had received the bodycam video from a trusted source whom he declined to identify.

"Under the laws of the State of Texas, the attorneys for the Craig family are legally entitled to the complete investigative file, records and recordings of this incident and any officers involved. The FWPD have denied and/or delayed several requests from our office in providing this information," Merritt wrote.

The footage also depicts Martin's conversation with Craig and one of her daughters after he places them in the back of a patrol vehicle.

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"Here's the deal. When somebody's under arrest, if anybody interferes, they go to jail too," Martin told them.

"Well, I don't know this. I'm 15 years old," Craig's daughter replied.

Craig responds: "He got mad at me for saying what I said. That's why he did it. But it's all recorded, it's all recorded."

Martin served a 10-day suspension and has since returned to work. He is appealing his suspension with the city's Civil Service Commission.

A disciplinary report submitted to the commission said Martin violated department policy by using excessive force and failing to thoroughly investigate. Other findings included neglect of duty, being discourteous to the public and conduct prejudicial to good order.

Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said earlier this month that Martin violated policy and is sorry for his behavior. Fitzgerald said he has asked Martin, who will also be required to undergo additional training, to go back into the same community "to repair relationships."


2 Miss. deputies wounded in shootout; suspect dead

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jeff Clark The Sun Herald

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — A DeSoto County sheriff's deputy hit in the chest during a shootout with a robbery suspect Wednesday night is expected to make a "full recovery," according to DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco. A second officer was shot in the foot and is also expected to be fine.

Meanwhile, the suspect involved in the shootout with authorities at a Southaven grocery store was killed in the exchange of gunfire, authorities said.

Speaking at a midnight news conference outside the Regional Medical Center, Rasco said the officer seriously wounded received damage to the lungs and other organs and was in surgery, but doctors expected him to recover.

That deputy, a K-9 officer with the department, and the other officer, a patrol sergeant, were shot while confronting a robbery suspect at the Kroger behind Heartland Church on Stateline Road near Interstate 55 in Southaven about 9:30 p.m. Neither the officers nor the suspect were immediately identified.

Rasco said one of the wounded deputies joined the sheriff's department about 6 1/2 years ago, the other, about 8 1/2 years ago.

The officer struck in the chest was hit in an area not protected by his bullet-proof vet, Rasco said.

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Please keep our deputies in your thoughts and prayers. They put their lives on the line every day and every night, so...

Posted by DeSoto County Sheriff's Department on Thursday, January 26, 2017

No information was immediately available about the suspect, but District Attorney John Champion said prior to the midnight press conference that the suspect committed three violent robberies in Horn Lake and Southaven.

Champion said he heard it started with a carjacking in Memphis but could not confirm that information. He said the deputies found a man matching the suspect's description at the Kroger and confronted him. That's when the shooting occurred.

"They were very, very brave," Champion said of the deputies.

Several North Mississippi law enforcement officers converged on the hospital to show their support. Memphis police were also at The Med.

The shootings are the latest in a rash of crimes in DeSoto County and North Mississippi in recent weeks. Champion expressed concern over the rising violent crimes last week during a press conference regarding armed robberies of Little Caesar's pizza locations in Horn Lake and Batesville, Miss. Champion said those robberies were among seven violent incidents last week in his judicial district. Days earlier, Olive Branch police called a press conference to announce the arrest of three suspects in a CVS pharmacy robbery.

It's been unusually violent throughout Memphis' suburban communities. Germantown police captured two burglary suspects Monday after a morning-long manhunt in a neighborhood of the city. The two, Jaylin Pritchard, 19, George Casper Jinkins, 21, both of Memphis, were charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated burglary, theft of property over $1,000, possessing a firearm during commission or attempt to commit a dangerous felony and evading arrest.

Bartlett police arrested a man in connection with a shooting during an apparent car sale at Stage and Barltett Boulevard earlier Wednesday.

Rasco was clear in his message Wednesday night: "We're going to make sure you don't come back to DeSoto County. We (law enforcement) all deal with same people. Just because there's a state line doesn't mean anything. But we will come after you if you come to DeSoto County."

Copyright 2017 The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.


‘Sanctuary cities’ undaunted by Trump move to cut funding

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Gene Johnson Associated Press

SEATTLE — Politicians in New York, Seattle and other "sanctuary cities" that protect immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally declared Wednesday they won't be intimidated by a move by President Donald Trump to cut off millions in federal funding to such communities.

Many cities vowed legal action, arguing that the threatened punishment would be unconstitutional. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh promised to let immigrants who feel threatened by the administration's actions take shelter in City Hall if necessary.

"This city will not be bullied by this administration," Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said, adding that he instructed city departments to rework their budgets to prepare for the possibility that federal dollars could be lost. "We believe we have the rule of law and the courts on our side."

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee called Trump's executive orders on immigration mean-spirited and unnecessary. California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, tweeted: "See you in court."

In New York, Trump's hometown, city officials said the administration's action could take away over $150 million in law enforcement funding mainly for counterterrorism efforts, protecting international missions and dignitaries and, arguably, safeguarding Trump Tower, city officials said.

"Here in New York City and in cities across this nation, this order could in fact undermine public safety," Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Wednesday evening â?? a concern echoed by District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser.

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While there is no formal definition of the term "sanctuary city," it generally refers to jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration officials.

In some cases, these cities tell police not to inquire about the immigration status of those they encounter, or they decline requests from immigration officials to keep defendants in custody while they await deportation.

Others say they do cooperate with such "detainer" requests as long as they're backed by court-issued warrants, but won't allow local officers to enforce federal immigration law.

Advocates say such noncooperation policies protect people who may not have exhausted their rights to apply for U.S. residency. They also say that crime victims and witnesses are more likely to cooperate with police if they are not afraid of being deported.

"We're not going to sacrifice any of our folks here in Providence," said Jorge Elorza, the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island. "My job is to represent every single resident in the city of Providence, and we will continue to do that."

Supporters of a crackdown on sanctuary cities point to cases like the fatal shooting of Kate Steinle in 2015 on a San Francisco pier. A man who had been previously deported and had been released by local law enforcement was charged in her death.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the Trump administration is going to "strip federal grant money from the sanctuary states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants."

Trump signed an executive order that appeared more limited than that. It referred to withholding Justice Department and Homeland Security funds from only those jurisdictions that bar local officials from communicating with federal authorities about someone's immigration status.

Peter L. Markowitz, a professor at Cardozo Law School in New York, said such an attempt to cut off funding would face strong legal challenges.

"The Constitution prohibits the president from defunding jurisdictions that won't do his bidding," Markowitz said. "There's nothing in federal law that requires localities or states to participate in federal immigration enforcement. Second, the Constitution grants Congress â?? not the president â?? the power to determine how federal dollars are spent."

In California, local law enforcement officials are barred from holding immigrants arrested on lesser crimes for deportation purposes.

More than 100 immigration rights advocates crowded on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, holding signs that said "Undocumented & Unafraid" and "Don't let hate Trump our values."

"When we know that there is a violation of human rights here, this is where we excel," San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer said to cheers. "This is where we lead the nation and we say, 'We will not back down and we will stand up for what we believe is right.'"

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Associated Press writers Steve LeBlanc in Boston; Kasey Jones in Baltimore; Janie Har in San Francisco; Chris Grygiel in Seattle; Amy Taxin in Santa Ana, California; Deepti Hajela and Jennifer Peltz in New York; David Porter in Newark, New Jersey; and Matt O'Brien in Providence, Rhode Island, contributed.


Affidavit: Couple intended to kill Texas officers when they set house on fire

Posted on January 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Ngan Ho San Angelo Standard-Times

SAN ANGELO, Texas — A couple arrested after confronting police officers who responded to a house fire on San Angelo's north side set the fire with the intent of killing police who responded, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Texas Rangers have identified husband and wife Gary Ray Wright and Brenda Joyce Wright as the suspects involved in the fiery shooting standoff with San Angelo police on Friday January 13.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit in the case, the couple intended to go out with bang by killing police officers because of a grievance they had with the San Angelo Police Department.

"Brenda Joyce Wright detailed how she and her husband had become frustrated with life," the affidavit stated. "The couple was dissatisfied over how a recent traffic accident had been investigated with the San Angelo Police Department. The couple viewed this as the 'last straw' and decided to put into motion a plan the couple had been planning for several weeks."

The wife and husband plotted to set their house on fire, summon police to their residence and then kill officers as they responded, according to the affidavit.

Brenda Joyce Wright, 60, told detectives that she armed herself with a shotgun, hid in the bathroom next to a window and waited with the intention to kill any officers who would come into range, the affidavit stated.

She was unable to carry out her plan because of heavy smoke from the house fire.

Her husband, Gary Ray Wright, said in the 911 phone call to summon police that he intended to cause a standoff with law enforcement and kill police, according to the affidavit, and asked for the neighborhood to be evacuated.

Gary Ray Wright, 67, had called a local television news station, KLST, before communicating with dispatch, to announce his plans and asked the news director to have reporters bring cameras to the scene.

Police arrived shortly before noon and encountered Gary Wright, who was armed with a rifle, and his wife near the front of their home in the 1200 block East 21st Street, according to the affidavit. Wright ignored police instructions to drop the rifle, and officers shot him. Both the husband and wife were taken to Shannon Medical Center.

Shannon would not release any information on Wright's condition late Monday afternoon.

The Rangers indicated Tuesday morning that an investigation is ongoing and no further information can be released.

There was significant fire damage to the front and back of the house.

Brenda Joyce Wright was arrested the same day and charged with attempted capital murder, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison. She remains at the Tom Green County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.


NYPD to install bullet-resistant windows in all patrol cars

Posted on January 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — In an effort to combat ambush killings of officers in their vehicles, Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to install bullet-resistant glass in all patrol cars.

The New York Post reported the city decided to implement the new glass after the 2014 killing of two NYPD officers sitting in their patrol vehicles and the killing of Officer Brian Moore in an unmarked patrol car.

“This is about having the backs of our men and women in blue who, with courage and commitment, don the uniform every day to protect and serve,” City Hall spokesman Austin Finan said. “This investment is our commitment to ensuring the safety of those officers on the beat.”

According to the publication, NYPD began a window pilot program in 2016. The glass protects the back portion of the both the driver and passenger-side windows, but doesn’t allow the windows to be rolled down.

The city allocated $6.8 million in July to install the bullet-resistant panels that protected the doors, but weren’t ready to sign off on the window inserts.

Now, they have approved the spending of $10.4 million to install the windows in all patrol cars.


70-year veteran cop to young cops: ‘Watch your back’

Posted on January 25, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

FORT WORTH, Texas — A 70-year law enforcement veteran has words of advice for young officers: Watch your back when you’re on the street.

Deputy Bill Hardin, who turns 94 in March, said he’s learned from his years in law enforcement that it doesn’t matter who’s inside the uniform; the uniform is the only thing people see.

“I don’t understand why … every time you get out on the street, you’re a target,” Hardin told CBS DFW.

Hardin spent most of his 40 years with the Fort Worth Police Department. He also spent eight years with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department. Now, he serves as a Johnson County sheriff’s deputy - where he’s worked for 24 years.

According to the news station, Hardin is the oldest officer in Texas and has been on the force longer than any other cop.

“As long as I can make a contribution, how little or how much, it makes me feel good,” he told the publication.

He said that despite being confronted by armed suspects multiple times, he’s never fired his service revolver.

Although he hasn’t set on a date, Hardin is looking to retire soon. But wants to offer advice to young officers who are facing dangers he didn’t experience when he began.

“All I’d say is, watch your back.”


Trump warns he’s ready to ‘send in the Feds’ to Chicago

Posted on January 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Don Babwin Associated Press

CHICAGO — President Donald Trump says he's ready to "send in the Feds" if Chicago can't reduce its homicide problem, and the city's police superintendent says he is "more than willing" to work with the federal government to combat the violence.

Trump tweeted Tuesday night: "If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible 'carnage' going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!"

In response to the president's tweet, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson reiterated that the city is receptive to assistance from the Department of Justice, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. He also repeated that city officials have sought a "boost" in federal prosecution rates for gun crimes in Chicago since homicide figures spiked.

Trump's tweet came a day after Mayor Rahm Emanuel criticized Trump for worrying about the size of the crowd at his inauguration. Emanuel, a longtime political ally of former President Barack Obama, has acknowledged his own frustration with Chicago's crime rate.

The figures cited by Trump are the same as those published Monday in the Chicago Tribune. The tweet was posted about the time Tuesday evening that the figures were cited on Fox television's "O'Reilly Factor."

The numbers were slightly different from the latest tally by the Chicago Police Department. As of Tuesday, police said, 234 people have been shot in 2017, including 38 who died. At this point last year, 227 people had been shot, including 33 deaths.

Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi explained that the department's numbers are slightly different because they do not include officer-involved shootings, shootings that were considered "justified," such as those that were in self-defense, and shootings that were investigated by state police because they occurred on expressways.

It appears that the president's numbers for homicides came from the county's medical examiner's office, Guglielmi said.

Earlier this month, before he took office, Trump tweeted that Emanuel should ask for federal help if he isn't able to bring down the homicide rate. Last year, the death toll soared to 762 — the most killings in the city in nearly two decades and more than New York and Los Angeles combined.

In Tuesday's tweet, Trump did not offer specifics about how the federal government could help. The White House website says: "Our country needs more law enforcement, more community engagement and more effective policing."

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat, criticized Trump, suggesting in a statement that the president, whom he called the "tweeter-in-chief," would "rather spend his time on Twitter" than look for ways to reduce gun violence.

"The president wants publicity and to be seen beating up on Democratic elected officials and appearing hostile to a big city like Chicago in the eyes of his suburban and rural voters," Gutierrez said, adding that he does not believe the president "will do anything constructive to get cheap handguns off the streets of American cities."


Trump moving forward with border wall, weighs cuts to sanctuary cities

Posted on January 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Julie Pace, Vivian Salama, Rachel Zoll Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will use his executive authority Wednesday to jumpstart construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall, one of his signature campaign promises. He is also expected to target so-called sanctuary cities and potentially restrict the flow of refugees to the United States, according to administration officials.

The president will sign the first actions — including the measure authorizing work on the wall —during a trip to the Department of Homeland Security Wednesday afternoon. He'll also move to increase the number of border patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Trump, in an interview Wednesday with ABC News, said he expected construction of the wall to begin within months. U.S. taxpayers are expected to pay for the upfront costs, though Trump continues to assert that Mexico will reimburse the money through unspecified means.

"There will be a payment, it will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form," Trump said, adding that negotiations with Mexico would begin soon. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has insisted his country will not pay for a wall, is to meet with Trump at the White House next week.

The president is said to still be weighing the details of plans to curb the number of refugees coming to the U.S. The current proposal includes at least a four-month halt on all refugee admissions, as well as a temporary ban on people coming from some Muslim-majority countries, according to a source from a public policy organization that monitors refugee issues. The person was briefed on the details of that proposed action by a government official and outlined the plan to The Associated Press.

The officials and the public policy organization source insisted on anonymity in order to outline the plans ahead of the president's official announcements.

Trump campaigned on pledges to tighten U.S. immigration policies, including strengthening border security and stemming the flow of refugees. His call for a border wall was among his most popular proposals with supporters, who often broke out in chants of "build that wall" during rallies.

In response to terrorism concerns, Trump controversially called for halting entry to the U.S. from Muslim countries. He later turned to a focus on "extreme vetting" for those coming from countries with terrorism ties.

While the specifics of Trump's orders were unclear, both administration officials said Wednesday's actions would focus in part on the president's plans to construct a wall along the southern border with Mexico. He's also expected to move forward with plans to curb funding for cities that don't arrest or detain immigrants living in the U.S. illegally — localities dubbed "sanctuary" cities — which could cost individual jurisdictions millions of dollars.

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In claiming authority to build a wall, Trump may rely on a 2006 law that authorized several hundred miles of fencing along the 2,000-mile frontier. That bill led to the construction of about 700 miles of various kinds of fencing designed to block both vehicles and pedestrians.

The Secure Fence Act was signed by then-President George W. Bush, and the majority of that fencing in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California was built before he left office. The last remnants were completed after President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

The Trump administration also must adhere to a decades-old border treaty with Mexico that limits where and how structures can be built along the border. The 1970 treaty requires that structures cannot disrupt the flow of the rivers, which define the U.S.-Mexico border along Texas and 24 miles in Arizona, according to The International Boundary and Water Commission, a joint U.S.-Mexican agency that administers the treaty.

InsideGov | Graphiq

Other executive actions expected Wednesday include ending what Republicans have labeled a catch-and-release system at the border. Currently, some immigrants caught crossing the border illegally are released and given notices to report back to immigration officials at a later date.

If Trump's actions result in those caught being immediately jailed, the administration would have to grapple with how to pay for additional jail space and what to do with children caught crossing the border with their parents.

It appeared as though the refugee restrictions were still being finalized. The person briefed on the proposals said they included a ban on entry to the U.S. for at least 30 days from countries including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, though the person cautioned the details could still change.

There is also likely to be an exception for those fleeing religious persecution if their religion is a minority in their country. That exception could cover Christians fleeing Muslim-majority nations.

As president, Trump can use an executive order to halt refugee processing. Bush used that same power in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Refugee security vetting was reviewed and the process was restarted several months later.

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Ariz. man who saved trooper: ‘I had to help’

Posted on January 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Astrid Galvan Associated Press

PHOENIX — The man who fatally shot a suspect beating an Arizona state trooper said Tuesday that he doesn't consider himself a hero and he's grappling with taking someone's life.

Thomas Yoxall, of Arizona, gave his account of the dramatic Jan. 12 encounter between the now-dead suspect and the state trooper. Yoxall had not been previously identified.

The 43-year-old cried and his legs shook while he recounted killing Leonard Pennelas-Escobar, who was beating Trooper Edward Andersson "in a savage way" after having shot him.

"To be honest with you, it was very visceral and instinctive. I had to help. I knew I had to help. So there wasn't an option for me," Yoxall said during a news conference at Department of Public Safety offices in Phoenix.

DPS officials say Pennelas-Escobar had been in a single-car wreck that killed his girlfriend on Interstate 10 outside of Phoenix when Andersson arrived. Andersson was putting out flares after coming across the crash when Pennelas-Escobar ambushed him, shooting him in the shoulder and chest before beating him.

Yoxall said he has no military or police training, but is a responsible gun owner. He pulled over when he saw the two men.

Yoxall said Pennelas-Escobar ignored his commands to get off the trooper and that he did what he had to do.

"I firmly believe that that morning I was put there... by God," Yoxall said. "It's difficult to think about that day still."

Yoxall flagged down another driver, 44-year-old Brian Schober, for help. Schober says he used Andersson's radio to call for help and used a first-aid kit from the trooper's car to clean blood from his head.

Andersson is recovering but will require more surgeries.

Yoxall, a maintenance supervisor and aspiring photojournalist, says he talks often with his pastor and is working to move on from the traumatic encounter.

DPS Director Col. Frank Milstead said he was grateful for Yoxall's quick actions.

"I'm humbled to have met him and to know what he did because we're having this conversation about a hero and not about an on-duty death," Milstead said.


Ga. police officer driving to training killed in crash

Posted on January 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

WADLEY, Ga. — A police officer died in a car crash while driving to certification training Monday morning.

Wadley Officer Lawrence Thomas Forrest, 37, was killed in the two-vehicle crash around 6:40 a.m., the Statesboro Herald reported. Officer Forrest was pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver, Alpeshkumaar Patel, was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.

Officer Forrest is survived by his fiancee and two sons. Funeral arrangements are pending and an investigation is ongoing.


Suspect in Fla. officer’s killing curses judge, again

Posted on January 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mike Schneider Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — A suspect charged with murder in the deaths of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police officer cursed at a judge during a brief first appearance for a misdemeanor charge.

Markeith Loyd uttered the expletive after the judge set a bond of $500 for the charge of resisting arrest without violence during a Wednesday morning hearing.

The 41-year-old Loyd won't be bonding out since another Florida judge set no bond for two first-degree murder counts.

During two court appearances last week for those charges, Loyd also cursed and interrupted the judge.

Loyd, said "I'm here for what?" after the judge read the charge and set the bond during Wednesday's hearing, which lasted about a minute.

The misdemeanor charge stems from Loyd's Jan. 17 arrest after a manhunt that lasted more than a week.


Maine officer saved by ballistic vest during shootout

Posted on January 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Portland Press Herald

WALDOBORO, Maine — A Waldoboro man was killed in a shootout with police early Sunday that also injured an officer.

Officer John Lash exchanged gunfire with an occupant of the home at 81 River Bend Road, who was identified as Jon M. Alspaugh, 57. The shootout erupted inside the residence, and Alspaugh was mortally wounded, police said.

Waldoboro Police Chief Bill Labombarde said Sunday night that Lash was shot in his upper torso but was probably spared more serious injury because he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Lash and another officer, Sgt. Jamie Wilson, were called to the home around 1 a.m. Sunday to investigate the report of a domestic disturbance.

“I can’t get into those kinds of details,” Labombarde said when asked to explain the nature of the disturbance.

Labombarde said that two other people were in the home with Alspaugh when the shootout occurred. They were not injured.

A neighbor told WCSH-TV that Alspaugh lived in the home with his wife and his mother-in-law.

“To find out what happened this morning, it is surprising. … They’ve always been nice, seemed like a good couple. Never had any issues with them,” Joshua Smith told the Portland television station.

Lash’s bulletproof vest absorbed the shot, but he was taken to the Miles Campus of LincolnHealth, a health care center in Damariscotta, where he was checked out by doctors and released a short time later, according to the police chief.

As is standard procedure in police-involved shootings, Lash, who has been employed by the police department for three years, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Maine Attorney General’s Office to determine if the shooting was justified. Labombarde said Wilson was not placed on leave.

The Attorney General’s Office said Sunday night that there have been 73 officer-involved shootings in Maine since 2007, including one involving Gregori Jackson, an 18-year-old man who was shot and killed by Waldoboro police Officer Zachary Curtis on Sept. 23, 2007. The AG’s Office ruled that Curtis’ use of deadly force was justified.

Of the 73 officer-involved shootings, 36 resulted in the death of an individual, according to figures supplied by the AG’s Office.

There were six officer-involved shootings in 2016, including two that resulted in death.

According to The Courier-Gazette, Alspaugh was assistant director of the Rockland wastewater treatment plant. The newspaper quoted City Manager Audra Caler Bell as saying that Alspaugh was hired by the city last year.

The home where the shooting occurred is located at the end of a long dirt road, off Route 32. The Courier-Gazette reported that the home is owned by Alspaugh’s mother-in-law. The family has lived in Waldoboro for about 17 years.

Investigators told the Rockland newspaper that Alspaugh did not have a criminal record. Police had not been called to the property before Sunday’s shooting.

Waldoboro police said in a news release that the Attorney General’s Office and Maine State Police are handling the investigation of the shootout.

___ (c)2017 the Portland Press Herald (Portland, Maine)


Alaska lawmaker proposes gun bill after airport shooting

Posted on January 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Becky Bohrer Associated Press

JUNEAU, Alaska — A deadly airport shooting in Florida has helped spur a bill in Alaska that would allow authorities to temporarily take away guns from people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.

The proposal, from Rep. Geran Tarr, an Anchorage Democrat, was introduced after the Jan. 6 attack at a Florida airport that killed five and wounded six others. The alleged gunman, Esteban Santiago, is from Anchorage.

"I want family members to feel empowered to speak up and say something and hopefully, maybe, we can prevent the next violent thing from happening," Tarr told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Tarr said she had been looking for ways to address violence in her district when the Florida shooting happened. The bill was introduced Monday.

Authorities said that in November, Santiago went to the FBI office in Anchorage and made disjointed comments about mind control. He was taken in for a mental health evaluation and released after several days. The gun he'd had in his vehicle when he went to the FBI office was later returned to him. Authorities said it was the same gun used in the airport shooting spree.

The bill would let immediate family members or police seek protective orders against those believed to be a danger to themselves or others by having access to a gun. Depending on the type of order, a person could be barred from having or attempting to buy a gun or ammunition from three days to as long as six months, though it could be dissolved earlier.

Under the bill, once an order is issued, the person would have to surrender any guns and ammunition the person has or sell them to a gun dealer. Surrendered items would be returned once an order expires.

It's unclear whether the bill will gain traction. House Minority Leader Charisse Millett, an Anchorage Republican, wanted to learn more about the bill before commenting, minority spokeswoman Mallory Walser said by text message.

The National Rifle Association and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence did not immediately return messages seeking comment Tuesday.

California and Connecticut have gun violence protection order laws, said Jon Griffin, a program principal with the National Conference of State Legislatures. In an email Tuesday, he said bills on the topic were proposed or carried over in at least six states last year but none passed.

Tarr, whose brother killed himself, said high standards would have to be met to prove someone was a danger to themselves or others and she doesn't see the potential for abuse.

But along with efforts like this, she said there needs to be attention on expanding mental health services and access to counseling. The state doesn't have enough treatment beds, she said.

She credits expanded Medicaid coverage with helping people with behavioral health issues receive access to services.

"You definitely have to come at this from all angles," she said.


How self-awareness can improve a police officer’s personal relationship

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Althea Olson and Mike Wasilewski
Author: Althea Olson and Mike Wasilewski

The dawn of the New Year is traditionally a time for critical self-reflection. Along with the hope that accompanies it, we pause to assess the past, plan the future and reflect on needed changes and how to achieve them. Healthy self-awareness means knowing both where we excel and all the ways we fall short. It is our efforts to correct past failings that form the foundations of serious change.

Most of us tend to focus on areas of life we are able to fix through the simple addition of good behaviors or subtraction of bad – our diet, health habits, exercising more– or deciding to take on new experiences and greater challenges to enrich our lives. There is nothing wrong with any of these types of resolutions. Encouraging positive change in these areas is a staple of our column and we know how important and difficult it is to sustain them. But sometimes the areas we need to examine and work on are deeper and more important than whether we get to the gym enough or choose healthy lunches over the convenience of fast food. Sometimes self-reflection needs to be more about our character and habits toward others, and in particular, those with whom we are closest.

Law enforcement can be hard on relationships and this is especially true between you and your significant other. The demands of a challenging career on any relationship are tough. But the demands and stresses of the law enforcement profession creates peculiar – if somewhat predictable – difficulties. No matter how tight your bond, how long you’ve been together or how successful the relationship, its quality and strength can suffer when bad habits, complacency or the changing pressures of life overwhelm good choices toward each other. So, going into 2017, we’ll focus on how to go deeper in our self-reflection and resolve to protect and strengthen our primary relationship.

Go looking for trouble

When looking inward at our relationship(s) it is easiest to focus on what’s obviously working, rest on past success and assume all is well. Of course, that happens to be the essence of complacency. In order to accurately assess the overall health of your relationship, it’s necessary to look deeper, reflect on where you’ve slipped or gotten lazy, ask your partner for honest – even painful – feedback and uncover the uncomfortable. In a way, you have to go looking for trouble.

Dr. John Gottman and his wife, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, are possibly the most respected and well-known experts in the field of couples therapy. At The Gottman Institute in Seattle, they have been researching relationships and what makes some work and others fail for more than 30 years. From these studies they develop tools for therapists.

From their research, the Gottmans have identified several dysfunctions commonly found in ailing relationships. In examining your own relationship you’ll not just want to emphasize what you still do well but also where symptoms of trouble are starting to show.

Low ratio of positive to negative interactions

Even in conflict, successful couples generally remain positive in how they speak and relate to one another; in fact, the ratio of positive to negative interactions in word, deed and reaction to each other will be at least 5:1. Far better is a ratio of close to 20:1. Among couples in unstable, failing relationships that ratio has been found to be around 0.8:1. Successful couples know to isolate and manage conflict, maintain positive feelings about one another even when angry or frustrated, and work to exhibit kindness and concern. Troubled and failing relationships hemorrhage negativity.

Escalation of negativity

The Gottmans refer to the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” to describe four characteristics common to dying relationships. Being in conflict is normal, and feeling and expressing anger and hurt are a part of it, but the “Four Horsemen” – criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling – signal an often fatal escalation of the negativity.

Are your fights civil, productive and with the goal of strengthening the relationship, or have any of the “Four Horseman” begun to make an appearance? If they have, it is absolutely necessary you oust them now and make efforts to make positivity your default position even in conflict.

Emotional disengagement and withdrawal

The absence of negative affect during conflict, or positive affect whether during conflict or not, is indicative of emotional disengagement and withdrawal. Being unable or unwilling to engage emotionally may mean you’ve already left the relationship, even if you still occupy the same space physically.

Do you still turn to one another emotionally with conversation, joking and laughter, seeking and giving support and making time with one another a top and regular priority? Or have you withdrawn into yourselves, even if unintentionally?

Failing of repair attempts

According to the Gottmans, “The goal of therapy ought not to be helping couples to avoid fights, even ones that are painful and alienating. Nor should it be helping couples to avoid hurting one another’s feelings… Instead, the goal ought to be to help couples process these inevitable fights… and to be able to repair the relationship.”

All couples will have issues about which they disagree, and virtually all will argue and fight over them, but successful couples quickly repair the relationship, soothe any hurt feelings, and know that disagreements are inevitable and something from which to grow. But when normal repair attempts fail, the hurt is too deep, or efforts are no longer attempted, the relationship is in serious trouble.

Negative sentiment override

Negative sentiment override is a serious symptom requiring urgent attention. NSO is present when one or both of the partners “habitually perceive interactions with their partner with a ‘negative subtext.’” Neutral and even attempts at positive interactions are misperceived as negative or as an attack. This happens when at least one of the partners has come to see only negative qualities or intent in the other, attributing them to “lasting, negative personality traits or character flaws.”

Once NSO has taken root even the most well-intentioned efforts will be seen in a negative or malicious light. Defensiveness becomes the default state of one or both partners as the relationship is increasingly perceived as emotionally dangerous.

Chronic diffuse physiological arousal

Chronic diffuse physiological arousal is a condition with a wide range of general symptoms usually experienced when faced with a threat and experienced as a constant state of hyperawareness and anxiety. Our most important relationships should never be the cause, but often are.

When attempts by one partner to raise concerns or introduce conflict are felt by the other as overwhelming or emotionally dangerous, they experience heightened physiological arousal common to maintaining constant vigilance against threats. Not unlike PTSD, this can lead to a fight or flight response contrary to a safe, happy, successful relationship.

You and your partner should be a source of safety to each other. Instead, do either of you live in fear of the next emotional attack, waiting for the next conflict and planning what to do or where to retreat when it comes? Such living is not only emotionally unhealthy, it also manifests itself in physical ailments, and no relationship can survive this level of strain.

The failure of men to accept influence from their women

This next warning is directed at our male readers, and all men should evaluate how they do. In successful heterosexual couples, women wield significant influence with their men, and the men accept and welcome influence from their women. Failing or refusing to accept influence from women leaves them feeling disrespected and eventually disengaged. A lot of men are quite comfortable with an arrangement where they hold the power, making decisions without hindrance or question or needing to weigh other points-of-view. Eventually, though, they are likely to see their partner emotionally disengage or rebel.

So men, do you accept influence from your women, or do you ignore or minimize her influence in favor of your independence?

Seeing all that is good and working in a relationship is extremely important to maintaining positive feelings toward one another, but awareness of problem areas is just as important. When you go for a physical your doctor is looking not just for what is right but poking, prodding, and asking questions to find what might be wrong or need further examination. Looking for and focusing on symptoms is essential to catch problems early. The same applies to our relationships. Start 2017 by making sure all is in order at home.


What cops need to know about TASER use, the Fourth Amendment and excessive use of force

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Mike Callahan
Author: Mike Callahan

It should come as no surprise to law enforcement officers that civil rights lawsuits directed against patrol officers, their superior officers and their municipalities regarding TASER deployment continue to be filed in multiple federal courts of appeal across America. Some of the most recent cases are worthy of examination and close scrutiny. By analyzing these cases, we can glean constitutional guidance concerning when the use of a TASER is lawfully appropriate and when it is constitutionally excessive.

Scenario 1: TASER use, minor offense, no active resistance

In Yates v. Terry, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling against a North Charleston, South Carolina officer who was accused of using excessive force by means of a TASER against Brian Yates. Yates passed the officer, who was in his police cruiser in a stationary position. The officer pulled out, activated his lights and pulled Yates over in a gas station parking lot. The case does not make clear why the officer pulled Yates over.

The officer approached Yates and requested his driver’s license. Yates responded that he did not have his license, but did have his military identification (Yates was a sergeant in the Army). The officer opened Yates’ car door, forced Yates out of the car and told him to place his hands on the car. Yates complied and was told he was under arrest. Yates asked for an explanation, but none was provided. Yates turned his head to the left and the officer deployed his TASER in the “probe” mode. The court explained, “In probe mode, two probes are fired from a distance, attached to electrical wires, to lodge in the skin of the subject.”

The TASER delivers a five-second cycle of electricity (50,000 volts) designed to override the central nervous system, disabling the subject. Yates fell to the ground, and the TASER was deployed again while Yates remained on the ground. While still on the ground, Yates told his brother – who was standing nearby – to call the officer’s commanding officer and reached for his cell phone. He was TASERed a third time.

Yates was handcuffed when other officers arrived and charged with excessive noise violation, no license in his possession and disorderly conduct. All charges were subsequently dismissed. Yates sued the officer and alleged that the use of the TASER in these circumstances amounted to excessive force. Both the Federal District Court Judge and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Yates that excessive force was used.

The Fourth Circuit examined the factors articulated by the United States Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor. These include the severity of the crime, the immediacy of the threat to officers or others and whether the suspect was resisting arrest or attempting to flee. The Fourth Circuit noted that the infractions that Yates was arrested for were at best minor and non-violent. The Fourth Circuit ruled that Yates represented no threat to the officer’s safety at the time the TASER was first deployed or during the second and third TASER deployments. The Fourth Circuit also determined that Yates was not resisting or attempting to flee during the TASER deployments.

The Fourth Circuit explained that “’deploying a TASER is a serious use of force that is designed to inflict a painful and frightening blow,’” (Armstrong v. Pinehurst, 810 F.3d 892, 902 (4th Cir. 2016)). The Fourth Circuit ruled that a TASER “may only be deployed when a police officer is confronted with an exigency that creates an immediate safety risk that is reasonably likely to be cured by using the TASER.” Here there was no immediate safety risk in play. Moreover, the offense was nonviolent and there was no resistance or attempt to flee.

Scenario 2: TASER use, minor offense, active resistance

In Lash v. Lemke, U.S. Park Police entered an encampment of the so-called “Occupy D.C.” movement in Washington D.C. to warn protestors that they would be enforcing anti-camping regulations the next day. Their entrance was met with hostility. Ryan Lash, a protestor, challenged the officers’ right to enter; used profanity and tore down signs the officers had posted. Lash walked away and the officers followed. Lash loudly protested the fact that officers were following him and continued to walk away and proclaim his innocence.

An officer seized Lash’s arms from the rear. Lash pulled his arms away and held them in front of his body. He continued to walk away. The officer once again sought to restrain Lash from behind. Lash again pulled his arms away. Two officers grabbed each of his arms, but Lash resisted and continued to struggle. A third officer deployed her TASER. Lash fell to the ground and was handcuffed. He was subsequently charged with disorderly conduct.

Lash sued the officer who deployed the TASER for excessive force and her supervisor for failure to supervise. The Federal District Court ruled in favor of the officers and the Federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed. In reaching its decision, the Circuit Court had the advantage of viewing videotape of Lash’s arrest. With the help of the videotape, the court quickly rejected Lash’s claims that he submitted to arrest as soon as he understood that the officers were trying to arrest him. The court observed, “No matter what Lash claims now, we know to a certainty that he resisted arrest because we can see him doing so.”

The court examined existing case law and concluded that the TASER use in this instance did not violate clearly established Fourth Amendment law. The court explained that “there is no clearly established right for a suspect who actively resists and refuses to be handcuffed to be free from a Taser application,” (Goodwin v. City of Painesville, 781 F.3d 314, 325 (6th Cir. 2015)). The court cited numerous other Federal Circuit opinions to support its conclusion, specifically, Abbott v. Sangamon County, Ill., 705 F.3d 706, 727 (7th Cir. 2013); Hagans v. Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, 695 F.3d 505, 509-510 (6th Cir. 2012); DeBoise v. Taser International Inc., 760 F.3d 892, 897 (8th Cir. 2014); Buchanan v. Gulfport Police Dept., 530 Fed. Appx 307, 314 (5th Cir. 2013).

Scenario 3: TASER use, active resistance, lawful at outset, excessive during deployment

In Meyers v. Baltimore County, officers were called to a domestic disturbance which involved Ryan Meyers hitting his father and brother and taking refuge inside his home. Officers were informed upon arrival that Ryan was bipolar and had mental health problems. Officers could see Ryan inside the residence holding a baseball bat. Officers tried to talk him into surrendering without success. They were able to enter the home with the assistance of the family. Ryan was ordered to drop the bat but refused. One officer deployed his TASER to no effect. Ryan took two steps toward the police with the bat. The TASER was deployed a second time and Ryan dropped the bat but continued forward. A third deployment of the TASER resulted in Ryan dropping to the floor. Three officers sat on his back. At this point, Ryan was TASERed a fourth time. The officer then switched the TASER into stun mode and applied it six more times during a little more than a minute. Ryan entered into cardiac arrest and died. An excessive force lawsuit followed.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the first three deployments of the TASER were constitutionally reasonable. The court explained that at the time of these deployments, “Ryan was acting erratically, was holding a baseball bat that he did not relinquish until after he received the second shock and was advancing toward the officers until the third shock caused him to fall to the ground.” The court determined that he “posed an immediate threat to the officer’s safety and was actively resisting arrest.”

Conversely, the court ruled that the remaining seven TASER deployments amounted to excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The court explained that “after Ryan fell to the floor, he was no longer actively resisting arrest, and did not pose a continuing threat to the officer’s safety, yet, Officer … TASERed Ryan until he was unconscious.” This, in the court’s view, was an “unnecessary, gratuitous, and disproportionate [use of] force to seize a secured, unarmed citizen.”

This review establishes some basic principles regarding the use of the TASER:

The deployment of the Taser is considered by the federal courts to be a “serious use of force” that is designed to inflict a “painful and frightening blow.” The TASER should not be deployed in cases involving minor offenses and in the absence of active physical resistance. The TASER may be constitutionally deployed, even in cases involving minor offenses, when the subject presents active physical resistance that amounts to an immediate safety risk to officers attempting arrest. Use of a TASER to bring an actively resisting suspect under control is entirely appropriate. However, TASER deployment must immediately cease at the moment the subject no longer represents an immediate threat to the arresting officers. For additional case law, review Smalls v. Town of South Boston, (Case No. 4:15-cv-00017) (U.S.D.C., W.D. VA, Danville Division). In Smalls, an officer’s first five deployments of the TASER upon an actively resisting subject were appropriate. However, deployments six through 11 were unconstitutionally excessive.

Okla. officer killed in head-on crash

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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The Oklahoman

STROUD, Okla. — A police officer with the Sac and Fox Nation was killed Tuesday morning in a wreck, tribal officials said.

Officer Nathan Graves, 45, was involved in a wreck on State Highway 99, about 11 miles north of Stroud, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

“Today our flags are flying at half-staff to honor the loss of Sac and Fox Nation Tribal Police Officer Nathan Graves,” said Principal Chief Kay Rhoads of the Sac and Fox Nation in a news release.

“Officer Graves was killed in a head-on auto accident early this morning while on patrol. The matter is currently under investigation but at this time we are mourning the passing of Nathan and expressing our deepest thoughts and prayers to his wife Janet and family,” Rhoads said.

Sac and Fox Nation Police Chief Bob Roberts said Graves had a “distinguished career as an officer of the law for the Sac and Fox Nation Police Department as well as an officer for the Stroud Police Department.”

A GoFund me page has been set up for Graves. Those wishing to donate toward his funeral expenses can go here.

No other information about the wreck was released as of Tuesday afternoon.

©2017 The Oklahoman


Slain Fla. lieutenant’s family won’t receive same benefits as fallen deputy

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

ORLANDO, Fla. — The families of a lieutenant who was fatally shot while approaching a suspect and a deputy who was killed in a crash while pursuing her killer will receive starkly different pension benefits.

Because Lt. Debra Clayton placed her money in the city’s pension and not the state’s, her family will only receive 60 percent of her annual salary, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

However, because Deputy Norman Lewis, who was killed in a motorcycle crash while pursuing suspect Markieth Loyd, had a pension plan with the state, his family will receive his full annual salary.

The state passed a law last year, called the Scott Pine Bill, which allows the spouse or primary beneficiary of a fallen officer to receive 100 percent of state pension benefits.

Matt Puckett, executive director of the Florida Police Benevolent Association, said the association has tried to apply the new law to city pensions as well, but were denied by the League of Cities, who said benefits should be negotiated at local levels.

"I think it is unfair," Puckett told the publication. "I understand where League of Cities is coming from, but it's really easy to state your position when you aren't talking to a family member of a fallen officer."

Former State Sen. Jeremy Ring, who sponsored the Pine bill, said it never addressed officers with city pensions because they are under collective bargaining at the local level.

Both officers have GoFundMe accounts set up to help their families with expenses — as of Friday, Clayton's had about $60,000 raised, while Lewis' had more than $40,000.


Mont. cops display mezuzah after neo-Nazis threaten Jewish community

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WHITEFISH, Mont. — As a sign of solidarity with Jewish residents, the Whitefish Police Department hung a mezuzah on the agency’s door.

According to JPUpdates.com, Rabbi Adam Scheier requested Police Chief William Dial place the symbol of protection and faith in the Jewish culture on his office door on Jan. 18.

“He said, ‘No, I won’t put it on my office door. I want to put it in a more central location, where everyone will see it,’” Scheier wrote on Facebook. “So we put it outside a door that every police officer passes upon entering the station.”

The publication reported that neo-Nazi website founder and editor Andrew Anglin called for an armed march “troll storm” in December after Jewish residents allegedly pressured alt-right founder Richard Spencer’s mom to close one of her businesses.

The march was indefinitely postponed due to a lack of permit. But Jewish members of the community received a string online threats in the weeks that followed Anglin’s call for a march, according to Forward.com.

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The police station in Whitefish, Montana, now has a mezuzah on its door. Last week, I was in Jerusalem when the idea...

Posted by Adam Scheier on Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Ore. protesters demand firing of police chief or they’ll ‘shut down city’

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. — Demonstrators protesting President Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday said police incited violence with flash bangs and pepper spray when they tried to cross a bridge.

Direct Action Alliance Spokesperson Jacob Bureros told KOIN 6 that the group wants Police Chief Mike Marshman fired because of the alleged excessive force.

“They created a confrontation where there didn’t need to be a confrontation and a lot of people got hurt because of it,” Bureros said.

Police said the protesters threw “rocks, bottles, flares and unknowns liquids” at police.

The group said if the mayor doesn’t fire Marshman by Tuesday night, they’ll “shut down the city” Wednesday.

“A decentralized, citywide occupation of squares, shutting down bridges, shutting down intersections, whatever it may be,” Bureros told the news station. “And it’s going to last for a very long time until the city takes responsibility for what happened that night.”


Fla. cops surprise boy at police-themed birthday party

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CLEARWATER, Fla. — When Tiffany Barnaky called the Clearwater Police Department two weeks ago to invite an officer to her son’s birthday party, she never imagined how many cops would show up.

"He [the PIO] said, as long as the world behaves itself, someone would come by," Barnaky told ABC News. "Four officers were able to come by. We were completely blown away."

Barnaky said her son, Brody, has admired police since last year, and any time he meets one, he shows photos of his policeman Halloween costume.

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Here's one version of the Brody birthday surprise story making the rounds out there.

Posted by Clearwater Police Department on Monday, January 23, 2017

The officers showed up to surprise Brody at his police-themed party, gifting him with a police flag and an “Officer Brody” shirt.

"They were the nicest men. They were so good with the kids,” Barnaky said. “They took them out to the cars, hugged [Brody], they compared muscles, they were absolutely the sweetest officers. The fact that they all wanted to come and do that was just amazing."

The officers let Brody use the PA system and gave him a tour of their patrol cars.

"I think that's why he's fallen in love with them," she said. "The importance of their job to protect the community is what we're showing him. That's why he wants to be a police officer."

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It's not always a bad thing when police officers crash a party. Just ask 4-year-old Brody, who is a big fan of the men...

Posted by Clearwater Police Department on Sunday, January 22, 2017


Photos: NY cop finds success moonlighting as lingerie, swimsuit model

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By Nicole Fuller Newsday

FREEPORT, NY — The Freeport mayor is throwing his support behind a village cop who moonlights as a lingerie and bathing suit model.

Freeport Police Officer Samantha Sepulveda, a seven-year veteran of the force, also has 119,000 followers on the photo app Instagram, where she posts pictures of herself in bras and underwear.

In a statement Sunday, Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy called Sepulveda a “well-respected” officer.

A photo posted by *OFFICIAL*Samantha Sepulveda™? (@sammysep) on

“Samantha appropriately executes her responsibilities as a law enforcement officer and is well-respected by the community and peers,” Kennedy said. “Many police officers have legal businesses and Officer Sepulveda is entitled to the same opportunity.”

Sepulveda, 32, said Sunday that she started modeling about three years ago and that police brass and her colleagues have long been aware of her racy shots posted online.

She said some residents have made disparaging remarks and she had one stalker, but her fellow cops in the 100-sworn-member department have been supportive.

Criminals can’t wait to be arrested by this sexy cop https://t.co/wABQ4MTnyi pic.twitter.com/PqamwuW1EF

— New York Post (@nypost) January 23, 2017

“I see it as I’m their little sister,” she said of the mostly older officers, whom she conceded probably comment privately among themselves on her second job.

“Behind my back, sure,” she said.

When told about the mayor’s thumbs-up, she responded: “Wow, he’s a rock star.”

Sepulveda, who was paid $165,830 by the village in 2015, said her work schedule as a Freeport cop — 12-hour days about 15 days out of the month — allows her to take part in photo shoots and runway shows on her days off from chasing bad guys.

A photo posted by *OFFICIAL*Samantha Sepulveda™? (@sammysep) on

But she doesn’t plan to give up her day job for modeling.

“I wouldn’t leave my police job for it,” said Sepulveda. “It’s fun. What girl doesn’t want to dress up and look pretty? But it’s not as fulfilling as saving lives and impacting people on a personal level. I like that I can do both.”

A photo posted by *OFFICIAL*Samantha Sepulveda™? (@sammysep) on

©2017 Newsday


Rapper Soulja Boy charged with possessing handgun stolen from police

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Scott Schwebke The Orange County Register

LOS ANGELES — Rapper Soulja Boy was charged Monday on suspicion of illegally possessing firearms including a handgun at one time stolen from the Huntington Beach Police Department, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The 25-year-old rapper, whose real name is DeAndre Cortez Way, pleaded not guilty on Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The Studio City resident faces up to four years in prison if convicted of two felony weapons-possession counts, and a misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property.

Way was arrested at his home on Dec. 15 after police found him in possession of a Mini Draco AR-15, and a Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun that had been reported stolen from a Huntington Beach police vehicle, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Michael Morse said.

The Glock was taken from the trunk of an officer’s unmarked vehicle parked outside of his Long Beach home in September 2015, Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy said Monday. Handy declined to identify the officer or comment further on the burglary because of the ongoing investigation involving Way.

Although officers are permitted to take weapons home, they must keep them secure or face consequences, Handy said. The loss or theft of a Police Department-issued firearm usually results in discipline against the officer unless there are extenuating circumstances.

“There are very few circumstances where losing a weapon would be OK,” Handy said.

Law enforcement officers must lock up their guns left in unattended vehicles or face fines of $1,000, under a bill signed in September by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The new law – which had been in the works for months and puts officers in the same camp as civilians in storing weapons – came a day after a Register investigation found that at least 329 police firearms were reported lost or stolen from Southern California law-enforcement agencies during the past five years.

The gun in the Way case was among the weapons reported in the Register investigation.

On Dec. 18, 2014, Way was sentenced to two years of probation after a conviction of carrying a loaded firearm in a public place, according to The Associated Press.

He is best known for his September 2007 debut single, Crank That (Soulja Boy), that peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.


Video shows Bengals’ Adam Jones verbally assault cop: ‘I hope you die’

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By Brent Axe Syracuse Media Group

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bengals apologized on Monday night for the conduct of cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones that was recorded in a police video released to the media.

Cincinnati police released a video on Monday showing Jones' behavior in the back seat of a police car as he was taken to jail on Jan.3. Jones asks what charges he's facing and when he's told two misdemeanors, he uses a stream of profanity and racial slurs toward the police officers.

At one point, Jones tells one of the offers that "I hope you die tomorrow."

Jones also appears to repeatedly spit on the floor or seat of the police car. He also tells the officer he would "spit on your ass if I could." According to court documents, Jones later did spit on a female nurse who was trying to examine him.

Jones' language is so vulgar in the video that the Bengals issued an apology -- a rare move for the team that usually avoids comment while a player's case goes through the court system.

"We are extremely disappointed with Adam's behavior," the team said. "The behavior in the video is not what we expect from our players. The club is aware that Adam has put forth his own apology. However, we also offer an apology to the public and to our loyal fans."

The NFL could suspend Jones for the start of next season under its player conduct policy. Jones has been suspended repeatedly during his career.

His case took an unexpected turn when Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said that he was waiting to see how the NFL reacted to Jones' arrest before deciding how to proceed. As a result, Jones' case was continued until Feb. 10. The police video released on Monday could factor into Deters' decision about whether to prosecute Jones.

In addition to misdemeanor charges over the altercation at the hotel, Jones faces charges that he head-butted police and spit on a nurse at the jail after his arrest. The sheriff's office -- which runs the jail -- said Jones was so combative that he had to be placed in a restraint chair.

The former West Virginia star was the sixth overall pick in the 2005 draft, expected to help anchor Tennessee's defense for many years. His off-field problems started with a strip club melee in Las Vegas in 2007. He pleaded the equivalent of no contest to a misdemeanor charge.

Jones was blamed for instigating violence that led to someone else shooting two club employees, one of whom was left paralyzed from the waist down. He was ordered to pay more than $12.4 million in damages. The NFL suspended Jones for the 2007 season.

He was traded to the Cowboys, and was suspended again in 2009 for six games over an alcohol-related altercation with a bodyguard that the Cowboys provided.

Bengals owner Mike Brown decided to give him another chance, signing him as a free agent before the 2010 season. Jones played in at least 14 games over each of the past five seasons, becoming one of the Bengals' top cornerbacks and kick returners. He was chosen for the Pro Bowl as an alternate in 2015.

While in Cincinnati, he was involved in several court cases.

Jones was acquitted in 2013 on an assault charge in Hamilton County after a woman accused him of punching her in a nightclub. Earlier that year, he paid a fine for disorderly conduct after police accused him of making offensive comments during a traffic stop. He also pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in January 2012 after an arrest at a Cincinnati bar.


Digital Evidence Management—all about security

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By QueTel

This article is provided by QueTel.com and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of PoliceOne.

Few question the overwhelming impact that digital evidence has made on law enforcement in the 21st Century. It started with point and shoot digital cameras and in car video cameras and has reached an apex with body worn cameras, smart phones, and wireless surveillance videos. Because digital files from these sources is essential evidence, careful attention must be paid to ensure its integrity. Lacking attention to digital evidence integrity leaves the door open to challenge, by a clever defense attorney.

At the heart of ensuring integrity is storing, images, videos, and voice recordings. You can store digital evidence on DVDs. You can store it on your desktop. Alternatively, you can store it on a folder on a server. Many agencies store digital evidence in their records management system.

At the end of the day, however, the legal concern will only be satisfied, if the processes for handling a file, from recording, storing, and sharing, support its unimpeachable integrity. Is digital evidence merely stored, or is it carefully "managed?" What has to happen, to help the prosecutor respond to a defense attorney who asks: "How do I know the files you gave me in discovery are original and untouched?" The answer to these questions is managing each file through a gauntlet of tests—the core of a digital management system.

It must be able to verify that what is stored and has not been Photo shopped or edited using a tool such as Adobe Premier prior to upload in the source memory.

Any copy routine runs a check sum that all of the bytes copied were received. The system should do more than count because bytes may be corrupted without changing the count. It should assure that every byte, copied with 100% accuracy.

The system should be constructed, so that no user can directly access a file. The software should employ means to allow only indirect access through intermediary software.

This leaves open the possibility of access by a rogue IT technician, so the software should expose or prevent such access, preferably without performance degrading encryption of the stored files.

Of course access to the software should be protected by password protected privileges.

Then there are issues of sharing files. How do you prove to the defense attorney and the court that the shared are true copies of the verified original?

If your digital evidence management software anticipates and deals effectively with all of these issues and answers to these questions, you can help your prosecutor hold defense attorneys at bay.


Cleveland officer dies after being hit by car; suspect at large

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

CLEVELAND — An officer who was struck by a car while directing traffic died Tuesday.

Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis told Cleveland.com that the officer was directing traffic away from a previous crash when a white Toyota Camry struck him.

The driver fled and police said the car likely has front-end damage. The car has a gray stripe on both sides and a spoiler on the back. It has a partial license plate of GTD.

Investigators are still searching for the suspect.

“Turn yourself in or we will find you,” Police Chief Calvin Williams said in a press conference.

A person involved in the previous crash died as well, police said.

The officer was hit less than a mile away from where Trooper Kenneth Velez was fatally struck by a car in September, according to the publication.

Photos of the vehicle involved in this morning's hit-skip accident. PLEASE SHARE. pic.twitter.com/Ledm1Rf5sO

— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) January 24, 2017


Suspect arrested in hit-and-run death of Cleveland officer

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

CLEVELAND — Authorities arrested a man Tuesday in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of Cleveland Officer David Fahey.

Israel Alvarez, 44, was arrested at gunpoint after police discovered the car at his ex-girlfriend’s house, Cleveland.com reported.

After SWAT responded to the home, Alvarez surrendered and was arrested. He was handcuffed with Fahey's cuffs.

Israel Alvarez, 44, was arrested for the death of Officer David Fahey. https://t.co/xLdDvPyCbH pic.twitter.com/qhjqSxsOqF

— WKYC Channel 3 News (@wkyc) January 24, 2017

Police told the publication that a Homeland Security Agent spotted the car after police put out a description of the vehicle.

Fahey was killed while directing traffic away from a previous accident Tuesday morning.

Alvarez is held on suspicion of aggravated vehicular homicide and felony hit-skip.

BREAKING: Driver arrested in I-90 hit-skip that killed Cleveland officer identified as Israel Alvarez, 44. https://t.co/QxD1rrrFqf

— News 5 Cleveland (@WEWS) January 24, 2017 (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Dozens of officers pay their respects to Cleveland Police Officer David Fahey as he's escorted to the Medical Examiner's Office.

Posted by Fox 8 News on Tuesday, January 24, 2017


NY sheriff’s detective ambushed in patrol car; manhunt underway

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By Catie O'Toole Syracuse Media Group

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — An Onondaga County sheriff's detective conducting surveillance outside Springfield Garden Apartments in DeWitt was injured Monday night from glass that shattered as two males opened fire on his patrol vehicle, Onondaga County sheriff's Sgt. Jon Seeber said.

The on-duty, undercover detective was sitting in his unmarked patrol vehicle in a parking lot on the north side of the apartment complex on Caton Drive at 6:28 p.m. Monday when two "unknown male suspects" approached him and began firing at his vehicle, Seeber said.

Glass shattered as bullets from what appeared to be handguns sprayed the police vehicle, police said.

"When you have two figures walking up to your car and it's dark out, it's hard to make out the suspects," Seeber said. "The incident was very quick."

The detective, whose name was not released, was alone in the patrol vehicle at the time, Seeber said. He immediately radioed into Onondaga County 911 to say his patrol vehicle had been shot at approximately 10 times, according to a 911 dispatcher.

The bullets narrowly missed the detective, who works with the sheriff's Special Investigations Unit, Seeber said. However, glass that shattered from the patrol vehicle as the shots rang out hit him.

An ambulance, escorted by two police cars, rushed the detective to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. His injuries are minor, Seeber said.

"We're very fortunate he wasn't seriously injured," Seeber said.

The suspects were last seen running south through the parking lot, behind building 24 on Caton Drive, according to 911.

For three hours Monday night, dozens of police officers scoured the area around Springfield Garden Apartments, near Le Moyne College.

"A perimeter was set up and streets were closed," Seeber said. "We asked residents to stay inside."

The sheriff's office Tweeted about the shooting Monday night, letting the public know "numerous law enforcement officials are on the scene of a shooting near the Springfield Garden Apartments. We ask residents to stay inside."

Le Moyne College also warned students to avoid the area around the apartments after the shooting. The college sent two emails to students and other members of the college community after receiving reports of shots fired, college spokesman Joe Della Posta said. He said the college wasn't on a lock down, but one Le Moyne College student said security and staff in her dormitory would not allow anyone out of the building. Students on the lower floors also were told to go to higher floors in the dorm.

Campus security also could be seen in the parking lots along the outer perimeter of the college. They were there to make sure no one entered the area where police were investigating, Seeber said.

Police searched several buildings at Springfield Garden Apartments throughout the night to make sure the two suspects weren't hiding inside.

Around 9:30 p.m., police reopened Springfield and Thompson roads, as well as Mountainview Avenue and Springfield Road, which had been closed during the manhunt, Seeber said.

Police still haven't found the two suspects, who were wearing dark clothing, he said.

"We're still investigating," Seeber said. "No one has been taken into custody."

The sheriff's office is asking anyone with information about the shooting or who witnessed it to call detectives at 315-435-3081 or send a tip via Tip 411. ___ (c)2017 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.


4 questions your potential online learning provider must be able to answer

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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

When police agencies face a budget crunch, officer training is frequently the first line item to be adversely affected. Training not only has its own costs, it also has the opportunity cost of taking police officers off the street. However, failure to train becomes a liability issue, so police departments are looking for alternative avenues to get their officers trained, but at lower costs.

One of the options trainers and administrators are turning to is online learning management systems. But because they are unfamiliar with this emerging technology, there is a risk of partnering with a vendor that is not suited to their department's personnel and needs or selecting a training system with an inferior set of features.

Here are four questions police departments should be asking as they evaluate a learning management system partner.

1. Do you have certificates of completion?

Just like in the offline world, individual officers and departments need to show proof that training has been completed. Many officers keep a binder of their training certificates, and many agencies have an administrator who maintains file cabinets full of such documents. In the online world, most providers have some option of certification — either an actual document in PDF form that can be printed out or an electronic record of course completion.

A top issue for your end users, police officers and administrators, is accessibility and availability of those training certificates. It must be easy to find and share proof that training has been completed with a host of possible stakeholders — everyone from the compliance manager at a risk pool to members of the court system.

Another issue with certificates of completion is portability of that documentation. Can an individual officer easily access their certificates and use those not only for their day job, but also to verify their training and credentials for any second job they may have which requires the same training?

2. Is your training approved for state credit?

State-approved training can vary from state to state, as well as between public safety disciplines. Some learning management system providers do have content that has been reviewed by the state oversight authority and has been approved or accredited, but some do not.

In fact, in some cases, states have simply indicated that they do not approve training courses — online or offline. Instead the state sets criteria for training and empowers a department chief or medical director, in the case of EMS training, to approve training.

As a potential purchaser, the training officer should know what the requirements are for their state and their discipline, and that can help inform them on which learning management system is right for their department. Because many departments can approve their own internally developed and locally instructed training programs it is critical to know if the training department can upload its own trainings records to the LMS.

3. Who are you working with in our state?

Just as you would seek to get the opinion of a neighboring agency when purchasing any other sort of equipment — everything from ECDs to squad cars to sidearms — administrators should ask for contacts at other departments who can testify about the learning management system solution. Here are some questions to ask those references:

How easy was it to implement the system? What is the support like when you have a problem? What do you think of the training content? How easy is it to access your certification records? Were the any unseen or unplanned fees after initial setup? 4. What is the fee structure and are there any hidden charges after setup?

Pricing structures can vary for LMS solutions. Some vendors offer multiple options to choose from. There could be an offering which is a one-time flat fee for an unlimited number of users or there could be a per-user/per-year subscription option. Some offerings have a tiered pricing structure for different levels of support after purchase (silver, gold, platinum, for example) which impact the total cost.

The key is to ensure that the vendor is completely transparent about the absolute total cost. No chief wants to get approval from the city council for the purchase of a solution, only to have to go back to those same council members in six months to say, “Well, it turns out I need some more money for the training system.”

Ultimately, the learning management system your police department selects will need the features and functionality you deem the most important. But using these questions as a guide at the start of your planning will be key to the overall success of the program.


5 biggest LMS implementation ‘fails’ (and how to avoid them)

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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

The last thing any police department trainer wants to do is to advocate for a new way of doing something, implement the change and then have the whole project blow up in their face. This is a very real possibility for training managers and department administrators who deploy the wrong learning management system for their training department.

Further, even if the perfect solution is chosen and adopted, there are numerous ways in which an LMS program can crash and burn, leaving the agency with a budgetary line item that gets insufficient results.

Here are five LMS implementation mistakes and some suggestions on how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Build an in-house, proprietary solution

Many agencies have that “one officer” who is tech savvy and has the ability to figure out just about any issue related to information technology. Envision this all-too-common scenario in which the tech savvy officer hears that the department is considering various LMS vendors for an online learning solution, and that person responds that they could easily build an in-house platform using a variety of open source technology. “I can save us a ton of money that way,” the well-meaning officer says.

Sure enough, this brilliant individual sets up a proprietary LMS on the department’s own servers. It’s up and running and whenever there is a question or a need for tech support, our eager in-house tech expert is there to help.

Then he gets promoted. Or she laterals to another department. Or he retires.

Now the agency is left holding a system nobody else knows how to run. The department is in a real bind. New users can't be added. Training records are only accessible by a super administrator. Courses that need to be updated are stuck as they were originally created.

Don’t let this be your police department. Don’t succumb to the temptation to choose the do-it-yourself, in-house solution. Instead select a learning management system with a proven track record, support documentation and customer service to train multiple people at your agency to use and the capability to scale as your department's training needs grow.

Mistake #2: Using multiple applications for training records and storage

Every agency already has a method to track training certificates to ensure their personnel are up to date on state- or department-required courses. This tracking system may be file cabinets in the HR department filled with paper certificates, or it could be some form of proprietary computer spreadsheet maintained by someone in HR.

Administrators implementing a learning management system should recognize that an LMS solution is also a training records management system. Every single training record — from defensive tactics to emergency driving and everything else in between — should be entered into the LMS, making it the agency’s centralized hub of training records.

For example, if a department requires that the SWAT team and patrol division complete a 10-hour active shooter response training involving a combination of force-on-force training and a live-fire qualification on the square range, it is essential that the records of completion be maintained in the online LMS platform, despite the fact that no element of the training took place in that environment.

If the LMS vendor does not offer the ability to enter certificates from attendance at conferences or training courses conducted in the real world, the department should move along in the search. Not having the ability to enter offline training records forces the department to maintain two records manage systems — a sure path to failure.

Mistake 3#: Make online training an optional way to earn continuing education

Having a hands-off attitude about the content in the LMS will doom the program to failure. If the department leaders really want people to use the LMS, the training managers need to assign courses and use due dates. Course completion cannot be voluntary or self-directed.

If a training manager introduces the LMS with the message, “Here’s an online training program — do with it whatever you want” they will likely find that for most personnel, “whatever you want” is doing nothing.

The person leading the program should work with the vendor to identify the very best, most compelling courses, and make those the first assignments. This allows users to immediately see the value of an online component to their training, rather than accidentally bumping into a particularly dry or tedious course which could turn them off of the concept.

Another way to assure use of the LMS is to align online training assignments with the training calendar your department has set for the month, quarter or year. Ask the LMS vendor how courses can be assigned at the start of the year for the year ahead.

Mistake #4: Letting users figure it out on their own

There needs to be multiple champions for using an LMS. In addition to the member of the command staff leading the purchasing process, there needs to be other champions. In fact, it may prove best if those champions are line-level officers who have the respect of their peers. Don't expect your personnel to simply adopt and figure out the online training system without encouragement or peer support.

Get the champions involved in the selection process if possible, so they can attest to the fact that the department chose the solution best suited to their needs. Ensure that they are very well trained on the system and are then made available to others who may have questions about how to navigate the online interface.

Mistake #5. Ignoring the reporting and records management capabilities

It’s a fail if the department waits until the end of the first year to see how the program is progressing. Set up weekly — or at the very least, monthly — reports to see who has completed courses and who is falling behind. Intervene when there are stragglers, perhaps tasking the champions to engage individuals who are not embracing the new learning tools.

By regularly checking in on the reports on the end user’s participation in the system, the training manager can help to ensure the success of the program.

Implementing a change, whether it’s a policy or a technology system, can be challenging. By avoiding these pitfalls, your police department can ensure a successful learning management system implementation and realize the expected benefits that led you to purchase the platform.


6 keys to getting personnel to use an online learning solution

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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

Every first responder knows that not all training is dynamic, hands-on work. Before (and often, after) engaging in reality-based scenario training, driver training, defensive tactics and other topics, there is a considerable amount of time spent in a classroom, watching an instructor read a PowerPoint presentation.

The fact is, most of these learning sessions can easily be taken from a classroom lecture and conducted online in a robust learning management system. This can save a police department time and money and improve the quality of the learner’s experience. Because of these savings, many departments are moving toward adoption of an online learning management system.

However, some end users resist the change. How does a training manager for a police department influence personnel to engage in the online system? Here are six proven suggestions.

1. Identify a superuser who can influence stragglers

Select an evangelist for online learning. Ideally, this is a line-level police officer who has the respect of his or her peers and has received robust training in how the system works. An evangelist believes in the value of the LMS the department has selected to implement and the benefits to individual learners. This superuser can help other individuals who have questions about everything, from navigating the user interface to accessing the most compelling content in a proactive and self-guided manner.

2. Assign courses and hold personnel accountable

Pre-determine specific assignments for the quarter or year and use automated reminders that prompt end users about deadlines and training requirements. If users are allowed to simply log on to an LMS when they have time, there is a high probability they will be scrolling a social media site instead, and their training will go unfinished. When officers are required to complete a task, they do it, even begrudgingly.

Start by assigning courses that are most likely to engage users with the training system. A recently created course on officer-down response, mass gathering safety or active-shooter tactics is more likely to make a positive first impression. Save the annual mandatory courses like bloodborne pathogens or slip and fall prevention for when personnel are more familiar with the training system and better understand its purpose.

3. Make LMS content part of the daily “routine”

Create an “every day is a training day” culture in your police department by assigning a short video each day for review during briefing. Five-minute videos can consist of a subject matter expert speaking direct to camera about a specific incident or a general concept. Videos can be scenario-based training or even real-world footage of a recent event.

Another way to create this everyday training mindset is to use the LMS to distribute memos from command staff — important documents like policies, SOPs, general order updates, incident debriefs and AG directives which are required to be read by all personnel across all public safety disciplines — in the online learning platform. Replace the old-school and ineffective practice of posting paper memos to a bulletin board or handing out at briefing by allowing personnel to read documents online.

This also allows the agency to track that the messages and documents have been read. The receipt and reading of the document is recorded in an individual's training files. This can help agencies to prove compliance on high-liability training which is required to be documented in a centralized environment.

4. Have trainers create their own custom content

Get the training cadre to add their own custom-made and blended learning curricula into the LMS platform. Remember also that the LMS can also be used to track of offline or classroom training records.

Off-the-shelf courses certainly have tremendous value, but public safety personnel tend to respond even better to training content that is unique to their jurisdiction or agency. Trainers who are able to design curricula with video of scenarios captured at recognizable places in town will have a more realistic training experience.

For example, if an agency is going to present training on how to self-apply a tourniquet with the officer's non-dominant hand, the trainer could require that a video he or she had recorded on the topic be viewed online before the hands-on practice and competency assessment session. Record the video at a location in the jurisdiction that is well-known to the officers, increasing the value of the segment.

When the officers arrive at training, that portion of the instruction has already been completed, and the learners can immediately get to work practicing that skill. In addition to saving time in the mattroom or training room, this practice encourages use of the LMS platform, and makes the end user’s experience better.

5. Train the training cadre on how to use templates for easy upload of their course assets

Don’t forget your training cadre. It is vital that the trainers be given specialized and detailed training in how to utilize the system. The better the training staff is at getting custom content into the system, the more content they will produce, thus increasing the value of the platform for the end user.

6. Encourage the training staff to have patience with the process

Just like any other change in policies and procedures, there will be individuals who enthusiastically embrace the new way of doing things. However, at least at first, there will be people who resist change and refuse — to the extent possible — to use the system. There may be a small percentage of people who complain about the new system all the way to retirement.

Training staff must not get disheartened and discontinue their work in assigning existing courses as well as creating new training content. In time, the stragglers will come around.

Recognize also that there will also be large group of personnel who are willing to use the system, but just need some direction in to get started. Don’t lose focus on the primary goal — more and better training — because of a small percentage of grumblers and foot-draggers. Focus on the majority of personnel who are willing to make the change with leadership and encouragement from the training cadre.

An online learning management system can help make any police department’s training program more effective and efficient. Remember - bring in a superuser early to gain support and maximize the use of the available feature functionality, like building your own courses. These things, along with creating that “every day is a training day” mentality, can ensure your agency sees strong utilization.


Despite new year, Chicago violence continues

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Tony Briscoe and Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Tucked into the third row of a minivan, talking on FaceTime with a friend, Angela Wojcik wasn't paying much attention to the conversation of her boyfriend and his acquaintances in the front of the vehicle as it sat parked in West Town on Sunday morning.

That was until the percussion of gunfire began shortly before 9 a.m.

"The driver was bleeding from the mouth," said Wojcik, who lives in the suburbs and spent the previous night out at various clubs in the city. Police later identified the driver as a 26-year-old man who was shot in the lip.

"It was blood over his whole face. It was so surreal," Wojcik said.

Her boyfriend, 30, was hit twice in the right calf. The front passenger, who police said was a 25-year-old man shot in the left shoulder, appeared to be in the worst condition of the three, Wojcik said.

"No one screamed," Wojcik said. "But I was FaceTiming with my friend Robert, and he was freaking out."

All three were taken to Stroger Hospital, where their conditions were stabilized, police said.

It was the second triple shooting of the morning Sunday. The other happened around 6:30 a.m.

Hours later there was another shooting with multiple victims, this one leaving four people wounded at 12:15 p.m. in the 1800 block of West 63rd Street in the Englewood neighborhood. In all, 10 people were wounded in multiple-victim shootings within less than six hours Sunday morning and early Sunday afternoon.

"We've had quite a few multiple-victim incidents this weekend," said Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago police spokesman. There were six triple shootings from Friday afternoon to early Sunday afternoon, in addition to the quadruple shooting.

The most seriously injured in the Englewood shooting was a 26-year-old man who suffered a gunshot wound to the right eye and was taken by a family member to St. Bernard Hospital before being transferred to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, police said.

The others wounded were: Another 26-year-old man, shot in the right buttocks and left foot; a 56-year-old woman, shot multiple times in the left leg; and a 48-year-old woman shot in the right hip. All three were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where their conditions were stabilized.

The four were in a convenience store when they heard gunshots and ran outside, where four armed men or boys shot them, police said. The four attackers got into a white sedan and fled the scene. No one was in custody.

In the first of the three multiple-victim attacks, three people were shot about 6:30 a.m. Sunday in the 3500 block of South Calumet Avenue in the Ida B. Wells/Darrow Homes neighborhood, according to police, correcting earlier information that the shooting happened on Rhodes Avenue. A 22-year-old man was shot in the left leg and was taken by a friend to Mercy Hospital. He was later transferred to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.

A 24-year-old man was shot in the left leg, and his condition was stabilized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. A 23-year-old woman was shot in the leg, and her condition was stabilized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

The victims weren't being cooperative, and police had no narrative information on the shooting.

Other shootings:

About 9:30 p.m., a 16-year-old boy was shot in Bridgeport. A friend took him to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the calf, and he told investigators he had been shot in the 2800 block of South Hillock Avenue. The boy's condition was stabilized.

Earlier in an attack that only injured one victim, a man was shot while driving along the 1100 block of North Lockwood Avenue about 11 a.m., police said.

He was traveling north on Lockwood in a 2014 Ford Escape when someone opened fire on his vehicle. He was shot in his left shoulder, arm and ear before crashing his vehicle in the same block, causing his SUV to overturn. He was taken to Stroger, where he was listed in stable condition, officials said. No one has been arrested in connection with the shooting and authorities continue to investigate.

The shootings come as part of a particularly violent weekend in Chicago, with 29 people shot, three fatally, in a 24-hour period from Saturday to Sunday. From Friday to Saturday, one person was killed and 14 were wounded in shootings across the city.

___ (c)2017 the Chicago Tribune


Despite new year, Chicago violence continues

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Tony Briscoe and Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Tucked into the third row of a minivan, talking on FaceTime with a friend, Angela Wojcik wasn't paying much attention to the conversation of her boyfriend and his acquaintances in the front of the vehicle as it sat parked in West Town on Sunday morning.

That was until the percussion of gunfire began shortly before 9 a.m.

"The driver was bleeding from the mouth," said Wojcik, who lives in the suburbs and spent the previous night out at various clubs in the city. Police later identified the driver as a 26-year-old man who was shot in the lip.

"It was blood over his whole face. It was so surreal," Wojcik said.

Her boyfriend, 30, was hit twice in the right calf. The front passenger, who police said was a 25-year-old man shot in the left shoulder, appeared to be in the worst condition of the three, Wojcik said.

"No one screamed," Wojcik said. "But I was FaceTiming with my friend Robert, and he was freaking out."

All three were taken to Stroger Hospital, where their conditions were stabilized, police said.

It was the second triple shooting of the morning Sunday. The other happened around 6:30 a.m.

Hours later there was another shooting with multiple victims, this one leaving four people wounded at 12:15 p.m. in the 1800 block of West 63rd Street in the Englewood neighborhood. In all, 10 people were wounded in multiple-victim shootings within less than six hours Sunday morning and early Sunday afternoon.

"We've had quite a few multiple-victim incidents this weekend," said Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago police spokesman. There were six triple shootings from Friday afternoon to early Sunday afternoon, in addition to the quadruple shooting.

The most seriously injured in the Englewood shooting was a 26-year-old man who suffered a gunshot wound to the right eye and was taken by a family member to St. Bernard Hospital before being transferred to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, police said.

The others wounded were: Another 26-year-old man, shot in the right buttocks and left foot; a 56-year-old woman, shot multiple times in the left leg; and a 48-year-old woman shot in the right hip. All three were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where their conditions were stabilized.

The four were in a convenience store when they heard gunshots and ran outside, where four armed men or boys shot them, police said. The four attackers got into a white sedan and fled the scene. No one was in custody.

In the first of the three multiple-victim attacks, three people were shot about 6:30 a.m. Sunday in the 3500 block of South Calumet Avenue in the Ida B. Wells/Darrow Homes neighborhood, according to police, correcting earlier information that the shooting happened on Rhodes Avenue. A 22-year-old man was shot in the left leg and was taken by a friend to Mercy Hospital. He was later transferred to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.

A 24-year-old man was shot in the left leg, and his condition was stabilized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. A 23-year-old woman was shot in the leg, and her condition was stabilized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

The victims weren't being cooperative, and police had no narrative information on the shooting.

Other shootings:

About 9:30 p.m., a 16-year-old boy was shot in Bridgeport. A friend took him to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the calf, and he told investigators he had been shot in the 2800 block of South Hillock Avenue. The boy's condition was stabilized.

Earlier in an attack that only injured one victim, a man was shot while driving along the 1100 block of North Lockwood Avenue about 11 a.m., police said.

He was traveling north on Lockwood in a 2014 Ford Escape when someone opened fire on his vehicle. He was shot in his left shoulder, arm and ear before crashing his vehicle in the same block, causing his SUV to overturn. He was taken to Stroger, where he was listed in stable condition, officials said. No one has been arrested in connection with the shooting and authorities continue to investigate.

The shootings come as part of a particularly violent weekend in Chicago, with 29 people shot, three fatally, in a 24-hour period from Saturday to Sunday. From Friday to Saturday, one person was killed and 14 were wounded in shootings across the city.

___ (c)2017 the Chicago Tribune


Conn. police want to invest in drones but want rules set first

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Lindsay Boyle The Day

NEW LONDON, Conn. — Across the region, police officials have big ideas about how drones could bolster residents' safety and well being.

They could spot missing people, houses with blight or uncovered manholes. They could document accident scenes from the sky. They could determine when a roof is so hot it's about to collapse, and be sent to find obstacles in tactical situations.

Few are disputing the likely value of the technology, still in its infancy. But locally, many police chiefs are waiting for state lawmakers to establish legislation concerning drone use before they invest in the technology.

"I would kind of like to have one," said Groton City police Chief Thomas Davoren, noting that it could be used to track down blight. "But the rules are changing so quickly. I would hate to invest in something and then not be able to use it."

Such legislation has been proposed in Connecticut and passed one chamber in each of the last two legislative sessions. But it's failed -- primarily because of time, not opposition -- to pass both and be signed into law.

According to David McGuire, executive director of the Connecticut chapter of the ACLU, the organization is pushing to have similar legislation proposed again this year.

"This is useful technology that can help increase public safety," McGuire said. "We in fact want police to be able to use it, but to use it appropriately without violating people's privacy."

Last year, the bill included provisions that would ban the use of weaponized drones in most situations, make police get a warrant to collect footage except during certain emergencies and give police-related organizations just more than a year to provide recommendations for policy regarding the retention of data collected by drones.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 131-14. It never made it to the Senate floor.

McGuire suggested the public should be louder about the legislation so it gets considered and passed. He said it's "a really good sign" that law enforcement officials are looking for guidance, but that police using the technology without regulations is problematic.

"Law enforcement by their nature in trying to keep us safe often push the limits," McGuire said. "We want them to vigorously defend our safety. But without meaningful rules, it's impossible to know where the lines are."

Across the state, McGuire said he knows of three police departments that are using drones: Hartford, Woodbury and Plainfield.

In Plainfield, police were able to purchase a drone with a thermal-imaging, high-resolution camera and an ability to go 60 mph solely because of a $10,000 donation, according to the Norwich Bulletin. There, police reported planning to use the drone to find missing people and document crash scenes.

But cost is not the barrier most chiefs expressed.

Groton Town police Chief Louis J. Fusaro Jr., whose 21-plus years with the state police include time in the counterterrorism and emergency services units, brought up the use of helicopters as a point of comparison. He estimated it takes between $800 and $1,500 to keep one in the air for an hour. The cost to put a drone in the air for the same amount of time?

"Peanuts," he said.

Still, Fusaro said his department hasn't discussed acquiring one. Privacy is an issue, he said, and so, too, is safety. Should a drone go out of range or run out of battery power, he explained, it could hit somebody or something on its way down.

"There are definitely advantages, but the technology is relatively new," he said. "Just like a lot of other things, the laws haven't caught up to it."

According to Stonington police Capt. Todd Olson, his department isn't planning on using a drone anytime soon.

Ledyard police Lt. Ken Creutz said his force has discussed the devices conceptually but also is waiting for policy before making any moves.

"We're relatively new here as independent police department and trying to get normal operating scenarios down smoothly before we try to introduce newer-edge technology like that," he said. "But I'm sure it will be a consideration down the road."

In Waterford, however, police Chief Brett Mahoney said his department, along with other town agencies, has seriously discussed bringing a drone on board.

Like Plainfield, Waterford is a heavily wooded town. Since police purchased ATVs years ago, Mahoney said, they've been deployed countless times -- sometimes to recover stolen vehicles, sometimes to find people who've gone missing.

Drones, he said, could expand the department's search capabilities "tenfold."

Mahoney, however, said he and others envision any drone that comes to Waterford as a town-wide asset.

In large-scale storms, emergency management officials could use the drone to map the damage and let residents know what's going on. In fires, the drone's thermal camera could warn firefighters a roof is hot and susceptible to collapse. When manhole covers are stolen for scrap, the drone could make the pollution control authority aware of it sooner.

As for privacy issues, Mahoney said Waterford's drone would be used solely "from a community safety perspective" and wouldn't be used for surveillance.

He said the department is looking for grant opportunities so the town doesn't have to foot the bill. From there, it will have to apply for licenses, get approval, set policy and then buy the equipment and train some officers and other officials.

Mahoney expects all of that will happen within the next two years.

Drones are "another thing we're going to have to deal with," Mahoney said. "If we're going to have to deal with it, we should also be allowed to take advantage of it." ___ (c)2017 The Day (New London, Conn.)


Amid violent Chicago weekend, 10 wounded in multiple-victim shootings

Posted on January 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By Tony Briscoe and Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Tucked into the third row of a minivan, talking on FaceTime with a friend, Angela Wojcik wasn't paying much attention to the conversation of her boyfriend and his acquaintances in the front of the vehicle as it sat parked in West Town on Sunday morning.

That was until the percussion of gunfire began shortly before 9 a.m.

"The driver was bleeding from the mouth," said Wojcik, who lives in the suburbs and spent the previous night out at various clubs in the city. Police later identified the driver as a 26-year-old man who was shot in the lip.

"It was blood over his whole face. It was so surreal," Wojcik said.

Her boyfriend, 30, was hit twice in the right calf. The front passenger, who police said was a 25-year-old man shot in the left shoulder, appeared to be in the worst condition of the three, Wojcik said.

"No one screamed," Wojcik said. "But I was FaceTiming with my friend Robert, and he was freaking out."

All three were taken to Stroger Hospital, where their conditions were stabilized, police said.

It was the second triple shooting of the morning Sunday. The other happened around 6:30 a.m.

Hours later there was another shooting with multiple victims, this one leaving four people wounded at 12:15 p.m. in the 1800 block of West 63rd Street in the Englewood neighborhood. In all, 10 people were wounded in multiple-victim shootings within less than six hours Sunday morning and early Sunday afternoon.

"We've had quite a few multiple-victim incidents this weekend," said Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago police spokesman. There were six triple shootings from Friday afternoon to early Sunday afternoon, in addition to the quadruple shooting.

The most seriously injured in the Englewood shooting was a 26-year-old man who suffered a gunshot wound to the right eye and was taken by a family member to St. Bernard Hospital before being transferred to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, police said.

The others wounded were: Another 26-year-old man, shot in the right buttocks and left foot; a 56-year-old woman, shot multiple times in the left leg; and a 48-year-old woman shot in the right hip. All three were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where their conditions were stabilized.

The four were in a convenience store when they heard gunshots and ran outside, where four armed men or boys shot them, police said. The four attackers got into a white sedan and fled the scene. No one was in custody.

In the first of the three multiple-victim attacks, three people were shot about 6:30 a.m. Sunday in the 3500 block of South Calumet Avenue in the Ida B. Wells/Darrow Homes neighborhood, according to police, correcting earlier information that the shooting happened on Rhodes Avenue. A 22-year-old man was shot in the left leg and was taken by a friend to Mercy Hospital. He was later transferred to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.

A 24-year-old man was shot in the left leg, and his condition was stabilized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. A 23-year-old woman was shot in the leg, and her condition was stabilized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

The victims weren't being cooperative, and police had no narrative information on the shooting.

Other shootings:

About 9:30 p.m., a 16-year-old boy was shot in Bridgeport. A friend took him to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the calf, and he told investigators he had been shot in the 2800 block of South Hillock Avenue. The boy's condition was stabilized.

Earlier in an attack that only injured one victim, a man was shot while driving along the 1100 block of North Lockwood Avenue about 11 a.m., police said.

He was traveling north on Lockwood in a 2014 Ford Escape when someone opened fire on his vehicle. He was shot in his left shoulder, arm and ear before crashing his vehicle in the same block, causing his SUV to overturn. He was taken to Stroger, where he was listed in stable condition, officials said. No one has been arrested in connection with the shooting and authorities continue to investigate.

The shootings come as part of a particularly violent weekend in Chicago, with 29 people shot, three fatally, in a 24-hour period from Saturday to Sunday. From Friday to Saturday, one person was killed and 14 were wounded in shootings across the city.

___ (c)2017 the Chicago Tribune


Photos, videos: Cops, demonstrators across the US connect during Women’s March

Posted on January 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

On Saturday, millions of people across the nation and abroad gathered together to march for women's rights in one of the largest demonstrations in United States history. LEOs and civilians took the opportunity to connect - with protesters thanking officers for their service and cops donning pink hats in solidarity with the movement. We've gathered up some of the very best photos and videos from the event. Take a look, and if you worked any of the demonstrations, be sure to add your experience from that day in the comments section.


‘Good Samaritan’ killed in Texas mall was getting wedding bands cleaned

Posted on January 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Tyler White San Antonio Express-News

SAN ANTONIO — A 42- year-old "Good Samaritan" who was shot and killed in Sunday's deadly Rolling Oaks Mall shooting has been identified by the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office.

The medical examiner's office confirmed Jonathan Murphy died Sunday, but did not have a cause and manner of death available.

SAPD Chief William McManus told mySA.com Sunday that a fatality occurred at the Kay Jewelers at the Rolling Oaks Mall after two men entered the store with guns and tried to rob the store.

"There was a fatality," McManus said. "One of the citizens who tried to intervene and stop the robbery, the robbers from escaping, was shot by one of the suspects."

McManus and SAPD spokesman Sgt. Jesse Salame said that two citizens intervened in the robbery and one of the suspects was shot by one of those citizens, a man with a concealed carry license. Police have yet to identify whether Murphy was one of those citizens, but they were called "good Samaritans."

According to a GoFundMe page set up to rally funds for Murphy's family, Murphy and his wife Aimee went to the store to get their wedding rings cleaned. While there, the shooting occurred and "threaten the safety of Jon's wife and everyone else."

"Jon, the protector, lost his life making sure nobody else did," the GoFundMe page said.

Murphy loved Harley Davidson motorcycles, the Marine Corps, and "being a good man."

Three other people were injured from gunshot wounds during the attempted robbery, according to previous reports. Those gunshot victims, along with one of the alleged armed robbers, were transported to San Antonio Military Medical Center for treatment. The alleged shooter was taken to the hospital in critical condition, according to a previous report.

A second alleged armed robber was caught by Converse Police late Sunday. He has been identified as 35-year-old Jason Matthew Prieto.

The man faces charges of capital murder and aggravated robbery, and is being held on a $1.7 million bond, police said.

Police have yet to release more details on the incident but this story will be updated as soon as more information is available. ___ (c)2017 the San Antonio Express-News


Trump’s first 100 days: Predicting 2 big changes to policing

Posted on January 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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

There were clear signs on the campaign trail that if elected president, Donald Trump would move swiftly to reverse some of the anti-cop sentiment which has gripped the nation during the Obama administration.

We didn’t know it would take Trump less than two hours to make moves in that direction.

Almost immediately after taking the oath of office as the 45th President of the United States, the Trump administration posted a statement on the White House website entitled, “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community.”

“One of the fundamental rights of every American is to live in a safe community,” the statement began. “A Trump Administration will empower our law enforcement officers to do their jobs and keep our streets free of crime and violence. The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration. President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.”

The statement went on to say, “Our country needs more law enforcement, more community engagement, and more effective policing. Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the rioter, the looter, or the violent disrupter. Our job is to make life more comfortable for parents who want their kids to be able to walk the streets safely. Or the senior citizen waiting for a bus.”

The statement concluded: “It is the first duty of government to keep the innocent safe, and President Donald Trump will fight for the safety of every American, and especially those Americans who have not known safe neighborhoods for a very long time.”

A few hours earlier, police marching bands, motorcycle and mounted drill teams, color guard teams, and police pipe and drum corps from across the country were prominently featured in the inaugural parade.

One of the inaugural galas that Trump attended on the first evening of his presidency was the Commander-In-Chief Ball, which is typically only open to enlisted members of the military. This year however, the Trump team opened the event up to firefighters, EMTs, and police officers.

The statement issued Friday and the prominence of police being featured in the ceremonies throughout the day were essentially symbolic. The probable policy changes which are likely to happen in the next 100 days are anything but symbolic.

In fact, two very concrete changes are all but certain to happen almost immediately.

1. Trump will end DOJ consent decrees

Under Obama, the DOJ actively sought to conduct investigations on — and subsequently place stringent restrictions on — many police agencies. Attorney Generals Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder combined to investigate nearly two dozen police departments.

“Rather than reach informal agreements to correct misconduct, as the Bush administration often preferred, most of the cases under Obama ended up in court, either in settlements approved and monitored by a judge, or, in a few examples, with lawsuits filed by the federal government against police departments and officers,” said a report in the Los Angeles Times.

The DOJ, under former President George W. Bush, issued zero consent decrees. Under Obama, the DOJ issued at least 16 such documents according to information made available toward the end of 2015.

Trump’s nominee for attorney general — Senator Jeff Sessions — has called consent decrees “one of the most dangerous, and rarely discussed, exercises of raw power” and is highly unlikely to even issue a single one in the Trump administration.

2. Trump will reverse Executive Order 13688

The evisceration of the 1033 Program will almost certainly be reversed. Two years ago, Obama declared — by Executive Order 13688 — that local law enforcement agencies shall no longer be able to obtain certain surplus military equipment.

EO 13688 established the classification of certain types of equipment which had previously been available to police from military surplus stocks as either “controlled” or “prohibited” and required agencies which possessed the latter category to return those items to the Federal mothball lot.

The “controlled” items list included aircraft, UAVs, armored vehicles, command and control vehicles, as well as riot shields and helmets. The “prohibited” items list included “weaponized aircraft,” despite the fact that no helicopter acquired under the 1033 program has ever been delivered with an M134 mini-gun for a door gunner.

By conflating armored vehicles with gunships — conflating ballistic helmets with grenade launchers — the Obama administration created a widespread bias among some people against the safety equipment that becomes necessary when ISIS-inspired attackers lay siege to a Christmas party in San Bernardino or a LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando.

These tools aid police agencies and keep officers safer when responding to a variety of incidents — from large-scale public disturbances to barricaded gunmen.

Some pundits have talked about an avalanche — a shock and awe volume — of executive orders in the very first days of President Trump’s administration. With so many cabinet posts still to be approved by the Senate, that seems not just unlikely but imprudent. But one of the first will almost surely be an order nullifying EO 13688.

45 will be tested in ways we cannot now fully predict

Despite the deep divide between people in this country, Trump’s oratory during his inaugural address on Friday included soaring language about unity and bringing the country together.

“We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity,” Trump said. “When America is united, America is totally unstoppable. There should be no fear — we are protected, and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God.”

Despite his calls for unity, the man who authored “The Art of the Deal” will have his work cut out for him to bring a polarized public together around common goals of safety and prosperity. The man who was a Democrat before he was a Republican will need to work with both sides of the aisle in the legislative branch to achieve populist victories for the American people.

His success will depend in large part on the willingness of those who oppose him to refrain from obstreperous opposition, and embrace a strategy of collaboration and cooperation. And it isn’t news to anyone that there is a great deal of opposition – on Saturday, more than one million people marched on Trump’s first day in office.

One more thing is certain: the 45th president of the United States will be tested in ways we cannot now fully predict. As Donald Rumsfeld once famously said, we just don’t know what we don’t know.

International issues from Trans Pacific-Partnership to Syria, China, and Russia, and domestic issues from the economy to securing the borders, are wildly unpredictable. Equally unpredictable is how President Trump will respond to the vagaries of the volatility of those and other issues.

We’re in for a really interesting ride. Let’s do our best to stay vigilant, be tactical, and watch out for each other.


Trump’s first 100 days: 2 big changes to policing

Posted on January 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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

There were clear signs on the campaign trail that if elected president, Donald Trump would move swiftly to reverse some of the anti-cop sentiment which has gripped the nation during the Obama administration.

We didn’t know it would take Trump less than two hours to make moves in that direction.

Almost immediately after taking the oath of office as the 45th President of the United States, the Trump administration posted a statement on the White House website entitled, “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community.”

“One of the fundamental rights of every American is to live in a safe community,” the statement began. “A Trump Administration will empower our law enforcement officers to do their jobs and keep our streets free of crime and violence. The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration. President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.”

The statement went on to say, “Our country needs more law enforcement, more community engagement, and more effective policing. Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the rioter, the looter, or the violent disrupter. Our job is to make life more comfortable for parents who want their kids to be able to walk the streets safely. Or the senior citizen waiting for a bus.”

The statement concluded: “It is the first duty of government to keep the innocent safe, and President Donald Trump will fight for the safety of every American, and especially those Americans who have not known safe neighborhoods for a very long time.”

A few hours earlier, police marching bands, motorcycle and mounted drill teams, color guard teams, and police pipe and drum corps from across the country were prominently featured in the inaugural parade.

One of the inaugural galas that Trump attended on the first evening of his presidency was the Commander-In-Chief Ball, which is typically only open to enlisted members of the military. This year however, the Trump team opened the event up to firefighters, EMTs, and police officers.

The statement issued Friday and the prominence of police being featured in the ceremonies throughout the day were essentially symbolic. The probable policy changes which are likely to happen in the next 100 days are anything but symbolic.

In fact, two very concrete changes are all but certain to happen almost immediately.

1. Trump will end DOJ consent decrees

Under Obama, the DOJ actively sought to conduct investigations on — and subsequently place stringent restrictions on — many police agencies. Attorney Generals Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder combined to investigate nearly two dozen police departments.

“Rather than reach informal agreements to correct misconduct, as the Bush administration often preferred, most of the cases under Obama ended up in court, either in settlements approved and monitored by a judge, or, in a few examples, with lawsuits filed by the federal government against police departments and officers,” said a report in the Los Angeles Times.

The DOJ, under former President George W. Bush, issued zero consent decrees. Under Obama, the DOJ issued at least 16 such documents according to information made available toward the end of 2015.

Trump’s nominee for attorney general — Senator Jeff Sessions — has called consent decrees “one of the most dangerous, and rarely discussed, exercises of raw power” and is highly unlikely to even issue a single one in the Trump administration.

2. Trump will reverse Executive Order 13688

The evisceration of the 1033 Program will almost certainly be reversed. Two years ago, Obama declared — by Executive Order 13688 — that local law enforcement agencies shall no longer be able to obtain certain surplus military equipment.

EO 13688 established the classification of certain types of equipment which had previously been available to police from military surplus stocks as either “controlled” or “prohibited” and required agencies which possessed the latter category to return those items to the Federal mothball lot.

The “controlled” items list included aircraft, UAVs, armored vehicles, command and control vehicles, as well as riot shields and helmets. The “prohibited” items list included “weaponized aircraft,” despite the fact that no helicopter acquired under the 1033 program has ever been delivered with an M134 mini-gun for a door gunner.

By conflating armored vehicles with gunships — conflating ballistic helmets with grenade launchers — the Obama administration created a widespread bias among some people against the safety equipment that becomes necessary when ISIS-inspired attackers lay siege to a Christmas party in San Bernardino or a LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando.

These tools aid police agencies and keep officers safer when responding to a variety of incidents — from large-scale public disturbances to barricaded gunmen.

Some pundits have talked about an avalanche — a shock and awe volume — of executive orders in the very first days of President Trump’s administration. With so many cabinet posts still to be approved by the Senate, that seems not just unlikely but imprudent. But one of the first will almost surely be an order nullifying EO 13688.

45 will be tested in ways we cannot now fully predict

Despite the deep divide between people in this country, Trump’s oratory during his inaugural address on Friday included soaring language about unity and bringing the country together.

“We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity,” Trump said. “When America is united, America is totally unstoppable. There should be no fear — we are protected, and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God.”

Despite his calls for unity, the man who authored “The Art of the Deal” will have his work cut out for him to bring a polarized public together around common goals of safety and prosperity. The man who was a Democrat before he was a Republican will need to work with both sides of the aisle in the legislative branch to achieve populist victories for the American people.

His success will depend in large part on the willingness of those who oppose him to refrain from obstreperous opposition, and embrace a strategy of collaboration and cooperation. And it isn’t news to anyone that there is a great deal of opposition — on Saturday, more than one million people marched on Trump’s first day in office.

One more thing is certain: the 45th president of the United States will be tested in ways we cannot now fully predict. As Donald Rumsfeld once famously said, we just don’t know what we don’t know.

International issues from Trans Pacific-Partnership to Syria, China, and Russia, and domestic issues from the economy to securing the borders, are wildly unpredictable. Equally unpredictable is how President Trump will respond to the vagaries of the volatility of those and other issues.

We’re in for a really interesting ride. Let’s do our best to stay vigilant, be tactical, and watch out for each other.


Chicago woman shot by cops during standoff thanks police

Posted on January 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — A woman who was shot by officers after she opened fire during a standoff is thanking police for saving her life.

Police were called to Tamekka Broyles’ home after she called 911 on Aug. 1, 2015, and said she wanted to kill herself, the Chicago Tribune reported.

When officers arrived, Broyles, 32, had a handgun aimed at her chin.

"Officer [Greg] Klebba repeatedly ordered her to put the gun down," Assistant State's Attorney Denise Loiterstein said in court. "She pointed the gun at Klebba and then at Rubeck."

The officers backed out of the apartment and called in SWAT for backup. Broyles opened fire during the standoff, and officers returned fire.

She was struck in the leg, shoulder, and elbow. She had several operations to fix wounds on her left arm.

While being sentenced, Broyles thanked officers for helping her through a rough time.

"I want to thank the police for saving my life," Broyles said. "I was in a really bad place."

Police Chief Jim Lamkin said the situation could have ended worse than it did.

"We'd rather not respond with force in this manner, but we don't have a choice,” Lamkin said. “This was a great example of restraint by police."

Broyles was sentenced to five years for aggravated assault and aggravated discharge of a firearm.


Photographer goes on patrol with Norway Reindeer Police

Posted on January 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

ALTA, Norway — A branch of the Norwegian Police Service has the job of herding reindeer.

According to CNN, the branch oversees the reindeer herding of the indigenous Sami people and provides protection to the environment of the area.

The unit was founded in 1949 and consists of 15 officers. They patrol around 21,600 square miles, the publication reported.

Photographer Gianmarco Maraviglia followed the unit around and captured their daily duties on camera.

“The duty of this police corps is mainly to care for the environment and nature,” Maraviglia said. “It's not only managing the reindeer herders; the main duty nowadays is protecting nature — like controlling illegal fishing, illegal hunting, all topics related to protecting nature.”

The police pair up in teams of two officers for weeklong missions.

Because the Sami tribe has a long history with the land, the police must know the culture, languages, and traditions of the people.

The area the teams patrol is so large that tracking reindeer can become difficult, Maraviglia told CNN. Officers use binoculars to find fires and tents of the herders, and to spot the animals in migration.

"Looking for the reindeer, the first thing is to look for the tents of the [Sami] harvesters," he said.

See all the photos here.


Oakland police credit NFL player for assist in missing child case

Posted on January 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

OAKLAND, Calif. — An Oakland Raiders player used social media to help local police find a missing child.

Quarterback Derek Carr was on Twitter Jan. 14 when he saw a tweet from Lt. Chris Bolton requesting help in finding a missing child, CBS Sports reported.

#OaklandPolice Request Bay Area help in locating missing child: pic.twitter.com/WwyNOu2bhg

— Lt. Chris Bolton (@OPDChris) January 14, 2017

He retweeted the tweet to his 250,000 followers. Later that day, police found the missing child thanks to a tip they received on Twitter.

The department thanked Carr for his help.

“So it appears the secret to sharing local missing child info is a RT by your local @NFL QB. Thank you, @derekcarrqb! Child safely located,” Bolton tweeted.

So it appears the secret to sharing local missing child info is a RT by your local @NFL QB. Thank you, @derekcarrqb! Child safely located!

— Lt. Chris Bolton (@OPDChris) January 15, 2017

@OPDChris great news! Thank you for letting me know they are safe! God bless y'all!

— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) January 15, 2017


DC cops wear pink hats in solidarity with Women’s March protesters

Posted on January 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Officers patrolling the Women’s March Saturday wore the same pink hats as demonstrators.

The yarn hats - beanies with two cat ears - is reference to the tape of President Trump boasting about groping women, which sparked controversy after it leaked in Oct. 2016, The Hill reported.

Reporter Benjamin Freed posted photos on Twitter stating that cops posed for photos with demonstrators in the hats and received big cheers from the crowd.

DC cops posted across from White House are wearing pink pussyhats and posing for photos with marchers. Big cheers from crowd. #WomensMarch pic.twitter.com/BCP6DO2lQp

— Benjamin Freed (@brfreed) January 21, 2017

Thousands of protesters showed up to the D.C. march. No arrests were made.

Officials estimate around 3 million people participated in peaceful sister marches around the world.


Trump hosts LE at White House, pledges support for police

Posted on January 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — In the first act of the “law and order administration,” President Donald Trump stated on the White House website that a top issue of his presidency will be providing support for the law enforcement community.

Committing to end the “dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America,” Trump said his administration is aiming to reduce violent crime.

The president said the county needs “more law enforcement, more community engagement, and more effective policing.”

The administration said in order to support police, stronger border enforcement needs to be put in place to keep drugs out of the country, stop gangs and violence, and end illegal immigration.

“He is dedicated to enforcing our border laws, ending sanctuary cities, and stemming the tide of lawlessness associated with illegal immigration,” the statement reads. “Supporting law enforcement also means deporting illegal aliens with violent criminal records who have remained within our borders.”

In addition, Trump and his staff hosted law enforcement at the White House on Sunday.

Law enforcement worked tirelessly to secure the inauguration. Today the President & I thanked them during a reception at The @WhiteHouse. pic.twitter.com/U4ODCEvKJW

— Vice President Pence (@VP) January 22, 2017

In a tweet, Trump said “it was an honor to host our amazing teams of law enforcement at the @WhiteHouse this afternoon. @VP Pence and I are grateful for all you do.”

It was an honor to host our amazing teams of law enforcement at the @WhiteHouse this afternoon. @VP Pence and I are grateful for all you do. pic.twitter.com/PPo5kAoOVk

— President Trump (@POTUS) January 22, 2017

Among those in attendance Sunday was FBI Director James Comey, who Trump previously accused of “protecting a rigged system” after Comey didn’t recommend charges against Clinton for the use of her private email server, the Associated Press reported.

Trump welcomed Comey to the White House, blew him a kiss and said “he’s become more famous than me.”

Pres. Trump greets FBI Director James Comey during First Responders ceremony at the White House: "He's become more famous than me." pic.twitter.com/9Rdgyqi1iM

— ABC News (@ABC) January 22, 2017

Calif. officer dies while on duty at police HQ

Posted on January 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By John King San Francisco Chronicle

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — A veteran police officer in Redwood City died Friday while on duty, from natural causes.

Off. Gerardo Silva, 57, was at the city’s police station on Friday morning when he was dispatched to meet with a resident. Later, when he had not reported in and had not responded to calls from other officers, a GPS check revealed that his patrol car was still in the station parking lot.

A search of the station then found Silva, an 18-year veteran, inside the building. He was unconscious and not breathing.

After attempts to resuscitate the officer were unsuccessful, he was taken to Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death was not revealed, but police said it was from natural causes.

Silva “was a very personable man, loved by his fellow officers,” Dept. Chief Gary Kirby said Friday evening. “He was caring, a great teacher and supportive of us all.”


Slain Fla. officer’s patrol car vandalized

Posted on January 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Caitlin Doornbos Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. — The police car that the late Lt. Debra Clayton was driving before she was killed while trying to catch an accused killer Jan. 9 was vandalized Thursday, according to the Orlando Police Department.

Clayton's patrol vehicle has been parked outside police headquarters at 100 S. Hughey Ave. since her death. Mourners have been paying their respects to the slain officer by laying flowers and wreaths around the vehicle while it has been on display.

Police released photos Friday of the vehicle defaced with what appears to be permanent marker. Pictures show the front of the car marked with rambling scrawled messages such as "Tax Payer," "Protect & Serve The Public," "Angela Madison is the best," "Love you" "Rapest"[sic] and "Kansas."

"Unbelievably sad someone would vandalize Lt. Debra Clayton's vehicle," Orlando Police posted on its Twitter account.

Orlando Police will not move the vehicle, but rather it will remain parked in front of the station at Pine Street and Hughey Avenue next to banners of Clayton's face and makeshift memorials, according to OPD spokeswoman Wanda Miglio. A bouquet of flowers and wooden angel wings rested on the top of the defaced front end amid the unwanted scribblings.

Police do not know who committed the offense but are investigating, Miglio said.

"We are checking the cameras and looking for a suspect," Miglio said.

Unbelievably sad someone would vandalize Lt. Debra Clayton's vehicle. pic.twitter.com/2yairat1Rq

— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) January 20, 2017

Markeith Loyd was arrested Tuesday after a massive manhunt that began after Clayton was gunned down outside a Wal-Mart in northwest Orlando. He had been wanted since the killing of his ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, in December, and police said Loyd killed Clayton when she tried to confront him at the store.

Police officially filed charges against him in Clayton's death Thursday, and he now faces a total of 10 charges related to the two incidents.

Clayton, 42, was a 17-year veteran of the Police Department and was posthumously promoted from the rank of master sergeant. She is survived by her husband and son.

No suspects in the vandalism had been announced as of Friday afternoon.


Officials: Climb in Wash. trooper salaries reducing officer shortage

Posted on January 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Walker Orenstein The News Tribune

TACOMA, Wash. — The Washington State Patrol is not ready to call its shortage of troopers over.

But the patrol has a historically large class of 55 cadets in training to become troopers in April. And what once was a flood of troopers retiring or jumping ship to local police departments for higher salaries has shrunk as of late.

The patrol lost an average of nine troopers a month in 2015. Last year, it was just five per month. And from October through December last year, it was fewer than three a month.

In other words, things are looking up. The patrol credits, in part, pay increases approved by the Legislature.

"I think we're going in the right direction," said patrol spokesman Kyle Moore.

The significant improvements are, so far, a success story in the making for the patrol, which complained its issues mostly stemmed from pay that was drastically lower than at local police departments around the state. A report to the Legislature last year showed troopers bailing for other departments that paid thousands more a year.

The patrol's salaries were frozen during the Great Recession, said Patrol Chief John Batiste. After that, they never quite caught up with competitors, among them Seattle's and Tacoma's police departments.

"When you're getting offered $2,500 a month more by someone else to do the same job, it's kind of hard not to take that," Moore said.

Moore was exaggerating slightly. The report showed entry level pay for troopers -- after completing the academy training course -- to be the equivalent of $51,500 to $56,600 a year. The patrol offers salaries in the higher end of the range to troopers who work in counties with higher costs of living, like King and Pierce counties.

A comparable police officer would make $59,800 a year at the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, $69,200 at the Seattle Police Department and $71,800 at the Kennewick Police Department.

Most police departments, including the patrol, give a pay raise to officers after the first six months or so of work. The report's figures extrapolate an officer's monthly pay when the officer first enters the department over an entire year.

In response to the wage disparity, lawmakers last year moved to bump salaries 5.8 percent on top of some small raises that had been previously negotiated. They also agreed to make the patrol salaries competitive with the top six highest-paid local police departments around the state in 2017 -- a much larger lift.

That payoff likely will be set in motion during the current legislative session. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee negotiated with the patrol to hike pay by 19-23 percent by July 2018 as part of the state's collective bargaining agreements with Washington employees. The raises vary by rank and job within the department.

"There's great anticipation from the contract that was agreed to," Batiste said. "That will help us immensely in terms of our ability to compete with peer agencies."

Lawmakers could vote down Inslee's negotiated raises. And some Republicans in the GOP-controlled Senate have criticized parts of Inslee's deals for state workers as too expensive.

Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler didn't take a stance on negotiated patrol pay raises last week at a news availability with the GOP leadership.

But Schoesler, a Republican from Ritzville, did point out trooper salaries are a small portion of the overall state employee pay budget, and are funded out of the Washington's transportation budget rather than the general fund, which pays for schools.

That's helpful in a year when lawmakers are trying to broker a deal to fix how the state pays for education as required by a state Supreme Court order. The price tag for meeting the education ruling, known as McCleary, could be in the billions.

The Senate Republican's leader on transportation, Sen. Curtis King, voiced support for meeting the Legislature's promise to make trooper salaries competitive with local police departments.

Though he said they're still reviewing Inslee's plan, significant raises are "pertinent to the success of the State Patrol."

State Rep. Jake Fey, a Democrat from Tacoma, said he was "cautiously optimistic" about the patrol's improving situation, but said he hopes the Senate doesn't "second guess" the governor on salary increases.

Fey sponsored the legislation that gave the patrol this year's pay raises and committed the Legislature to future ones.

Moore said other departmental changes are making a difference, too. Upgrades to the patrol's uniforms and aggressive recruitment of new cadets has yielded a boost, he said. The patrol has been placing online ads on the music streaming website Pandora, for example.

Batiste also made changes to how leadership approaches management, he said. The report given to the Legislature said many troopers didn't feel valued or have enough say in how they do their jobs.

Now, instead of " 'do as I say,' it's more 'let's talk about this,' " Moore said.

Fey said those efforts should continue. He still wants to track changes at the patrol "in terms of things that are going to make it a more satisfactory workplace for troopers."

Fey said the salaries of officers at local police departments need to be monitored to make sure the same problem doesn't creep in again. Moore said the patrol still has many officers eligible to retire soon, although higher salaries have kept some from retiring early.

But he said the patrol is in better shape than before in its quest to fill remaining vacancies. More than 100 positions are still open for troopers who serve in the field.

"We're hoping to fill the void within the next couple of years," Moore said.

Walker Orenstein: 360-786-1826, @walkerorenstein ___ (c)2017 The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)


NC police department launches girls’ leadership program

Posted on January 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By Natalie Allison Janicello Times-News

BURLINGTON, N.C. — Having spent nearly 30 years as an officer in Burlington, Sgt. Wendy Jordan has recognized gaps in the community that needed to be filled.

Most recently, among those needs she identified was a way to help prepare teenagers, specifically girls, to enter adulthood with poise and some key basic life skills.

"I've been able to see a need for this over the years," said Jordan, who focuses on the police department's work in Burlington schools. "Especially now."

After brainstorming ideas for such a program and searching the Internet to find similar ideas successfully executed elsewhere, Jordan decided to name the police department's new three-month program Girls With Pearls.

Beginning Feb. 7, the Burlington Police Department will host female students from ninth to 12th grades one night a week, during which time they'll learn about leadership, communication, civic responsibility, manners, preparing for college and employment, and other skills.

The students will hear from women working in the police department and from other community leaders, such as Broadview Middle School Principal Brie Butler, Burlington City Council member Kathy Hykes and Alamance County District Court Judge Katie Overby.

At the end of the free 12-week course, participants will each receive their own pearl necklace as a gift, Jordan said, as well as give a 10-minute speech to the class.

The program will conclude with a graduation ceremony.

"We'd like them to get their goals set," Jordan said of the participants, whom they will push to make plans to succeed as they continue through high school and on to the next stage of life.

The girls will be paired up with a mentor, most likely about halfway through the program, Jordan said, who will serve as a resource if the students have questions about school or need someone to talk to about issues they're facing.

"We do a lot of work on leadership within our department, and helping our younger officers sharpen their leadership skills," Jordan said. "If we want leaders, let's reach out and get them even younger and while they're still in school."

As she came up with an outline for the 12 weeks, Jordan said she incorporated leadership principles from training programs and classes she has attended through the police department.

"Leadership is the same across the board," Jordan said. "Corporate, policing, even though we may do different jobs, how to present yourself doesn't change."

Participants must apply to the program by Jan. 31, and can receive an application by emailing Jordan at wjordan@ci.burlington.nc.us or calling her at 336-516-1240.

The class will meet on Tuesday nights at the Burlington Police Department.

Reporter Natalie Allison Janicello can be reached at nallison@thetimesnews.com or 336-506-3078.

Follow her on Twitter at @natalie_allison. ___ (c)2017 Times-News (Burlington, N.C.)


Police: 1 dead, 5 injured in robbery at Texas mall

Posted on January 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

UPDATE 5:55 p.m.

Authorities in San Antonio say one person is dead and five others have been injured after two men robbed a jewelry store in a San Antonio shopping mall.

Police Chief William McManus said that after the two suspects fled the store on Sunday, one of them fatally shot a "good Samaritan" who tried to stop them.

Another man, who was carrying a licensed concealed weapon, then shot and wounded that robber.

The other robber fled the mall, firing his weapon and injuring a man and a woman. The second suspect escaped. Two other people were taken to the suffered non-shooting injuries.

McManus says police are still looking for the robber who is believed to have left the mall. McManus initially said that six people were injured.

Original story below.

LIVE OAK, Texas – One person was killed and five others were injured during an attempted robbery at a mall.

According to Fox 31, a Good Samaritan who tried to stop the robbery was shot and killed. Another citizen who had a concealed carry license shot one of two suspects. The other suspect fled the scene.

“What we have is a robbery that went really, really bad,” police said at a news conference.

The mall is on lockdown.

No further details were immediately available.

Helicopter surveying area. Man I interviewed says shooting happened outside of Dillard's. Everyone started running. Multiple shots fired pic.twitter.com/cm0UxI5vx6

— Alicia Neaves (@AliciaKENS5) January 22, 2017

Another man whose girlfriend is stuck inside said police told her there were 2 shooters involved. #kens5eyewitness pic.twitter.com/wdbDk1i5lV

— Sharon Ko (@SharonKoTV) January 22, 2017

ACTIVE SHOOTER: Rolling Oaks Mall employee helped people escape the Dillard's store, heard 6 shots, said the shooting happened 1st floor. pic.twitter.com/nMPlyUASI2

— Sharon Ko (@SharonKoTV) January 22, 2017

Allyson Hamby's daughter is still inside. She just showed me a text from her daughter which read "I'm scared" pic.twitter.com/KkvGp7cjzr

— Renee Santos (@RSantosTV) January 22, 2017

This is the scene outside Dillard's at Rolling Oaks Mall pic.twitter.com/Qzz6OlDEaq

— Renee Santos (@RSantosTV) January 22, 2017

More units responding to Rolling Oaks mall. Just spoke to a mother whose daughter is still inside pic.twitter.com/ZOZWlIdfC6

— Renee Santos (@RSantosTV) January 22, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Active shooter situation at Rolling Oaks Mall. News4SA on the air now. pic.twitter.com/sDHc7pvLoq

— News 4 San Antonio (@News4SA) January 22, 2017

1 dead, multiple injured in Texas shopping mall shooting

Posted on January 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — A robbery inside a San Antonio shopping mall ended with shots fired on Sunday, leaving one person who tried to intervene dead, three others shot and another two people taken to hospital with non-shooting injuries, police and fire officials said.

Police Chief William McManus said two suspects robbed a jewelry store at the Rolling Oaks Mall on Sunday.

"What we have here is a robbery gone really, really bad," McManus said.

After the suspects fled the store, a man, described by McManus as a "good Samaritan" tried to stop the two men.

One of the robbers then fatally shot the man, McManus said.

A second individual, who was carrying a licensed concealed weapon, then shot and wounded the robber who had killed the person who intervened, McManus said.

McManus called the fatal shooting "absolutely senseless." The victim's name was not immediately released by authorities.

The other robber fled the mall, firing his weapon and injuring a man and a woman. These two individuals, along with the injured robber, were taken to local hospital, said San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood.

Two other people— a woman who complained of chest pains and a pregnant woman who had labor pains — were also taken to local hospitals, Hood said.

The condition of the people who were injured in the incident was not immediately available.

McManus says police are still looking for the other robber who is believed to have left the mall.

"We searched the mall and we feel as confident as we can feel that the suspect is not in there," McManus said.

Helicopter surveying area. Man I interviewed says shooting happened outside of Dillard's. Everyone started running. Multiple shots fired pic.twitter.com/cm0UxI5vx6

— Alicia Neaves (@AliciaKENS5) January 22, 2017

Another man whose girlfriend is stuck inside said police told her there were 2 shooters involved. #kens5eyewitness pic.twitter.com/wdbDk1i5lV

— Sharon Ko (@SharonKoTV) January 22, 2017

ACTIVE SHOOTER: Rolling Oaks Mall employee helped people escape the Dillard's store, heard 6 shots, said the shooting happened 1st floor. pic.twitter.com/nMPlyUASI2

— Sharon Ko (@SharonKoTV) January 22, 2017

Allyson Hamby's daughter is still inside. She just showed me a text from her daughter which read "I'm scared" pic.twitter.com/KkvGp7cjzr

— Renee Santos (@RSantosTV) January 22, 2017

This is the scene outside Dillard's at Rolling Oaks Mall pic.twitter.com/Qzz6OlDEaq

— Renee Santos (@RSantosTV) January 22, 2017

More units responding to Rolling Oaks mall. Just spoke to a mother whose daughter is still inside pic.twitter.com/ZOZWlIdfC6

— Renee Santos (@RSantosTV) January 22, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Active shooter situation at Rolling Oaks Mall. News4SA on the air now. pic.twitter.com/sDHc7pvLoq

— News 4 San Antonio (@News4SA) January 22, 2017

Minn. lawmakers chart new course in response to OIS protests

Posted on January 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kyle Potter Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota officials responded to months of unrest last year after the death of a black man shot by police officers with funding meant to reduce the state's widespread racial disparities. This year, a new Republican-controlled Legislature is plotting a crackdown on protests, with tougher penalties for highway marchers and potentially putting some demonstrators on the hook for the enforcement costs at unruly protests.

It's a marked shift in reaction to the protests that simmered for weeks after the death of 24-year-old Jamar Clark in November 2015 and again last summer after 32-year-old Philando Castile was shot and killed during a traffic stop near St. Paul. In both cases, protesters from Black Lives Matter and others set up encampments that police departments said cost more than $1 million in officer overtime and some damages. And in the days after each shooting, dozens of demonstrators were arrested after shutting down Interstate 94 with massive rallies, though charges were later dropped.

Emboldened by taking full control of the Legislature this fall, Republican-backed bills would make it easier for prosecutors to charge for blocking highways with a gross misdemeanor and up to a year in jail, while also allowing local police departments to sue convicted protesters for the costs associated with demonstrations.

"At some point, the rule of law has to matter," said Rep. Nick Zerwas, an Elk River Republican pushing for both bills. "I think it's time to show there is accountability."

Zerwas and other Republican lawmakers had proposed the harsher punishments for protesters before, but their expanded power at the Capitol makes it a potential reality this year. And with protests across the country motivated by officer-involved deaths, controversial pipelines and President Donald Trump, Minnesota Republicans aren't alone in considering how to respond.

Similar measures meant to curb protests that snarl traffic or disrupt business have cropped up in Iowa, Indiana and Washington. In North Dakota, where protesters have gathered to obstruct the Dakota Access Pipeline, a Republican lawmaker's bill would protect drivers who inadvertently hit or kill demonstrators on roads.

The response to demonstrations in Minnesota last year was far different.

Fueled by decades of growing racial disparities and the outcry after Clark's killing, Minnesota lawmakers eventually approved $35 million in new programs in 2016 meant to close income and educational gaps between the state's black and white residents. At the time, Democrats controlled the Senate.

Rep. Rena Moran, a St. Paul Democrat and one of the Legislature's few black lawmakers, said that's where the focus should remain to truly address protester's issues.

"They have not had one conversation with those people, who are feeling the injustice. If they did, I don't think this would be their first priority," she said. "This may be a wake-up call that elections matter, that your voice matters, that your voice is your vote."

Minnesota's branch of the American Civil Liberties Union is on high alert. Legal director Teresa Nelson said both measures are ripe for constitutional challenges, saying they could have a chilling effect on free speech and assembly by dissuading people from getting involved in marches and rallies due to fear of getting stuck with a big bill or jail time.

Zerwas said there's no constitutional right to blocking traffic. He's working on another bill that would expand the increased criminal penalties to blocking airport entryways or traffic on light-rail train tracks — both sites of protests since Clark's 2015 death. His bill allowing law enforcement to recoup enforcement costs is due for a first hearing on Tuesday.

Moran stressed the need for safety but said the extraordinary tactics can be necessary to highlight "the injustices that were happening in the dark."

"That was important: That they disrupt business as usual, that they move in to a place and bring awareness to an injustice," she said.


Neb. eyes payouts for emergency officials killed on duty

Posted on January 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Grant Schulte Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. — Family members of a police officer or firefighter who dies on duty could qualify for at least $50,000 from the state under a Nebraska bill that follows a string of on-duty emergency responder deaths.

The proposal set for a hearing Monday would allow a one-time payment of $50,000 to a spouse, child or other designated person starting next year. Payouts would increase in tandem with inflation. It's the latest in a series of measures lawmakers have passed in recent years to provide state benefits to emergency responders.

The measure by Sen. Matt Hansen of Lincoln comes after Dakota City's fire department lost three of its members to heart attacks in an 18-month period. It also follows the 2015 death of Omaha police officer Kerrie Orozco of Council Bluffs, Iowa. She was shot and killed while serving an arrest warrant on a gang member. The bill doesn't impose a Nebraska residency requirement.

It also would apply to state and county corrections officers. In 2014, Scotts Bluff County jail guard Amanda Baker was strangled by a 15-year-old inmate who lured her into his cell.

"It's an acknowledgement of everybody who serves the state in a position like that, recognizing the burdens they place on themselves and their families," Hansen said.

The bill is likely to face some resistance given the state's projected shortfall of nearly $900 million in its upcoming two-year budget. Micheal Dwyer, secretary-treasurer of the Nebraska State Volunteer Firefighters Association, said he understands the state's budget crunch but argued that senators should give it a serious look.

"We don't want to be spending money needlessly," said Dwyer, a firefighter in Arlington. "As a taxpayer and a conservative, I get that. But if a man or woman is willing to put their life on the line for the people of their communities, then I think the $50,000 is the least we can do."

Relatives of emergency officials who die on the job often lose their primary source of income and health care coverage, said John Francavilla, the past president of the Nebraska Fraternal Order of Police. Some cities offer life insurance policies and other payments under union contracts, but the benefits vary.

"This is just something to help get them through emotionally and financially," Francavilla said.

Last year, lawmakers and Gov. Pete Ricketts approved a $250 refundable tax credit for volunteer firefighters and emergency responders to offset their training costs.

In smaller towns, many fire departments have struggled to recruit new volunteers to replace older members who are retiring.

Lawmakers considered a similar payout bill last year, but the measure stalled in committee. Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha questioned the need for it during the bill hearing, arguing that many officers and responders already qualify for a death benefit.

Under federal law, relatives of firefighters who die on the job are eligible a benefit of nearly $345,000. Chambers said police officers aren't always at risk, and in some cases are more likely to die from "eating too much saturated fat."

"If we're talking about valuing the life of a person, $50,000 is not enough to compensate anybody," he said.

Still, the proposal struck an emotional chord with Pat Moore, the first assistant fire chief in Dakota City, who lost three friends from his department in a recent 18-month stretch.

Dakota City Fire Capt. Andy Zalme, 42, died of a heart attack in April 2015 while responding to a car fire. Capt. Eric Speck, 38, died in June during a medical call.

In September, 67-year-old Lowell Satterwhite died of a heart attack about 12 hours after responding to a medical call. Deaths from heart attacks and strokes are considered line-of-duty if they occur within 24 hours after a call.

Moore said volunteer firefighters save their communities money compared to a full-time staff, and the bill "is a way to give back to them." The department responds to roughly 350 calls a year, he said.

"I wouldn't want the benefit to ever have to be used," Moore said. "But it would be good to know it's there."


Man suspected in death of La. officer, woman dies

Posted on January 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kevin McGill and Chevel Johnson Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — The man authorities say shot and killed a woman he'd been romantically involved with and a police officer who had tried to help her has died, hours after shooting himself in the chest during a standoff with authorities on a New Orleans bridge.

Col. John Fortunato, spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, said Sylvester Holt, 32, was pronounced dead at 11:14 p.m. Friday at University Hospital.

Authorities said Holt shot himself in the chest Friday evening after threatening for hours to jump off a bridge spanning the Mississippi River.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said during talks with authorities on the bridge Holt admitted shooting Westwego Police Officer Michael Louviere, 26, and Simone Veal, 32, the woman Holt had been romantically involved with. Normand said Holt had recently found out she was pregnant with her new boyfriend.

The incident began Friday morning when Holt went to Veal's house; an altercation ensued during which he shot her several times.

Holt then looked for Veal's boyfriend as the woman fled in a car with Holt eventually catching up to her.

"Witnesses said Sylvester Holt was ramming his truck into Simone's car and firing shots into the car" before the vehicles stopped at the intersection where Louviere found them, Normand said.

The officer had just gotten off duty and was on his way home when he pulled over to help. Veal's car was significantly damaged and she was on the ground, Normand said.

Holt then shot Louviere in the head as well, Normand said, praising the officer.

"He was doing the right thing for the right reasons at the right time," Normand said.

Holt later fled the scene, and an intense manhunt ensued. Authorities later spotted Holt on a bridge spanning New Orleans' east and west banks. Louisiana State Police spokeswoman Melissa Matey says authorities spent hours negotiating with Holt.

"All those attempts failed. At approximately 5:30, Holt shot himself in the chest," she said.

This was not Holt's first run-in with the law. He was the subject of restraining orders obtained by several women since 2012, Normand said.

And he'd also been arrested in September after being accused of rape. But Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick Jr. said the rape charge was later dropped after the woman repeatedly told authorities she wanted to withdraw the charge, though she still alleged that he had raped her. Holt was released from jail on Jan. 7.

Connick said Holt contended the sex was consensual.

Louviere, a first-year officer who had led his recruit class, may have spoken to Holt before Holt pulled a gun, Normand said.

Louviere is survived by his wife, and their daughter, 4, and son, 1.


Man charged in rush-hour explosion that damaged a police car

Posted on January 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BOSTON — Police have charged a man they believe is responsible for a rush-hour bombing that damaged a Boston police cruiser but caused no serious injuries.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said Sunday he doesn't know the motive of the Friday morning rush-hour explosion. He says a device deliberately left under the vehicle went off by itself.

Police arrested 42-year-old Asim Keita on Saturday night. The charges include possession of an explosive device and assault with intent to murder.

The explosion occurred near a South Boston police substation. Evans says a second explosion involving the same device occurred after officers moved the vehicle. He says some officers may have suffered minor injuries.

Evans says surveillance video helped police track down Keita. Evans says Keita grew up in Boston and is homeless.


Assault a cop? Conn. lawmakers want stiffer penalties

Posted on January 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Dave Collins Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — Some Connecticut lawmakers are working to stiffen the penalties for assaulting and threatening police officers and judges, in the wake of incidents in Connecticut and around the country.

Rep. J.P. Sredzinski, a Republican from Monroe, is proposing a bill that would make it a hate crime to assault or "verbally attack" police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians because of their occupations.

An emergency dispatch supervisor in Stratford, Sredzinski said he knows many officers who have been verbally attacked. He said he hasn't heard of any targeted violence against local officers, but he cited the 2014 killings of two New York City police officers who were ambushed while sitting in their police cruiser by a man who then fatally shot himself.

"While the law isn't going to prevent someone who is intent on doing that kind of, basically, terrorism, I think this will send a message from the General Assembly that these first responders have families," said Sredzinski, the ranking House Republican on the Public Safety and Security Committee. "My concern is sending that message, that the state of Connecticut discourages any attack on our uniformed personnel."

Other bills would increase the penalties for assaulting "reasonably identifiable" off-duty police officers and correctional officers. Another would increase the penalty for threatening state judges.

Similar proposals have failed in recent years.

There already is a state law that makes it a felony to assault police officers and other first responders. The crime carries one to 10 years in prison. And the state's threatening law carries up to five years in prison for a felony offense and up to a year in jail for a misdemeanor offense.

Rep. William Tong, a Stamford Democrat and co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wants to make it a felony to threaten a judge. He cited the case of a Cromwell man, Edward "Ted" Taupier, who was sentenced last year to 18 months in prison for threatening family court Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto.

Taupier denies threatening the judge and has remained free pending an appeal. Prosecutors said Taupier sent an email to six acquaintances in 2014 that described Bozzuto's home, its proximity to a cemetery and how certain rifles can be fired from that distance.

"There have been a number of threats on the lives of judges, most notably Judge Bozzuto," Tong said. "The bill is necessary to protect our judges from violence."

The number of assaults on police officers in Connecticut has decreased in recent years, from nearly 850 in 2011 to about 620 in 2015, according to crime data compiled by the FBI. No officers in the state have died in the line of duty in several years.

New Haven officer Craig Miller, president of the local police union, said he has seen animosity toward officers escalate in the wake of police shootings of black people on other states that sparked widespread protests over the past few years.

"The attitude is a lot different in terms of disrespecting police officers," he said. "You get some people in the community that do hate cops. They'll punch you. They'll hit you. They'll try whatever they can."

Miller said he supports increasing penalties for assaulting off-duty police. He said he's been off-duty when a person he recently arrested angrily confronted him on the street, including once when he had one of his children with him.

"That's why we carry weapons when we're not working," he said.


Man charged in fatal shooting of Wis. sheriff’s deputy

Posted on January 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Cara Lombardo Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. — A suspect is charged with killing a western Wisconsin sheriff's deputy in October and endangering the safety of several other officers as they were arresting him.

According to the criminal complaint filed Friday, Doug Nitek fatally shot Rusk County Sheriff's Deputy Dan Glaze the night of Oct. 29 after Glaze drove his squad car near Nitek's vehicle to investigate why the vehicle was parked in the middle of a field in the Town of Willard. Glaze died of a gunshot wound to the head after a bullet struck his windshield.

The complaint also alleges Nitek, 44, fired a rifle toward an armored vehicle and could have killed a deputy and harmed other officials inside the vehicle. A robot was used to search his house before he surrendered. Officers then searched the trailer where he was living and found fresh bullet holes in the back. Inside the trailer they found a police scanner, methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and a marijuana cigarette.

The 31-count complaint includes one charge of first-degree intentional homicide, two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and 17 counts of recklessly endangering safety while armed with a dangerous weapon. Nitek, who is being held in Dodge Correctional Institution, does not have a defense lawyer listed yet.

Charges against Nitek date back to the 1990s with the more recent crimes of recklessly endangering safety, criminal damage to property and resisting arrest filed in nearby Sawyer County in July, according to court records. More than a dozen convictions include disorderly conduct, fleeing from officers, fourth-degree sexual assault and numerous drunken driving counts.

Glaze had worked with the sheriff's office for 1½ years and previously worked for six years with the Hayward Police Department.


Cleveland submits new police crisis intervention policy

Posted on January 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mark Gillispie Associated Press

CLEVELAND — City police officers with specialized training will be able to refer anyone having a mental health or substance abuse crisis to a hospital or treatment facility rather than arrest them for minor crimes, according to federal court documents filed late Thursday.

The crisis intervention policy was formulated as part of a court-ordered agreement to reform Cleveland's police department and was submitted to U.S. District Court Judge Solomon Oliver Jr.

Oliver is overseeing the 2015 agreement between Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice, which concluded that officers had shown a pattern and practice of using excessive force on people, including the mentally ill.

The new policy aims to improve the safety of officers and those in crisis and to reduce the need for involvement with the criminal justice system, the court filing said.

The city has been working with the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County, court officials and mental health and addiction specialists to create the new policy required by the agreement, called a consent decree.

William Denihan, head of the ADAMHS Board, said the new policy is going to make "a huge difference" in how police treat the mentally ill.

"And that's because of the total collaboration that police have demonstrated through this process," Denihan said.

Officers in the 1,500 member department are expected to receive additional training this year about how to deal with people in crisis. Some officers will undergo 40 hours of training to be certified as specialists, allowing them to use discretion in deciding whether someone in crisis should get treatment instead of being arrested.

The policy calls for people suspected of committing felonies or crimes like domestic violence but in some type of crisis to be transported to a secure mental health facility before being arrested.

About 3,000 police departments in the U.S. have similar policies, the court filing said.

The policy calls on officers to be patient and to try calming people with de-escalation techniques while using a minimum amount of force. The policy forbids officers from placing handcuffed people on their abdomens to avoid the possibility of positional asphyxiation.

Two Cleveland police officers are subjects of a criminal investigation being conducted by the Ohio attorney general's office in the November 2014 death of 37-year-old Tanisha Anderson. Her family called police for help after Anderson, who had a history of mental illness, became disoriented and went outside on a cold day wearing just a nightgown.

A lawsuit filed by family members said Anderson lost consciousness after officers slammed her to the ground. The Cuyahoga County Medical examiner said Anderson couldn't breathe after being placed on her abdomen.


Suspect in La. double slaying shoots self

Posted on January 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kevin McGill and Janet McConnaughey Associated Press

GRETNA, La. — A man accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and a police officer was in critical condition after ending an hourslong standoff by shooting himself in the chest, the sheriff of a New Orleans suburb said Friday.

During the hours when Sylvester Holt, 32, was threatening to jump from New Orleans' bridge over the Mississippi River, he admitted shooting Simone Veal and Westwego Officer Michael Louviere, both of whom lived in Marrero, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said.

"He indicated he had a pretty good idea they were dead," the sheriff said at a news conference Friday night.

Trooper Dustin Dwight said Holt was taken to University Medical Center, the area's Level 1 trauma center, after shooting himself once in the chest.

If Holt survives, he will face first-degree murder charges in the deaths of Veal, 32, and Louviere, 26, plus a charge of feticide, Normand said.

The late evening press conference capped a tumultuous day that began with a frantic 911 call from Veal to authorities saying that she'd just been shot and ended with the shooting suspect fleeing to the busy New Orleans bridge, holding traffic captive while he negotiated with police for hours before shooting himself.

Normand said Holt, who was later identified as the shooter, had previously been romantically involved with Veal and had recently found out the woman was pregnant with a new boyfriend's child.

Holt went Friday morning to Veal's house and an altercation ensued during which he shot her several times.

Holt then looked for Veal's boyfriend as the woman fled in a car with Holt eventually catching up to her.

"Witnesses said Sylvester Holt was ramming his truck into Simone's car and firing shots into the car" before the vehicles stopped at the intersection where Louviere found them, Normand said.

The officer had just gotten off duty and was on his way home when he pulled over to help. Veal's car was significantly damaged and she was on the ground, Normand said.

Holt shot then shot Louviere in the head as well, Normand said, praising the officer.

"He was doing the right thing for the right reasons at the right time," Normand said.

Holt later fled the scene, and an intense manhunt ensued. Authorities later spotted Holt on a bridge spanning New Orleans' east and west banks. Louisiana State Police spokeswoman Melissa Matey says authorities spent hours negotiating with Holt.

"All those attempts failed. At approximately 5:30 Holt shot himself in the chest," she said.

This was not Holt's first run-in with the law. He was the subject of restraining orders obtained by several women since 2012, Normand said.

And he'd also been arrested in September after being accused of rape. But Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick Jr. said the rape charge was later dropped after the woman repeatedly told authorities she wanted to withdraw the charge, though she still alleged that he had raped her. Holt was released from jail on Jan. 7.

Connick said Holt contended the sex was consensual.

Louviere, a first-year officer who had led his recruit class, may have spoken to Holt before Holt pulled a gun, Normand said.

Louviere is survived by his wife, and their daughter, 4, and son, 1.

According to Westwego Police Chief Dwayne Munch, he had served with the Marines in Afghanistan and was a rising star likely bound for a job at a larger agency.

"We knew we wouldn't have him for long. We just didn't know he would be gone this soon," Munch said.

Munch said he and a doctor broke the news to Louviere's wife at a hospital that her husband had died.

"That was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do," the chief said.

Friday's shooting comes after a sharp increase last year in the number of police officers killed in the line of duty — including a pair of deadly ambushes in Louisiana and Texas.

On July 7, a sniper in Dallas killed five law enforcement officers and wounded nine others at the end of what had been a peaceful rally against police brutality. Less than two weeks later, a lone gunman shot and killed three law enforcement officers and wounded three others in an attack outside a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, convenience store.

On Wednesday, authorities arrested a man accused of fatally shooting an Orlando, Florida, police officer outside a Wal-Mart on Jan. 9.

Munch, Westwego's police chief, said Louviere helped patrol Baton Rouge after the deadly shootings in that city and helped patrol neighboring Denham Springs after August's historic flooding.

"Typical Michael," the chief said.


Police arrest 217 in D.C. as protests turn violent

Posted on January 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Lindsay Wise and Tim Johnson McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Enraged bands of black-clad protesters smashed windows and clashed with riot police Friday in a rolling series of demonstrations that disrupted Donald Trump’s inaugural festivities.

The number of arrests mounted during the day, and hit 217 by early evening. Six police officers were reported injured.

Some of the protesters came prepared for violence, carrying hammers and crowbars and wearing gas masks. Some carried flags with the circle-A symbol for the anarchist movement, which has carried out sporadic violent protests in Western countries in recent decades.

They smashed huge glass windows at branches of Starbucks, McDonald’s, Au Bon Pain and at a Crowne Plaza Hotel in an area along Northwest 12th and 13th streets in downtown Washington.

Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said police believed the violence was planned in advance and not spontaneous.

“We have significant damage in a number of blocks in our city,” Newsham said, adding that 400 to 500 protesters took part in the violence.

Police responded with tear gas and flash grenades, whose thunder reverberated just five blocks north of the inaugural parade route. Police temporarily restored calm before the parade, only to see it flare again afterward, forcing police to guide contingents of Trump supporters to inaugural balls amid lingering tear gas in the air.

White nationalist Richard Spencer, who made headlines when he gave a Nazi salute to Trump at a gathering after the Nov. 8 election, was struck in the face by a protester as he was giving a video interview at roughly 2:30 p.m.

“You hate black people!” another protester yelled.

“I don’t hate black people,” Spencer said, in pain, holding his hand to his face.

A few minutes later, another protester ran up and spat in Spencer’s face. Spencer was then whisked into a car, which drove off.

Newsham said three of the six injured police suffered head injuries from flying objects, which he said included stones and bricks. None of the injuries were life-threatening, he added.

“We will not allow the destruction and vandalism of our neighborhoods,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in an early evening news conference.

At one point in the afternoon, as the inaugural parade was well underway, clouds of inky smoke and bright flames poured from the vandalized stretch limo near the intersection of 13th and K Streets, close to the offices of The Washington Post.

Among those present at the protests was Jill Stein, the losing Green Party presidential candidate, who said some Americans were angry over Trump’s policies and his nominations of super wealthy people to his Cabinet.

“This swamp that he was supposed to drain is overflowing now. It’s like the corporations no longer need lobbyists because they’ve been directly empowered to raid the cookie jar,” Stein said.

Another protester, Patrick McGuire, a 37-year-old from Baltimore, appeared overwhelmed by teargas.

“You just want to crawl up into a ball and wait for it to be over,” McGuire said. “You just need someone to come behind you and put their hand on your back and tell you it’s all going to be OK.”

Earlier in the day, the scenes were all peaceful. After some initial shoving, riot police separated protesters from visitors making their way through the blue-ticket gates close to the Capitol, at First and D streets Northwest. The clump of protesters, though, squeezed the flow of visitors to a trickle, and police worked to divert some ticket holders to a nearby entrance.

About 200 protesters banged drums and chanted, “Si, se puede,” “Shut it down” and “We reject the president-elect!” One sign, in Arabic, read, “Freedom.”

Occasionally, chants of “U-S-A!” were returned by inauguration celebrants.

“I’ve heard multiple things like, people in Iraq aren’t human beings,” said Erica Ewing, who said she was protesting on behalf of Witness Against Torture, an advocacy group. “We’re here to witness that they are human beings, too.”

Ewing, 20, who said she worked for a nonprofit group in Cleveland, said she’d come to the capital with a message: “We are telling Trump now that he must shut down Guantanamo and say that the U.S. will not partake in torture.”

The Obama administration on Thursday transferred four prisoners to the custody of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, leaving 41 war-on-terror captives still in the naval facility in Cuba. Trump has promised to keep the Guantanamo prison open and “load it up” with more suspected terrorists. Nearly 800 men have passed through its cells.

Ewing said her group also had protested the Obama administration in past years, “telling him to keep his promise to close Guantanamo.”

Barbara Lyons, 79, and her son, Jeff Lyons, 55, came from Illinois to join the protests. Neither was an Obama voter — they don’t believe change can come through voting without more street activism first — but their opposition to Trump runs deep and covers all the big issues: race relations, immigration, jobs, the environment.

“He brought me into it,” Barbara Lyons said of her son. “I am one of the privileged, and I have to fight for everyone else.”

Jeff Lyons hesitated to call the protests “a start;” he said protesters should be ready to play the long game in reversing the forces that had brought Trump to power:

“It’s going to take years and a growing movement to turn around.”

Greg Byrne, 69, a pig farmer from West Virginia, said he’d come to protest because he was concerned about the future of his children and grandchildren.

Byrne liked Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, but he said he wasn’t sure any president could do all that needed to be done.

Trump, though, he said, is particularly ill equipped.

“I think Trump’s constituency is going to be sorely disappointed. I think that there are so many issues with regard to foreign policy, with regard to health care, where Trump specifically has completely turned around so many times in terms of what in fact he intends to do,” Byrne said. “We have foreign diplomats and foreign governments that are at their wits’ end trying to figure out just who and what they’re dealing with.”

Trump is an expert at spin, Byrne said.

“I think it almost doesn’t matter” if the Russians helped Trump get elected, he said. “I think the magnitude of the problems facing not only this country but the world are so much larger than an issue of did the Russians pay, did he really do that in Russia.”

Stuart Leavenworth, Joshua Magness and Kevin G. Hall contributed to this report.

Copyright 2017 McClatchy Washington Bureau


SHOT Show 2017: Hands on with SilencerCo’s Maxim 9

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: TFB Staff

By Nicholas C.

This article originally appeared on The Firearm Blog.

At Industry Range Day I got a chance, like many others, to get some trigger time and check out the production version of the Maxim 9. For those who have not heard of this and have been living with out internet for the past couple years or perhaps you woke up from a coma, the Maxim 9 is an integrally suppressed 9mm handgun by SilencerCo.

I have been slowly following its evolution ever since it was debuted at SilencerCo’s Maxim Vice press event. At the time, the Maxim 9 was built off of a modified Smith & Wesson M&P 9.

Before the M&P9 iteration, the early prototype of the Maxim 9 was built off of a Beretta 92.

At last year’s SHOT Show SilencerCo showed their changes. They went with Glock magazines which meant an entirely new frame of their design and the suppressor aesthetics have changed.

One of the issues I had with the version above was the inability to attach a light/laser or some sort of optic.

Well, those issues have been addressed. Underneath the massive front end are three KeyMod holes for attaching a small picatinny rail. Now you can attach any weapon light you so desire.

My favorite change is the inclusion of am RMR cut into the top of the silencer. Since the slide is only the portion at the chamber, everything in front of the ejection port does not move. So that means an RMR mounted atop of the Maxim 9 will act like a frame mounted optic.

One feature I did not expect was the removable section akin to the SilencerCo Salvo12 or Micro Osprey. This modularity allows you to shorten the overall length of the pistol with the compromise of decreased sound reduction. I am curious if you could then go in the opposite direction and increase the length by adding more sections and make the Maxim 9 even quieter?

If you look closely, you will notice the Maxim 9 grip and frame has a distinct texture. I have been told, by SilencerCo, that it is actually Morse Code. Anyone want to try their hand at decoding it?


SHOT Show 2017: Hands on with SilencerCo’s Maxim 9

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: TFB Staff

By Nicholas C.

This article originally appeared on The Firearm Blog.

At Industry Range Day I got a chance, like many others, to get some trigger time and check out the production version of the Maxim 9. For those who have not heard of this and have been living with out internet for the past couple years or perhaps you woke up from a coma, the Maxim 9 is an integrally suppressed 9mm handgun by SilencerCo.

I have been slowly following its evolution ever since it was debuted at SilencerCo’s Maxim Vice press event. At the time, the Maxim 9 was built off of a modified Smith & Wesson M&P 9.

Before the M&P9 iteration, the early prototype of the Maxim 9 was built off of a Beretta 92.

At last year’s SHOT Show SilencerCo showed their changes. They went with Glock magazines which meant an entirely new frame of their design and the suppressor aesthetics have changed.

One of the issues I had with the version above was the inability to attach a light/laser or some sort of optic.

Well, those issues have been addressed. Underneath the massive front end are three KeyMod holes for attaching a small picatinny rail. Now you can attach any weapon light you so desire.

My favorite change is the inclusion of am RMR cut into the top of the silencer. Since the slide is only the portion at the chamber, everything in front of the ejection port does not move. So that means an RMR mounted atop of the Maxim 9 will act like a frame mounted optic.

One feature I did not expect was the removable section akin to the SilencerCo Salvo12 or Micro Osprey. This modularity allows you to shorten the overall length of the pistol with the compromise of decreased sound reduction. I am curious if you could then go in the opposite direction and increase the length by adding more sections and make the Maxim 9 even quieter?

If you look closely, you will notice the Maxim 9 grip and frame has a distinct texture. I have been told, by SilencerCo, that it is actually Morse Code. Anyone want to try their hand at decoding it?


9 considerations for police when requesting public assistance during a manhunt

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Lt. Dan Marcou
Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

There are many tense moments in a police officer’s career. Some of those moments are punctuated by the adrenalized shout, “Police! Don’t move! We have a warrant for your arrest!”

Throughout history, law enforcement has solicited and received valuable assistance from citizens in the pursuit of wanted persons. Examples are the wanted posters as well as the FBI’s Public Enemy program from the 1930s.

While searching for a wanted suspect, the public can add thousands of eyes to your search effort. In determining when the time is right to inform the public, some important considerations should come into play.

1. A valid warrant

Make sure before you engage in a concerted search for a suspect, there is a valid warrant and that the person named in the warrant is indeed the same individual you are targeting.

2. Public endangerment

If the safety of the public is endangered by a particular suspect remaining at large then it is imperative to notify the public immediately.

3. Integrity of the investigation

This is often cited as a legal reason for not releasing information. Investigations often have many moving parts that can be compromised by the release of certain case-related information. For example, once a photo of a suspect in any serious crime is released, it can impair the efficacy of police line-ups that are arranged after the photo’s release. Also, when one suspect is identified it can cause others to flee.

Releasing too much information on a crime can even cause some individuals to come forward to credibly bare false witness to a crime that they did not even observe.

4. Seriousness of the crime

When a department issues a general BOLO for a suspect to the law enforcement community, the serious nature of the crime is definitely a consideration. This should also be a consideration before putting a suspect’s face on the evening news.

5. Time and place

Sometimes a recent sighting can precipitate an urgent need for a department to release information due to the time and location of the last sighting. This can happen before a warrant is issued, and even before the suspect is identified.

6. Current evidence

Releasing information about a wanted suspect will probably not be too much of a concern for the career criminal, but it can have a devastating impact on a person who has no such criminal record, especially if the suspect later turns out to be innocent.

The most famous and recent case was that of the late Richard Jewell. He was the police officer-security guard who saved many lives by discovering a backpack filled with pipe-bombs at the 1996 Olympic Park in Atlanta. He was able to give warning just minutes before the explosion and evacuate most of the people out of the area. One person was killed, but it was clear that it would have been much worse if not for his vigilance.

Sadly, the FBI reported that Jewell was a Person of Interest in the bombing. It was theorized he planted the bomb to become a hero. This release of information had a devastating impact on the life of this innocent man. A domestic terrorist was ultimately convicted of the bombing.

7. Releasing the suspect’s photo

If the hunt for a wanted suspect is progressing and you still have places to go and people to see, there may be no need to request the help of the public. This is especially true in the case where the suspect is unaware of an impending arrest and still going about their day-to-day activities. Seeing his or her face on the news may impact which steps the suspect may take next. Releasing the photo to the media might trigger surrender, it could backfire and turn into a hostile scenario, or it could inspire a neighbor, friend, good citizen or associate to call in the location of the suspect. All of these possibilities weigh on the mind of investigators trying to decide whether or not to go public.

8. Running out of options

When there is a danger to the community and your pursuit isn’t producing any leads, it may be an easy decision to ask the public to help by releasing case information.

9. Methods of releasing case information

The most basic venue for release of information is done daily at street level. After no contact at a residence, many officers will scan the neighborhood to look for the unofficial neighborhood watch representative. In every neighborhood there is at least one person who has a need to know everything. These nosy neighbors not only have an overpowering need to know, but also have a need to tell others what they know. During my career there was an occasion when one of those neighbors not only verified the wanted suspect was at home, but also taught me the secret knock to use to get him to answer the door. It worked.

Notification can be anything from your local most wanted list on your department’s website, social media messaging or a text message on systems designed for such purposes. It can also include enlisting local or even national media.

It is important to note that large rewards are unnecessary. If you want the help of the good people you serve, all you need to do is ask.


9 considerations for police when requesting public assistance during a manhunt

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Lt. Dan Marcou
Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

There are many tense moments in a police officer’s career. Some of those moments are punctuated by the adrenalized shout, “Police! Don’t move! We have a warrant for your arrest!”

Throughout history, law enforcement has solicited and received valuable assistance from citizens in the pursuit of wanted persons. Examples are the wanted posters as well as the FBI’s Public Enemy program from the 1930s.

While searching for a wanted suspect, the public can add thousands of eyes to your search effort. In determining when the time is right to inform the public, some important considerations should come into play.

1. A valid warrant

Make sure before you engage in a concerted search for a suspect, there is a valid warrant and that the person named in the warrant is indeed the same individual you are targeting.

2. Public endangerment

If the safety of the public is endangered by a particular suspect remaining at large then it is imperative to notify the public immediately.

3. Integrity of the investigation

This is often cited as a legal reason for not releasing information. Investigations often have many moving parts that can be compromised by the release of certain case-related information. For example, once a photo of a suspect in any serious crime is released, it can impair the efficacy of police line-ups that are arranged after the photo’s release. Also, when one suspect is identified it can cause others to flee.

Releasing too much information on a crime can even cause some individuals to come forward to credibly bare false witness to a crime that they did not even observe.

4. Seriousness of the crime

When a department issues a general BOLO for a suspect to the law enforcement community, the serious nature of the crime is definitely a consideration. This should also be a consideration before putting a suspect’s face on the evening news.

5. Time and place

Sometimes a recent sighting can precipitate an urgent need for a department to release information due to the time and location of the last sighting. This can happen before a warrant is issued, and even before the suspect is identified.

6. Current evidence

Releasing information about a wanted suspect will probably not be too much of a concern for the career criminal, but it can have a devastating impact on a person who has no such criminal record, especially if the suspect later turns out to be innocent.

The most famous and recent case was that of the late Richard Jewell. He was the police officer-security guard who saved many lives by discovering a backpack filled with pipe-bombs at the 1996 Olympic Park in Atlanta. He was able to give warning just minutes before the explosion and evacuate most of the people out of the area. One person was killed, but it was clear that it would have been much worse if not for his vigilance.

Sadly, the FBI reported that Jewell was a Person of Interest in the bombing. It was theorized he planted the bomb to become a hero. This release of information had a devastating impact on the life of this innocent man. A domestic terrorist was ultimately convicted of the bombing.

7. Releasing the suspect’s photo

If the hunt for a wanted suspect is progressing and you still have places to go and people to see, there may be no need to request the help of the public. This is especially true in the case where the suspect is unaware of an impending arrest and still going about their day-to-day activities. Seeing his or her face on the news may impact which steps the suspect may take next. Releasing the photo to the media might trigger surrender, it could backfire and turn into a hostile scenario, or it could inspire a neighbor, friend, good citizen or associate to call in the location of the suspect. All of these possibilities weigh on the mind of investigators trying to decide whether or not to go public.

8. Running out of options

When there is a danger to the community and your pursuit isn’t producing any leads, it may be an easy decision to ask the public to help by releasing case information.

9. Methods of releasing case information

The most basic venue for release of information is done daily at street level. After no contact at a residence, many officers will scan the neighborhood to look for the unofficial neighborhood watch representative. In every neighborhood there is at least one person who has a need to know everything. These nosy neighbors not only have an overpowering need to know, but also have a need to tell others what they know. During my career there was an occasion when one of those neighbors not only verified the wanted suspect was at home, but also taught me the secret knock to use to get him to answer the door. It worked.

Notification can be anything from your local most wanted list on your department’s website, social media messaging or a text message on systems designed for such purposes. It can also include enlisting local or even national media.

It is important to note that large rewards are unnecessary. If you want the help of the good people you serve, all you need to do is ask.


2 new, innovative ballistic protection products on display at SHOT Show 2017

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

When you’re at SHOT Show the most common question that surfaces while looking at products on the floor is "What's new?" The innovations I found when scoping out ballistic protection definitely stand out.

I had back to back appointments with product representatives while at the show. The first was with Honeywell. The second was with Safariland.

Honeywell is the company that brought us many of the advanced fibers used in manufacturing ballistic protection. Lori Wagner demonstrated a new composite fabric called Centurion. Spectra fiber is its base material. Pound for pound, Spectra is 15 pounds stronger than steel. It’s generally used for Spectra Shield, a ballistic resistant material.

(Photo/PoliceOne)

Centurion fabric is extremely thin, although it has a 500 denier Cordura surface and a thin, somewhat tacky feeling finish on the back. The material itself is flexible like clothing fabric, but it has an 800 pound breaking strength. Because of the Cordura on the top, it can be made into any color. It is laser cut, which creates non-fraying edges.

The material is an extremely durable, lightweight, flexible, thin laminate that is cut with a laser, rather than mechanically. The material itself doesn’t stretch, and it has a high tear and puncture resistance. When materials like these are attached together, they do not require finishing on the edges, like folding over before stitching two pieces of material together. Because of this design, it is easy to cut MOLLE patterns into it.

Because MOLLE is cut into the material, it is thinner, lighter and more flexible than sewn on MOLLE.

This is the perfect vest or plate carrier material. It’s lighter and thinner. Using MOLLE or adding zippers and features would be very simple. Imagine your internal vest having capabilities of being an external vest that takes pouches and mounts.

The considerations for this particular material are endless. For example, if you are a thigh holster user, why not integrate the webbing that holds the holster to the belt into the pants? The possibility of having a pair of duty pants with an integrated holster is awesome.

Later, I went to see Keith Fahl at Safariland to talk about some of the new innovations in ballistic panels. He was handing me panels and telling me the specs for each panel. Finally, he handed me a Safariland Hardwire front soft armor panel.

(Photo/PoliceOne)

“That’s a Level IIIa,” Keith said. “Where?” I asked. “You’re holding it.” Startled, I dropped it.

The Safariland Hardwire panel weighs .68lbs. It’s about half as thick as similar products.

I told Keith that I had just come from Honeywell and they had shown me their vest carrier made of Centurion. He pointed to their Safariland T1 AWS (Advanced Webless System) soft armor carrier on display behind him. It’s extremely thin and very configurable.

Where was this stuff when I was on patrol?


5 new products from Safariland at SHOT Show 2017

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Mike Wood

Industry giant Safariland didn’t disappoint at SHOT Show 2017, offering a host of products that are sure to capture the attention of law enforcement. Here’s just a small sample of the new items they had on display.

1. EDW holster

The Safariland 7TS SLS holster for electronic discharge weapons (EDWs) has been updated to include a safety-activating feature. If a EDW is holstered with the safety in the off position, it will automatically be moved to the on position by a cam on the SLS when the SLS is rotated to the locked position after reholstering.

EDW holstered with safety “off.” (Photo/PoliceOne)

EDW safety moves to “on” as SLS hood is rotated towards locked position. (Photo/PoliceOne)

2. Glock 42 and 43 holsters

Safariland has added several new concealment designs for the extremely popular Glock 42 and 43 pistols, including models with the popular ALS lock for added retention.

(Photo/PoliceOne)

3. 7TS holster for WML and RDS

Safariland has modified their popular 7TS retention holster to accommodate duty pistols equipped with both a weapon mounted light and a red dot sight. The cover for the RDS helps to protect the lens from dust and moisture, and automatically hinges out of the way when the pistol is withdrawn from the holster.

(Photo/PoliceOne)

4. Rogers RDS mount

Safariland has added an affordable, quick-detatch mount for red dot optics. This polymer unit has a throw lever that solidly mounts it to a Picatinny rail system, yet allows for easy removal. The system is designed to help the optic retain its zero as its removed and reinstalled, and it comes with shims to allow the user to change the height of the optic above the bore line.

(Photo/PoliceOne)

5. Falcon 37 charging handle

Safariland teamed up with Falcon 37 to produce their ambidextrous charging handle for AR pattern rifles. The handle has a unique profile that does away with the familiar T-shape that shooters are used to. It provides a large surface area for the shooter to grasp with an overhand method.

(Photo/PoliceOne)

Safariland had many other interesting new products, including new Hyperx body armor, and a body worn camera auto-activation system that turns the camera on when the pistol is drawn from the holster.


12 things cops need to know about the Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 design

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Mike Wood
Author: Mike Wood

I shot the new Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 at the 2017 SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range, and afterwards I sat down with S&W representatives for a detailed examination of the pistol. Here are 12 things cops need to know about this exciting new design:

1. Grip texture and size

The grip texture is more aggressive, which makes for a secure grip when it's wet, or when the shooter is wearing gloves. The coarse texture is appropriate on a service pistol, but probably won’t be comfortable against the skin in concealed carry.

The grip frame measures the same, front-to-back, but there’s a new Medium-Large palmswell option, giving you four choices of backstraps.

2. Magazines

The same magazines from the original M&P will work in the 2.0.

3. Slide lock

A spring loaded detent has been added to the slide lock, to prevent it from bouncing and dropping the slide after the frame is jarred (such as during an aggressive reload).

4. Frame changes

The frame's dustcover has new windows, through which the serial number and QR code can be seen on the starboard side. The beavertail on the 2.0 is slightly shorter (to comply with overall length requirements in the U.S. Army Modular Handgun System--MHS—trials) but still protects the hand and aids in recoil control.

5. Safeties

The 5 inch barrel version of the gun has a thumb safety (a legacy from the MHS trials), while the 4.25 inch barrel version does not. Neither has a magazine disconnect. S&W will certainly mix and match these features later as the line matures, or as requested by agency orders.

6. Internal chassis

The stainless steel chassis has been extended to the far end of the dust cover. This will decrease frame flex and torque, reducing the possibility of malfunctions caused by frame-slide binding when heavier items are added to the equipment rail. It will also help to prevent damage to the dustcover area on guns that are handled roughly with the slide locked to the rear--an issue reported by some agencies that required officers to draw weapons from an armory on each shift.

7. Trigger

The 2.0 trigger is crisper and lighter in weight. The reset on the 2.0 trigger is unmistakable, and can be heard and felt by the shooter. In the new gun, a reshaped trigger bar acts on a rotating cam, which then trips the sear. There's some takeup at first, but it transitions smoothly into a crisp engagement and release. Factory specifications call for a six pound (plus or minus one pound) trigger pull, but the trigger feels lighter. This is the trigger we wanted from S&W years ago.

8. Parts

The magazine button is now stainless steel, instead of polymer. Some roll pins and other internal pieces are also now made of stainless.

9. Slide

The slide profile has changed, and it’s slimmer at the top. A small set of forward grasping grooves have been added at the base of the slide. The 4.25 inch barrel versions use the traditional inspection hole as a loaded chamber indicator, but the longer 5 inch barrel model uses a pivoting lever for tactile verification in dark conditions.

10. Barrel

The unlocking of the barrel has been retimed so that it occurs later in the firing cycle. This, along with tighter production tolerances, and extended forward frame rails, enhances accuracy. The MHS standards call for a 4 inch Ransom Rest group at 50 yards, and the M&P 2.0 shoots to that specification. The facilities and format at Industry Day didn't allow me to validate this, but I was able to hit 4 inch plates without difficulty at 15 yards.

11. Colors

Both matte black (4.25 inch barrel) and flat dark earth (5 inch barrel) variations were on hand at SHOT 2017 Industry Day, and I suspect that these color options will be available in all formats--if not initially, then relatively soon as the product line matures.

12. Holsters

The 9mm and .40 S&W versions of the new pistol will fit in holsters designed for the older version of the gun, but the M&P 2.0 frame in .45 ACP is slightly larger in some dimensions, and may not work in some older holsters. It's important to note that the ejection port dimensions on the 2.0 have changed, so Safariland ALS holsters designed for the older gun may not retain the new gun properly.

Safariland testing on the 9mm version of the 2.0 indicates that while the new pistol will fit in the holster, and the ALS will lock and unlock as before, the ALS lever has less purchase on the new ejection port. As a result, the holster won't pass a standard Level I retention test--the gun can be pulled out without releasing the ALS lock first.

Officers who wish to pair the new M&P 2.0 with an older Safariland ALS holster will want to upgrade it with updated ALS parts that are specifically made for the new gun (currently under development), or purchase new holsters designed for the 2.0, to ensure the retention features work properly.

My shooting experience with the pistol was brief, and I look forward to wringing it out in a more thorough test. At first blush, however, the M&P 2.0 looks like a real winner. I expect to see this pistol riding in a lot of police duty holsters in the near future.

Be safe out there.


SHOT 2017: First look at the MantisX firearms training system

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Mike Wood
Author: Mike Wood

One of the great challenges faced by firearms instructors is the requirement to help students learn the fundamentals of marksmanship, the most important of which is trigger control. An error in sight alignment or sight picture can certainly cause a shot to miss its intended target, but the most significant contributor to poor accuracy is an error in trigger manipulation.

Unfortunately, it is also the most difficult aspect of poor technique to diagnose and correct. Trigger control errors can be so subtle as to escape notice by both the shooter and the instructor. The recoil of a fired cartridge and the resultant muzzle flip can make it difficult to identify exactly what's going on, before all the clues are erased.

A problem solved

To help address this problem, Mantis introduced the MantisX Firearms Training System. In the MantisX system, a wireless transmitter is connected to the handgun, and accelerometers inside the unit precisely measure the movement of the handgun as the trigger is pulled. When the snap of a dry-fired striker or hammer, or the ignition of a live cartridge is detected by the unit, it sends information via Bluetooth to an iOS or Android compatible device. That information allows the user to chart and analyze the movement of the firearm in the half-second prior to ignition and the movement after ignition as well.

The software application scores the quality of the trigger press and allows the user to analyze it in detail in a variety of formats. One screen shows the numerical score assigned to the shot with a higher number indicating less deviation during the trigger press. Another screen displays the squiggly path of the gun's movement in color-coded, quarter-second increments immediately prior to the shot. This allows the shooter to see exactly how the gun moved as the trigger was being pulled.

In a different screen, all of the shots fired in the session are compiled and displayed on a bullseye-type pie chart. This display allows the shooter to identify trends over the course of a firing session. When a trend is noted, the software suggests a cause for the error that was made repeatedly. The application provides links on a chart and directs the shooter to tutorial pages that suggest corrective actions to remedy any mistakes.

The MantisX attachment will fit any Picatinny-style equipment rail on a handgun. Adapters for unique rail patterns (such as HK) will permit the use of the attachment on those guns. Although they're not ready for consumers yet, Mantis is working on magazine baseplate adapters that will allow the use of the unit on handguns that lack an equipment rail altogether. These magazine baseplate attachments will also facilitate the use of the MantisX from a holster that isn't set up to accommodate rail attachments (such as rail-mounted lasers or weapon lights).

The MantisX attachment is charged via an included USB cable, and the manufacturer suggests that the battery should last for about eight hours of continuous use before it needs to be recharged.

The MantisX works with live fire, dry fire, airsoft and CO2, which opens up some excellent possibilities for training on and off the range. The package sells for $150 and can be purchased via their website.

I plan on getting one of these units for more extensive testing to see how it performs. I hope it will prove to be a durable and reliable system, because it's a unique idea that could prove to be an extremely valuable training aid.


SHOT Show 2017: A gun belt with no holes?

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Ron LaPedis

I’ve been meaning to write about the Nexbelt for a while. If you’re anything like me, your weight goes up and down a bit, especially over the holidays. My, um, love handles also like to shift when I sit down (yeah, too much information), so I am always adjusting my belt back and forth a notch. Not a big deal, unless I am wearing a firearm and unbuckling my belt smakes the gun shift or be seen. For the best fit, I’ve also had to punch holes in between the ones that the belt came with.

Nexbelt thinks that they have the solution; a patented belt design with no holes, but with a cable tie-like panel on the back which is gripped by a spring-loaded follower on the buckle. The belt can only be pulled tighter unless you press a small release to lift the follower off the one-way “zip track,” allowing you to loosen and remove the belt.

The zip track. Note that the Blade-Tech version (top) is 4” longer for wearing with or without an inside the waistband holster. (Photo/PoliceOne)

Nexbelt is available in multiple men’s and women’s styles from casual to dressy. One of their latest styles is the PreciseFit gun belt. Available for both men and women, the 1-7/16 wide belt is heavier than their other lines.

Where’s the Beef? Blade-Tech Has It

The folks at Blade-Tech, a purveyor of premium holsters, liked the Nexbelt concept, but felt that even Nexbelt’s beefed-up gun belt still wasn’t beefy enough for their needs. The two companies worked together to come up with a belt worthy of carrying Blade-Tech holsters – and their name. The Blade-Tech Ultimate Carry Belt by Nexbelt.

The belt is available in both tactical ($49.99 in black or coyote) and leather ($59.99 in black or brown) versions. The Blade-Tech Ultimate Carry Belt features these major upgrades: a stiffer lining, substantially upgraded buckle attachment clasp and set screws, and a more aggressive and longer zip track. The belt is easy to size and fits up to a 50 inch waist and it comes with an extra set screw and hex wrench.

Per regional sales managers Justin Crawford and Brian Yip, the new belt will be available directly from Blade-Tech’s website and Blade-Tech distribution in mid-March. There is a 10 percent discount for LE and Military.

The Blade-Tech version (bottom) has a much stronger attachment slot than the original Nexbelt buckle. (Photo/PoliceOne)

Here you can see the larger attachment clasp on the brass Blade-Tech version. The hex set screw also minimizes stripping. (Photo/PoliceOne)


SHOT 2017: Cacharme unveils sport coat for the concealed carry crowd

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Ron LaPedis
Author: Ron LaPedis

During a session at the SHOT Show Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP), Cacharme introduced their Executive, a men’s sport coat. This sport coat, made in the USA (how rare is that?), was designed for anyone who needs to discretely carry all the time such as limo drivers, executive protection details, special agents, and off-duty cops. With ISIS publishing hit lists of churches, temples, and their leaders, many of them are forming their own armed protection teams and the Cacharme Executive lets you fit right in.

A Vested Interest

Unlike a standard sport coat, which was not designed to carry a firearm, the $399 Executive is a 70/30 poly/wool shell built on top of a purpose-built load bearing vest. The vest has a dozen pockets, specifically designed to hold a firearm, spare mags, handcuffs, cell phone, wallet, pen, and more. Because the heavy lifting is done by the vest and not the shell, there is no printing, and the jacket won’t sag to one side. Since the pockets are symmetrical, it can be worn by left- or right-handed shooters.

Every LEO knows if someone is wearing a concealed carry shirt just by the design, and the bad guys probably do too. And whether you are carrying in or out of your waistband, motion of your jacket or shirt could reveal that you are armed, making you the first target. Cacharme solves both problems. You can buy the company’s jacket in black or blue (without the logo shown in their marketing shots), or can you buy just the vest and have your suit tailor build a custom jacket around it.

Sit Back and Relax

Since your tools are completely enclosed, there is a much smaller chance of a bad guy sneaking a peek to determine that you are carrying. If you are in an office situation or just need to hit the bathroom, you can take off your jacket without announcing you are armed.

In the Side Pocket

CEO and founder Greg Rocque said that Cacharme has partnered with an undisclosed holster maker to create firearm-specific, rake- and tension-adjustable Kydex inserts which properly hold your firearm and magazines in the correct position for a fast draw and fast reloads. Unlike some products, you can re-holster with one hand if you need the use of both of your hands. The current design can hold a Springfield EMP, S&W Shield, or similarly sized firearm. Inserts are $180 per set.

The product is self-funded and has been in design and testing for the last 16-18 months, including use in IDPA matches. The company is looking to build a network of certified trainers and will be seeking additional investors later this year. If you are interested in either, contact Bill Haas, their business development executive, on their website.


SHOT Show 2017: Modernize your AR with Daniel Defense

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Ron LaPedis
Author: Ron LaPedis

In this article, PoliceOne’s Todd Fletcher cautions against building a “Frankengun.” His definition is a rifle built by a department armorer or individual hobbyist using parts that are purchased from a variety of sources. But not every department can afford to buy even a handful of patrol rifles, much less one for every car.

Joe Marler, Joseph Scull, and Dave Steinback from Daniel Defense (DD) took us step by step through building a modern patrol rifle out of an older or confiscated AR at low cost using their parts and rail system along with a Geissele fire control group.

Now while this sounds like you are building a Frankengun, you sort of aren’t. What you are doing is modernizing an existing platform that you already have, using existing resources, and saving money in the process. And as the DD staff showed, modernizing an AR is not that difficult if you have the right knowledge, instructions, and tools. If you already have any DD patrol rifles, you are eligible for free training; all you need to do is pay your own expenses.

While I won’t go into detail, parts which can be individually swapped out to modernize an AR include the upper receiver, buffer tube (using a carbine length for better maneuverability), buffer, buffer spring, stock, front sight/gas block, handguard (replace with a rail system), and fire control (hammer and trigger). If you are on a tight budget, prioritize your replacements. If they are worn out, you should replace the lower receiver, lower receiver parts, barrel, gas tube, and the bolt carrier assembly. If a carbine spring is shorter than 10-1/8” then it needs to be replaced too.

If you decide that this is for your agency, get trained and get the right tools. Buy buying all your parts from the same manufacturer, you know that they should work together, giving you a modern, reliable patrol rifle that is only part Frankengun.


Nev. cop creates memorials for fallen officers

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — A North Las Vegas officer turns blocks of wood into pieces of art for his fallen brothers and sisters.

Officer Noah Bennett carves memorial plaques for fallen officers in his garage, Fox5 Vegas reported.

"We put it together all by hand," Bennett said. “I cannot even count the number of plaques that we’ve done.”

He told the news station every memorial is different because every officer is unique.

"We don't like doing the same one for everybody," he said. "We don't believe it gives that same touch." His work became personal after his colleague and friend Det. Chad Parque was killed in a crash with a wrong-way driver on Jan. 8.

“He was a great officer. He was a go-getter,” Bennett said. “That was his goal: to bring the bad guys to justice.”

According to CBS News, Bennett, and wife Rosonna Garvey, have been hand delivering the plaques to families of fallen officers since they began in 2012.

Each plaque takes around 60 hours to make and, if put up for sale, would cost between $500 and $600, Fox5 reported.

"When I talk to the friends and family members at the funerals, they say to me that it just means so much to them because of the time, the heart, and the love we put into the plaques," Bennett said. "We're not doing this for profit."


Police response to complex, coordinated attacks: 7 areas of focus for prep

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Mike Wood
Author: Mike Wood

The SHOT Show 2017 Law Enforcement Education Program featured a briefing on "Police Response to Complex, Coordinated, Terror Attacks" by Jason Mudrock of the National Tactical Officers Association.

The briefing began with Mudrock defining the concept of a complex, coordinated attack for those in attendance. This was critical, because these attacks call for very specific tactics in response, and it's necessary for police to identify exactly what they're dealing with in order to select and use the proper tactics.

Per the NTOA, a CCA is a synchronized attack, executed by two or more semi-independent teams that are working in coordination with each other. In these attacks, multiple locations are hit in close succession, without warning, by multiple, well-trained attackers who typically focus on soft targets. The attackers communicate effectively across teams, and often use the media (including social media) to adapt their operations.

A prime example of such an attack is the terror attack on Paris, France in November 2015. Multiple teams of terrorists struck a variety of soft targets throughout Paris, using bombs and firearms to attack crowds outside of a soccer stadium, patrons in cafes and the crowd in a concert hall. These attacks were coordinated to cause disarray and hinder the response from overwhelmed police and fire assets.

The attackers achieved their goal of sowing confusion and fear, killing 130 people and wounding 368 more in the attack. The beleaguered French police eventually killed the attackers in dramatic raids, but not before the world saw the effectiveness of this style of attack, and the difficulty associated with providing an adequate response to it.

An attack of this nature is not easily handled using traditional law enforcement tactics and methods. For example, the familiar and accepted tactics for resolving conventional, static hostage situations would not be appropriate in the hostage siege type of operation that is commonly part of a CCA. In a hostage siege, delays by law enforcement provide more time for the attackers to kill more innocents, so protracted discussions and negotiations are an inappropriate response to the threat.

CCA’s demand their own set of police responses, and the tactics chosen by police must match the nature of the threat. Because a CCA is such a difficult type of threat to tackle, many agencies and officers are currently unprepared to handle them. Mudrock advises that agencies preparing for this kind of threat should pay particular attention to the following areas:

1. Training Are officers adequately trained in the tactics and skills necessary to address a CCA threat? Are command staff members suitably trained to fulfill their roles as Incident Command leaders?

2. Preparedness Are officers and leaders mentally and emotionally prepared to deal with this chaotic and confusing kind of scenario? Do they have the appropriate mindset to tackle the job like professionals, even during sensory overload?

3. Equipment Are officers equipped with the proper gear for the required tactics? Do they have rifle-rated armor, long guns, armored rescue vehicles, breaching equipment, medical gear, intelligence-gathering equipment and all the other items necessary for success? Does the agency have a properly-equipped mobile command post capability?

4. Personnel Do we have well-trained officers and leaders in Patrol and SWAT? Do we have enough of them to adequately respond to multiple scenes that may be widely distributed? Are call takers and dispatchers trained on how to identify that the simultaneous attacks are related?

5. Integration Do police assets work well with telecommunicators, fire, EOD and EMS personnel? Do local agencies have good coordination with state and federal teams? Do teams from neighboring agencies maintain common standards for communications, tactics and equipment so that they can work efficiently when paired up?

6. Intelligence Collection and Analysis Do the police actively monitor social media, the Internet and human intelligence sources closely enough to detect useful elements of information? Do they have the necessary equipment to develop actionable intelligence, such as listening devices, robots or aerial observation platforms? Do they have the ability to synthesize what they know with other information, in order to create an accurate picture of potential threats?

7. Command and Control Do agency leaders understand their roles in Incident Command? Are they well-practiced in making command decisions under stress without all the relevant information?

Proper attention to these areas and many more are essential to ensure that an agency and its personnel are ready for the demands of a CCA. Achieving readiness in all of these areas will require significant, advance effort by all involved and high levels of coordination with personnel from other disciplines and agencies.

CCAs require a specialized response to achieve mission success. The only way to win these fights is to be ready to use the right tactics, and I'd like to thank Mudrock and the NTOA for their outstanding efforts in leading the law enforcement community towards that goal.

Be safe out there.


Propane tank explodes after thrown under Boston patrol car

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Mike Wood

By PoliceOne Staff

BOSTON — Police told CBS Boston that someone walked by a patrol car and threw a propane tank underneath the cruiser on Friday.

According to the news station, an officer was able to move the vehicle before the tank exploded.

Police Commissioner William Evans said the incident was a “deliberate act.”

“Clearly someone set this deliberately to blow up one of our cruisers,” Evans said. “Thank god we were able to get anyone out of the way and pull the cruiser out before it did explode.”

No one was injured.

FBI and the Boston bomb squad are investigating. No arrests have been made.

Boston Police say propane tank was thrown under officer's cruiser in a "deliberate act." https://t.co/CM5Z49Q3tP pic.twitter.com/V7QtewnpX8

— WBZ Boston News (@cbsboston) January 20, 2017

Texas school vandalized during fallen officer’s vigil

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Mike Wood

By PoliceOne Staff

LITTLE ELM, Texas — A high school mourning the loss of an officer was vandalized while most of the town attended a vigil for the slain policeman.

NBC 5 reported that officials found a trailer spray painted with derogatory words and “We Are Back.” They believe the damage occurred Wednesday during the candlelight vigil for Detective Jerry Walker, who was fatally shot while responding to a call.

“There's no need for stuff like this,” school spokesperson Pat Robbins said. “It's never a good time for something like this to happen, but right now when our entire community is in mourning, it's pretty thoughtless.”

The incident is the second time in months that the school has experienced vandalism on the trailer. It had recently be repainted and updated.

#LittleElm High School Band trailer vandalized for 2nd time this month while community mourned fallen #LEPD Det. Jerry Walker last night. pic.twitter.com/F18Fqn4Lpu

— Alisha Ebrahimji (@AlishaEbrahimji) January 19, 2017

Policing Matters Podcast: Policy and oversight in 21st century policing

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

In December 2014, President Barack Obama signed an executive order establishing the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The president charged the task force with identifying best practices and offering recommendations on how policing practices can promote effective crime reduction while building public trust. The task force released its final report in May of 2015. In it was what the task force called the “Six Pillars of 21st Century Policing.” In this week’s podcast, Jim and Doug discuss the second pillar — Policy and Oversight — and in coming weeks will tackle each subsequent pillar in turn.


Photos: LEOs protect our nation’s leaders on Inauguration Day

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By PoliceOne Staff

Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C. means that public safety providers must be on high alert. Here's a snapshot of federal, local and state police departments' social posts as they serve and protect during the events for President Donald Trump.


La. sheriff: Off-duty officer, woman killed; search on for boyfriend

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

The Associated Press

MARRERO, La. — An off-duty police officer and a woman he was helping were shot and killed Friday in a New Orleans suburb, and agencies were searching for a man who had been involved with the woman, authorities said.

Officer Michael Louviere, 26, of Westwego, was shot in neighboring Marrero, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand told local media.

He said dozens of officers from multiple agencies were searching for Sylvester Holt, 32, who had been romantically involved with the woman. Several women had taken out protective orders against him, the sheriff said.

The shooting occurred outside Visitation of Our Lady School, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans.

Louviere was on his way home after work when he stopped at the scene of a car crash to offer help, Westwego Police Chief Dwayne Munch told WWL-TV.

He was shot in the back of the head, Normand told the station.

Archdiocese of New Orleans spokeswoman Sarah Comiskey McDonald says the shooting happened outside Visitation of Our Lady School, but referred all questions, including whether the woman was a school employee, to the sheriff's office.

The school teaches pre-kindergarten through seventh grade students.

A message on its Facebook page said an incident Friday morning disrupted the school day, and children could be dropped off but all absences would be excused. It also said that a sixth-grade field trip had been canceled and all tests, quizzes and assignments would be postponed.

Abdallah Aballah, who works at a nearby Brother's Food Mart gas station, said a woman ran in about 6:30 a.m. Friday screaming for someone to call 911.

He said he and some customers made calls. Aballah says he heard two shots, and customers ran outside.


Smashed windows, chaotic confrontation near inauguration

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jessica Gresko Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Police deployed pepper spray in a chaotic confrontation blocks from Donald Trump's inauguration Friday as protesters registered their rage against the new president.

Spirited demonstrations unfolded peacefully at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police helped ticket-holders get through to the inaugural ceremony. Signs read, "Resist Trump Climate Justice Now," ''Let Freedom Ring," ''Free Palestine."

.@DCPoliceDept spks confirms arrests at 12th and L Sts NW are for "several acts of vandalism and destruction of property." #Inauguration pic.twitter.com/BfUsQLQKgB

— Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) January 20, 2017

But at one point, police gave chase to a group of about 100 protesters who smashed the windows of downtown businesses as they denounced capitalism and Trump. Police in riot gear used pepper spray from large canisters and eventually cordoned off the protesters.

The demonstrators shouted, "Hands up, don't shoot," echoing a slogan adopted at protests after police shot Michael Brown to death in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.

The confrontation happened about an hour before Trump was sworn in at the Capitol.

Windows smashed at Bobby Van's Rest, 12& I NW #Inauguration pic.twitter.com/85Y8z5RQ7I

— Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) January 20, 2017

Closer to that scene, lines for ticket-holders entering two gates stretched for blocks at one point as protesters clogged entrances.

Earlier, the DisruptJ20 coalition, named after the date of the inauguration, had promised that people participating in its actions in Washington would attempt to shut down the celebrations, risking arrest when necessary.

Trump supporter Brett Ecker said the protesters were frustrating but weren't going to put a damper on his day.

"They're just here to stir up trouble," said the 36-year-old public school teacher. "It upsets me a little bit that people choose to do this, but yet again it's one of the things I love about this country."

At one checkpoint, protesters wore orange jumpsuits with black hoods over their faces to represent prisoners in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay. Eleanor Goldfield, who helped organize the Disrupt J20 protest, said protesters wanted to show Trump and his "misguided, misinformed or just plain dangerous" supporters that they won't be silent.

Black Lives Matter and feminist groups also made their voices heard.

Damage to Starbucks on I Street NW. #inauguration @WTOP pic.twitter.com/ICfP79why0

— Dennis J. Foley (@DJFoleyWTOP) January 20, 2017

Most Trump supporters walking to the inauguration past Union Station ignored protesters outside the train station, but not Doug Rahm, who engaged in a lengthy and sometimes profane yelling match with them.

"Get a job," said Rahm, a Bikers for Trump member from Philadelphia. "Stop crying snowflakes, Trump won."

Pics of McDonald's damage. #Inauguration @WTOP pic.twitter.com/CLalw4TB0E

— Dennis J. Foley (@DJFoleyWTOP) January 20, 2017

Outside the International Spy Museum, protesters in Russian hats ridiculed Trump's praise of President Vladimir Putin, marching with signs calling Trump "Putin's Puppet" and "Kremlin employee of the month."

Damage to bus stop on 13th St NW by protesters. #Inauguration @WTOP pic.twitter.com/gyW1dqS0WY

— Dennis J. Foley (@DJFoleyWTOP) January 20, 2017

More demonstrations were planned for later in the day. The "Festival of Resistance" march ran about 1.5 miles to McPherson Square, a park about three blocks from the White House, where a rally featuring the filmmaker and liberal activist Michael Moore was planned.

A @DCPoliceDept cruiser tagged on 12th St NW near L St. @WTOP #Inauguration pic.twitter.com/2LhOmfQCn9

— Dennis J. Foley (@DJFoleyWTOP) January 20, 2017

Along the inaugural parade route, the ANSWER Coalition anti-war group planned demonstrations at two locations.

Protesters and supporters of Trump clashed Thursday evening outside a pro-Trump event in Washington. Police used chemical spray on some protesters in an effort to control the unruly crowd. Hundreds gathered outside the National Press Club in downtown Washington, where the "DeploraBall" was being held. The name is a play on a campaign remark by Hillary Clinton, who once referred to many of Trump's supporters as a "basket of deplorables."

The demonstrations won't end when Trump takes up residence in the White House. A massive Women's March on Washington is planned for Saturday. Christopher Geldart, the District of Columbia's homeland security director, has said 1,800 buses have registered to park in the city Saturday, which could mean nearly 100,000 people coming in just by bus.

Current scene at 12 and L NW. #Inauguration @WTOP pic.twitter.com/Ql9xh4PAuD

— Dennis J. Foley (@DJFoleyWTOP) January 20, 2017

___

Associated Press writers Michael Biesecker, Alan Suderman, Matthew Barakat, Alanna Durkin Richer and Luis Alonso Lugo contributed to this report.


Prosecutors: Fla. airport shooter visited ‘Jihadi chat rooms’

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Paula McMahon Sun Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Accused airport shooter Esteban Santiago told investigators after his arrest that he communicated with Islamic State terrorists or sympathizers in "jihadi chat rooms" before he killed five people in Fort Lauderdale, authorities said in court Tuesday.

Whether that's true is not clear. Prosecutors and agents are still combing through electronic devices Santiago may have used, looking for evidence to show whether he was radicalized and whether he actually visited those terrorist chat rooms and websites, law enforcement sources said.

Santiago's statements to investigators were revealed during a court hearing Tuesday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.

Also during the hearing:

_Federal prosecutors said Santiago, 26, practiced firing his weapon at a gun range in Alaska in the months before the Jan. 6 attack at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

_Agents testified that the semi-automatic handgun Santiago used in the attack was the same weapon the Anchorage police department returned to him in December, after his stay in a psychiatric hospital.

_Santiago was not prescribed psychiatric drugs when leaving the hospital, despite his earlier complaints that the government was controlling his mind and he was hearing voices.

Santiago, who has not yet been formally charged, faces allegations that he fatally shot five people and injured six others on Jan. 6 at the Terminal 2 baggage claim area of the airport. If convicted of the most serious allegations, he could face the death penalty or life in federal prison.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow ruled that Santiago will remain jailed while the case is pending, after deciding that he might flee from justice and is a danger to the community.

"Much of the danger to the community (he presents) is on camera," the judge said. "He's facing either the death penalty or life if prison so he has no incentive to appear" in court if released.

Santiago is due back in court Jan. 30. He is on suicide watch, in solitary confinement, at the Broward County main jail.

Santiago barely spoke publicly in court Tuesday, just answering "yes" and "no" when the judge asked him a series of questions about whether he agreed with a request from the prosecution and defense to delay his next court appearance.

He wore a red maximum-security inmate jumpsuit and was handcuffed, shackled and surrounded by deputy U.S. marshals and courtroom security officers. He spoke in a low, inaudible voice to his lawyers, Robert Berube and Eric Cohen, who work for the Federal Public Defender's Office.

"Mr. Santiago is prepared to remain in custody," Berube told the judge.

After emptying two magazines of ammunition and "methodically" shooting people by aiming at their heads, Santiago dropped his gun, lay on the ground and made no attempt to escape before Broward sheriff's deputies arrested him, prosecutor Ricardo Del Toro said in court.

"During the interview, the defendant admitted that he planned the attack," Del Toro said. "He has admitted to all of the facts with respect to the terrible and tragic events of Jan. 6."

"At various points ... he said he carried out the attack because of government mind control. But he later said he did so because of ISIL ... after participating in jihadi chat rooms," Del Toro said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

Santiago was first interviewed by FBI agents and sheriff's detectives in a law enforcement office in the airport in the hours after the rampage, prosecutors said. Later that night, he was brought to FBI headquarters in Miramar and questioned more.

Investigators said he spoke with them for a total of about six hours. The first few hours were audio recorded, and all but about 10 minutes of his interview at the FBI office was recorded on video, FBI Agent Michael Ferlazzo testified.

Santiago was born in New Jersey, grew up in Puerto Rico and served in the Iraq War before moving to Alaska. He also traveled to the United Kingdom in 2012, prosecutors said in court.

This past November, Santiago went to the FBI office in Anchorage and told agents the government was controlling his mind and he was being pushed to watch terrorist propaganda, prosecutors said.

Authorities said he asked for help on Nov. 6 and said he did not want to harm himself or anyone else.

Anchorage police confiscated Santiago's gun, and he voluntarily agreed to go to a psychiatric hospital for treatment, though agents said there may have been some court order or proceeding before he agreed to treatment.

The agents testified that they believe Santiago spent about one day in Providence Alaska Medical Center and was transferred to Alaska Psychiatric Institute, where he spent about five days and was released Nov. 14 after he was "deemed to be stable."

He was not prescribed psychiatric drugs while hospitalized or upon his release, just anti-anxiety medication and melatonin, an herbal supplement people use to help them sleep, agents said.

FBI agents met with Santiago again and interviewed him Nov. 30, when he went back to the Anchorage police department to try to pick up his gun, Ferlazzo testified under questioning by defense lawyer Berube.

No information has been released about that meeting, other than the FBI and Anchorage police saying Santiago left that day without his gun. Anchorage police eventually returned the gun to him Dec. 8, they said.

Agents testified that Santiago's gun was legally purchased and was legally licensed, as far as they know, in Alaska.

Prosecutor Del Toro told the judge that the five people killed were between ages 57 and 84, and the six people who suffered gunshot wounds were between ages 40 and 70.

Investigators said they have video footage from about 20 cameras that recorded Santiago or aspects of the mass shooting at the airport. Santiago does not appear on footage from all of those cameras, but agents said they captured most of his movements in the airport.

There is no video of him on the sidewalk outside the baggage claim area, they testified, though agents wrote in court records that he briefly walked outside during the shootings.

If prosecutors formally decide to seek the death penalty for Santiago, that would slow down the case, experts said. U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer and his advisers would have to make an initial decision, which would reviewed by a U.S. Department of Justice panel, before a final decision by the U.S. attorney general.

If Santiago wants to plead guilty, and is found legally competent to do so, that could take the death penalty off the table, legal experts said, though prosecutors could still insist on going to trial. The defense has not asked for Santiago to undergo a psychiatric evaluation or legal competency testing, according to court records, but that it is likely to be ordered. ___ (c)2017 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)


Ill. officer responding to call killed in crash

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Elvia Malagon Chicago Tribune

BLOOMINGDALE, Ill. — A west suburban Bloomingdale police officer killed in a crash while answering a call had been on the force less than a year and is the suburb's first officer to die in the line of duty, officials said.

Raymond Murrell, 27, was responding to a call of a crime in progress at a store when his police SUV crashed around 9:30 p.m. Thursday at Army Trail Road and Cardinal Avenue, according to a news release.

Bloomingdale firefighters extricated Murrell from the car and he was taken to Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"He loved being a Bloomingdale police officer," Police Chief Frank Giammarese said. "He will be sadly missed."

Giammarese did not know how fast the officer was driving or if his emergency lights and sirens were on at the time. The officer was the only person in the SUV.

The crash remains under investigation, though officials suspect weather could have played a role, he said.

The police chief said Murrell is the first Bloomingdale officer to die in the line of duty. He said Murrell had always aspired to become a police officer.

"He was just a wonderful young man that represented our Police Department so well at such a young age," Giammarese said. "He was well-liked with officers and within the community. He was just doing his job and lost his life."


Report: NYPD mental health training needs better utilization

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Colleen Long Associated Press

NEW YORK — The New York Police Department has trained more than 5,000 police officers on how to handle mental health crisis calls but doesn't have a way to dispatch those officers when the calls come in, according to a report published Thursday.

Officers in the nation's largest police department handle about 400 mental crisis calls a day. The four-day training program for officers, which began in the summer of 2015, was built off a nationally recognized instructional model, called Crisis Intervention Training, that uses patients, professionals and police officials to train officers on how to recognize signs of mental illness, respond to such calls and empathize with someone in the throes of a crisis.

The department — made up of 35,000 officers — already had a small, highly trained unit for mental health cases, but this training was meant to give more police a better chance at de-escalating crisis situations.

City officials praised the training program but said the department must do a better job of implementing it.

The department's dispatch system is unable to identify the officers who have undergone the training, so it's "random chance" on whether an officer who arrives at the scene has been trained in how to handle it, according to the report completed by the Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD.

The department hasn't updated its policies to align with the training and lacks dedicated personnel to coordinate the effort, the report said. It also doesn't effectively collect or analyze data from the incidents in an effective way, the report said.

Police officials said they are working to make trained officers more available. Right now, supervisors are given a list of trained officers so they can direct them to specific calls, they said.

"The NYPD is continuously working to provide our officers with the best training and equipment in order to effectively deal with the wide variety of situations they may encounter," it said in a statement.

Crisis Intervention Training emerged in the late 1980s from the Memphis Police Department and is now used by nearly 3,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide. Research has shown its use is associated with higher confidence among officers, better recognition of mental illness and fewer uses of force.

But the training isn't a panacea. In October, a sergeant who went through the program fatally shot 66-year-old Deborah Danner, who had schizophrenia, in her Bronx apartment. Sgt. Hugh Barry persuaded Danner to drop a pair of scissors she had been holding, but when she picked up the bat and tried to strike him, he fired two shots that hit her torso, police said.


Ill. police receive K-9 training, rehab grant

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By Bob Susnjara The Daily Herald

LAKE COUNTY, Ill. — Combined donations of about $32,600 have been made to help pay Gurnee police and Lake County sheriff canine unit expenses.

The money came from the Libertyville-based D.A.S. Charitable Fund for the Preservation of Feline Animal Life. Despite the name, the charity provides annual grants to several animal-related causes, including Lake County police canine units and wildlife rehabilitation.

Under D.A.S. Charitable Fund's terms, the cash is restricted to the care and training of the police dogs and cannot go toward equipment, vehicles or officer salaries.

Read more: Donations help cover expenses of Gurnee, Lake County police dogs


P1 Photo of the Week: Always on duty

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Deputy Todd Wasson of the Monroe County (Ind.) Sheriff's Office patrols out in the snowy Indiana weather.

Photographer Sara Hunter said she loves the photos because they "convey that these men and women are always on duty, no matter what the weather."

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!


Suspect who killed Texas police detective had history of domestic violence

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Julieta Chiquillo The Dallas Morning News

LITTLE ELM, Texas — The banging began about midnight. Rudy Garcia pounded on his girlfriend's door, then her bedroom window. The woman, who had been asleep with her 2-year-old daughter, grabbed a phone and called the police.

Garcia popped the screen off the kitchen window and tried to get in as his girlfriend screamed at him to leave. He did, and the officers couldn't find him.

That was the account the girlfriend gave a Denton County court in 2001 when she sought a protective order against Garcia, whom authorities have identified as the man who fatally shot a Little Elm detective during a standoff Tuesday at a house on Turtle Cove Drive.

Garcia also died in the confrontation, but it's unclear whether Garcia took his own life or was killed by police. The Tarrant County medical examiner's office released his name Thursday, but not the manner or cause of death.

His brother told WFAA-TV that Garcia had mental-health problems.

Court records chronicle a history of domestic violence and alcohol abuse.

The girlfriend who sought a protective order in 2001 got it extended twice that year. She told the court how she had kicked Garcia out of her apartment because of his constant abuse. One day he came home drunk and punched her repeatedly, knocking her to the ground, the woman said in a court document.

Days later, Garcia argued with her in the car and slugged her in the face, the woman said. She told the court her jaw was sore for two days.

"About every two or three days Rudy will get mad about something and take it out on me," the woman wrote. "Rudy has hit me in the ribs, choked me, hit me with his closed fists, and there has been lots of pushing and shoving."

A deputy constable who tried to deliver a legal notice to Garcia about the protective order application couldn't find him at the grocery store where he worked because he didn't show up, court records show.

"They plan to fire him anyway," the deputy wrote.

Five years later, another girlfriend asked police for help.

Garcia and the woman got into an argument while watching a Dallas Mavericks game at a Flower Mound bar, according to an arrest-warrant affidavit. The girlfriend said that Garcia suggested they walk to a convenience store to buy cigarettes, and he started yelling when they got there.

The woman told police Garcia grabbed her by the neck and dragged her to the car, hitting her head against it as he tried to force her inside. Officers noticed red marks on the woman's neck and a knot on the left side of her head, according to the affidavit.

A Denton County court found him guilty of assaulting his girlfriend but gave him probation in 2006, records show. The next year, a prosecutor asked the court to revoke the probation and alleged that Garcia had violated several of the terms, including completion of a batterer's intervention program.

The court took back Garcia's probation in 2014, records show. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail but received credit for 72 days he'd spent behind bars, according to the court order.

Garcia's court file details two other encounters with police. In 2001, the same year the first girlfriend obtained a protective order, a Denton police officer said he found Garcia slumped over in the front seat of his truck in a gas station parking lot. The officer smelled alcohol and had to shake Garcia to rouse him, and when he did, Garcia cursed at the officer and told him to go away, according to an arrest-warrant affidavit.

"Garcia had slurred speech and did not even open his eyes all the way," police said.

It took two officers and a round of pepper spray to get a belligerent Garcia out of the truck, according to the affidavit.

The officer driving Garcia to jail noticed he was having trouble breathing and called for medical help, police said. Garcia got out of the patrol car, and while an officer tried to hold him to keep him from falling face down on the pavement, Garcia tried to bite the officer's hands, according to the affidavit. Police said that after the medical check, Garcia once again resisted attempts to get him into the squad car and spat on one of the officers.

A court ordered probation for Garcia in 2002. It lasted a few months. That July, he was found guilty of resisting arrest and sentenced to 90 days in jail, records show.

The same month, he was convicted of driving while intoxicated in Denton. A breath test showed his blood-alcohol concentration to be twice the legal limit of 0.08, records show.

No one answered the door at the home of Garcia's brother Thursday morning.

Police rushed to Garcia's neighborhood Tuesday after a passer-by reported he had seen a man with a gun in the 1400 block of Turtle Cove Drive. The responding officers saw a man holding a long gun in a backyard.

When the man retreated into a house, officers called for a SWAT team. Detective Jerry Walker, an 18-year veteran of the Little Elm Police Department, was one of the first officers from that team to arrive.

About 4 p.m., a shot was fired from the house toward the street. Then a "hail of gunfire" erupted from inside the house, Police Chief Rodney Harrison said. Walker fell to the ground, and two officers returned fire.

Paramedics and another SWAT officer ran to the intersection and loaded Walker into a police SUV. He was flown to Medical City Denton.

For hours, law-enforcement officers kept vigil outside the hospital as the small town of Little Elm learned about the severity of Walker's condition. At about 8:45 p.m., Harrison announced that Walker was dead.

No officer in the town of 35,000 people had been killed in the line of duty before.

Hours into the standoff, police whisked an elderly woman out of the house through a window. But there was no contact with the man inside, the chief said.

About 10 p.m., an armored vehicle rammed a hole through the front of the house. A robot plunged into the home and confirmed the gunman was dead.

Staff writer Tom Steele contributed to this report.


Officer Dennis Simmonds: 5 things to know about the Boston bombing’s 5th victim

Posted on January 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Cole Zercoe
Author: Cole Zercoe

The Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers and the NAACP’s Boston branch recently joined the family of fallen Officer Dennis “DJ” Simmonds in criticizing the creators of “Patriots Day” for omitting him from the film. Starring Mark Wahlberg, the movie tells the story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Here are five things to know about the officer.

1. Simmonds was wounded during the gun battle with the Boston bombers.

On April 19, 2013, four days after the bombing that killed three people and injured several hundred others, police were involved in a shootout with the perpetrators, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Simmonds was one of the first officers on the scene of the shootout, and suffered a serious head injury in a blast caused by homemade bombs the Tsarnaev brothers threw at police during the encounter.

Tamerlan was killed during the incident and Dzhokhar was taken into custody.

2. Simmonds died a year later as a result of his injuries.

On April 10, 2014, Simmonds died of a brain aneurysm while working out at the Boston Police Academy gym, according to ODMP. He was 28 and had served with the Boston Police Department for six years.

Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association president Patrick M. Rose, who transported the injured Simmonds away from the scene of the Tsarnaev gun battle, would later describe the officer as “a bright, shining star” who “made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Simmonds’ family suspected the death was related to the injuries he sustained in the shootout, and sought official acknowledgement of the officer’s sacrifice as the fifth victim of the terror attack.

3. In 2015, Simmonds’ family was granted a line-of-duty death benefit.

The Massachusetts State Retirement Board recognized Simmonds’ death as a LODD in May 2015 and awarded his family a one-time death benefit.

“We absolutely want him to be recognized as the fifth victim,” the officer’s younger sister, Nicole, told WBZ. “It’s now etched in stone, it’s etched in paper that my brother is recognized as a hero among those key decision makers.”

A state medical panel’s report, which stated “[Simmonds’] injuries were persistent after the episode involving the gun battle between police and Boston Marathon bombers,” factored into the decision.

Nick Favorito, executive director of the Massachusetts State Retirement Board, told the Boston Globe at the time that “the board wanted to acknowledge the officer’s efforts on that night of April 19, 2013.”

According to the Associated Press, Simmonds’ name was also added to a memorial that honors Massachusetts cops who have died in the line of duty.

4. ‘Patriots Day’ does not include Simmonds.

The officer is not included in the film’s story or in a “memorial loop” at the end of the movie that features the other four people killed in the attack, including Simmonds’ brother in blue, MIT Officer Sean Collier.

Massachusetts lawmaker and former sergeant Timothy Whelan is among those pushing for the filmmakers to correct their mistake. “DJ Simmonds, and his response in the face of danger which ultimately cost him his life, represents the words BOSTON STRONG we have come to adopt as a sign of our community pride and resilience,” he wrote in a December Facebook post.

The city’s mayor, the Boston PD, and the aforementioned Boston NAACP and Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers are among those who have also voiced their support to correct the film’s oversight.

"While the film has completed production, there are still opportunities for the producers and studio to acknowledge the life and sacrifice of Officer Simmonds," the NAACP and Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers said in a joint statement. "In honoring his life and sacrifice the film will then honor all of the members of the Boston Police Department, Black and White, who put their lives on the line."

Simmonds’ father, Dennis R. Simmonds, told the AP that the filmmakers could also do more to recognize all the officers who responded that night.

5. The filmmakers cited the movie’s runtime as the reason behind the omission.

A production spokesperson for “Patriots Day” said in a December statement that the film’s two-hour runtime "limits the number of individual stories you are able to tell."


Dear President Trump: This is what American cops want

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor
Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

The inauguration of President Donald Trump marks the beginning of a new administration. Throughout his candidacy, Trump actively sought support from the nation’s law enforcement community. He was endorsed by the National Fraternal Order of Police.

Now that Trump has won the election and is being sworn in, police officers should expect some immediate and long term changes that will affect law enforcement. While there are numerous policy concerns and issues to address, here are four things that law enforcement wants to see from Trump.

1. Revoke Executive Order 13688

President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13688 two years ago. This order created an interagency working group to recommend improvements to the process through which state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies acquire controlled equipment from the federal government through excess equipment transfers, asset forfeiture and grants.

Some have argued the changes that were ultimately made negatively impacted officer safety and overall community safety. Law enforcement should expect Trump to rescind EO 13688 in his first 100 days.

2. Funding for new programs, training and personnel

With the evolving role of law enforcement to meet the public’s expectations of public service, it is imperative for agencies to receive more funding to support the development of new programs, training and the hiring/retention of personnel. Police officers are wearing several different hats, from aiding the mentally ill to responding to hostile threats. To be able to adapt to the wide range of scenarios, officers need to be fully informed and prepared to effectively respond to any 911 call that is dispatched to them. Information and education is often delivered through the development of new programs. Once new programs are developed (or existing programs updated), officers must receive ongoing training that surpasses adequacy.

There are just over 900,000 law enforcement officers in the United States providing public service to a population of over 320 million. The majority of law enforcement agencies do not have enough personnel to meet the demands of the community they serve. Lack of personnel impacts all aspects of an agency’s business operations. Funding to support new programs and training opportunities opens the door for agencies to add personnel to support.

3. Patronage and support

It’s no secret that Obama’s 2009 remarks about Sgt. James Crowley negatively affected his relationship with the law enforcement community early in his presidency. These words put a strain on morale. Officers expect Trump to show the support of the profession that he promised during the campaign.

Patronage of the law enforcement profession is a critical, yet seemingly simple request to any Commander in Chief. It’s important because law enforcement officers put their lives at risk every day they go to work. They are constantly under the spotlight — whether it’s negative or positive. And, they are providing an incredible public service to safeguard our communities. Cops expect Trump's continuing support of the law enforcement profession by weighing in on critical incident response and policy concerns (no matter how controversial) with respect and consideration of all the facts, something some felt his predecessor did not do.

4. Resources for infrastructure protection

If implemented, Trump’s plans for increased border security by developing a wall between the United States and Mexico will require more field and administrative personnel. As plans begin forming for building and securing a wall and managing the deportation of illegal immigrants, there will need to be additional funding and personnel to increase local and state law enforcement capacity and to implement any technological enhancements required for security.

Further, there will need to be additional local, state and federal officers trained and ready to deploy/respond to threats of domestic terrorism. There has to be funding, programs and personnel in place to adequately protect all critical infrastructures. This translates into law enforcement education and training on how to prevent, identify, respond and recover from any type of incident that impacts our critical infrastructure. Threats to our infrastructure are ongoing and attacks are imminent. Law enforcement officers need to be equipped and ready to respond.

With a new administration comes change and opportunity. While Trump continues to make appointments to his Cabinet and new agendas are established, the law enforcement community will be watching closely to assess and make strategic decisions that will improve their department’s operations and the impacts those changes may have on the communities they protect.


SHOT SHOW 2017: Covered 6 shows off their fold-up ballistic shield

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Ron LaPedis
Author: Ron LaPedis

Chris Dunn of Southern California-based Covered 6 showed off his company’s six-pound fold-up ballistic shield called the Savior. Designed to be discreet and easy to carry, the Savior offers NIJ rated Level IIIA protection with the ability to add a plate to bring it to full Level III protection while coming in at 10 pounds.

In addition to executive protection and home defense, this product can also serve as protection for LE and other public safety first responders who cannot wait for the SWAT team or whomever has a more traditional shield in his vehicle.

With current imminent threat best practices indicating that the first officer to arrive should go in alone if there is immediate danger to life, agencies might want to think about putting one of these $900 items in the trunk of every patrol car. Chris says that an officer shooting with a shield is a better shot because he or she feels protected, letting them better concentrate on the threat.

The Savior features a built-in pocket which is perfect for concealing a TASER or a more lethal option. Optional inserts help keep the weapon in a ready-to-draw position. A shield-mounted 3500-lumen distraction light adds an additional $300 to the price.

For more information, call +1 805.926.2055.


SHOT Show 2017: Angel Armor updates its Truth Snap 556 to Truth Snap 308S

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Ron LaPedis
Author: Ron LaPedis

At last year’s SHOT Show, Angel Armor showed off its RISE armor and modular Truth Snap trauma plate system. Last year’s Level IIIA rated product protects against common AK-47 and 5.56x45mm M193 rounds.

This year, the company have upgraded the system to Level III to protect not only against .308 Winchester FMJ (M80) 150gr at 2750 FPS (+/- 50), but also against up to spike level 3 stab wounds (hence the “S” in the name).

Since the system is made up of two plates, one of them millimeters thin, you can now replace your soft trauma plate with the 9mm/44 Mag rated plate and hardly notice the difference. When the SHTF, you can either switch to the second plate alone which can protect up to 7.62x39mm N67, or run both plates together for maximum protection, depending on the threat.

Rectangular plates are available in sizes from 5x8” to 10x12” and many are available with an angled “shooter’s cut.” And while some companies just say that their customers come first, Angel Armor backs that up by substantially beefing up the product without raising the price by a single penny. To keep pricing down, Angel Armor only sells direct. A “how to have someone measure you” and other videos are posted on this page. For more information and pricing, visit them here.


SHOT Show 2017: Hiperfire says two-stage triggers are for creeps

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Ron LaPedis
Author: Ron LaPedis

I chatted with Terry Bender, owner of Hiperfire, about their new full auto triggers for AR-pattern rifles. While not as well-known as that trigger maker that starts with G, Hiperfire has made a name for themselves in the 3-gun arena, where some of the fussiest shooters hang out. Lena Miculek is just one of their fans, and Terry says that their buyers won’t go back to anything else.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Hiperfire started life when Terry designed a 50-cal semi-auto rifle and approached investors. While they were hesitant to fund yet another 50-cal, they liked the trigger and asked if it could be adapted to work in an AR. Terry made it happen and the single-stage AR10/AR15 Hipertouch enhanced duty trigger (EDT) fire control group was born.

Today’s line of ten single-stage products also includes the 24 series and the Eclipse. These triggers are unique in that a patented adjustment system uses small replaceable coil springs and a movable trigger shoe to create 15 different trigger pulls.

Terry says that two-stage triggers are a compromise since the first stage is just making up for trigger creep. His top of the line triggers have virtually no creep at all, so as soon as your finger is on the trigger you are at the second stage of a traditional two-stage trigger. This provides for a much smooth pull leading to more accurate shots. The MSRP for Hiperfire’s semi-auto triggers run from $89 to $275 and spare springs are available.

Full Auto is on the Way

And that brings us to their new full-auto triggers, which are based upon two proven designs already known to LE and the military; the Enhanced Duty and 24 series. The only differences between the semi- and full-auto triggers is that the trigger frame has been modified so that a sear extension can rest directly on the selector. Pricing is yet to be determined and the made in USA products should be shipping in May.

But Wait, There’s Still More!

During my firearms instruction, I find that my students gain a much better grasp of trigger control if they can see exactly what the fire control group is doing. It makes it much easier to explain how everything works. So I was excited to see HiperShot’s cutaway demo unit. The Hipertrain works with any AR fire control group and can be used for demonstration or muscle memory development since you can dry fire to your heart’s content without breaking anything.


SHOT 2017: Set up your own firearms and scenario training anywhere with these products

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Ron LaPedis

As I wrote late last year, I am a big fan of shoot on the move and shoot/don’t shoot training. Since I am a volunteer first responder and not sworn LE, I don’t have any place that I can do either of these drills in the San Francisco area. But as I heard repeatedly at the SHOT Show, many departments don’t do much more than annual static quals anyway, so I shouldn’t feel too bad – or should I? How can you expect your officers to respond to an incident if they aren’t properly trained to respond in the first place?

With a few hundred dollars of your agency’s or your own money, you can put together a basic system which will allow you do some decent training, even if it’s 40 below outside. Add another thousand dollars and you can buy the Laser Ammo Smokeless Range with the Video Scenario Trainer Pro (VST-P) module for close-to-professional use of force and situational awareness training.

Build your own scenarios using your own videos

The VST-P software plays HD videos that can branch to different outcomes depending on how the trainee responds to the situation or from instructor input. It comes with over ten short pre-loaded scenarios and a powerful scene and zone editor that allows you to create your own videos from your local school, parking lot, grocery store, or department. In fact, it could be used for coaching after an actual incident.

With only a PC, camera, video projector and screen or large screen TV, you can set up a range just about anywhere. In 2015, Doug Wyllie wrote an article on how you can engage (and possibly help de-fuse) your community and gain additional funding through realistic use of force training for civilians. And this is one way to make that happen.

Train with something you know

KWA already has two firearms which are similar to one of the most-issued duty weapons in the United States, and they are adding two more popular models this year.

One of their new models is based on the M9A1 (KWA M9 Tactical PTP) and the other one, called the M226, looks like, feels like, and has the same controls as another popular duty weapon, including an authentic Hogue monogrip.

The KWA M9 PTP and M9 PTP Tactical use the NS2 Gas Blowback system for realistic action. The M9 PTP Tactical’s accessory rail allows for the operator to attach any weapon accessory such as a light or a laser allowing the weapon to adapt to many situations. MSRP is $149 without and $159 with a rail. A Laser Ammo barrel is available for this model for $150.

The insanely cool KWA M226 features a fully functional decocker on the left side allowing users to safely release the hammer with a chambered round and an accessory rail allows the user to add an array of attachments to better adapt to many combat situations. While Laser Ammo doesn’t make a barrel for this model, their $60 Spider will attach to the rail. The M226 is projected to ship in Spring 2017 with an MSRP of $169.


5 grant writing tips for law enforcement agencies

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor
Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

Winning a federal, state, local or private grant is tough. As a former peer reviewer for the United States Department of Justice, I can tell you first hand that the quality of proposals received for funding consideration often exceed peer reviewers’ expectations. Here are five actions you can take to make sure your proposal stands out from the others.

1. Clear, concise writing

Every sentence in your proposal must be clear and concise. Sentences should be constructed in such a way that any lay person or subject matter expert can understand the message you’re seeking to convey. Writers should avoid using jargon and acronyms as much as possible. Also, it is important to avoid complex sentence structures – in other words, do your best to minimize the number of words and compound sentences in your proposal. Once the proposal is drafted, it is a good practice for a lay reader and an expert reader to review it to make sure everything makes sense and is easy to read. No grant writer should ever assume that every individual reviewing a proposal is a technical or subject matter expert.

2. Quality assurance and alignment

After the proposal is written, it is critical to perform quality assurance checks to make sure everything you proposed (including any financials) is in alignment. A best practice is for two or three individuals to double-check for accuracy. Typically, funding agencies ask for financial information in the program narrative or abstract, in a budget worksheet and in a budget narrative. Often times budget worksheets are adjusted once the proposal is completed, and sometimes these late changes are not adjusted in the other sections of the proposal. This oversight may lead to deductions in your overall score and it may cost your agency an award.

3. Citations with facts

Every fact or statistic that is included with your proposal should include a citation. Ideally, every grant proposal will have a combination of sources from local, state or federal data and other relevant empirical research that you can cite. It is important to demonstrate the local needs you’re addressing and how the problem is also relevant at a larger (regional, state or national) scale. The reason being is that it is important for funding agencies to know that you’re aware of the significance of the issue and that your proposed effort can be replicated in other jurisdictions. Make sure to follow the solicitation’s rules for citations (e.g. footnotes, endnotes, bibliography).

4. Colors, graphs and images

Imagine if your agency sent out an RFP and you receive multiple vendor responses. Which proposal will you gravitate toward prior to reading? Will it be the wall of words or the proposal that has breaks in it with colors, graphs and images? Peer reviewers and funding sources receive several proposals, so put yourself in their shoes when reviewing your own proposal. Quality writing, demonstrated need and staying within the financial parameters are critical in determining whether or not you win an award, but don’t discount the importance of a proposal that is aesthetically constructed. Before you begin including any colors, graphs or images, make sure it is within the parameters of the solicitation’s rules. And when in doubt, always ask.

5. If you don’t win, build a relationship with the program office

It is important to realize and accept the competitive nature of grant funding. Further, it is also important to establish relationships with the program office from which you’re seeking funding. More than likely, future solicitations will come out from that organization. Therefore, building a relationship with the program office will help you stay current on the organization’s priorities, and you will better understand how to align your agency’s needs to complement their areas of focus in your next proposal.

Grant writing is more than writing a response to a solicitation. It is a craft that requires attention to detail, an understanding of local and national needs and should always have more than one individual working on it (and reviewing it) if you want to win.


Seattle cop killer who planned war on police found dead in prison

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

By PoliceOne Staff

SEATTLE — A convicted killer serving a life sentence for the murder of a Seattle officer was found dead in prison Wednesday.

Christopher Monfort was found unresponsive in his single-person cell at Washington State Penitentiary Wednesday morning, according to King5 News.

Officials said they believe he died of natural causes.

Monfort was convicted in 2015 of aggravated first-degree murder for the ambush of Officer Timothy Brenton on Halloween night in 2009.

Monfort was paralyzed when he was shot after he pulled a gun on officers following up on a tip about Brenton’s killer, the Seattle Times reported.

In 2009, The Associated Press reported that Monfort waged a “one-man war” on police after he firebombed four patrol vehicles and opened fire on officers.

"This case is unique in that Monfort deliberately planned to confront police and kill as many officers as he could," Prosecutor Dan Satterberg told AP. "He was planning to make a final armed stand should he be discovered."

Police found three rifles, a pistol-grip shotgun, and several bombs made of propane bottles with nail protruding, wrapped in duct tape.

Monfort allegedly left fliers about police brutality when he bombed patrol vehicles in a maintenance yard in October 2009.

Officer Brenton’s family told the Seattle Times although Monfort’s death doesn’t bring closure, it closes a chapter.

“We will, just as we’ve always done, be celebrating Tim and honoring Tim,” Matt Brenton said. “We know his [Monfort’s] family is hurting and mourning, and our thoughts are with them.”


11 police organizations emphasize de-escalation in new model policy on UOF

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

By PoliceOne Staff

The International Association of Chiefs of Police and 10 other law enforcement organizations released a new consensus policy on use of force Tuesday.

One of the procedure focuses included is de-escalation, stating officers should use de-escalation techniques “whenever possible and appropriate before resorting to force.”

The report also states police should use deadly force when it is “objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstances.”

Expert Scott MacLatchie told WSOC the report allows the public to see how officer conduct is measured.

"It gives the public the same measuring stick that the department itself will be using if an officer's conduct is called into question," he said.

MacLatchie also said the language in the report is just restating how officers have already been trained.

According to WSOC, this is the first time de-escalation has been included in the report.


Man says Milwaukee’s sheriff detained him for shaking head

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

By Ivan Moreno Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man says a tough-talking, cowboy-hat wearing Wisconsin sheriff detained him after a flight because the man shook his head at the lawman, who has gained a national prominence for his outspoken support of Donald Trump.

Dan Black said in a complaint submitted through the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office website that his gesture of disapproval was about football, not politics. Black said he was disappointed that Sheriff David Clarke was wearing Dallas Cowboys gear the same day that team was playing the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs.

But Clarke didn't view the interaction as harmless. He said in a Facebook post Wednesday that he "reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault."

The encounter happened during boarding for a flight from Dallas to Milwaukee hours before kickoff. The Packers went on to beat the Cowboys 34-31.

Black, 24, said in the complaint that Clarke wasn't wearing his trademark cowboy hat and Black asked him whether he was Milwaukee's sheriff. When Clarke said, "Yes," Black said he shook his head, then walked toward his seat. Clarke then asked him if he had a problem, Black said, and Black shook his head to say, "No."

Black said deputies questioned him for about 15 minutes after the plane landed before letting him go.

The status of Black's complaint was not immediately known.

Clarke's profile has been elevated by his outspoken support of the president-elect, and he's been mentioned as a possible candidate for a job in Trump's administration. He was one of the few African-Americans to speak at the Republican convention and has called anti-Trump protesters "anarchists" who "must be quelled."

In his Facebook response to Black's complaint, Clarke warned: "Next time he or anyone else pulls this stunt on a plane they may get knocked out." He added he "does not have to wait for some goof to assault him."

Black, who said he was shaken by the experience, called Clarke "unhinged."

"Who in their right mind responds, 'I'm going to kick that guy's ass next time?'" Black said.


W.Va. sheriff accused of meth theft pleads to felony, resigns

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By John Raby Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A newly elected West Virginia sheriff who admitted he was a meth addict and was charged with stealing the drug from a police locker pleaded guilty to a felony and resigned from office Wednesday, a prosecutor said.

Bo Williams entered the plea to a charge of entering without breaking Wednesday in Roane County Circuit Court.

County Prosecutor Josh Downey said Williams was accused of taking methamphetamine from the storage area when he was a Spencer police officer last fall. He resigned in December, a month after being elected sheriff. He took office this month.

According to a criminal complaint, meth was found in Williams' desk and police vehicle. The complaint said several evidence bags found with Williams contained case numbers corresponding to missing evidence.

Downey said Williams told him, Spencer Police Chief Greg Nichols and a state police sergeant last November that he had been addicted to meth for more than a year. Downey said Williams admitted removing methamphetamine from a police case file and consuming it.

Williams faces up to 10 years in prison when he's sentenced on March 28.

"It's an example of what drugs like meth have done to our communities," Downey said. "Some people have a picture of what a drug addict looks like. It shows that it can be anybody."

The Roane County Commission, which had already started removal proceedings against Williams, will have a month to appoint a replacement. It plans to meet Friday.

The commission had appointed former Roane County Sheriff Todd Cole to serve as chief deputy in charge of law enforcement operations. Cole served two terms as sheriff from 2000 to 2008. In 2014 he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of the previous sheriff who left for health reasons. Cole's term ended Dec. 31.

Williams was elected sheriff in November and his term started Jan. 1. While serving as a police officer in Spencer, Williams was placed on leave and he resigned in December after evidence went missing. The complaint said more than $1,000 in evidence was involved. He originally was charged with grand larceny.

Williams agreed to resign as part of a plea agreement with the prosecutor's office in neighboring Wood County, which handled the court case. Downey said he's "relieved more than anything" by the conviction because of the toll it was taking on a small central West Virginia community.

"It's been real stressful on the whole courthouse," Lambert said. "It's been stressful on his family, I'm sure."

Downey said Williams also agreed to give up his law enforcement credentials.


Mass. women who bit off part of officer’s ear gets 4 years

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SALEM, Mass. — A Massachusetts woman who bit off a portion of a rookie police officer's ear during her arrest outside a bar has been sentenced to four years in jail.

The Boston Herald reports that 19-year-old Emma Wiley was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to assault and battery on a police officer and mayhem.

The Marblehead woman was also sentenced to three years of probation.

Prosecutors say Patrolwoman Jessica Rondinelli responded to reports of a fight outside a Salem bar in August. While Rondinelli was putting Wiley in a cruiser, Wiley bit off a piece of the officer's ear. Doctors were unable to re-attach it. Rondinelli had been on the force for just a few weeks.

Wiley's lawyer says his client has mental health issues and feels "sincere remorse."


Mass. women who bit off part of officer’s ear gets 4 years

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SALEM, Mass. — A Massachusetts woman who bit off a portion of a rookie police officer's ear during her arrest outside a bar has been sentenced to four years in jail.

The Boston Herald reports that 19-year-old Emma Wiley was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to assault and battery on a police officer and mayhem.

The Marblehead woman was also sentenced to three years of probation.

Prosecutors say Patrolwoman Jessica Rondinelli responded to reports of a fight outside a Salem bar in August. While Rondinelli was putting Wiley in a cruiser, Wiley bit off a piece of the officer's ear. Doctors were unable to re-attach it. Rondinelli had been on the force for just a few weeks.

Wiley's lawyer says his client has mental health issues and feels "sincere remorse."


Baltimore police cut ECD use after policy changes

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Baltimore police officials say the department cut its use of stun guns nearly in half in 2016.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the department reported 181 stun gun incidents in 2016, a 46 percent decline from the record high of 347 the agency recorded in 2015.

Commissioner Kevin Davis enacted a new policy in July that required officers to use stun guns only when suspects display "active aggression" and not simply failing to follow orders.

Justice Department investigators had criticized the department for using stun guns on noncompliant people who did not display any force against officers.

The federal government began investigating the police department's practices following the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray, a black man who was fatally injured while in police custody.


Baltimore police cut ECD use after policy changes

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Baltimore police officials say the department cut its use of stun guns nearly in half in 2016.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the department reported 181 stun gun incidents in 2016, a 46 percent decline from the record high of 347 the agency recorded in 2015.

Commissioner Kevin Davis enacted a new policy in July that required officers to use stun guns only when suspects display "active aggression" and not simply failing to follow orders.

Justice Department investigators had criticized the department for using stun guns on noncompliant people who did not display any force against officers.

The federal government began investigating the police department's practices following the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray, a black man who was fatally injured while in police custody.


Electronic monitoring for pretrial offenders: Download the free white paper

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

The following is paid content sponsored by Numerex.

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

Law enforcement and corrections agencies across the country face a growing issue. As the number of offenders entering the judicial system increases, the costs associated with them put a strain on the entire system.

One of the best ways law enforcement can achieve significant time and cost savings is by using offender tracking technologies, also known as electronic monitoring (EM). Because EM systems require far fewer resources than physical detention, this technology frees up budget dollars for solving and preventing crimes.

In this FREE white paper, you will learn how an electronic offender monitoring program can:

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NJ lawmakers: Put pro-police blue lines on right side of law

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Bruce Shipkowski Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. — Two New Jersey congressmen have introduced legislation to allow towns to paint strips of blue on roadways to honor police after regulators said the tributes crossed the line of federal safety rules.

Republican U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance and Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell introduced legislation Tuesday to permit the blue lines that have sprung up in towns around the state and elsewhere after more than 100 police officers were killed in the line of duty nationally last year.

The thin blue line traditionally represents the role law enforcement serves, standing between law-abiding citizens and criminals. Communities saw this as an appropriate way to thank officers and others for their efforts and the sacrifices they make.

But after an official in Somerset County wrote to the Federal Highway Administration to get clarification about whether the blue lines painted between the double yellow lines in the center of roadways were permitted, agency officials informed them that the lines don't comply with the provisions of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways. That manual defines the standards for such devices on all public roadways, bikeways and private roads open to public travel.

"We appreciate and understand the efforts by local governments and others that convey support for law enforcement officers," FHA spokesman Neil Gaffney said. "However, the yellow lines down the center of a road are meant to control traffic and modification of that marking could cause confusion, accidents and fatalities. Our number one priority is the safety of all drivers."

Noting that 135 police officers were killed in the line of duty last year, Pascrell and Lance said "communities should be able to honor law enforcement without the federal government's telling them no."

"If you look up the word 'bureaucracy,' you will find the (standards manual)," said James Batelli, police chief in Mahwah, where a 150-foot blue line has been painted near the police department's headquarters.

He said transportation officials should have more important things to address than blue lines painted on roadways.

"This should be very low on the list of priorities, and it probably shouldn't even be on the list," he said.

He called the line "a nice gesture that shows the community understands what we deal with on a daily basis."

"It means a lot to our officers, who see it every day as they drive by. I'm not saying it's a game-changer, but it has an impact," he said. "I don't think someone sitting in an office in Washington or Trenton may get that."

It's unclear if towns could be penalized for not removing the blue line, such as facing fines or losing funds, Gaffney said. It's also not clear if blue lines have ever contributed to an accident or other traffic issue. New Jersey transportation officials say they are unaware of any such instances in that state or other areas.

In a bid to avoid potential problems, some communities have placed their blue lines in public areas, such as municipal parking lots or parks. But in many towns where lines were painted on roadways, officials said they plan to leave them in place.

James Pasco, executive director of the Washington-based Fraternal Order of Police, the largest law enforcement labor organization in the United States with more than 330,000 members, derided the letter from federal regulators as bureaucratic overreach.

"Any driver who gets confused by the color of the line is a confused driver," Pasco said. "It's a lot safer to have a blue line in the middle of the street than it is for police officers to get shot at."


NM sheriff killed in rollover crash

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Lucinda Holt Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

LEA COUNTY, N.M. — Lea County Sheriff Steve Ackerman died in a single-vehicle crash near Encino in Central New Mexico on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday morning, the Lea County Sheriff's Office released a statement regarding his death:

"We would like everyone to keep the Ackerman family in your prayers during their time of mourning."

New Mexico State Police is completing the investigation in which Ackerman was pronounced dead at the scene. No other passengers were in the vehicle, according to a social media statement by the Hobbs News-Sun.

Information on the Lea County website shows Ackerman was elected in 2014 and began serving his term on Jan. 1, 2015. His biography shows he had been with the department since 1991.

No further information was released. ___ (c)2017 the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal


ND deputy, suspect killed during shootout

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By Karen Zamora The Star Tribune

BELCOURT, N.D. — A law enforcement officer and a suspect were fatally shot after a car chase in northern North Dakota Wednesday night, according to several media reports of the incident.

The Fargo ABC affiliate TV station said about 6:30 p.m. a male suspect in a stolen pickup lead four officers on a 15-minute police chase through the Devils Lake area.

A shootout then began when officers caught up to the pickup at an intersection, according to WDAY.

North Dakota state Sen. Richard Marcellais told the Minot TV news station, KXMC-TV, a shooting occurred during a traffic stop near the Rolette County town of Belcourt.

Rolette County Sheriff Gearald Medrud told the Fargo station that a deputy was fatally injured. Medrud told the Fargo station no other law enforcement officers were hurt.

The suspect, who has not been identified, was also killed, he added.

The Rolette County Sheriff’s Department would not comment Wednesday night and said more information would be available from the state’s attorney on Thursday. The state Bureau of Criminal Investgation is investigating.


Colo. police receive grant to counter violent extremism

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Homeland Preparedness News

DENVER — Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) recently announced that the Denver Police Department will receive a $240,000 Countering Violent Extremism Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the exclusive use of training and engagement.

The grant is part of an effort by DHS for activities that include intervention, developing resilience, challenging the narrative, and building capacity for local governments, universities, and non-profit organizations. The cities of Boston, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Houston also received similar grants.

“Whether it’s radical Islamic extremists or homegrown domestic terror groups trying to do us harm, our police officers must be properly trained to prevent an attack,” Gardner said. “I’m pleased the Department of Homeland Security has provided the Denver Police Department with these critical funds because it is our local law enforcement officers who know how to best keep our communities safe. The Denver Police Department has my full support, and I will continue to do everything I can to ensure Colorado law enforcement has the necessary tools to combat terrorism and root out violent extremists.”

Read more: Denver Police Department to receive $240,000 grant to counter violent extremism


Boston PD rethink social media monitoring

Posted on January 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jordan Graham Boston Herald

BOSTON — Mayor Martin J. Walsh said a police plan to start social media monitoring will go ahead once more community views are gathered, after the Boston Police Department decided not to accept any bids on the controversial software program for now.

"We're not a spy agency, we're a police department that is all about building relationships and building trust and building community, but also the job is to protect people," Walsh said. "They're going to put the proposal out again, but have conversations beforehand."

The BPD said in a Friday night statement it would not go forward with a Request for Proposals it had already released, citing privacy concerns.

"After reviewing the submitted proposals I felt that the technology that was presented exceeds the needs of the department," Commissioner William B. Evans said in a statement. "We will continue the process of inspecting what is available and ensuring that it meets the needs of the department while protecting the privacy of the public."

The department has been looking to buy the technology since October of last year, and received three responses to its RFP, from Dataminr, Uncharted and Verint Technologies. The technology would scan posts on social media, identify relationships between users and alert police any time a monitored user posts from certain areas.

"Paramount to the RFP was ensuring that the technology operated within the framework of existing laws and policies intended to protect the privacy, civil rights and civil liberties of the public," said Superintendent Paul Fitzgerald, commander of the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, in a memo to Evans.

"The proposals provided to the Department were thoroughly evaluated by the committee and at this time I recommend that the Department not award a contract to any of the respondents."

The plan had been fiercely opposed by many, including the ACLU of Massachusetts, which called the plan "a dangerous proposal."

"This is a victory not only for privacy and transparency but for the democratic process," said Kade Crockford, director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts.

City Councilor Andrea Campbell, who held a hearing on the plan last year, said she will hold another hearing if BPD moves forward with social media monitoring capabilities.

"Any time we deploy a new technology, we want to make sure we're balancing privacy and other concerns," Campbell said. "We need to have a transparent and open process."

__ (c)2017 the Boston Herald


3 reasons cops should check out the new Colt Cobra

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Lindsey J. Bertomen
Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

Colt just announced the release of the new Colt Cobra in .38 Special +P. This is a double action six shot pocket-sized revolver in satin stainless steel. Colt revolvers have always been called legendary. The new Cobra continues this legend.

Actually, this a new (old) Cobra. You see, this gun was originally released in 1950. For decades, it was one of the most coveted back up revolvers for officers like Rick Grimes, who carries a Python.

Why did many officers carry Colts as backup to their duty guns (including me)? There were three reasons. First, most snubbies carried five rounds, Colt pocket guns carried six. Second, Colt used leaf springs in their actions, rather than coil springs. When coil springs are compressed, their relative pressure can increase, or “stack.” Leaf springs give a constant trigger pressure throughout the stroke. It’s part of the legend. Third, Colt revolvers always pointed better when they were drawn from the pocket.

The new Colt Cobra is a true Colt design, except the original Cobra was a lightweight alloy gun. This is a 25 ounce steel one with a fiber optic front sight, more like the (third series) Detective Special, which I carried. It does have the non-stacking, smooth double action trigger, which made me long for another Colt.

I ran some full cylinders of DoubleTap .38 jacketed rounds downrange. The new Cobra has a slightly set back soft rubber grip that soaked up recoil. The trigger area and action is definitely glove friendly and has the “old school” Colt smoothness. Colt calls the new leaf spring its LL2 Linear Leaf Trigger System. They spec the double action trigger at 7.9 pounds.

I do believe this will be my next new wheelgun.

MSRP is $699.


SHOT Show 2017: The MagPump Ultralight AR-15 magazine loader is a winner

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Lindsey J. Bertomen
Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

I got a chance to see a MagPump Ultralight AR-15 magazine loader at SHOT Show 2017. Although I have seen similar products on the market, this one is a true winner.

While we were testing the Springfield Armory Saint, a new AR-15 product that earned my respect, the range guy was handing us fully-loaded magazines. We, in turn, would empty these magazines by moving the projectiles loaded inside them from one end of the range to another, thus emptying the magazines.

I can empty magazines pretty quickly. The guy on the Springfield range was keeping up with the demand. He was dumping loaded cartridges into a hopper, and the machine was orienting the cartridges correctly and pumping them into a magazine attached to the machine. That machine was MagPump loader.

Made mostly of polymer, the MagPump loads 30 rounds in 30 seconds. Users can dump up to 60 rounds into it at a time. This model will work for .300 Blackout also.

The MagPump quickly breaks down and can fit into a .50 caliber ammo can. It also can be mounted on a Picatinny rail. It’s the kind of product that could benefit any agency. I believe I will purchase one of these for my personal use.

One important note: The MagPump has export restrictions because it is a Defense Article on the US Munitions List.

MSRP is $189.


Surefire shows off updated versions of several flashlights at SHOT Show 2017

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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

At SHOT Show 2017 in Las Vegas, I had occasion to visit with the good folks at Surefire to see a couple of new versions — updates really — to a pair of popular flashlights.

The first one is geared mostly toward pilots, but may have some law enforcement applications. The company took the existing V1 Vampire — which was originally a light and an infrared — and added a feature of a very dim red LED. This 0.4 lumens bulb is perfect for reading a document in low light without messing up your eye’s adjustment to the darkness around you.

Next, we examined a light popular with police — the R1 Lawman rechargeable flashlight. An enormously successful flashlight already, the R1 Lawman continues to feature maximum output of 1,000 lumens with user-programmable head and tailcap switches. What’s new is that Surefire has added IntelliBeam Technology to the light.

This product was discussed by company representatives at SHOT Show last year, but for whatever reason, they’re pressing the news of an IntelliBeam-enabled R1 Lawman hard as the big news for law enforcement this year.

This enables the user to change the aimed beam of light from a non-reflective surface to one that produces a mirroring effect without accidentally blinding oneself momentarily. The light sensor in the bezel of the light reads how much light is being returned from the environment. The sensor quickly takes a measurement about ten times per second and makes the adjustment to the intensity of the outbound beam.

This will prove to be helpful in a variety of settings, from traffic stops to writing paperwork in the squad car. It’s clear that the new R1 Lawman with IntelliBeam will make its way into the hands of police across the country — and probably pretty quickly at that.


Battle Comp unveils some big product news at SHOT Show 2017

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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

Full disclosure: I am an early adopter of Battle Comp Enterprises. I have a first generation BCE compensator on my primary rifle, and I absolutely love it. Further, I consider company founder E. Alan Normandy to be a personal friend.

But I am not covering them because of those two reasons. Normandy and his lean team of shooters, designers, engineers and all-around geniuses had three really compelling pieces of news when I visited with them at SHOT Show 2017 in Las Vegas.

First is something that I know a lot of operators have been waiting a long time to see happen — a BCE comp for 9mm. This comp is designed primarily for carbines.

“The half-by-28 version will work on pistols, but for carbines we’re talking about half-by-28 right hand, half-by-30 right hand and 13.5-by-one metric left hand,” Normandy said.

The company is still surveying the market to determine how many of each version to manufacture in order to meet consumer demand. Normandy estimates that in six to eight weeks this new comp will be available for purchase.

In addition, the company reached an agreement with SilencerCo to produce an ASR-compatible Battle Comp that will work with the Harvester, the Omega and some of their other market-leading cans.

This is a partnership that makes sense in so many ways — two of the leading companies in their respective spaces finding ways to serve the customer in the way that best serves the customer. This is not necessarily the way we always see these things go down.

Toward the end of my visit, with a special twinkle in his eye, Normandy said, “We have a special thing coming out that I want to tell you about. This is pretty new, and I think you’ll appreciate it.”

He walked me over to the display wall, where a BCE comp was mounted to a Glock. He then said, “That’s not a threaded barrel under there. What we’re planning on doing is we’re going to package the barrel, plus the recoil spring, plus the comp and it’s going to be legal in California, Massachusetts and New York.”

I stared at it for a minute, trying to figure out how they pulled that one off. He just smiled at me — I knew already that this would remain a closely held company secret, at least until the product actually hits the market and someone reverse engineers it.

“It’s simpler than you might think,” is all he would say.

During a show that has been a little bit light on really big and interesting new developments, BCE delivered three in one booth. Well done guys.


Meggitt unveils clever new live-fire range product at SHOT Show 2017

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

The widely discussed criticism of SHOT Show 2017 has been that following the 2016 event — which featured countless new products and innovations on existing ones — the show floor really lacks that large number of shiny new toys.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a certain amount of new products to examine and write about. We’ve seen a whole new company with its debut entry into the striker-fired pistol market, and a line of tactical jeans (I never thought I’d use those two words together in a sentence) from 5.11.

Then, we have Meggitt Training Systems. They are demonstrating a training product so new that it doesn’t even have a name yet. A patent is pending for a new accessory for Meggitt’s live-fire track target system that allows police and civilian firearms trainers do to virtual-live-action, scenario-based training on the live fire indoor range.

The unit, which appears to be about five feet long, attaches to the existing XWT rail system which delivers the paper targets downrange. On that rig, protected by a hefty piece of steel, is a tiny video projector. That projector is wirelessly connected to a tablet computer mounted behind the firing line. From that interface, countless numbers of “videos” can be run, with the role player appearing in two dimensions on a blank white piece of paper or cardboard.

Of course, this is not a new idea. Police trainers in particular have for decades used video projectors and slide projectors to achieve the same effect — shoot/no-shoot scenarios with live ammo — but two Meggitt employees named Critt Bennett and Scott Billington put their heads together to create a really elegant solution that has pretty limitless potential.

Scott Billington worked with his colleague Critt Bennett (not pictured) to create an elegant solution. (Image/Doug Wyllie)

“You can make a movie on your iPhone, put the video file in here, and be doing a self-defense training all in the same afternoon,” Billington told me.

Admittedly, the value of a big, 270-degree virtual system remains high and this system will not replace that excellent technology. It’s not meant to. This is a relatively inexpensive solution that can help further enhance police — and civilian — firearms training.

There is no price yet available, but considering its simplicity, it’s likely that it will be very affordably priced.


Tactical jeans? 5.11 unveils exciting new apparel at SHOT Show 2017

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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

When it comes to making sure to have something new to talk about every year at SHOT Show, 5.11 Tactical is as regular and reliable as they come. Visiting their enormous booth at the 2017 expo in Las Vegas, they delivered yet again.

There were probably a half dozen brand new items being closely scrutinized by the hordes of attendees jockeying for the best views of the racks, but two new items in particular caught my eye.

The first is a new high-tech uniform that features a host of very intriguing design elements. The company calls the XPRT Uniform collection “the most feature rich and innovative uniform available for the world's premier law enforcement and military special operations units.”

That may sound somewhat hyperbolic, but it also may be true.

Let’s begin with the fabric. The company partnered with Cordura to develop a new fabric called NYCO Tactical. It is a cotton-and-Cordura blend that company spokesman Michael Anderson says has “no-melt, no-drip properties.” The fabric also has the Teflon finish 5.11 has been putting on much of its apparel for years.

On the design side, there are big accordion-like openings on the back to create maximum freedom of movement as well as ventilation. There are an abundance of pockets — it is a 5.11 uniform after all — with document pockets, pen pockets, zippered pockets and all manner of other pockets.

Because the uniform is designed for “the world’s elite law enforcement and military operators,” there is padding placed where you’d expect — elbows, knees, shoulders. There’s even a Kevlar-lined collar.

The second product comes with a little bit of a personal backstory. Three years ago at a SHOT Show event hosted by 5.11, I suggested to the head of design that for their next April Fools’ prank, they should unveil a line of “Tactical Skinny Jeans” — you know, in response to the trend of wearing jeans that look like they were spray painted on.

I was only half-kidding. I argued at the time that making a version of the covert pant in a denim material would open up a new segment of the market and provide undercover officers another option for their operations.

Well, I sincerely doubt my suggestion was the impetus, but 5.11 did it. Tactical jeans are here.

Dubbed the Defender-Flex Pant and Jeans, these garments feature advanced fabrics — a Cavalry Twill cotton/polyester blend for just enough elasticity — and “classic jean styling” to achieve a very covert look. The pockets that 5.11 are famous for — some large enough to furnish a full 30-round AR-15 magazine and front pockets suitable for CCW carry — are abundant.

Best of all, priced at around $70, these jeans are competitive with a purchase you’d make at the Levi’s store. Needless to say, this is big news for the Wyllie household, as my wife has been begging me for years to “wear a pair of jeans every so often.”

You’re welcome, my dear.


Tactical jeans? 5.11 reveals exciting new apparel at SHOT Show 2017

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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

When it comes to making sure to have something new to talk about every year at SHOT Show, 5.11 Tactical is as regular and reliable as they come. Visiting their enormous booth at the 2017 expo in Las Vegas, they delivered yet again.

There were probably a half dozen brand new items being closely scrutinized by the hordes of attendees jockeying for the best views of the racks, but two new items in particular caught my eye.

The first is a new high-tech uniform that features a host of very intriguing design elements. The company calls the XPRT Uniform collection “the most feature rich and innovative uniform available for the world's premier law enforcement and military special operations units.”

That may sound somewhat hyperbolic, but it also may be true.

Let’s begin with the fabric. The company partnered with Cordura to develop a new fabric called NYCO Tactical. It is a cotton-and-Cordura blend that company spokesman Michael Anderson says has “no-melt, no-drip properties.” The fabric also has the Teflon finish 5.11 has been putting on much of its apparel for years.

On the design side, there are big accordion-like openings on the back to create maximum freedom of movement as well as ventilation. There are an abundance of pockets — it is a 5.11 uniform after all — with document pockets, pen pockets, zippered pockets and all manner of other pockets.

Because the uniform is designed for “the world’s elite law enforcement and military operators,” there is padding placed where you’d expect — elbows, knees, shoulders. There’s even a Kevlar-lined collar.

The second product comes with a little bit of a personal backstory. Three years ago at a SHOT Show event hosted by 5.11, I suggested to the head of design that for their next April Fools’ prank, they should unveil a line of “Tactical Skinny Jeans” — you know, in response to the trend of wearing jeans that look like they were spray painted on.

I was only half-kidding. I argued at the time that making a version of the covert pant in a denim material would open up a new segment of the market and provide undercover officers another option for their operations.

Well, I sincerely doubt my suggestion was the impetus, but 5.11 did it. Tactical jeans are here.

Dubbed the Defender-Flex Pant and Jeans, these garments feature advanced fabrics — a Cavalry Twill cotton/polyester blend for just enough elasticity — and “classic jean styling” to achieve a very covert look. The pockets that 5.11 are famous for — some large enough to furnish a full 30-round AR-15 magazine and front pockets suitable for CCW carry — are abundant.

Best of all, priced at around $70, these jeans are competitive with a purchase you’d make at the Levi’s store. Needless to say, this is big news for the Wyllie household, as my wife has been begging me for years to “wear a pair of jeans every so often.”

You’re welcome, my dear.


Guide to grants for body-worn cameras

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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The following is paid content sponsored by Motorola Solutions

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

Law enforcement agencies, with the support of municipal and federal governments, continue to include body-worn camera programs in their strategic plans. As part of the initiative, federal and state agencies started grant programs to help qualifying law enforcement agencies purchase the equipment needed to deploy robust, effective BWC programs.

Grant opportunities abound, and getting your department’s applications ready to apply for key federal grants is crucial. So our staff at PoliceGrantsHelp developed this guide to body-worn camera grants to help you get the right products into officers’ hands.

In this free guide, you will learn:

How to meet the federal FY 2017 Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program deadline How to prep for a successful BWC grant proposal How state-specific grants are funding body-worn camera programs And much more!

Download the free guide by filling out the form below!


Seattle’s first openly trans cop aims to build trust with transgender community

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SEATTLE — The Seattle Police Department has been working on making the community a safer place for the transgender population. Through new police training and updated policies, the agency is aiming to reduce crimes in the LGBTQ community.

Crimes against transgender people often go underreported due to the lack of trust with police. The number of transgender homicide victims rose from 21 in 2015 to 26 in 2016, according to VICE News. But Officer Tori Newburn, the force’s first openly transgender officer, hopes to be a liaison between police and the transgender community.

“I didn’t always know I wanted to be a cop,” Newburn, 32, told WMCH. “I don’t know if it found me or if I found it.”

Newburn joined the force in 2014 as a male, but didn’t start telling co-workers about the transition until last May.

The reaction from his colleagues was overwhelmingly positive.

“Wow, somebody that actually reflects the community we serve,” Officer Yusef Jibril told Vice News.

Seattle has the fifth largest LGBTQ community in the United States, and crimes against trans people often go unsolved.

“There’s things going on here and we need a way to communicate with the police, we need a way to communicate with each other, to keep each other safe,” Shaun Knittel, Associate Editor of Seattle Gay News, said.

The department created a “Safe Place” program to encourage victims and the community to come forward if they have issues.

For the past two years, businesses have volunteered to be a safe place for LGBTQ people to wait after they call 911 to report a crime, Vice reported.

Newburn said it’s a long process to earn trust back when it’s been broken in the past, but his hope in coming out is to “be another layer of building that [trust] bridge.”

Check out Vice’s profile on Newburn, below:


Vote held to ban Toronto police floats, marches from pride parade

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

TORONTO — Members of Pride Toronto held a vote Tuesday night to ban police floats and marches from the city’s annual parade, according to Global News.

The vote was in response to one of the demands made by Black Lives Matter-Toronto during a sit-in at last year’s pride parade requesting Pride organizers ban police floats and booths, CP24 reported.

Apparently to some, our demands are "too radical/divisive." Look for yourselves fam #BlackPride pic.twitter.com/NxfaMnYUaf

— BlackLivesMatter TO (@BLM_TO) July 4, 2016

Although the vote was held, is unclear if police are truly banned from participating in future pride parades. Toronto Police Spokesperson Mark Pugash told CP24 they will need clarification before they can proceed with action.

“We don’t know what happened. People can’t seem to agree on whether police were excluded or whether it has something to do with uniforms and guns,” Pugash said.

Pride Toronto board member Aaron GlynWilliams told CTV News that the vote doesn’t mean police can’t participate in the parade.

“Perhaps a cavalcade of sirens and inmate buses and vehicles is not the most appropriate way to participate in the parade,” GlynWilliams told CTV. “Nowhere in what I just said is that it is not appropriate to participate.”

Pugash told CP24 whatever the outcome, law enforcement will continue to protect the public and reach out to the LGBTQ community.

“We have good relationships. We’ve made progress. We still have work to do,” Pugash said. “But we are going build relationships, we are going to create new relationships. We will choose inclusion over division. It is a shame people don’t agree with that.”

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‘Fast and Furious’ actor hosts benefit for wounded Wash. cop

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — Donations and support for Mike McClaughry have poured in after the officer was shot in the head while on patrol in December.

“Fast and Furious” actor Chad Linberg wanted to use his fame to help his family friend.

“I've known Mick for a lot of years,” Lindberg told KING 5. “It was a no-brainer when this happened that I wanted to do something.”

The actor, whose father is also a Mount Vernon officer, held a benefit Saturday. He donated every dollar made from the movie screening and autograph signing to McClaughry’s recovery.


3 levels of active shooter attack: Is your agency ready to respond?

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Mike Wood
Author: Mike Wood

The SHOT Show 2017 Law Enforcement Education Program kicked off with the Active Shooter Debrief presented by Don Alwes, a member of the National Tactical Officers Association.

Don led the assembled crowd through the challenging subject by first addressing the definition of an active shooter incident. He then discussed how an active shooter attack can be broken into three separate categories, based on the number of attackers, their weaponry and the amount of planning and coordination performed before the attack. The three levels of active shooter attack were as follows:

Level One: Single attacker, limited weaponry, little to no preplanning

Level Two: One or multiple attackers, enhanced weaponry, some preplanning

Level Three: Multiple attackers, significant weaponry, detailed preplanning and coordination

The utility of a model like this lies in its ability to help you focus on your own preparations and capabilities. During an attack, much of the information required to classify the assault, according to this model, would be unavailable until it's over and investigations have been completed. With that in mind, , the model is useful as a way to measure strengths and weaknesses of first responders, beforehand (during training).

Questions to ask during drills

To start, an agency or officer might consider whether or not they are trained, equipped and prepared to handle a Level One attack. If a disgruntled worker with mental health issues made an impromptu decision to bring a gun to work and attack his or her fellow coworkers, would the agency or individual officer have the capability to deal with the situation? Would officers have suitable firearms to deal with the situation if the attacker was armed with a long gun? Would they be trained well enough to fire a shot beyond traditional pistol distances, or know how to maneuver inside of a building after making a hasty entry? Questions such as these could expose weaknesses in a game plan or capabilities that would help to identify priorities for future training and funding.

The same kind of analysis could be conducted for Level Two and Level Three attacks, probing to see if there are weaknesses in an agency's or individual's plans for responding to these increasingly complex incidents. Do officers have experience working together to clear a building in small teams? Do they have ready access to rifle-rated armor and patrol rifles? Have agency leaders trained in managing critical incidents, and is there a game plan for standing up tactical and incident command posts when one of these attacks is launched? Are mutual aid or automatic aid response plans established so that additional help can be quickly summoned?

Most agencies and officers are probably prepared to respond to a Level One active shooter attack, but as the attack grows more sophisticated, the more holes in the net there are likely to be. Is your agency ready for the complex, coordinated attack denoted by a Level Three threat? If a group of terrorists launched a swarm attack on your city, hitting numerous locations simultaneously in hit-and-run assaults, would you have the manpower on the street, the training and the command and control expertise necessary to mount a coordinated response? Would you be ready to deal with a hostage siege involving hundreds of innocents trapped in a building that's controlled by a group of terrorists who shot their way inside? Are your emergency medical assets trained and ready to respond to a mass casualty attack?

An honest capability assessment

Most agencies and officers, if they're honest with themselves, would admit that their preparations for these complex attacks are incomplete. Unfortunately, the research and historical record indicates that we will likely see an increase in such attacks here in the coming years. Don's review of recent incidents in the briefing today illustrated the trend very clearly, so agencies would be well advised to ready themselves and close the gaps in their training and preparations while they can.

Time will not be on our side when the next active shooter attack is launched, so we need to ensure that we take advantage of the time we have now to get ready. Having a model like the one described by Don, to serve as a guide for self-inspection and a yardstick to measure readiness, will better enable us to focus our energy and resources on the areas that deserve them most.

As Don noted today, the focus at SHOT Show typically falls on the hardware, but it's the software - the training, mindset and heart--that is the most important determinate of victory. That's always an excellent reminder, and Don did a great job of bringing this message home for the audience today.

Be safe out there.

For more information about the National Tactical Officers Association and the training and education programs they offer, please visit their website at www.ntoa.org.


Philly cop creates portraits of officers killed in LODDs

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Mike Wood

By PoliceOne Staff

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Officer Jonny Castro usually sketches wanted suspects, but is now using his talents to honor his fallen brothers and sisters in blue.

Before joining the military and the police force, Castro developed his talent in art school, WTXF reported.

“There’s an ongoing debate about police relationships’ with communities and how we all interact- but one thing that tends to unite all of us, is when an officer is killed in the line of duty,” Castro said.

He became inspired after a job in the graphic arts department opened up.

Castro spends around eight hours on each portrait and gives them to the fallen officers’ family.

“It’s something the family has to remember them by,” he said. “Not just husbands and wives but maybe brothers and sisters, sons, daughters. They can each have a copy and hang it in their own place.”

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Philly cop creates portraits of officers killed on duty

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Mike Wood

By PoliceOne Staff

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Officer Jonny Castro usually sketches wanted suspects, but is now using his talents to honor his fallen brothers and sisters in blue.

Before joining the military and the police force, Castro developed his talent in art school, WTXF reported.

“There’s an ongoing debate about police relationships’ with communities and how we all interact- but one thing that tends to unite all of us, is when an officer is killed in the line of duty,” Castro said.

He became inspired after a job in the graphic arts department opened up.

Castro spends around eight hours on each portrait and gives them to the fallen officers’ family.

“It’s something the family has to remember them by,” he said. “Not just husbands and wives but maybe brothers and sisters, sons, daughters. They can each have a copy and hang it in their own place.”

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Bystander aids wounded Idaho deputies after shooting

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Mike Wood

By PoliceOne Staff

BLANCHARD, Idaho — A Monday shooting that wounded two Bonner County sheriff’s deputies and a suspect they were attempting to arrest could have been worse if a bystander didn’t step in to render aid.

Deputies Michael Gagnon, 53, and Justin Penn, 30, were attempting to arrest suspect Adam Deacon Foster, 30, for a battery warrant when Foster opened fire, KHQ reported.

Marsha Hanna was nearby when she heard the gunshots and went to investigate.

"I was walking my horses up the mountain and heard gunshots and I just assumed it was someone doing target practice," Hanna said. "Got a little farther up the hill with them and came around a corner and an officer came out. He had been bleeding but he was telling me to get back."

Hanna, an ER nurse, told the news station she was more worried about getting the officers help than her own safety.

"God had a plan for me with having me there, I think,” she said. “But anybody would have helped. I'm just glad I had the training to do it."

Gagnon is currently listed in serious condition and Penn is in fair condition. Foster is in fair condition as well.


NJ police receive grant for body cams

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By Joshua Jongsma and Owen Proctor NorthJersey.com

NEW JERSEY — Verona, Cedar Grove and Nutley are among the Essex County municipalities to receive grants to buy body cameras for their police departments, officials said.

The local departments were among the 37 in New Jersey to receive a total of $566,000 to buy cameras and "promote transparency, mutual accountability, and trust between police and the community," according to the state Attorney General's Office.

Nutley, Verona and Cedar Grove each received $15,000, enough to support 30 body cameras for each department.

Read more: Essex County towns receive grants for police body cameras


Fla. man charged with making online threat against Trump

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

MIAMI — A South Florida man has been charged with threatening to kill President-elect Donald Trump in a video posted online.

A Miami Beach police report released Wednesday identified the suspect as 51-year-old Dominic Puopolo. Jail records show Puopolo is being held without bail on state charges of threatening harm against a public servant. Court records do not list a lawyer for him.

The police report says Puopolo on Monday posted a video on his Twitter account stating that he would "be at the review/inauguration and I will kill President Trump, President-elect Trump" while in Washington.

The report says he was arrested a short time later at a Miami Beach Subway restaurant and admitted to officers he had posted the threatening video. Police say Puopolo told them he is homeless.


Artwork depicting pig in police uniform removed from Capitol display

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kevin Freking Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A student's painting that divided members of Congress for its depiction of Ferguson, Missouri, has been removed from its Capitol Hill display, this time perhaps permanently.

Several Republicans had complained about the painting, which shows a pig in a police uniform aiming a gun at a protester, and even took down the artwork temporarily. The lawmakers argued that the painting violated rules for a national student arts competition by showing subjects of contemporary political controversy or of a sensationalistic or gruesome nature.

In August 2014, a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson, setting off weeks of protests.

Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers informed lawmakers late Friday that the painting would be removed. On Tuesday, with House lawmakers back home for the week, the painting was gone.

The painting was among hundreds completed by high school students that are featured in a tunnel leading to the Capitol and had been hanging for months. But some conservative media outlets called for its removal and Republican lawmakers repeatedly took it down and returned it to Rep. William Lacy Clay's office. Clay put it back up, saying its removal violated a constituent's First Amendment rights to freedom of expression.

That constituent, David Pulphus, co-wrote a column with Etefia Umana, published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that said they surely would have been arrested if they had dared to enter the Capitol and removed the statue of slavery advocate John C. Calhoun, a vice president and senator from South Carolina who served before the Civil War.

Umana and Pulphus wrote that anger toward the painting was misplaced and fails to address critical issues pertinent to conditions in African-American communities.

"Art imitates life, but no critic has asked the fundamental question the painting begs: Why would a young student with hope, promise and purpose perceive our community and the police in such a manner?" the pair wrote.

The column concluded with: "David's only comment is, 'The art speaks for itself.' It has spoken loudly. Now, who will protect American civilization, including our Constitution and democracy?"

Clay called the decision arbitrary and insulting. He said the painting would have a "place of honor in my Capitol Hill office."

"This is now about something much bigger than a student's painting. It is about defending our fundamental First Amendment freedoms which include the right to free expression; even when that creativity is considered objectionable by some, and applauded by others," said Clay, who promised to seek a quick reversal of the decision.

Ayers wrote a letter to Clay saying that he consulted with industry experts and reviewed the painting itself before determining that it didn't comply with the House Office Building Commission's prohibitions for the Congressional Arts Competition.

Rep. David Reichert, R-Wash., said the painting hung in clear defiance of rules established for the arts competition and was a slap in the face to law enforcement officers. His letter to the architect of the Capitol initiated the painting's removal.


Suspect found dead after killing of Texas police detective

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

LITTLE ELM, Texas — A police detective was shot and killed outside a suburban Dallas home by a gunman who then held officers at bay for hours before being found dead inside.

Little Elm police Chief Rodney Harrison says Detective Jerry Walker died at a hospital Tuesday night.

Authorities say the incident began about 3 p.m. Tuesday with the report of a man armed with a long gun. Denton County sheriff's Lt. Orlando Hinojosa says when officers arrived, the armed man screamed at them from a backyard.

As officers withdrew, the man ducked into the house and fired from a window, striking Walker.

Authorities have not identified the suspect or provided his cause of death.

Walker was a father of four and 18-year veteran of the department.


Widow of Orlando nightclub shooter due in court

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Eric Tucker and Paul Elias Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. — The widow of the Orlando nightclub gunman knew about the attack ahead of time and then hindered the criminal investigation when she lied to FBI agents after the shooting, say prosecutors who will be in a California court Wednesday to discuss transferring her to Florida.

It will be a second day in court for Noor Salman. Visibly nervous and bewildered, Salman quietly acknowledged Tuesday that she understood the two felony charges alleging she assisted her husband and obstructed justice. She could face life in prison if convicted of both counts.

She didn't enter a plea and was ordered back to court Wednesday for the formal appointment of a lawyer and discussions on how to transfer her and the case to federal court in Orlando, where a grand jury indicted her.

She was arrested Monday at her mother's home in Rodeo, a middle-class suburb about 25 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Salman, 30, was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and lived in Fort Pierce, Florida, with her husband Omar Mateen when he attacked the Pulse nightclub on June 12.

"She knew he was going to conduct the attack," federal prosecutor Roger Handberg told the judge Tuesday. Handberg did not disclose any more details and would not comment after the 15-minute hearing held in a courtroom packed with security officers.

Outside court, Salman's uncle Al Salman said his niece was innocent and did nothing to help Mateen plan the attack on the gay nightclub.

"She's a very soft and sweet girl," Salman said. "She would not hurt a fly."

The indictment charges her with aiding and abetting Mateen in providing material support and resources to the Islamic State group between April and June of last year. She was also charged with obstruction, accused of misleading and lying to police and the FBI during their investigation.

The indictment gave no additional details on Salman's actions.

During the standoff, Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a 911 call. He was killed in a shootout with SWAT officers. In addition to the 49 victims killed, 53 people were injured.

In California, next-door neighbor Glauber Franchi said he was unaware that Noor Salman was living with her mother until she was arrested Monday.

"It's a very private family, very quiet family," Franchi said. "You don't see them. You barely see them on the street. They're good people from my knowledge. Never had a problem."

Al Salman said that Noor Salman was physically and mentally abused by Mateen and that she stayed with him for fear of losing custody of their son.

Charles Swift, director of the Richardson, Texas-based Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, planned to represent Noor Salman at the Wednesday hearing, said public defender John Paul Reichmuth, who served as her attorney Tuesday.

Linda Moreno, a Florida attorney who also represents Salman, said after her arrest that the widow "had no foreknowledge nor could she predict what Omar Mateen intended to do that tragic night."

Salman told The New York Times in an interview published in November that she knew her husband had watched jihadist videos but that she was "unaware of everything" regarding his intent to shoot up the club. Salman also said he had physically abused her.


Slain Fla. officer’s cuffs used to arrest suspect

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Caitlin Doornbos Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton's handcuffs were used for a special purpose Tuesday night — to arrest the man accused of killing her.

After a nine-day manhunt, local law enforcement captured Markeith Loyd in an abandoned house in West Orlando's Carver Shores at 7 p.m.

Loyd was pulled from a Sheriff's Office vehicle shortly after and more than a half dozen law enforcement officers escorted him into Orlando Police headquarters.

Wearing red pants, a gray shirt and his hands cuffed behind his back, Loyd exclaimed, "They beat me up! They beat me up!" to nearby cameras. His bloodied face appeared beaten with swollen eyes and lips.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina flashed a wide smile as he followed Loyd into the building.

"The injuries looked minor to me," Mina said at a Tuesday evening press conference. He said Loyd was getting medical attention at police headquarters. He was later taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Loyd, 41, has been wanted since Dec. 13, when investigators say he fatally shot his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, 24, and injured her brother when he rushed to help her. Clayton was trying to capture Loyd at the Wal-Mart near Princeton Street and John Young Parkway Jan. 9 when she was slain.

One of Clayton's longtime family friends, Jack Williams, said, "Honestly speaking, I wanted him to put up a fight so they'd kill him."

"I will be more at peace once he's been sentenced and put to death because he's a menace to society, and he doesn't need to be living here amongst us," Williams said. "... Now I pray for a conviction."

Loyd faces two counts of first-degree murder with a firearm and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm in Dixon and her fetus' deaths, and attempted first degree murder in the shooting of Dixon's 26-year-old brother, Ronald Stewart, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Tuesday night. Charges in Clayton's death have not yet been announced.

"Our entire community is going to breathe a sigh of relief. They are going to sleep better tonight knowing this ... maniac is off the streets," Demings said.

Danny Banks, the special agent in charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Orlando, said law enforcement learned Tuesday afternoon that Loyd may be at the home at 1157 Lescot Lane near Raleigh Street where he was eventually captured.

They spotted him, and about two dozen officers, deputies and state and federal agents surrounded the house, Banks said. That number quickly escalated to "several dozen. The reason for that is that we know what his propensity is for escape, for escaping perimeters."

Loyd first tried to escape through the back sliding-glass doors, Mina said. He then surrendered through the front doors wearing body armor. He also had two guns, including one that had a magazine that could hold 100 rounds, when he came out of the house.

Mina said Loyd threw down his guns when he saw the law enforcement surrounding him but resisted arrest. No shots were fired.

Mina called Clayton's husband, Seth Clayton, immediately after Loyd was taken into custody, he said.

"He was relieved and happy, and also upset to know he was arrested right around the corner from Debra's mother's house," Mina said.

Clayton's sister, Nikki Anita Huey, 40, of Orlando said the news of Loyd's arrest was a relief.

"When I heard the news that he had been captured, I was filled with tears because ... I have been praying for him to come to the light and turn himself in peacefully."

Huey said she was surprised Loyd was arrested in Carver Shores, the same neighborhood where Loyd and Clayton grew up.

"It's amazing that he went right back home to where he came from," Huey said. "Familiar territory."

About 9:45 p.m., officials took a bandaged Loyd dressed in all white to ORMC. Loyd could only see through one eye as he was taken to the hospital, as his left eye was covered with a patch and his face was heavily wrapped in gauze.

Residents of the neighborhood were relieved as law enforcement stayed at the Lescot Lane home after Loyd's arrest.

"I was like, 'Thank you, Jesus,' " said nearby resident Jackie Roy. She did not know him but said neighbors told her he grew up in the neighborhood.

Roy said her two sons catch the city bus near Lescot Lane to their school each morning.

"We had people here in fear," Roy said. "He didn't have anything to lose."

The arrest happened just hours after Mina said Loyd was added to the U.S. Marshals Office top 15 most-wanted fugitives list. Mina said at the press conference that arrest was not made by the aid of a tip, but rather as a result of "great police work."

Mina said there would be more arrests coming.

"Anyone who harbored, aided or abetted him in any way is going to be arrested. And we know from our investigation that people did help him."

The manhunt was coordinated out of the FDLE office in downtown Orlando, Banks said, and involved OPD, the Orange County Sheriff's Office, FDLE, the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI.

"In my now 23 years in law enforcement, I don't know that I know of a better example of a unified group, across federal, state and local law enforcement ... on one mission."

Loyd's capture, he said, was "a very good example of teamwork."

Orange County Sheriff Office deputy First Class Norman Lewis also was killed in a traffic accident Jan. 9 during the search. Retired Orange County Lt. Spike Hopkins, who was a close friend of Lewis, said, "I personally hold this man responsible for the death of Norman."

Hopkins said the way Loyd surrendered says a great deal about him.

"When surrounded by a group of police officers, he loses all of his courage, and he crawls out from under the house like a baby, not wanting to get hurt," Hopkins said.

Loyd was placed into Clayton's handcuffs, a "tradition in law enforcement that goes back many years," Mina said. "To put her handcuffs on the bad guy ... is meaningful to her family and to her law enforcement family."

Rene Stutzman, Stephen Hudak and Ryan Gillespie contributed to this report.

cdoornbos@orlandosentinel.com or 407-650-6931

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


ND bill protects drivers who negligently hit protesters obstructing traffic

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jennifer Brooks Star Tribune

CANNON BALL, N.D. — Protesters who take to the streets in North Dakota might want to look both ways for changes in the rules of the road.

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Keith Kempenich, R-Bowman, would protect drivers from legal consequences if they inadvertently hit, injure or kill pedestrians who are obstructing traffic.

The legislation is a direct response to the massive protests around the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Kempenich said. The ongoing protests have shut down a nearby highway for months and stalled construction of a pipeline that would carry crude from the North Dakota oil patch.

"If you stay off the roadway, this would never be an issue," Kempenich said. "Those motorists are going about the lawful, legal exercise of their right to drive down the road. ... Those people didn't ask to be in this."

The legislation has drawn withering criticism from Standing Rock supporters, who worry that it could be open season for protesters on North Dakota roads.

Kempenich said he wants to shift the blame for a crash from drivers to the people who choose to protest in traffic. The legislation, he said, would not protect someone who deliberately tries to run down a protester, and it would not let drivers off the hook if they hit a jaywalker or a child chasing a ball into the street.

"This bill puts the onus on somebody who's made a conscious decision to put themselves in harm's way," he said. "You can protest all you want, but you can't protest up on a roadway. It's dangerous for everybody."

His bill is one of several floated by protest-weary North Dakota lawmakers this session. One would make it a crime for adults to wear masks. Another would allow the state to sue the federal government over the cost of policing the pipeline standoff. The protests, which have drawn thousands of people and led to hundreds of arrests, have cost North Dakota law enforcement an estimated $22 million.

"It puts people on edge," Kempenich said. "People who live out there are feeling terrorized."

The legislation has several House and Senate cosponsors but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

Hwy. 1806, which passes through the Standing Rock reservation and beside the drilling site for the stalled Dakota Access Pipeline, has been closed for much of the past year as thousands of people protested the pipeline's proposed path under the Missouri River, just upstream from the reservation, and through tribal burial grounds and cultural sites.

The protests have forced North Dakotans to detour for miles. Kempenich said he worried about drivers, panicked by coming across a group of people standing in a public roadway, "if they hit the gas instead of the brake."

Under Kempenich's proposed legislation, drivers who negligently injure or kill pedestrians who are "obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street or highway" would not be liable for damages, and anyone who "unintentionally" kills or injures a pedestrian who was blocking traffic "is not guilty of an offense."

He said he plans to "soften" the language about negligent drivers -- he was referring to insurance industry language, not giving a free pass to distracted drivers. He expects a hearing on his bill soon.

In Minnesota, law enforcement steps in to stop or divert traffic when protesters march onto roadways. In August 2015, a driver rolled through a Minneapolis intersection crowded with Black Lives Matter demonstrators, injuring a 16-year-old girl. The driver later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and paid a $575 fine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. ___ (c)2017 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)


Md. sergeant, pilot injured after laser pointed at helicopter

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Emily Chappell Carroll County Times

CARROLL COUNTY, Md. — A Sykesville man struck a Maryland State Police helicopter with a laser early Monday morning, state police said Monday.

Connor Grant Brown, 30, of the 1200 block on Canterbury Drive in Sykesville, has been charged with reckless endangerment, obstructing and hindering, and shining a laser pointer at an aircraft.

Police said the Trooper 3 helicopter was assisting the Carroll County Sheriff's Office with an investigation in the area of the 800 block of Klees Mill Road. Col. Larry Suther, of the Sheriff's Office, said deputies were looking for a man who had been stopped by Natural Resources Police for defacing something in a park. When the man ran, he ran without his shoes and law enforcement was concerned for his safety as the temperature dropped, Suther said.

While the helicopter was taking part in the investigation, its cockpit was struck by a green laser approximately eight times.

Pilot Todd Hyson and crew chief Sgt. Gregg Lantz were both transported to Frederick Memorial Hospital for treatment after sustaining eye injuries and were later released, police said.

Officials said shining lasers into cockpits temporarily blinds pilots, causes disorientation and could lead to crashes.

"Shining any kind of laser at a aircraft can have deadly consequences," said Elena Russo, spokeswoman for the Maryland State Police. "Our flight crews are out there serving and protecting our citizens, and to have something like this happen showed the consequences because two of the four people on board were affected."

The crew was forced to abort the mission in support of the Sheriff's Office investigation in an attempt to find the source of the laser beam, police said. They located the source on Canterbury Drive. A Carroll County sheriff's deputy responded.

According to police, a subsequent investigation revealed Brown had operated the device that struck the helicopter.

Brown was released on his own recognizance at 9:22 a.m. Monday, according to the Carroll County Central Booking Unit.

The National Business Aviation Association, an industry group, has cited laser strikes as a growing threat to air safety. In 2015, 6,000 laser strike incidents were reported to the Federal Aviation Administration, an increase of more than 2,000 from the previous year, according to the group.

Russo said the FBI and the FAA have been notified of the incident and federal charges are possible.

The Baltimore Sun contributed to this story. ___ (c)2017 the Carroll County Times (Westminster, Md.)


Sig features new VTAC P320 at SHOT Show 2017

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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

One year ago, Kyle Lamb — the extraordinary firearms and tactics instructor whose training is considered to be among the best available — began working with the SIG Sauer Academy as a consultant working on SIG’s training programs. The partnership makes sense in so many ways, not the least of which is the shared ethos of precision and dedication to excellence.

Stemming from that collaboration — and on display at the private range day event hosted by SIG at the Clark County Shooting Complex — was an excellent new version of a classic SIG firearm now bearing the VTAC name.

The VTAC P320 modular pistol with the addition of VTAC high-visibility sights on top was a popular item with those in attendance. The gun also features the X-Carry grip module, and has a beautiful dark earth stainless-steel slide.

Just about anything Kyle Lamb touches is immediately improved, and this new take on the SIG Sauer P320 is no exception. The VTAC P320 was one of the highlights from the show so far.


SHOT Show 2017: SIG Sauer’s baby 1911s and the new P320 XCarry

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Ron LaPedis
Author: Ron LaPedis

A quick internet search for backup guns will lead you to the SIG P938. The 1911-flavored 9mm P938 is almost the same size as the .380 P238 but it has more bang (very literally) for the buck. While SIG is adding new variations to both lines on a regular basis, I’m going to focus on the P938 since I’m a fan of pocket rockets.

Hanae Mansfield, Strategic Product Manager for Pistols, walked me through some of the new models at the 2017 SHOT Show. In the bling category is their rose gold PVD (physical vapor deposition) finish with scroll engraving on the slide. While all the P938s that I have seen have a matte finish, you could comb your hair in the reflection from this baby’s slide.

Other new models are the P938 SAS (SIG anti-snag), which has undergone a radical dehorning process resulting in an ultra-smooth, snag free profile that is ideal for concealed carry, and the 938 combat anodized with front cocking serrations and a wrap-around SIG-branded rubber grip.

A new P238 and P938 are part of a family called the ASE or Alloy Stainless Elite, which also includes versions of their P226, P227, and P229 products. These pistols have alloy frames and stainless steel slides.

P320 XCarry

The 3.9 inch barrel, 17-round P320 XCarry features a beavertail frame to prevent slide bite, a crowned match-style barrel, and a pre-tensioned barrel/slide for increased accuracy. The slide also has a front top cutout for weight reduction and a patented removable panel for mounting an RMR if you like running reflex sights. There is also an attachment point for an optional removable flared magwell. Like others in the P320 series, this one also features the straight trigger. Three 9mm 17-round magazines will come standard with this $862 MSRP pistol when it ships in March.


Could a product for hunters help prevent blue-on-blue shootings?

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Ron LaPedis

Before founding Safe Shoot, based in Tsipori, Israel, Amir Nadan was deputy inspector general for military auditing and currently is a reserve general in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). His other execs are a Reserve Lt. Col., and a retired Major in the USMC. Yeah, they probably know something about guns and friendly fire.

Using an array of sensors and Radio Frequency (RF) communication, Safe Shoot modules on each shooter’s long gun automatically detect the position and barrel direction of all member devices. If there is a high risk of friendly fire, the system will alert the parties involved.

This revolutionary first-generation product is being marketed to hunters with a MSRP of $399 per pair. The idea is that all the hunters on a trip would attach a Safe Shoot unit to their long gun to prevent hunting accidents. If that 12-point buck that you can barely see turns out to be another hunter, your Safe Shoot unit will light up red, warning you to not pull the trigger.

The Safe Shoot module mounts to the barrel of your long gun. (Photo/PoliceOne)

But hunting is just the first application for Safe Shoot. Nadan believes that his device easily can be repurposed for military or law enforcement, allowing shooters to determine whether team members could be in danger if they take a shot. And since the technology doesn't require line of sight, it can help you to determine who is around the corner, or coming through that door or window before you pull the trigger. PoliceOne authors would rather not write more articles like this one.

Since every device has a unique serial number that can be read remotely, a command and control system (not yet developed) could let a mission leader know where every one of his people are and in which direction their muzzles are pointed. Should a Safe Shoot-equipped firearm be lost or stolen, the unit can be removed from the “family,” thus rendering it useless.

If the light is green, your team members are not in danger if you take a shot. (Photo/PoliceOne)


Chip McCormick’s new 1911 Railed Power Mag keeps the ammo flowing

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Ron LaPedis

The latest Power Mag from Chip McCormick uses a patent-pending design to keep the ammo flowing and to keep the slide open on your favorite 1911. This new design uses a laser-welded stainless tube, a two-leaf formed follower, folded over “feed rails” instead of feed lips, and either 19 coils of high tensile strength rocket wire in the 10-round version or 18 coils of rocket wire in the eight-rounder. Per Josh Cole, CMC’s LE and military accounts manager, this new 1911 magazine offers double the service life of their original Power Mag, or four times the life of standard 1911 magazines.

As you can see in the above photo, the follower is a complex folded-metal shape with two leaves. The bottom leaf attaches to the spring, and the top leaf supports the bottommost round in the magazine. The top leaf is slightly offset from the bottom leaf. When the last round is stripped from the magazine, the asymmetrical opening in the top of the magazine allows the top leaf to pivot slightly, ensuring positive contact with the slide stop. Before you ask, this follower is safe to use with both steel and alloy frames.

In the second photo, you can see not only how the magazine opening is asymmetrical to allow the top leaf of the follower to pivot, but you can also see how the magazine lips are formed from metal which has been folded over for additional strength. In effect, feed rails.

Both seven-round ($20.88 LE pricing) and 10-round ($22.59 LE pricing) magazines are shipping now.


How to make your AR great again – in California

Posted on January 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Ron LaPedis

The first product I saw at the 2017 SHOT Show was in the Suppliers Showcase. The patent-pending Torque Precision FC-Hook replaces the magazine catch on a standard AR-10 or AR-15 rifle and turns it into a fixed-magazine semi-automatic firearm. With it installed, the magazine cannot be removed without dissembling the action, according to the letter of the law. When installed, your firearm looks completely standard. Unlike some other options out there, no one can tell that your firearm isn’t sporting a standard magazine catch and release button.

Per designer Mark Abbott, the secret behind the Southern California-manufactured FC-Hook is the captive spring-loaded detent built vertically into the back side of the catch. When the catch is in its normal position, this detent rests against the inside of the mag well, preventing the magazine catch button from moving the catch outward to drop the mag.

Dissembling the action

There are two options to recharge your firearm, and whichever method you choose, you must first start out by dissembling the action. You can either insert new cartridges from the top or you can drop and replace the mag. With some practice, you should be able to push out the takedown pin and rotate the upper from the lower on the pivot pin in less than five seconds.

If you want to drop the mag, you can use a thin piece of plastic to reach down the side of the mag so that you can depress the detent into the catch, then you press the catch button. You need to hold the release button in while you insert a new magazine before you can release it. If you release the button before you insert a fresh magazine, then you can simply depress the detent and push the catch button again.

Maintaining the AR look

What caught my eye with this new product is that your AR still looks like an AR even though it is now (according to the state of California) a semi-automatic rifle instead of an assault weapon. Unlike some other solutions, there aren’t any spare doodads hanging off the side, you don’t need special parts or tools to install it, and you can keep all other features if you prefer.

There is a downside to any product that requires you to dissemble the action to drop the magazine. It may be next to impossible to clear a double feed or other jam that prevents the bolt carrier group from going into battery because some of the BCG is in the buffer tube, which is part of the lower preventing movement.

But if you don’t have any problems with this slight possibility, you have a new arrow in your quiver to help keep your personally-owned AR legal.


Why cops should check out the Savage MSR 15 Patrol rifle

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Lindsey J. Bertomen
Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

Hello from SHOT 2017.

I checked out Savage’s new MSR 15 Patrol at range day, an M4 clone with BLACKHAWK! furniture, including the BLACKHAWK! KNOXX AR Pistol Grip and AXIOM Carbine Stock.

This AR clone is remarkably different than others in this saturated market. It uses 5R rifling, which is an old school way to draw out more accuracy from a cartridge. I put some rounds downrange and it was smooth, well-engineered and showed very promising accuracy with my limited skills.

I got to shoot the longer suppressed version with a mid-length gas system and some decent glass to steer it. The Mil-Spec trigger was very smooth for this type of gun, but I have competed with a box stock Savage before and should’ve expected that.

5R rifling was originally designed by a guy named Barrett "Boots" Obermeyer. This rifling is cut with five lands and grooves that use sloping, rather than straight, walls on the lands. In traditional rifling, the number of lands and grooves are usually even. If the barrel is viewed in cross section, lands are opposite lands and grooves are opposite grooves. With 5R rifling, the bullet isn’t squeezed between opposing grooves. With the sloping sides in the lands, the sharp edges theoretically collect less lead, produce higher velocities and barrels are easier to clean.

By the numbers, the Savage MSR 15 Patrol has:

Mil-spec upper and lower receiver 16 1/8-inch barrel with 5R rifling and Melonite QPQ finish 223 Wylde target chamber for use with 223 Rem. or 5.56x45mm Mil-spec trigger Mid-length gas system BLACKHAWK! KNOXX AR Pistol Grip and AXIOM Carbine Stock Custom A-frame gas block front sight BLACKHAWK! flip-up sights

MSRP $852


Ascendance International demonstrates nTherm handguards at SHOT Show 2017

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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

Wandering the vast grounds of the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club during SHOT Show’s 10th annual Range Day, one occasionally hears short bursts of full automatic fire. What one doesn’t necessarily hear, however, is an almost constant and sustained rapid fire coming from a single tent.

The guns running on full auto have to be set down at some point because the barrel would get so hot that the operator wouldn’t be able to hold the handguard.

This was not the case at the tent operated by the employees of Colorado-based Ascendance International. They couldn’t get empties swapped out for topped off magazines fast enough — the entire enterprise was to see how hot they could get the carbine on the line.

This is because the company has created a new series of free-floating handguards for carbine rifles used by military and police which are practically impervious to heat. They can withstand temperatures of 600 degrees and offer the operator the tag line “gloves optional.”

The company’s handguards are designed to mitigate — or outright negate — heat transfer from the barrel to the handguard. They do this by producing their handguards by molding a proprietary type of polymer.

The folks from Ascendance International fastidiously avoided using words like plastic and polymer, but that is what we’re talking about here. Company representatives insisted that the new material does not bend or warp during prolonged periods of sustained fire.

On display were a variety of versions, ready for mounting to the M4A1 carbine and the H&K 416. Standard and configurable options are available for both.


Hudson unveils the hotly-anticipated H9 pistol at SHOT Show 2017

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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

SHOT Show 2017 in Las Vegas got underway in earnest with thousands of industry and media representatives descending once again upon the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club for Range Day.

Attendees who wanted to see one of the most highly anticipated new products of the year had to walk a ways to get to it — so far that it felt like 10 more steps and you’d be able to see the Grand Canyon — and push through a crowd of people eager to see and shoot the new design from a brand new gun manufacture named Hudson Manufacturing.

The Hudson H9 is — as the name suggests — a 9x19mm semi-automatic pistol which is the picture of meticulously detailed design. The striker-fired gun is not only beautiful, but incredibly fun to shoot.

The barrel and recoil spring to sit very low and close to the hand, which creates an extremely low bore axis, allowing the shooter to perform with precision and very little muzzle rise.

The trigger is another compelling aspect of the design. With a trigger travel of just .115 inches, the 1911-style trigger is extremely smooth. It has a very easy break, and a pretty short reset.

Due to its all-steel construction, the gun has enough heft to it that any recoil felt is truly minimal. However, it weighs in at 34 ounces (unloaded), and it does not feel overly heavy. Standard magazine capacity is 15 rounds, which adds some additional weight.

The MSRP of a little more than $1,100 may scare off some shooters, but the gun is definitely worthy of some consideration for the avid collector.


Texas cop shot, police in ongoing standoff with suspect

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LITTLE ELM, Texas – An officer was shot Tuesday after police responded to reports of a man with a gun.

According to Dallas News, police arrived at the scene and witnessed an armed man screaming at them.

The suspect barricaded himself inside a home and began shooting at officers as they ordered him to drop the weapon, WFAA reported.

VIDEO: Barricades moving farther out after Little Elm officer shot, suspect reportedly barricaded in house @NBCDFW pic.twitter.com/V8tlAb2cMp

— Homa Bash (@HomaBashNBC5) January 17, 2017

Detective Jerry Walker was then struck by gunfire in the upper body. He was airlifted to a hospital in serious condition.

No other injuries were reported. Officers are currently in a standoff with the suspect and nearby schools have been locked down.

Multiple police agencies gathered outside ER @ Denton Regional Medical Center waiting to hear more on condition of Det Jerry Walker @CBSDFW pic.twitter.com/3Ab4nbMyqr

— Jeff Paul (@Jeff_Journalist) January 18, 2017

Texas police detective killed, suspect barricaded

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Associated Press

LITTLE ELM, Texas — A police detective has died after being shot while answering a report of an armed man outside a house in a suburban Dallas neighborhood.

Little Elm Police Chief Rodney Harrison says Detective Jerry Walker died Tuesday night at a Denton hospital hours after the shooting.

Meanwhile, a standoff continued at a house with an armed man suspected of firing the fatal shot.

Authorities say the episode began about 3 p.m. Tuesday with the report of a man outside a house, armed with a long gun. Denton County sheriff's Lt. Orlando Hinojosa (ee-noh-HOH'-sah) says officers arrived to find an armed man screaming at them from a backyard.

As officers withdrew, the man ducked into the house and fired from a window, striking Walker.

Tactical squad officers arrived and a standoff ensued.

VIDEO: Barricades moving farther out after Little Elm officer shot, suspect reportedly barricaded in house @NBCDFW pic.twitter.com/V8tlAb2cMp

— Homa Bash (@HomaBashNBC5) January 17, 2017

Multiple police agencies gathered outside ER @ Denton Regional Medical Center waiting to hear more on condition of Det Jerry Walker @CBSDFW pic.twitter.com/3Ab4nbMyqr

— Jeff Paul (@Jeff_Journalist) January 18, 2017

Police: Alleged cop killer Markeith Loyd captured

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Police say a man wanted in the fatal shootings of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police sergeant has been captured.

The Orlando Police Department tweeted Tuesday night that 41-year-old Markeith Loyd is in custody.

Loyd has been the focus of a weeklong manhunt since Master Sgt. Debra Clayton was killed in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Before the Jan. 9 shooting, authorities had been looking for Loyd for questioning in the death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend last month.

The sergeant had been tipped off that Loyd was in the area while she was at the store. She was shot when she approached Loyd, who then fled.

The U.S. Marshals Service had added Loyd to its list of most wanted fugitives Tuesday.


NAACP, minority officers’ association blast ‘Patriots Day’ movie

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By O'Ryan Johnson Boston Herald

BOSTON — The Boston branch of the NAACP and the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers have joined the slain family of a Boston Police officer in criticizing the "Patriots Day" movie for a lack of minority representation and are calling on CBS Films to at least mention the only Boston Police officer killed as a result of fighting the two terrorists depicted in the film.

BPD Officer Dennis "D.J." Simmonds was wounded when one of Tamerlan Tsarnaev's pipe bombs detonated near his head during the Watertown shootout in April 2013. Simmonds' death of an aneurysm months later was linked directly to the injury by the state medical examiner, a fact overlooked by the film.

"Their failure to even acknowledge the death of Officer Simmonds in the closing reel of the film or in acknowledge in a meaningful way the roles that Boston police officers of color played in the death and capture of the bombers not only paints a distorted image of what truly happened that day, but taints our history. On this we cannot be silent," read a joint statement by the Boston NAACP and the minority officers' association.

The two groups, in conjunction with the Simmonds family, urged filmmakers to acknowledge Simmonds' actions in bringing the Tsarnaevs to justice.

"While the film has completed production, there are still opportunities for the producers and studio to acknowledge the life and sacrifice of Officer Simmonds," the statement reads. "In honoring his life and sacrifice the film will then honor all of the members of the Boston Police Department, Black and White, who put their lives on the line." ___ (c)2017 the Boston Herald


NAACP, minority cops’ association blast ‘Patriots Day’ over omission of fallen LEO

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By O'Ryan Johnson Boston Herald

BOSTON — The Boston branch of the NAACP and the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers have joined the slain family of a Boston Police officer in criticizing the "Patriots Day" movie for a lack of minority representation and are calling on CBS Films to at least mention the only Boston Police officer killed as a result of fighting the two terrorists depicted in the film.

BPD Officer Dennis "D.J." Simmonds was wounded when one of Tamerlan Tsarnaev's pipe bombs detonated near his head during the Watertown shootout in April 2013. Simmonds' death of an aneurysm months later was linked directly to the injury by the state medical examiner, a fact overlooked by the film.

"Their failure to even acknowledge the death of Officer Simmonds in the closing reel of the film or in acknowledge in a meaningful way the roles that Boston police officers of color played in the death and capture of the bombers not only paints a distorted image of what truly happened that day, but taints our history. On this we cannot be silent," read a joint statement by the Boston NAACP and the minority officers' association.

The two groups, in conjunction with the Simmonds family, urged filmmakers to acknowledge Simmonds' actions in bringing the Tsarnaevs to justice.

"While the film has completed production, there are still opportunities for the producers and studio to acknowledge the life and sacrifice of Officer Simmonds," the statement reads. "In honoring his life and sacrifice the film will then honor all of the members of the Boston Police Department, Black and White, who put their lives on the line." ___ (c)2017 the Boston Herald


Smith & Wesson’s new M&P M2.0 pistol offers notable improvements

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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

Full disclosure: I am an avid fan of the Smith & Wesson M&P line of firearms. I own an undisclosed number of S&W M&P guns and consider them to be among the finest specimens in my safe. In fact, the pistol and the AR are my two primary weapons.

Needless to say that when word surfaced that there would be a new gun in the M&P line at SHOT Show 2017, I made a special note to visit their tent at Range Day out at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club.

I was not disappointed. In fact, I was elated.

The M&P M2.0 pistol — the newest in the M&P line — offers notable improvements in the grip (a far more aggressively coarse surface for enhanced control) and the trigger. Yes, the sandy grip will probably tear up your clothes a little bit, but it is a joy to hold.

The trigger pull is slightly lighter than the heritage gun — I was not quoted a precise statistic, but I’d venture it’s about a quarter-pound less. The company says there’s a more audible sear reset, but in the cacophony on the line in Boulder City, Nevada I was unable to notice much of a difference.

They’ve also made changes to — somehow — lower the barrel bore axis ratio. There was a clear difference in muzzle rise between the M2.0 and my beloved M&P back home.

Today’s discovery is going to cost me about $600 — and I’m totally fine with that.


Pa. cop sues Wal-Mart over termination for carrying gun on duty

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

TAYLOR, Pa. — An officer has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart after his boss told him to remove his gun from the premises while he was on duty.

Officer Michael Zuby, who was in uniform, went to get lunch at the Wal-Mart where works a second job as security. His boss told him to take the gun off the property, WREG reported.

Zuby said he was required by law to carry the gun while on duty, but managers told him store employees aren’t allowed to carry weapons on the property.

Managers allegedly told the police not to send Zuby to the store if there is an emergency, the lawsuit states.

Wal-Mart said they offered him a different job for the same pay or to move him to another store.


7-year-old girl sets out to hug cops across US

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

JACKSON, Mich. — A 7-year-old girl has started on a mission to spread love to law enforcement officers in all 50 states.

Rosalyn has set out across the United States to hug at least two officers in each state and show them her appreciation, WCMH reported.

Rosalyn’s family said she realized how much officers sacrifice to protect their communities every day.

Her website says her mission is to carry on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of community as a place of healing. She aims to be a “beacon of light, love and joy, uniting communities by demonstrating her sincere love and appreciation” for law enforcement.

Rosalyn has already visited Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Her parents have set up a GoFundMe to help with their travels. You can follow her journey on her website.

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NYPD K-9 receives hero’s send-off

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — An 11-year-old K-9 was surrounded by his fellow officers as he was put down Friday.

K-9 Hunter, an 8-year veteran, was escorted by officers to the animal hospital where he died, according to SILive.com.

Hunter served with the K-9 Unit from 2006 to 2014 in patrol, evidence collection, firearm detection and recovery and suspect apprehension.

He was deployed to Haiti in 2010 with the Federal Emergency Management Agency search and rescue after the earthquake, a spokesman said.

In the latter part of his life, Hunter suffered from hip dysplasia and other ailments and the pain became too much, NY Daily News reported.

“He was probably one of the best K-9s that a K-9 handler could ask for,” Detective Chris Bonomo told the Daily News. “He was kind and gentle, but yet when the bell rang, it was time. He did his job. He could just be a dog. Playing ball out in the field, and then going out and getting called for a job.”

Hunter would have turned 12 on Jan. 23.


La. deputy saves cat trapped in garage door

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ASCENSION PARISH, La. — A deputy could hardly believe what he saw when he responded to a call of an animal stuck in a garage door.

Deputy Mike Scott, a 34-year veteran, said he arrived to find a cat stuck in the top of the garage door, Q13 Fox reported.

“Never in all of my years was I prepared to encounter what I saw upon my arrival,” Scott said.

His training and assistance from neighbors and construction workers helped remove the cat safely and quickly from the garage door.

They were able to remove the cat alive. The animal suffered no injuries.

“I am not much of a cat person, but no one wants to see an animal suffer,” Scott said. “After losing so much from the flood, I was happy that I could save the homeowner’s cat. Thank God for miracles and good neighbors.”


DC officers cannot record inauguration demonstrators

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Officers patrolling during the inauguration and days after will not be allowed to turn on their body cameras until they make an arrest.

A law bans officers in D.C. from recording the public unless the officer has to take action and make an arrest, according to WJLA.

The ACLU said the camera shouldn’t be on because police shouldn’t be able to surveil first amendment activities.

“Our concern is around the availability of body cameras, what is done with that data, who looks at that data and what that data’s used for,” ACLU Spokeswoman Monica Hopkins-Maxwell told the news station.

While police won’t be allowed to film demonstrators, the ACLU is encouraging citizens to film police.

Along with citizens watching the police, federal law enforcement will be monitoring DC cops as well, the news station reported.


Wash. officer shot in head will ‘most likely’ be blind

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — An officer who was shot in the head while on patrol in December will “most likely” be blind, his daughter said in a Facebook post.

Officer Mike McClaughry, who has been hospitalized since the shooting, was showing signs of recovery, but his family said doctors are certain he is blind.

“The neurosurgeon that has been there from the start though says that we really still don't know until he is conscious enough to have a conversation and tell us what he sees, if anything,” the post reads. “My mother asked him once if he could see light and he said "yes", she then asked him if he could see her and he didn't have a response.”

His daughter has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the family’s financial needs.

McClaughry, 61, was investigating a reported shooting when he was shot in the head by Ernesto Lee Rivas.

Rivas, an alleged gang member, reportedly shot a rival gang member earlier in the day. After a standoff with police, Rivas was taken into custody and is held on $1 million bail, according to the Associated Press.

Two teenagers, ages 15 and 16, who were in the house during the standoff, were arrested and charged as well.

No other officers were injured in the standoff.


Md. deputy critically wounded in shooting leaves hospital

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

CHESTERTOWN, Md. — An Eastern Shore deputy who was critically wounded in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect in a domestic disturbance has been released from a Baltimore hospital.

The Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post Monday that Deputy 1st Class Warren Scott Hogan was headed home from the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

He was expected to be escorted by police and fire personnel to his home near Centreville.

Hogan had been hospitalized since a Dec. 29th shooting. Authorities said he exchanged gunfire with a man who had been in a physical dispute with his girlfriend. The man was fatally shot.

Authorities said earlier that Hogan is white and the man was black.


Va. cop fatally shoots man who shot 2, set house on fire, took hostage

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

HERNDON, Va. — A police officer fatally shot a Virginia man who shot two people and kept a hostage barricaded inside a house even after he set it on fire Monday afternoon, officials said.

Two men called 911 about 2:40 p.m. Monday and said they had been shot at a home in Herndon and were driving themselves to a hospital, Fairfax County police Chief Col. Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said.

Officers arriving at the townhouse in suburban Washington heard gunshots inside and saw smoke coming from its third floor, the chief said at a news conference.

LISTEN: Loud explosions, possible flash bangs heard near seen of double shooting in #Herndon. Waiting on confirmation. Ambulance left after. pic.twitter.com/X3MLOZ8pF4

— Van Applegate (@VBagate) January 16, 2017

Roessler said a man saying he was being held hostage called 911 to report that he couldn't breathe, but firefighters weren't able to enter the house because someone kept shooting a gun inside.

Police negotiators were talking to the suspect by phone, but the chief said he refused to cooperate with them.

The suspect opened the front door and was holding what appeared to be a knife, Roessler said. That's when an officer shot the man, who died at a hospital.

Firefighters put out the blaze and the hostage was treated on the scene for smoke inhalation. Roessler said no officers were hurt.

The two men shot at the beginning of the incident were being treated at a hospital for injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, police said.

Roessler said that details and the sequence of events were still being investigated.

Police did not release information about the relationship of the people involved or the race of the suspect and the officer who shot him.


Details emerge in shooting of Ariz. trooper by driver he sought to help

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jacques Billeaud Associated Press

PHOENIX — The man who shot and severely beat an Arizona state trooper last week was a former member of the Mexican federal police who was in the country illegally, authorities said.

He had rolled his car on Interstate 10 before he inexplicably attacked the officer who had stopped to help.

Leonard Pennelas-Escobar opened fire on Trooper Edward Andersson early Thursday after the officer had stopped on the interstate and set up flares in a bid to get motorists to slow down. Pennelas-Escobar said something unrecognizable in Spanish before shooting the trooper, and then he started landing blows with his fists and beating the trooper's head on the ground, Department of Public Safety Director Frank Milstead said Monday.

A passing motorist who witnessed the attack retrieved a handgun from his vehicle and fired two shots at Pennelas-Escobar after he refused an order to stop attacking Andersson. With Pennelas-Escobar incapacitated, the motorist tended to the wounded trooper but was later drawn back into the dispute when Pennelas-Escobar got up and resumed his assault on Andersson. The motorist then fired a fatal shot at Pennelas-Escobar.

"He definitely kept him (Andersson) from having much more serious neurological injuries from this beating," Milstead said.

Milstead called a news conference Monday to offer more detail on the chaotic scene, but he was unable to provide an explanation on why Pennelas-Escobar attacked the officer.

The 37-year-old Pennelas-Escobar was in the country illegally, a drug user and was believed to have once worked as a Mexican police officer, Milstead said. Still, Pennelas-Escobar had no known criminal history.

Andersson arrived at the rollover scene about 55 miles west of downtown Phoenix to find Pennelas-Escobar holding his injured girlfriend, 23-year-old Vanessa Monique Lopez-Ruiz, on the edge of the roadway.

She had been ejected in the high-speed rollover and was later pronounced dead. The cause of the collision hasn't yet been determined. Pennelas-Escobar was believed to have been the vehicle's driver.

Andersson, a 27-year department veteran, suffered gunshot wounds to the right shoulder and chest. He underwent surgery and has since been released from the hospital.

The motorist who shot Pennelas-Escobar hasn't spoken out publicly about the shooting.

Milstead said the motorist didn't serve in the military or work as a law enforcement officer, but he still had experience in using firearms. The DPS director described the motorist as a humble man with a strong religious faith.

"He knows he did the right thing," Milstead said. "He is trying to reconcile that in his mind, which is difficult to take a life even when you know it's the right thing to do."

Arizona has a "defense of third person" law that allows someone to use deadly force against another who is threatening or injuring a third person. It was not unusual that the passing driver was armed in this gun-friendly state with loose regulation.


2 Idaho deputies shot; suspect in custody

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By Eli Francovich The Spokesman-Review

BLANCHARD, Idaho — Two Bonner County sheriff's deputies were shot while trying to arrest a man Monday morning at a home in Blanchard, Idaho.

Both deputies were shot three times, but their injuries were not life-threatening, Coeur d'Alene police Detective Jared Reneau said. The deputies were in surgery as of Monday afternoon and are expected to recover.

The deputies were shot around 11:30 a.m. while trying to arrest a man with a warrant, Reneau said. They were transported to Kootenai Health for treatment of their injuries.

The suspect in the home was also shot, Kootenai County Sheriff's Office spokesman Detective Dennis Stinebaugh said. Stinebaugh wouldn't say whether the man was shot by the deputies or if his injury was self-inflicted. The suspect was also taken to Kootenai Health, where he was still in surgery as of 4 p.m.

The names of the deputies involved and the suspect were not released Monday.

The Idaho State Police blocked off Mountain View Road in Blanchard as a part of the investigation into the shooting.

As authorities processed the shooting scene for evidence, other local law enforcement agencies tweeted out their support for the injured deputies.

"Thoughts and prayers for Bonner Co. deputies and community. #BlueFamily," Washington State Patrol Trooper Jeff Sevigney posted.

"Our thoughts and prayers are going out to our #BlueFamily and the community in Bonner County right now. #TBL (Thin Blue Line)," the Spokane Police Department tweeted.

Thoughts & Prayers for Bonner Co deputies and community. #BlueFamily

— Trooper J. Sevigney (@wspd4pio) January 16, 2017

Our thoughts & prayers are going out to our #BlueFamily and the community in Bonner County right now. #TBL

— Spokane Police (@SpokanePD) January 16, 2017

The last local shooting of a police officer was the death of Coeur d'Alene Sgt. Greg Moore on May 5, 2015. ___ (c)2017 The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.)


Istanbul gunman captured after more than 2 weeks on run

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mehmet Guzel Associated Press

ISTANBUL — Turkish police captured the gunman who carried out the deadly New Year's nightclub attack in Istanbul, with officials saying Tuesday that he's an Uzbekistan national who trained in Afghanistan and confessed to the massacre.

The man was being questioned by police, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters in Ankara. Yildirim expressed hope that the interrogation would unveil the "forces" behind the attack, which killed 39 people and has already been claimed by the Islamic State group.

Hundreds of people were gathered at the swanky Reina nightclub to celebrate the end of a tumultuous 2016 only to become the first victims of 2017. The gunman shot a police officer and a civilian outside the club, before storming the club.

Most of the dead in the attack were foreign nationals, mainly from the Middle East.

"The vile terrorist who attacked the place of entertainment on New Year's Eve and led to the loss of so many lives has been captured," Yildirim said.

He added: "What is important is for the suspect to be captured and for the forces behind it to be revealed."

The premier wouldn't provide further details on the arrest or the investigation, saying authorities would provide specifics "in time."

Moments later in separate remarks, Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin said that the suspect is an Uzbekistan national who trained in Afghanistan. He is believed to have entered Turkey in January 2016. Sahin identified him as Abdulkadir Masharipov, saying he was born in 1983 without giving an exact birthday. Turkish media have reported the suspect's first name as Abdulgadir.

Sahin said that the man, captured late Monday, confessed to carrying out the massacre and that his fingerprints matched those of the attacker. He can be held for up to 30 days under Turkey's state of emergency, which was introduced after a failed coup attempt in July, before he is charged and formally arrested. It could take prosecutors several months to prepare for a trial.

The suspect, according to Sahin, was a well-educated terrorist who speaks four languages and had clearly carried out the attack in the name of IS. He was operating under the alias "Ebu Muhammed Horasani."

The police operation to apprehend him drew on the review of 7,200 hours of security camera footage and about 2,200 tipoffs from the public. Police searched 152 addresses and 50 people were taken into custody.

Authorities seized nearly $200,000, two guns and two drones during the suspect's arrest.

"Together with the terrorist, an Iraqi man was detained as well as three women from various countries — from Egypt and from Africa," Sahin said. "There is a high chance that they may be connected (to IS) because they were staying in the same house."

The governor said it was believed that they arrived three days earlier at Esenyurt, an overall low-income neighborhood of Istanbul that has witnessed a construction boom.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said that the gunman's 4-year-old son was taken into protective custody.

Hurriyet newspaper earlier reported that the suspect's wife and 1-year-old daughter were caught in a police operation in the neighborhood of Zeytinburnu, a working class district of Istanbul, on Jan. 12.

In another report citing police officials, the newspaper said the gunman had picked up his son from the working-class neighborhood of Zeytinburnu after attacking the nightclub.

Sahin said the boy wasn't with the gunman on the night of the police operation, although he had taken the child with him and left his daughter with his wife.

IS has claimed responsibility for the nightclub massacre, saying the attack in the first hours of Jan. 1 was in reprisal for Turkish military operations in northern Syria. The man identified as the suspect had been on the run since the attack.

Days after the attack, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said an intelligence agency may have been involved, an assertion he reiterated Monday. But Sahin, when asked about it, declined to comment saying: "It is too soon to say anything about such connections."

Anadolu said police have also carried out raids on members of a suspected Uzbek IS cell in five Istanbul neighborhoods, and detained several people.

Photographs from raids, widely published in the Turkish media, showed a bruised, black-haired man in a gray, bloodied shirt being held by his neck. NTV television said the gunman had resisted arrest.

Turkish media also circulated a photograph of the Iraqi suspect lying on the floor facedown, hands bound behind his back with the boot of an unidentified man pressed to the back of his head.

Speaking in Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation to apprehend the suspect was successful and thanked his country's security and intelligence agencies for their efforts.

"In this country, no one will slip through the net, everyone will be held to account within the limits of the rule of law," he said.

Turkey, a member of NATO and a partner in the U.S.-led coalition against IS, has endured multiple attacks attributed to the extremist group. IS said the assault on the nightclub was retaliation for Turkey's military operations in northern Syria.

The country has also witnessed an uptick in violence linked to the resumption of conflict between the Turkish state and Kurdish militants.


Officials: Unfilled border tunnels in Mexico a security risk

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Mexico's inability to fully seal up border tunnels dug by drug smugglers poses a security risk and is an "open invitation" for cartels to carve out new tunnels, according to officials in the United States.

On the U.S. side, drug tunnels have been filled with concrete since 2007, after the Los Angeles Times reported that they were being left unfilled because of budget constraints within Customs and Border Protection.

Mexican authorities say they lack the money to completely fill the tunnels, some of which are outfitted with ventilation and rail systems to whisk contraband hundreds of yards under the border. Only the tunnel openings are sealed south of the border.

That allows traffickers to simply dig a new entry point to access the largely intact subterranean passageways leading to the U.S.

A smugglers' tunnel that had been shut down but left unfilled on the Mexican side was found to be back in operation in December, the Times reported Sunday. Traffickers have reactivated or tried to reactivate at least four other tunnels in recent years, most recently last month near Tijuana's airport.

"The biggest threat is that it's a huge open invitation for drug traffickers, and it's definitely going to be taken advantage of," said Michael Unzueta, a former special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego.

Since 2007, it has cost Customs and Border Protection $8.7 million to fill drug tunnels, according to a 2016 report by the Department of Homeland Security.

An estimated 20 large tunnels, constructed before and after 2007, are largely intact on the Mexican side, officials told the newspaper.


Okla. cops use targeted approach to lower crime

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Matt Dinger The Oklahoman

OKLAHOMA CITY — Instead of just fielding complaints and responding to crimes in progress, Oklahoma City police officers in the Springlake division are pounding the pavement and knocking on some 9,000 doors to speak with residents about their issues with the northeast side.

The community policing approach is made possible by a $730,000 Safe Oklahoma grant from the state attorney general's office.

Kicking off Dec. 14, police already have knocked on more than a thousand doors in a 3.3-square-mile area targeted because of a high volume of violent crime.

"We want to identify by going door-to-door to find out from them, to get them involved in the community approach by saying, 'What's important to you? What can we do to work with you to make your neighborhood safer?' Once we get those things identified, then we put together either enforcement shifts, or we work with the city utilities or action center or other groups," said Maj. Don Martin, Springlake division commander.

"It solves a problem, but also builds a relationship that can be sustained for a long time."

The number one complaint so far has been about speeders and other traffic voilators, which is the most common issue nationwide. The second most common complaint is about random gunfire, a byproduct of gang activity that has been a mainstay of the area for years, Capt. Bill Patten said.

The hope is that giving direct voice to residents will help staunch crime in an area that has had more than 40 homicides and slews of rapes, robberies, and assaults over the past five years.

"We don't want that to be status quo. We don't want people to assume that's how life is, and it seems to be getting to that point," said Patten, a 25-year veteran who has worked more than 17 years in Springlake.

Patten is Springlake's executive officer, and second in command after Martin.

"Crime is a symptom of the problem. We want to make that area a climate where crime cannot sustain itself because the neighbors won't approve of it, we won't approve of it. It's just not a place to set up. We could send an IMPACT team in to hit the drug house, but we want to know why it was OK for that drug house to set up there. How did that happen?" Patten said.

"We don't want to do symptomatic policing. We want to go right to the problem."

And the problem is concentrated in an area with a jagged boundary that goes as far north as NE 50 and as south as NE 13. Lindsay Avenue is the westernmost street in the target area, which also juts out to NE Grand Boulevard in the southeast.

The boundary focuses on where violent crime is most concentrated, and cleaves through certain neighborhoods rather than being delineated by a grid.

On the first night out on the streets, officers were invited into a home where they shared a meal, prayed together and sat and talked for about two hours, Patten said.

"In Springlake, we've had families that have lived there for three, four, five generations. It's not multi-family housing. This is their home. It's been their home for a long time," Martin said.

"We can go out and send an enforcement shift, and he can go do X, Y, and Z, but X, Y, and Z may not even be on the radar for people who live in that neighborhood. The law enforcement perspective to solving a problem is dumping a massive amount of resources in an area to do enforcement.

"If you're trying to build a relationship, that's probably not the best thing you can do. You want to go in, you want to get them on your side, you want to talk to them, make them feel empowered to be part of the solution, and then, based upon what they say, send enforcement in," Martin said.

"We're going to direct our enforcement actions off of what the neighbors feel is important. We had one guy say he feels safer if the police moved out west, but everybody else wants more police in their neighborhood," Patten said.

If residents aren't home, officers leave behind "sorry we missed you" cards with a phone number and email address. They plan to knock on those doors again, but police want to provide multiple avenues of communication in case someone does not want to be seen talking to officers on a street with a high level of criminal or gang activity, Patten said.

Another provision of the grant will be the juvenile intervention program, which kicks off this month. Low-level, underage offenders will be recommended by the municipal court to go through a seven-week program that teaches leadership skills and alternatives to a career in crime.

The grant term is one year, but police can apply for an extension if the money has not all been spent.

"You want to solve crime, you create an environment where the citizenry and the people that live in that area say, 'That ain't going to fly here. You ain't coming in this area and doing that.' It's like water, it takes the path of least resistance. Criminals are the same way. You make an area where they don't want to go do it, they're going to go find someplace else to do it, and we hope that's the next state over," Martin said.